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About Me


  1. Hi, I’m a 39 year old who has rented his entire life. I don’t see owning my own home as a reality despite having always paid my rent on time. I’ve just never been in a position to save enough for a deposit and the goalposts keep moving. My wife and I are considering an extension on my parents property so we can live upstairs and they can move downstairs. I believe there is £50k left on the property and my old man has considered putting the mortgage in our joint names so we can remortgage and borrow the funds this way. (I will pay off the remaining mortgage and whatever we borrow). I am assuming before getting builders or architects involved the first point of call would be to approach a lender to see what the maximum we can borrow is? My dad however wants to talk to a builder, architect etc to get an approximate cost before speaking to lenders, but I worry if we go down that route the budget will keep stretching. I prefer the idea of having a finite amount I know I can play with rather than drawing a designing we can afford in reality. I would be so grateful for any pointers. Thanks in advance.
  2. I am wondering about the order of things when getting a self-build mortgage which will be used to cover the cost of the land as well as the build. From what I've read, these would normally be a part of the same mortgage, but I also gather that you need full cost estimates and drawings etc. for the mortgage application, but I presume you need to have the land before you can get an architect etc. involved to do the cost estimates and drawings etc.. so I am quite confused as to where one would start. In what order do these thing normally happen?
  3. I have a property which has in excess of £1.5m equity in it. And I can't get at any of it. And I need to, albeit only 10%/£150k. The standard routes are blocked as follows: Conventional "public" 2nd charge - blocked, main lender won't allow it Re-mortgage/increase of existing loan via current lender - blocked, can't go through (now, more strict) affordability stress test checks again Separate 3rd party secured personal loans - blocked, as above, main lender won't allow it and probably can't withdraw enough in any case* Which to my knowledge only leaves a private loan from a high-net-worth. This is achievable in principle however....I can't offer them a formal, land registry, "official" 2nd charge on the property, sitting behind the primary lender (because of bullet 1 above) on the Land Registry. This then narrows the "market" of HNWs right down to very close personal connections, as opposed to any and all Tom, Dick and Harrys who fancy making 8-12% interest rather than having it sit, inert, in some no-interest account. So: long story short, despite having all this equity I can't even get at the 10% of it I need for some crucial renovations. And trust me, I'd be bonkers to sell the house. Are there any creative souls out there with a solution? *I am 99% sure that this strategy is a no-go, but not quite 100%.
  4. I own the land with a value of £100k with no outstanding borrowing on it, Can I get a self build mortgage after gaining full planning permission so that the money can be used to fund the build warrant aswell as the build?
  5. Hi All, The Help to Build equity loan scheme launched today with Darlington BS being the first lender to offer it. Does anyone else see any benefit in doing it because it is linked to the value of the house not how much you borrow? The help to buy was structured similarly and has been reported as a 'nice little earner' for the government because house prices have been going up. I understand that there are benefits in terms of being able to put a 5% deposit down and not pay interest for 5 years but long term I see the help to build as being even worse than help to buy? I think it is the reason for it being worse is because self builders create value by building a house. Even one of the examples in the guide it shows that you borrow £70k and on day 1 you have to pay £100k back because on day 1 once the house has been built it is worth significantly more than the cost. Then over time, as the house value goes up, that £100k that you have to pay back goes up in line with the value of the house. Granted the scheme works in the same way if house prices go down but the trend for house prices over the last 50 yrs is that they have gone up, quite significantly in recent times. Does anyone else have any similar views? Thanks!
