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  1. Morning All, Still in the ideas / planning / financial posibilities phase on a potential project in the Lake District. Background: My grandmother will be 100 this year and as much as we wish otherwise will not likely be with us much longer so as part of future planning we're trying to work out what best to do with her property when the time comes. The house while not huge at 3/4 bedroom has significant value due to the location overlooking Grasmere lake. However, it has had no real improvements in the last 30 years so will be in need of a complete renovation which will likely involve significant costs. As the property will be split between family members I've got to work out if it is possible to get a large enough mortagage to buy out the others, cover the cost of renovations and whether it is finacially prudent. The side effect of the spectacular location and views is the exceptional access difficulty. The property is right at the end of a shared narrow road on a reasonable incline but finishes up with a sharp 90 degree turn, exceedingly steep 45 incline followed by another 90 degree turn the other direction with an adverse camber into a narrow drive with cattle grid at the entrance. Can get a car up with with some wheel spinning if damp but little chance of getting anything larger up like materials up there. Notes: Difficult Access Dug into the fellside so damp / drainage issues Electric only, no gas or oil Size - 175 m2 roughly, 2 bedrooms and one bathroom on lower ground floor, living room, kitchen, bathroom, 2 bedrooms on upper ground floor Planned Works: 1) Unfortunately will need to be fairly well gutted, saving anything of merrit (little architectural value) 2) Planning permission for extending windows and solar panels (other houses next door have them so shouldn't be too bad) but world heritage site and national park so likely a pain. 2) Dig out subfloor to depth, back fill with insulation, UFH and screed and add in drainage if needed 3) Insulate suspended floors and plumb for UFH 4) Rewire of entire property. Going to try and move to 3 phase while going through it all to cover future scenarios as there is a sub station at the end of the drive. 5) Pipe for MVHR if possible 6) Replace all windows / external doors with triple glazing 7) insulate and seal internally testing for airtightness 8 )Space heating via wet UFH, ASHP + buffer tank 9) Direct hot water via appropriate tank / sunamp with heated by PV / electrical off peak. Potentially use the ASHP to preheat. 10) Large propensity of power cuts in the area so would like to add an battery bank / inverter setup rather than export excess PV though that would depend on costs / usefullness 11) Rest is just general renovation, kitchen, bathrooms, lighting etc etc Financial Mortgaging the property is going to likely be expensive has hell, hoping that will be able to get it at a reasonable price as if not then we'll have to sell and will be gone from the family foreaver and my parents and grandparents built / converted it from a small barn. Got to work out if the cost of the mortgage plus the renovations costs (assuming 200k for a complete renovation to a high standard) is even possible I have a good job as an IT security contractor but assuming the gravy train won't last forever so making the most of it while I can. Currently working all hours and 3 jobs at a time to put enough into savings to make it possible in the future, got around £100k in equity currently and £150k investments, should be able to increase that by around £75-100k a year currently. Though if it's not viable I'll stop killing myself with work and actually enjoy life. Questions: 1) Does the planned works seem roughly correct. Been reading this board for over a year and just finished renovating my current small 3 bed terraced house which has been a learning experience so fairly confident on this one. 2) Am I being overly optimistic on the costs? obviously as a rough ball park figured 3) How much is the acess issue going to affect renovation? at the moment I'm thinking about likelihood of getting a small telehandler that can be sold off afterwards and seeing if the house below will rent a section of area outside their garage (they have two drives for some reason) Thanks all for looking, I've added a few images below to make things a bit clearer. Ralph Images The house circa 1980, had a slate new roof since then. Note the little chapel, belonging to the house below indicates the height the driveway climbs at steeply. Aerial View of the Plot. Border in red and the difficult drive section highlighted in yellow. Reason for loving the property so much, a small part of the view from the sitting room window.
