Sticking to origins

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The Independent Online
BUILDING SOCIETIES still retain traces of their origins 200 years ago, when they were formed to help members finance the building of their own homes. Bradford & Bingley will lend up to 75 per cent of the cost of getting a house built, financing each stage from planning permission and land purchase to building and fitting out.

Members these days usually commission professionals to do the building, or assemble kits produced by construction companies such as Potton Homes or Skandia Huus. But Marja Van der Lunden (left) who runs a garden nursery near Eastbourne, actually dug the footings for her home. Self-builders can have homes built to their own specifications and design, and still save substantial sums on the cost, ending up with "positive equity" in an asset worth more than the cost of construction.

Picture by EDWARD WEBB