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Monday 5th December 2022

Could your next home be a Grand Design?

jodie everard conveyancing exeterChannel 4’s Grand Designs routinely captures the imagination of the British public as it follows the bids of gritty individuals to design and build the home of their dreams.

Now, following the Government’s recent announcement of £150m of funding to make it simpler and less expensive for individuals to self-build or custom-build, more people can turn their Grand Design dreams into reality, as Jodie Everard, a property law expert at Rundlewalker in Exeter explains.

The Government’s Help to Build scheme enables you to build a home of your own design with just a 5% deposit towards land and building costs. It also helps you to live in the area of your choosing by letting you register with a local authority to find serviced plots of land available for development in their area.

If your application is successful, you will be offered an equity loan based on the estimated costs to buy a plot of land and build the home. You can borrow between 5% and 20% of your costs across England – and up to 40% in London.

This will allow many more people to get on the property ladder in this manner, given that before the advent of this scheme, the average cost for a self and custom build deposit was around 25% of land and building costs.

Total build costs of these customised homes must not be more than £600,000 (or £400,000 if the land is already owned), and to be eligible to apply for the scheme, you must:

  • live in the newly-built house as your primary home;
  • be 18 years of age or over;
  • have a right to live in England;
  • and secure a self-build mortgage from a lender registered with Help to Build.

If you are successful in securing a Help to Build equity loan, you will have three years to buy the land you need and build your home.

The Help to Build scheme aims to boost the UK’s underdeveloped self and custom build sector with the aim being for it to deliver 30,000 - 40,000 new homes a year. The Help to Build scheme was launched in June 2022, and funding is available for four years; however, if demand is higher than anticipated, funding may be cut off before then.

A custom-build or self-build home allows you to design a home in an area of your choosing which both internally and externally is tailored to the needs of you and your family, allowing you to include features that suit you on the design, energy efficiency and technology fronts.

You may, of course, be daunted by the ‘self-build’ label – particularly if you do not feel you have any design or building skills. However, the scheme offers three different options which allow you to be as hands off or hands on as you want. These are:

  • Self-build: this option sees you project-managing the entire build yourself, from purchasing the plot of land, sourcing and building materials, to engaging contractors and supervising the specialists you need such as architects, builders, plumbers, and electricians.
  • Custom-build: this is the least hands-on option and involves you hiring a professional builder to manage the entire project for you. You would discuss with them issues like how you would like your home laid out and how many rooms you want and they will take it from there.
  • Shell-build: with this option you hire a professional builder to construct the external elements of your home – including roof, foundations, and exterior walls. It is then up to you to design and finish the interior with internal walls, plastering, flooring and tiling.

How a solicitor can help
Our specialist property team can go through the Help to Build scheme application process with you, helping you to decide whether to go for self, custom or shell-build. Then, if you need to buy land for your project, we can handle all of the conveyancing aspects for you, including conducting all necessary searches, ensuring all required permissions are in place, and interacting with the seller so that you can concentrate on designing the home of your dreams.

Call Jodie Everard on 01392 209209 or email at Rundlewalker in Exeter.

This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Please note that the law may have changed since this article was published.