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  • Andrew MacKenzie
  • March 07, 2018 01:34:23 PM
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A Little About Us

A blog which provides hints and tips and valuable resources about home reports in Scotland. Home reports are mandatory in Scotland when selling your property. The blog discusses all aspects of selling your home and is a valuable resource.

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    How to add value to your home

    Not even the country’s top-notch economists can be certain of what your home will be worth in the next five to ten years. What we do know however is that some changes made to your home will improve its relative value more than others. Try... The post How to add value to your home appeared first on Home Report...

    Not even the country’s top-notch economists can be certain of what your home will be worth in the next five to ten years. What we do know however is that some changes made to your home will improve its relative value more than others.

    Try these top 10 for size

    Loft conversion

    Increasing your living space with a loft conversion is an easy way to add another bedroom, bathroom, or both. You’ll need to reinforce the floor joists which will raise the floor level so make sure you factor this into your standing room.

    Adding a conservatory

    No longer a glass ‘bolt-on’ to the house that you shut the door on in the winter. A good modern conservatory will add natural, usable and valuable square footage to your home. Basement conversion could also be an option depending on your house and the area. However, they are very expensive and alter the structural load of the building so will need careful thought and planning.

    Create living space from garage

    90% of garages in Britain don’t even house a car. If yours is among them, it might pay to turn it into living space instead.

    Fitting a new kitchen

    If your budget stretches to just one refit in the home, the kitchen is probably the best bet. Keep it neutral and practical in design. Make sure that the cost of the work is relative to the current value of your property.

    Neither a £50K kitchen in a £200K home, or an £8k kitchen in a £1m property makes financial sense.

    Replace windows

    Putting in new windows can make a house instantly smarter, warmer and quieter. But it goes without saying that the replacements should be in keeping with the age and style of the property. You will also need to find out if you need planning permission for any improvements prior to making changes. You can check on the Government website.

    Update the bathroom

    After the kitchen, focus on the bathroom or bathrooms. However, it’s not worth stretching your budget uncomfortable here as you can make a big difference by just updating details such as the taps, shower screen, cupboards and towel rails.

    Make the most of the garden

    Installing bi-folding doors along a back wall not only makes for a brighter living room or kitchen, but it can really bring the garden into the house. You should have outdoor lights to ensure this at night and in winter. Be aware of the ceiling price. Always keep your home improvements within the parameters of property values in your street. For example, if average values are £250k, you’re unlikely to achieve £400k in account of even a top-notch extension or sold gold taps in the bathroom.

    Create a driveway

    If you live in a city or busy location where parking comes at a premium, swapping your front lawn for a driveway can be a savvy and practical move.

    Spruce up the garden

    This might mean anything from painting the house to replacing the front door, to cleaning windows and unblocking drains, to pulling up weeds from cracks in the driveway and sand blasting it clean. It makes a big difference.

    Hang mirrors

    A clever and cost-effective trick to give the illusion of space and light in your entrance hall is to hang mirrors on either side. But make sure it’s cleared of prams, shoes and bikes first as that’s the last thing you want to see double of.

    If you’re selling your home, all of the above will help towards improving your energy performance report (EPC) by demonstrating how efficient your property is. If you need advice on how you can improve your EPC rating, give us a call 0131 608 0175 or email info@homereportcompany.co.uk.

     

    The post How to add value to your home appeared first on Home Report Company.


    Scottish Property Market January 2020

    Despite political uncertainty dogging the Scottish property market over last three months, it has remained fairly stable. Find out the current state of the market with our property market statistics, which demonstrate exactly what has happened with property sales. Property Selling Price Rise The average... The post Scottish Property Market January 2020 appeared first on Home Report...

    Despite political uncertainty dogging the Scottish property market over last three months, it has remained fairly stable. Find out the current state of the market with our property market statistics, which demonstrate exactly what has happened with property sales.

    Property Selling Price Rise

    The average property selling price in Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and the Borders over the past three months, was £248,009. This was a 2.1% increase year on year. Average selling price In Edinburgh, was £265,748 which was a 1.8% increase compared to the previous year.

    In the north and north-west of the city, properties saw the greatest growth in average selling price, rising by 9.9% and 10.2% respectively year-on-year.

    Three bed homes in Cramond, Cammo and Barnton saw an increase of 36.2% in average selling price, while three bed homes in Dalmeny and South Queensferry saw a 20.4% rise.

    While these increases may seem very significant, in both cases this was due to the fact a number of the properties being sold were of a much higher value, subsequently pushing up the average price.

    Further afield, properties in the Scottish Borders saw a rise in average selling price of 9.2% annually. Homes in East Lothian and West Lothian both saw an 8% rise year-on-year.

