Non Standard Mortgages

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Although you may think that there is just the one kind of traditional mortgage, whether it be a 100%, no deposit or interest only mortgage, there is also another kind, known as a non standard mortgage. This is for when the property you’re buying isn’t made of the normal brick and mortar construction; it could be steel frame, self-build or any other type of material.

If this is the case, most lenders won’t actually give you a mortgage, since there’s no real resale value associated with the property, and they can’t forecast what the self-build or similar property will be worth in the future (unlike a more traditional building). However, you can still get a non standard mortgage from some lenders – it just usually means different terms from what a more standard one would offer.


Before you get this type of mortgage, you’ll be assessed by the lender to make sure that you can pay back the mortgage itself. This is where it’s the same as a normal mortgage. They will also assess whether they feel that they could make any money back on your property, if it was to be repossessed. If the lender feels they could sell your property again, the better the chance of you being approved for a non standard mortgage.

You can actually pre-guess whether you’d be eligible for a non standard mortgage or not, by knowing some of the criteria that will usually work against you. These include:

  • Properties with flying freeholds. So, for instance, if one of your upstairs rooms overhangs one of your neighbour’s lower rooms, that’s known as flying freehold, and lenders aren’t too keen on these types of property.
  • High-rise flats, particularly ones that are over 5 storeys, or if there are balconies on the flats that allow outside access.
  • Local authority owned, or ex-local authority owned flats. Lenders are particularly loathe to offer mortgages on properties where there are a block of flats, and there are still some that are owned by a council or tenant association – they far prefer if all the flats belonged to homeowners.
  • Any properties that are above shops are also very unpopular with lenders, due to the threat of additional wear and tear, burglary or fire.
  • If the property you’re buying is either steel-framed or timber, like a log cabin for example, or a pre-fabricated home.
  • Other types of non standard properties, such as ones that are made from non traditional build or material.

If you are looking at buying a property that isn’t what’s classed as a traditional type of building, like a wood cabin holiday home in the Highlands for example, you don’t need to worry unnecessarily about getting a mortgage. Yes, it may be a little more difficult than a standard one, but it’s not impossible. Check with an independent mortgage advisor on the best way forward, or even do it yourself and look at the various mortgage options available to you online.

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