Location, location, location. It’s the age-old mantra of house buying and it’s just as important for anyone thinking of building their own home, too. Even if you know nothing about building a house, real estate, or DIY, it all starts with finding the right location.
But locating the right plot of land to build on is not that simple. You’ve got to consider the cost, proximity to amenities, travel time to work, local schools, convenience, community and more.
You want to build a new home based on your own dreams and aspirations. And that means rather than building in an allocated development, you may want to choose your own, perfect position.
Whether you’re after a large plot in the countryside or a smaller urban plot, choosing the location for your new home is a very personal decision.
How easy is it to find a location to build a home?
Building your own home has become easier thanks to the Housing and Planning Act 2016, which states that local authorities must ensure there are enough building plots to meet local demand for self-build and custom-build homes.
However, according to government figures, currently only 8% of new UK homes are custom or self-built
. By comparison, in Germany that figure is around 60%
, in Australia it’s 50%
, and in the US 23%
But the UK government wants that to change, and has introduced incentives such as the Right to Build scheme, which allows local authorities to make plots available to self-builders. In doing so, it hopes to boost the number of self and custom-built homes from 13,000 (the figure in 2017) to 20,000 each year.
The UK self-build figures might not match those of some other countries, but there are clearly building plots out there. It’s just sometimes those plots are not that easy to find and you have to work harder to bag yourself a good one.
How to find the right plot of land for your self-build
Finding the right plot can take a long time. You’ll have a clear idea of what you want, but you may find you’ll need to compromise. Here’s a guide to finding the right building plot for your new home.
1 Focus on a specific area
A common mistake people make when looking for a plot of land is searching across too large an area. Make sure you focus your search on a specific, manageable area. Once you’ve chosen that area you can then blitz it.
2 Get to know your chosen area
It’s a good idea to drive (or better still, walk) around your chosen area on the hunt for potential building plots. Consider all potential sites and what they could offer you in terms of location.
3 Speak to the locals
If you have pinpointed a location that isn’t too sprawling, you might want to knock on a few doors or write letters to existing owners explaining that you are looking to buy a plot of land. You never know, you might get lucky and contact someone who hadn’t realised they were sitting on a potential source of revenue.
4 Search online
It’s also possible to find your perfect plot online. Search on Rightmove
for land only options, look at sites such as Plotsearch
, which feature multiple land listings, browse online property auction sites such as Allsop and Savills, and register your interest with local estate agents.
5 Contact the local council
It’s also worth contacting the local council and checking resources such as the Home England Land Hub
to see whether they have any suitable plots for sale.
Best locations for building a home in the UK
According to research from property funding company Argyll Property Partners
, the best location for building a new home depends on a combination of value, house price growth, planning success, and demand for homes.
Its study revealed that the city of Leeds
offered the perfect combination, making it the UK’s best location to build a new home. New build homes in Leeds are worth an average of 41% more than existing properties in the city, while the value of new homes in the area is increasing 13% year-on-year. The city’s planning authorities also approve 95% of major residential applications, making it a top location for self-builders to realise their dreams.
Completing the list of top ten locations for building a new home were Birmingham, Cornwall, County Durham, Wiltshire, Bradford, Bristol, Manchester, East Riding and Liverpool
At the other end of the scale, the study also revealed the worst locations for building a new home in the UK. Topping that list was Surrey Heath
, but it also featured Hambleton, Epsom & Ewell, Ribble Valley
in its top five.
Choosing where to construct your new home
Chances are, you’ll already have a good idea about where you’d like to build your own home and live, but it’s always worth doing a bit of research before looking at specific plots. Here are a few things to consider: · If you’re not familiar with the area, take a look at sites such as POLICE.UK to look at crime levels in the area.
· Think about how you will get to and from work and look into public transport options in the area.
· If you have a young family – or are thinking of starting one – check local school catchment areas.
· Make sure access to the plot isn’t going to be a problem. Check that the surrounding public roads will allow you (and build traffic) to drive onto the site without having to access via someone else’s land.
· Check whether the land is on a flood plain or under a flight path.
· Look into whether the property is likely to be overlooked by neighbours and whether there are any plans for future developments (residential, commercial or otherwise) nearby.
There’s a lot to think about even before you start building your dream house, and it can be easy to forget that you’ll need home insurance even while the house is being built. At Insurance Choice, we specialise in finding you the cover you need without the process becoming a headache.
Get in touch with our team of experts today and find out more about Under Construction Home Insurance
for your perfectly located self build.