What is a Home Report?

A Home Report is a pack of documents that give potential buyers information about a property for sale. This was introduced in Scotland on 1st December 2008. All properties that are advertised as for sale in Scotland must have a report prior to going on the market.

The report consists of three components:

1. A Single Survey
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• An assessment of the condition of the home (for example, the roof, internal and external walls, plumbing and kitchen fittings)
• A market valuation

2. An Energy Report

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• The energy report gives the home an energy efficiency rating. The higher the rating, the more energy efficient the home is, and the lower the fuel bills are likely to be. It also looks at the impact the home has on the environment, through carbon dioxide emissions. The report looks at features such as how well insulated the home is, and how it is heated.
• The energy report also recommends ways to improve the home’s energy efficiency and reduce fuel bills.

3. A Property Questionnaire

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The property questionnaire contains additional useful information about the property, for example:

• The property’s council tax band
• Parking arrangements
• Alterations that have been made to the property
• Whether there are any extra costs involved in living there (such as charges for the upkeep of communal areas).

How much does a Home Report cost?

The cost of a Home Report is depending on the value of your property and can range from around £400 up to and exceeding £1000.

How do I get a Home Report?

If you are selling your property using an estate agent or solicitor they should arrange for the Home Report to be carried out on your behalf. The single survey and energy report must be carried out by a qualified surveyor. The seller or their legal representative will be responsible for filling out the property questionnaire.

How long does a Home Report last?

A Home Report lasts for the length of time your property is on the market although if the date on the Home Report is longer than 12 weeks the purchasers’ mortgage lender may ask for an updated Home Report. It would be up to the buyer and seller to decide who will pay for the updated report although the expectation often is that the seller will pay for this

What if the survey finds a problem with my property?

It’s up to you to decide what to do if the surveyor identifies a problem with your home. You don’t have to fix the problem if you can’t afford it or don’t have time. However, bear in mind that the defect may affect the price you get for your home, so ask your estate agent for advice as to whether or not it will be worth putting the problem right.

If you have any further questions on a Home Report please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Blackadders Property Team who will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Nahdean

Nahdean McLarty
Property Manager
Blackadders LLP
@BlackaddersLLP

www.blackadders.co.uk

 

New build homes the way forward?

With the current lack of availability of residential homes throughout Scotland, there has never been a better time to consider new homes either as a Purchaser or as a Developer.  At Blackadders, we have a proven track record in helping both purchasers and sellers alike within the new build market.  From a Developer’s point of view, the initial identification of a site and subsequent site acquisition is paramount and Blackadders are well placed to give advice on all pre-purchase aspects. As soon as a site is identified we can provide up-to-date sales information on what type of design and size of a house is selling along with a guide to eventual sales yield.

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From a marketing perspective, we have the proven track record of selling new builds and conversions, the most recent of which being the successful conversion of the Taychreggan Hotel in Broughty Ferry into luxury apartments and also the prestigious development within Trust House, Liff.

From a Developer’s aspect, it is important to ensure that the pricing is correct on every unit. It is not just a simple case of using floor area as the ultimate guide to value.  Every unit is individual and this coupled with the quality of finishes can make an enormous difference along with the location of preferred plots to the eventual sale price.

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Trust House, Liff

Our marketing strategies are usually bespoke to the Developer’s requirements.  However, a basic guide to our service levels would include working with the Architect, preparing brochures, signage, marketing materials and advertising the properties through various portals including Solicitors Property Centres, Rightmove and Zoopla, as appropriate.  We would also distribute the properties throughout our East of Scotland network and through both our national and international mailing list.  Our Sales Staff provide ongoing site appraisal reports and would work hand in hand with the Developer. The initial launch may include newspaper advertising and we would also use our contacts within the media to generate other publicity. We offer a 7-day service and extensive use of social media.

Every development is unique and we would undertake an individual approach to any marketing needs.

Should you have any queries whether as a Purchaser or a potential Developer please contact our New Build Team on 01382 342222.

MJPMartin Paterson
Director of Property Services
Blackadders LLP

@BlackaddersLLP
www.blackadders.co.uk

BLACKADDERS – CAMPAIGNING FOR THE SCOTTISH HOUSING MARKET

As part of our campaign to support the Scottish housing market and assist in overcoming the barriers to housing delivery, I am pleased to advise that we have renewed our membership once again for the organisation – Homes for Scotland.

Homes for Scotland plays an important role in ensuring that Scotland is building enough homes of all tenures to meet the diverse housing needs and aspirations of its growing population.  Homes for Scotland is involved with planning, developer contributions, housing policy, building standards, low carbon agenda and many other issues that impact on the Scottish housing market.

LDDLindsay Darroch
Partner
Blackadders LLP
@LindsayDarroch
www.blackadders.co.uk

Properties being sought in East Neuk, Fife

Blackadders are delighted to announce a new property display window within the popular East Neuk village of Anstruther – pictured above is Neil Fyall our Senior Property Manager, outside the new display within Rodger Street, Anstruther.

