If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s the importance of home comforts.
When surrounded by the same four walls each day, creating a space that provides everything you need for work, leisure and security is a must. And for those of us whose properties don’t already meet our requirements, we’re investing time and money into making that happen. The money.co.uk Renovation Nation report reveals that UK homeowners have spent £55billion on renovations since March.
For some, that might be upgrading their cushion or wall colour, but for others the work is more extensive, often starting from scratch to bring the concept of their ideal home to life. In fact, research from Ipswich Building Society shows that 1 in 3 people are considering a self build project at some point in the future.
The good news is that the government has recently announced it is reviewing plans to make it easier for people to build their own properties. As well as addressing the housing shortage and boosting the economy, it can also be the ideal way to create a home that meets your exact needs.
So where’s the catch? Well, to be honest, there isn’t one! As long as you can commit to the time and vision required, all you need to do is brush up on your research. Here’s what you need to know.
Finding a suitable plot
Before you think about ‘what’, start with ‘where’. 1 in 5 potential self builders have concerns over finding a suitable plot of land for their project, according to the same research above from Ipswich Building Society.
Since April 2016, legislation has been in place to grant the public the right to build their own home in the area they wish to live in, using the Right To Build Register, which is a digital platform connecting local authorities with those who want to build their own homes.
Fast forward two years, and local councils were forced to demonstrate that they have ensured that the numbers of plots given planning permission matches the demand from the Register, and with the government committing to making the process easier and more transparent, we could see the number of people financing self builds rise.
If you’re not already living in the area in which you want to build your home, considering factors such as transport links, schools, job opportunities and leisure facilities can all be useful in making a decision.
Sourcing the right contractors for the job
Appointing the right contractors to carry out the work is the biggest concern for nearly a quarter of self builders. It’s a big commitment, so it pays to do your research first.
Finding a builder or company that has the right experience for your particular project is a given, but until the work’s underway, it can be quite difficult to determine this. Enquire about previous projects, ask all the questions you can and make a point to check out their reviews online.
If you’re still nervous, or not really sure where to begin your search, why not ask other tradespeople? For example, if you have a trusted plumber or electrician you’ve worked with before, it makes good sense to see who they would recommend.
Financing your project
Whilst financial reasons are often motives for building your own home – after all it can be a more affordable way to have the house you’ve always dreamed of – it’s also important to consider the type of mortgage you’ll need.
The classification of your build will likely affect your mortgage applications, with most lenders requiring you to take out a specific self build mortgage, which will need to be factored into your budget. This could be the case even if you’re aren’t starting a new build, but carrying out major renovations, so do seek advice from an experienced mortgage intermediary if you’re unsure.
Working with a lender who operates a manual underwriting approach can also be beneficial, helping you find a deal that’s right for your individual circumstances.