Updated: January 07, 2022

Bungalow Mortgages

Need a mortgage for a bungalow? Whether it's a Woolaway, Colt or Dorran Construction mortgage, our in-depth guide will tell you exactly what to do.

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Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston - Mortgage Expert

Updated: January 07, 2022

Bungalow mortgages are quite common for standard properties, but if your bungalow is of non-standard construction you may find it more difficult to find the best mortgage to suit your specific needs.

This guide will outline everything you need to know about all the different types of bungalow properties, how buying one could affect your mortgage application and where to look for any help and guidance.

Are bungalow mortgages any different?

Yes, they can be but this really depends on the type of bungalow you’re looking to buy. If yours is of standard construction, the mortgage you’ll be offered will be the same as for any other residential property and you shouldn’t have any difficulty sourcing a suitable deal.

However, the difference comes when your bungalow doesn’t fit into that “standard” mould.

Standard properties are those that have brick or stone walls, with a tile or slate roof. Anything outside of this definition is classed as non-standard.

Your bungalow may be classed as non-standard if:

  • It’s made of precast reinforced concrete (PRC)
  • It’s got a timber or steel frame
  • It’s got a flat or thatched roof
  • It’s a prefab or modular home
  • It’s a park home

Some non-traditional housing types will be automatically declined by a lender, so can only be bought by cash. In other cases, lenders will have unique requirements that your property will need to meet before they can offer you a loan.

Either way, you may find it more difficult to source a suitable mortgage, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

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Do bungalow mortgages have any specific criteria/deposit requirements?

Provided your bungalow is of standard construction, you’ll typically be able to find a mortgage with a loan-to-value (LTV) as high as 95%, so only a 5% deposit would be needed. This applies whether you’re seeking a new build or an existing property.

However, if your bungalow is of non-standard construction, there will normally be additional criteria that you’ll need to meet.

Non-standard bungalows eligibility requirements
Credit score

Some lenders will require the property to have a BOPAS (Buildoffsite Property Assurance Scheme) accreditation, which offers an assurance that the property is fit for purpose and will last for 60 years or more.

Others expect suitable remediation work to have been carried out, particularly in relation to Woolaway bungalows and similar properties of concrete construction.

Deposit requirements may be higher too, particularly for PRC properties that haven’t been repaired, and in some cases you’ll be restricted to a maximum LTV of 50% (and in some cases even lower).

Your credit score will always have an impact when applying for a mortgage, but it can be even more important with a non-traditional property.

If your history is less than perfect, lenders will already be reluctant to offer you a mortgage – and if they do it’ll usually be with less favourable terms – but the addition of a questionable property means it can be almost impossible to secure the funding you need.

If you’re concerned about your score – download your credit reports beforehand and check there’s no inaccuracies or outdated information that should be removed.  If you need to access bad credit mortgages for a bungalow of this kind, make sure to speak to a broker first.

The complexity of this type of mortgage, not to mention the fact that not all lenders operate in this space, means it’s often best to seek specialist advisors who can help you source the right deal for your needs.

Types of bungalow and their implications

Don’t think your bungalow fits the mould? Here are all the different types of bungalows and what it may mean for your mortgage.

Woolaway bungalows

A type of prefabricated property that falls under the PRC bracket, Woolaway bungalows were popular in the mid-20th Century and typically have a concrete frame and concrete wall panels, with cracking of the precast columns, degrading bolts and heat loss due to limited insulation being some of the biggest concerns.

For this reason most lenders won’t offer a mortgage on a Woolaway bungalow that hasn’t been extensively repaired – some, such as NatWest, require all external walls to have been completely rebuilt with a guarantee from PRC Homes Ltd.

Colt bungalows

Colt bungalows are timber-framed properties made of prefabricated panels. They still fall under the non-standard bracket but those built since 1970 meet modern building regulations, and many lenders will offer mortgages on such properties.

However, full valuations will need to be sought and it will be easier if the bungalow has a brick “skin” or some other form of additional insulation, and you may find LTV ratios limited.

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Dorran bungalows

A Dorran is another type of PRC property, with concrete panels and beams that have the same cracking, degradation and insulation issues as Woolaway bungalows and are therefore considered “defective”.

This means that extensive remodelling is often required before you’ll be able to source a Dorran construction mortgage, and even then, it’s likely to only be possible via specialist lenders and with a low LTV.

Chalet or dormer bungalow

A chalet bungalow is simply a bungalow that’s been converted to provide bedrooms upstairs, and a dormer bungalow is the same with the addition of dormer windows. Provided the property’s of standard construction and meets all necessary building regulations, you should be able to source a suitable mortgage.

Park homes

If you’re looking to buy a bungalow on a residential park, you won’t be able to get a mortgage. This is because the land is owned by the site owner, not the owner of the property, which means the property itself isn’t listed with the Land Registry and as such there’s no title to secure the mortgage against.

