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Last edited 15 Apr 2019
A guide to purchasing a non-standard home
A non-standard home refers to a property that has not been built using the traditional materials that roperty would have been built with. Standard houses are comprised of brick or stone walls with a slate or tile roof, whereas a non-standard construction refers to any property that does not conform to these traditional expectations.
You tend to find non-standard homes in areas where the construction materials are readily available. When buying a non-standard home, you need to fully understand the risks involved and must be aware of the differences when applying for a mortgage and insurance.
 The lifespan of non-standard homes
One of the main reasons people look upon non-standard homes with scepticism is due to the issues that present themselves as the property starts to age. Some non-standard properties feature concrete walls, and as time goes on, these walls can crack and crumble as the steel rods holding the property together begin to corrode.
Although any property can deteriorate over time and there is no timeframe as to when this could happen, non-standard homes are sometimes more susceptible to damage and material breakdown. This makes it more difficult for lenders to judge the risk of the property, which in turn makes it more difficult to secure modern construction home insurance, and this inevitably makes it more difficult to apply for a mortgage.
 Demand for non-standard homes
There is usually a limited demand for non-standard homes due to the difficulties that surround ownership. Not only is it difficult to obtain insurance and a mortgage, it may also be difficult to maintain this type of property and this can discourage buyers as they fear renovation costs could be high. It can be difficult to tell whether a non-standard property has been looked after, and instead of falling victim to steep restoration fees, buyers opt for more traditional properties.
Just like with everything in life, people may be sceptical about things they don’t understand, and this is the same with mortgage lenders.
Lenders are hesitant when it comes to offering a mortgage for a non-standard home, and this is because the demand for such property may be limited. Therefore mortgage providers believe that should you default on your payments, it will be more difficult to recoup their losses in the form of a resale.
Similar to mortgage providers, insurers can lack the specialist skills and knowledge to be able to properly asses the risks of a non-standard home, and in turn they may increase their premium, or in the worst case scenario, refuse to insure the property at all.
Whether you’re buying a timber framed house, prefabricated concrete home, or a log style cabin, it is important to know the risks associated with buying non-standard property and be aware that you may have to sell your house at a lower price than you brought it for in order to generate buyer interest in the future.
--Indlu 14:18, 29 Nov 2018 (BST)
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