Are you looking to buy a non-standard construction property? Our team of mortgage brokers are experienced in securing non-standard construction mortgages and can help you find the right lender to buy your dream home.
We are The Mortgage Pod, specialist mortgage brokers for non-standard construction property
If your dream home involves something a bit more unique than your average brick-and-mortar setup, you’re in the right place. It can be harder to get a mortgage on a ‘non-standard property’, but what exactly does that term mean?
Homes constructed from materials other than brick, stone and slate tile are classified as ‘non-standard’, e.g. timber-framed, prefabricated, and thatched roof houses. Mortgage lenders view non-standard property types as higher risk as they are, generally speaking, harder to insure, to value and to sell.
But it’s certainly not impossible to secure a mortgage on a non-standard construction home. The Mortgage Pod has plenty of experience in organising non-standard construction mortgages. We understand the unique challenges associated with non-standard properties and unconventional building materials and can help you with the sometimes complex application process.
As a mortgage broker, we have strong relationships with a wide range of lenders, including those comfortable with mortgages for non-standard construction properties. This allows us to pinpoint the right lender to save you a whole lot of time and hassle. If a high-street lender has previously refused you, we can potentially find a specialist lender with more sympathetic eligibility criteria.
We’ll be on hand throughout the entire mortgage application process and beyond to ensure that your application goes as smoothly as possible.
Contact The Mortgage Pod today about getting a mortgage for a non-standard construction property.
Should I buy a non-standard construction property?
Are you envisioning yourself in a cosy thatched cottage in the countryside? Perhaps you dream of building an eco-friendly prefab home, or maybe you want to get more value for your money with a steel-framed house.
What are non-standard construction properties?
Most properties in the UK are considered to be of ‘standard construction’ for mortgage purposes. That means they are built from “bricks and mortar,” with brick walls, concrete foundations, and a tiled roof. These standard materials comply with UK building regulations.
However, there are a significant number of properties that are considered ‘non-standard’ by mortgage lenders, i.e. where the materials or construction method differs from the norm.
Mortgage providers like predictability and non-standard constructions, therefore, pose a greater risk. So, if you’re interested in purchasing a non-standard property, you may need a specialist non-standard construction mortgage.
What types of buildings are non-standard?
There are many listed buildings and unusual property types in the UK. Here are a few examples of non-standard construction properties:
- Timber-framed properties – Homes where the primary framework is made from timber studs and beams. In England, homes with timber frames are relatively common, particularly newbuilds.
- Prefabricated or modular homes – Homes that are built off-site in modules. They are becoming a more popular option as they are cost-effective and sustainable.
- Steel-framed homes – Homes built using steel frames rather than wood.
- Concrete or steel-clad properties – Where the home’s exterior surfaces are covered with concrete or steel panels.
- Straw-bale homes – Including structural elements and insulation made of straw.
- Cob homes – Homes constructed from clay-rich materials, sand and straw. There is a long history of this type of earth construction in the UK, especially on the south coast. Homes built from clay lump have even seen a slight resurgence as a green building technique.
- Thatched roof homes – thatched roofs made from bundles of dry vegetation such as straw, reeds, or heather; a common sight in Hampshire and along the South Coast.
- K-LATH – This is short for “keyed plaster lath,” a building material used as a base for plaster finishes on walls and ceilings. It consists of reinforced mesh that provides an adhesive surface for plaster.
- Flat roof houses – Houses with flat roofs are considered non-standard as they use materials other than slate tile, such as concrete.
This is not an exhaustive list, so if you are unsure whether a property falls into the non-standard category, it’s best to contact an estate agent or The Mortgage Pod for advice.
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Can you get a mortgage on non-standard construction properties?
Getting a mortgage on a non-standard construction house or flat is certainly possible. However, the process may be more complex, and it may be necessary to approach specialist non-standard construction lenders.
A mortgage provider is likely to consider a non-standard property as higher risk, as it’s hard to assess the property’s long-term value and resale potential.
