Design by Jamie, architect from Guernsey. See more and shortlist them for your home project here.
Before sifting through loads of plot finder websites, you might find this very useful…
Frustratingly, there isn’t a one-stop-shop for finding your plot of land. Unlike house buying, where you can pretty much rely on RightMove & Zoopla to pick up everything on the market, there are a plethora of plot finder websites out there and it’s a little overwhelming and time-consuming to sift through all of them! So, we thought we’d give you a quick round up of the best ones out there to narrow down your search.
Impatient to get started? Just skip to our summary at the bottom of the page for our recommendation on the best plot finder for a typical self build project.
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1. Plot Finder
Number of plots: around 14,000 self-build plots and properties. Many of these are renovation or conversion projects rather than plots of land however, which perhaps is why the number is much higher than some of the other databases below.
Cost: £5 subscription per month. It’s free to browse their database but the information you see is very limited.
Summary: User friendly with an interactive map and a big range of search filters (perhaps too many, leaving the inexperienced searcher feeling a little lost!) You can also set up plot alerts. It’s not a huge cost if you’re serious about purchasing a plot, but they could at least ditch the annoying ads!
Our Rating: 7/10
2. Plot Browser
Number of plots: “thousands”. Unfortunately they don’t give you much more detail than that so could be 2,000, could be 14,000. Again, it’s a mixture of plots and properties.
Cost: This is a big bonus – it’s free. It shares a lot in common with plot finder above in terms of functionality so offers a good alternative if you’re loath to paying the fee straight away. However, the site itself is a little more clunky and frustrating to use.
Summary: A slightly less user friendly version of plot finder above, but it’s free.
Our Rating: 8/10
3. Build Store
Number of plots: 8,000 and claims to be “UK’s largest and most accurate single online source of available land and property to convert or renovate specifically designed for self builders, renovators and small-scale property developers.”
Cost: It’s free but be prepared to give away the details of your entire life before you can start your search! They are also a business concerned with finance, which might come in useful to you.
Summary: We found this website to be by far the most user friendly for an inexperienced searcher. It’s also very clear and thorough when clicking through to individual properties. You can also set up plot alerts.
Our Rating: 9/10
4. UK Land Directory
Number of plots: only around 800. However, this one does focus purely on plots rather than properties for renovation
Cost: Free to use, and you don’t need to give over your personal details either
Summary: It’s quite clear and simple to navigate around, and as there are fewer properties on there its quite quick to check out. It allows you to search on very broad terms so eventually those searches can be narrowed down. Say you just have a budget in mind, this website will find all the plots from across the UK in your price range. This site allows you to search from high to low prices, low to high, or even the type of land. Worth a look!
Our Rating: 6/10
5. The Self Build Portal
Number of plots: None! This website is about putting your request out there.
Cost: Free to use and quick to register.
Summary: Don’t be fooled into thinking these are plots for sale, all of the signs on the interactive map are other plot hunters’ requests! It’s such a passive approach, I certainly wouldn’t rely on finding your plot this way. But it’s free so what have you got to lose I suppose? What it could be very useful for is if you’re looking for other people to team up with to buy and split a plot.
Our Rating: 4/10 (10/10 if you’re looking to find other people for a group land purchase)
6. The Land Bank Partnership
Number of plots: 75 ish. They “source, evaluate and negotiate the purchase of land throughout the South West of England”.
Cost: Free to register to see the plots of land. Their fee to source and negotiate the sale on your behalf is 2% of the purchase price, (minimum of £1,500). This is only payable if you exchange contracts on the purchase of a site.
Summary: If you’re looking for land in the South West it might be worth registering with them. They work in the interests in the purchaser so their fee may well be very reasonable if they can negotiate hard for you on the asking price.
Our Rating: 7/10 if you’re looking in the South West
8. Custom Build Homes
Number of plots: A handful! However they are all specifically custom build plots. Custom build is a form of self build where you are “purchasing a fully serviced plot from a custom build developer and working with either the site architect, or your own”. The plot will typically be part of a larger housing complex.
Cost: Free to use
Summary: If you’re considering purchasing a plot of land for a ‘cutom build’ home from a developer, this website is for you. They have loads of useful information about planning your custom build house so well worth checking out all areas of their website.
Our Rating: 10/10 if your specifically looking for a plot of land for a custom build home.
Don’t use these all websites in the first sitting – it’s too overwhelming and un-productive. We found the Build Store to be the most comprehensive, easy to use website that’s also free to use. We would recommend using this as a solid starting point to get to grips with the jargon and get a better picture of what you’re looking for. After that you could progress to the Plot Finder and Plot Browser sites to make sure you aren’t missing out on any gems later on.
Choosing the right plot
When you get to the point of making an offer on a plot of land, consider consulting an architect at this stage. Many architects will attend an initial ‘meet and greet’ consultation with homeowners for free, however, if you require a little more detailed opinion of the site there might be a small one-off fee. This advice could end up being priceless however; they can help you to see opportunities, and more importantly constraints that you might have overlooked.
How we can help with this: Whether you have grand (designs) aspirations or something more modest, we will help you find the right residential architect in your area to meet your requirements. You can start by posting some details about the site and mention in your project description that you’re looking for some help choosing your plot. We’ll send this out to our database to see who’s interested. Oh, and this is all free!
All you need to do is tell us a bit about project: Register your project here
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