Non-Standard Construction Mortgage

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Non-Standard Construction Mortgage

Getting a mortgage is not just about your own circumstances – the type of property you buy is important too. We’re here to help if you need a non-standard construction mortgage. 

What is a non-standard construction mortgage?

Most properties in the UK are built from bricks or stone, with slate or tile roofing. This is what mortgage lenders consider to be ‘standard’ construction. 

If you want to buy a property made in a different way – from concrete or with a steel frame, for example – you may not be accepted for a typical mortgage. You will need to find a provider that will lend on that type of construction. In other words, you need a non-standard construction mortgage.

Is it possible to get a mortgage on a non-standard construction property?

In most cases, yes, you should be able to get a mortgage. It does depend on the specifics of the property. Some construction types are no longer accepted by any mortgage providers, including certain types of post-war prefabricated homes. 

Lenders have their own individual rules about what they will and won’t accept. The only properties that cannot be mortgaged are those with no kitchen or bathroom or severe structural problems. In these cases you will have to find other lending until you’re able to do the necessary renovations. 

What counts as non-standard construction on a property?

The following are typical features of a home that’s considered non-standard construction:

Steel-framed – there are concerns that older steel frames can corrode or warp over time.

Timber framed – Houses with an inner timber frame have a higher risk of fire and damp. 

Prefabricated/Modular – These homes were built as temporary, low cost housing more than 50 years ago. They usually need to have had extensive repairs and renovations to be acceptable. 

Concrete – Concrete can deteriorate and steel reinforcement could weaken. This makes concrete-built properties unpopular with mortgage lenders. 

Cob – Cob construction is one of the oldest building methods, using natural building materials such as subsoil, lime and straw. It requires specialist knowledge to maintain. 

Thatched roofs – Many lenders are concerned about the fire risk of a thatched property, and won’t accept them. 

Eco-materials – homes are increasingly being built with more sustainable materials and techniques, but this can make them more difficult to mortgage. 

Why is it more difficult to get a non-standard construction mortgage?

With any mortgage, the lender uses the property as security for the loan. This means if you are unable to keep up with your mortgage repayments, the mortgage provider could repossess your house and sell it to recover its money.

With non-standard construction the lender has less data to assess how easy it will be to sell the home. Plus, higher fire risks or potential structural problems cause concern that the lender will lose its investment in the property.

Some lenders will not offer a loan on non-standard construction properties, while others might charge higher rates. 

Do non-standard construction mortgages cost more?

Because there will be fewer lenders to approach, and because they are taking on more risk with this type of property, you can expect higher interest rates on a non-standard construction mortgage. 

You may also find that the lenders have stricter criteria around affordability, and they may expect you to put down a larger deposit. While you can get a standard mortgage with 5% to 15% deposit, you might need 15% to 25% if your chosen property is non-standard.

How do I get a mortgage on a non-standard construction property?

If you have your heart set on a non-standard construction home, talk to a mortgage advisor as early as possible. Don’t just apply for a typical mortgage as you may be rejected. 

We have access to dozens of mortgage lenders, many of which are specialists that don’t deal directly with the public. We’ll be able to identify the lenders that will be happy to work with you and will accept the type of property you’re hoping to buy.

We’ll help you find appropriate surveyors and solicitors and liaise with estate agents to keep the process moving. Buying a property can be stressful, so we’re here to make it as straightforward as possible. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help. 

Approved by the Openwork Partnership on 21/02/2024

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up with your mortgage repayments.