Finding a building plot that suits your needs will be a decision that you want to get right from the outset.
You need to take into account what you can reasonably afford, you need to assess whether any land available is suitable for your specific needs and you need to do thorough research to avoid any future pitfalls. If you have a geographical preference or you are working within a budget it could take some time to find a suitable piece of land but don’t lose heart – stay focussed, patient and enjoy everything you will learn along the way!
One of the first decisions you need to make is whether you want to purchase a brownfield or greenfield piece of land. A brownfield site is land that has previously been occupied by a permanent building or a derelict property. A greenfield site is undeveloped land often in a more isolated location
There are a lot of ways to find available land and, although it is a lot of work, it is worth pursuing every avenue open to you. This is where your research will be invaluable.
There is often land for sale via auction so ensure that you are aware of everything that comes up in your chosen area.
Local land agents who specialise in land for sale are generally one of the first places prospective buyers contact. It is also worth contacting local estate agents because they can be a great source of information about local landowners and property development. It is also a good idea to contact local builders to ask if they know of a plot of land available or even if they have land to sell.
In the current market climate, local authorities are selling off parcels of land, small holdings and farms to raise money so it is definitely worth contacting the local council for the area that you are planning to live in.
You can also advertise in the local press and ask all your family and friends, particularly by using social media, to keep a lookout for you – you might just get lucky!
There are several online sources that list thousands of self build plots in the UK such as www.plotfinder.net, www.plotbrowser.com, www.building-plot.co.uk and www.buildstore.co.uk. You will also find that www.selfbuildportal.org.uk, gives very sound and constructive advice about finding a plot of build.
You could also consider looking at empty properties with a view to demolishing the house and building a new home on the plot but you would need to check with the local planning department whether this is something they would consider in the first instance. Alternatively, you could also consider renovation/conversion to turn a property into your dream home, again after consultation with local planners.
Don’t buy a plot of land that does not have at least outline planning permission for what you want or that you may not be able to obtain planning permission for (detailed at www.planningportal.gov.uk) – or ask advice from the local planning authority before taking any further steps. This is the reason why some plots appear cheap – they can’t be built on! But bear in mind that local planning officers will give advice and most local authorities make a charge for this service.
The main thing to bear in mind when finding a building plot is that if you are prepared to think outside the box, don’t rule anything out, and stay positive. Some of our customers have stumbled across the ideal plot purely by accident, just when they thought all hope was lost!