Buy or Build? Reasons to build your own house

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Should you build your own house?

You could make a 25% profit against the cost of building and land if you build your own house rather than buying. Yet less than 10% of Brits choose to build their own home. Self building is much more popular elsewhere around the world, with more than half of homes in Germany, France and Italy self built, and as many as 80% of Austrians building their own house.

“Building your own house is a more affordable way to provide a family home.” Nick Boles – Planning Minister 2012-2014.

Of the many reasons to consider when thinking about building your own house over buying, there are two that really stand out;

Why Build your own House1. Get the home you want for less than market value

“Self-builders can, it seems, make 20 to 30 % profit above what they spend on land and building costs on a pretty consistent basis, even accounting for house price inflation.” These are the findings of Stephen Wilmot in an Investors Chronicle report into self building. Add in the fact that you can make huge savings on areas like stamp duty and capital gains tax and building your own house can make real financial sense.

2. You get exactly what you want. Not what the developer wants, or the architect, or even the house builder. Your house, your castle, your rules.

This goes beyond the obvious aspect of the size of the house, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, etc. You can choose the style, a dining room or an open plan kitchen/diner/living area, whether your bedrooms or bathrooms are upstairs or downstairs, which room leads out into the garden. The possibilities are almost endless, and they are important to day-to-day living, especially if you have a family. Not having these aspects as you want them can move on a sliding scale from inconvenience, past annoying, up towards “We need to move!” so having them just so can make a huge difference to your living situation.

Beyond that, building a new home is the perfect time to add anything you want to it without the hassle it would cause in upgrading an existing property. This can range from underfloor heating to green and energy efficient features to ensure you keep control of your energy bills in your new home. There is also the added bonus of there being no redundant or hazardous materials such as asbestos or mould, which could damage your health and cost a small fortune to remove.

How much does it cost to build a house?

For an average project, completed by a main contractor, around £1,000 – £1,400 per m2 is a good rule of thumb.

However, while the overall cost will obviously depend on size, it will also depend on your choice of materials, style and features. For instance, if you built your own home would it be Spartan or full of added luxuries like underfloor heating? The cost of the overall project will also depend on acquiring the land to build on. If you already own a suitable plot this is ideal, but it can be tough to find the right place to build. There are many online portals which can help, including this ‘Self Build Portal’ guide to finding land.

Give John O’Connell Building Solutions a call today on 01206 396667 for some professional advice on your new build project.

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