  2. Very much a newbie, so please go easy on me! I currently own the ground floor flat of an end of terrace property in London. The upstairs flat is owned by a friend of mine. Together we own the freehold on the land. We are about to undertake a personal development project, to extend the terrace and build 2 new 2 bed properties on our existing land. We will then either rent these properties out or sell them for profit - whilst continuing to hold on to our existing properties. From a tax and finance perspective, I have a few questions; - Would setting up a LTD company be beneficial? - If so, if we were to be VAT registered, I understand we could claim back any VAT for architecture and professional services fees? - Though if we were to do so, would we be obliged to charging VAT if we sold the property to an individual? - Does anyone have any recommendations on the best way to reduce CIL, VAT, CGT? Many thanks, Ant
  3. Hi, We've just been granted planning permission - the 'granted' bit makes it all sound a bit medieval - which it is - took us 3 years and an appeal..... That aside, we now need to make sure the finance is in place. We can cover all but about £100k and have been looking at how to find this part. We own our current house outright and it's worth about £450k, so naturally we would look to a mortgage on this rather than a self build mortgage as the rates are much better. So the question is how do you convince a bank or building society to loan you that kind of money on a new mortgage on the current house? Speaking to brokers some time ago, as soon as we mentioned financing a self build, there was much sucking of teeth and quotes for bridging loans at extortionate rates. I noticed someone on a post a couple of years ago saying they had said they wanted to buy a 2nd home. We have rental properties, so I guess we could say it was for a deposit on a new rental property. Is there any experience of raising money on your own home and if so how did you do it? And which bank/building society did you use? Thanks in advance for any help. Simon
  4. Hey Everyone, I am looking into self build funding and see Ecology mentioned on this forum quite a lot. Few questions: - When Ecology grant a mortgage, do you have a monthly payment up front, or do they class this as a development type finance and roll it into the exit? - I am assuming you only pay interest on the drawn down funds, rather than interest on for example a 500k mortgage up front? - Would they take first charge over an existing property as part of the mortgage process or just provide the additional funds to build the new house as a 2nd charge Thanks Chris
  5. We have started a simple two-storey extension - hallway and bedroom above. Unfortunately we didn't get a payment structure confirmed before the work started (we've learnt our lesson!) - we are now confirming staggered payments with him because the builder is now wanting £4k a week steadily throughout the job until the end, which we're not entirely comfortable with. We would like to hold back a decent percentage at the end because we've been burned before and because we want to make sure the job is finished as we'd like before coughing up most of the money. We have an independent BC person involved in this project so we're getting everything checked off along the way. Regardless, how much would you guys recommend as the max % to retain before final payment? Thanks in advance.
  6. Hi, We are a family of 5 looking at our first self build project to build hopefully a 200sq m family home for the next 15-20 years. Land is £205k, with a build budget of c£350k. We have managed to secure a site with some land under offer which has outline planning permission. We have been reading up and engaging with architects and contractors but would really welcome some advice around: 1. Project cashflow - We have savings (house sold and currently renting), that could purchase the land but not complete the build. Funders seem to want the land to have final planning in place before they will fund any purchase, but how can we make this work if land currently has outline planning but not final. Have others bitten the bullet and bought land with outline and then refinanced the project later down the line? 2. Land title - The land is being split off from a current title and we have concerns about access for services etc, have people moved forward discussions on services and the cost of getting these to a site before completing on a land sale, as they have quite a significant impact on budget? Thank you for any help and advice its greatly appreciated.
  7. We aren’t expecting a completion certificate for a while (maybe later this year). Two year lock in on expensive self build mortgage has just expired. Our house is liveable (mortgageable) but not yet finished. Things to do include final bit of cladding, all landscaping and driveway plus some other internals. Plus a bl**dy roof light repair and internal making good. Currently Ecology SB mortgage. Does anyone have any experience of remortgaging before a completion certificate is issued? Could do with saving some money......
