Mortgages for Steel Framed Homes

Are there lenders who will offer a mortgage on a steel framed home? Find out with specialist advice from an expert broker

Firstly, what is the construction type of the property?

Home Property Types Mortgages For Steel Framed Homes

Author: Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

Reviewer: Jon Nixon

Director of Distribution

Updated: March 18, 2024

How we reviewed this article:

Our experts continuously monitor changes in the financial space and work closely with qualified mortgage advisors for factual verification.

March 18, 2024

Buying a steel framed house can be a challenge because many mortgage lenders consider them to be ‘non-standard’ properties. If the home you’d like to buy is steel framed, you may need to jump through some additional hoops to secure the mortgage you need.

This guide will explain everything you need to know before submitting a mortgage application. With some forward planning and specialist mortgage advice, you can increase your chances of getting the ‘yes’ you need.

Can you get a mortgage on a steel framed home?

Yes, it’s definitely possible, but your ability to get a mortgage will depend on the type of steel framed house that you’re interested in. Some lenders won’t approve mortgage applications from people buying these properties because of resale and insurance concerns.

Other lenders will only say ‘yes’ on certain types of steel framed construction. Thankfully, there are flexible lenders who’ll provide steel framed property mortgages in most cases – both standard house builds and bungalows – and the right mortgage broker can help you find them.

Why are some lenders reluctant to offer mortgages for these properties?

Steel framed houses are often considered risky, making many lenders more cautious than usual. Nowadays, most construction companies use wooden frames rather than steel. But many steel framed houses were built after World War II to house people displaced by the war. These houses weren’t designed to last a long time and because of this, some lenders are reluctant to offer mortgages for them.

Potential problems can include structural issues, poor insulation and high energy costs. Though not all steel framed properties do have these issues.

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Lending criteria for steel framed properties

Lending criteria can vary significantly from one lender to the next. Some lenders will insist that a structural engineer or building surveyor carry out a thorough survey.

If the valuation suggests it may be difficult to mortgage, insure or sell the property in future, lenders may reject the application or limit the amount they’ll lend. For example, some lenders will only offer a 50% LTV. This means that if the property is worth £200,000, they’ll only lend £100,000 and the borrower will need to put down a 50% deposit.

The age of the property will often be considered. Some lenders will only accept properties that were built after the 1960s. Others are even more selective, insisting the property must have been built after 2000.

Which lenders will consider these properties?

Here are a few examples of the restrictions you might encounter from specific lenders:

The Mortgage Lender

Will only approve mortgages for those buying a modern, purpose built flat. They also will only lend to those who can provide a 3-year address history and are likely to take student loans into account when assessing applicants’ affordability.

Norton Home Loans

Requires a full valuation before deciding whether to approve an application. If the surveyor says the property isn’t fit for conventional mortgage lending, the LTV will be restricted to a maximum of 50%.

Coventry Building Society

Will only consider properties that have been built on or after 1st January 1990. They also insist that at least 67% of the property’s cladding must be either brick or stone. Properties with large concrete panels, timber, plastic metal sheeting and tiles are excluded in many, but not all, cases.

Halifax

Will base their decision on the valuers report and accompanying comments. All non-standard construction properties are assessed on individual merit.

As these examples show, getting a mortgage on a steel framed home can be complicated. This area of the market can be difficult to navigate alone. If you’d like help finding the lenders most likely to approve your application – or if you’ve already had an application declined – look for a specialist mortgage broker with experience dealing with non-standard properties.

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Can you get a mortgage for a BISF construction?

Yes, but unfortunately, getting a mortgage for a BISF home can be extremely challenging because this type of steel framed building is often considered more risky than others. A large number of steel framed homes are British Iron and Steel Federation (BISF) properties.

There are specialist lenders who will consider lending on BISF builds, but you may need to put down a larger deposit or pay a higher interest rate.

These lenders can be difficult to find without the help of a professional who knows this corner of the market well. Luckily there are brokers who specialise in non-standard property types and their knowledge, expertise and lender contacts can boost your chances of mortgage approval.

What about steel framed extensions?

If you’re buying a standard property but it has a steel framed extension, some lenders may be reluctant to approve your application. Specialist lenders will probably still want to carry out a thorough valuation, even though most of the property is traditionally built. The age of the extension may also play a role in lenders’ decisions.

