You might think that once you have found a plot to build on the search is over, but viewing the plot is an important part of the journey and can send you all the way back to square one. Daisy Jeffery guides you through the viewing process so that you can be completely sure before you buy.
Once you have found a potential plot, it is important to consider the following — do you like it, is it where you want to live, and could you envisage realising your dreams here? If the answer to these questions is ‘yes’, then you are ready to get down to the business of viewing.
This first viewing of the plot will concentrate on whether it is the right size, in the right location and for the right price. Be sure to drive around the area to get a feel for the surroundings, walk around, and approach the plot from all angles — in doing so, you will gain a different perspective of the site and be alert to any aspect of the surrounding area that may be unsuitable.
It is important to go in with an open mind when viewing the plot. Look past the mess on site and imagine the completed home. In doing this, you can also realise things that others perhaps would not; for instance could the plot benefit from two new builds instead of one, which you would be able to sell on for profit?
Going back a second time shows you are starting to think seriously. If possible, try and visit the plot on your own so that you have chance to take time thinking matters over without anyone trying to sway your opinion.
Be aware that on second glance, you may notice things that you perhaps missed. Do your research on property prices in the area to gauge whether you are striking a fair deal too.
A look around the neighbourhood to assess the local vernacular would also be wise — this will give you a basis to work your design plans off in order for them to be favourable with the planners. If your ideal home is in stark contrast to all the neighbouring properties, it might be best to search for a plot elsewhere.
You also need to factor in practicalities like access and services. If site access is difficult consider how this could affect your build. With regards to services, most estate agents devolve responsibility here. In some cases it will only take a quick look to ensure services are in place, but if they are not, it is up to you to establish what your options would be.
If after the viewing process you are still keen on the plot, it is time to talk planning permission.
After all, without planning permission a piece of land is not a 'plot'.
Main image by Jaggery.