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Buying Land in the UK – The Basics

Building a new home from scratch has become an increasingly popular option for ambitious newcomers in the UK.

With average house prices hovering at all-time highs, the self-build option often has the potential to prove more cost-effective.

There are unique challenges associated with building a home from scratch that must be considered carefully. The most important of which is that of selecting and purchasing an appropriate plot of land.

Finding Land to Buy in the UK

Enlisting the support of an experienced bridging loan broker at the earliest possible stage is essential. Your broker will help you find and secure the land you need, negotiate affordable funding on your behalf and provide invaluable advice along the way.

Searching for land can be simplified by using one of the major land listing agencies in the UK, which are:

Onthemarket
PlotBrowser
Potten
Plotfinder

Standard real estate sites like Rightmove also feature land listings, though not as prominently as those above.

Greenfield vs. Brownfield

There are two primary categories of plots you encounter during your search, Brownfield and Greenfield:

Brownfield Land – This type of land is often in a comparatively poor state of repair, usually having been built or developed on in the past. The easier of the two types of land to find and the cheaper to buy, but typically requiring more work to have it cleared and prepared.

Greenfield Land – A more difficult type of plot to track down, which has not been developed and is more unspoiled. Often set in open countryside, Greenfield land is more expensive and can be notoriously difficult to receive planning permission to build on.

Assessing the Land

You will need to hire a chartered surveyor to inspect the land you intend to buy in order to note for any potential risks or issues. Examples of which include the following among others:

Flood risks
Pollution
Shared boundaries
Accessibility
Trees and vegetation
Soil quality
Existing structures
Nearby power lines

Planning Permission

Assessing whether or not you are likely to be granted planning permission before purchasing a plot of land is also essential. An issue your chartered surveyor and broker can advise on, as there may be restrictions with regard to what can be built on the land, and to what kinds of specifications.

You should therefore already have a good idea in mind of the type of home you intend to build, before setting your sights on a suitable plot of land.

Calculating Costs

Land prices vary as wildly as property prices, in accordance with a long list of factors. Examples of which include the condition of the plot, its location, local topography, accessed nearby services, neighbouring developments and so on.

When shopping for land, it is essential to factor in the additional costs associated with building your own home. The most prominent of which include:

Architectural fees
Legal fees
Material costs
Contractors
Surveys
Project management
Structural engineering
Landscaping

Your broker will negotiate on your behalf to help you find an unbeatable development finance deal from a reputable lender. Broker support will also be useful in determining a realistic budget and timescale for the project as a whole. For any advice or help regarding purchasing land in the UK, get in contact with UK Property Finance, who are happy to help at every step.

Read more:
Buying Land in the UK – The Basics

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