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RICS Homebuyer Report

If you are purchasing a property you will want to ensure that there aren’t any hidden defects or surprises lurking within. In order to ensure this, you will need to instruct an experienced RICS Chartered Surveyor to complete a thorough survey.

Having an RICS HomeBuyer Report undertaken in advance of your purchase, ensures that a qualified and experienced Chartered Surveyor visits the property, fully inspects it and then finally confirms the findings in a clear and concise report.

Why choose an RICS Homebuyer Report?

An RICS HomeBuyer report will focus on all facets of the property and give the property buyer a full and thorough understanding of the current state of the property, fully outlining any defects or issues that are present.

The RICS HomeBuyer Report classifies any defects that are present within the property in an easy to identify ‘traffic light system’. This condition rating system will enable you to quickly identify items of defect and establish the potential cost implications associated with those defects.

 

RICS HomeBuyer Report Condition Ratings:

 

Green: Condition Rating 1 (CR1)

No repair is currently needed.
The property must be maintained in the normal way.

Amber: Condition Rating 2 (CR2)

Defects that need repairing or replacing but are not considered to be either serious or urgent.

Red: Condition Rating 3 (CR3)

Defects that are serious and/or need to be repaired, replaced or investigated urgently.

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What are the benefits of an RICS HomeBuyer Report?

Once the Chartered Surveyor has completed the inspection of the property and prepared the RICS HomeBuyer Report, you will be able to make a fully informed decision on whether you want to proceed with the property purchase or whether to adjust the purchase offer based off the defects identified.

The RICS HomeBuyer Report focuses on all aspects of the property from the outside, to the inside, to the services, to the grounds. The completed report should not only highlight defect and issue within the property, but will also rate those defects thereby ensuring you have a full understanding of the property and the cost implications of proceeding with the purchase.

 

The RICS HomeBuyer Report Process:

 

Pre Inspection Investigation

Before visiting site, our Surveying team will have undertaken extensive research to ensure that when we undertake our inspection, we are fully informed on the type of property being purchased. This ensures we have all the facts to hand during the inspection.

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Surveyor Site Inspection

During the inspection our Surveyor will fully inspect the property and will be able to establish any issues that are lurking within. The surveyor will inspect all elements of the property from the roof, to the walls, to the grounds. You can be sure that no stone is left unturned.

Party Wall Notice
Surveyor's Report & Determination

Having now had the opportunity to undertake both pre-site investigation and thorough site inspection, the Surveyor will compile a comprehensive report that will give a clear view on the property. The report will condition rate the issues ranging from green to red, thereby ensuring you are fully informed prior to your property purchase.

Typical Property Defects We’ve Seen over the Years

As Surveyors over the years we have pretty much seen every type of defect that a property can have. Our vast knowledge and experience can often clarify a confusing property defect and ensures that you not only get an understanding of the defect, but understand how to repair it and importantly know how much it will cost.

 

Hover & Click over the house below and you will see the defects that can luck within!

 

 

Defective Pots

Defective Pots can effect the draw of the Chimney and also have a danger of falling to the ground beneath. We would recommend pots are checked yearly or at the very least upon purchase of any property. With costs of replacement ranging from £750 - £2,000 + VAT this isn't a defect to miss!

Defective Flaunching

Defective Flaunching can allow rain water and pests to enter the property beneath and can ultimately lead to a damp penetration and pest ingress. Flaunching should be checked yearly to ensure it is fully operational and in good order. With costs of repair ranging from £500 - £1,500 + VAT this isn't a defect to miss!

Defective Stacks

Defective Stacks will likely need partial or complete rebuild. Stacks can become defective from both weathering and also the normal use of the chimney itself. With costs for repair including costly scaffolding, this defect is not one to be missed. With costs of repair ranging from £6,000 - £15,000 + VAT this isn't a defect to overlook!

Pests

Wasps in Lofts! Check before summer to prevent an infestation (Don't get stung!) #pests #wasps

Pest ingress can be a nuisance to the property occupants and in the case of wasps can lead to the danger of being stung! Pests are an easy fix however can be costly depending on the extent of the infestation. With costs of eradication ranging from £150 - £500 + VAT this isn't a defect to miss!

Eroding Pointing

Eroding Pointing is a sign that the brickwork will likely require full or partial re-pointing in order to ensure a weatherproofed surface. With costs of re-pointing a house ranging from £4,000 - £15,000 + VAT this isn't a defect to miss or ignore!

Pest Infestation

RICS HomeBuyer Report Ongar Loft Pests

Pest infestation and in this case birds is often a sign that the roof is failing or tiles have slipped allowing birds to enter the roof void. With costs of roof repair often requiring scaffolding and ranging from £500 - £25,000 + VAT this isn't a defect to miss!