  8. Just thought I'd post it there for all those planning their finances for the self-build. We've got our Accelerator SB mortgage via Buildloan (who've been very helpful throughout), successfully received the initial drawdown to repay previous mortgage on our bungalow, and then promptly in due course applied for and drawn the next installment for foundations. All was going jolly well, and now time has come to request the next drawdown, per our agreed and approved schedule, to commense wall plate and structure. Buildloan did state that processing a request by the lender takes about a week, so we applied well in advance, and just sat there, so proud of ourselves. Five weeks on, still no drawdown issued. First they "lost" the survey report which was produced for this stage. Ok, found it in a few days. Then another week's silence, started chasing them, found out that they "suddenly" discovered that we cancelled the basement. OK, we brought up all the paperwork showing why, when and how we cancelled the basement, all the final iterations of plans, of costings, of approvals to confirm that this was all shown upfront and calculated BEFORE we even applied for the mortgage. Another week of silence, apparently lots of to-and-fro-ing between the Lender and their surveyor, finally it seems they managed to read the docs and confirmed they are happy that there is no basement. Great. Another few days wait - now it seems no one can establish from three sets of plans they've got (planning permission plans, SE plans and buid regs) what is the GEA of the house plus garage. Not obvious from plans. And no one can tell us, whose job it is to bloody look at plans with a calculator, read the numbers and get the GEA. It's between the Lender and the Surveyor. In the meantime we keep waiting (nailbiting taken to a pro level), it's been 6 weeks now (instead of 5 days). Cannot talk to the surveyor directly (they are employed by Lender so refuse to talk to us), cannot talk to the Lender directly, our only channel is the Stage Release team at Buildloan who are really very sweet (never answer the phone but to respond in writing to voicemails every couple of days), but it seems there is not much they can do, they're just a messenger. Luckily we managed to negotiate the very first drawdown to be quite significant, and together with the 2nd one and our savings it has lasted us so far, but the whole situation does not really help a healthy cashflow. All the above - as a warning to those planning their stage finance: it may all look great on paper, but our Accelerator product turned out to be a massive arrears one. Plan for contingency and have a massive cash cushion for cases like this. (we ask for your prayers this Christmas time so that someone somewhere between London, Bornmouth and Newcastle finally looks in the right place on the plans, and presses the right button)...
  9. Hi all, I'm currently in the process of finalising buying my plot of land which I will purchase outright with savings. UPDATE: I do have a fairly comprehensive budget together already for the total development costs and also basing on £1200/m^2 for a 200/m^2 house. So I have a pretty accurate understanding of what I will need. I've previously interfaced with Buildstore and went through with an advisor for pre-application advice. Kind of like an agreement in principle over the phone to say how much we can possibly get which seems fine. However I stopped the process at that time as I hadn't finalised a land purchase and didn't want to apply. However my question is - when would you do (or when did you do) the formal application and would you do it with a number of companies?. I would think I should wait until the land transaction is complete - but I see some post saying it can take 5-6 months?. Also can you do the application then get approved but not actually take the money straight away? you just remain approved until the point you require the money? In my timeline, I plan to complete transaction for land within the next 8 weeks, then from there start to progress the design with an architect / AD / Timber frame company. Then I will get everything in place and I would think break ground maybe next summer once I have fully planned the build. So any advice, pitfalls and pearls of wisdom greatly appreciated.
  10. We have had several discussions in the past about how to protect large purchases against the supplier going into administration, with the favoured option being to pay a small deposit by credit (not debit) card if at all possible that will protect purchases of between £100 (per item not total invoice amount) and £30k. This protection is provided by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. Often however it seems that the supplier won't accept a credit card payment so what to do instead? I came across this website and wondered if this has a place in the self build community? It's neither a recommendation nor an advert for the company as I haven't used them and nor have I heard of them before, but the fees seem pretty reasonable (assuming there are no hidden costs). The supplier will have to agree to the arrangement too of course. Their website claims that they are FCA regulated. So caveat emptor but it may be worth a closer look the next time you have to pay a supplier a large amount of money in advance of goods being delivered. https://www.transpact.com/
  11. 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?
