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Timber Framed House Mortgages

Timber Framed House Mortgages

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A timber-framed home isn't highly unusual but is often classed as a non-standard property by a mortgage lender. Any home that is considered a higher risk can be harder to mortgage, with higher interest rates and deposit requirements.

In this guide, we'll walk through why timber framed homes present a challenge to mortgage lenders, and what you can do to improve your chances of approval.

For more information, or to get started with your mortgage application, contact Revolution on 0330 304 3040, or drop us a message to info@revolutionbrokers.co.uk.

The following topics are covered below:

What are the Factors When Applying for a Mortgage on a Timber Framed Home?

What Factors Will a Lender Assess on a Timber Framed Mortgage Application?

Can I Remortgage to Build an Extension with a Timber Frame?

Is a Timber Clad Property Non-Standard for Mortgage Purposes?

Can I Mortgage a Timber Lodge?

Can I Mortgage a Timber Framed Property as a Buy to Let Investment?

Can I Mortgage a Self-Build Timber Frame House?

Which UK High-street Lenders Offer Timber Frame Mortgages?

Professional Assistance with Timber Frame Mortgage Applications

What are the Factors When Applying for a Mortgage on a Timber Framed Home?

Timber-framed houses are popular, and traditional materials such as wood are often found in contemporary architecture, eco-friendly builds and environmentally sound homes.

In some cases, you might not know a property has a timber frame, as the design will conceal this behind the brick. They are also cheap, although the quality and type of wood can vary significantly.

The higher risk arises from many factors:

  • Quality standards are not standardised.
  • Cheap frames can pose significant structural issues.
  • Timber is susceptible to damp and decay.

It isn't impossible to get a timber-framed house mortgage, but the lender you choose to apply to does make a big difference.

What Factors Will a Lender Assess on a Timber Framed Mortgage Application?

Lenders will need to assess the property itself, as well as your personal circumstances. That includes factors such as:

  • Property age and construction type. As we've seen, quality can be varied, so a lender will need to know when, and by whom, the property was built. Some properties dating back to the 1400s are still in great condition, so building standards are vital to establish. A lender will need a full structural survey to check the timber type and look for any damp signs.
  • Materials used elsewhere in the property. While the timber-framed needs to be surveyed, the rest of the building is also essential. Most timber-framed properties have a brick or stone cladding, and materials such as metal sheet, plastic or timber can be problematic.
  • Lender policies - every lender has rules and guidelines about the risk profile they can accept, and what interest rates they offer. It is therefore essential to apply to a lender whose criteria you meet as closely as possible.
  • Credit rating - if you have a bad credit history, this adds another layer of risk to the application and can cause an issue. Severe credit problems usually mean needing to apply to a specialist bad credit lender.
  • Deposit - the more considerable the deposit, the lower the risk, and the smaller the Loan to Value ratio. If your deposit is not large enough or the lender wants to mitigate the risk further, they might ask for additional security.

Can I Remortgage to Build an Extension with a Timber Frame?

Potentially, yes, although in many cases a high street lender will not be able to help.

Extensions built with timber frames can be more cost-effective and take less time to construct but can be tricky to mortgage or remortgage.

Again, it's all about finding the most suitable lender to apply to for this type of financing?

You may need planning permission, or your extension might fall into Permitted Development (PD) depending on how large it is, and where it is located on your property. If you are in any doubt, it is best to consult your local housing authority before beginning any work, or starting the mortgage application process.

Is a Timber Clad Property Non-Standard for Mortgage Purposes?

It can be, yes. Timber cladding might be decorative and not part of the building's structure; although if there is no block work underneath, your property is very likely to be considered non-standard.

The issues with timber cladding are similar to those with timber frames. It requires upkeep and maintenance, and low-quality cladding could impact the resale value of the home.

Can I Mortgage a Timber Lodge?

Some lenders offer niche mortgages for log cabins and timber lodges, whether you are building one yourself and need a self-build mortgage, or are buying a property outright.

Self-build financing is trickier than a residential purchase mortgage, so it is vital to seek independent advice before making any applications.

Can I Mortgage a Timber Framed Property as a Buy to Let Investment?

You can indeed. The same conditions apply around meeting the eligibility requirements, and some mainstream lenders will not lend against any timber-framed home.

In a buy to let scenario, the only significant difference is in how your affordability is calculated. The lender will be less concerned with your annual income, and more with how easily the monthly rental income covers the costs of the interest-only mortgage payments.

Can I Mortgage a Self-Build Timber Frame House?

Possibly, although the criteria for a self-build mortgage tend to be stricter. Some lenders will also want proof of your experience in previous house build projects or know what experience the contractor has.

Timber is becoming more and more popular because it is cost-effective and energy-efficient, but the lender still needs assurances about the expertise behind the building project.

Self-build mortgages do not release the funding on a lump sum, but instead offer drawdowns in stages throughout the build, with the next tranche becoming available at a pre-agreed stage.

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Which UK High-street Lenders Offer Timber Frame Mortgages?

There isn't one specific lender who specialises solely in timber frame mortgages. Still, there are products on the mainstream and niche markets.

Below we have summarised the non-standard timber frame mortgage offerings from some of the better-known UK lenders.

Mortgage provider

Likelihood of Approving a Timber Frame Mortgage Application

Halifax

Assessed on a case-by-case basis depending on the surveyor's report. Will not lend where there is insulation between the frame and cladding.

HSBC

Will consider lending, usually excluding properties built between 1920 and 1965, to a maximum LTV of 80%.

Nationwide

If the property was built after 1970, with brick, block or stone outer walls, it can be mortgaged as a standard home.

NatWest

Will consider applications, but will not lend on any property with cavity wall insulation installed after the initial build.

Santander

Assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Professional Assistance with Timber Frame Mortgage Applications

As with any non-standard mortgage, or where there is a higher element of risk, the key to getting the borrowing you need is to understand the lender's criteria and prepare your application carefully to evidence where you can meet this.

Revolution Brokers is an independent, whole-of-market broker with years of experience in unusual mortgages, non-standard property lending, and bad credit scenarios.

Give us a call on 0330 304 3040, or email us at info@revolutionbrokers.co.uk for a private consultation about your best mortgage options.

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FCA disclaimer

The content included in our articles, blogs, web pages and news publications is based on information accurate at the time of writing. Note that policies and criteria can change regularly throughout the UK mortgage lending market, and it remains essential to contact the consultation team to receive up to date guidance. The information included on the Revolution Brokers site is not bespoke to any circumstances or individual application scenarios and therefore is not intended to be used as financial advice. The content we share is designed to be informative and helpful but cannot be relied upon to provide individual advice relevant to your mortgage requirements. All Revolution team members are fully qualified, trained and experienced to provide mortgage advice of an independent nature. We collaborate with lenders and providers who are regulated, authorised and registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Should you require specific mortgage borrowing types, some products such as buy to let mortgages may not be FCA regulated. The Revolution team can provide further information about regulated and unregulated lending as required. Please remember that a mortgage is a debt which is secured against your home or property. Your home can be at risk of repossession if you do not keep up with the repayments or encounter any other difficulties in managing your mortgage borrowing responsibly. This also applies to any remortgage or home loan secured against your property, including equity release products.

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