Hi all,
I am a first time self builder (potentially!) and I have a question about self build mortgages versus traditional mortgages.

We have located a plot and building which is a single story converted barn set on around half an acre which had been used as an office. The building has approved planning permission for a single story side and rear extension to the existing building which would create a 3 bedroom home.

Currently the building is configured as an office but in October 2013 prior notification was granted to turn the building from an office to a single dwelling. It has a kitchen and washroom (although no shower or bath) and two large office spaces which are connected via a hallway. In addition it is connected to all services. In my opinion it is habitable right away it is just that the change of use has not physically been acted upon in the building.

So my question is, will a traditional lender lend against this, or would it be self build lenders only? Our position is that really we only require funding to acquire the land as the renovations could be completed using the equity from the sale of our currently property which will go through in due course.
As we are short on time I want to ensure that we chose the correct route at the outset!

Thanks so much,
James Justice

  • Lindsey Davis

    Hello James,

    As you seem to have identified, habitability is what the mortgage lenders will be looking at. Hot water and a serviceable kitchen are usually demands for habitability, but there may be an issue with the change of use.

    The only way to find out is to go and talk to some high street banks and see what the consensus is. Otherwise a self build mortgage provider may be your best bet – they offer good rates and some will lend a large percentage, the main difference is the staged payments.


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