Bungalows make for pleasant dwellings – and their single-storey construction makes them especially attractive to the elderly and infirm.

Since most bungalows were built some time ago, they tend to sit on larger plots and, therefore, offer a greater degree of privacy. Although they were more expensive to build square foot for the square foot than a two-storey house, the single floor of a bungalow makes it typically easier and cheaper to heat and keep warm.

Despite a steadily ageing population – for whom bungalows remain an attractive proposition – relatively few are built these days, so the imbalance between demand and supply is likely to make a bungalow a sound investment, suggests the Property Buying Company.


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What are Woolaway bungalows?

For all those attractions, however, the so-called Woolaway bungalow comes with a number of issues that make it a potentially less attractive buy – not least because a Woolaway bungalow mortgage is likely to prove more difficult to secure. Why is that? Let’s take a closer look.

These bungalows were built from 1953 onwards by a company called W Woolaway & Sons Ltd – hence the name – who were based in Devon. The company used a method of building bungalows with prefabricated concrete panels slotted into a concrete frame. Some sources say the company – which also constructed houses to a similar design – built as many as a total of 5,500 or more homes between 1946 and 1956.

Before too long, however, shortcomings became all too apparent – chiefly associated with the use of concrete panels and framework. The single skin of concrete panels provided little insulation and made Woolaway bungalows hard to heat.

The houses that Woolaway built using these construction techniques were listed as defective in the Housing Defects Act of 1984 and also officially Designated Defective by the UK’s Building Research Establishment – the bungalows, though, were never designated as defective.

Why may it be difficult to get a Woolaway prefabricated bungalow mortgage?

Although there has been no designation as defective housing for its bungalows, the Woolaway method is still non-standard construction. Poor insulation and the limited lifespan of much of the concrete structure together with the challenge of heating the bungalow have all contributed to difficulties in selling these older properties.

To overcome some of the shortcomings and remedy the weaknesses of the non-standard construction techniques, specialist – and potentially extensive and costly – attention and building works are required.

A non-standard construction mortgage always represents more of a challenge for prospective buyers and, so, Woolaway construction lenders tend to be few and relatively far between. You might want to draw on the expertise of an experienced mortgage broker to identify lenders for what is effectively a Woolaway prefabricated mortgage.

Can I get a Woolaway construction mortgage?

Non-standard construction homes typically demand more maintenance, by specialist tradesmen, and the costs are necessarily that much steeper. That adversely affects the demand for Woolaway bungalows and depresses their resale value. Against such a background, mortgage lenders will be wary of making any advance.

Specialist Woolaway construction lenders will be somewhat more inclined to entertain your application now that the majority of these bungalows have been remodelled and practically rebuilt by replacing the old concrete wall panels with traditional, double-skinned brickwork that also significantly improves the insulation qualities.

It works in whichsome companies – such as Valley Developments Ltd   specialise. The building firm explains that they start by laying a new strip foundation around the property and tie this to the original – sinking new drainage pipes where necessary. With the existing structure adequately supported, demolition of the existing walls can be followed by the construction of traditional, standard brick or blockwork. New doors, windows, and rainwater goods can also be fitted if these are required.

What is a PRC certificate for mortgages?

When these building works have been completed, a pre-cast reinforced concrete (PRC) certificate can be issued. This serves to confirm that the remedial works have been properly and successfully completed.

Most Woolaway bungalow mortgage lenders will insist on such a PRC certificate. It gives any lender the necessary confidence and reassurance that approved structural repairs have been made – in line with the PRC that has been issued. Without the PRC, your application for a mortgage is unlikely to prove successful.

How do Woolaway bungalow mortgages work?

Armed with the necessary PRC certificate and a recognition that you will be choosing from a smaller pool of potential mortgage lenders, the process is largely the same as for any kind of mortgage application. In other words, the lender will want to scrutinise your income, outgoings, and other personal circumstances while at the same time requesting checks from the credit reference agencies to determine your creditworthiness and how you have managed your debts in the past.

Because your mortgage application features borrowing on a non-standard construction dwelling, any lender will naturally consider you to represent a bigger than usual risk. That means you are likely to be asked to put down a larger deposit, may need to pay a higher rate of interest on any advance, and will be the subject of more rigorous credit checks and affordability stress tests.

Even when all of this is in the bag, you will still need to demonstrate to any lender the condition of the property as it is revealed in a detailed structural survey – that you commission and pay for.

The success or failure of your mortgage application may hinge on the surveyor’s detailed report.

Next steps – woolaway construction mortgage

Whenever non-standard construction is involved in a property you are thinking of buying arranging the mortgage can prove more than usually challenging. Those challenges are likely to be multiplied if you are looking for a Woolaway prefabricated mortgage.

If that is the case, therefore, you might want to make an early request for advice and assistance from specialists such as us at NeedingAdvice.co.uk to find a potential mortgage lender and guide you through the application process.

FAQs – Woolaway bungalow mortgage

Can I get a Woolaway bungalow mortgage?

Yes, you can get a woolaway bungalow mortgage but you may need to understand that such woolaway constructions, it is harder to get the mortgage when compared to regular construction homes. As such properties fall under non-standard construction, which raises questions for street mortgage lenders. But if you are still interested in such mortgages, you can contact an independent mortgage broker before starting your application.

Should I buy a woolaway bungalow?

Buying a woolaway bungalows is not recommended because they are very difficult to sell once built. This is due to their unique design and style which makes them stand out from standard house designs. They are also expensive to build and maintain. If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, you should ensure that you can afford the repayments. You can contact a financial adviser, you can help with your woolaway bungalow purchase.

Are bungalow mortgages any different?

Yes, bungalow mortgages are different from standard mortgages. Mortgages for different bungalows are different because of the mortgage affordability and lending criteria of banks and building societies. The main difference between the two types of loans is the type of construction used. Standard houses are made using bricks and mortar whereas woolaway bungalows use pre-fabricated materials.

What does woolaway construction mean?

A Woolaway construction is a type of construction in which a house is constructed using prefabricated components. These components are manufactured off-site and then transported to the job site where they are assembled into a complete structure. A Woolaway home has a number of advantages over traditional brick and mortar housing. It is cheaper to build and easier to transport. It is also less time consuming and requires fewer skilled tradesmen. However, there are some disadvantages associated with woolaway homes. For example, they are often considered to be less secure than other types of housing. In addition, they are generally more expensive to build and maintain than standard houses.

Can I get a mortgage on woolaway construction property?

Yes, you can get a mortgage on a wollaway construction property. Some high street lenders may not approve your application, but there are specialist mortgage lenders who can provide such mortgages. However, there are different conditions for such mortgages, for example, some lenders ask for rebuilding all the external walls.

Can I get a woolaway construction mortgage with bad credit issues?

Yes, you will find many lenders who offer woolaway construction mortgages even though they have bad credit issues. Such bad credit mortgages are usually offered by specialist lenders who have specialised knowledge about woolaway construction. There are no restrictions on getting a woolaway construction mortgage, so long as you meet the basic requirements.

Can I get a residential mortgage for woolaway bungalow?

Yes, you can apply for a woolaway bungalow mortgage. However, you must first make sure that you qualify for the loan. Most lenders require you to demonstrate that you can afford the repayment of the loan. You can do this by showing that you have sufficient income or savings. If you are interested, you can contact a specialist mortgage broker for your application.