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Things to Consider When Buying a Building Plot
Searching for a good building plot can be difficult task. Apart from the high purchase cost there are several other financial and legal considerations to conjure with. Many today will turn to the internet to help with their search. There are some great offline services as well which will screen for pots that meet your criteria. Deciding on the ideal plot is very much down to the individual. You will need to assess the plot for size and general aspect, proximity to services and other properties as well as any restrictions which may have been applied to any prospective builds. Once you have boiled down the search to a few likely options it’s time to get meticulous over your figures. Building is a costly exercise and all the cost need to be anticipated before you lay the first brick. Once you feel you have adequate funds for the land and the build, add on another 10% or more for the inevitable overruns and unforeseen problems.
When buying land one common hiccup is missing deeds which make it tricky when pinning down whom legally owns what. This problem can be overcome by getting Statutory Declarations from those selling the land as well as anyone else who may have an association with it. This then enables you to get a Defective Title Indemnity Policy which provides insurance.
In some case you can end up with a Title over land you don’t own. Adverse Possession, as it is known in England, or Prescription in Scotland, can take a while to settle and sometimes means a pot is offered with Possessory Title rather than an Absolute Title. This often happens when boundaries have been moved in previous years. These small areas are best insured just in case the rightful owner makes a claim for the land at a later date. However, the main pot of land can still be offered with Absolute Possession.
You need to ensure that the deeds specify vehicular access from the pot to a public highway and if this is achieved over a private driveway or right of way. If the plot sits near to other land or properties there are occasions when the legal rights or ownership may be unclear. Again Indemnity Insurance will be useful in order to safeguard against any potential claims. If access appears to have existed for 20 years or more it may be possible to claim a legal right of way. This should not be over rail, waterways, highways or crown land and must have been carried out without force or secrecy.
Once you have decided to go ahead with the purchase you need to be practical as to how you are going to find the funds. If your capital is locked up in your current home you may need to consider bridging loans or selling up quickly. Where are you expecting to live if your home needs to be sold first? Are you going to rent in the short term or locate a caravan on the plot itself? Don’t overlook the cost of living while in the building phase. You may need to pay to store the majority of your furniture and use a Removals firm more than just once. Your legal expenses will be higher than with just a simple house to house move so get costs from your local solicitors.