This means anyone looking to buy a park home (otherwise known as a mobile home) will need to either buy it outright or source a specialist loan instead.

The only exception to this is if the land is sold alongside the property on a freehold basis, in which case a mortgage lender may be more willing to consider it – though this type of borrowing will be difficult to source without the help of an experienced broker.

How a broker can help

A broker who specialises in bungalow mortgages and, in particular, mortgages for properties of non-standard construction, will be invaluable if you’re seeking this kind of home.

The fact that so few lenders are able to offer mortgages of this kind means it’s essential to have someone on your side who not only knows the providers that will consider lending on such properties but, crucially, what their criteria will be, so you’ll know who to approach in order to stand the best chance of acceptance.

Seeking the help of a specialist in this area can mean the difference between securing a mortgage or not. So, if you’re looking for Woolaway, Colt or Dorran construction mortgages, get in touch and we’ll arrange for an advisor we work with to contact you directly.

Other things to consider

In addition to the eligibility criteria and how the type of bungalow you’re looking to buy could impact your application, there’s also a couple of other points worth considering before you buy:

Resale potential

One of the key things you’ll need to consider with a bungalow of non-standard construction, particularly as the property is likely to already be on the cheaper end of the scale – what resale potential does it have?

If it proves difficult to get a mortgage yourself, think about how tricky it could be for future buyers to do the same, and if you’re unable to keep up with the maintenance requirements you could find its resale value is less than you’d hoped.

Bungalows are becoming increasingly popular with younger families. However, they’re typically thought of as being preferred by older buyers, which can sometimes pose difficulties if they still need a mortgage to finance it.

Most lenders have maximum age limits (typically 75, though it can be higher), so if you’re expecting to be older than this by the end of the mortgage term, it could be more difficult to secure finance.

Get matched with an experienced bungalow mortgages broker

If you’re looking for someone who can help you access the best bungalow mortgages – particularly if your property of choice has some non-traditional features – get in touch with Online Money Advisor by calling 0808 189 0463 or make an enquiry.

We’ll match you with a broker who specialises in this sector, taking the hassle out of finding an advisor yourself while boosting your chances of securing that all-important mortgage. There’s no obligation, no fee and no impact on your credit score.


Should I buy a Woolaway bungalow?

Woolaway bungalows can be cheaper than models of standard construction, but they’ll take a lot more maintenance and you’ll likely need to complete remedial works in order to get a mortgage (if it hasn’t already been improved).

Lenders are reluctant to offer mortgages on properties of this type but it can be possible, so it all depends on your budget, your deposit and how much you’ve got your heart set on one.

What if I’m buying an ex-local authority bungalow - can I still get a mortgage?

Generally speaking, yes, the vast majority of lenders will offer mortgages on an ex-local authority bungalows, though some may have extra stipulations for this type of property (minimum property values, for example, or the requirement for a “meaningful level” of private ownership elsewhere on the estate).

However, if it’s of non-standard construction, the same implications will apply as above, and you may have to jump through a few more hoops to get the mortgage approved.

Can I get a buy-to-let mortgage on a bungalow?

As long as the property is of standard construction, you should have no problem securing a buy-to-let mortgage for a bungalow – if it isn’t, you’ll face the same limitations as with residential mortgages, with criteria being steeper and relatively few lenders able to offer such deals.

A broker will be able to help you identify the best lenders to accommodate.

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We know everyone's circumstances are different, that's why we work with mortgage brokers who are experts in all different Property Types. Ask us a question and we'll get the best expert to help.

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Pete Mugleston

Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Expert

About the author

Pete, an expert in all things mortgages, cut his teeth right in the middle of the credit crunch. With plenty of people needing help and few mortgage providers lending, Pete found great success in going the extra mile to find mortgages for people whom many others considered lost causes. The experience he gained, coupled with his love of helping people reach their goals, led him to establish Online Mortgage Advisor, with one clear vision – to help as many customers as possible get the right advice, regardless of need or background.

Pete’s presence in the industry as the ‘go-to’ for specialist finance continues to grow, and he is regularly cited in and writes for both local and national press, as well as trade publications, with a regular column in Mortgage Introducer and being the exclusive mortgage expert for LOVEMoney. Pete also writes for OMA of course!

FCA Disclaimer

*Based on our research, the content contained in this article is accurate as of the most recent time of writing. Lender criteria and policies change regularly so speak to one of the advisors we work with to confirm the most accurate up to date information. The information on the site is not tailored advice to each individual reader, and as such does not constitute financial advice. All advisors working with us are fully qualified to provide mortgage advice and work only for firms that are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. They will offer any advice specific to you and your needs.

Some types of buy to let mortgages are not regulated by the FCA. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. As a mortgage is secured against your home, it may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage. Equity released from your home will also be secured against it.

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