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About eekoh

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  1. eekoh

    Bridging Loans Query

    Wow, that really is a horror story! I take your point about being certain of your exit and I do feel for those folks, but seems they were already in a financial pickle before they went down this route (poor credit history and facing imminent repossession of a property) so turned to it in desperation rather than making a well-considered investment decision. Their lender sounds rather like a loan shark too rather than a reputable investment firm! For me its a very different situation, a loan would be a tool to facilitate getting a project started and only if it stacks up within the overall project budget and schedule - there is no way on earth I'd ever let anything financial get that out of control. I wouldn't be committing to that level of borrowing, I never 'just sign' without understanding the repayment terms and there would most definitely be a planned exit, either repaying it in full with a self-build mortgage or just selling the land - which would be a disappointing outcome, but infinitely better than spiralling debt.
  2. eekoh

    Bridging Loans Query

    @lizzie The finance will totally depend on the type of project. For some types the deposit will be sufficient to get a self build mortgage, but there's a particular one that I've found where the planning consent has lapsed so isn't immediately mortgageable. For this one it would be the bridging finance that makes it feasible because without it I wouldn't have sufficient capital to buy the plot, even though once I've renewed the consent the figures appear to stack up fine for a mortgage.
  3. eekoh

    Bridging Loans Query

    @Ferdinand Yeah I've seen the interest rates are higher than other types of loans, but as I'd only be looking for 50-60k even if I keep it for the full year the total cost is only about £5k, which isn't huge in the grand scheme of things. From my internet research so far lot of the bridging finance companies don't even do loans that small, though their max figure is millions! @lizzie If I had that much equity available I wouldn't be looking for bridging finance! (I live in a rented place with my partner now and I'll get about £50k cash some time in the next month from sale of my old house, which is the deposit for this project.)
  4. While lending criteria may change over time, you're absolutely right that your project isn't going to get anywhere if you can't afford to build the design that you've got permission for. If you know that you'll need a mortgage to finance the build then it definitely seems sensible to work out the approx figure you might be able to borrow and get a rough understanding of the typical lending criteria. This is one of the things I've been doing over the last few months because the mortgage figure affects the total project budget available, which in turn affects how much I can spend on buying the plot.
  5. I'm looking into bridging loans as a potential means of part funding purchase of a plot - this would make a big difference to the type and size of plot I can buy, opening up potential opportunities for land where planning consent has lapsed or hasn't yet been sought. (I know there are other issues with that type of project such as risk of not getting consent, overage clauses etc but that's a separate thing and its the bridging aspect I need to understand first.) What I'm not clear on at this stage is whether the bridging loan is secured against the land purchased (as a mortgage would be), or does it need to be held against other assets such as another property, or can it be a combination of both?
  6. Buying an ordinary house you can get a mortgage 'offer in principal' that is usable for any house that meets the basic criteria of being habitable, but unfortunately that isn't available for self-build because they will only consider a mortgage application against a specific project. I looked into it for a local plot that is going to auction in a couple of weeks time but we were advised by the broker that even though he agreed it was affordable and should get approval, they just can't process a self-build mortgage application within the timescale for an auction. We were told typically 2-3 months to get mortgage approval but had max 2 months within the auction payment schedule (1 month where its advertised beforehand + 28 days after the auction sale).
  7. The main problem I've been having is that a lot of land round here (Derbyshire) goes via auction, which is really limiting for me because I can only afford small or rubbish urban plots as a cash buyer, I need planning to consent to get a mortgage for the sort of plot I actually want and I can't get a self build mortgage agreed within the timescale of an auction sale even if I can in theory afford the project.
  8. Golf course plot looks great but a bit over my budget!
  9. I’ve just this week discovered a website called Its a bit like rightmove but has a great search category for farms & land that seems to include everything you could want - complete farms, disused quarry workings, individual paddocks, potential barn conversions, village greens and small/medium building plots with consent in both urban and rural settings.
  10. I got a reply today to my enquiry to my local authority about their register, here a summary of their response: This time last year there were approx 60-70 people on the register, but since charges were introduced in April 2018 that number dropped! That’s right, only a single person remained on the register after the charges. They say are doing what they can to find that person a plot. Ive written back to them to formally request that the charges be scrapped. Charges have resulted in over 95% of applicants leaving the register so have not provided any additional income to deal with the task of managing it and, whether or not it was their intention, at this point in time it’s clear that their only function is to reduce the registered demand for plots.
  11. eekoh

    Have you entered any Awards?

    An architect friend of mine’s build is one of 12 finalists shortlisted for the RIBA awards 2019 He put it forward himself because as a recently self-employed architect it’s a great endorsement of his work but having made the shortlist he’s expected to attend the awards dinner, which is pretty expensive. Not even the winner gets a free pass to that. Awards schemes may be nice, but not always free to take part.
  12. Yeah, I'm not sure exactly of the criteria and I suspect there may be a certain amount of local authority discretion about how they're interpreted. These guys are on site pretty much all full time tending their crops and as a small scale lifestyle sort of business rather than a hugely profitable commercial enterprise it would definitely be more cost effective for them to live on site. I think their angle is that its effectively a small holding and it makes sense for them to both live and work there.
  13. If its outside of any settlement boundary, isn't within the local plan as future residential development and has no existing buildings that you could wangle conversion of under permitted development for reuse of unwanted agricultural building then I very much doubt you'd get consent to build via any conventional route. I believe there is one route that could potentially result in consent for a new build, but it involves creating a business of some sort within the existing land-use permissions for the site (i.e. agricultural for this plot) and then justifying that you need to live on site to operate that business. Its how that charcoal burner chap on Grand Designs got consent to build in the woods and a couple of friends that run an organic veg growing business are hoping to do this at their fields, but you're definitely playing the long game here and its kind of a lifestyle route rather than just building a home.
  14. I've had some recent discussions with a chap at the NaSCBA about this very subject after copying them in to correspondence to my own local authority about their register. Each local authority receives central government funding of £30k per year to manage their register, which in many parts of the country would allow them to employ a full time 'self / custom build officer' although apparently not many have done so. Some authorities are definitely better than others and you can see stats for them on the NaSCBA website. Some seem to be very good - Derby City Council have already consented 164 serviced plots, Basildon District Council have consented 251 and S Gloucestershire have consented 325 plots. Others (unfortunately including my local one) are pretty rubbish and seem to do absolutely nothing beyond putting names on the list. A trend that is also becoming clear from perusing the NaSCBA info is that its primarily the councils that appear to be least active that have implemented service charges for the register. They are allowed to do so on a purely cost recovery basis but costs must be proportionate and must not act as a deterrent to people signing up or remaining on the register - but of course they are a deterrent, which I suspect is part of their purpose with some authorities. (They have a template letter of complaint if anyone feels motivated enough to write to their local authority about charges.)
  15. eekoh


    The sometimes laughable penalties for destroying bat roosts is another sore point for consultants and conservationists alike - I've had clients tell me to my face that they'd knock a building down and take the fine rather than pay for the necessary survey work and licence to do it legally. Cases like this where even a successful prosecution for someone knowing committing a crime results in a penalty that is such an insignificant amount in their overall project budget is little deterrent to that sort of developer. There are however several cases from the last few years where the penalty has been levied under the 'proceeds of crime' legislation, which allows the courts to seize a substantial percentage of the developer's profits - a far better deterrent than a fixed penalty.