Getting mortgages for steel framed properties

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Steel framed house mortgage

Mortgages for steel framed properties present a unique set of considerations and challenges for prospective homeowners navigating through a landscape where traditional lending guidelines are often dovetailed with concerns specific to non-standard constructions. Steel-framed homes, characterised by their distinct architectural capabilities and certain structural peculiarities, can raise eyebrows in the financing world due to their perceived risks and market unfamiliarity.

From understanding the intricacies of the build type and its impact on loan approvals to comprehending the longevity and potential resale value of such properties, this guide endeavours to illuminate the path for those considering investing in or securing a mortgage for a steel-framed home.

Whether you’re a first-time buyer, looking to purchase in a rural locale, considering a buy-to-let venture, or tackling the resale market, our comprehensive exploration delves into the myriad aspects to equip you with the knowledge to navigate the complex territory of steel-framed property mortgages.

What is a steel framed property mortgage?

A steel framed property mortgage pertains to a specialised home loan product that facilitates the purchase of houses constructed with steel framing. Steel-framed properties, particularly in the UK, have been utilised historically for their durability and resilience. However, they sometimes pose a unique set of challenges when it comes to securing a mortgage.

The lending difficulties primarily arise due to perceptions about the long-term durability and maintenance of steel structures, which can sometimes be viewed as complex in terms of repair and upkeep. Lenders may be cautious due to concerns about the property’s ability to hold its value over the mortgage term, ensuring they would be able to recover their funds if the borrower defaults. Hence, mortgages for steel-framed properties may come with specific stipulations, potentially including higher deposit requirements or particular surveyor assessments, to mitigate these risks.

Prospective buyers often need to navigate through a more meticulous application process, ensuring they comply with lender specifications, and sometimes might be faced with limited options in terms of available lenders and mortgage products.

Can I get a mortgage on a steel framed property?

Securing a mortgage on a steel-framed property can be achievable, yet it might present certain challenges due to the unique characteristics and perceptions of these structures in the housing market. Lenders might be cautious due to the various issues associated with steel-framed homes, such as longevity, maintenance, and durability concerns.

Some financial institutions might be apprehensive about the property maintaining its value over the long term, which is crucial to ensuring they can recover their funds should the borrower default. Despite these challenges, there are lenders in the UK who specialise in offering mortgages for non-standard constructions, including steel-framed properties. Working with a mortgage broker who has experience in this niche might provide access to suitable lenders and assist in navigating through the specific requirements and processes entailed in securing a mortgage for a steel-framed property.

It’s pivotal to anticipate potentially stringent criteria, a potentially lengthier application process, and perhaps higher deposit requirements as lenders seek to mitigate associated risks. Engaging in thorough research and seeking specialist advice can pave the way for a successful mortgage application for a steel-framed home.

What is a steel frame property?

A steel frame property refers to a building wherein the internal structure, or “skeleton,” is made predominantly of steel components. This skeletal framework is composed of vertical steel columns and horizontal I-beams, constructed in a rectangular grid to support the floors, roof, and walls, which are all attached to the frame.

The strength and durability of steel make it an effective material for structures, allowing for larger spaces and higher buildings without requiring extensive supporting walls or columns. This construction methodology is popular in various types of buildings, including residential, commercial, and industrial, due to its resilience, ability to withstand high winds, and resistance to pests and fire. In the context of residential properties, steel frames might be used in certain styles of homes, such as modular or pre-fabricated houses, and sometimes in traditional builds as well.

However, it’s vital to note that the perception of steel framed properties can be mixed in the real estate market, particularly regarding concerns related to longevity, maintenance, and mortgageability, which can vary based on geographical location and specific construction techniques utilised.

Lenders’ criteria

Lenders, particularly in the context of mortgages for properties with non-standard construction, like steel-framed houses, may have distinctive criteria reflecting the perceived risks associated with these assets. In the UK, lending criteria can vary significantly from one financial institution to another, especially when dealing with non-standard properties.

Some of the critical aspects that lenders might scrutinise when evaluating mortgage applications for steel-framed properties could include:

Property valuation: Lenders will generally require a professional valuation to ensure the property is worth the amount being borrowed.

Structural integrity: A detailed survey may be necessary to affirm the structural soundness and durability of the steel-framed property.

Repair and maintenance: A history and potential future of repair and maintenance tasks might be assessed to gauge the long-term viability of the property.

