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Do you dream of building your own home?

12th February 2016

Do you dream of building your own home?

Its easy to watch property shows like Kevin McClouds Grand Designs and get carried away with the notion of building your own home.

Its easy to watch property shows like Kevin McClouds Grand Designs and get carried away with the notion of building your own home.

But just how many of us have the means, time and place to do it? Well, the Government has now stepped in to help with where you can build.

It is yet another initiative aimed at tackling the housing crisis by bringing more homes onto the market, and helping first-time buyers to purchase.

Already, Chancellor George Osbourne has announced measures which will hit landlords in the pocket, adding an extra three per cent Stamp Duty onto second home and buy-to-let purchases along with reducing tax relief on existing mortgages. The idea is if landlords stop buying or put properties back onto the market, there will be more homes to go round to help people onto the property ladder.

Now Housing Minister Brandon Lewis has announced proposals to make it easier for those who want to self build, as part of his plans to deliver more homes.

Councils regionally and nationally will now have to keep a register of people who would like to build their own homes.

The register should mean that aspiring home builders will find it easier to obtain a plot of land from councils when they become available.

Latest statistics show there are around 11,000 self-build homes erected every year across the country. Government targets are for 400,000 new affordable homes to be built over the course of this parliament. To help reach that figure, it wants to double the number of self-build homes by 2020.

Numbers of people seeking self-build plots in local authority areas will be a consideration in any council planning decisions.

Many people are thought to be put off building because of problems with finding suitable plots. The new register could provide options not only for one builder or family, but it could bring together a collective of self builders to develop property on a larger site.

Already, there has been a trend for private vendors to sell off land in sections rather than as a whole in a bid to open up the market to smaller builders rather than just big housebuilding firms.

However, self builders are still likely to find there is stiff competition for land in decent locations. They also need to consider how to fund the build.

While the likes of Grand Designs and Amazing Spaces make a build look easy, given that they open as the project starts and close less than an hour later with the family moving in, constructing a home is a hard slog physically, mentally and financially.

Your lender will take into account any existing mortgage commitments along with whether your budget will pay for somewhere to live while the build takes place.

Finance will be released in sections, with different banks and building societies offering different deals. Some will want to see that a home is watertight before they release the first tranche of cash while others will be happy once the foundations are down. As with all mortgage deals, its a question of shopping around for the one which suits your plans and finances.

But, even with the obstacles involved, those who do realise their dream of a self-build can achieve a home that is just right for their family and their lifestyle.

Martin Williamson is Head of Residential Property at Latimer Hinks Solicitors in Darlington. Latimer Hinks has a team of around 40 people serving private and corporate clients. For further information: or call 01325 341500.

Please note: This article is intended as guidance only and does not constitute advice, financial or otherwise.


For further information please contact Martin Williamson

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