Also, the cost and complexity of repair to non-standard construction properties is higher, and there may be more structural risk, adding an additional layer of uncertainty. For this reason, some mortgage lenders do not offer non-standard construction property mortgages and those that do tend to have more strict criteria.
Are non-standard construction mortgages different to normal mortgages?
A non-standard mortgage isn’t a product as such; it refers to the lender criteria. Some high street lenders will offer a mortgage for a non-standard construction property within their criteria, whereas some will not.
Some mortgage lenders base their criteria on specific methods or building materials, such as the roof material or the year of construction. Others will state “subject to surveyors’ comments” or require a report from a structural engineer. It’s also common for lenders to cap the maximum loan to value on non-standard properties.
Each mortgage lender has its own criteria, so it’s important to know which ones to approach, which is why the advice of The Mortgage Pod is so valuable.
Non-standard construction mortgages for first-time buyers
It’s entirely possible for first-time buyers to get a mortgage on a non-standard construction property, but it depends on the particulars of the property and the borrower’s personal circumstances.
There is specific criteria that apply to first-time buyers that apply to all property types, such as credit history and proof of a stable income. This is to satisfy the lender of your ability to meet the mortgage repayments.
For a non-standard construction mortgage, e.g. on listed buildings, mortgage lenders are just as likely to consider first-time buyers, but there will be a longer list of requirements.
To improve your chances of success, it’s essential to consult a specialist broker like The Mortgage Pod. We are mortgage advisers and have access to many lenders willing to approve non-standard construction mortgages.
What is the mortgage application process for a non-standard construction mortgage?
Firstly, you need to find a lender experienced in non-standard construction, as not all lenders are willing to underwrite these mortgages. However, some specialist lenders assess applications on a case-by-case basis, increasing the likelihood of success.
The application process typically begins with a thorough examination of the property, including its construction materials, design, and overall condition. The lender may require a detailed structural survey to assess the property’s structural integrity and a valuation to determine its market value.
As many mortgage providers have stricter lending criteria for non-standard properties, the underwriting process will likely be longer and more complex. They may ask for a higher deposit, and borrowers might be required to provide detailed documentation about the property’s construction, maintenance history, and any relevant warranties or guarantees.
The borrower’s financial stability and creditworthiness remain crucial factors, but the unique considerations around non-standard construction properties introduce an added layer of complexity.
Talk to The Mortgage Pod to get a mortgage for a non-standard construction property
The Mortgage Pod is a specialist mortgage broker for non-standard construction properties. While it’s true that fewer lenders are willing to underwrite a mortgage for unusual properties, they are out there, and we know exactly which ones to approach depending on the property type.
We are a whole of market broker, meaning that we can offer advice and find a competitive deal from our vast network of mortgage providers.
Over the years, we’ve helped many clients get a mortgage deal on non-standard or unusual properties. If you have your eye on your dream home and it doesn’t fit the standard property mould, don’t be put off. Get in touch with us today for a consultation.
Frequently asked questions about non-standard construction mortgages
Do you need a high deposit for a non-standard construction mortgage?
Whilst it is possible to purchase a property with as little as a 5% deposit, many mortgage lenders ask for a larger deposit to help mitigate the perceived risk associated with non-standard construction and building materials. The specific deposit amount varies depending on the lender, the borrower’s circumstances and the property’s unique characteristics.
How long does it take to secure a non-standard construction mortgage?
A non-standard construction mortgage can take longer than usual, depending on the complexity of the property, the lender’s underwriting processes, and the completeness of the borrower’s documentation. It may take several weeks from the initial application to mortgage approval. Working with a mortgage broker experienced in non-standard construction can help streamline the process.
Can I get a non-standard construction mortgage for a self-build project?
Securing a mortgage for a new build can be a challenging task if the construction is classified as non-standard. Prefabricated (prefab) homes are gaining popularity due to their efficiency and sustainability. They are often built with concrete blocks, which are manufactured offsite and reassembled onsite.
However, if things go wrong, significant portions of the building may need replacement due to their unique construction method. So, building insurance for prefab homes can be more expensive and pose a higher risk for mortgage lenders.