Buying land can be an extremely profitable pursuit, it also comes with its own tricky and unique problems.

Have a read of our top tips…

Tip #1

Research different types of land that you can purchase

Greenfield land, which has never been developed, is different in character from brownfield land, which has been built over previously. They are distinct markets and, in some respects, subject to different planning requirements.

Tip #2

Familiarise yourself with the market

Land valuations can vary massively depending on location, quality and of course size. It is important to be clear what and where you can afford to purchase.

Tip #3

Use the relevant channels and shop around

There is usually plenty of land on offer at any one time, although not all of it is publicly advertised. To start your search, visit the usual property platforms and select the ‘Land’ option where applicable. There are specialist land agents dotted around the country, too.

Land auctions are another option, if you are prepared to move quickly. But you should also be alert to other potential sources of land, e.g. homeowners happy to sell a patch of land at the edge of their property.

Tip #4

Look for areas with the potential for growth

The “location, location, location” mantra applies to land as much as to properties. Keep an eye out for areas due to benefit from improved infrastructure such as transport links.

Tip #5

Ensure planning permission requirements are covered

Some plots of land are sold with planning permission already granted, although this is often only ‘outline’ planning permission – you will need to clear the final details with the planning authorities.

Be wary of restrictive covenants or other legal restrictions on your freedom of manoeuvre. In short, planning issues are so intimately linked to your decision to purchase the land that it is vital to appoint a solicitor with expertise in this particular area.

Tip #6

Get the land surveyed

There are potential hidden problems with land purchases, from boundaries and rights of way to flood risks and overhead power lines. It is always best to be on the safe side and to seek professional advice.

Tip #7

Check where your land starts and ends

Access to land can sometimes be more problematic than it appears. You need to be wary of land which is separated from a public highway by a so-called ransom strip (a small parcel of land retained by the previous owner with the intention of restricting development unless the ‘ransom’ is paid).

Tip #8

Find an agent that is well versed in land and can help you

Working with an agent who has experience in land purchases will be extremely helpful in your process, they are aware of the pitfalls and can spot problems before you are too deep.

Good luck on your search!