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Buying an unusual building? Here's how to get a mortgage on a quirky property

When it comes to lending on investment properties, mainstream banks and building societies prefer to stick to the conventional.

Buying an unusual building? Here's how to get a mortgage on a quirky property

"It's important to look into all the options available to finance a project involving an unusual property."
Daniel Owen-Parr, head of professional sector

Those applicants that have a perfect credit history, a regular salary and a large deposit buying “standard bricks and mortar” will find they’ll probably sail through the process.

But what if you have a clear vision for an unusual investment property that doesn’t neatly fit the standard mould and the tick-box criteria of the mainstream?

Specialist lenders like Together will take each case on its merits, allowing investors and landlords to obtain a mortgage or secured loan on a huge variety of properties, even if they are not the norm.

For instance, the lender will consider providing finance for buildings such as wooden-framed homes, those made predominantly of glass, penthouse flats, thatched cottages, and even windmills, castles or converted public toilets.

There are some good examples on Rightmove’s interesting blog looking at each month’s unconventional properties that it has for sale via its website. These include some stunning buildings, which may make interesting investments for property professionals looking for something a little bit quirky or different, but which may pose a problem when securing a mortgage through the usual channels.

The property price comparison site’s picks include a four-storey grade II listed windmill with views over the Welland Valley in Rutland (pictured). The historic structure was previously a holiday let and is linked to a brick-built six-bedroom home, added in 1997, and 15 acres of land. Following its refurbishment, the windmill is on the market for £1.5 million.

Those who fancy converting an old church or chapel could take as their inspiration an impressive, refurbished Salvation Army headquarters in Brixton, south London. The Rightmove property details show images of the beautifully designed interior of the £2.2 million two-bedroom refurbished church, which has a library and sweeping staircase, leading to a mezzanine floor. Initially converted for use as a photography studio, it was restored and refurbished to create 2,800 sq ft of accommodation.

Another attractive investment opportunity could be a four-bedroom, wooden-built detached home in Scotland. The architect-designed £550,000 property, in Inverness-shire stands on stilts in rugged countryside with stunning views across the West Highlands. Nearby beaches have been used as filming locations for TV and films, such as Local Hero and Monarch of the Glen, and are renowned as the perfect viewpoint for wonderful sunsets over Skye and the Small Isles.

Daniel Owen-Parr, head of professional sector and auction at Together, said: “We provide specialist buy-to-let and commercial mortgages as well as bridging finance, and use our common sense to consider applications on “non-standard” properties like these, even if mainstream banks and building societies have previously turned down a lending application.

“It’s important to look into all the options available to finance a project involving an unusual property. However, Together can offer the financial support needed for savvy property professionals to snap up unconventional buildings, either through estate agents or at auction, allowing them to turn their vision into a reality – and optimise their return on investment.”

Find out more at Togethermoney.com