  12. Hello, We're very new to the self build world and are seeking some advice! We have the opportunity to convert some old stables on my parents land into a new house. My parents have said that they will sign the land over to us. We would be looking to start building work in just over a year's time - giving us time to find an architect, get planning permission and approve the plans before we relocate. We currently have a traditional mortgage on our terraced house that we plan to sell to release some capital (estimated at around 130k). Once all the plans were sorted in 12 months time we plan to pack in our jobs and relocate into an existing property on my parents land to start the build. We would then get new jobs close to my parents location. We've had an informal chat with an architect (who although not from the area) has provided a guestimate figure of around 300k to convert the property. Neither of us are great DIY-ers so we wouldn't want to commit to doing the project ourselves although we'd be happy to labour etc. We're now starting to feel this project will fall at the first hurdle as we've learnt it's not as simple to relocate and expect to get finance to fund the shortfall Despite having good credit history and not failing on our current mortgage payments, we would both have new jobs in a new area. We don't relish the idea of starting the project without having finance to complete it. We've gone through the RIBA service who've shortlisted some architects for us (and we've got excited seeing their portfolios) but we don't want to waste time contacting firms if there's not way we can make this work. Does anyone have any experience / advice on relocating to a new area and obtaining finance to complete a self build project? Or do we just have to sit it out and wait for at least 6 months until we can apply for credit or a self build mortgage? Thanks for any help or advice....
  13. Yay. 1st in topic. Given that the mortgage and house market has changed rapidly recently, and may change some more, I think we perhaps need a thread mainly about different ways of financing self-build. I'll do a separate thread about tips and tricks to cope with the volatile environment at present. This post is a combination of what I know, and questions where I don't really know. Note that this area may change rapidly, and for each category all kinds of limitations apply and homework is critical. It would be useful if others could add more specific comments for each category, perhaps particularly about specific Buillding Societies and other gaps. This post is a list of thoughts - not financial advice. Savings The most traditional route. Perhaps pension draw-down (you can currently have 25% of your pension pot tax free at age 55) comes into this category. Normal Mortgage Take out a normal mortgage on your existing home. Self-build Mortgage. The best known providers are probably Buildstore (who are a broker (?) working with financial institutions) and the Ecology Building Society. Differences are that some providers will insist you start the build yourself before financing, which reduces your savings and your flexibility. Some providers may let you borrow against the value of your plot, eg when Outline Planning has been achieved. Local and regional building societies may have offerings for their area. Buy to Let Mortgage If you make your project (or your current house while living in a caravan) a rental, Buy to Let mortgages can be available. In the current market interest rates from around 3 per cent are availalble, with a brokers fee of perhaps £500, which (from where I am sitting) seems cheaper than self-build mortgages. You will need to talk to a broker. Build to Let Mortgage This is a possible future market segment. Make your project a rental, and then pay off the mortgage with a normal one once it is built. You will need to talk to a broker. Worthy of note for some expenses: In a low interest rate envirnoment there are other options for some expenditure: Personal Loan. Currently available at around 3-3.5%. At present packages are sometimes done for loyal customers - move your account some time before, or take out another one? Credit Card Balance Transfer or Interest Free introductory purchases. These are available for up to around 2 years at present for as little as a 0% fee, or for longer periods as a eg 2% fee. Ali-Shuffle: Buy something else at as % interest rate, eg car or nearly new car, to free up the cash for your build. It goes without saying that the more solid a credit rating you have, the better. Ferdinand
  14. Yesterday afternoon, we found out that the funding for our project was cancelled. For over two years we thought (were repeatedly assured) we had our build financed but we were wrong. The nitty gritty doesn't matter: in fact to describe how and why it happened would be inappropriate. The money isn't there. It's not as if we weren't warned by Aesop: The Milkmaid and Her Pail Welcome, therefore, to the full-on-self-build-experience. Oh Kevin McCloud , where are you when there's a true bit of drama? My trite Army-learned 'Can't take a joke, shouldn'a started ' doesn't even begin to cut it. Whisky, tears, drunken babbling, sleeplessness, listlessness, anger. The pair of us red-eyed, swearing and staring at spreadsheets lead to the following conclusions; Sell our cottage in good order next Spring - divert current funds to that end With minimal help, do lots of jobs myself Where possible and safe, cut corners: focus on good quality infrastructure: extend the term of the full build Sell the digger I'm really not sure I can take much more sleeplessness. Been catching up from the last disaster in July. And we were so ecstatic after our final pour on Friday. The shell of the house is up and safe. Scaffolding on its way down. And still many people would give their eye teeth to have the opportunity we have been given. Especially neighbours. It's the Do Lots Of Jobs Myself bit that scares me. I'm not asking for sympathy, just understanding when I post how-to-do-this-really-cheaply-and-on-my-own questions. More to follow tomorrow. Ian
  15. I'm looking for any suggestions on insurers who can provide site insurance... can anyone help? My mortgage provider requires me to have site insurance during my build. I got rather shafted by Buildstore and have had various issues with them so it would massively pain me to give them any more money! Can anyone suggest someone who other that Buildstore that provides this insurance at a reasonable price? Thanks in advance for any thoughts.