Insurance: The ability to adequately insure the property against standard risks without prohibitive costs.

Deposit requirements: Given the potentially higher risk, lenders may require a larger deposit for steel-framed properties compared to conventional homes.

Resale value: Lenders might assess the potential resale value of the steel-framed property to ensure that the investment is secure.

Loan-to-value (LTV) ratio: The LTV ratio, representing the mortgage amount compared to the appraised value of the property, might be set more conservatively.

Applicant’s creditworthiness: As with any mortgage, the borrower’s credit history, income, and debt levels will be closely assessed.

Legal aspects: Ensuring all legal aspects, like property documentation, permits, and compliance with local building regulations, are in order.

Future use: Some lenders might inquire about the intended use of the property, whether it’s for the borrower to live in or as an investment.

Age and design: The age and specific design of the steel-framed property may influence a lender’s willingness to provide a mortgage.

Engaging with a mortgage advisor, particularly one experienced in dealing with non-standard construction properties, which might be advantageous for potential buyers navigating through the intricacies of lender criteria in such scenarios. Remember to cross-check with multiple lenders and explore various mortgage products to find a suitable match for your specific circumstances and the property in question.

Which lenders offer mortgages for steel framed properties?

Several lenders in the UK may be more open to offering mortgages for non-standard construction homes, including steel-framed properties. However, it’s essential to understand that the exact lenders, their criteria, and their policies may vary over time, and not all might cater specifically to steel-framed homes.

Some lenders that have been known to offer mortgages on non-standard construction properties include:

  • Halifax: A high street bank with a diverse mortgage range.
  • Nationwide Building Society: Has had products suitable for non-standard construction in the past.
  • Ecology Building Society: Known for niche and green mortgages.
  • Santander: Another significant player on the high street.
  • Leeds Building Society: They offer a range of specialist mortgages.
  • Ipswich Building Society: Has been known to be more flexible with non-standard construction.
  • Magellan Homeloans: Specialises in complex residential mortgages.
  • BuildStore: They cater to the self-build, renovation, and conversion mortgage market.

It’s essential to approach each lender directly or through a mortgage broker with expertise in non-standard construction to ascertain their current policies. A mortgage broker might be particularly beneficial, as they will be up-to-date with the latest lending criteria, have contacts with the underwriters, and can advise on the best approach to securing a mortgage for a steel-framed property.

Deposit requirement

The deposit requirement for a steel-framed property mortgage can vary based on several factors, including the lender’s policies, the specific type of steel-framed construction, and the perceived risk associated with the property. Generally, lenders might perceive steel-framed homes as higher risk compared to traditional brick and mortar constructions. As a result, they may request a larger deposit to mitigate this risk. In many cases, potential borrowers might find that they are required to provide a deposit of 20% to 30% or even more of the property’s value.

This is higher than the typical deposit requirements for standard construction homes. It’s always essential for prospective buyers to consult directly with lenders or seek advice from a specialist mortgage broker to understand the exact deposit requirements for their specific situation and the steel-framed property they are considering.

Interest rates

Various factors can influence interest rates on mortgages for steel-framed properties and may be higher than those for traditional properties due to the perceived additional risk by lenders. Several aspects determine the interest rates, such as the lender’s policies, the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, the borrower’s credit history, and the overall mortgage market conditions in the UK.

Steel-framed homes are often viewed as non-standard construction, which can pose challenges in securing a mortgage and sometimes result in higher interest rates. Lenders might elevate rates to counterbalance the potential risks associated with the durability and marketability of these properties. The exact rates will differ widely among lenders and depend on the individual applicant’s financial circumstances and the specific property in question.

To obtain accurate and current rates, it’s advisable to consult directly with lenders or utilise a mortgage broker who specialises in non-standard construction properties and can guide you to suitable financial institutions and products. Remember that exploring various lenders and negotiating can sometimes yield more favourable interest rate options.

What is the difference between a steel framed property and a traditional brick and mortar property?

The distinction between a steel-framed property and a traditional brick and mortar property lies primarily in the construction methodology and materials used, which, in turn, influences their aesthetic, structural characteristics, and sometimes, their acceptance in the property market.

Steel framed property:

Construction: Utilises a skeleton of steel columns and beams to form the primary structural framework.

Material: Predominantly steel for the internal structure, though exterior cladding can vary.

Design flexibility: Often allows for larger open spaces and possibly more innovative designs due to the strength of steel.

