If you have loved watching Kevin McLeod repeats of Grand Designs you might be forgiven for thinking a self-build project like that can only take place in the wilds of Wales or Cornwall but maybe not. Some recent research has worked out where self-builders might be able to make the best returns by buying a plot, often with an existing property on it and then replacing it, and guess what? Harpenden in Hertfordshire came out top of the list as “the most viable place to do a self-build, within an hour's commute of London,” with St Albans 13th on the same list.
The research carried out by developer Searchfield Homes only included towns within an hour of central London by train or the Underground and was focused only on where self-builders could make the best return by buying a plot with an existing property on it and replacing it. The study revealed that self-builders in Harpenden could make a 39% return on their initial investment and self-builders in St Albans 29.83%.
These returns were based on an average detached plot and build costing £2million, including stamp duty charges and mortgage interest over a two-year period at a rate of 3.5 per cent onto which was built a house that is twice the original size so would produce a property worth £2.8million. Their top tips were to; find a plot with an older house that is not a listed building or in a conservation area - 1930s houses are ideal because of their large gardens and comparatively lower prices per square foot. Hire a surveyor to value the price per square foot of your proposed house. Calculate the minimum size required for the house to be worth more than the build cost. Discuss your proposals with the local planning authority before purchase. Then put in a planning application for the biggest house that you can afford that the local authority will permit. Maybe Harpenden could be the site of your Grand Design.
If you are thinking of embarking on your own self build project then why not get in touch with our New Homes team on 01727 814272 or pop into your local branch of Frosts.