When many people think about buying land, they think about discovering a plot in the countryside, or a spot in a busy town they can call their own.
There are many TV programmes shown where people have bought land and then built their own homes in a matter of months, and so for some, it’s a romantic ideal. For others, it’s a solution to the problem of finding somewhere completely perfect to live.
Of course, finding and buying land can be a wonderful thing to do, but there are some things you will need to know.
Here are the things you should take into account, based on our years of expertise working with clients in the London area.
Why are you buying the land?
Buying land could be a solution to the problem of where to live, providing somewhere for you to fulfil your long-held dream of building your own perfect home.
But what is it that you want to achieve? Are you buying land purely as an investment, or do you want to build on it, and live there, or build on it and sell it? The reason we ask is that this could shape where, and when you buy land.
Will building permission be granted?
Let’s suppose you know you want to buy land to build a new home for you and your family. You’ll be living the dream – a row of beans in the garden, a workshop in which to mend and build, and a garden where the children can play safely, and you can relax during the warmer evenings.
So, now think about location. It might be that you want to purchase land in a specific part of a town or village, but how likely is it that you will get permission to build what you want? Does the area come under any local authority restraints?
Councils have local plans they have to put together and these form how an area is expected to grow. If your land lies in a specific area, you may not get the green light. So, it’s important you do your research into the area before settling on a location.
Do you have a plan?
It’s a basic necessity to have a plan, and this must include timings and budgets and doing all the research that will be needed. While it should include everything you need to acquire the land, such as solicitors and agents, it should also have an end game.
If you’re building a house, ideally you should have a date for when you finally move in. If you’re thinking about selling it on, have a plan for that from the outset.
Your first plan doesn’t have to include all the small details, but it should give you a map of where you’re headed.
Always build relationships
This really is a must. You’re going to need to build a rapport with your local council, highway authorities, planners, estate agents, neighbours, and even entire communities, depending on the size of your project.
There’s a lot of effort needed when buying land, and much of it is about talking to people and finding solutions for any issues that may arise. You have to be strong-minded of course, and dedicated, but sometimes it might be about compromise in order to reach your goal.
You’ll need to do your research and find out who will have a potential effect on what you’re doing. Work out how best to get in touch with them and do it – it’ll pay off in the end.
Trust the experts
You may have some past experience, but you must expect that you will need the wider experience and expertise of the professionals. For example, here at Properly we have extensive knowledge of property, locations, brownfield and potential greenfield sites, and we know all about prices.
A solicitor who has experience in land transactions should be used when you acquire land, and you’re going to need the services of surveyors and those with technical know-how.
Ask for recommendations, search online for professionals who will do a good job, and, perhaps most importantly, take the advice on board.
Call us at 0207 459 4400 if you would like more information on purchasing land or would like to learn more about the distinctions between greenfield and brownfield sites. We will be happy to share our knowledge and experience with you.
London Youth work to improve the lives of young people in London, challenging them to become the best they can, and last year helped over 27,000 young people through their sports development, youth action and involvement, arts and outdoor education programmes and employment prospects. We feel strongly that all young people should have an opportunity to develop themselves, and so are delighted to be able to support London Youth in their work, providing young people with access to opportunities they might not otherwise have had, to learn new skills, to make a positive change in their communities and to shape the city they live in.
Glass Door helps homeless men and women in London through their large network of emergency shelters and support services. These winter shelters provide a warm welcome, food, safety and shelter for up to 170 people every night. Properly feels passionately about the issue of homelessness. That is why we are delighted that together with our clients we can assist Glass Door in their fantastic work to help some of the most marginalised people in society.
Families become homeless for reasons we can all identify with. We are concerned about people who are struggling to keep things together in our fast-paced world – and we care about those who have no support. We chose the Doorstep Homeless Family Project because they are passionate and effective yet they are a small team with limited funding. They provide homeless families, living in temporary accommodation in London, with access to services to secure the emotional and practical support they require to enjoy a better quality of life.
We need nature and nature needs us. We support The London Wildlife Trust because we share its concern for the environment. We want to ensure that we keep nature in mind as we work in the property market – and crucially, with people’s homes. We also want our employees to engage with nature and benefit from the wellbeing this brings. London Wildlife Trust cares for over 37 of London’s spaces, and their vision is: “a London alive with nature, where everyone can experience and enjoy wildlife”.
Mariel and Michael have been absolutely great, by far my best ever experience with an estate agent. Properly is honest, upfront and friendly, responding really quickly to any and all queries and with a lovely personal touch.
Had Michael round for a valuation of our flat – very knowledgeable and friendly and wasn’t pushy at all. When it comes time to sell we’ll definitely be giving Properly a call!
We had such an easy and stress free move. Michael helped us with all our questions and was quick to find out any answers to our questions. Would highly recommend.
Both Michael and Mariel were extremely helpful with our questions going forward whether it be regarding referencing or the property itself. Definitely not the usual estate agent experience (in a good way) and I would recommend Properly to anyone.
Mariel and Michael made the process of agreeing a housing let incredibly seamless, stress-free and quick. Their timely communication and fantastic ‘customer service’ was second to none. Would highly recommend
The level of customer service I received at Properly with Mariel and her team was frankly outstanding. It’s lovely when people genuinely care and go the extra mile which certainly they did. I couldn’t recommend them more highly, the most pleasurable property experience ever for me.
We had the opportunity to interact with Michael of Properly in our search for a new rental flat. Michael was professional and courteous in our dealings with him. He was a pleasure to interact with and he frankly stood out amongst all the agents we interacted with over a search of several weeks.
The service is outstanding. Mariel could not be more helpful and professional. Every individual I engaged with, was well informed and had the full history of conversations. First class service.