If only part of the property has steel framework – in this case the extension – your choice of lenders and products might be wider than for somebody buying a home with steel frames throughout.

How to increase your chances of getting your application approved

There are a few ways to improve your chances of getting a mortgage on a steel frame property.

You might decide to:

Save a bigger deposit

Saving a bigger deposit is easier said than done but it can improve your chances of getting the mortgage you need. Most residential mortgage lenders ask for a deposit of at least 10%. This means you may need an even larger deposit to buy a steel framed home.

Generally speaking, the bigger your deposit, the more comfortable lenders are about approving your application. This is because it reduces the amount of risk they’re taking on and gives them some protection if things were to go wrong or you couldn’t afford your mortgage payments.

Improve your credit rating

If you’re able to improve your credit rating before applying for a mortgage, this could make it easier to get the loan you need. Unfortunately, building your credit score isn’t an overnight process and it can take a number of months.

Here are a few steps that could help you improve your score:

  • Make existing debt payments on time and in full.
  • Settle any debts you’re in a position to clear.
  • Check your report with the three main credit referencing agencies (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) to look for any inaccuracies
  • Let the referencing agencies know if you spot any mistakes.
  • Register to vote on the electoral roll.
  • Avoid making any unnecessary credit applications.

If you’ve struggled with debt in the past and your credit score has been affected, it may be possible to get a bad credit mortgage.

Use a mortgage broker

A mortgage broker can help you overcome home-buying obstacles and get the loan you need. They’ll know the property market inside out and will be able to compare hundreds of different lenders and mortgage deals to find the right one for you.

Your mortgage advisor will also know which lenders are least likely to approve your application based on your personal circumstances. With this knowledge, they can help you avoid damaging your credit score with a rejected application.

The importance of paying for a building survey

It’s a good idea to pay for a thorough building survey before making an offer on a steel framed property. Since this type of property is considered ‘non-standard’, a Level 3 home survey may be needed. Your surveyor will inspect the property and look out for any issues that could affect its value and make it harder to resell in future.

Not all steel framed houses are built the same way and some are considered less risky than others. If you’re lucky enough to be buying one that does well in the survey, this could make it easier to get a mortgage.

If you apply for a mortgage with a lender who’ll consider lending to steel framed house buyers, they’ll usually carry out a thorough inspection of the property themselves, too. This can make the application process longer than it would be ordinarily and there may be more admin involved.

Speak with a broker who specialises in steel framed properties

We offer a free broker-matching service designed to make it easier to find the right mortgage broker for you. We can even pair you up with a broker who specialises in steel framed properties. They’ll take most of the paperwork and admin off your hands, saving you time, energy and stress.

In some cases, they might even be able to speed up the process and get you a mortgage quicker than if you were applying alone.

Give us a call 0808 189 2301 or make an enquiry. We’ll set up a free, no obligation chat between you and a broker who specialises in helping buyers overcome common steel framed property obstacles.

Maximise your chance of mortgage approval with a specialist in steel framed properties

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We know everyone's circumstances are different, that's why we work with mortgage brokers who are experts in steel framed properties.

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FAQs

A steel framed building can last for decades, as long as they’re cared for properly. If you pay a surveyor to do a thorough inspection, they can determine the quality of the home and help you avoid making a bad investment.

Potentially, but selling a steel framed home can be difficult. Buyers may be reluctant to buy the property from you because of the challenges they face getting a mortgage.

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We know everyone's circumstances are different, that's why we work with mortgage brokers who are experts in steel framed properties.

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About the author

Pete, an expert in all things mortgages, cut his teeth right in the middle of the credit crunch. With plenty of people needing help and few mortgage providers lending, Pete found great success in going the extra mile to find mortgages for people whom many others considered lost causes. The experience he gained, coupled with his love of helping people reach their goals, led him to establish Online Mortgage Advisor, with one clear vision – to help as many customers as possible get the right advice, regardless of need or background.

Pete’s presence in the industry as the ‘go-to’ for specialist finance continues to grow, and he is regularly cited in and writes for both local and national press, as well as trade publications, with a regular column in Mortgage Introducer and being the exclusive mortgage expert for LOVEMoney. Pete also writes for Online Mortgage Advisor of course!

Read more about Pete

Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

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