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hayder

Crowdfunding Buying A Large Plot With Like Minded Families

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Just an idea that's been swirling in my head. Its probably completely nuts and unworkable but here it is.

Basically look around for large farm plots just outside green belt.

Put up a kickstarter promo for people who want to have a 250m2 plot on which to build a house.

rely on a wind / solar for power as well as home based RO for water purification and a centralised sewage management... so pretty much "off grid" for most purposes (won't have gas initially).

Hire Polish / German companies to build SIP type houses for about 40k each

On kickstarter a pledge of about 5000 gets you a plot... then you have to arrange finance etc... to pony up the remaining 50k - 70k to build the actual house and fit it out with solar / wind / battery / RO unit...

You could have a new house of about 120m2 with a 150m garden and garage / workshop for less than 80k... is that dreaming?

The idea is not fully developed of course... so I await the many experts here to chip in with your ideas on whether its something that "could" work? essentially its setting up an informal housing cooperative.

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I know that getting planning permit will be the single biggest obstacle. which is why the aim is to get as many young families as possible to sign up and then start a social media campaign / guerilla marketing to get word out and basically kick start a protest to get permission to build straight from central government sidelining from day one the local nimbys. It would be a "rallying cry" for rational house building and not simply a small housing estate.

I also want to build the idea with a few principle of "21st century" living in place from day one.

1- Off grid for utilities.

2- use high speed wireless internet with directional broadcast (avoid hte need for wired network)

3- have an onsite workshop with a CNC and 3D printer for essential maintenance and for small cottage industries

4- encourage organic farming on site by the residents.

5- use of shared electric vehicles for commuting to work / schools

kind of a UK, ecological Kibbutz :D

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We were toying with a similar idea at work very recently - I'd been thinking about it for years.

Basically, *big* semi rural places that cost 2 million plus are fantasic value for money compared to a 400k shitbox. They are 20x the home for 5 times the money - plus they mostly have land which you can earn from, plus the houses are often suitable for things like corporate events etc. It makes far more sense for a bunch of families to get together and buy something like that if you're of a similar mindset.

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Now I remember why I dropped the idea. I can only think about it for so long before the concept morphs into some sort of self sufficiency cult where I get to be in charge of everything, and shag all the wives of the other families.

Nice idea but I can't see the missus going for it.

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The closest example I know of this is a neighbour that bought a wreck with 9 acres for ~£550K ~5 years ago.

He is trying every loophole he can think of to turn old sheds into houses.

1. stick some cows on the plot

2. wait a year

3 get permission to turn crappy sheds into two-storey barns. (done, council couldn't stop this under the law)

4. Get rid of cows.

5. Advertise sheds/building for industrial use (silly high price deliberately)

6. Wait a year

7. Apply for permission for change of use. Its an existing building with no alternative uses so may get it.

Personally, I am using the build-it-legal (for any use you can get away with), wait, apply for change of use method.

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I don't think it has to turn into a cultish sort of thing. Just a "new age" commuter village of sorts. Just a way for families to have decent housing at true value rather than the madness we see today.

Perhaps my reference to "kibbutz" was a bit off putting in that sense. But most people on kibbutz type settlements work normal jobs in cities like everyone else and its essentially no more than a "commuter belt" for most people.

By everyone having their own detached house and garden etc... they can be completed secluded if they want to be (only sharing in any necessary communal duties like cleaning / maintenance of communal areas, either monetarily or through labour).

Edited by hayder

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... until the arguments start....

Maybe.....but the size of some of these places....you would have more chance randomly bumping into someone in town then the house. I've seen many of the places come with a couple of 3 bed 'lodges' on the grounds.

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The closest example I know of this is a neighbour that bought a wreck with 9 acres for ~£550K ~5 years ago.

He is trying every loophole he can think of to turn old sheds into houses.

1. stick some cows on the plot

2. wait a year

3 get permission to turn crappy sheds into two-storey barns. (done, council couldn't stop this under the law)

4. Get rid of cows.

5. Advertise sheds/building for industrial use (silly high price deliberately)

6. Wait a year

7. Apply for permission for change of use. Its an existing building with no alternative uses so may get it.

Personally, I am using the build-it-legal (for any use you can get away with), wait, apply for change of use method.

that seems long winded, is there a way to short circuit it and get permission to build an estate (with maybe 10-20-30 houses)... sounds unlikely I know.. central government would be loath to "open the floodgates" to building on farmland. :(

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yes, you would need a couple of units to be social housing of course

and, sooner or later, a BTLer would get one

...

but at that price, aren't they all "social housing" ?

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but at that price, aren't they all "social housing" ?

Bingo. And that's why it's so hard to do. Planning isn't the contraint as such, it's about who gets the price uplift option. i.e. it first requires finding someone willing to sell the land for less than it would be worth with the community on it. Sadly.

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Bingo. And that's why it's so hard to do. Planning isn't the contraint as such, it's about who gets the price uplift option. i.e. it first requires finding someone willing to sell the land for less than it would be worth with the community on it. Sadly.

would the uplift clause take effect if the "buyer" (community) sell the land for profit? Or will we get the previous owner trying to extract cash out of us even if we don't sell the land?

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Just an idea that's been swirling in my head. Its probably completely nuts and unworkable but here it is.

Basically look around for large farm plots just outside green belt.

Put up a kickstarter promo for people who want to have a 250m2 plot on which to build a house.

rely on a wind / solar for power as well as home based RO for water purification and a centralised sewage management... so pretty much "off grid" for most purposes (won't have gas initially).

