How to Find A Plot For Building Your Own Home

Finding a suitable plot of land can often be the trickiest part of the whole process of building your own home. The search may be long, so you’ll need patience, tenacity and an open mind.

To increase your chances of securing your ideal plot, try a wide range of methods and ideas at the same time. Here are our top ideas to help start the search. 

Ask around

Spread the word among your family and friends that you’re on the hunt for a plot. Try searching local and regional newspaper classifieds. Check community message boards, or post a Plot Wanted message. Take a walk around the area you’re interested in building and talk to the locals - you never know who knows about a house about to be demolished or who has a spacious garden plot that could be subdivided. 

Search online databases

Check sites like Plotsearch, Plotfinder and Plotbrowser which list available plots. You can also do land-only searches on general real estate portals like Zoopla and Rightmove.

Land and property auctions

Auctions can be a great way to find a plot. UK Auction List lets you search for plots coming up for auction across the country. Be sure to visit the plot, research its planning history at the relevant local authority so you are fully informed before making a bid. Before auction day you need to contact the auction house to register your intention to bid. You’ll also need to have finance and a solicitor in place prior to the auction.

Demolish an existing property

Knocking down an existing property and building a replacement dwelling can be cost effective, especially in more expensive parts of the UK - for example, a poorly built detached house on a larger plot. You will need to seek advice from the local planning department to make sure the property is suitable for this purpose.

Right to Build register

If you’re in England, be sure you sign up to your local Right to Build register. This legislation places pressure on councils to make more self build land available in your area if the register indicates demand. There have been over 33,000 sign-ups since the registers launched in 2016.

Real estate agents

While local estate agents don’t usually sell many plots they can often have good contacts with landowners and property developers, so they may know of sites with plot potential like properties with large gardens or dilapidated properties. 

Serviced plots

If you can find them, serviced plots are a great way to speed up the build your own home process. In most instances they come with some level of planning permission in place. These plots are ready to start work on - gas, sewage, electricity, water and broadband are already connected. 

Planning permission is everything

Before you fall head over heels with a piece of land, don’t forget to check with the local planning department that the plot has planning permission. It is strongly advised to never purchase a plot without planning permission in place.


Photo: Adam Mørk

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