  16. Wondering if anyone has any words of experience/wisdom on release of mortgage funds and whether lenders are ever flexible... We agreed our mortgage with Chorley Building Society via BuildLoan last summer. Unfortunately because of a few delays our builder fell through and we'd had to find a new one. With exchange rate fluctuations etc, material costs have gone up, and the project is now looking like it'll eat up our £25k contingency before we start... not an encouraging position. I'd like to be a bit flexible and delay some of the non-essentials if needed (e.g. Some of the plastering and internal stuff). But our mortgage funds are released in chunks on completion of certain stages, withholding 10% until the end of the project, and it looks like they require plastering to be done and essentially for everything except floor coverings to be completed. Does anyone have experience of a similar problem? I'm wondering how they inspect, how rigorously they apply their payment stage criteria and whether there is likely to be room for manoeuvre. Didn't want to steam in and ask them for fear of scaring the horses!
  17. Here it is: as accurate as I can get it. No pretense of getting it done cheaper than anyone else. Just the raw numbers and a few words to explain context if necessary (why did I buy a chain-hoist for example). Yes, you'll probably get it cheaper. That's excellent. The point is openness and telling it like it is. March 2014 Home Building and Renovation Show NEC: £100, including fuel and tickets Phone calls about £15:00 extra, and about £70:00 fuel. July 2014 Land: already owned Planner: £1050, plus £70 initial consultation fee, (in cash). LPA Outline Planning Application fee £770 Phone calls: about £15:00 extra, and about £50:00 fuel. August 2014 Ecologist: £1390.15 (works out at about £1 per Great Crested Newt – a further £2000 budgeted for. But see below June 2016) November 2014 Topographical Survey: £540 January 2015 Trips to Timber frame companies and various local suppliers : £50 fuel Subscriptions to various magazines: £70(ish) February 2015 Architect: £4000 (design plus all other matters up to and including submission for Full PP application) QS: £630 – feasibility study Legal: £360; altering title LPA fees: £385 Structural Engineer: £1782; foundations calculations Land registry Fee: £40 Contamination Desk Study and Geophysics : £1260 (plus possible indeterminate decontamination costs) Phone calls: about £20:00 extra, and very little fuel. March 2015 Discharge of Conditions Fee £97.00 Health and Safety Services are being handled for free by a colleague: I’m coding his website in exchange. Notice: no site insurance yet……. :huh: I’m just too mean. Projected cost £568.65 (May 2015) August 2015 Architects fees £2000; from award of Outline PP to Full PP (6th of August) and £40 for bottle of champagne to thank our him: his judgement in relation to what would pass was exactly right. Read paragraph 9 of the Delegated Report (here) Trip to Swindon to visit the NSBRC Fuel £36, overnight stay £85 Strimmer: Polycut head, and set of knives for strimmer £46.60. (No lawn for Salamander Cottage: at last, no mowing…… bliss) September 2015 Legal Fees; alteration to title status £232 October Purchase a four wheel trailer (new) £2500 Purchase a Mutts Nuts (Nick’s term, not mine) Bosch Laser Level £250 First Aid Course (ref. H+S policy) £80 Chainsaw Course £130 December Off mains drainage legal agreement Legal fees and £1000 for access to the land to discharge to stream (wayleave?): £1862 (£300 over budget) Cladding Preparation for processing the wood; Serious Stihl saw (660) and ancillary equipment £2000 (resale value £1000) Trips to open passivhauses £50 + Off – road parking (ground matz) £2800 (resale value £2500) January 2016 SPONS Architects and Builders’ Price Guide 2016. Can’t do without it. And there’s an App that goes with it. £150 Small shipping container (for tools) £300 (resale value £400) Base for container: 4 tons of 20 mm to dust from my mate: £35, yep £35 New wheelbarrow £97 (French made Hammerlin: two flat tyres (in 2 weeks) and a stupidly forward C of G so the damn thing tips forward ON ITS OWN... sodding thing) Local Oak trees (for the shakes and cladding) £1200 (1 square meter of oak shakes retails for £100!) T.K Knipe Allithwaite. £100s of pounds worth of free advice. 