  6. Hi everyone, really excited to be here. I'm Axel. After a long process of deliberation between ourselves, me and my partner decided to finally go down the route of buying property in the UK. A bit of background. We are both Spanish from Barcelona, and we came to Solihull 5 years ago now looking for an adventure. The last couple of years we wanted to leave the UK and try going nomad for a while, but in the end we were undecisive. Finally, we have decided that before doing that, we want to create our first base camp somewhere, and that somewhere we prefer it to be the UK. Now, we don't have a lot of specifications, and we are EXTREMELY unfamiliar with all of this. Things we know/wish for are: We don't have a specific location in mind, but location is important. Having a large international airport nearby is key for us. Birmingham has worked well for us so far, and while we know going norther would be cheaper, the airports are not any better, plus we get further away from London options. So ideally, we would be looking anywhere from Birmingham to the South (we know that's the most expensive part though, but still evaluating the options). We don't have a car (we sold it 2y ago as we didn't need or want it) and ideally we would like to live without one. We use Uber and public transport as needed. Meaning it's sort of important not to be fully isolated, even when we like it. Although if the location was amazing cost-wise, we can consider the car no problem. We want a base camp. Not a fully fledged house. And this is key. Our dream about this started when, after traveling a lot and staying at lots of different places, we realised we really didn't need much to live in. 50sqm were quite enough for us, maybe tight, but 70sqm definitely enough. We currently live in a 3 bedroom semi attached house, and while we love it, we could perfectly live in just the base floor if the bedroom was down here. That is including our entire extension/dining room is a huge office. This is a must for us, the office. We work from home, and have 3 screen setups. We have all this on a full sized board table (2440x1220mm). We are happier to have a tiny main bedroom, but a massive office instead. Linked with the previous, we are looking at a less UK standard house. We are European, and while we love our current UK traditional house, we prefer another style. More northern, modern. Here come the wishes: We have been looking at pre-fab houses, and realised they are really cheap. £25k-£75k we should be able to perfectly find something that suits us. With that in mind we thought: "That's actually cheap for a house! How cheap can we get a plot?" And looking a bit, we started seeing plots that ranged a LOT in price. From £10k-£20k all the way to £100k+. This idea of a base camp makes sense for us if we think of aiming at a total cost of around £100k. With some margin. Up to £130k I'd say. Now you might say (what my mum said to the plan) "Well you're not getting a house for that price". Ok... We just want a tiny dog house. Really, don't think based on normal standards. We could definitely live in just our garden space. Think of a container house. You don't need lots of meters for that plot. Can't we get that plot type for up to £30-£70k? That's our mind picture. Is this feasible somehow? We are not in a rush. But we wouldn't like to leave it for a year either. We have been looking at plots at Zoopla, but as I mentioned earlier, we are extreme newbies. They don't teach this in school. We don't know what to look for in a plot. For example, one of the latest I found was this one. In Reading, 1h from London, between 2 houses. Super well connected, perfectly residential area, seems large enough for our case... No idea what's wrong with it for £10k really. Sure, it's an auction, not final price, but... idk. Maybe? What am I missing? We don't know if we need to ask for a mortgage before or after. Or how a self build mortgage (or any mortgage) works at all, or what good rates are. I'm financially literate though, just not familiar with mortgages. (Worried about this as we are both directors of our own LTD. Salaries are set arbitrarily low for tax purposes, and we get paid in dividends. Not sure if that's easily accepted.) We don't know what the process looks like. In my mind it looks like this. Find plot. Find lender and ask for mortgage. Buy plot. Find ??? that checks with Council (?) that you can build what you want in there. Wait until Council approves. Find ??? that designs/plans what you want to build. (If it's the pre fab I guess they directly do this). Pay. Wait for it and oversee every tiny detail as I want it perfect (and the contractors we've had in the UK so far haven't left great impressions). As you can see, no idea of the agents involved in the process, or even their names. Please correct me as much as needed, this is what I came here for. One thing I know I did right. I already opened a LISA for me and my partner and maxed contributions. And I think this is basically it! Being migrants in the UK, we don't have a large acquaintance circle here, and the ones we have are young. So we don't have who to ask for advice on all these processes really. That's why I went to look for an online community and start learning from kind strangers. And here I am! Thank you so much for sticking by this huge wall of text, and I will be super grateful for any help or guide or anything you can share that helps me step forward even just a bit.
