<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
12 ISSUES FOR £24 Subscribe to Surrey Life today click here

Plot purchase and new construction: Why it shouldn’t be as expensive or complicated as you think

PUBLISHED: 12:53 19 October 2016 | UPDATED: 12:53 19 October 2016

Archant

The summer holidays are but a distant memory and autumn is upon us. Are you still thinking about that ramshackle house just up from the beach that you saw on holiday? The one with the most amazing views? Or perhaps you are dreaming about the plot of land down the road that is in just the right location for your perfect house

You may be dreaming of building your own house on the perfect plot of land but may discard that thought as fantasy on the basis that it will be much too expensive, an inordinate amount of hassle and extremely complicated.

Well, a plot purchase and a new construction needn’t be as expensive or complicated as you may think, and indeed there are many upsides to taking this route rather than holding out trying to find the perfect house, in the perfect location, which has already been built by somebody else.

There are a number of ways to go about this:

(a) find an empty plot, buy it and apply for planning permission and if obtained, build

(b) find a plot, enter into an option agreement to purchase it, whilst you obtain the planning you need. If you get planning build it and if not walk away

(c) find a plot with existing planning permission, buy it, and build the house; or find a plot with a partially built house and then purchase the land and building (as built) and work with the developer/builder to finish off the house to your specification

There can be a number of possible advantages to proceeding in any of these ways:

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)

• The SDLT may be payable in relation to the value of the land you buy (assuming the plot is vacant) and is therefore likely to represent a significant saving

• Assuming a house is partially built on the plot, then there is likely to be a reduced value being the total of the value of the plot and the value of the house as constructed

• There should not be additional SDLT (the additional 3% that came into force on 1 April 2016 in respect of second homes) on land that does not have a dwelling built on it

VAT

• You may be able to apply for a VAT refund on building materi-als and services if you are building a new home or converting a property into a home (subject to the materials qualifying and an application being made to HMRC within three months of completing the work).

Perhaps the most important and practical point is that you get to build your own house, to your own design, specification, layout and orientation, to suit your needs and which will last many generations.

Recently we acted for clients in relation to the purchase of a property which had been partially constructed by the devel-oper. The developer was keen to extract their value from the site as early as possible, and was prepared to work with our clients to finish the home to their specification and layout.

Our clients had the benefit of being able to purchase the land and property as constructed at the date of completion and paying SDLT on the value at that stage (rather than the value of the property once completed). They also had the opportunity to choose certain aspects of the build to their own requirements. We provided extensive construction law advice in relation to the contract with the developer and our private property team dealt with the land transaction. We were able to use our network of contacts which encompass buying and selling agents, land agents, lenders and brokers. They worked hand in hand with our own teams of experienced construction lawyers who advised on appointing architects and other construction professionals as well as negotiating building contracts, plus our residential property experts to provide the range of services required for the purchase of land for development.

Of course, finding a plot can be very difficult but with the right advice and preparation you can ensure you are in pole position to snap up a suitable plot when one becomes available. Whilst it may be tempting to rely on your architect or surveyor to advise you on selecting and completing a suitable form of building contract, we would strongly recommend always seeking advice from specialist construction lawyers when undertaking significant works to your property, or a new build project. There are many legal considerations to be aware of, and the often used JCT family of so called “standard” contracts are not to be recommended without some amendment to better protect your position.


Top tips

• Take specialist advice - Take specialist advice early on - you may save time, trouble and money

• Widen your search - Widen your search to consider not just empty plots of land but also partially constructed sites

• Be realistic - Be realistic about your budget and time scales but don’t give up on the dream too easily


David Savage and William Marriott are property lawyers with Charles Russell Speechlys in our Guildford office. If you would like to speak to either of them about any aspect of building or purchasing a site or property to build on, please email them at david.savage@crsblaw.com, or william.marriott@crsblaw.com

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Surrey visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Surrey staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Surrey account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Homes & Gardens

Yesterday, 10:37

Traditionally crafted wardrobe designs blended with luxury modern style and The Heritage Wardrobe Company go hand in hand as their designers work with you to understand your storage needs

Read more
Wed, 11:22

Andy Smith, Surrey branch director of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, takes us to one of Surrey’s most precious, yet undervalued, heritage assets – Painshill in Cobham – and explains why its peace and tranquillity could now be at risk

Read more
Tue, 23:55

With a decade of gardening journalism and a host of award-winning landscape designs to his name, Dan Pearson’s latest book is chock-full of insights gained from a successful career at the forefront of global horticulture, which began at the sprawling RHS Garden Wisley

Read more
Tue, 23:13

The passing away of well¬known Surrey resident Mary Wondrausch OBE, on Boxing Day last year, created a high demand from those wishing to own a piece of her work. The exhibition of her work at The Watts Gallery in February, subsequently sold out very quickly

Read more

A newcomer to the National Gardens Scheme this year, Shamley Wood Estate is tucked away in the Surrey Hills near Guildford

Read more
Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Self-confessed stationery addicts, Trudi Savin and Sophie Morton, combined their love of block printing with a passion for pattern to create Yateley Papers. Janet Donin meets Trudi in their Reigate studio

Read more
Tuesday, May 2, 2017

From woodland glades to film set masterpieces and vineyard wonders, Surrey has a wealth of beautiful gardens to visit throughout the open gardens season. Surrey Life gardening editor, Leigh Clapp, picks out 25 of her favourites*

*The gardens featured are listed alphabetically, not in order of preference

Read more
Friday, April 28, 2017

Jack Brunsdon was a master craftsman with a passion for making things from wood.

Read more
Wednesday, April 12, 2017

As well as all of its wonderful little English country gardens, Surrey is home to some of the most important garden attractions in the world

Read more
Tuesday, April 4, 2017

This month, Andy Smith, Surrey branch director of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), explains why the Government’s recent White Paper on Housing should be warmly welcomed by everyone who loves Surrey’s countryside.

Read more

In the first instalment of our new feature focusing on Surrey’s amazing towns, we visit Godalming and explore its well-known (and lesser-known) gems

Read more
Monday, April 3, 2017

The Therapy Garden in Normandy, near Guildford, is opening next month through the National Gardens Scheme. Leigh Clapp visits to learn more about the wonderful work this charity does

Read more
Wednesday, March 29, 2017

With daffodils set to take centre stage, Leigh Clapp suggests three gardens to visit this month to immerse yourself in the freshness of the burgeoning season

Read more
Thursday, March 23, 2017

The conversion of the Atkinson Morley Hospital building into a stunning collection of just 27 elegant apartments is set to be unveiled this spring

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad
Surrey Life Application Link

Local Business Directory

Surrey's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area



Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search