To commemorate the first anniversary of its innovative Home Condition Report, HomeFact, research from Countrywide Surveying Services found that almost two-thirds of users opted for the highest accolade when reviewing its performance.
When asked the question ‘how well did HomeFact support your decision making when purchasing a property’, 60% said ‘extremely well’ and 35% replied ‘very well’. In addition, 97% of respondents said that HomeFact was informative, 97% also commented that it was useful, 35% felt it was unique and 64% viewed it as being good value for money.
Homefact is an interactive report which combines the expertise of a surveyor with other online information sources gathered about the property and its surrounding area. This includes information about a property’s interior and exterior construction, garden, grounds and any defects including problems that may require minor or serious work. This is compiled in a single, easy-to-understand report using a simple system of coloured symbols accompanied with written advice and detailed photographs, which is also available to read on a mobile phone or tablet.
The HomeFact report is also linked to experts from the Property Care Association who able to answer specific issues identified in the report including how much it will cost to fix.
In August 2019, Santander Mortgages introduced a free HomeFact condition report across a range of new first-time buyer mortgages. The bank is currently the only lender to provide a home condition report, worth over £500, free-of-charge and its introduction forms part of Santander’s focus on supporting first-time buyers.
Matthew Cumber, managing director of Countrywide Surveying Services, said: “HomeFact was almost four years in the making before we finally launched it into the marketplace and we feel that this long development period has been rewarded by the overwhelmingly positive reviews from our customers. The past 12 months have been testing for the whole mortgage market and we could not be prouder of how our people have responded during this crisis in overcoming major adversity to deliver HomeFact in such a safe, effective and efficient manner.
“We remain committed to improving the HomeFact experience and providing lenders, homeowners, home buyers/vendors, landlords and tenants with market leading products in what remains an ever-changing property market.”
Mike Holden, MD at Landmark Valuation Services, said: “We’re delighted to celebrate a successful first 12 months of the HomeFact report. It has led the way in the next generation of property surveys by coupling relevant data and surveyor expertise to provide a great customer product. We’re looking forward to continuing our work with Countrywide on the next generations of the product as HomeFact gets better and better.”
Brad Fordham, Head of Mortgages Santander UK, added: “Going into the buying process with your eyes wide open and knowing what areas of the property need attention, can make a real difference to buyers – especially when it’s your first-time. HomeFact helps ensure that there are no nasty surprises, leaving new property owners to go and make the most of their new home. The product offered across Direct channels was really popular even against cash-back products offered at that time of between £1,000 and £250. It proved to be a real differentiator.”