Beauty and the bank

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The Independent Culture
Gordon and Heather Logan, right, knew the plot of land was just right for them. Nearly half an acre, in a beautiful residential district in Billingham, in the North of England, it had the scope for a luxurious four-bedroomed detached home.

The land cost pounds 110,000 and Mr Logan, who is a builder, knew he could build the house for pounds 90,000. But lenders were wary of his self-employed status.

"My husband has banked with Barclays since becoming self-employed," Mrs Logan says. "We went to them and they were quite happy to lend on the basis of a proven record of previous building work. We recently started building and expect to take between seven and eight months."