How to Get a Land Mortgage
If you want to purchase land, there are certain mortgages you can look into. Find out more about these specialist loans to buy land before you begin your application.
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If you’re looking at buying a plot of land and need to find a way to finance it, there are specific mortgages out there that are tailored to different uses and ventures. Whether it’s farm or woodland, a commercial undertaking or you want to build your own home, there are lenders out there with lending products to match every land purchase eventuality.
These work slightly differently to traditional residential mortgages, with applications and interest rates that have their own criteria. Here we look at what is involved and how to go about securing such a loan.
In this article:
- Can you get a mortgage to buy land?
- How land mortgages work
- Eligibility criteria, deposits and planning permission
- How much your land mortgage will cost
- Which lenders offer land mortgages?
- What interest rates to expect
- Can you get approved with bad credit?
- Other ways to finance a land purchase
- Speak to a land mortgage broker
Can you get a mortgage to buy land?
Yes, these specialist mortgage products do exist for the right kind of borrower, however it’s worth bearing in mind that getting one is a more complex process than a standard residential mortgage for a variety of reasons.
There are a number of lenders out there who provide such loans, albeit fewer than for standard mortgages, but they still view many land mortgages as risky, and therefore will set the bar higher for eligibility parameters and evidence of viability. For example, they will probably want to know what kind of land you wish to purchase, what your intentions are for it, and will expect to see a robust plan of how you will make your repayments.
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How land mortgages work
There is no one-size-fits-all land mortgage out there. The kind of loan you will get will depend on what kind of land you’re looking at. Typically, it will fall into one of three categories:
- A self-build mortgage if you’re looking to build a home on a plot that’s for sale
- An agricultural mortgage if your intention is to buy or extend a working farm;
- A commercial mortgage if you’re looking at conducting a money-making venture on a holding, such as building homes to sell.
All land in the UK is considered as having a purpose, therefore the borrowing on any particular piece of earth will need to be clarified and distinct. Expect different features from different mortgage types, which we’ll go into in more detail below.
The crucial qualification for land mortgages are along the same lines as most other mortgages, which is how well you are able to afford to pay it back. Because land can be harder to sell, make money on and get planning permission for, mortgage lenders will be looking for hard evidence of how you will mitigate this risk.
This is where the strength of your application comes in. It’s advisable to work with a specialist broker, like the ones we work with, to pull together a strong argument as to why you are a safe bet when it comes to being granted a land mortgage.
Lenders will set loan-to-value (LTV) allowances according to a number of factors, some depending on the kind of land use, as well as your credit score and cost of the land or building. It’s likely you’ll get more leeway with a self-build mortgage – perhaps between 75%-85% – and commercial mortgages can also be up to about 80%. Some agricultural mortgages might require higher deposits of up to 50%.
Do you need planning permission?
Your application will be far stronger if you have all the required permissions in place before you attempt to finance a plot of land. It’s not totally mandatory for all lenders, however it will dramatically reduce your chances of success, or at least securing favourable rates and LTVs, without it.
If you don’t have relevant planning permission or are hoping to change the land’s use, you may still need written permission from a local authority, and willing lenders may ask for extra collateral. That said, changing a land’s use can be very difficult to obtain, so expect hurdles if this is your intention.
Find out more about planning permission applications in this government portal here.
How to get a land mortgage
Follow these simple steps to begin your course of action:
Gather your documents:
You will need evidence of income, business plans, budgets, planning permission and credit worthiness in order to put a strong application together and attract a lender. Do this first so your broker knows what your circumstances are.
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How much your land mortgage will cost
While there are so many factors at play with this kind of mortgage that make it difficult to give wholly accurate repayment figures, our calculator can give you an estimate to get you on track for your mortgage budgeting and planning.
Try it here.
Land Mortgage Repayment Calculator
Our land mortgage calculator can tell you how much your mortgage will cost you each month and overall. Enter the amount you’re borrowing, the term length and interest rate, and our calculator will do the rest.
Total amount paid at end of term:
Get started with an expert broker to find out how much they could help you save on your mortgage repayments.
Which lenders offer land mortgages?
There are a number of mainstream lenders as well as niche financiers who get involved with land mortgages, however it’s worth noting that many don’t have any offerings on certain types of land mortgages.
For example, Barclays offers agricultural mortgages on fixed or variable rates, but does not currently provide self-build mortgages. Halifax does consider self-build mortgages, but not agricultural loans. There are also a number of specialist lenders, such as Farm & Country Finance, as well as commercial ventures.
It’s best to look for the best mortgage based on the use of the land you’re intending to buy, which is where you’ll find very specific products.
What interest rates to expect
Typical land mortgage rates can be between 2%-3% above the Bank of England base rate, with rates much higher for agricultural and commercial plots, especially if you’re looking at greenbelt land.
The exact rate you’ll end up with will depend on the variables we have already discussed, and how attractive and risk-averse you appear to be as a potential borrower. It is impossible to give a single answer to this question, especially when the financial landscape is so volatile. However, do expect interest rates to be slightly higher for this kind of financing.
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Can you get approved with bad credit?
It’s not impossible to secure a land mortgage with a poor financial history behind you, however it might make the application process lengthier and more arduous. A land mortgage broker can help you to navigate the way and look at your prospects, knowing that there are a number of bad credit mortgage lenders out there who might be able to help.
Other ways to finance a land purchase
If you want to look at other ways to raise the capital to buy your own land, you could consider other financing options, such as equity release from an existing property or business, remortgaging to release equity or looking into second charge mortgages. You could also consider other kinds of loans, such as a business or personal loan, or borrow from a family member.
Speak to a land mortgage broker
As we have discussed in this article, there are many factors at play in a fluctuating mortgage landscape when it comes to purchasing land and attempting to secure finance against it. That said, if you are successful it can open exciting opportunities for the future.
The specialist land mortgage brokers we work with are experienced and highly skilled in this area of expertise, and they always work hard to ensure they get the very best deals over the line for their clients. You can start your search today – we do the work of matching you to the right advisor with our tailored service, and you can get started with your handpicked advisor after that.
Contact us on 0808 189 2301 for a free initial chat, or make an online enquiry.
Speak to a land mortgages expert
Maximise your chance of approval with a specialist in land mortgages
Yes, some lenders who provide land mortgages are open to applications from first time buyers, be prepared for higher rates though. You can find out more about first time buyer self-builds here and you might also be able to get a commercial mortgage with specialist lenders if you’re a first-time buyer and first-time landlord too.
Yes, but this is a route you would typically only go down if you have high net worth exemption and are buying a plot of land that’s worth at least £1 million.
To qualify for this, you need to have an annual net income of £300,000 or assets worth £3 million or more. If you fit this criteria, consult our guide to high net worth mortgages to find out what options might be available to you from private land mortgage lenders.
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