Self Build Land Finding
Finding a suitable building plot for your project can be the hardest part for any potential self-builder. We hear the constant remark from our clients that there is 'just none available', but this is not the case. With an estimated 15-20,000 self-build projects taking place each year, potentially there is at least 15-20,000 fresh plots every year.
Be patient, it will take time, effort and a lot of determination.Unfortunately, you will not be able to simply sit back and 'wish' for the perfect plot...there are thousands of other people just like you looking for similar plots, and you will come across some competition.
You will need to be proactive; spread the word that you are looking.There are many methods of finding the right plot for your self build project, and if you find that one method of finding land is not working then try another, in fact try them all. Great plots are not always in the most obvious of locations, so be flexible, and open-minded...a good plot can be found.
In our endeavour to help make the building process as simple as possible for our customers, the SimplySelf-Build team created this friendly guide to help make the process that bit easier(...and enjoyable!).
The Internet is always a good place to start; it is fast becoming one of the most efficient and effective ways of finding land. Access to databases with up to date information on plot availability across the UK, such as the National Building Plot Register, can give you a vital lead over your competing self-builders and allow you to move quickly if you do spot your ideal plot.Private sellers of land use this database extensively as they don’t have to pay to advertise on it.
Subscription-based online land finding agencies such as Plotfinder.net and PlotSearch hold thousands of building plots, most with planning permission. The benefit of these online databases are that they have research teams to invest the time and effort searching done for you.
If you do not wish to make such an investment in such access, another option is UK Land Search, a non-subscription database of 5,000 self-build plots, where you Pay-As-You-Go. This land database allows you to search for any plot in the UK...for free. Once you are interested in a particular plot, you simply buy the plot details.
Get local and regional papers from every region you are interested in, look closely for ‘land for sale’. Most evening papers have a specific property night so it would be worth looking into these publication dates.You may need to keep this up over a prolonged period before you find anything valuable.If you find this unsuccessful you could always try placing an advert for ‘land wanted’ yourself; this may cost a few pounds but may bring unknown plots your way. Local Newspapers will also be the best source for information about any land auctions taking place.These can be very useful because the land is usually new to the market and available for immediate purchase.
Get clued up on your council’s planning register (the public can view these, free of charge, at council offices, local libraries and, in some instances, online). This will provide key information on the history and development of the land, and could possibly help you to identify likely places to find a plot.
Great plots are not always found in the most obvious of locations. A personal search can be great fun, and you could find a beautiful plot that has not yet been advertised or even considered for selling.These could be found on out-of-the-way routes and lanes so consider knocking on farmers doors and asking...what's the worst that could happen?
If you do manage to find some land through this method, do cover your back... talk to the local planners about your ideas for the land, and a survey may be desirable. TimberTecs offer this service nationwide.
Talk to other self builders...this is a very close (yet large!) network.You can meet these at national shows, and the National Self-Build & Renovation Centre... they will be able to advise you on other plots they have heard of.Also consider visiting forum sites such as www.homebuilding.co.uk, where you will find various discussions on possible sites available.If you are driving along and come across a plot or building site with a static caravan on, the chances are it's a self-builder!Maybe stop and be inquisitive, which will give you the opportunity to enquire about self-build land available.
Most importantly...keep on trying and don’t lose hope. A perfect plot for your self build project is out there; just remember, once you have found it you have overcome the biggest hurdle, and are well on your way to creating your dream home.