We specialise in conversion mortgages, such as barn conversions or conversions of pubs, churches and other derelict buildings into residential use, for properties that will meet specific energy ratings when converted. We consider unique, eco conversion projects or extensions to existing homes.
Our current Standard Variable Rate is 4.65%
A mortgage of £95,300 payable over 25 years on our Standard Variable Rate, currently 4.65%, would require 300 monthly payments of £537.85.
The total amount payable would be £161,895 made up of the loan amount plus interest (£66,055) and a mortgage application fee of £300 and a valuation fee of £240 (assuming a purchase price of £200,000).
The overall cost for comparison is 4.80% APRC representative
We’ll consider lending up to four times joint or sole income subject to loan-to-value and an affordability assessment
Energy efficient homes are rewarded with discounts off our Standard Variable Rate - see details below of how our C-Change sustainable homes discounts work
Mortgages are available on a repayment, interest-only or part (repayment) and part (interest-only) basis, subject to eligibilty
Interest-only and part interest-only mortgages are subject to an acceptable repayment vehicle
You can borrow up to 80% of the property’s value on a repayment basis, or up to 75% interest-only or part (repayment) and part (interest-only)
An early repayment charge may be payable if you repay all or part of your mortgage within the first two years
A non-refundable mortgage application fee of £300 is payable in addition to a mortgage valuation fee
A maximum mortgage term of 30 years is available, subject to eligibility.
If your project requires planning permission or listed building consent, this will need to be in place before we lend any mortgage funds.
What we lend on
We are experts in providing residential mortgages for property conversions of non residential buildings. We don't have a 'tick box' approach to assessing projects –in many instances, we'll welcome projects that standard lenders may not accept. We will consider:
- Derelict barns, cow sheds
- Redundant garages
- Water Towers
- Churches and Chapels
- Oast Houses
- Redundant pubs (public houses).
Our mortgages are available in the UK (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland).
Our approach to lending during your conversion project
- We release funds when valuations show your conversion project has increased in value
- Our Standard Variable Rate applies during the works and our discounts are applied from the date we receive evidence that the conversion works have been completed and the energy rating required has been achieved.
Our standard of service
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has laid down detailed rules about the service we must offer on regulated residential mortgages. Under these rules, we will provide you with advice and recommendation on which of the Society's products is most suitable for you, based on your needs, preferences and affordability.
Jenny’s story: A simple and light urban Passivhaus
Project type: Self-build
In her mind’s eye, Jenny wanted a self-built home that was simple and beautiful, plain but not austere, with high ceilings and flooded with light from every direction. She also wanted to create a low-energy and low-tech build, constructed from sustainable, locally sourced materials. With the support of an Ecology mortgage, Jenny achieved this ...ReadSee all projects
Nina and Phil’s story: Big love for a smallholding
Project type: Woodlands
Frustrated by the ethos and stresses of many modern businesses, Nina and Phil wanted to do things differently. Their dream of running a sustainable, low-impact smallholding began in 2007. After viewing several parcels of land, the couple identified an inspiring fifteen-acre plot high above the town of Silsden in West Yorkshire. Approaching ...ReadSee all projects
Rob and Karin’s story: The first certified Passivhaus Plus in the UK
Project type: Self-build
Rob and Karin set out to build a comfortable family home that would improve their quality of life as well as reduce their carbon footprint. They chose the Passivhaus Plus standard for their build, which combines the Passivhaus approach to minimising energy requirements with on-site renewable energy generation. This means that the building ...ReadSee all projects
Irene and David’s story: Converting to Passivhaus
Project type: Conversion
After living happily in a Victorian house on the outskirts of Ripon, North Yorkshire, for 20 years, Irene and David were ready for a change. They wanted a home that was less costly to heat and maintain, in a location that would reduce their reliance on car travel. This is exactly what they achieved. Their new house is an energy-efficient converted ...ReadSee all projects
Ecology Building Society was rated as an ethical Best Buy for our mortgages, ISAs and savings accounts by Ethical Consumer magazine in its product guide rankings (May/June 2018 issue).
As a building society with a unique mission to build a greener society, we lend on projects and properties that support our aims through their reduced impact on our environment. Making your home energy efficient is a major way you can support tackling climate change – while saving on your energy bills.
We reward borrowers whose properties are energy efficient (therefore have lower carbon emissions) with our C-Change discounts off our Standard Variable Rate which helps them save money on their mortgage. We call our discounts ‘C-Change discounts’ simply because we’re aiming to make a ‘sea-change’ of difference to our climate with each property or project we fund.
The level of our C-Change sustainable homes or C-Change retrofit discount that applies is based on the Energy Standard rating achieved on the self-build, renovation or conversion when the work is completed. Our C-Change energy improvements discount is based on the qualifying energy measures being installed. The discount is applied from the date we receive evidence that the work has been completed and if applicable the Energy Standard rating required has been achieved.
When your conversion works are complete and you provide us with the required evidence, we will either apply the C-Change sustainable homes discount or C-Change energy improvements discount, depending on the discount your project qualifies for.
For us to apply the C-Change sustainable homes discount, you need to provide an Energy Standard certificate and Architect or Building Control certificate. We will apply the applicable C-Change sustainable homes discount to our Standard Variable Rate from the date we receive evidence that the work has been completed and the Energy Standard rating required has been achieved.
For us to apply the C-Change energy improvements discount, please supply us with invoices for qualifying works. We will apply the applicable C-Change energy improvements discount to our Standard Variable Rate from the date we receive the required invoices.
