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Dave Beans

Self-Build Homes Face A New Set Of Obstacles

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So a council can "give" land to a self-builder, but when it comes to selling the house on, they aren't allowed to make a profit on it, as it would be treated as "social housing"...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2010/aug/08/self-build-grant-shapps-nimbys

The government's planning and housing policies are a "nimbys' charter" set to "strangle" the self-build sector, says one of Britain's self-build experts. Jason Orme, who built his own home and edits Homebuilding & Renovating magazine, describes the coalition's professed support for self-build as "a joke".

Housing minister Grant Shapps says the coalition will instruct councils to create registers of potential self-builders and allocate them land, including some private plots "donated" by volume house-builders, as a condition of receiving planning consent to construct large schemes. In return, at least some self-builders, chiefly in high-priced rural areas, would have to agree that their completed homes would be classified as local social housing and not be sold-on privately. "We want to see a self-build movement spread across the country and particularly come to the rescue in rural areas," says Shapps.

But Orme and other self-build experts say other policies contradict this support: "When it outlawed 'garden-grabbing', the government said it was stopping developers building blocks of flats on little old ladies' back gardens," he says. "But a significant minority of self-build plots are in large gardens and they're entirely appropriate. If the coalition was serious about promoting self-build, it would make this an exception."

Orme is also critical of the abolition of house-building targets, which are to be replaced with more power for councils and community groups to decide on schemes for local homes. In some cases, 90% of locals may have to support a proposal before it can go ahead, a level of support currently achieved by very few planning applications.

Other experts share Orme's views. Andy Lloyd of Cumbria Rural Housing Trust wrote to Shapps broadly backing the "localism" concept, but his letter, on the CRHT website, warns: "Unfortunately the suggested condition of gaining 90% community support stops this very good idea in its tracks."

The fear of many, including volume developers, surveyors and planners, is that by devolving decision-making to communities, most plans for homes will be thrown out. Until now, self-builders have been treated benevolently by planners. Before the recession there were 20,000 self-built homes in the UK annually, about 12.5% of the total, compared with 40% in Scandinavia and central Europe. BuildStore, a resource centre, says that one in three new detached houses in the UK in 2009 were self-built, but warns that the sector cannot expand without investment.

"Creating the 'revolution' Grant Shapps has spoken of, requires a significant support framework that involves government, local authorities, mortgage lenders and the construction industry as well as information, education, and support for prospective self-builders themselves," says BuildStore chief executive Raymond Connor.

One major problem is funding. The sector did not expand, as anticipated, when plot prices fell in the downturn. Land, the most expensive element of self-build projects, fell 35% in value in 2008 and another 10% last year, but most self-builders failed to take advantage because they could not negotiate loans.

Many self-builders must juggle paying an existing loan on their current home while they build their next one, so require unusual mortgage products. Some analysts fear that increasing wariness about credit levels will further inhibit lenders from serving the self-build sector, regarded by mainstream finance houses as too complicated.

Ian and Bronwen Lebbon had that problem when they spent 18 months building a timber-framed house at Corwen in Denbighshire. Loan requests to building societies were rebuffed and the one bank that agreed would only lend the full sum up-front at high interest rates. Instead, they opted for a Buildstore mortgage – phased payments were made as elements of the project were completed.

"I knew exactly what target I was working to and what money I would get up-front for the next stage," says Ian, whose project cost £382,000.

Mortgage intelligence service Moneyfacts says there were 35 self-build lenders in pre-credit-crunch early 2007, and 21 today, a modest fall compared with some other niche mortgage sectors. "But they don't advertise rates or products and usually tailor what they offer to specific applicants," says Moneyfacts' Louise Holmes. "No one knows how many loans are actually made."

Now self-builders are waiting to see if the government's proposals come to fruition. If they do, and even if local agreement is forthcoming, there may not be the expansion of self-build that some people anticipate.

"Most self-builders want to build ordinary family homes, then sell-on after a few years," says Orme. "The government wants them to build social housing that used to be provided by professional developers or councils. That's a cop-out by government and is not what self-build is about."

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I wouldnt mind that, if the land was priced right. I want somewhere nice to live, not something to make a paper profit on. I dont need a house to make money for me. I guess thats the german in me. They dont need houses either to end up better off than the Brits.

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Guest Noodle

I wouldnt mind that, if the land was priced right. I want somewhere nice to live, not something to make a paper profit on. I dont need a house to make money for me. I guess thats the german in me. They dont need houses either to end up better off than the Brits.

You have a German in you? :blink:

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Ideally, I would like to just rent land from the council for aconverted shipping container home with temporary planning permission for 5 yrs, and then perhaps move it on elsewhere to avoid some planning regs.

The thought of a 'permanently sited, comparatively insecure residence (compared to a container) is now much less attractive. In the increasingly scary economic environment we needs a mobile workforce with appropriate low cost shelter to ride out the storm and the crime wave.

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Ideally, I would like to just rent land from the council for aconverted shipping container home with temporary planning permission for 5 yrs, and then perhaps move it on elsewhere to avoid some planning regs.

