Selling a BISF house

Selling a BISF house


It all started when Edwin Airey inherited his father’s business. During Second World War the company developed a steel-framed construction system. The idea was to create houses that are quick and easy to build and move to any location. That was an answer to a huge post-war demand for housing.

Soon 20 000 so-called Airey houses were ordered to replace the family homes destroyed during the war. The biggest advantage was that the parts were prefabricated so they could have been moved to any place.

They were becoming more and more popular and the biggest popularity had houses built by the British Iron and Steel Federation, which gave the houses the name known today. It was one of the most successful building systems after the war.

What is a BISF house?

BISF house is a house that is built on a steel frame. Some call them prefab houses. The house came in parts and was being put together at the location. BISF property usually consists of 2 storeys, small windows, characteristic cladding and no porch. As non-standard construction houses, they are not made out of brick. The construction is held by metal posts and concrete panels. Everything can be customised but originally the esthetic aspect of the house wasn’t important. Although it seems like the houses were built out of LEGO it’s worth being aware that they were built to last, not as a temporary solution.

Potential problems

Any non-standard house construction can lead to some problems. Mortgage companies and insurers like anything that’s traditional and standard. Anything outside the box requires specialists care. Non-traditional construction, such as steel-framed BISF houses will need specialists advice. There’s been a lot of controversion around whether the houses are safe to live in or not. It’s mainly due to the fact that allegedly BISF houses were included in the 1984 Housing Defects Act.

One of the biggest disadvantages of BISF houses is the asbestos roof. Back when BISF properties were constructed it was a common material. Now as we know the health and environmental hazards of having asbestos roofs could be very costly to remove because the job needs to be done by a specialist team.

Even though it can come as a surprise how well the houses lasted, similarly to traditional construction – a brick house, non traditional construction pose its own issues.

If you own a BISF house it might be difficult to find a prospective buyer. It’s important to find an estate agent that has experience in selling non standard construction houses. BISF houses may be difficult to get a mortgage on. The lender needs to make sure that the BISF house will sell in the future.

If you are interested in buying a BISF home – and you have some good reasons to be -whilst the repairs can cost more you are generally getting good value for your money – make sure you order a survey from a chartered surveyor. It’s very important to know if there’s a major problem with the property.

Is there anything else I can do?

The short answer is YES!

You can add value to your property by adding brick cladding and fixing the asbestos roof. If you decide to sell a BISF house you can sell it through a traditional estate agent. BISF properties are tricky to sell though. It’s worth checking the market and looking for estate agents who are specializing in selling difficult properties. It most likely will take time to find interested buyers as they will have to find a mortgage company that will be happy to proceed. Another way, instead of going through traditional estate agents is to sell the house to professional property buyers. They specialise in buying such properties. Companies like Speed Property Buyers will provide you with a cash offer within a day and then will buy the house and transfer the money to your account within an earlier agreed timeframe. Selling a BISF house doesn’t have to be difficult, we’re offering a stress-free service! And what’s even better is we will pay fees! Call our friendly team on 01903 331 599

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