Building your own home is a dream that many people share. Of course, when you are constructing something from scratch – or even significantly altering the structure of an existing building to suit your own needs – the design will be crucial. It is not just the architectural look of the house building project, but also all of the structural engineering and choice of materials that are so important to a new home. Whether you want something that will fit in with the rest of the neighbourhood or want to make your own mark, there are also many choices to be made about the footprint, the landscaping and – sometimes overlooked by self-builders – the interior décor. As you may already know, BIY can help with every aspect of the design phase of house building in Ireland.
That said, there is another factor to take into consideration, too. House building projects require something even before you put your planning request into the local authority concerned. This is, of course, the plot of land where your project will be built. Read on to find out more about the residential land market in and around Dublin. In fact, there are some good pointers of what to look out for wherever in Ireland you plan to build.
Some people would say that there are areas that are less desirable than others for self-builders to consider. Finglas South, Blanchardstown, Tallaght and East Wall are districts that have been mentioned by some as less desirable locations. However, you should take into account that there is nothing inherently wrong with any of these locations. It simply depends on what you are looking for. Certainly, there are plots of land for sale in areas like them – as well as The Coombe and Ballyfermot – for example. The question is whether a self-build project which might stand out significantly from the sort of housing you see in these areas will appeal to potential buyers or not.
If you look at some areas of Dublin, then it is all too easy to see why some people would choose to avoid them. The distance from the city centre, the quality of public transport links and the ability to access schools and other public services all play their part. Undoubtedly, the city has seen some underpopulated estates following the global economic crisis that took hold over a decade ago.
Opting for an area of the city where land might be cheaper is tempting. There are reasons it is so, however. If you want to live in your dream home and have no intention of moving once it is built, then this is hardly a problem. In the mid-term, however, you may be better off looking at other areas which are more up-and-coming if your self-build project is also an investment.
If you are looking for a self-build plot which will grow in value once your design has come to fruition, then the rule is basically the same as it would be anywhere else in Ireland. Seek out areas where there is already a thriving community that has been established and where house prices are heading in an upward trajectory. If there is not enough property of a similar size to your plot in the district for sale to make a fair comparison, then look at the average rental yields instead to give you an indication. For example, the Irish Times recently reported that places like Ranelagh, Rathmines and Rathgar saw among the lowest rental prices of anywhere in the city.
Remember that one part of an area can offer more potential than another so you should sometimes really focus in on a street or two rather than take the headline picture of a particular neighbourhood. The streets closest to the Sandyford Industrial Estate, for example, may be more appealing than those elsewhere in Sandyford. Likewise, places like Newlands Cross and Saint John's in Clondalkin can offer a bit more potential than others in that part of the city. Overall, however, it is more important to find a place that you actually want to live. Having built your own home there, you will be committed to it for a while, after all.
Once you have found the perfect plot of land for your project it is a good idea to seek some expert help. Plots which have never been built on before may require specific legal advice before you can consider constructing a home there. Likewise, you may need to seek planning advice if you intend demolishing the current structure. This is especially the case in certain areas of the capital which have historic buildings in them, even if the one on your plot does not.
Why not contact BIY when you have a deal on the table to purchase the land you need for your project? Our experts can guide you through the next phase of the project to make sure that what you intend buying really meets your needs as self-builders.