Hire Polish / German companies to build SIP type houses for about 40k each

On kickstarter a pledge of about 5000 gets you a plot... then you have to arrange finance etc... to pony up the remaining 50k - 70k to build the actual house and fit it out with solar / wind / battery / RO unit...

You could have a new house of about 120m2 with a 150m garden and garage / workshop for less than 80k... is that dreaming?

The idea is not fully developed of course... so I await the many experts here to chip in with your ideas on whether its something that "could" work? essentially its setting up an informal housing cooperative.

I think you hugely underestimate the cost of self building, I had similar ideas a couple of years ago but gave up as I couldn't make the numbers add up. I looked at Using Sips but ignore the hype the reality is that they are more expensive than traditional build and still raise a lot of issues re building regs/insurance.

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would the uplift clause take effect if the "buyer" (community) sell the land for profit? Or will we get the previous owner trying to extract cash out of us even if we don't sell the land?

By uplift I just mean that permissioned land might be worth approx 100x unpermissioned, and landowners know this. Thus land supply is effectively rationed due to the power it wields. Yours is still a good idea and offering land at cost for these sort of builds is what government should do for everyone, to bring artificial private sector markups down. Any price upside could then be paid back to taxpayers to make it perpetual. Maybe one day...

If you're referring to leasing the land privately to give 'previous' owner the profit, I guess like tenant farmers that's possible but seems to defeat the point.

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I think you hugely underestimate the cost of self building, I had similar ideas a couple of years ago but gave up as I couldn't make the numbers add up. I looked at Using Sips but ignore the hype the reality is that they are more expensive than traditional build and still raise a lot of issues re building regs/insurance.

Well there's one polish company in the UK http://www.dan-wood.co.uk/and if we look to source directly from Poland it would be far cheaper still.

something like this... http://www.gebco.pl/en/projects

Edited by hayder

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this http://www.self-build.co.uk/section-106-exemption-confirmed-self-builds-extensions-annexes

is another nice discount available if we limit the crowdfunded housing projects to 10 units only. but their 1000m2 limit is stiffling somewhat... potentially reducing the total to 6-7 units if families want to build comfortable larger houses.

Edited by hayder

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Money isn't the problem, its planning. Hence the need for a social media campaign and the huge risk that involves.


In order to prevent land squatting/BTL you'd want to implement high land use charges which go directly into local services. Think new roads, houses, shops, swimming pools, etc (think LVT but on a small scale).


Running a scheme like this anywhere near London would make a fortune, and become gentrified very quickly.

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Money isn't the problem, its planning. Hence the need for a social media campaign and the huge risk that involves.
In order to prevent land squatting/BTL you'd want to implement high land use charges which go directly into local services. Think new roads, houses, shops, swimming pools, etc (think LVT but on a small scale).
Running a scheme like this anywhere near London would make a fortune, and become gentrified very quickly.

Yes on land charges. But no it's not planning, it's about whether you happen to own land or not. Even if all land was granted residential planning permission today it wouldn't help anyone who didn't already own land. Because there's no obligation to build on it.

Any (doubtful) increase in supply would be offset by the massive price jumps embedded in the supply anyway. There's be no reason for owners to pass on the windfall to buyers, and no incentive to sell at less than yesterday's price because they already know what buyers can afford. That's why the big homebuilders released supporting press statements after last week's brownfield and other planning changes, but lobby furiously against real change.

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but the point here is to eliminate the professional housebuilding industry entirely and do a "semi DIY" job as a group of families creating an estate from scratch.

In terms of actually doing the construction, you wouldn't need any of the overpriced UK based housebuilders, but bring in Polish construction companies. The houses won't have a gas supply or even an external power connection (all solar/wind and with no FiT eliminating the need for "approved" installers) eliminating a lot of "UK specific" price gouging by the "trades".

In terms of "land"... buying farmland is straightforward I presume? (no actual experience in this, which is why I ask!)

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I'm involved in the "right to build" scheme at the moment.

There are lots (100+) families signed up to the scheme, a local authority signed up with government money to help and still after 6 months of work they've only been able to source (potentially) 3 plots in the whole district and they'll be sold at "market" rate.

The problem is land ownership.

If I had my way the local authority would be able to say to land owners - you don't get all the planning uplift.

Simply by granting residential planning permission land goes from £15k an acre to £1m+ an acre around here.

£150k an acre would be a huge premium for the land owner, heck make it £300k an acre and give £150k to the local tax payer too (whose taxes have paid for the development which gives value to the land). Then self builder could split the £300k plot into 5 x £60k sections and share the infrastructure costs.

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but the point here is to eliminate the professional housebuilding industry entirely and do a "semi DIY" job as a group of families creating an estate from scratch.

In terms of actually doing the construction, you wouldn't need any of the overpriced UK based housebuilders, but bring in Polish construction companies. The houses won't have a gas supply or even an external power connection (all solar/wind and with no FiT eliminating the need for "approved" installers) eliminating a lot of "UK specific" price gouging by the "trades".

In terms of "land"... buying farmland is straightforward I presume? (no actual experience in this, which is why I ask!)

Buying farmland is straightforward if you have enough money.

Getting planning permission to build on farmland is very difficult.

Also, don't forget water supply and sewerage arrangements.

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but Timak 60k a plot is still far too much to make it workable IMHO. To make it work the "plot" should be around 5k... and of course another 15-20k per household to build out the renewable energy / water treatment / power storage and maybe a couple of hundred meters of asphalt.

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