Getting a mortgage on an unusual property


Many borrowers have fairly straightforward mortgage requirements – they are employed and can easily prove income, while the property is of a standard type and construction. Lenders are usually happy to lend to these borrowers so obtaining a mortgage is not too difficult.

However, not everyone is in this position, which is where mortgage brokers such as Anderson Harris come in. If you have a mortgage application that is even slightly out of the ordinary – you are buying a studio flat, for example, or a flat above a shop, then we can identify the lender most likely to lend.

As far as lenders are concerned, the main issue is resale value. You may be prepared to buy a studio flat or one above commercial premises, but would someone else feel the same if the lender had to repossess your property and sell it on? Anything with a limited resale market, such as properties with short leases or those with shared access, ring alarm bells for lenders.

If you are buying a property of unusual construction, such as a thatched cottage or converted barn, smaller building societies, who consider applications on a case-by-case basis, will be a better bet than high-street lenders. It often comes down to the individual case. A flat above a pub in Chelsea or another prime location may be acceptable to a lender due to high demand for the area and potential ease of reselling the property. The same cannot be said of ex-local authority properties and those with unusual characteristics.

Lenders often make clear stipulations regarding what they will and won’t lend on but increasingly they will rely on the mortgage valuer’s comments regarding value, desirability and resale. Borrowers will require a specialist lender in many of these instances and should use a broker to identify the one most likely to be sympathetic to their particular situation.

Adrian Anderson
Posted by
Adrian Anderson