Weight: Steel-framed properties can sometimes be lighter than traditional constructions.

Build time: Potentially faster to erect, particularly in the case of pre-fabricated steel frame sections.

Environmental impact: Steel frames can often be recycled, reducing waste.

Market perception: This can be perceived as a higher risk by mortgage lenders and insurers due to concerns about long-term durability and non-standard construction.

Traditional brick and mortar property:

Construction: Relies on brick walls and often timber or steel roof trusses, with bricks or blocks providing both structural and aesthetic roles.

Material: Primary materials are bricks and mortar for walls and a variety of materials for roofs.

Design limitations: There may be limitations in span and unsupported structures due to the properties of the materials.

Weight: Generally, heavier constructions compared to steel frames.

Build time: Typically, a slower build process is due to the laying of bricks and curing of mortar.

Environmental impact: Reuse and recycling of materials might be limited.

Market perception: Often viewed as standard construction by lenders and insurers, typically attracting standard rates and terms for mortgages and insurance.

Each type of construction brings along its own set of advantages and challenges, influencing aspects like build time, design flexibility, cost, and sustainability, as well as their reception in the housing market and associated industries such as insurance and mortgage lending. It’s crucial to consider these factors when exploring properties for purchase or investment.

What are the different steel frame construction types?

Steel frame construction encompasses various methods, each offering unique attributes and suitable for different types of buildings and architectural designs. Below are some of the different types of steel frame construction:

Clear span steel frame: This construction type allows for large, open spaces without requiring internal columns, making it ideal for warehouses, arenas, and aircraft hangars.

Modular steel frame: Consists of pre-fabricated modules, which can be transported and assembled on-site. It’s favoured for its speed of construction and is commonly used in residential and temporary structures.

A-Frame steel construction: Recognised for its pitched roof resembling the letter “A”, this construction type is often found in residential buildings, churches, and cottages due to its aesthetic appeal and ability to handle heavy snow loads.

Post and beam steel frame: Utilises vertical columns and horizontal beams to create a skeletal framework, which provides support to the building. It is common in skyscrapers and commercial buildings.

Single slope frame: Features a roof that slopes in one direction and is often employed in strip malls, office buildings, and mini-storage units.

Gambrel frame: Characterised by its double-sloped roof, it provides additional space in the upper portion of the building and is frequently used in barns and residential structures.

Light gauge steel construction: Light gauge steel is a thin sheet of steel that has been bent into shape to form a C-section or Z-section. It’s commonly used in residential and small building construction due to its lightweight and ease of installation.

Conventional steel frame: Uses a grid of steel columns and beams arranged in a rectangular pattern, applicable for a wide variety of buildings, from commercial to residential.

Space frame: A three-dimensional steel structure which provides support and stability, often utilised in large spans where open spaces are desired, like airports and stadiums.

Tapered beam: Employed in buildings that require a sloping or pitched roof, often seen in commercial applications like retail stores.

Rigid frame: Features vertical columns and horizontal beams, which are rigidly joined to resist lateral forces. Suitable for buildings of almost any size and shape.

These various steel frame construction types provide architects and builders with options to create structures that meet specific design, functionality, and budget requirements. The choice among them often hinges on factors like the intended use of the building, local building codes, and aesthetic considerations.

What are the advantages of steel framed properties?

Steel-framed properties present a number of advantages across various facets, including construction, design, and durability. Some of these advantages include:

Strength and durability: Steel is known for its immense strength and longevity, offering robust structural integrity.

Design flexibility: The strength of steel allows for larger spans and open-plan designs without the need for bulky support structures.

Speed of construction: Steel frames, particularly modular or pre-fabricated ones, can be erected relatively quickly, reducing build times.

Sustainability: Steel can often be recycled, reducing waste and making it an environmentally friendly construction option.

Resistance to pests: Steel is impervious to pests like termites that can afflict timber-framed properties.

Fire resistance: While steel can weaken in intense heat, it is generally more fire-resistant than timber.

Consistency: Steel components are produced under controlled conditions, ensuring consistency in quality.

Weight: Steel-framed structures can be lighter than comparable concrete ones, reducing foundation requirements.

Adaptability: Steel-framed buildings can be easily altered by repositioning walls and making other structural adjustments.

Maintenance: Steel frames can sometimes require less maintenance than other construction materials like wood, which may rot or warp over time.