  7. Looking for some advice, Currently about to sell our house and move to rented accommodation. We are using the equity from our house sale to purchase the land and then apply for a mortgage to do the build. When should we apply for the mortgage? We will be starting planning and building warrant process next week. Do we wait untill we have planning/warrant in place?
  8. Hi, My husband and I are looking for funding to convert our barn into a bigger family home. We already have planning. The cottage we live in now is on the same plot/under the same title and has a covenant on it to stop us splitting the plot up. We are assuming the trust that placed the covenant on it when it was sold to us would want a pay out if we were to have it removed so we want to avoid that. We could borrow against the cottage, but it won't give us enough funds to complete the barn project. Any suggestions?
  9. Hi, Just wondering if anybody body has any tips on changing from a self build mortgage to a standard high mortgage once you are in receipt of your building certificate ? Thanks in advance Mac
  10. 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
  11. Hi there Any help with the enclosed would be massively appreciated. I'm currently in the process of purchasing a new build property that has a Buildzone warranty with a value of £150,000. The purchase price of the house is in excess of £500,000 and the rebuild cost according to the BCIS webiste is £363,000. We are at exchange of contracts stage and our solicitor has flagged that our mortgage company has stated that the certifcated value is not enough. With this in mind they won't proceed with the mortgage offer. We've used a mortage broker who has stated that the market is severly limited due to the value on the certifcate so much so that he can't guarantee that we can even get a mortgage with the current certificate value in place. My question is this; can the builder raise the cost on the certificate (and obviously incur costs) or is this a value that is set by Buildzone? Buildzone won't talk to me as the builder is obviously the warranty holder. If the value can be raised what would the expected premium be (appreciate these can vary)? Many thanks for reading and I hope I've made sense. Thanks
  12. Hello all, First Post!! My girlfriend and I have our properties on the market, with the mortgage in principle and our equity we are looking at a sum of £600k very max. with almost 50% deposit. I have found a beautiful 6 acre plot in a rural location. It has a basic structure (an old small barn) which is being used as present accommodation for the current owners and it has all utilities. I must emphasise this is very basic and small but could do for a year! The plot has PP and the footings are complete. I don’t fully agree with the house design that was submitted, but the foot print is suitable, it’s just the first floor we want to change. This is such a beautiful spot and I would love to grab it! However the plot is funnily enough £600k! I even have my doubts the bank will agree to this for the mortgage in principle. Does anyone have any experience with this? Also.. we need money to build the house, maybe another 350k… I am in no doubt that once complete, with properties to compare with in the area, we would be looking at a final property of between 1.5 - 2 million. This is for our forever home though and we are not looking to profit from the development. How on earth can we source the additional funding? Parents can’t help, are there some sorts of loans instead of a mortgage that would allow for the final build and then…?! I have no experience at this! I have a reasonable salary and my GF has an ok salary, the amount we could borrow with mortgage in principle was the most for our salaries combined. I have about £70k in shares, but am not willing to sell due to the hammering they have had this year, if I wait a couple of years I’m hoping they will be double if not more once they have recovered. So my shares are a no go at the moment. We just have no more equity.. Is it possible, or are we dreaming?
  13. 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)...
  14. 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.
  15. Hello Folks, So we are about to start the mortgage application process in the next couple of weeks. Bit worried about this part given it is the most important aspect of the whole project but we have been told we 'should' be able to lend what we need...fingers crossed everything goes to plan! In regards to the application the lender will carry out a valuation on the land (we already own). I wanted to ask if there was any advice in regards to the condition of the land to get a fair valuation. For example should we be clearing the land in question before the valuation? We have some building materials lying in corners (pallets, slabs, bricks etc) - would this effect the valuation? We also have some neighbouring trees running down one side of the plot (owned by the neighbour), should we be cutting back the overhang? I am probably being too picky but I really want to avoid anything which would compromise the valuation! Thanks!
