Borrowing on a prefab
March 10, 2010 6:44 AM   Subscribe

I'm thinking of buying a pre-fab house (post-war construction I suspect; concrete slabs) in the UK but I've been advised that some mortgage companies and banks are reluctant to lend on this sort of property. Can anyone offer advice about which lenders I could approach?

Your advice and experiences of similar properties would also be welcome.
posted by BrokenEnglish to Work & Money (3 answers total)
 
The Ecology building society will lend on strange properties, if you have a green angle (and maybe if you don't). Only if it's your first home though - they have a policy of not lending on holiday/2nd homes. Website here.
posted by handee at 7:07 AM on March 10, 2010


My dad used to 'reclaim' various PRC (preformed reinforced concrete) houses.

The big problem with them (as I understand it) is that they used calcium carbonate to make the concrete harden faster. The side effect of this is that it made the concrete degrade over time.

In the 1980/1990s there was a pretty major push to reclaim all the PRC houses. Unfortunately, it was reliant on people knowing there was a problem; people realising their house was a PRC house; people getting grants in time; etc etc, which meant that a fair few of the "right to buy" houses got missed in the main push.

Now, if the house has been reclaimed, then I believe that it should be as acceptable as any other house to a lender. The problems start if the house hasn't be reclaimed or if there's no record of it being done.

A surveyor should be able to tell you if the house has been reclaimed properly or not.

Disclaimer : this is based on knowledge I gleaned from my father 20 years ago when he spent time driving round Swindon searching for Cornish Units, Aries, and christ knows what other cryptically named concrete boxes he could find to send grant info to...
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 8:03 AM on March 10, 2010


We bought our Laing Easiform semi 3 years ago. At the time Nationwide wouldnt lend on it and we went with Northern Rock. When it came to renewing our mortgage after two years Nationwide had changed policies and we went with them.

Its a really solid little house, no danger of anything crawling into a wall and dying. There is something very pleasing about the proportion of the rooms which feel square and sensible.

Regulating the temperature can be interesting. We're yet to update the heating so we don't turn all the heaters on to save on bills in the Winter. In the rooms with the heating on it's absolutely cosy unlike some of the drafty high ceiling Victorian properties I've lived in, the rooms without heat are of course freezing especially on the detached side of the house. If anything it can get a little too warm in the Summer. What I like most about it is it's quiet. We very rarely hear the neighbours through the walls. I've lived in a modern flat and several Victorian terraces all of which were absolutely miserable in comparison for noise travelling through the walls.

You'll need a really good drill to put up any shelves!

We're yet to embark on any major DIY so I can't speak to how easy it would be to reconfigure but our kitchen/dining room was knocked through by the previous owner so I presume its doable. Yet to discover what any re-wiring or plumbing changes may entail although having removed some wallpaper in places we've discovered wiring in channels made in the concrete.
posted by Ness at 9:02 AM on March 11, 2010


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