The idea of buying a plot of land and building a home on it would be a thing of nightmares for many people, but for some, this is a dream which they fear will never become a reality.

Imagine not having to compromise on any aspect of your home. Imagine having that dream layout, en suite bathroom and perfect kitchen too. This sounds like most people’s idea of heaven. But how difficult is it and what does it cost in comparison to buying a house which is already built?

Starting Off

House planning blueprint

Image by Gisela Giardino

This is where it starts to get more complicated. You will need to consider quite a few things about the plot of land before you even start to think about building costs and layout and this is what puts many people off.
You will need to consider:

  • The value of the plot – how much will the land cost you before you start adding in all the other costs? This is a big consideration because a plot of land is not much use if you cannot then afford to build your dream home on it.
  • The location of the plot – people always say it’s ‘location, location, location’ when it comes to moving house, and this probably does apply when looking at a plot of land too. Many plots in great locations are priced high, so you will need to research carefully to understand what you want within your budget.
  • Is there potential? – this is only important if you are looking you build a property and sell it on. If this project is your forever home then you will not care about the potential of the plot. If you are looking at this as an investment, then you need to know what types of properties are selling locally and at what price so you can ensure that you build the type of property which is in demand. If most properties near your plot are 4 bed houses, you really wouldn’t want to build six 2 bedroom flats, as the demand is unlikely to be there.
  • Is there profit? – whether the property is for you to live in or to sell on you really do want to know that it is financially viable. You will need to weigh up the cost of the plot, the build and any other costs like planning and architects fees and make sure that there will be a margin of profit at the end of the project.
  • Access and Services – some of the big costs of a self-build will be access to the plot and bringing services into your property. If services are not already there, you will have to think about water, electricity, gas or oil and sewerage too and the costs will add up. Access could be difficult and if you have to build an access road, this will be maintained by you and could also prove costly.

All in all there is a lot to think about and plan for before you jump in and buy a plot of land, whether it is for your dream house or as an investment.

The Biggest Consideration

Potentially the biggest consideration when buying a plot of land for the purposes of buying a house is whether or not you’ll actually be able to build on it.

Rights to light, easement rights and other planning law obstacles can thwart the unaware developer, in some cases even when the building to which they refer has been demolished for months.

You’ll need planning approval, and for that you’ll need to submit a proper planning application taking into account everything from the local council’s development framework to national rules and regulations.

If you would like more information about this article or if you have any other property questions, please call us on 0800 142 2775 or reply to this email and we will be delighted to help you (there is no charge for initial telephone discussions).