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Voice of Scotland; The Scottish Government.

HOUSE buyers and sellers are expected to reap the benefits of Home Reports when they launch in December, replacing the traditional house surveys

THE new Home Reports will help hard-pressed first-time buyers by cutting the costs of bidding for a house, according to Communities Minister Stewart Maxwell.

He said: "The Home Report will provide buyers and sellers with better information about the condition, energy efficiency and value of houses for sale than they currently get from the existing system."

Scottish Consumer Council legal officer Sarah O'Neill added: "We are convinced that, in a few years' time, the new system will seem unremarkable.

"We'll wonder why it took us so long to adopt a more common-sense approach."

Each report comprises three parts. Here we outline each section.

A single survey prepared by a chartered surveyor, which contains detailed information on property condition, accessibility information and a market valuation.

It should let buyers to make a sensible bid and let everyone know what the home is really worth.

It will also be completely impartial because the surveyor will have a duty of care to all parties.

An energy report giving an energy efficiency rating and its environmental impact in terms of carbon dioxide emissions.

It recommends ways to improve a building's energy efficiency and gives contact details for further advice and information about how to make a home more energy efficient and save fuel costs.

Scots homes make a third of our greenhouse gas emissions, making a massive contribution to climate change.

A barrier to reducing these emissions is that owners are often unaware of how energy efficient their home is and how to improve it.

Energy reports can help the typical mover save up to pounds 250 a year on bills, based on current energy prices.

A questionnaire to give buyers useful information about the property, such as parking arrangements, factoring and property alterations and planning permissions.

They can still take independent advice if they want, but it should not be necessary with Home Reports.

CAPTION(S):

CHECKS: On structure and energy efficiency
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Oct 30, 2008
Words:342
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