1 Sweet Chestnut tree (high tannin content) £140 5 local oak trees £100 (they were going to be cut up for fire wood - I kid you not) Another container (you can't have too many): £1000 (resale value £1000) February 2016 Small hand tools and boys toys £1500 May 2016 2.5 tonne Mini Digger = £14,000 (PV Dobsons, Levens) EPS Licence £1200 (I still haven't paid the bill - because of some really unprofessional behaviour.) Red Diesel £15 120 meters of Temporary Amphibian Fencing (TAF), 80 stakes (37 by 37 by 700) £267.37 Lifting gear: a 2 tonne chain block and tackle 2 shackles, and two beam clamps £181.03 (to run on the RSJs below) 2 RSJs, (6 meters long to span between the two containers) £230 +VAT Filing frame to assist sharpening my chainsaw chains £97 Site signage (ebay) £10 for several (more needed) Plastic Barrier Fencing Safety Mesh Fence Netting Net With Metal Pins £50.95 (for the edge of the car park and pedestrian walkway) Three stillage cages to store material on the site (one cage fitted inside the container) £50 Another two stillage cages today. £25 And £80 worth of 2 inch wire mesh so I can weld it to the stillage cages: slows light fingers down Two (full-on-big-boys) deck brooms £24 A grease gun for my digger and two cartridges of grease £22 Another High Security Digital padlock and hardened, sheathed, hardened chain to secure the buckets (that aren't hooked up) for my digger £55 A 2 Tonne x 1.5 meter Leverhoist £79.95 2 off 2 tonne Beam Clamps £25.98 4 off 2 Ton Alloy Bow Shackles, with Safety Pins £11.96 The above is initially for lifting trees and heavy objects safely off the trailer (on my own) Later the hoist and clamps will do the same job, but in a small purpose-built workshop. 100 meters of 16 amp electricity cable. £71.89 Building Control Fees £600 Red Diesel £18.21 June 2016 Two more stillage cages £25 A Douglas Fir tree and a Larch tree. £40 (Fir tree £10) Will produce stock worth about double that (conservative estimate) 20 8" coach screws £4. 4 sheets of reinforcing mesh £20 (16 by 8 foot for welding to the stillage cages to slow down thieves ) Structural Engineer £1774. And worth every penny (so far) First Aid Kit (10 person HSE Approved) £7.57 (tried getting one locally, couldn't get one for love nor money) Security marker pens £1.99 (a requirement of the Site Insurance: all scaffolding poles must be security marked - not the digger or the saws!) "Curiouser and curiouser" Wood for lining my container £81 HERAS panels, feet, clips, struts, pins for the struts £200 Some steel stock to practise welding £12 (making a small tool table for my SuperJaws clamp: cost on the open market £30) Four Point Lifting Chains ('shorten-able') £139. Fed up of worrying about the webbing strops - they are quite worn already Site H+S sign. £24 ( and I begrudge every penny: it's expensive wallpaper... why do I say that - read on - last but one point) 2 tins of Hammerite for the rust spots on the container. £28 The ecologist had the good grace to halve his bill given the less than prompt approach to fulfilling his contract. £900 July Builder's Merchant bill: £704 - bits and bobs, sand 25mm water pipe and stuff like that August Builder's Merchant bill: < £100 all sorts of tiny things September Builder's Merchants bill £1379.24, Ply wood for the stillage and to make some internal storage in the container, a DeWalt nailer (luxury beyond compare) It starts to get serious now........... Piling will be about £6000, Groundwork price yet to come in, site clearance - I've hired a lumberjack who's coming from Canada - muscles coming out of his ears - off mains drainage and site drainage.... Off to Harrogate next week. (4th of November)
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