    In Midlothian, houses and flats saw an increase in average selling price of 6.5% over the last three months compared with the same period last year.

    The average property selling price in West Fife and Kinross decreased by 4.1% and by 1.9% in East Fife. Properties in Dunfermline saw a 5.5% decrease in average selling price.

    Sales and Number of Properties Coming to Market

    Sales volume in Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and the Borders saw a 5.0% decrease from November 2019 to January 2020. However, the volume of properties coming on to the market increased by 1%.

    Edinburgh saw a 7.4% decrease in sales volume and a 4.4% reduction in the volume of homes coming to market.

    Top Selling Properties by Sales Volume

    In terms of sales volume, three bed properties in Dunfermline, two bed flats in Leith followed by one-bedroom flats in Gorgie were the top selling properties.

    Dunfermline experienced the greatest volume of new property listings of any district over the last three months.

    Percentage of Home Report Valuation Achieved

    The average percentage of Home Report valuation achieved decreased very slightly across all areas from 102.8% in Jan 2019 to 102.4% Jan 2020. The average percentage of Home Report valuation achieved in Edinburgh was 103.6% compared to 104.1% same period last year.

    One bed flats in Abbeyhill and Meadowbank achieved the highest percentage of Home Report valuation at 107%.

    Property Selling Times

    Selling times over the past three months decreased slightly. On average the median time for a property to go under offer in Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and the Borders was 23 days. Same period last year was 24 days.

    Three-bedroom houses in South Queensferry and Dalmeny boasted the fastest selling time at 14 days.

    Summary

    Despite political uncertainty over last three months the Market remains stable.

    Business Analyst Jamie Fraser-Davidson at ESPC, said: “In the last three months, the UK has had a General Election and left the EU. While many might expect such political uncertainty to impact the property market significantly, the market in Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and the Borders has remained relatively stable in recent months.

    However, as we noted in previous House Price Reports, there has been a consistent drop in the number of homes coming to market year-on-year for many months, resulting in a lack of supply of homes to the market. We also started to see demand level off as the end of 2019 approached, which in turn has resulted in a dip in sales volume.

    Now that the UK has entered the Brexit transition period, expected clarity on the nature of the future trade and political relationships could see renewed confidence among homeowners, leading to a rise in both demand and stock levels. However, we may see further uncertainty throughout 2020 until these agreements are formalised.”

    If you are thinking of selling a property, you’ll need a Home Report. Get in touch to arrange an appointment by calling us on 0131 608 0175 or email info@homereportcompany.co.uk. We are regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), Home Report Company specialises in providing Home Reports, Energy Performance Certificates and Property Surveys.

    The post Scottish Property Market January 2020 appeared first on Home Report Company.


    Home Report – An Overview

    Buying a new house is the biggest financial commitment that most of us will make, and it’s in the interest of both home buyers and sellers to have the best possible information about a perspective new home before putting in an offer. From the 1st... The post Home Report – An Overview appeared first on Home Report...

    Buying a new house is the biggest financial commitment that most of us will make, and it’s in the interest of both home buyers and sellers to have the best possible information about a perspective new home before putting in an offer.

    From the 1st of December 2008 residential properties put on sale in Scotland have to be marketed with a ‘home report’.

    Home Report

    Commissioned by the seller, the home report provides prospective buyers with detailed professional information about the condition and value of the property right at the start of the transaction. Giving sellers a realistic expectation of the condition and value of their property and allowing buyers to make an informed decision before putting in an offer and what that offer should be.

    The introduction of the home report means that buying a home in Scotland works even better for consumers. Buyers no longer have to waste time and money on mortgage valuation reports on properties where they are unsuccessful. It also provides greater certainty on timescales and a purchase price. In particular, first time buyers (the life blood of the housing market), especially benefit from the home report. Many of whom previously may have had to spend hundreds to find out if they can or indeed should, buy a home.

    The home report, which has been designed to suit the Scottish housing market, contains three elements.

    Single Survey

    The single survey provides a detailed report about condition and value of a home before its marketed for sale. The single survey also includes an accessibility audit of every home for sale in Scotland which is particularly helpful to families with young children, older buyers and people with a disability.

    Energy Report

    The energy report provides details of the home’s energy efficiency rating and its environmental impact in terms of carbon dioxide emissions. The energy report will also contain recommendations on how a home’s energy efficiency can be improved, allowing consumers to make green choices and the potential to save on energy costs.

    Property Questionnaire

    Completed by the seller, this questionnaire contains information for home buyers such as council tax band, parking facilities, factoring arrangements and any local authority notices. The property questionnaire will help reduce the risk of delay and difficulties in conveyancing by asking the seller to provide information on any alterations to the property early in the process, allowing more time for the necessary documentation to be prepared.