  16. Hi, I completed a new build last year and was fortunate enough to be able to borrow money from family to complete the build, not I am trying to mortgage it and have hit a blocker on the fact that many mortgage companies don't like Timberframe construction with a modern render system outer leaf. We used a closed panel Timber Frame which was then battened out and had Knauf Aquapanel and Knauf render applied to it, I am told by various people at Buildstore this is one of the best Render systems on the market and I am trying to find people who have been through mortgaging these types of build and who they used for the mortgages. I find it so frustrating how Lenders are so far behind the new techniques which are often a necessity to meet building codes.
  17. So as the property market continues to flop in our neck of the woods, we have decided not to sell our current property and instead rent it out. ....which then raises the issue on how to finance the rest of our self build... realistically we are about 70% complete but as we cannot release the equity from our current home are now looking at self build mortgages... Our main issue appears to be warranty. We have literally self built (joiner) , so apart from building control have no certifications. "Only" looking for about £50k against what will hopefully be a £400k/450k property, but it's clearly not finished. How finished does a house need to be for a normal mortgage?!
  18. We have full planning permissions to demolish a stone built cottage and rebuild it with block and render. In addition we will extend, at the same time. Both the cottage and the extension will be a timber kit. The extension will give an addition 100% floor space to the property, and it will be clad in Siberian larch timber. We are currently trying to mortgage through Buildstore. They are quite adamant that any mortgage we take will require the extension to have a block work skin. Is this correct? Has anyone else come up against this? Is there a way round it?
  19. Hi Folks, What I would like to know more about is the options available to fund a self build where you already own the land? many self build mortgages assume you are buying a plot plus building. I have heard that you can use' the value of the plot towards your mortgage to fund the build however I do not know the details of this. For example what percentage of the land value can go towards as a deposit so to speak for the self build mortgage? If the land was worth 100k for example. Im sure there has been many of you that has been in the same situation as myself, any advice or experiences would be hugely helpful for us! Thanks!
  20. Not sure what the best place for this is and don't want to split into separate posts. As if our planning issue was not annoying enough, one new new problem arose linked to another one that I deferred considering while I could. The news is that in spite of previous verbal assurance from the architect that MBC would take on the extension for us thanks to his involvement in other projects with them they refused to do it. Quoted for a new build only - and I wish I could take that quote. The old one is the mortgage. I read this thread http://www.ebuild.co.uk/topic/15342-do-i-need-to-tell-my-mortgage-company-about-my-imminent-demolish-and-rebuild/page__st__20. We may have a similar issue even if we only try to extend as the roof will have to come down. I had the same phone conversation where they said "of course, you are going to make it better, just send us PP". Based on our current 1.29% fixed for another 4+ years vs 4.69%+ that self-build mortgage would cost (forgetting about early redemption charges and potential rate rises) if feels satisfying almost any condition set by the current lender will be cheaper than switching the mortgage. @Bitpipe , you mentioned your bank requested professional supervision - was it about having a Project Manager? Was this or the overpayment money you mentioned the deal breaker for you? Our mortgage is roughly 50% LTV, the land alone certainly covers but will likely be below 60% LTV required. Feels like a vicious circle at the moment. Add to that that we have a covenant that requires us to request a permission for works from the company that used to own the land over 60 years ago (and is dormant) - and the light ahead is hardly visible. We are not even close to starting yet :-)
  21. Does anyone have a self-build mortgage via BuildLoan/Buildstore? I'm wondering what our chances are of getting them to release funds early (so not borrowing more money but just changing the timing). Our mortgage is with Chorley Building Society via BuildLoan. They release funds in several stages, and the issue is that they withhold the final 10% until completion (ie building regs sign-off). We've had our early funds released and the next stage is the pemultimate one: "water tight". We should be there by the end of this week (wohoo!)... However, there have been some unexpected costs (we found a well under the new foundations...boo). This takes us over our contingency. We can afford this in the long term (ie once the last 10% of mortgage funds have been released), but the phasing means that in the short term we'll go £15k into the red for a few weeks, which would mean having to beg/borrow from relatives to tide us over. Ideally I'd like to drawn down more funds to avoid that. Does anyone know my chances of getting the to release more in the next (penultimate) stage? I am worried that if they always insist on withholding 10% then it isn't worth mentioning it to BuildLoan (who do the admin on the stage releases) because it might just freak them out. If, on the other hand, there is a chance they may be helpful, then I want to bring it up. Dilemmas...