Blackadders’ Property Services Director Martin Paterson (who lives in Anstruther) comments:  “Over many years we have had many successful sales within the East Neuk of Fife and this display further enhances our commitment to offering property services within the East Neuk of Fife and St Andrews.  Having lived in Anstruther for over 30 years and being involved in the local property market for that time also there is no shortage of expertise in providing free no obligation valuations to all properties within the area.  Buyers traditionally are a mixture of families wishing an excellent family home and a safe and comfortable environment along with people looking for a first time buy or second home.  In years gone by second homes were particularly prevalent in Elie and Earlsferry but this has extended now to all villages throughout the East Neuk of Fife with particular interest recently in properties being sought in both Anstruther and Cellardyke.  Crail has always proved popular particularly with its easy access to some excellent links courses with Pittenweem and St Monans always proving popular due to the many historic and fine features”.

If you would like to arrange a Free, No Obligation, Marketing Appraisal of your home please give our Property Sales Team a call on 01334 800600 (7 days), and either Martin Paterson or Neil Fyall will call out to have an informal chat.

Blackadders LLP
@BlackaddersProperty

www.blackadders.co.uk

BREXIT JITTERS

I was interested to read research from consumer group Home Owners Alliance which advises that more than a million UK adults have shelved plans to purchase a new home because of the vote to leave the EU, economic uncertainty, mortgage restrictions and high house prices.  I also think that the possibility of Indy2 is having an impact in Scotland as are the changes last year to LBTT.  I will give you my March report as soon as I have further stats.

Lindsay Darroch
Partner – Head of Property
@LindsayDarroch
www.blackadders.co.uk

Perthshire Market Summary – March 2017

The spring market would appear to have started early this year with the number of new properties coming to the market and viewing figures both up considerably compared to 2016 statistics.  It’s still a great time to buy with interest rates held at an all-time low and banks offering finance with as little as a 5% deposit.  We also have a stable market in Perthshire with no dramatic price swings in recent years with many properties selling for around Home Report valuation.

10 Reasons to use Blackadders to deal with your Estate Agency and Conveyancing:

  • Estate Agency and legal teams all under the one roof
  • Members of Scotland’s Solicitors Property Centres giving your property maximum exposure
  • Efficient and cost effective – one firm dealing with the entire transaction
  • Lawyers on hand to answer any technical questions from interested parties regarding title deeds
  • Experienced negotiators helping to obtain the best price for your property
  • Offices throughout Scotland with local property teams who have local property market knowledge
  • Up-to-date buyers’ database
  • Full service firm including advice on asset protection, wills, divorce and family law, wealth management plus access to residential and commercial finance
  • Highest professional standards
  • Trustworthy and accountable as we are regulated by The Law Society of Scotland

Euan Stewart
Property Valuer – Perth
www.blackadders.co.uk

COME FLY WITH ME – PART II

Readers of my blogs will know that I am a great advocate for the City of Dundee and think that the improvements that are taking place under the guidance of the Council are absolutely wonderful.  This includes not only the V&A but also the new railway station, Malmaison, various hotels and other regeneration projects.  Like most Dundonians, I was very disappointed to hear about Flybe’s decision to cancel its direct flight from Dundee Airport to Amsterdam.   I would call on the Scottish Government to take steps to rectify whatever caused Flybe to cancel this flight and should it be the infrastructure and technology available at Dundee Airport then this should be rectified as a matter of urgency. If this cannot be rectified then I would urge the relevant authorities to consider creating a hub airport at Leuchars.  Not only would this be a welcome investment into central Fife, it is vital to Dundee and the surrounding area that there is a local, regular international airport connection.  This would allow Dundee to build on the momentum of the V&A and would also increase the number of visitors to Dundee or, at the very least, make it more likely that they stayed in some of the new accommodation being built in the city.

Lindsay Darroch
Partner – Head of Property 
@LindsayDarroch
www.blackadders.co.uk

Property Market Predictions – 2017

Firstly, apologies to the loyal band of readers who have not had a blog since June 2016.  This is perhaps a sign of me trying to comprehend a very unusual set of circumstances, also coupled with an increase in activity amongst my client bank.  Rest assured, there will be more regular blogs from now on.  Before I give you my predictions for 2017, how did I get on in 2016?  Well, as I have said before, 2016 proved the most unusual of years for the property market.  My catchphrase for 2016 was “cautiously optimistic” with a concern regarding various changes including the LBTT and additional dwelling supplement, the Scottish Government election in 2016 and also the impact of a vote on Brexit.  Whilst I am still awaiting the final figures for the Scottish-wide property market for 2016, my feeling is that they will show a contraction in the number of properties coming on to the market of an average of between 6% and 9%.  This is a considerable contraction and one which is showing in relation to the spike in house prices in certain areas.  I would refer you to a previous blog “Stagnation Not Bubbles”.  The change to LBTT and the introduction of the additional dwelling supplement has had a catastrophic effect on the housing market.  Once again 2016 showed the Aberdeen market continue to reflect the low oil price but Edinburgh and Glasgow also showed signs of a slight slowdown which was also reflected in the Dundee market.  Again, I await data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders to confirm this feeling.

