How do I sell off the back of my garden?

by Readers Question

11:11 AM, 17th May 2016
About 2 years ago

How do I sell off the back of my garden?

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How do I sell off the back of my garden?

I have a very large garden, and I can access the bottom of the garden by the side of my house, I want to know how I can find out about what I need to do to get a value and possibly sell the land.garden

Many thanks

Brenda



Comments

Neil Patterson

11:12 AM, 17th May 2016
About 2 years ago

Hi Brenda,

Do you have planning permission as that makes a massive difference to the value?

Brenda Wilder

14:14 PM, 17th May 2016
About 2 years ago

No I haven't done anything yet, to be honest I'm looking to sell off part of my rear garden and also convert my house into two flats, but I'm not sure where to start getting permission ect

Jason Mugridge

10:46 AM, 18th May 2016
About 2 years ago

Hi Brenda, Normally in my experience the best way to do this is to not to do anything yourself but to get a subject to planning deal. The reason I say this is we see developers will normally get much better plans approved than you or I could, making your site worth much more. Also, assuming you wanted to sell your place once converted into flats, tax wise, you would be much better off to sell it all in one, and assuming it is your main property. Although I'm not a tax expert so do get professional advice on that before doing anything.

jane macswayne

11:07 AM, 18th May 2016
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Brenda Wilder" at "17/05/2016 - 14:14":

Hi Brenda I have done exactly this with a large garden adjoining one of my rental properties. I had a "word of mouth" recommendation for a local architect. Had an initial meeting with him where we discussed what could work and be acceptable for the local planning authority. After a bit of backwards and forwards I got planning but in process it highlighted boundary that had been moved/underground pipes so please don't under estimate cost of getting planning and time it can take. From my point of view worth it as it is now a potential building plot rather than a large garden that my tenant didn't want to maintain so worth it. Good luck

matchmade

11:20 AM, 18th May 2016
About 2 years ago

Brenda - I am a small developer so have some experience in this sort of thing. I'd even be interested in taking your project on myself if you like. Here are some suggestions:

1. Contact a local small developer or builder whom the local grapevine says does good work and has the skills needed to build new houses. If you can't identify anyone, look at your local council's record of planning applications that involved a new house or two: the documentation will give the name of the landowner and his or her builder/developer/planning consultant, and possibly their contact details. If the contact details have been blacked out, the name should be enough for you to do a local internet search and find the information you need. If another landowner thought it worth using them, they will probably be OK, and you can always try and contact the landowner for a reference.

2. Yellow Pages are another useful source of information: just look for planning consultants, architects and builders. A builder who's a member of the Federation of Master Builders should be good, but there will be others who don't want to pay or FMB membership but are still perfectly capable of building a new house (and will say so in their advertisment).

3. Ask local estate agents, probably the larger ones who are more likely to have links to local developers, architects and planning consultants.

4. Draw up a short list of candidates and interview them, to find someone you can get on with. Don't go purely on price, especially if you decide to build the house yourself and move into it (see the option below)

5. Don't assume you will automatically get planning permission. Councils can be very strict and hostile to back garden developments, especially since these were redesignated as greenfield land in 2010. You and your planning advisor will also need to look very closely at the access arrangements: are there any restrictions on vehicle access to the rear? Where are the overlooking issues for your neighbours? What's the visibility like when you access the public highway? How will refuse disposal be managed? Will any trees be affected? All of these factors can throw a spanner in the works.

You may need to consider cutting down any sensitive trees before making an application, as councils can be eager to slap a Tree Preservation Order on the most unlikely of specimens if they sniff any hint of a proposal for a new house (perhaps tipped off by a hostile neighbour). I'm sorry if I sound paranoid but my experience is unfortunately that the Great British Public will stop at nothing if they feel their properties are going to be affected by a new-build. This is why you need a good planning consultant to advise you.

6. Don't sell the house without planning permission, as you will lose out on a lot of the uplift in value. Do however consider an "option agreement" if you are offered one: the developer will offer to take the site through planning and pay you a decent price for the land, less his or her planning costs, provided you sign an agreement to give them first option to buy the site. If you're not sure what "a decent price" means, get the site valued by a surveyor: they will charge, but it's worth the money for the peace of mind.

7. Consider building the new house yourself, rather than just selling the land once planning has been obtained. You will benefit more from the uplift in value, and could even move into the house as your new home for a year or two, saving yourself a large amount in capital gains tax, selling agent fees, and possibly Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), if your council operates this tax. CIL is a tax on new houses but "self-builders" are exempt provided they live in the new house for two years. You could then convert your existing house into two flats and rent them out, and will be doing very nicely!

8. if you don't have the capital to fund the building of an new house, it is perfectly possible to get a development loan from a bank or building society. Land is usually the largest single cost in any development, so if you can provide that for free, you will probably have no problem getting a new-build loan. When the house is finished this could later be converted or replaced by a conventional mortgage (residential or buy-to-let), or you may decide just to sell, even though this will incur CGT and CIL.

Brenda Wilder

11:45 AM, 18th May 2016
About 2 years ago

Thank you

Brenda Wilder

11:49 AM, 18th May 2016
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Tony Atkins" at "18/05/2016 - 11:20":

Hi, I'm also looking to convert my 3 bed house into two, two bedroom flats, would this be something you are interested in

Brenda Wilder

11:49 AM, 18th May 2016
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Tony Atkins" at "18/05/2016 - 11:20":

Hi, I'm also looking to convert my 3 bed house into two, two bedroom flats, would this be something you are interested in

Brenda Wilder

11:53 AM, 18th May 2016
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Jason Mugridge" at "18/05/2016 - 10:46":

Ok thanks for your advice, I'm actually looking to retain my ground floor flat and just sell the top floor one

matchmade

11:54 AM, 18th May 2016
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Brenda Wilder" at "18/05/2016 - 11:49":

Yes, but it depends on where you are located.

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