complete newbie

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Hi Everyone,


The title of my post could not be more accurate. Brief picture of my situation:


  • Left the USA after 10 years last year, sold house moved for job down south, relocating to Cumbria later this year looking for land for a self build, home for renovation or existing property
  • I have looked at several plots of land in and around the Lake District - none which i have bought, almost bought one - missed out
  • The dream is to buy land and build a 4 bedroom home, all environmentally friendly, latest technology etc, however..
  • I honestly have NO idea where to start which i why i found this forum. If i found land how would i know if i could get permission to build, basic questions like this are preventing me from even knowing what to do first!
  • I am in a fortunate situation where i would have the money to pull the trigger on at least the land, or is it best to get a loan for the land and spend the cash on the home, too many questions


I would really appreciate some basic initial advice on just where to start with the whole process from anyone with the patience, i am going through the forum alot recently seeing some ideas






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Welcome Richard - I'm pretty new to this also. Before you know it you'll be sounding like an expert to your friends but still realising how much there is to learn 🙂 As you've no doubt seen, loads of helpful people on here to provide guidance etc as needed.

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Hi @beeps1980 and welcome to the forum. Starting from such a low base as you seem to be doing, the best advice is to read through the relevant topics on this site, as much as you can. I was in a similar position to you - a complete novice. I found reading the various "house building magazines" a great starting point as they gave me access to shows / exhibitions and also topics / questions which formed my internet research. Overtime, you become a bit more informed.

As for buying land, the best advice is not to buy a plot unless it has planing permission attached. Yes, some have purchased plots without it in place so it can be done but that route might depend upon your experience, acceptance of risk and depth of your pockets!

That said, plots with planning permission need careful consideration as you really need to think about getting the services to the plot and the type of foundations you would need. Elephant traps everywhere but by joining this forum, you have given yourself a fighting chance!

Good luck.

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It sounds as though you are thinking of a dream location and then finding a building plot. If only! Planning laws are very strict and most "dream locations" are protected from building. Your best bet is to look for plots with planning permission already in place as it can be heart breaking and wallet emptying trying to get planning permission on land that is outside the building zone.

The exception to this seems to be one of the Grand Design type builds. I know that our local authority will consider a building of exceptional merit to be built outside of the planning boundary. This usually means a huge structure or a really quirky one. One man's meat, though, is another man's poison and they may never agree to a design that you would want to build and live in.

Friends of mine have been trying for years to obtain planning permission on some land they own. They are tens of thousands of pounds out of pocket and are just awaiting an appeal against the latest refusal.

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