The thought of a 'permanently sited, comparatively insecure residence (compared to a container) is now much less attractive. In the increasingly scary economic environment we needs a mobile workforce with appropriate low cost shelter to ride out the storm and the crime wave.

That's quite true I think. It's sort of how I live if and when Blighty side.

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So a council can "give" land to a self-builder, but when it comes to selling the house on, they aren't allowed to make a profit on it, as it would be treated as "social housing"...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2010/aug/08/self-build-grant-shapps-nimbys

So, if a self builders then, a some years later, want or need to move, she/he will get only the building cost back. And will have to rent again then. Brilliant... Why that restriction? What is the logic behind it? De-motivate home building? Why? I don't get it. What is the logic behind it?

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So, if a self builders then, a some years later, want or need to move, she/he will get only the building cost back. And will have to rent again then. Brilliant... Why that restriction? What is the logic behind it? De-motivate home building? Why? I don't get it. What is the logic behind it?

Land is power. Structures are temporary.

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Land is power. Structures are temporary.

1 plot. 1 tiny fecking bleeding plot. The fecking b@stards.

Edit: And before "misunderstandings" start, I don't want to "profit" from it. I jjust to be able to move if we want or need, and be able to sell 1 house, and buy another one, similar, same price, somewhere else. Or will self builders have to build anbother house every fecking time they need to move?! The fecking B@STARDS!!!

Edited by Tired of Waiting

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:lol:

I know...

Sorry, just a little more:

The F*"%*!@*~" B@STARDS!!!

The more I read this board, the costs, the agro, the control in that place [uK] . . . as much as I do feel for all of you, I ain't half glad I moved here, for all it's woes. Seriously.

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The more I read this board, the costs, the agro, the control in that place [uK] . . . as much as I do feel for all of you, I ain't half glad I moved here, for all it's woes. Seriously.

I know. You are absolutely right.

Have you seen my edit in post 10?

If this new government doesn't move this country in the right direction in the next few years, we will have no choice but to emigrate as well. It would be unfair for our future children to impinge such unfair, and mad, country on them.

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I know. You are absolutely right.

Have you seen my edit in post 10?

If this new government doesn't move this country in the right direction in the next few years, we will have no choice but to emigrate as well. It would be unfair for our future children to impinge such unfair, and mad, country on them.

Yup.

My house is my pension. See, it didn't cost very much, all done, land . . . it's not actually worth anything at all, but now I can save for retirement. Lot of income/price arbitrage in there mind so don't think houses are any more affordable for locals here than they are where you are.

Can get dull here mind. Swings, roundabouts.

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I wanted to bury my container on 3 sides with earth to optimise thermal mass insulation / heating, with a long side of glass, south facing (with steel roller shutters). To do it on a bigger scale, I think it would need a roof garden dotted with plants & some wood/ solar panel cladding to avoid a 'Nimby effect' objection (part burying it would help)

However, recently I've been thinking more of a smaller, more mobile structure based on a used 10 foot aluminium airline container called a 'Unit Load Device' that I could get on a flatbed 3.5 tonne van to drive myself. This would be more flexible than the expense of an artic lorry hire with containers. Although, I toyed with making a towable trailer out of a 10 foot container or converting a mobile 10 ft /20 ft site portacabin that you are familiar with. I was quoted £1500 for a well used 20ft portacabin (in N. Wales)

:blink:

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Yup.

My house is my pension. See, it didn't cost very much, all done, land . . . it's not actually worth anything at all, but now I can save for retirement. Lot of income/price arbitrage in there mind so don't think houses are any more affordable for locals here than they are where you are.

Can get dull here mind. Swings, roundabouts.

I suppose thats a decision that those wanting to emigrate have to make - do we live in the UK, where we can live a struggling existence, but we can easily see our closest family and friends, or live a very good, comfortable lifestyle abroad, but without your dearest friends & family around you..

Edited by Dave Beans

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I suppose thats a decision that those wanting to emigrate have to make - do we live in the UK, where we can live a struggling existence, but we can easily see our closest family and friends, or live a very good, comfortable lifestyle abroad, but without your dearest friends & family around you..

;)

Time and distance makes the heart grow fonder . . . I'm sure. :lol:

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As long as you get back what you paid during construction, it doesn't seem unfair on the face of it. That said, it seems like a strange solution to the problem - if they don't want people to profit from land value increases, why not consider a land value tax, which is paid for by all home owners? In short, why have a two tier system?

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As long as you get back what you paid during construction, it doesn't seem unfair on the face of it. That said, it seems like a strange solution to the problem - if they don't want people to profit from land value increases, why not consider a land value tax, which is paid for by all home owners? In short, why have a two tier system?

The main problem is that the owner would not be able to move to a similar house elsewhere in the future. We would love to be able to build our own home, and we don't want to "profit" from it. But we would want to be able to move if we want or need, and be able to sell 1 house, and buy another one, similar, same price, somewhere else. Or will self builders have to build another house every time they need to move?!

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  • 259 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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