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  • FIRST POST
    • Clowndog
    • By Clowndog 17th Jul 17, 10:57 AM
    • 3Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Clowndog
    Risks of buying a non standard construction (concrete & steel)
    • #1
    • 17th Jul 17, 10:57 AM
    Risks of buying a non standard construction (concrete & steel) 17th Jul 17 at 10:57 AM
    Can anyone advise me on potential risks with non-standard constructions? I have a viewing on a concrete and steel ex council house in Leeds in a couple of days which is on the market for £130k (smaller brick houses across the road selling for £160k)

    There have been no recent sales in that area on these type of houses for years. The ones I saw on Zoopla were for £80k 4 or more years ago so I suspect this was residents buying their houses from the council.

    I've heard it may be difficult to get a mortgage on one, although I think Halifax do them.

    But we're also concerned about potential structural issues and if we want to remortgage/resell, could this be potentially difficult for us in the future?

    Has anyone had any experience of these that they can share please? It’s a real bargain for the price but as I'm a first time buyer I'm wary of my lack of knowledge and don't want to end up losing money on a house.

    Thanks.
Page 1
    • 00ec25
    • By 00ec25 17th Jul 17, 11:18 AM
    • 4,542 Posts
    • 3,921 Thanks
    00ec25
    • #2
    • 17th Jul 17, 11:18 AM
    • #2
    • 17th Jul 17, 11:18 AM
    you have identified the issue that matters:
    - difficult to get a mortgage if (big if) the actual type of construction is indeed one of the "problem" ones. You need to know the exact type it is "concrete and steel frame" is not enough
    - therefore, difficult to sell afterwards as your buyer will have the same problem

    read earlier thread:
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=231763
    Last edited by 00ec25; 17-07-2017 at 11:20 AM.
    • Ogriv
    • By Ogriv 17th Jul 17, 11:22 AM
    • 31 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    Ogriv
    • #3
    • 17th Jul 17, 11:22 AM
    • #3
    • 17th Jul 17, 11:22 AM
    My only experience of them is that my lender (Coventry) wouldn't lend on one that I really liked. So I pulled out, and it has been on and off the market a few times since, perhaps for the same reason.
    And also in the same block I notice that people seem to have trouble selling their properties.
    With either the right lender or being a cash buyer you should be fine to buy it.
    But it raises questions about potential structural issues that I am not informed enough to answer.
    I eventually turned my affections towards more conventional builds.
    Good luck.
    • Clowndog
    • By Clowndog 17th Jul 17, 11:36 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Clowndog
    • #4
    • 17th Jul 17, 11:36 AM
    • #4
    • 17th Jul 17, 11:36 AM
    00ec25 - I did find a list from Leeds City Council online that stated the construction type as 5M. But I didn't find much information about this type through Google so I'm not sure if it is a problem one or not!

    Ogriv - Yes, its a worry that we could end up with an unsalable property should we wish to move in the future
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 17th Jul 17, 11:38 AM
    • 22,905 Posts
    • 88,046 Thanks
    Davesnave
    • #5
    • 17th Jul 17, 11:38 AM
    • #5
    • 17th Jul 17, 11:38 AM
    It’s a real bargain for the price but as I'm a first time buyer I'm wary of my lack of knowledge and don't want to end up losing money on a house.

    Thanks.
    Originally posted by Clowndog
    It's probably not so much a bargain as simply priced to reflect its down-sides, one of which is a limited resale market.

    You'll get more square metres for your money and you may even get a structurally sound house, if you have a full specialist survey and maintain it well, but you'll not be able to influence others' opinions on it, or lenders policy towards advancing money on it in the future.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 17th Jul 17, 1:57 PM
    • 2,667 Posts
    • 3,638 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    • #6
    • 17th Jul 17, 1:57 PM
    • #6
    • 17th Jul 17, 1:57 PM
    It is cheap because it has a problem. There are not many people who would want to or could afford to buy it so it is priced cheaply. Anything that appears to be cheap for what it is will have something wrong with it. There are more buyers for the brick houses so they are priced higher.
    • stator
    • By stator 17th Jul 17, 3:23 PM
    • 5,720 Posts
    • 3,703 Thanks
    stator
    • #7
    • 17th Jul 17, 3:23 PM
    • #7
    • 17th Jul 17, 3:23 PM
    Firstly you need to identify exactly what type of house is it?
    If it's a BISF house and it's been well maintained then I wouldn't be against buying it. There are loads of them around and likely to be mortgageable as long as it's maintained properly. You'd need to pay for a proper, instrusive survey from someone who knows what they are doing.
    In the future you can always knock it down and build a larger house (subject to PP)

    If it's a different kind of house, like a Cornish Unit then you have very little chance of getting a mortgage unless it has been 'converted' to a standard construction house. IF it has been converted then you will need the paperwork from the conversion to get a mortgage. If all this has been done then there's no reason to not buy it.
    One of the problems is that the council may have converted the house from it's original design and they won't have the paperwork for the conversion because they didn't need a mortgage for their own housing, they won't have the right certificates. So if it was converted before right-to-boy you won't have much hope.

