Building your own home from scratch is just as rewarding and interesting as it can be challenging. In fact, getting a plot to build that dream home of yours on can be a challenge in itself. Check out our handy tips to make your plot hunting easier.
1. Pick an area
A common mistake for many is not narrowing their search to an area. There are probably a lot of empty plots all around the country, but they are not all for you.
Chances are, you already know which county you'd like to settle down in. By extension, you should also have an idea of the kind of neighbourhood that best suits your needs.
Combine those and make a more streamlined pick of the area that offers an intersection of both. That way, you don’t get overwhelmed by the search, options, or both.
2. Set a reasonable budget
Know what you are willing to spend on that piece of land before you get into searching. This will usually help you eliminate some options faster than others, or know what price ranges are worth considering.
Know that the price is not just dependent on the area, but who you would be buying from too. Take that – as well as the future worth of the house you will be building – into consideration before setting out at all.
3. Register with the appropriate council
Your community should have a self-build register that you can make your intentions known on. Look for other such programmes/ schemes in your area/ the area where you’d like to get such plots and enter their registers too.
These registers might not work, but they will let the government know that a growing number of people are looking to build their own homes – and that could help drive some policy changes.
4. Go to Auctions
Some auction houses put plots of lands up for sale, and at attractive prices. However, be willing to bid against the real estate developers who will surely have a lot more to spend on that land than you.
Afterall, they are investing into the perceived future worth of properties they will pack onto the house – not the pure residential value you are looking for.
5. Tell Your Network
You don’t know how much your contacts are worth if you don’t use them. That is why we always advise letting your family, friends, co-workers and acquaintances know whenever you are in the market for a self-build plot.
These people get in and around social circles you’re not a member of – which might be where your potential seller is. Let them know what you are looking for too; the area, budget, intended purpose… anything that helps them to help you better.
6. Visit the Planning Department
This might be an old-school approach, so to speak, but it provides one of the best value for money.
The planning department is tasked with listing all available pieces of land and the details of their owners, as well as what they are intended for. This way, you get to see plots that fit your desire, and get in touch with their owners directly.
Of course, these owners (depending on who they are) will sell to you without all the added agent fees you might have had to pay elsewhere.
7. Avoid Scams
This is just as important as any other point on this list.
Some agencies will pose as legitimate organisations and sell you lands they don’t even have the deed to. Others will sell you plots that have been approved for a different building project than you had in mind.
Conduct your research into the plot being sold and complete all due diligence before you agree to make any payments.