Self-build

Key Features

  • We provide a straightforward, individual mortgage service for self-build projects
  • We welcome non-standard construction types, including timber framed builds
  • Our current Standard Variable Rate is 4.65%
    Representative example:
    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
  • 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 or purchase price (whichever is the lower) 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).
Our approach to lending during your build
  • We’ll lend up to 80% of the value of your land with detailed planning permission on a repayment mortgage
  • We release funds when valuations show your self-build has increased in value
  • Our Standard Variable Rate applies until the date we receive evidence that both the work has been completed and the Energy Standard 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. Where a mortgage is not regulated by the FCA (as shown on the 'Key features' tab), you will be provided with full information about the mortgage products available from the Society so that you can make an informed decision as to which is suitable for your requirements.

What we lend on

We don't have a 'tick box' approach to assessing projects –in many instances, we'll welcome projects that standard lenders reject. We will consider:

  • Live/work units
  • Timber frame/clad or steel frame
  • Earth sheltered dwellings
  • Non-traditional constructions, such as straw bale, thatch, rammed earth, and wattle and daub
  • Structured insulated panels
  • Insulated concrete forms.

Our mortgages are available across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

 

Further reading

Our impact

Our impact isn't about the profit we make – it's about the difference we make to the environment and to communities across the UK.

Since 1981 we've lent to over 2,500 projects, supporting individuals, charities, environmental businesses and community-led housing organisations to realise their sustainable living ambitions.

In 2015 we lent £42.1 million to support 264 sustainable properties and projects.

  

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Ecology Building Society was rated as an ethical Best Buy for our mortgages and savings accounts by Ethical Consumer magazine in its product guide rankings (July/August 2016 issue).

 

 

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C-Change discounts explained

As a building society with a unique mission to build a greener society, we only 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, and therefore have lower C02 emissions, and help them save money on their mortgages with our C-Change discounts. 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, C-Change retrofit or C-Change energy improvements discount that applies is based on the Energy Standard rating achieved on the self-build, renovation, conversion or energy improvements when the work is completed. The discount is applied from the date we receive evidence that the work has been completed and the required Energy Standard rating has been achieved.

When your build is complete

For us to apply the C-Change sustainable homes discount, once your build is complete you need to provide an Energy Standard certificate and Architect or Building Control certificate.

The C-Change sustainable homes discount is only applied 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.

How we work out your Variable Mortgage Rate:
Standard Variable Rate (SVR) minus C-Change sustainable homes discount = Variable Mortgage Rate
For new builds and existing energy efficient homes: C-Changes sustainable homes discount

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
Passivhaus EnerPHit or
EnerPHit+i
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
Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) Code Level 4 4.65% 0.75% 3.90%. The overall cost for comparison is 4.80% APRC
Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) Code Level 5 4.65% 1.00% 3.65%. The overall cost for comparison is 4.80% APRC
Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) Code Level 6 4.65% 1.25% 3.40%. 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

Our fees

Residential mortgage valuation fees

Value of property not exceedingFee
£100,000£180
£150,000£210
£200,000£240
£250,000£270
£300,000£300
Up to each £50,000 thereafter add£30

Please note these fees apply to residential and buy-to-let applications.

In all other instances, the fee required will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

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. Depending on the nature of the property, the fee required may on occasion differ from this scale. Valuation fees include VAT.

Application Fee

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.

Self-build FAQs

Do I need to provide planning permission for my self-build?

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 plot and build 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 building to.

What deposit do I need for my self-build?

You need a 20% minimum deposit to buy the land and a further 15% – 20% of total build costs to start your build.

Do I still need a deposit for my self-build if I already own the land and have planning permission?

No, you don’t always need a deposit; we can lend based on the value of your land to start the build, providing you already own the land and it’s mortgage-free. Also, if you need us to, we can help you repay any outstanding finance on the land.

Do you lend on buying the plot/land only?

We don’t just lend on a plot/land purchase. Any project we support needs to show planning details of the proposed build with an indication of the energy standard you are building to, and how the build costs are expected to be funded with savings and mortgage finance.

How long do I have to complete the build?

Subject to planning constraints, we allow a maximum of 2 years for you to complete the self-build, although we encourage you to complete earlier to benefit from our C-Change sustainable homes discount which is applied to our Standard Variable Rate from the date we receive evidence that both the work has been completed and the Energy Standard rating required has been achieved.

Do you offer stage payments for a self-build?

Yes, although the Ecology self-build mortgage does not release payments at set construction milestone stages (e.g. foundation, wall plate etc.). We release funds as and when the build progresses and release up to a percentage of the increased value of the property.

Can I have interest-only during the build 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 self-build?

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 self-build property have to be my main residence?

Yes, although we do offer a buy to let mortgage. Please bear in mind that the property can’t be a second or holiday home or classed as mobile planning.

Do you do mortgages for property renovations or conversions that are eco-friendly?

Yes, we do mortgages for other types of projects. Find details on what we lend on for conversions and renovations.

How to apply

If you're interested in joining Ecology as a borrower, we'd love to hear from you.

Because we take an individual approach to every mortgage, we like to discuss your application with you over the phone to make sure it fits our criteria and to answer any questions you have.

You can contact us on 01535 650 770, or you can email us via our enquiry form. If your enquiry is urgent, please contact us by phone.

When you get in touch with us, it's helpful if you can provide us with some basic information about your project:

  • what you want to do (especially the environmental aspects of your project)
  • how much you'll need to borrow
  • how you intend to finance it.

For residential mortgage enquiries, please contact one of our mortgage advisors to discuss your project and your mortgage requirements.
You can find out more about the process by downloading The application process: a step-by-step guide.