How we work out your Variable Mortgage Rate:
Standard Variable Rate (SVR) minus C-Change Discount = Variable Mortgage Rate
Our C-Change sustainable homes discount applies to new and existing energy efficient homes and extensive retrofits using the Passivhaus EnerPHit methodology. Once your build is complete, you need to provide an Energy Standard certificate and Architect/Building Control certificate for us to apply the Sustainable C-Change discount. The discount is applied from the date we receive all the required documentation and is based on the Energy Standard rating the property achieves.
|Energy Standard||Ratings||SVR (Standard Variable Rate)||Discount %||Variable Mortgage Rate|
|Passivhaus||Passivhaus||4.65%||1.25%||3.40%. The overall cost for comparison is 4.80% APRC|
|4.65%||1.25%||3.40%. The overall cost for comparison is 4.80% APRC|
|Passivhaus||EnerPHit (PHPP modelled)||4.65%||0.75%||3.90%. The overall cost for comparison is 4.80% APRC|
|Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)||A or above||4.65%||0.75%||3.90%. The overall cost for comparison is 4.80% APRC|
|Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)||B (SAP rating 85+)||4.65%||0.50%||4.15%. The overall cost for comparison is 4.80% APRC|
|Association for Environment Conscious Building (AECB)||Silver||4.65%||0.75%||3.90%. The overall cost for comparison is 4.80% APRC|
|Association for Environment Conscious Building (AECB)||Gold||4.65%||1.25%||3.40%. The overall cost for comparison is 4.80% APRC|
The C-Change energy improvement scheme offers a discount of 1% on funds borrowed for qualifying energy measure installations (listed in the table below) and is applied once work is completed and evidenced by invoices. Please note the discount is applied to funds borrowed for energy improvement measures only and our Standard Variable Mortgage Rate will apply to the rest of the mortgage.
For example, if you borrow £150,000 and £50,000 is used for energy improvements, once all work is completed and evidenced, we would apply a 1% discount from our Standard Variable Rate to the £50,000 used for energy improvements and our Standard Variable Rate would apply to the rest of the mortgage.
|Energy improvement measures which can benefit from the discount||SVR (Standard Variable Rate)||Discount % applied to funds used for energy improvements||Variable Mortgage Rate|
|Floor, wall and roof insulation|
Double or triple glazing
Wet underfloor heating systems
High efficiency condensing boilers
Solar water heating
Ground source heat pumps
Heat recovery systems
Low water-use appliances
Rain water harvesting
|4.65%||1.00% applied on funds borrowed for qualifying energy improvement works (see C-Change energy improvement checklist)||3.65% The overall cost for comparison is 4.80% APRC
(Our 4.65% Standard Variable Mortgage Rate will apply to the rest of the mortgage)
Residential mortgage valuation fees
|Value of property not exceeding||Fee|
|Up to each £50,000 thereafter add||£30|
Please note these valuation fees apply to residential and buy-to-let applications and include VAT.
In all other instances, the fee required will be determined on a case-by-case basis and depends on the nature of the property.
A more detailed inspection, such as a Homebuyers Report can often be provided by the same valuer at a fee to be negotiated. Please advise on this point when submitting your application.
A non-refundable mortgage application fee of £300 is payable in addition to a mortgage valuation fee.
Early repayment charge
An early repayment charge may be payable if you repay all or part of your mortgage within the first two years.
Our services, fees, tariffs and charges
The Society reserves the right to amend existing services and charges, or to introduce new ones.
Any change to charges will only reflect the increased operational costs of providing the service. You will always be notified before any changes are implemented.
For further details and tariff information please see Our rates and charges leaflet.
Does Ecology require planning permission for my conversion project?
Yes. We need at least outline planning permission to start the application process and detailed planning permission before the mortgage is released.
What information do I need to progress a mortgage application?
You’ll need to have a specific property conversion in mind which needs to be supported by detailed plans, including a breakdown of material and labour costs and an indication of the Energy Standard you are converting to.
What deposit do I need for my conversion project?
You need a 20% minimum deposit to buy the property and a further 15% – 20% of total conversion costs to start your project.
Do I still need a deposit for my conversion if I already own the property and have planning permission?
No, you don’t always need a deposit; we can lend based on the value of your property to start the conversion, providing you already own the property and it’s mortgage-free. Also, we can help you repay any outstanding finance on the property if you need it.
Do borrowers who are planning to convert their property need to show how they plan to improve the property’s energy efficiency?
Any project we support needs to show planning details of the proposed conversion with an indication of the Energy Standard you are converting to, and how the project costs are expected to be funded with savings and mortgage finance. We don’t just lend to purchase the property.
How long do I have to complete the conversion?
Subject to planning constraints, we allow a maximum of 2 years for you to complete the conversion, although we encourage you to complete earlier to benefit from our C-Change discount (C-Change sustainable homes or C-change energy improvement). The applicable discount is applied to our Standard Variable Rate when we receive evidence that the work has been completed and the Energy Standard rating required has been achieved.
Do you offer stage payments for a conversion?
Yes, although the Ecology conversion mortgage does not release payments at set construction milestone stages. We release funds as and when the conversion progresses and release up to a percentage of the increased value of the property.
Can I have an interest-only mortgage during the conversion phase?
We offer an interest-only mortgage only when you have a qualifying repayment vehicle to support this for example an established ISA, endowment policies or Pension Plan.
Does Ecology require a particular build warranty on completion of my conversion?
A build warranty is not a mandatory lending requirement of our mortgage and we are happy with a Building Regulation Completion Certificate. However, if you wish to take out a build warranty for the completion of the property then this is acceptable to the Society.
Does the conversion property have to be my main residence?
Yes, although we do offer a buy-to-let mortgage. Please bear in mind that we don’t offer mortgages for second homes, holiday homes or homes classed as mobile planning.