    It is the responsibility of the seller or the seller’s agent to commission the documents needed for the home report and a copy of these must be provided within nine working days following a request from a prospective buyer or buyer’s agent. Where a local trading standards officer decides that a seller or sellers’ agent may be in breach of their duties to provide or to possess the home report documents to a potential purchaser then a penalty charge notice of five hundred pounds may be issued. Documents in the home report should be no more than 12 weeks old when the property is placed on the market. The legislation does not impose a set shelf life or validity period for any of the home report documents. Decisions as to wither any aspects of the home report need to be updated will depend on the individual circumstances and are for sellers, buyers and their professional advisers to make.

    With only limited exceptions such as newly built homes, all homes marketed for sale in Scotland will require a home report. The home report has helped to create a system of house buying and selling in Scotland that is fairer, greener and even better for consumers.

    If you are thinking of selling and need a home report, get in touch with us and we’ll organise one of our RICS qualified surveyors to carry it out at a time that suits you. Call us on 0131 608 0175 or email info@homereportcompany.co.uk

     

     

    The post Home Report – An Overview appeared first on Home Report Company.


    The Conveyancing Process – What You Need to Know

    This is our inside guide to property conveyancing, that tricky process where a property gets legally transferred from one owner to another. You can do this yourself but it’s often complex and laborious so we’d advise leaving it to the professionals, that way you’re covered... The post The Conveyancing Process – What You Need to Know appeared first on Home Report...

    This is our inside guide to property conveyancing, that tricky process where a property gets legally transferred from one owner to another.

    You can do this yourself but it’s often complex and laborious so we’d advise leaving it to the professionals, that way you’re covered by their insurance, should anything go wrong.

    If you’re worried about cost or finding the right solicitor who can reduce the risk of the deal falling through, get in touch with us and we’ll connect you with a legal professional from an approved panel.

    Conveyancing goes in stages and its work sticking with us, so you understand the whole process. Trust us, the more you know, the less stressful it will seem. Let your solicitor know and give the selling agent your solicitors details. The estate agent will give your solicitor a memorandum of sale which includes details of the property, the agreed price, any special terms and the seller’s details.

    Assuming you need a mortgage, tell your financial advisor so they can start the application process.

    Legal stage 1 is what happens before you exchange contracts.
    
    

    Mortgage valuation

    Your mortgage company will carry out a valuation and you might also have a survey done on the property. You can find more information on surveys here so do check that out. Meanwhile your solicitor works on the draft contract and will send you a property information form plus a fixtures, fixtures and contents form for you to check. Behind the scenes your solicitor will be busy checking local searches with the council and asking the sellers solicitor about boundaries, planning permission, building applications, neighbour disputes and so on. Once this is all done, a completion date is set.

    Completion date

    By now you should have your formal mortgage offer in writing, so things are ready to start moving.

    Legal stage 2 is exchange of contracts
    
    

    Exchange of contracts

    This simply means your solicitor gives you the mortgage deed and deed of transfer to sign. The these go to the seller’s solicitor and hey presto, contracts have been exchanged.

    Completion statement

    At this stage your deposit is sent to the seller’s solicitor and your solicitor will give you a completion statement showing you everything you need to pay on completion, including legal fees, land registry and stamp duty.

    Finally, legal stage 3 is completion
    
    

    Completion

    Your solicitor is in charge of transferring your mortgage money to the seller’s solicitor. The final paper work such as title deeds and transfer documents can go to you, or you can ask your solicitor to hold them on file for when you come to sell. Although, if you have a mortgage, then the mortgage company will probably ask to hold them. The solicitor registers you as the new owner with the land registry and lets your mortgage company know.

    Crack open the champagne; you have a new home!

    For more information on anything to do with buying or selling property, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us info@homereportcompany.co.uk or call us on 0131 608 0175.

     

     

    The post The Conveyancing Process – What You Need to Know appeared first on Home Report Company.


    What is House Completion?

    House completion is the exciting bit of the buying process when the property finally becomes yours. It’s when the property legally changes hands and your money is transferred through to the seller. It’s the end of what can be a rather long process, so it’s... The post What is House Completion? appeared first on Home Report...

    House completion is the exciting bit of the buying process when the property finally becomes yours.

    It’s when the property legally changes hands and your money is transferred through to the seller. It’s the end of what can be a rather long process, so it’s worth knowing exactly what’s involved as sadly things can still go wrong even at this late stage. They can go wrong on the date of completion; it’s been known to happen.

