Sunday, 12 June 2011

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Reports, reports & more reports

Most readers will know that in France when you buy a property, you receive a dossier expertise made up of numerous reports carried out on the property. Very similar in fact to the HIP reports introduced in the UK. I have never been a great fan of these for reasons I will outline below. But clients do sometimes misunderstand them and get very wound up about their contents. A few examples :- Energy reports (DPE) – whilst accepting the concept behind these reports, if you want character (such as exposed stone walls), you are never going to get a property featuring highly on the rankings of this report. You shouldn’t need a report of this detail to learn that by adding more layers of insulation and installing double glazing that you will improve the energy rating of the house ! Electrical reports – again, I am all for highlighting where there a safety issues, but the standards to which properties are now measured are for new-builds, not properties that were rewired 15-20 years ago with perfectly safe systems, that work. Drainage reports – we believe that over 80% of rural properties don’t have a fully conforming fosse septique. The standards change on a regular basis, so one installed 5 years ago, may not meet today’s compliance standards. Often it is just a case of adding a new grease trap, or something else minor, but a “damning report” sets the alarm bells going for a potential buyer. Woodwork reports – principally seeking termite activity, which is a real problem. We have just lost one sale where the report mentioned carpricornes, (a form of beetle), and the buyer got cold feet. We subsequently found out that the capricornes were not active (i.e. dead) and were actually old traces in old beams removed from the house and stored in an old barn away from the house on the floor. But the damage had been done, and the buyer had pulled out ! The reports are useful, if used correctly. They can be a good tool to negotiate a reduction in price for example. But I would hardly ever find these reports a good source upon which to base a decision to buy or not. Bone weekend. Filed Under:

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