  22. I'm hoping to begin a major build in around three months from now but am still waiting for initial building regs approval which is a precondition of the mortgage that I need. The plans were rejected just before Christmas though the inspector commented that this was mainly because otherwise he would miss a deadline to respond back. However, he had raised around 36 issues that needed to be addressed. When I spoke to the structural engineer about this (who to be honest has been dragging his feet terribly and caused a lot of delay) he told me: final building reg approvals is normally achieved well into the contract as relies lots on sub contractors input I can see where he's coming from but I can't start the build without some kind of approval as it'll hold up funding. Does anyone have any experience of this?
  23. So, I've just purchased a house that comes with a nice side garden to build on...and started the 19 year mortgage to pay for it all....! I want to build a house on that garden, so plan to do up the current house and sell it. I was planning to rent it back from the new owners for 6 months, immediately start the new build and move in when ready but timing the financing with a timber framed kit would be difficult. The problem as I see it is the lead time for the timber frame, windows and the builder. While I could afford the deposits, until I pay off the old mortgage I can't draw down any funds to pay the balance as things arrive onsite. Options: I could have everything lined up for the date I expect the sale to close, place deposits for everything, book builder, but end up having no way of funding the build should the buyer or bank delay or worse, pull out. Alternatively and more realistically, I wait until the sale closes, pay off the existing mortgage and THEN book everything but it would be 3-6+ months before anything happens on site. I could convert my mortgage into a buy to let and also get a self build mortgage but based on figures I saw this morning that would only provide about half of what I'd need to finish the new house. It would drag the build out over a few years at best, stretch me and finances but I'd end up with two houses when I eventually finish. And that's if the sums work! It looks unlikely I'll be able to stay in the current house to see the build through. I'll have to manage access to services with the new owners and all the noise & mess without falling out with them. I have a friend around the corner and a sister living nearby so I'll have a roof over my head at least, rather than a caravan, and can keep an eye on things that way. There are other construction options which don't have such a high initial cost but I'd prefer a factory built house and get as near to Passive as I can. I suppose I've 19 years to think about it but would like to move in sooner than that!
  24. I'm in the early stages of a project to demolish our family home and rebuild the house on the same plot. I've already got planning permission and am in the process of getting building regs through as well as party wall agreements with neighbours etc. I'm lucky enough to own the current property outright, but will need a mortgage for the build. One of the problems I hit when I looked into this is that I am a freelance contractor and finding a lender who will lend on both self-build and to a contractor is quite limiting. I started looking into this in May and found a specialist broker for contractors who would also deal with self build. However, he was only able to find one lender, Halifax, who would lend to contractors on a self-build. I was a bit concerned about this but went with it. Since then, he's done virtually nothing and I've had to push all the time. I've provided a full credit check and lots of other details, but I'm trying to push to get to a stage where they're got enough information to make a formal offer so I can move ahead with the project and plan accordingly. I have still not had anything written from the lender at all to confirm the terms, the amount they will lend or even whether they will lend at all. I've only got from him that they will only lend on 75% of each stage. Is this reasonable when I own the plot? I'm getting to the stage where I would like to bin this broker and go for something else, but I don't know of anything out there. I'm wondering if anyone else (a contractor) has had a similar experience, whether there are other lenders or sources of finance out there? Alternatively, is there anything I can do to speed things up and / or get some certainty? Thanks.
  25. 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.
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