- 6th July 2021
- Posted by: DMM
- Category: Development Finance
Taking on the restoration of an historic building is not necessarily for the feint hearted and obtaining funding for barn conversions also comes with its own challenges. However, the rewards for a successful barn conversion can be a property that oozes character and unique features that can wow purchasers.
These rustic, often-redundant, farm buildings can provide large open plan spaces, period features and a location with countryside charm. All great things on the tick list for those seeking a character home and an idyllic lifestyle. These conversions are not a new concept of course and the appetite for these lovely old buildings goes back over decades.
Why Seek Funding for Barn Conversions?
- A well converted barn will have character features that will attract purchasers
- Large open spaces ideal for stylish modern contemporary living
- The potential for large windows (subject to planning restrictions) can create light filled living space
- High roof lines can enable mezzanine floors for extra accommodation
- Attractive elevations that will be unique and often with historic details
- The location will often provide countryside views and good size gardens
What Does a Lender Look for When Providing Funding for Barn Conversions?
Transforming these commercial buildings does take careful consideration. The skillset of a developer taking on one of these projects will be a top consideration for a lender providing funding for barn conversions. Technical ability also must be balanced with a careful design to make the most of the space and historic features whilst sympathetically introducing the features of modern living.
Considerations for Property Developers Considering a Barn Conversion
- Strict planning laws may restrict changes to the building
- Hidden construction issues may increase the build cost
- Lenders will want to see relevant skills from the developer
- High upfront costs for acquiring the building(s)
- How accessible is the barn and where are the local amenities?
- Additional surveys may be required i.e. for bats, barn owls, etc
- Authentic and sympathetic building materials may be expensive
- Feasibility of introducing services including high speed internet
When restoring any historic building there can be many issues that surface during the course of the project and successfully managing the solutions come with experience. Such issues can be costly and cause delays to carefully laid plans. It is, therefore, not surprising that some lenders will shy away from providing funding for barn conversions. Nevertheless, there are lenders that will provide funding for barn conversions across the UK.