Find a plot of land
Finding the right plot of land is as crucial to the self-build process as the design of your home. The location, aspect and nature of the land will determine many of your design decisions, so there’s almost no point in beginning to design until you’ve secured land to build on. But where to start?
Online plot search sites
Online plot search engines have made it much easier to find land, so it’s best to start there. Leading plot search engines include PlotSearch, Plotfinder, and PlotBrowser. The National Custom & Self Build Association’s government-endorsed Self Build Portal website also includes a useful Need-a-Plot noticeboard.
You can also find information on who owns a property or land in England and Wales online via the Government’s Land Registry - you’ll need a debit or credit card. Similar information can be found for Scotland via the Registers of Scotland.
Local estate agents & land agents
Estate agents in your chosen area often have plots on their books, and are well networked with the building trades, property developers, and investment clients. Leave your details with them in case they get news of a suitable land sale.
To find an estate agent in your chosen area, contact the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), the UK's leading professional body for estate agencies.
Land agents are rarer, but worth contacting, as they deal solely with building plots and land.
Local authorities are required to maintain a self-build and custom housebuilding register where self-builders can note their interest in buying a serviced plot of land. The local authority website should have details or you can register your interest at NaCSBA's Right to Build.
Press and magazines
Consumer magazines such as The Homebuilding & Renovating Magazine and Your Build regularly advertise plots for sale around the country.
Local papers also advertise land for sale and many are published online, making it easy to access information covering a wide area.
Site with existing home
Some self-builders buy an existing house and plot with the intention of replacing the building and redeveloping the site. Previously developed sites are often preferred locations, and a pre-existing house means less concern over planning regulations. The downside is the cost of demolition. Scanning local estate agents is this best place to start investigating this route to acquiring a plot.