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TOP TIPS: 5 things to consider when buying a non-standard home

When it comes to arranging a mortgage, there are a few red flags that can quickly put the brakes on your application. One of those is when the property is defined as non-standard.

Non-standard properties fall into a number of categories, largely consisting of non-standard materials (e.g. timber-framed, pre-formed concrete panels); non-standard position (high-rise flat, or situated above a business); or non-standard use (semi-commercial, like a pub with living quarters above).

These properties have a reputation for being particularly difficult to mortgage, for several reasons. And with many mortgage providers having a lower appetite for risk than at some points in the past, securing the loan you need can seem harder than ever.

Our quick tips may help you decide whether to pursue the property you’ve found, and how to secure a loan if you do.

1. Know what you’re getting yourself into

Before buying, ask the previous owners about the cost of building maintenance, heating and home insurance, as these may well be significantly higher than with a standard property.

2. Keep saving

The larger your deposit, the lower your loan-to-value ratio (LTV%) will be on your mortgage application. By taking on more of the risk yourself, you could improve your chances of being approved.

3. Seek advice

Speak to an independent mortgage broker to get a better idea of which lenders are more flexible when it comes to non-standard properties. They’ll also steer you away from the stricter lenders.

4. Ask the owner

Find out if the property you want to buy already has a mortgage in place on it. If so, think about approaching their existing lender for your own mortgage – they’ll be familiar with the property, so may be more likely to approve your application.

5. Save time

Avoid rejection and go direct to one of the UK’s specialist lenders, like us, who regularly approve mortgage applications on more unusual properties. We can also help if there’s something else less-than-ideal about your application – for instance, if you’re self-employed or have missed payments on your credit file.