Free Mortgage Advice

Can I get a mortgage…? Non-Standard / Non-Traditional Properties

Many people believe that non-standard construction properties cannot be mortgaged and often estate agents may market them as ‘cash only’ properties.

Whilst it is true these properties are more difficult to mortgage and insure, many of them can still be depending on the circumstances.

So, you may ask what the benefits of this are? Well there are many, for those selling having an outlet to get a mortgage for your buyers may boost the sale price achieved and the market for your property. For those buying, often non-standard properties are sold at below the market price of standard construction properties in the same area and so your dream property in your desired location might become a reality.

The reason that obtaining a mortgage with a non-standard property can be more difficult is that many high-street lenders exclude these types of properties from their lending criteria. A mortgage broker is usually well placed to locate the correct lender for the client’s circumstances and property chosen, so please get in touch today.

To make the situation more complicated there are a lot of non-standard properties that are under Local Authority or Housing Association control and this means that First Time Buyers using Right to Buy and Right to Acquire schemes may find themselves struggling to find a mortgage lender. This points again to using a knowledgeable mortgage broker to help you locate the right mortgage for you.

Please visit our Right to Buy and Right to Acquire pages.

So, what do we mean by non-standard properties? Generally, standard construction means brick or stone walls with a slate or tile roof. Materials outside of these might be considered non-standard by mortgage lenders and insurers.

There are many types of non-standard properties and I will summarise some of them below:

Steel Framed:

Steel frame houses are generally easy to build, can be lightweight in nature and can be an affordable housing solution. However, they can be difficult to mortgage and insure. This is because repairs can be expensive, and they are not seen as being very flame resistant. This is due to the heat from a fire warping the steel. Many of these properties however can be mortgaged and insured and I would recommend speaking to us regarding your situation to find out how we can help.

BISF Construction:

BISF houses are steel framed houses built by the British Iron and Steel Federation from 1946. There are around 50,000 across the country. There are issues that can make mortgaging and insuring BISF properties difficult. This includes the use of asbestos in their construction and that they can deteriorate around the bases of the steel used in construction. BISF is a common non-standard construction property type and we have spoken to people who have needed our help in finding a mortgage for them in the past.

Timber Framed:

Some high-street mortgage and insurance providers view timber-framed homes as non-standard. This can be due to the increased fire risk associated with such properties. Many of these properties can again however be mortgaged and I would recommend getting in touch to discuss your situation.

Prefabricated and Modular:

Prefabricated homes are largely built off-site and then assembled at the property’s location. These types of property were mainly built after the Second World War in a response to housing shortages. They were often designed as temporary homes, but many are still around and in working order today. These properties can be excluded from mainstream mortgage lenders policies depending on the types of materials used. However, mortgages can be found for many of them and it is worth discussing your situation with us to find out how we can help.


Concrete homes are also often prefabricated or modular properties, although some properties are constructed from concrete blocks rather than preformed slabs, making them a slightly different risk. Concrete construction is also very typical in Local Authority construction, especially in tower blocks that were built up and down the country. If you have had difficulty obtaining a mortgage on a concrete property please get in touch so we can discuss your situation, as there are mortgage lenders who will readily consider many concrete properties.


Cob building is a traditional construction type consisting of natural building materials that are mixed together and used in property construction. As the materials used are often very different from ‘standard properties’, it can be difficult to mortgage and insure and specialist help is often required.


Bungaroosh construction uses lots of different materials e.g. broken bricks, cobblestones, flint, sand and pieces of wood. This construction type is most common among properties in the south-east, particularly Brighton. It was common in these areas from the late 18th to late 19th century. Due to nature of the construction specialist help when looking for mortgage or insurances is often required. Please get in touch to discuss your mortgage needs for this property type.

Wimpey no fines: A form of concrete construction it can be difficult to mortgage or insure Wimpey no fines homes, and specialist help is often sought. It is possible to mortgage many Wimpey no fines properties depending on the situation so please get in touch to discuss.