Finding a Building Plot
Be Aware of the buried costs
First things first, in order to find a building plot you are up against some fierce competition, other self-builders, developers, builders, and everybody else with a vested interest in the land development industry.
Keep an open mind
The main reason that people fail to purchase a plot is not that they fail to find any potential sites. It is because they will not compromise, and will accept nothing less than their dream plot, which in many cases simply does not exist. Before you start looking, think carefully about what you really need and what you could do without. If you cannot compromise on anything, then be prepared for a long wait. If you have a firm idea of the size and style of the house you want to build, then you should be more flexible regarding the location in order to focus on finding a plot suitable for the home in mind.
Choose your area
To be effective, you need to focus in on a manageable area. If you pick too large an area at the start, your resources will be spread too thinly.
Despite being the most obvious people to go to when looking for land, not many estate agents have the skills to sell land professionally. Buying a plot for many people is a part of the process of designing and constructing their new home. As such the plot should be considered as an ingredient of the recipe and not a finished product. The quality of this ingredient (the constructability) will have an enormous impact on the total cost of the project. If you want to know the total cost of the home before you start buying the “ingredients” you will also need to know the cost of all of the other ingredients. However estate agents are a useful starting point, and at the very least will also give you an idea of how much land is coming on to the market, and at what sort of price.
Look out for Home Builders in the area
Custom Home Builders are not your natural allies when it comes to finding land, more your competitors and also experts at assessing the potential of a site. But there are some circumstances in which they may help you. Some companies buy up multiple sites or larger sites and split them into individual plots, and may sell them on to self-builders. Home building companies can be a source of all sorts of essential information related to the home building process. Be sure to check whether you are tied into using a particular firm if you buy a plot as you may find that the future construction costs are very high. These companies can save you a lot of legwork, and offer a good range of sites in different areas.
There are a few people that offer what are apparently prime potential plots, for a bargain price. The catch is that there is no planning approval. If you are considering taking up one of these offers get professional legal advice first, regardless of how attractive it seems. In our opinion this is the specialised business of land speculation and should be avoided by all home builders.