Ten Ways To Find Your Dream Building Plot

So your heart is set on building your own house! Maybe you view it as an investment, a way to get up the property ladder. Most self builders save between 10-30% on what a similar, off the shelf house would cost. Maybe you wish to incorporate design features that are sadly lacking in the houses the developers build. Whatever the reason, the first step is to find a plot of land.

Building Plot For Sale?Ten Ways To Find A Building Plot

1. Estate agents

Most plots reach the open market at some point. In any given area there will be agents who specialise in building plots and have a number on their books. If the first estate agent you approach has none, it is worthwhile asking if they know which agents in the area may be able to help you.

2. Internet plot sites

There now exist a number of internet companies that list details of plots all over the country. As the vendors pay nothing to be listed in most cases, it is in their interest to have their plot listed on the site.


Many plots go to auction. Whilst it may seem a daunting prospect to bid, this can be a good way to secure a plot of land. Prior preparation is paramount and you should get the legal pack as soon as you can and have a solicitor check that there are no onerous conditions or building restrictions. Visit the site yourself and if possible speak to the neighbours. At the auction, keep in mind the maximum you want to pay and don't go above it. If you are successful be prepared to pay a deposit there and then with the balance to be paid in full in 28 days.

4. Garden plots

Building plots may seem hard to come by but they exist in almost every town, village and city of this country. The trick is to spot them. Many homes built in the past have huge gardens. Part of these gardens can be sectioned off and sold on as a plot. This has become an increasingly popular choice for self builders. Approach the home owner and ask if they are willing to consider selling part of their garden.

A good tip is to be polite, don't boast about the profit you plan to make and allow him to see the good neighbour he is going to have to live next to for the next few years. If he agrees to sell his land then a binding agreement known as a "Conditional Contract" or "Option Agreement" should be drawn up by a solicitor and signed by both parties. This will allow you the time to apply for planning permission and will oblige him to sell to you at the pre-agreed price.

Replacement dwelling plots

Another option for a self builder is to find a run down property which can be demolished and replaced. These plots have the advantage of having services and outline planning permission should be achieved easily.

6. Farmers and landowners

If you are looking for a plot in a rural area, approach the local farmers or landowners. They often have land that can be regarded as in fill residential and can be a good source of plots. Again a "Conditional Contract" would be advisable.

7. Private sales

Touring your preferred areas you may stumble upon a private sale. Some vendors prefer to avoid professional estate agent fees and will put up their own "For sale" signs.

8. Visit the local council

Your council will have plans of the local area which will show vacant lots. Speak to the planning officer and ask his advice. At the very least it will be good to meet him. When you do buy your plot you will be seeing rather a lot of him and a good relationship from the start is a definite advantage.

9. Magazines and local newspapers

Take a trip to the newsagents and pick up a copy of the local newspaper or one of the many self build magazines that exist now.

10. Word of mouth

It's amazing the information that can be gleaned in the local village pub. If you don't ask, you'll never find out!

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