Help to Build: Equity Loan: How do I secure a plot of land?

If you’ve decided you want to self build your home, the next stage is to find and buy the plot of land where your new home will be built. If you’ve chosen to go with a custom or shell build home, the professional homebuilder you’re working with will manage this stage for you.

Step 1: Location

If you have a location in mind, start by researching the area to make sure it suits your needs. If you have children – or are planning to in future – check out the local schools and playgrounds. If you work from home often, check the average broadband speeds.

Once you’re sure an area is right for you, use an online tool such as Plotfinder, Plotsearch, or OnTheMarket to browse the available plots of land. You should also register with Right to Build, which is a government initiative that supports local authorities to help you search for land to build your own home.

Step 2: Making sure the land is suitable

You’ve found a plot in an ideal location, but there are a few things you need to be sure of before you buy the land.

Make sure you get outline planning permission for the plot. This means that permission has been granted for a development to be built, but no specifics have been confirmed.

Step 3: Finances

With Help to Build we can offer you an equity loan between 5% and 20% (up to 40% in London) of the estimated costs, up to a maximum amount of £600,000.

This will allow you to buy the land (if needed) and build your own home. The maximum estimated the build cost can be up to £400,000.

To be eligible for the scheme, you must:

  • be 18 years of age or over
  • have a right to live in England
  • live in the newly built home as your only home
  • get a self build mortgage from a lender registered with the scheme.

To find out more about the scheme, view our Customers’ guide to Help to Build: Equity Loan.

To get a better idea of the finances involved in building your own home, research typical costs for build projects online.

Step 4: Buying the land

There are a few different ways to buy land in England:

  • At an auction: This means placing bids alongside others who are interested in the land. The highest bidder will be successful. You’ll usually have to pay an immediate deposit of 10% of the final bid, so make sure you have the money available
  • From a local builder: Builders often have plots of land that they sell privately. You can make them an offer for the land just as you would when buying a house
  • From the local authority: Local authorities often sell unwanted or unused land, either through auctions or an estate agent. You can make them an offer for this land
  • From a developer: Developers could have spare plots of land near their housing developments. If there are any new homes being built near the location where you’d like to live, make sure to ask the developer if there are any opportunities for you to buy some land.

Once you have bought your land, you’ll then need to get full planning permission based on your specific build. When permission is granted, you can start to work on your home.

This article is for information only and is not intended as financial advice.