Durability in various climates: Steel can be an excellent option in various climates as it can withstand high winds and, with appropriate coatings, resist rust in humid environments.

These advantages make steel-framed properties appealing for a range of applications, from residential homes to commercial buildings and industrial facilities. However, it’s also essential to weigh these against the potential challenges, such as thermal conductivity and, in certain markets, potential issues with mortgages and insurance.

What are the risks of buying a steel framed property?

While steel-framed properties come with several advantages, potential buyers should also be aware of certain risks and challenges related to them:

Financing issues: Some lenders may perceive steel-framed properties as higher risk, potentially impacting mortgage availability or terms.

Insurance challenges: Insurers might also view these properties differently, potentially influencing premium costs and coverage options.

Resale considerations: Depending on the market and location, resale might be more challenging if potential buyers face similar financing and insurance hurdles.

Corrosion: While steel is durable, it can be susceptible to corrosion, especially in humid or coastal environments, unless adequately treated or coated.

Thermal conductivity: Steel can conduct heat, potentially making the building less energy-efficient unless well-insulated.

Modification limitations: Making alterations or extensions to steel-framed properties might require specialised knowledge or contractors.

Perception and aesthetic preferences: Some buyers may prefer the aesthetic or perceived solidity of traditional brick and mortar.

Acoustic properties: Steel-framed properties may have different acoustic properties, which might require additional consideration to manage sound effectively.

Specialised repairs: Repairing or maintaining steel frames might necessitate specialized expertise and potentially be costlier or more complex.

Local building regulations: In some regions, local building codes and regulations might impose additional requirements on steel-framed constructions.

Technology and method evolution: As technology evolves, methods of constructing steel-framed properties might also change, potentially impacting older properties’ conformity with modern standards.

Thoroughly investigating, employing a specialist surveyor familiar with steel-framed properties, and seeking advice from financial and construction experts can help navigate these potential risks when considering purchasing a steel-framed property. This approach helps to ensure that buyers are well-informed and prepared for the unique aspects of owning such a property.

What should I look for when viewing a steel framed property?

When viewing a steel-framed property, considering several structural and aesthetic aspects can help you make an informed decision. Here’s what to look out for:

Structural integrity: Inspect the building for any visible signs of structural issues, such as misaligned walls or doors and cracks in walls or around windows.

Corrosion: Check for any signs of rust or corrosion on the steel components, particularly in areas exposed to weather or moisture.

Insulation: Ensure that the property is well-insulated to mitigate any potential issues with thermal conductivity associated with steel frames.

Finishing: Inspect the quality of the finishes, ensuring that walls, ceilings, and other surfaces are well-executed and hiding the steel frame effectively.

Acoustic management: Check the soundproofing within the property and between adjacent spaces (if applicable) since steel can sometimes transmit sound differently.

Ventilation: Ensure that the property is adequately ventilated to manage moisture levels and prevent potential condensation issues, which could impact the steel frame.

Thermal performance: Check for drafts or uneven temperatures that might suggest issues with the building’s thermal performance.

External cladding: If applicable, check the condition and quality of external cladding, ensuring it provides adequate protection and insulation to the steel frame.

Plumbing and electrical: Ensure that plumbing and electrical systems are appropriately integrated into the walls and that there are no issues caused by the steel framework.

Modifications: If the property has been altered or extended, check that modifications have been carried out correctly and comply with relevant regulations.

Survey: Although not something you can physically look for during a viewing, always ensure that a detailed survey is carried out by a professional experienced with steel-framed properties to identify any hidden issues.

Local regulations: Ensure the property adheres to local building regulations and codes, particularly if you plan any future modifications.

Market and financial Factors: Investigate the local property market, mortgage availability, and insurance factors related to steel-framed properties.

Aesthetics: Evaluate the aesthetic aspects and make sure they align with your preferences, considering the possible limitations or benefits of the steel framework.

Neighbourhood: Consider the property in the context of its neighbourhood, ensuring it aligns with your lifestyle and practical needs.

Keep in mind that employing a professional with experience in steel-framed buildings to conduct a thorough survey or inspection of the property is crucial to uncovering potential hidden issues and ensuring it’s a sound investment.

What kind of survey should I get?

