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BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO finding land

The first step in your self build journey is tracking down a viable building site. Keep yourself ahead of the competition with Build It’s top plot hunting tips
Gorgeous plots do exist – but if you have grand designs on that dream rural setting, bear in mind that it’s incredibly rare to get planning consent for a completely new house in the countryside. Demolish and rebuild may be a better route

Tracking down the right plot for your project is a little more complex than purchasing an existing house. The good news is 13,000 people manage to do just that every year – but if you want the best possible chance of identifying a viable site, it’s worth getting to grips with the process first. Here’s what you need to know.

LAND FINDING ROUTES

Few self builders simply stumble on a great plot by chance and end up building on it. Identifying the right opportunity can take considerable time and effort, so it pays to adopt a multipronged approach. So what are the best land hunting routes?

Use your contacts Don’t underestimate the power of networking. Tell your friends and co-workers that you are looking for a plot. They may have heard of someone selling in your preferred area, for instance, or even have a large garden they’d be willing to split at the right price. Social media can be a big benefit here, spreading the word even quicker.

Explore the area Walk around the locale to identify empty land between houses, garden plots or disused garages – all of which could offer potential build opportunities. If you spot a site that you think could have scope to be developed, then approach the owner and let them know you are interested. If the owner isn’t obvious and you can’t find out via the Land Registry, try speaking to the neighbour.

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About Build It

Build It is Britain’s longest running self build magazine. Each issue is packed full of inspirational and informative readers’ homes, as well as expert advice on issues from budgets and planning to project management and design. This month: - Renovating floors in a period home - Rainwater goods cost guide - Choosing the right smart home security systems - Could an architect save you money?