THE PLOT THICKENS
The saga of your epic journey to a new home begins – like all stories – with a good plot
If you are plotting to buy make sure your plot is a detective story. There has never been a better time to buy, or so many options, if you investigate thoroughly. The bad news is that your home building plans were knocked back a year by the pandemic. The good news is that during that time a lot more land came onto the market. Land is a valuable asset; it just sits there, needs very little attention, and grows in value steadily. That is why so many businesses ‘bank’ land, to develop for their future needs. A lot of those businesses have just had a tough year, through lockdown and diminished trading, and are looking to realise some of their assets. You will be pleasantly surprised by how much land is now available. So turn detective. Thanks to the internet it has never been easier to find land – so you have to be quick. The internet is awash with sites specialising in selling land meaning there are more people in the know. Once you have your eye on a site, start to check it out as thoroughly as an alibi. What is this land’s designation in the eyes of its local authority? Is it classified as land suitable for housing development? Does it sit right next to another piece of land which is earmarked for industrial use in years to come? Is it in a conservation area or an area being considered for classification as such? This could mean restrictions on the type of materials and designs but a home in such an area has a cachet that adds value. The government requires each of Scotland’s 32 council areas, two national parks and four largest city regions of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee to produce a development plan for how it sees its future land use and needs. Time spent studying the plan for your chosen location will not be wasted – it can show where to avoid and better still, where to grab a bargain. A little digging into local history will not go amiss either – is the area where you want to buy near old mine workings? Scotland is littered with them; Fife, Ayrshire and Lanarkshire were massive coal fields in the past with smaller ones on the Isle of Arran, Kintyre Peninsula and as far north as Brora. Time was that mine workings were considered only as a risk of subsidence. Now, thanks to numerous pilot schemes and test sites around the UK, they are being thought of anew – as a ‘game changer’ in renewable energy, heating homes nearby for generations to come with their untapped geothermal energy.