How to Find the Perfect Plot for Your Self Build

Building your own home is exciting and involves a lot of planning, designing and sometimes trial and error. But none of that can happen unless you have the perfect plot on which to build the house. Sourcing for plots can be done, with around 13,000 people doing so each year. But what are the best methods to find self build plots and where can the perfect plots be found?

Getting Started

The first thing to do when beginning your search is to limit the geographic areas as much as possible. Don’t just select Wales, for example, but limit it to a county or even a town or city. That way you don’t get bogged down with too many results that can mean you miss the ones you are the most interested in.

Once you have an idea of where you want to find the plot, there are lots of online tools to use. You shouldn’t forget the old fashioned ways either – have a walk around the area, look out for ‘For Sale’ signs or other indicators that a plot may be on the market. Check the local estate agents as not everyone is on the Internet these days.

Watch out for planning applications within the area you are interested in too. Local authorities have a register on their website where they publish these and it may be that the applicant is looking to sell the plot rather than build on it themselves.

Types Of Plot

It is harder to find a plot than a house because around 90% of the remaining land in the country is not available to build on. But there are plots available if you are watching for them. There are five main types of plots.

Brownfield are areas that have previously been developed and often already have services in place. There may be design restrictions placed on these sites and there may be some demolition to do first. Greenfield is a previously undeveloped area and is not available for development generally, though there are exceptions to the rule. Designated areas as similar, usually conservation areas, with very strict regulations apply to them.

Garden grabbing is a term used when a property is added within the land of another. These tend to be small scale projects. Buy to demolish is where you buy a property with the aim of demolishing it to build something new.

Online Searches

There are hundreds of websites to sign up to in your hunt for the perfect plot. Sites such as Plotsearch are specific to self-build plots while general sites such as Rightmove also have search parameters that let you find plots rather than properties. Search for ‘land’ to find these.

Register interest with the estate agents in your target area and sign up for mailing lists. That way you automatically get to know when something in your interest area comes up and can get you a head start. Speak to local architects and surveyors too as they will often be approached by people selling plots.

Check for local auctions to see if there are any plots coming up and you may even grab a bargain. There are online auction houses as well as physical ones that cover different areas of the country.

Blog post by Darren Lester, the founder of SpecifiedBy, a product specification platform for the construction industry.

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