In summary, instead of the second half take-off as I was expecting from August, 2016 continued to stutter along with the property market at best plateauing and at worst showing serious contractions in certain areas.

So what of 2017?  Unlike the last couple of years, I would say that I am slightly more negative and am probably best described as cautious, losing the word “optimistic”.  I think that 2017 will be unchartered territory as the impact of Brexit, be it soft or hard, starts affecting people’s buying power. The continued uncertainty of Indy 2, the negative impact of the additional dwelling supplement and Scottish Government policies that in general seem to be anti-home ownership but are certainly anti-property investor, will all have an impact.  I think that we will continue to see low interest rates and good mortgage deals and I suspect there will be a further contraction in relation to the size of the market, but possibly not as large as some commentators are predicting.   I have seen contraction predictions in excess of 10%.

In relation to the property market, my wish for 2017 would include increased assistance for first-time buyers at the lower end of the price bracket, a review of the LBTT bandings and the removal of the additional dwelling supplement.  These are very similar to last year and each deserve a blog in their own right.  Sharp-eyed readers will note that I have dropped my call for the removal of the Home Report but this by no means signifies an acceptance, rather more a “what’s the point of calling on deaf ears”.

In summary, I am predicting a 5% decrease in market activity with a slight increase in house prices averaging around the 2% to 4% mark.   Again, the figures I would urge readers to look at are the number of properties coming on the market in Quarter 1.

I wish all readers a Happy New Year and I will continue to keep you advised of trends in the property market.

Lindsay Darroch
Partner – Head of Property 
@LindsayDarroch
www.blackadders.co.uk

Scottish Labour’s Support for First Time Buyers

I was very interested to read Kezia Dugdale’s proposals in support of first time buyers.  Whilst I do not think the plan goes far enough, I think it is very positive that we have a party that appears to recognise the aspirational nature of home ownership and the importance of first time buyers to the housing market and the wider economy.   Not only does a stable housing market assist the economy, my view is that it also benefits society as a whole as people also have a financial stake in their communities as well as a moral one.

I would urge all parties to look at more ways of supporting first time buyers and also schemes to increase the amount of house being built.

Lindsay Darroch
Partner – Head of Property
www.blackadders.co.uk 

Blackadders – first solicitor/estate agent firm to launch iPhone Property App in Scotland

In the last few years estate agents and conveyancers have been challenged to provide the best possible service at the best possible price. To step up to this challenge we have embraced the use of the latest technologies and techniques available. In 2009 we launched our new website and property system, complete with a client interaction area. This secure login area allows our clients to track the progress of their property sale at a time that is convenient for them. When anything significant happens, such as a viewer booking an appointment, the system automatically sends an update to the client and it is recorded in the system. Any comments we receive back from that viewer are posted on to the system. The client can either choose to receive a feedback call from us or they can login to the system and check for updates at a time that suits them. The system also allows prospective buyers to enter their property criteria and as soon we have a property match it will send out the property details to that prospective buyer automatically.

Our commitment to be at the cutting edge of the legal and property sectors means that we are always looking at new innovations to maintain that position. Following the positive feedback we received after the launch of our website and our commendation award at the DADI (Drum Awards for Digital Industries), it seemed like a natural progression to design an App that would allow those looking for a new home to search our entire portfolio of property for sale and allow our clients to access the client interaction area while on the move.

Although the Scottish property market is showing small signs of improvement we still need to ensure that our clients’ properties are seen by as many people as possible. We hope that by giving people access to our property portfolio through many different sources and allowing clients to access information at the touch of a screen, it will speed up the sale of property and improve the market further.

The key consideration when we were designing the iPhone App was to ensure that the interface was simple to use and that there was synergy between the App, our property system and our website.  We worked with local digital firm Avian on the project for several months and have produced an iPhone App that not only looks fantastic but is user-friendly and has some great functionality. The Blackadders App allows you to search by location, property type and price; view full property details with images, descriptions, floor plans and maps; book a viewing and even submit a Note of Interest. In a tough economic climate we believe it’s important that we stay ahead of the game and continue to develop and use the technologies that are out there to try to make the process of buying and selling a home less complicated and less stressful.

Let us know what you think – download the FREE Blackadders iPhone App from the iPhone App Store.  Search for ‘Blackadders’ to download.

Lindsay Darroch
Head of Property Services