Have you ever dreamed of building your own house?
My Dad is a trained architect so growing up I used to watch him drawing up plans of buildings with a pencil and ruler on huge pieces of what looked like tracing paper. He was always dreaming up plans for new buildings and sketching out floor plans. So when I heard it about Self-Build Week last month I was immediately taken back to memories of my Dad and the rolled up building plans he used to bring home in giant tubes – long before computer-aided design changed the profession of architecture forever.
The Right to Build Act and the implications
As well as the change in how house plans are drawn up, there have been changes in regulation, most notably what has been dubbed the Right to Build Act which means that from 1 April 2016, all local authorities have to keep a register of those with a dream like my Dad, who are interested in finding land for a self-build project, so that they can be matched up with suitable plots. It is hoped that at a time when much of the UK is experiencing a housing shortage, this legislation will raise awareness and encourage those looking for a new home to consider undertaking self and custom build projects.
Building Awareness of the Register
Maybe you have a dream, like my Dad, to build your own home. If so, you should get in touch with your local council to get on the new register of those looking to buy land in the local area to carry out self or custom build projects. The registers will work alongside measures due to come into force in the upcoming Housing and Planning Bill, which will require authorities to ensure they have sufficient permissioned plots to match the local demand on their register.
But this will only work if there is awareness of the register. The National Custom and Self Build Association (NaCSBA), supported by Ipswich Building society recently commissioned research that found more than three quarters (77%) of people in the UK are unaware councils are now required to keep a register of those looking to buy land in the local area to carry out self or custom build projects.
The research, conducted by the research company Ipsos MORI on behalf of NaCSBA and Ipswich Building Society in March 2016, amongst 1954 UK adults, also found that 1 in 8 people (12%) expect to show an interest in self build property within the next year. This figure has remained about the same since 2013 according to the annual research. However, just 1 in 50 (2%) people stated their intention to take specific actions to progress their self-build projects, such as purchasing land, submitting a planning application or starting construction, within the next 12 months.
This gap between those interested in self-build and those who intend to take specific action to progress self-build projects is not surprising, but the register should make it easier to find a suitable plot of land so the route to building your very own custom-designed new built house is getting more streamlined.
Make Your Dream a Reality
Building your own home is amazing but make sure everything is planned out to the letter before you start. Building a dream home could quickly turn into a nightmare if you allow your imagination to run ahead of your budget. Make sure you have costed how much it will cost and keep in communication with your builder on timescales and costing. There are also specific self-build mortgage products to research and consider with providers such as Ipswich Building Society.