When purchasing a steel-framed property, obtaining a comprehensive survey conducted by a qualified surveyor with specific expertise in steel-framed buildings is crucial. Here are the kinds of surveys you might consider:

Building survey (formerly known as a structural survey):

  • Thoroughness: Offers a detailed analysis of the property’s condition.
  • Applicability: Particularly relevant for steel-framed properties due to their specific construction characteristics.
  • Details: Investigates visible and accessible parts of the building for issues, including the frame, ensuring a thorough evaluation of the structural integrity and condition of the property.
  • Advice: Provides expert advice on repairs and maintenance.

HomeBuyer Report:

Level of detail: Less comprehensive than a Building Survey, but still offers a solid overview of the property’s condition.

Visibility: Only surveys visible parts of the property.

Suitability: This may be more suitable for newer steel-framed properties in apparent good condition.

Rating: Typically uses a straightforward rating system to identify any concerns or defects.

Condition Report:

Simplicity: This is the most basic type of survey and provides a general overview of the condition of the property.

Visual inspection: Offers an assessment based on a visual inspection of accessible areas.

Recommendation: This could be suitable for newer properties or ones that seem in good condition but generally not recommended for steel-framed properties due to its limited scope.

Specific structural survey:

Focus: Aimed at investigating a particular defect or issue identified during an initial survey or visual inspection.

Expertise: Requires a surveyor with specific knowledge of steel frames and potential related issues.

Details: Provides detailed insights and recommendations related to identified issues.

Valuation survey:

Purpose: Primarily designed to provide a market valuation of the property.

Depth: Does not provide an in-depth look at the property’s condition.

Given the specificities and potential complexities associated with steel-framed properties, the comprehensive Building Survey is often the most suitable option. Engaging a surveyor with expertise in steel-framed buildings will ensure that all unique aspects and potential concerns related to the structure are thoroughly investigated and reported. Always ensure to discuss your concerns and requirements with your surveyor to ensure the assessment is tailored to provide all the information you’ll need to make an informed decision about the property purchase.

Can I get insurance for a steel framed property?

Securing insurance for a steel-framed property can be achievable, although it might present some challenges compared to insuring a traditional brick-and-mortar property. Insurers may perceive steel-framed properties as non-standard due to their unique construction and potential susceptibility to certain issues like corrosion.

This perception may impact the availability, cost, and terms of insurance policies. It is crucial to approach insurers who have experience and expertise with non-standard properties, as they will have a better understanding of the risks and requirements associated with steel-framed buildings. Providing comprehensive documentation, including surveys and maintenance records, can also assist in securing insurance by demonstrating the property’s condition and history of upkeep.

Exploring specialised insurance brokers or companies that deal explicitly with non-standard or steel-framed properties may yield more favourable results and ensure that the property is adequately protected. Always ensure you thoroughly understand the terms, coverage limits, and any exclusions of your policy to confirm it meets your specific needs.

Can I get a mortgage on a BISF property?

Securing a mortgage on a BISF (British Iron and Steel Federation) house, a type of steel-framed property can sometimes be more complex than obtaining one for a traditional brick-and-mortar property. Some lenders may be hesitant due to the non-standard construction method, while others might be willing to lend but may impose specific requirements or conditions.

It’s crucial to approach lenders who have experience with non-standard properties, and securing a comprehensive survey from a professional familiar with BISF houses can be beneficial in demonstrating the property’s condition to potential lenders. Engaging a mortgage broker who has experience in dealing with non-standard properties might also assist in navigating the mortgage application process and identifying suitable lending options.

Always ensure that you thoroughly understand the terms, rates, and any conditions associated with the mortgage to ensure that it aligns with your financial situation and property investment strategy.

How do I compare steel framed property mortgages?

Comparing steel framed property mortgages involves scrutinising various aspects of available mortgage options to identify the most favourable terms and conditions for your financial situation and property investment strategy. Pay attention to interest rates, loan-to-value ratios, repayment terms, and any additional fees or charges. Also, consider the lender’s familiarity and experience with steel-framed properties, as this can influence the application and appraisal process. Ensure to assess the flexibility of the mortgage, such as the ability to make overpayments or take payment holidays, and confirm that the mortgage product aligns with your long-term financial and property ownership goals.

Using online mortgage comparison tools and consulting with a mortgage broker, particularly one experienced with non-standard properties like steel-framed homes, can aid in effectively comparing mortgage options and identifying the most suitable product for your needs.

Remember to thoroughly understand all terms and conditions and consider seeking independent financial advice to ensure the chosen mortgage is appropriate for your specific circumstances.

Can I get a mortgage on a steel frame property if I have bad credit?

