The UK’s rural areas are littered with properties of breath-taking grandeur, a remnant of a time when Britain’s aristocratic families lived in stately splendour. Unfortunately, these properties are incredibly expensive to run and maintain, with many requiring extensive refurbishment to modernise the facilities.
These stately country homes vary in size and public visibility; those lucky enough to be used as location sets, for example, can generate profit by opening their doors to the public. However, the majority of these properties are not so lucky, meaning they can represent a financial burden.
A country house development project is therefore a viable option for the owners, and savvy developers can turn a considerable profit. Many English country homes are now being split down into elegant apartments. The owners and developers can take out a loan to regenerate and refurbish the properties, with the sale of the apartments offering a clear exit strategy for the loan.
For residents, this offers the chance to live in a prestigious location without the need to maintain large grounds. As an additional bonus, these plots are usually developed with luxury facilities on site, such as gyms and spacious parking.
Living in communal apartment development also offsets the security risk of living in a remote country location; if you have valuable assets such as luxury vehicles, these will be much safer. As such, these developments are ideal for wealthy foreign nationals living across countries, or those who travel frequently. By purchasing a luxury apartment in a development such as this, you can combine rural living with peace of mind.
How to fund a country house development
So how could you fund the purchase and development of a country estate? The price of such properties varies broadly, but it is possible for potential developers to strike a good bargain—particularly if the property needs extensive refurbishment and development. Many of these properties have also been inherited by family members who do not have the time or inclination to continue trying to manage the estate, so there is potential for negotiation.
Alternatively, if you are the owner of such a property and would like to develop the site but lack development experience, we can assist you. We have a track record of arranging first time developer finance and would be very happy to advise you on this.
How much could you borrow?
Generally, lenders will restrict borrowing to around 75% of the total cost of the build, providing it doesn’t exceed a gross development value (GDV) set by the lender. If your development costs were £1million, and your projected GDV was £2million, with the lender setting 60% GDV as the maximum loan value, the lender will be happy to lend the £750,000 requested as it is below £1.2million – which is 60% GDV.
However, our lender network does allow us to consider unusual cases; if you have a development project in mind, we would recommend contacting us directly to discuss your personal circumstances.