Finding the perfect home can be challenging. Getting the ideal location, size of home, design, sufficient garden, all of which are very important and extremely unique to your tastes often leaves people staying put or compromising as they just can’t find anything that ticks every box.
You don’t have to compromise on your wish list! A John O’Connell new build home can be everything you desire and more, but where do you start? Besides giving us a call and getting the professional team at John O’Connell on board at the beginning of the project, here is our list of suggested first steps:
Who will build?
Contrary to the image of living in a musty caravan, knee deep in mud and labouring 20 hours a day digging foundations and laying bricks, self-build does not have to mean you literally build your home yourself. In fact, less than 10% of self-build homeowners do any of the building work. Even if you are a DIY master, you may not have the time or skills to completely build a house from scratch so you could employ specific tradespeople to carry out certain aspects of the build, project manage the venture yourself or hand over to skilled professionals to execute everything whilst keeping you updated on progress.
Where to build?
This is a tricky one. Land prices and labour costs vary around the country, as does availability of sites with actual or potential planning permission. Draw up a list of must haves and would likes and decide what you absolutely cannot compromise on. It’s good to do this in conjunction with your initial discussions with an architect as you may decide to be a little more conservative with your design so you can afford the perfect location or vice versa. Once you have decided on a location get in touch with local land agents, get on the local auction lists and keep an eye on the planning department section on the local authority website, you can often get landowner details or their agents to contact direct if you are interested.
What about the hidden costs?
When you have found your perfect plot make sure you do your research as far as planning consent is concerned. Are there any restrictive covenants? Will the local planners like your proposed plans? Will there be any issues (and increased expenditure) getting services to the site?
Can I get access to any funding?
Keep up to date with any Government funding initiatives for new and self-builds. As part of the Spending Review 2020, Chancellor rishi Sunak announced £2.2 billion of new loan finance to support housebuilders across the country. This includes delivering Help to Build for custom and self-builders, and funding for SMEs and modern methods of construction as well as an additional £100 million for non-Mayoral Combined Authorities in 2021-22 to support housing delivery and regeneration, including unlocking brownfield sites, regenerating estates and releasing public sector land – including serviced plots for self and custom builders.
Grants for sustainable builds are often available so keep an eye out for any new schemes or opportunities for additional funding. Oh, and don’t forget that you can reclaim VAT on most of the building materials under HMRC’s DIY Housebuilder’s Scheme.
What am I waiting for?
Whilst building your own home is going to take longer than purchasing one that is already built, the opportunity to create your dream property in the setting of your choice is worth every moment of extra research, every bead of sweat as you make huge design choice decisions, and every uttered “why am I doing this?” as you cross every hurdle en route to your dream home.
If you are considering a new build property and would like to talk through some options, call us for a chat on 01206 396667.