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You've Got Your Home Survey Report...What Now?

You've just received your Home Survey Report...what should you do now?

You’ve just sat down, home survey report in one hand, beverage of your choice in the other. First of all, congratulations! You’ve realised that this is one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make and have decided you want to enter into it fully informed. But what now?

Read on as we walk you through your next steps…


Step 1:

Read the home survey report in full. Don’t panic and pull out of the purchase if you see some red and amber ratings. Condition Rating 3 (red) means it needs to be fixed or investigated further now. Condition Rating 2 (amber) means repairs are needed but you can put these off for a while without causing significant risk to the property, the grounds or yourself. It is important to note that these ratings don’t correspond to the cost of fixing the defect. For example, a missing roof tile could be cheap to replace but will get a Condition Rating 3 because if it’s not fixed, it could lead to more significant problems such as dampness and rot to roof timbers. Almost all properties will have some issues and you could be searching for a long time before you find one without any problems so don’t be put off initially by the condition ratings. Please remember to contact your surveyor if you need clarification on any points or want to discuss the report - we're always happy to chat to you.


Step 2:

Work out how much money you have and and how much you want to spend on immediate repairs. Also think about how much time you want to spend finding tradespeople and the amount of disruption you are prepared to live with. Be honest with yourself about this. Are you really happy to spend thousands on a heating system rather than new sofas? Are you prepared for the mess and disruption of damp works rather than installing new flooring as soon as you get the keys? If the answer to these questions is no, it might be best to look for a different type of property that isn’t likely to have similar issues.


Step 3:

Think about how long you plan to stay in the property and work out how much time and money you’re prepared to spend on maintenance over the years. Older houses will always require more maintenance than newer houses and some of the issues may be ongoing. Certain elements (for example, electrics, heating systems and windows) in houses built in the 1970s-1990s may be nearing the end of their lives and could require renewal if they haven’t already been updated. This can be costly but if you don’t carry out routine repairs and regular maintenance, when you come to sell your house you’ll probably have to accept a lower price.


Step 4:

If you’ve decided you’re happy to spend some time and money on the property, find reliable contractors and obtain quotes for the works detailed in your home survey report. Until you know how much it’s going to cost, you can’t know if you’re prepared to proceed with the purchase. Plan a programme for immediate repairs and ongoing maintenance, and make sure you can do this within your budget.


Step 5:

Consider how much you love that particular house and location against the works required, the price you’re paying and any alternative properties available. Is there a similar house in better condition for not much more money? Or this a unique, one-off property and so you’ll have to accept the extra cost and disruption of works if you want to live there?


Step 6:

You should anticipate that older properties, especially those that haven’t been updated and well maintained, will require work and are likely to have been priced accordingly. However, sometimes something unexpected crops up in the home survey that you couldn’t have anticipated when you placed your offer and, at this point, it would be fair to ask to renegotiate the purchase price. To be in the best position to bargain, make sure you have your contractor quotes to hand. Let the estate agent know what repairs you will need to do, how much they’re going to cost and what your proposal is for renegotiation. Being fully informed will increase your chances of successful renegotiation but be aware that there is a risk that the purchase may fall through at this point so tread wisely.


Only you can decide whether it is best to walk away or to proceed with your purchase but by following the steps above you can make sure that your decision is a sound one.



07 February 2022