John’s Advice: Commission Your Own Home and Save 30%

Friday, June 22, 2018

The Daily Telegraph recently reported that the average new build house is currently 30% cheaper than buying the equivalent existing property.

Not only is building your own home cheaper, you also get to decide on every single detail to create a space that is perfectly adapted to your needs, lifestyle and taste.

Why spend months or even years trying to find your dream home when you can commission your own and save money while you do it?

John and Assad in front of Merimac, Surrey

Assad is one of most ambitious clients yet, with a ultra-contemporary eco-house nestled in the Surrey countryside. Click here to read his interview.

Why commissioning your own house is cheaper than buying an existing home

The main reason commissioning your own home works out cheaper is the fact that you aren’t paying for the profit that the previous owner or developer is looking to make on the property. You are only paying for the materials, labour and services required to build the house and not its market value, which is always higher.

There are also a number of savings in taxes and levies that are only available to owner occupiers;

• In a new build, stamp duty only applies to the value of the land, not the value of the completed home.
• You can save up to 20% of the project costs, in some cases paying no VAT (click here to read more about VAT savings).
• A new house that you live in for a minimum of three years is exempt from paying a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).

If you build an efficient, sustainable house equipped with the latest home technology, it can be sold at a premium. Our houses have sold at up to a 30% increase on the market rate.

Future buyers who are looking for a fabulous house would rather buy one that you have created than face the planning and building process themselves, and so will pay a premium to buy the lifestyle your home provides immediately.

Even if you love old buildings, it’s often more cost-effective to knock down and rebuild one rather than attempt a renovation.

By the time you pay 20% VAT, the 10% site contingency for hidden defects and invest in structural changes, opening up rooms or adding extensions, you might quickly find yourself paying more than the equivalent new build.

It’s also worth noting that demolition and rebuild projects that retain a façade of the original structure are still considered a new build and so are VAT exempt.

Period-style new build on Crescent Road

The house on the right might look like a period home, but it’s actually a 1:1 recreation of the house next to it. Click here to learn about this mirror image build.

If commissioning your own house is cheaper, why aren’t more people doing it?

While new build houses only make up around 10% of the market in Britain, the rest of the world is far ahead of us in realising the benefits of building your own home.

In Austria, its 80% of homes. In Germany, France and Italy the figure is 60%, while in the US and Australia it’s around 40%.

There are a number of reasons for this in other countries (more available land, more relaxed planning laws) but if you ask around, it’s risk that usually turns people away.

Any fan of Grand Designs will have seen owners who have let costs run away from them, whether from continuously making changes through the project or losing control of their contractors and suppliers.

All of our projects, on the other hand, are precisely costed in advance. This gives you a final price tag that doesn’t budge unless you make changes. Any contractors we use will also work within a fixed budget and will be kept on track by a project manager.

This is why working with an architect significantly reduces your risk and saves you money in the long run.

We can also provide a reliable estimate of your home’s post-completion value, which can be a deal breaker for mortgage lenders, who are always anxious about the possibility of putting their money behind a project that can’t recoup its costs (click here for more information on securing finance as a self builder).

The stunning Thameside new build Strawberry Vale

Commissioning your own home is your opportunity to create something never seen before, like Strawberry Vale, pictured above.

Everyone has a dream home in their mind, and building one yourself is the best way to make it a reality. Even better, you can create a bespoke house to fit your lifestyle, worth up to 30% higher value than neighbouring properties while making an average 30% saving in the process.

If you want discuss your ideas for your dream home, feel free to get in touch with us at [email protected]

John Dyer-Grimes