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Investors - can you build your own home?

One in three of us are interested in the thought of building our own home. Life’s biggest financial asset built from our own thoughts, ideas and designs. With around 11,000 of us taking the plunge and reaping the benefits every year, the opportunity is one that must be considered strategically. But what’s actually involved?

Step one – sourcing land

Location is, by far, the most important aspect to consider — more so if you are looking to reside in the property rather than to sell on.

For this you must consider; the lands surroundings, neighbouring property, access, restrictions and boundaries. 


How much should I pay for land?

Land prices, as expected, will vary over the country but as a self-build, you should expect to pay between 30-40% of the end value on the land plot itself.

30% - expect to pay around this figure if you are employing contractors to manage the build on your behalf.

40% - you can allow a purchase price of up to this figure if you are completing the build yourself as you will not have to factor in any contractor/management cost.

Step two – planning permission

The land plot already has planning permission

The figures above are based on a land plot having existing planning permission. Although this means plans have already been drawn by an architect, you will be able to interact with the local council re any re-submissions due to design changes.

As an example: Northdown Road, Broadstairs, Kent, CT10 2UW offers a plot with planning for a detached 4-bedroom dwelling being sold by Connect UK Auctions.

The land doesn’t have planning permission

If a plot has no planning permission then you must consider not only the cost to obtain planning but the timeframe it could take as well as the risk involved if planning is rejected.

If you are unsure of the likelihood of obtaining planning permission for a plot, you should seek guidance from the local council and/or an architect.

How long does planning permission take?

When applying for planning the decision should take no longer than sixteen weeks from the point of application. You can withdraw an application at any time — so if you think you are going to get a refusal, you can withdraw it at any time up to the day itself, and resubmit free of charge.

You can submit an infinite number of planning applic­ations on any one site and choose which one to use. As long as it is current, you don’t have to use the most recent.

Step Three – the build

Whether you are carrying out the build yourself or hiring a contractor to complete the build for you, the stages are the same. The timeline for the build can differ significantly and is dependant on many factors but typically it takes between 6-12 months from beginning to end.

Three top tips to consider during the build phase

1. Shop smart. While it may seem obvious to go straight to a builder’s merchants you should always shop around for the best price. Ask for trade prices but always know the average cost of what you’re buying before you call. Merchants often reduce cost prices if they know you are shopping around or you mention a competitor.

2. Hire a project manager if you do not have the experience yourself. Tasks that are not so obvious, like keeping the site tidy, stacking and storing materials, site security, taking in deliveries and temporary weatherproofing all fall on the project manager. If you do choose to manage the project yourself be aware that you are committing to a lot of work, stress and daily site visits.

3. Keep track. Yes, by now you’ll have a budget but make sure you are keeping track of the spending in spreadsheets. Keeping a diary can also help track the day-to-day tasks carried out and who was on site. This may prove convenient moving forward of any unusual events that may occur or be of significance.

House end goal

If you are not looking to reside within the new-build but decide to sell the property. you must consider the cost of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). This is a levy that local authorities can choose to charge on new developments in their area. The cost of this charge will be dependant on the size of the development, the location and will differ from council to council.

*Connect UK Auctions offers an interactive service that allows you to watch the auction live with the auctioneer and presenter. All lots - including plots of land to build on - will be introduced and sold via the traditional method of auction but with an enhanced, interactive experience.

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