    If you want more information on types of non-traditional house you'll have to find out exactly what type it is and what state it's in.
    Post a link to streetview and we can have a guess if you like.
    Changing the world, one sarcastic comment at a time.
    • Clowndog
    • By Clowndog 17th Jul 17, 3:49 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Clowndog
    • #8
    • 17th Jul 17, 3:49 PM
    • #8
    • 17th Jul 17, 3:49 PM
    Thanks for the info. I can't post a link but the postcode is LS6 3LX
    • movilogo
    • By movilogo 17th Jul 17, 3:52 PM
    • 2,260 Posts
    • 1,535 Thanks
    movilogo
    • #9
    • 17th Jul 17, 3:52 PM
    • #9
    • 17th Jul 17, 3:52 PM
    Concrete houses are fine. For some strange reason people in this country believe any house not made of brick is a problem

    There are banks who do lend on concrete houses (I know HSBC does). If the house is good otherwise, grab a bargain.
    Happiness is buying an item and then not checking its price after a month to discover it was reduced further.
    • househunter7
    • By househunter7 17th Jul 17, 3:59 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    househunter7
    Our house was standard construction. The house was on the market for some time, but we thought we were lucky that nobody had snapped it up earlier, and glad we'd got such a bargain. Fast forward 6 years, and it took over 9 months on the Market to get an offer, despite dropping the price by over £25k (Over 15%)!

    Although you may not mind the issues now, you need to think about what others will think when you come to sell it.
    • 00ec25
    • By 00ec25 17th Jul 17, 4:03 PM
    • 4,542 Posts
    • 3,921 Thanks
    00ec25
    Firstly you need to identify exactly what type of house is it?
    If it's a BISF house and it's been well maintained then I wouldn't be against buying it. There are loads of them around and likely to be mortgageable as long as it's maintained properly. You'd need to pay for a proper, instrusive survey from someone who knows what they are doing.
    In the future you can always knock it down and build a larger house (subject to PP)

    If it's a different kind of house, like a Cornish Unit then you have very little chance of getting a mortgage unless it has been 'converted' to a standard construction house. IF it has been converted then you will need the paperwork from the conversion to get a mortgage. If all this has been done then there's no reason to not buy it.
    One of the problems is that the council may have converted the house from it's original design and they won't have the paperwork for the conversion because they didn't need a mortgage for their own housing, they won't have the right certificates. So if it was converted before right-to-boy you won't have much hope.

    If you want more information on types of non-traditional house you'll have to find out exactly what type it is and what state it's in.
    Post a link to streetview and we can have a guess if you like.
    Originally posted by stator
    OP has already stated the council says it is a 5M house (see #4)

    the online info on 5Ms is limited, but it is apparent it is not one of the defective types listed in legislation so there is no funding available for any remedial work.

    it is also apparent that the Council of Mortgage Lenders do list 5M as non standard and therefore it is down to the policy of each lender whether they will touch anything on that list or not. Future saleability must therefore be a probable issue.

    https://www.cml.org.uk/documents/non-traditional-housing-in-the-uk-a-brief-overview-report/pdf_pub_misc_NontradhousingBR.pdf.pdf.
    • stator
    • By stator 17th Jul 17, 4:53 PM
    • 5,720 Posts
    • 3,703 Thanks
    stator
    OP has already stated the council says it is a 5M house (see #4)

    the online info on 5Ms is limited, but it is apparent it is not one of the defective types listed in legislation so there is no funding available for any remedial work.

    it is also apparent that the Council of Mortgage Lenders do list 5M as non standard and therefore it is down to the policy of each lender whether they will touch anything on that list or not. Future saleability must therefore be a probable issue.

    https://www.cml.org.uk/documents/non-traditional-housing-in-the-uk-a-brief-overview-report/pdf_pub_misc_NontradhousingBR.pdf.pdf.
    Originally posted by 00ec25
    MOHLG 5M is a steel frame with a mixture of concrete prefabricated panels and other materials (like shingles), including asbestos.
    Inspection of the steel frame would be necessary to determine structural condition.
    Mortgages will be harder to get and home insurance will be more expensive.
    If looked after well they could provide good value for money but if you can afford a traditional house of the same size it would always be easier to go elsewhere.

    Information for surveyors is available from BRE
    https://www.brebookshop.com/details.jsp?id=327226

    As long as you get a specialist surveyor and the vendors of the house are willing to let the surveyor do intrusive inspection work, you should be able to get a good idea of the condition
    Last edited by stator; 17-07-2017 at 4:56 PM.
    Changing the world, one sarcastic comment at a time.
    • dreyfuss
    • By dreyfuss 17th Jul 17, 5:34 PM
    • 71 Posts
    • 126 Thanks
    dreyfuss
    We lived in one for 15 years. No structural issues though you may be limited if you want to extend. There is a dedicated website for bisf houses which is quite interesting. Got a fab big garden with it too. Oh it did have an asbestis roof which we had changed...

    Ours sold within a week of being on the market as it was ideal student territory and you can pretty much change all the internal walls around.

    Think when we bought we had choice of 3 lenders and they insisted on a better survey. Wouldn't dusmuss it.
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