    Minimise Risk

    Key to minimising the risk of problems on a completion day is really having a good solicitor, someone who’s thinking ahead, being proactive, and working hard on your behalf. If you need one of those, we can help. Get in touch with our panel of experts at info@homereportcompany.co.uk

    Late Payments

    Late payments are a common reason for house completion being delayed. It doesn’t happen often, but you don’t want it to happen to you. If the money transfer hasn’t started by 3pm its unlikely to have gone through by the end of the working day. Then you would have to wait until the following day in order to complete and collect the keys. That is a major headache if all your belongings are on the back of a removal lorry.

    If you’re in a chain, and one of the sales either above or below you fall through at the last minute, the reality is, all proceedings may come to a shuddering halt. Make sure that you’ve calculated all of the potential costs very carefully. miscalculated budgets are another reason that house completions sometimes get delayed.

    Buyer/Seller Disputes

    Buyer seller disputes can be another reason things don’t go to plan, if it all blows up at the last minute. So, how to avoid that? Be very clear what’s included in the price and have all queries settled before completion day. You want to understand that fixtures and fittings list.

    Date for Completion

    The date for completion is usually decided between the buyer and the seller via the solicitors. That date needs to be on a normal working day so that the funds can be cleared by the bank. Remember that date has to be agreed up and down the whole chain. In theory you can exchange and complete on the same day but that certainly adds pressure to an already stressful experience, so it’s not recommended.

    Leaving at least a week before exchange and completion would ensure that the move is definite, so you can book your removal men, and you can be there with confidence. Remember that the date of house completion has to suit everyone in the chain as this is where delays can be seen. There’s bound to be someone in the chain who’s having a baby, getting married, starting a new job or a new term at school – something like that.

    Day of Completion

    On the actual completion day itself, make sure you know who’s going to have your keys once you get the go-ahead that the money is through. It could be your solicitor, the seller, or estate agent. You want to be able to pick the keys up as soon as the moneys through.

    Finally, at long last the moneys through, you’ve picked up the keys, you’ve opened the door, you’re there! The house is yours. This is a really special moment so stop and enjoy it, savour it, crack open the champagne.

    The post What is House Completion? appeared first on Home Report Company.


    Winter energy saving tips

    Check out our simple energy saving tips which include some of the most practical things you can do to improve efficiency and see savings on your energy bill this winter. The thermostat The first place to look is at the thermostat. Like many families, the... The post Winter energy saving tips appeared first on Home Report...

    Check out our simple energy saving tips which include some of the most practical things you can do to improve efficiency and see savings on your energy bill this winter.

    The thermostat

    The first place to look is at the thermostat. Like many families, the thermostat might be set a little bit higher than it needs to. Even if you turn down the temperature down by 1 degree you could save up to £75 a year and you probably won’t even notice the difference.

    Programme the heating

    The second part of heating controls is to look at your programmer. This is the thing that tells you when your heating will come on. Most people will have it set to come on in the morning, off when they go out, and on again in the evening, then off when they go to bed – perfect! But you need to check your water heating. Ensure the water heating isn’t on 24hrs a day as that is just a waste of money. Depending on what you’ve got yours set at, you could save up to £150 a year by getting your heating controls just right.

    Turn off at the power supply

    Most families these days have lots of electronic equipment including laptops, phone chargers, TVs – you name it. Most appliances are left on at the wall while sitting on standby all the time. The trouble is that when they are plugged in at the wall, they are still using power even if you’re not using the equipment. If you turn off all your equipment at the wall that’ll roughly save you £80-£150 a year.

    Only use what you need

    Let’s look in the kitchen, where there are lots of appliances that use electricity, so you need to make sure that you are using them as effectively as possible. A kettle for example, if you overfill your kettle it’s a waste of money. If you only boil the amount you need every time that’ll save you about £7 a year. Washing machine – wash at 30 degrees instead of 40 or 60 and that’ll save you another £6 a year. Tumble dryer – Many families use their tumble dryer all year round. If you only use it when you need to, that’ll save you up to another £18 a year. These are all small amounts of money, but they do add up.

    Replace lightbulbs

    Finally, lighting. Lots of families have replaced many of their lightbulbs with energy efficient lightbulbs so they’re saving money already, but they usually haven’t done the whole lot. Some people use halogen light bulbs in bathroom, but these are not cost efficient. These can be replaced by led’s which are far more efficient and will last much longer. If a typical household replaced all their halogen down-lighters with led’s, they could save around £35 a year.

    Of course, every family is different. What you can do in your home will be slightly different, the amount of money you can save will be slightly different. But we can all look at where we’re wasting energy and cut back easily with a few simple changes and we’ll start saving money straight away. If you’re selling your home, all of the above will help towards improving your energy performance report (EPC) by demonstrating how efficient your property is. If you need advice on how you can improve your EPC rating, give us a call 0131 608 0175 or email info@homereportcompany.co.uk.

     

     

     

     

    The post Winter energy saving tips appeared first on Home Report Company.


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