darringo

Ecology Mortgage

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I am considering applying for a self build mortgage for a plot of land I like and would like some advice from anyone who is familiar with Ecology self build mortgages. 

 

The plot I like has full planning permission with footings already in.

 

What information is required at each stage. For an agreement in principal is it simply affordability details and details on the proposed purchase? 

 

For full application what details are required for proof of target energy rating? I would be reluctant to get full design plans carried out just for the application and prior to ownership of the lot. 

 

Thanks

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Welcome

 

if the footings are already in then you need to ascertain what has been done for building regulations, what is paid and what version of the regs the build was started under. 

 

I would also check very clearly that there was no CIL liability or exemption registered, as that could be a very expensive finding at the end. 

 

Not sure on the VAT position either - @newhome is there any guidance on what could be classed as a golden brick plot..?

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If footings are in, you would expect the vendor to be able to show you the full design and full set of building control drawings, design SAP etc.

 

Make the purchase conditional on all that information being passed to you, AND you having a right to use that and all other drawings that have been produced.

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I’d also want to know if the design is capable of meeting the Ecology standards. It may be that the house is designed to meet building regs standards but uplifting the design to meet what Ecology might require is prohibitive or requires significant changes.

 

For example, the insulation in the cavity may be only 100mm, for Ecology you may need a 150 or 200mm cavity to meet the uValue and this will not fit on the current foundations if they are only 600mm wide. 

 

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7 hours ago, PeterW said:

Not sure on the VAT position either - @newhome is there any guidance on what could be classed as a golden brick plot..?

 

The VAT position is fine. I bought a similar plot with foundations already in. VAT reclaim is a non issue because you can buy a whole building 'shell' to fit out and still retain the ability to reclaim VAT up to the point that the completion certificate is issued. 

 

The issue with buying a plot with foundations is that you are pretty much tied to the house style in the plans (we made internal layout changes) but if you are ok with that then press on. I had full architect's plans and a building warrant (Scotland) in place (and paid for) when I bought the plot but we didn't have the right to the architectural designs. That didn't matter in the end because when we engaged the timber frame company they drew up new plans to our amended internal design. The original external design was based on one of their houses anyway! We kept the main external design of the house as planning were insistent that we put in a new application if we wanted to change some things externally such as some larger windows at the front and we didn't want to delay starting. 

 

The other slight gotcha is that if you need a warranty (I assume you will if you are getting a mortgage or want to sell the property within 10 years from completion) then the development counts as 'commenced' and we had to pay an indemnity fee I think it was (long time ago now) to cover the fact that the build had started before we took out the policy. When we bought the plot we also got a structural engineer's report before purchase to check that the foundations had been built properly and to be covered by his PI insurance if there was an issue at a later date. 

 

There are a few members here who have used Ecology. It gets a few mentions here so maybe worth a read. 

 

Mentions Ecology

 

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Does your council have the CIL?

 

To qualify for the self build exemption you have to do paper work before starting on site. Not sure how that works if the founds are already in.

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3 hours ago, Temp said:

To qualify for the self build exemption you have to do paper work before starting on site. Not sure how that works if the founds are already in.

 

Assuming the plot isn't being sold by a self builder wouldn't the CIL payment have to be made when the development commenced and thus it should already be paid? If not the OP could maybe insist on the CIL being paid by the vendor since starting the foundations has made plot almost certainly ineligible for the self build exemption.

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Thanks for all the replies. The plot is in NI so not sure what and if CIL applies. 

The seller has put the footings in to keep the planning in date. 

Although I haven’t seen the full design drawings and calculations I am assuming that they will be to minimum standards. 

I would in all likelihood want to change a couple of things with the house so am prepared to have to redo the footings, particularly in regards to the sunroom as the current layout the sunroom to me is too small. 

I would like the house to be energy efficient so would be prepared to pay for new designs and calculations etc. My only concern is getting them done for the full application on a site that I wouldn’t own yet just in case something happened with the application. 

 

 

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as long as the footings were inspected OK you should be able to go with a change of design, it's what we did. Was the original permission pre PPS21? If so, might be worth spending on a planning consultant.

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It was a reserved matters application that was approved in December 2013. 

I will try and check with some architects for rough costs for preparing a design that would be to ecology standards. 

 

Another option is to go with Halifax and then I wouldn’t have to worry about paying for the design and calculations for ecology.

Only issue with this is I have carried out the affordability calculations with both Halifax and ecology. 

I know there are no guarantees with the calculators but ecology would give me a lot more than I require even with staying in my current mortgage allowing me to live in my house until build would be complete. 

With halifax it would be touch and go so may have to sell prior. 

 

 

 

 

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How wide are the founds at the top???

If your lucky and they are 450mm wide then your laughing.  That would get you wide enough for a very well insulated block build. 

What type of construction where you leaning towards, block or timber frame or even icf??. 

We don't have cil here so that's a positive. 

How big is the current Sunroom that you think is too small??

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Not sure on the width of the founds. Will have them checked out. It would be block I’d be going for. 

The sunroom in the plans is 4.2m by 4.2m. I would like to extend it length wise at least 1m maybe 1.5m to take in to account for the wider cavity. 

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