Buying land can be very daunting, especially if you have never done it before. Where do you even start? This post is here to give you a few helpful tips to help you with your search.
Why are you buying land?
Whatever reason you have for purchasing land; investment, house build etc, make sure you have a clear plan on what you would like to do with it, and what size of plot you will need. This will help narrow down your search.
What types of land are there?
There are a variety of different land types, ranging from Green Belt land, which is notoriously difficult to get planning permission for (but not impossible), to Brownfield land, which is land that has been built on before, or even just infill land, filling a gap on a street. There are lots of handy guides out there to help you differentiate between the different land types, but do bare in mind that different land types require different planning permissions. Make sure you do your homework.
Research land prices
On average in the UK, land prices are ranging between £4000 and £15,000 per acre. Now you have narrowed down your land type of choice, have a look at what land is selling for in your desired location, so you can start to get an idea of purchase price, and what you would be willing to pay.
Most of the big listing sites have land available for sale, but quite a lot is sold through specialist land agents, who may not advertise on Rightmove/Zoopla/OntheMarket. There are also quite a lot of land auctions to be found, which can offer quite good value for money. Alternatively, you may know someone with extra land, who you can approach directly with a proposition. Make sure you look everywhere before you commit.
As with properties, the value of land is higher, the more desirable a location is. Try and buy somewhere that is an up and coming area, maybe it has new transport links to bigger towns/cities? Take your time learning about your location, and whether it actually meets your requirements.
Find out if there are any planning permissions in place on the property – some won’t, and some may just have the outline planning permissions. Make sure you hire a solicitor with experience at this stage to help you make sure there are no covenants or restrictions associated with land. Don’t forget, final plans need to be signed off by the relevant planning authorities.
Rights of way access, overhead power lines, unclear boundaries – these are things you may not see, but could cause you problems. Make sure you use a chartered surveyor, even if you cannot see anything at fault with the land. They will have so much more experience of these things, and you can benefit from their advice.
Make sure you plan an access point to the land – this can be trickier than you think. Be careful if your plot is separated by a public highway. You will have to pay an extortionate amount to buy a ransom strip – a plot of land owned only to restrict development until the “ransom” is paid.
You will never be able to gain quick profit on your land purchase, so you need to think of this purchase as a long-term investment. Make sure you choose the optimum time to develop on or sell your land.
Make sure you choose the right agent to buy with. The best agent will be able to answer all your questions, and help guide you through the full process.
Although buying land may take you well out of your comfort zone. If you have done your research, the benefits can be extraordinary.
If you have any questions in relation to this post, give us a call at Coppenwall Estate Agents.