Defective Drains and Pipework

Drains and subterranean pipes can easily become blocked, cracked or ruptured from issues such as overuse, tree roots or surrounding construction work. With costs of drain repair or replacement often requiring CCTV surveys, excavation and Thames Water approval and ranging from £1,500 - £5,000 + VAT this isn't a defect to overlook!

Ageing Pebbledash

Pebbledash coverings are one of the most common forms of finish within the UK, however are very susceptible to weathering, balding and ageing causing moisture ingress and an unsightly finish. With costs of cleaning, repair or renewal ranging from £1,500 - £5,000 + VAT this isn't a defect to miss!

Wet Rot

Wet Rot can quickly cause irreversible damage to timber window and door frames. With repair requiring the cutting out of the affected area or full replacement of the frame this defect is an expensive repair ranging from £500 - £2,500 + VAT and isn't a defect to miss!

Slipped Roof Tiles

Slipped Roof tiles are often a sign that the roof covering is reaching the end of its lifespan. With piecemeal repair often ineffective, more often than not the roof covering will require full replacement. With costs of roof repair often requiring scaffolding and ranging from £500 - £2,5000 + VAT this isn't a defect to miss!

Roof Sagging

Roof Sagging is often a sign that the roof covering is too heavy for the roof structure beneath and will likely mean the roof covering needs replacing or the structure strengthening. With costs of roof repair often requiring scaffolding and ranging from £500 - £25,000 + VAT this isn't a defect to miss!

Clay Tile Replacement

As a property ages its coverings will slowly approach the end of their useful lifespan and require replacing. Clay tiles are one of these coverings, with costs of roof repair often requiring scaffolding and ranging from £500 - £25,000 + VAT this isn't a defect to miss!

Lintel Failure

Lintel failure can lead to structural damage and cause issue both externally and internally. If the lintels are failing it will usually mean they need replacement which will require the window or door frame to be removed and the lintel replaced. This repair is not only disruptive, but also costly. With replacement costs ranging from £1,500 - £3,500 + VAT this isn't a defect to miss!

Differential Movement

Differential movement occurs when two structures that are independent from one and other move at different rates. With garages, outhouses and bay windows often sitting on far shallower foundations (if any) than the rest of the property, it is very common for them to move at a far quicker rate. With costs of repair often requiring underpinning and ranging from £5,000 - £20,000 + VAT this isn't a defect to miss!

Roof Replacement

Garage or extension roofs are commonly flat and can often be poorly constructed meaning rainwater doesn't correctly flow away from the property leading to pooling or ponding. In the winter months the water freezes and pulls the roof covering apart. With costs of repair often requiring roof surface replacement or reconstruction to ensure proper falls and costs ranging from £3,000 - £12,000 + VAT this isn't a defect to miss!

Invasive Plants

Party Wall Japanese Knotweed

Invasive Plants can be highly damaging to the structure of the property, are costly to remove and in the case of Japanese Knotweed will mean that the property may be unmortgageable. Japanese Knotweed is within 6 square miles of any property in the UK so is a surprisingly common issue, with its roots being able to grow through concrete and the removal being slow often 1 - 3 seasons it is a plant to address at the first instance. Japanese Knotweed treatment costs range from £3,000 - £15,000 + VAT this isn't a defect to overlook!

Defective Pipework

Penetrating Damp

Blockages to downpipes are one of the highest reasons for penetrating damp and if left to fester can cause extensive internal damage. With the cost of clearing or replacing relatively low on the scale of property repairs with costs ranging from £250 - £2,000 + VAT, this isn't a defect to hold off repairing.

Defective Windows

These can range from condensation in the glass, aged seals, cracked panes or defective sashes. Window repairs are surprisingly expensive and in many cases replacement isn't all that disproportionate to repair. Windows are key to protecting your property from the elements therefore these aren't to be overlooked. Costs can range from £150 - £2,500 + VAT.

uPVC Window Defects

These can range from condensation in the glass, aged seals, cracked panes or defective sashes. Window repairs are surprisingly expensive and in many cases replacement isn't all that disproportionate to repair. Windows are key to protecting your property from the elements therefore these aren't to be overlooked. Costs can range from £150 - £2,500 + VAT.

Flashing Replacement

Lead Flashing Vs Dish!

Lead or similar flashings will seal numerous junctions within a property from the elements and ensure that the structure below is free from water ingress. Flashings are commonly in hard to reach areas such as the roof and will often require scaffolding for safe replacement or repair, not to mention the high cost of lead itself. With repair or replacement cost ranging from £5,000 - £1,000 + VAT this isn't a defect to overlook!

Shallow Bays

Bay Windows are usually on far lesser foundations than the surrounding property meaning that they can often subside and drop in comparison to the house. The resulting movement can lead to significant internal cracking and will often require re-plastering and potentially even underpinning of the bay. With costs ranging from £3,000 - £15,000 + VAT this isn't a defect to ignore or overlook!

