A guide to finding land

Finding the ideal plot of land for your dream project can be almost as hard as deciding what to build on it and in many circumstances may significantly influence what you actually construct. And without that land, the project that has been keeping you awake for so long is unlikely to become a reality. If you have never bought land before it can be tricky to know where to start but almost 13,000 people successfully self-build every year in the UK which means the plots are out there and the process is navigable. Happily, we’ve put together a guide to help make this all a little easier for you.

Where to start when looking for land

It might sound obvious but the first step should be to clearly define your search area. Do some research (see below) into average costs of land in the areas you are looking for as this may determine where you buy and what size plot you can afford. Land prices vary widely across the country and you may be able to purchase a larger plot than you think in a different county.

Once you have identified which part of the country you’re setting your sights on, your search should be as focussed as possible and this is the point that a good old fashioned paper map can come in handy. Starting your search from the ‘air’ will help you spot sites that may not be visible from the road. Keep your search area a manageable size - one that can be explored in your weekends or free time, one that you can get to know well enough to confidently put down roots, but one that also is likely to offer the type of plot you are looking for. The wider the radius you draw the more work you are going to have to do in terms of sifting through potential sites, visiting places, meeting people, exploring planning restrictions and making decisions. So putting the work in up front can save you a lot of time, heartache and potentially money in the long run - you’d be surprised how many people bite off more than they can chew when it comes to this part of the process.

In pursuit of that ideal plot, it is worth writing down exactly what it is you are looking for. Is it a plot with