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Accelerator SB mortgage via Buildloan - case study

Bored Shopper

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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)...

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  • 4 weeks later...



After waiting for 5 weeks for someone to look at p.3 of SE plans, master a calculator and calculate GEA, we took ownership and did it ourselves. Submitted to Buildloan, who passed it on. 

Christmas came and went, we continued to self-finance (thankfully, we're on a reduced building rate for holidays period, so only paid 50% of normal weekly fee).

Post Christmas - no progress.


Early Jan - were told by Buildloan (by this time we were on a personal radar of Operations manager there, a sweet guy really helpful) that surveyor  were finally happy (I bet!). But the valuation they issued to NBS was now WAY LOWER than their original valuation! How? how??? NBS rightfully pushed back to surveyors (by now we were on Head of Lending personal radar).  Frantically, we googled the surveyor only to find out that they habitually undervalue properties. 


Until the correct valuation was issued, we were offered a meagre 5% (five percent) of the awaited drawdown! This would not cover even a week's bill from the builders, but we grabbed it out of desperation.


Finally, after another week's wait someone somewhere made the right decision and we got our Installment-3 in full. £7.99 of this would go towards a pack of hair colourant for myself as I was hysterial by that time.


We have 3x more instalments to receive, God help us.

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Financial Conduct Authority (or whatever the replacement is). You need to formally complain to the lender first and give them a chance to fix it.


I got the run around with ours and the FCA awarded refund of application fees.


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