Obtaining a mortgage on a steel frame property with bad credit can be particularly challenging due to the combination of non-standard construction and credit issues.

Lenders may be more cautious due to the perceived higher risks associated with both the property type and the applicant’s financial history. Nonetheless, it might still be possible to secure a mortgage under these circumstances. Specialised lenders or those who cater to individuals with adverse credit may consider an application, although the terms might be less favourable, with potentially higher interest rates and a requirement for a larger deposit.

Engaging a mortgage broker, especially one who specializes in bad credit or non-standard property mortgages, can be invaluable in navigating the available options and assisting in finding a lender willing to accommodate your circumstances.

Thoroughly understanding the terms and financial commitment of any mortgage product under these circumstances is paramount, and seeking independent financial advice can be prudent.

How can I improve my chances of getting a mortgage?

Improving your chances of getting a mortgage on a steel-framed property involves addressing both general mortgage approval criteria and those specific to non-standard properties. Here are some strategies:

Solid credit score: Ensure your credit history is in good shape, pay bills on time, and try to reduce any existing debts.

Stable employment and income: Demonstrating stable employment and a reliable income will positively influence mortgage approval.

Sizeable deposit: Offering a larger deposit can reduce the lender’s risk, potentially making them more amenable to providing a mortgage on a non-standard property.

Comprehensive property survey: Provide a detailed survey conducted by a specialist familiar with steel-framed properties to assure the lender of the building’s structural integrity.

Expert broker: Engage a mortgage broker experienced with non-standard properties to help navigate available lenders and products.

Property viewing tips and questions to ask

When viewing a property, especially one with a unique structure like a steel-framed building, it’s crucial to be observant and inquisitive. Here are some viewing tips and questions you might consider asking:

Viewing tips:

Structural observations: Pay attention to any signs of structural issues like cracks, rust, or misalignments.

Internal conditions: Check for damp, mould, and general wear and tear inside the property.

External check: Examine the condition of the exterior, roof, and any outdoor spaces.

Neighbour insights: Observe the neighbourhood and potentially chat with neighbours about the local area and any known issues with similar properties.

Utilities: Look at the condition of visible utilities and ask to see them functioning.

Take notes: Bring a notebook to jot down observations and any concerns that may arise.

Take photos: If permitted, take photos for reference and further examination later.

Acoustic conditions: Listen for any unusual noises or lack of soundproofing between rooms or from the outside.

Natural light: Observe the natural light in different rooms and times if possible.
Questions to Ask:

Construction details:

  • What type of steel frame construction is used?
  • When was the property built?

Maintenance and repairs:

  • Is there a record of maintenance and repairs?
  • Have there been any significant issues or structural repairs?


  • How is the property heated and is it efficiently insulated?
  • What is the condition of the electrical wiring and plumbing?

Legal aspects:

  • Are there any pending legal issues with the property?
  • Is there a history of insurance claims related to the property’s structure?

Energy efficiency:

  • What is the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating?
  • Are there any energy-efficient improvements in place?


  • What are the local amenities like?
  • Is the property in a conservation area or subject to any planning restrictions?


  • Have any alterations or extensions been made to the property?
  • Were proper permits obtained for any modifications?


  • Is there a structural warranty or any other guarantee on the property?

Financial Aspects:

  • What is the property’s tax band?
  • How much are utility and maintenance costs on average?


  • Why is the owner selling the property?
  • How long has the property been on the market?

Consider arranging a second viewing if you’re seriously interested in the property, potentially at a different time of day to get a comprehensive understanding of the space. And, if you decide to proceed, ensure a detailed survey is conducted by a professional familiar with steel-framed properties to safeguard your investment

Why you should hire a surveyor

Hiring a surveyor when dealing with properties, especially unique ones like steel-framed structures, is crucial due to several reasons:

Expert evaluation: Surveyors provide an expert evaluation of the property’s structural integrity and condition, identifying potential issues that may not be apparent to the untrained eye.

Financial prudence: Understanding the condition of the property can prevent unforeseen financial burdens in the future by identifying necessary repairs or issues before finalizing the purchase.

Negotiation leverage: The findings from a property survey can provide leverage in price negotiations, potentially reducing the purchase price if issues are identified.

Lender requirement: Many mortgage lenders require a professional survey to validate the value and condition of the property before approving financing.

Legal compliance: A surveyor can help ensure that the property adheres to building regulations and zoning laws, avoiding potential legal complications.

