Updated: February 14, 2022

Non-Standard Construction Mortgages

Do you need a non-standard construction mortgage? Find out exactly what they are, who the main lenders are, and what to do next in our in-depth guide!

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Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston - Mortgage Expert

Updated: February 14, 2022

Is your dream home slightly out of the ordinary? If so, you may need a special type of mortgage, which caters for non-standard construction properties. When you’re thinking of buying something even a bit unusual it’s worth doing your research before making your application.

By following this guide you’ll have a better understanding of these types of mortgages, how to find the best lender and where to look for any advice or guidance you may need.

Read on for more information or jump to the section that’s relevant to you via the links below…

Can you get a mortgage on a non-standard construction property?

Yes, you can. But it might not be straightforward and you may need to use a specialist lender.

Most lenders will consider you a high risk borrower because they’ll be worried about resale potential if they have to repossess your home. Non-standard properties often require a lot of maintenance and specific insurance, which can be costly. As a result, there tends to be less demand for them.

Whether your application is accepted or rejected will depend on a lender’s specific set of criteria and the surveyor/valuer’s comments. Some might turn you down straight away while others will happily fund your purchase subject to a survey of the property.

The best way to know which lender to approach is by getting advice from a mortgage broker who specialises in non-standard construction.

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How these mortgages work

They work in a similar way to standard mortgages. When you apply, lenders will still want evidence of your income, earnings and other personal circumstances and they’ll check your credit history to see how good you’ve been in the past at paying back loans.

The big difference is the perceived level of risk. As the lender will view you as a higher risk borrower, you may have to put down a larger deposit, you could end up paying a higher interest rate and you’ll probably be subject to stricter affordability checks.

In addition, the lender will almost certainly require you to order and foot the bill for a detailed structural survey of the property and in some cases, the decision whether to lend or not will come down to the surveyor’s comments. If, for example, the surveyor says the thatched roof on your prospective new home is a fire risk, you may be rejected.

What types of property do these mortgages cover?

If a property has walls made of anything other than bricks and mortar, or its roof isn’t made of tile or slate, it’s considered non-standard. The term encompasses a whole range of properties including:

This isn’t a definitive list but it gives you an idea of the type of property that could be a red flag for mortgage lenders.

How a mortgage broker can help you

If you want to avoid the hassle of visiting lenders on the high street or trawling the internet looking for a mortgage provider who may consider your application, you should speak to a whole-of-market broker with specialist knowledge of non-standard construction mortgages.

They’ll know exactly which lenders to approach – and which to avoid – and they’ll be able to negotiate the best rates on your behalf and get access to exclusive deals. They can also guide you through the whole buying process and save you time and money on wasted applications and valuations.

On top of helping you get the appropriate financing for your home, a broker will also be able to connect you with a specialist insurer who will be able to advise you on the specific insurance you’ll need for your new home. Insurers have strict criteria for non-standard properties – much like mortgage lenders – so a specialist who understands this niche will be better placed to get you a more competitive deal on your premium.

We have a network of highly experienced brokers ready and waiting to help you. Get in touch and we can arrange for one who specialises in non-standard construction to contact you directly.

Which lenders offer non-standard construction mortgages?

There are a whole host of specialist lenders who offer non-standard construction mortgages. Each will have their own criteria regarding the type of property they’ll consider lending on.

Some high street lenders, challenger banks and specialist mortgage providers will consider your application, and they include…

  • Halifax
  • Santander
  • Nationwide
  • Aldermore
  • Skipton Building Society
  • Accord Mortgages

Bear in mind that some of these lenders might only consider your application for a mortgage on this property type if you’re applying through a mortgage broker.

Moreover, some mortgage providers might even reject you outright because they view you as too high risk and they don’t like the added complications that come with your property.

However, with more and more properties now considered non-standard construction, there are plenty of lenders who’ll happily give you a mortgage. You may not have as much choice as you would if you were buying a standard property, but you certainly won’t be limited to just one or two providers.

In any case, approaching one of these lenders directly is not recommended. This would limit you to just one set of mortgage deals and increase the chances of rejection. But if you were to apply through a broker, you’d have access to their entire market and boost your chances of quick approval.

Eligibility criteria

Lenders will take a cautious approach to non-standard construction mortgage applications. In particular they’ll pay close attention to the surveyor’s report when deciding how risky lending on the property would be.

They’ll look at the report to determine the structural integrity of the building and how much maintenance it will require as well as its insurability and resale potential. For this reason, it might be a good idea to organise your own additional survey beforehand.

In addition to the above property-specific considerations, you’ll also have to meet general eligibility requirements to qualify.

These include:

  • Affordability – lenders will carry out a series of checks to make sure you can afford your mortgage. Most lenders will let you borrow 4.5 times your salary but some will offer as much as 6.
  • Credit history – having a clean record of paying back loans will improve your chances of getting a mortgage approved. It’s worth checking your credit reports before making an application and correcting any errors.
  • Employment status – lenders will consider you a higher risk borrower if you’re not a salaried employee, for example, if you’re self-employed or run your own business. That doesn’t mean you won’t be accepted. You may just have to provide more evidence.

Deposit requirements

Most lenders will offer a maximum loan to value of 75% on non-standard construction buildings, which means you’ll need at least 25% deposit. Generally speaking, putting down a bigger deposit will get you a cheaper rate and boost your chances of being accepted by a lender for this type of mortgage.

Connect with a non-standard construction mortgage expert

If you’ve got your heart set on buying a house that is slightly out of the ordinary, don’t let the potential stress of getting a mortgage put you off. It may require a bit more time and effort, but an experienced broker who specialises in non-standard properties can provide invaluable help.

Give us a call on 0808 189 0463 or make an enquiry and get matched with a broker today. We hand-pick all the advisors in our network and rigorously vet them on your behalf so you can be assured you’re getting the best advice possible

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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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