Keen to self-build? Here’s how to find your land

Custom & Self Build, General

More than 40,000 people have signed up for the UK government’s Right to Build register since it was launched in 2016, showing that there’s significant demand for self-building plots. Keen to self-build? Here’s how to find your landKeen to build your own home? It can be tricky to find the perfect piece of land, so we’ve come up with four simple suggestions that could speed up the process.

1. Register on the Right to Build Portal

Keen to self-build? Here’s how to find your landDesigned to combat the housing crisis by making more plots available, the government’s Right to Build scheme launched in 2016. As a result, local authorities have to provide enough plots to meet demand and councils are required to keep a register of aspiring self-builders.

To register your interest, simply visit the Right to Build Portal set up by the National Custom and Self Build Association. You may need to be flexible, as councils aren’t legally obliged to meet your exact requirements. Many councils also prioritise applicants who have a local connection.

Some of the self-build plots on offer will already have planning permission in place, while others will also have their utilities connected. Known as serviced plots, these are ready to build on, as they even include access to a public highway.

2. Explore the area

Keen to self-build? Here’s how to find your landDriving or walking around the area you’d like to live in is a great way to begin your search for potential plots. Side gardens, infill sites, disused garage blocks and neglected buildings are all worth considering.

Local residents can also be a valuable source of information, so why not knock on a few doors or pen a polite letter introducing yourself as a potential buyer? You’ll probably have more luck if you emphasise the fact that you’re keen to become actively involved with the community. Placing adverts in shops and mentioning your search to local taxi drivers can also help to spread the word.

Finally, we recommend finding out whether any local residents who have been granted planning permission are keen to sell their plot on. You’ll find a register of permissions that have been granted but not yet started on every local authority’s website.

3. Look online

Keen to self-build? Here’s how to find your landTo speed up the search for your perfect plot, we also suggest checking out a few specialist plot finding websites. As well as listing thousands of self-build plots, websites like PlotBrowser, and PlotSearch enable you to search maps, download fact sheets and keep up to date with self-building statistics.

It’s also worth visiting more general property websites such as Rightmove, PrimeLocation, Zoopla and Movehut. To find out whether any self-build plots are available in your preferred area, simply refine your search to land only.

4. Approach agents

Keen to self-build? Here’s how to find your landDon’t forget to make the most of any local estate agents. Add your name to relevant mailing lists and try to speak to each agent face to face, as this will convince them that you’re serious buyers.

While some estate agents don’t sell land, it’s still worth talking to them, as they may know of a prime plot that’s currently occupied by a dilapidated building. However, if you do decide to demolish a property in order to build your own, make sure you arrange an asbestos survey, a bat survey and a geotechnical survey, or you could face unexpected building costs.

As the housing crisis shows no sign of abating, it’s perhaps no surprise that the National Custom and Self Build Association hopes to double the number of self-built homes within the next two years. So if you dream of building your own home, why not start your search for land in 2019?

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