Future planning: Insight into the condition and specifications of the property aids in planning for future renovations or enhancements effectively and safely.

Insurance purposes: Understanding and documenting the state of the property can be vital for obtaining adequate insurance coverage and for claims processing.

Peace of mind: Knowing the detailed status of a property before purchasing provides peace of mind that the investment is sound and that there are no hidden surprises.

Historical record: The survey provides a historical record of the property’s condition at the time of purchase, which can be useful in future sales or disputes.

Specialist insight: Particularly for non-standard constructions like steel-framed properties, a surveyor with specific expertise ensures that the unique aspects and potential vulnerabilities of the structure are thoroughly assessed.

Preservation of value: Ensuring that a property is in good condition and identifying necessary maintenance preserves and can even enhance the property’s value over time.

Safety: Ensuring the structural safety of the property protects the inhabitants and neighbours, providing a safe living environment.

Environmental impact: Surveyors can also assess the environmental impact of a property, ensuring it meets sustainability standards and providing insights into potential improvements.

Neighbour relations: Ensuring boundaries and property alterations are legally compliant and respectful of neighbouring properties avoids disputes and maintains good relations.

Given the substantial financial commitment involved in purchasing a property and the potential complexities of dealing with specialized structures like steel-framed buildings, hiring a surveyor is a prudent step in safeguarding your investment and ensuring a sound and secure property purchase.

How a broker can help

A broker, especially one specialized in mortgages for unique properties like steel-framed ones, can be an invaluable asset due to the following reasons:

Expert guidance: Brokers provide expertise in navigating the mortgage landscape, offering advice tailored to your financial situation and property type.

Access to lenders: Brokers have access to a wide range of lenders, including those who might not be directly accessible to the public and who may be more amenable to non-standard property mortgages.

Time and effort saving: Leveraging their network and knowledge of lender criteria, brokers can efficiently identify suitable mortgage options, saving you time and effort.

Application assistance: Brokers assist in preparing and submitting mortgage applications, ensuring all documentation is accurate and presented optimally to improve approval chances.

Negotiation: Utilising their industry knowledge and relationships, brokers can negotiate favourable mortgage terms, rates, and conditions on your behalf.

Tailored options: Brokers can help identify and secure mortgage products that are specifically tailored to your needs and financial situation.

Understanding complexities: In the context of steel-framed properties, a specialised broker will understand the complexities and challenges involved and navigate them effectively.

Legal and regulatory compliance: Brokers ensure that all interactions and transactions comply with legal and regulatory standards, providing a layer of security in the process.

Stress reduction: The broker manages communications and negotiations with lenders, reducing the stress and administrative burden on you.

Support through the process: Brokers provide ongoing support throughout the mortgage application process, from initial discussions through to completion.

Financial strategy alignment: They ensure that the mortgage product and terms align with your broader financial strategy and property ownership goals.

Market knowledge: Brokers keep abreast of market trends, interest rate movements, and product updates, ensuring advice and product selection are current and relevant.

Post-completion assistance: Some brokers offer continued support post-mortgage completion, assisting with any issues or adjustments that may be needed.

Access to related services: Brokers often have networks of related service providers, such as solicitors, surveyors, or insurance brokers, whom they can recommend.

In the context of steel-framed properties, which may present additional challenges in securing a mortgage due to their non-standard construction, a broker who understands the nuances of such properties and has experience in dealing with them can be particularly beneficial in facilitating a smooth and successful mortgage application process.


Can I get a mortgage on a steel-framed house that is over 30 years old?

Yes, it’s possible to get a mortgage on a steel-framed house that is over 30 years old, although it may be subject to stricter lender criteria. Lenders might require a detailed survey to confirm the structural integrity and condition of the property, and you may need to approach a specialist lender or utilise a broker with expertise in non-standard construction properties.

Why don't all mortgage lenders offer mortgages on steel framed houses?

There are various reasons:

Perceived risk: Steel-framed houses are often perceived as higher risk due to concerns about durability and long-term structural integrity.

Resale concerns: Lenders may be wary of the resale potential and marketability of non-standard properties should they need to repossess.

Lack of expertise: Some lenders may not have the expertise to accurately assess the value and risk associated with steel-framed properties.

Insurance challenges: Ensuring steel-framed properties can be more complex or costly, influencing a lender’s willingness to provide a mortgage.