Bridged Damp Proof Course

Additions such as porches, patios, paving or planters can all have the effect of bridging the Damp Proof Course (DPC) which can lead to costly internal repair. With the solution being the removal of the property that is causing the bridge, this can see paving broken out, planters demolished and porches removed. Alternatively retrospective injection DPC can be installed, however this is both costly and not always effective. With costs ranging from £1,000 - £5,000 + VAT this isn't a defect to ignore or overlook!

Spalling Brickwork

Spalling brickwork is a common sight in brick houses and will allow moisture to deeply penetrate the brick leading to an exaggeration of the issue and further damage. The repair of this usually includes the cutting out of the defective brick and replacing with new. This repair is lengthy and continual, with costs of repair ranging from £3,000 - £12,000 + VAT this isn't a defect to ignore or overlook!

Blocked Air Bricks and Vents

RICS HomeBuyer Report Ongar Pests

If poorly maintained these can lead to pest and damp ingress and can eventually lead to costly pest removal or decorative repair. We'd recommend checking these periodically to avoid issue.

Blocked Gutters

Blocked Gutters can lead to penetrating damp and will often lead to costly internal redecoration, not to mention damage to the fascia board to which the gutters are fixed. Clearing the gutters should be done yearly to avoid ongoing repair. With costs ranging from £150 for clearance to £5,000 + VAT for internal repair, this isn't a defect to ignore or overlook!

Roof Repair

Unbeknown to most, roofs have a shelf life and will often need replacement or ongoing repair. Full replacement can be costly and involve scaffolding being erected to facilitate safe work. With costs ranging from a few thousand to up to £30,000 + Vat this isn't a defect to ignore or overlook!

Defective Walls

Around the 1800 - 1930's houses weren't built with deep foundations with the average property having corbel footings of up to 350mm in depth. These are insufficient and allow for movement and subsidence. In the event that this occurs, you will likely find yourself having to underpin or rebuild. With costs ranging from £3,000 - £15,000 + VAT this isn't a defect to ignore or overlook!

Defective Fascias

Fascia boards sit directly underneath the roof. Their main purpose is to be used as a form of support for the guttering system. If you notice that the paint on the fascia board is flaking or pealing, this could mean that there is an issue with the gutters above. Get this checked out as the repair costs can range from repainting at around £500 to replacement at a few thousand pounds.

The Tools our Surveyor’s use during an RICS HomeBuyer Report:

Laser Measure

We use laser measures to accurately measure the property. This ensures that we are able to determine the rebuild cost (insurance valuation of the property) and also ensures we are able to take the property size into account during our market valuation.

Damp Reader

We use a damp reader to check for damp around the property. This ensures we are able to locate issue and usually determine the cause of the damp, going on to recommend the necessary steps to address or eradicate the issue.

Binoculars

We use binoculars to get the best possible view of those hard to see areas such as roofs, fascias, gutters and chimney stacks. This ensures we are able to fully view and comment on the property and address all of the issues within the Surveyor's Report.

Torch

We use high powered torches to ensure that we can fully view the areas of the property with no natural light such as the loft, eaves or cellar. This ensures that we are able to fully inspect the property and locate all of the defects, even those that are hiding in the dark!

Voltage Pen

We use a voltage pen to ensure that any loose or poorly fitted wires are tested to confirm if they are live (electricity passing through) or not. This ensures that the buyer doesn't get a shock when they move into the property!

Ladders

We carry 3.2 metre ladders to all of our inspections, this ensures that we are fully able to access those hard to reach places such as loft voids, flat roofs, gutters and high fences. Our Surveyors will regularly be up and down ladders to ensure that no defects are missed.

Aerial Drone

We use an drone to inspect those areas of the property, such as the roof, gable walls and chimney stacks that are often difficult to fully inspect. This ensures that we get a full understanding of the property and are able to fully advise the buyer before the purchase.

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Screwdriver Set

Our Surveyors will carry a full screwdriver set which ensures we not only test the firmness of timber, plaster, brickwork and render. We are also able to lift drain covers, remove panels and pry open hard to view areas of the property. This ensures that no stone is left unturned.

Tape Measure

Our Surveyors carry a 5m, a 30m and a 60m tape measure during all of their inspections. This ensures that we are able to fully measure the property, even those hard to reach areas. We are also able to confirm the size and square area of defects such as damp, defective render or cracks.

RICS HomeBuyer Report Fixed Costs:

Here at Berry Lodge Surveyors we believe Surveying costs should be transparent, fixed and never include any hidden extras.

All of our RICS HomeBuyer Reports are set at fixed costs and include the inspection, report and discussion and recommendations once the report is complete and in the hands of our clients.

Flats

Studio Flat Fees from £500 + VAT

1 Bedroom Flat Fees from £525 + VAT

2 Bedroom Flat Fees from £550 + VAT

3 Bedroom Flat Fees from £600 + VAT

Houses

1-3 Bedroom House Fees from £750 + VAT

3 plus Bedroom House Fees from £800 + VAT

 

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