The Land Agency: Buying A Plot

In the UK around 10% of new homes are self build or custom build dwellings, i.e., homes specified by the homebuyer. That sounds like quite a lot until you learn that across the EU the figure averages around 50%, with Austria being over 80%.

Buying a plot obviously delivers far more control over the end product but it can also be an astute financial decision. Stamp duty is only payable on the plot purchase, not the end house value, plus there is no requirement to remodel or redecorate your new home when you move in as you have personally specified all elements.

Plot purchases generally fall into one of three categories:

  • Self Build
  • Custom Build
  • Bespoke Build

The self build route gives the buyer complete control over the design and build processes. However it can present a few of challenges if the buyer does not have experience or good contacts to assist with planning, design and construction. The majority of our self-build plot buyers choose a main contractor to build their home for a fixed price, with payments made monthly in arrears during the build.

A custom built property delivers the benefits of self-building without the potential headaches, planning risk, contractor problems and financial uncertainty that can come with a self build. A custom build plot typically comes with outline planning consent plus an approved design guide. The buyer works with the architect to design their home and, once full planning consent is secured, the project’s main contractor builds the home for a fixed price.

A bespoke plot comes with full planning permission plus a main contractor in place. The buyer works with the project architect to create the perfect room layout and then specifies all internal features. This is the closest route to buying a new build ‘off plan’ but with a lot more choice.

Most buyers have never commissioned a build before and the prospect can be quite daunting. To assist them we recommend appointing a qualified Contract Administrator to do the following:
– Draw up the build contract and agree the cost breakdown with the main contractor
– During construction to visit the site once a month, inspect the work carried out and authorize the buyer what can be paid for in line with the agreed build contract. All works are paid for in arrears, ensuring all monies paid are solely for materials and work carried out on the buyer’s house.

To fund the plot purchase and the cost of construction a range of finance options are available. For details please visit our Mortgages page.

Buying A Plot  

“It has been a pleasure working with The Land Agency – over many months planning our future home they offered considerable support and patience.” M Strang

“David was brilliant. A safe pairs of hands, professional but personable. We would recommend him and The Land Agency if you are looking for a quality plot of land.” M Kilby

If you are looking for a plot to build your dream home please see our Plots For Sale and also register on our Buyers Database to receive full information on all new sites.

The Land Agency is a member of NaCSBA, the National Custom & Self Build Association.

*House design above by Taylor Roberts, Canterbury

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