How do I know if a steel framed property is well-built?

To ascertain if a steel-framed property is well-built:

Hire a specialist surveyor: Engage a surveyor with expertise in steel-framed properties to conduct a detailed inspection.

Check for certifications:

Ensure that the property was built in adherence to relevant building codes and standards.

Examine documentation: Review any available documentation of construction, modifications, and maintenance.

Explore builder’s reputation: Research the reputation and reliability of the builders or manufacturers involved.

Consult an engineer: In certain cases, consulting a structural engineer for an additional opinion can be beneficial.

Can I get a mortgage on a steel-framed house that is self-built?

Securing a mortgage on a self-built steel-framed house can be possible but may involve additional hurdles. Lenders will typically require:

Detailed plans: Comprehensive plans and specifications of the property.

Appropriate permissions: All relevant planning permissions and compliance with building regulations.

Qualified professionals: Assurance that qualified professionals are involved in design and construction.

Structural warranty: A structural warranty or professional consultant’s certificate to assure the build quality.

Valuation: A professional valuation confirming the property’s worth.

Remember to consult with a mortgage advisor or broker, especially one who specialises in the relevant areas, to navigate the intricacies of these scenarios effectively.

What about mortgages for first-time buyers?

First-time buyers seeking mortgages might encounter specific programs or deals aimed at helping them onto the property ladder, which can include lower deposit requirements or incentives. For steel-framed houses, it’s vital to consult a specialist broker or lender familiar with non-standard constructions to ensure you navigate any additional requirements or challenges effectively.

Can I get a mortgage on a steel framed house that is in a rural area?

Yes, it is possible to obtain a mortgage on a steel-framed house in a rural area, but it may involve additional considerations. Lenders will assess the property’s value, condition, and marketability, which can be influenced by its rural location. Aspects like accessibility, local amenities, and the property’s potential for depreciation might be closely scrutinised. It’s advisable to approach lenders or brokers with expertise in both steel-framed properties and rural mortgages to guide you effectively.

Is reselling a steel frame home difficult?

Reselling a steel frame home can present challenges, owing to:

Perception: Some buyers might perceive steel frame homes as non-traditional and be cautious.

Mortgage challenges: As discussed, obtaining a mortgage for steel-framed homes can be complex, limiting the pool of potential buyers.

Insurance hurdles: Potential buyers might face hurdles in securing insurance for steel-framed properties.

Lack of awareness: A general lack of awareness or misconceptions about steel frame constructions can hinder resale.

Aesthetic preferences: Some buyers might prefer the aesthetic of traditional brick and mortar constructions.

However, with strategic marketing that emphasises the advantages of steel-framed properties, such as durability and often modern designs, and potentially targeting niche markets, successful resale is certainly achievable. Ensuring the property is well-maintained and providing detailed documentation regarding its construction and maintenance history will also support resale efforts.

Why are steel frame homes problematic?

Steel frame homes can be perceived as problematic for a few reasons:

Financing challenges: As discussed, obtaining mortgages or insurance can be more complex due to lenders’ and insurers’ perceptions of risk.

Corrosion risk: In certain climates, steel frames can be prone to corrosion, requiring protective measures and maintenance.

Thermal conductivity: Steel can conduct heat, potentially impacting the energy efficiency of the home unless adequately insulated.

Modification limitations: Altering or extending steel-framed homes may require specialised knowledge and can be more complex than traditional structures.

Perception issues: There can be misconceptions or biases against steel-framed homes in certain markets, affecting resale and value appreciation.

How long do steel framed homes last?

Steel framed homes can have a lengthy lifespan, often exceeding 50-60 years, with appropriate maintenance and depending on factors like the quality of construction, materials used, and environmental conditions. The durability of steel can withstand many conditions that might compromise timber frames, such as pests and rot, potentially enhancing longevity. However, aspects like corrosion, particularly in certain environments, need to be managed to ensure a steel-framed property retains its structural integrity over time.

Can I get a mortgage on a steel framed house that I am buying to let?

Yes, you can potentially get a mortgage on a steel-framed house for buy-to-let purposes, although it may involve navigating specific challenges and criteria. Lenders will assess the potential rental yield, the property’s condition, and marketability alongside your financial status and experience as a landlord. Given the complexities that can arise with steel-framed properties, it’s advisable to consult with a mortgage broker experienced in both buy-to-let and non-standard property mortgages to explore your options effectively and navigate the application process.

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