So you know you want to build a house… but where are you going to build it? Finding the right land is obviously an essential part of beginning your plans. Yet how to approach finding a plot?

Luckily, there are now discussions about forcing councils to release land, under the new Right To Build Scheme. So the space should be out there – but how to choose?

Flexibility is usually key in these situations. It’s great to have specific goals, but be aware you may have to combine these with a realistic assessment of what’s available, or your search could take years.

A common mistake made when plot hunting is scanning over too wide an area – pick a geographical location and tailor your search to this. The internet is a key tool here, such as plotsearch.co.uk, and asking land agents is an effective approach. Keep an eye on auctions too, as these can be a great way to discover land that’s been released.

Remember the personal touch could benefit you, and also give you a great feeling for the area you want to live in. Take a drive or wander around towns and  villages for possible building plots, and don’t be afraid to knock on doors and enquire about side gardens, discussed garage blocks and infill sites – or write a polite letter to the owner introducing yourself as a potential purchaser.

There are of course barriers, and plot hunting in the UK is made more difficult due to the copies amount of protected areas compared to other EU countries, although the National Self Build Association is working to release more land. Building around existing settlements is often restricted by planning policies, and building a new house in a greenfield area is difficult. Most opportunities can be found in brownfield sites, which is land that has perviously been developed.

The key trait you will need is perseverance. Yes, there is a lot of competition, and yes, you may well feel you’ll never find the right plot for you. But with persistence then you will eventually find the land – and then you can begin the process of building your dream home.