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Hi,
Myself and my partner are first time buyers. We have just viewed a house and were told that it is a BISF house. We liked the property and are considering putting in an offer but were just wondering if there were any additional things/costs we should be considering beforehand? (e.g. will insurance be more? is there anything in the house we should be looking for? will the survey cost more?). Any advice you can offer would be gratefully received.
Hazel

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You really need to look at the local market and not just take internet “wisdoms” as fact. For example, here in Bath there are several hundred BISF houses so they do come up for sale quite often and are normally snapped up within a few weeks – no evidence of being difficult to sell. But there are not many lower-priced semi-detached houses in Bath so the local conditions are important. If you live somewhere where traditional houses are slow to sell, I can imagine a BISF house may be more so.

I would advise to only take advice from people who actually have experience as there is a lot of nonsense about BISF houses about from people who have no experience – for example that they were only meant to be temporary, that they are defective, that they are unmortgageable etc. Also the potential problems faced by BISF houses can seem scary just because they are not the norm, and are not necessarily worse than problems that traditional houses can suffer from – for example masonry cracking caused by ground movement, rising damp and internal condensation problems, decaying timber ground floors etc.

As for advantages, there are quite a few. If you are DIYing, it’s a lot easier to work with a BISF house’s timber timber studwork and board walls than with masonry. It’s also a lot easier generally to make changes to the layout and to hide cables, pipes and other services in the walls. BISF houses are lighter and airier than most traditional houses and often have larger gardens.

Ed

  • Thomas

    Thank you, Ed.

    I completely agree with what you said, however fact that some Mortgage providers won’t touch such properties do not fill me with confidence.

    We decided to go through with the purchase.

    Thank you!

    Tom

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Hi,

We’re in exactly same position. We made an offer on our dream house, but when surveyor went it we were told house is BISF? Read a little bit about BISF houses on internet and it looks like it is quite tricky to sell them?

Would we need a building survey to make sure there are no damages to the steel construction?

Don’t know what to do 🙁

Hazel, have you bought the house?

What are the advantages of BISF houses, cause at the moment I am only finding disadvantages 🙁

Thank you.
Tom

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Hi Hazel
Generally the buildings insurance does not cost more, but some insurers will not let you carry out a policy on houses that are not brick built. My insurance is with my morgage provider (The Nationwide)

Survey does not cost more, and generally the surveyor will not have a clue about BSIF houses so you should sail though with no issues.

You should certainly consider and research the pros and cons of BSIF as there are MANY advantages and disadvantages over a traditional brick build house.

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