Grand Designs Or Grand Disasters? Working Out If A Self Build Is Right For You

New Build Large Detached Home

Whilst many of us might never have even entertained the prospect of building our own home before 2020, the pandemic showed us the value of being comfortable in our own spaces.

As well as a place for sanctuary and security, our homes also had to fast become both our office and somewhere to unwind at the same time.

Spending so much time at home has inspired more than two thirds of the British public (65%) to invest in renovations to their houses, to create the ideal property. Research shows that 1 in 3 would even go as far as to consider a self build project to get their dream home.

With the government recently announcing its commitment to making it easier for people to plan and build their own properties, we take a look at the benefits of going down the self build route, and whether it’s right for you.

Who is a self build project best suited to?

There’s a misconception that to create your own home you need very deep pockets and the kind of interior design skills that would make Kevin McCloud weep with joy, but actually, a self build project can be an ideal way to create the dream home you may not have otherwise been able to afford. As long as you have a clear vision of what you’re looking for and why, you can contract the relevant teams to help you – just be sure to factor this into your budget.

Interior design computer drawing of interior of self build home

According to a recent survey, the biggest motivating factor behind a self build for more than half of respondents was the ability to design their own layout. This could be purely an aesthetic preference or have more practical reasons behind it.

It’s also a great choice if you’re keen to make eco-friendly decisions. From sourcing local, sustainable materials, to installing energy-efficient features such as solar panels or triple glazing, you can become more environmentally conscious, and for 28% of potential self builders, this was the biggest pull.

What do I need to be aware of?

If you’re in a rush to move house, or you just want to get things done and dusted as soon as possible, a self build property might not be for you. That’s not to say your project is destined to run over schedule, but you should be prepared to put the time into planning and coordinating such a significant investment.

Cadastre Map

You’ll also want to think about finding a suitable plot for your build. In fact, the aforementioned research shows one in five people believe this will be their biggest challenge, but with Right To Build registers set to be reviewed, the idea of sourcing a location for your project shouldn’t put you off creating your dream home.

What is important to factor into your decision is how the classification of your build is likely to affect your mortgage application. The majority of lenders will require you to take out a specialist self build mortgage rather than a standard residential product, and this is something that just isn’t on everyone’s radar. This could also be the case if you’re doing major renovations, so it’s worth seeking advice from an experienced intermediary in this area. Working with a lender who operates a manual underwriting approach can also be beneficial in this instance.

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