self build

THE BUILD SERIES: Why I made the decision to self-build in London by Tash South

Self-building your own custom home is something many people dream of doing, but not many actually get to do. Which is why I've decided to write this blog – to try and help anyone who shares this dream, to try and make it into a reality.

If you dream of self-building, or even if you are thinking of a major renovation, follow me here – I'm going to share with you every stage of the process, there is so much to learn, and it is a very drawn-out procedure! Warning: if you want to do this, you have GOT to have patience!

A self build in Crouch End,  London. Image Credit

In London, Self-builds are quite unusual as plots of land are so hard to come by, and whatever there happens to be available, is usually snapped up by developers... but we thought we’d give it a go, and we knew the most difficult part would be finding someone to sell us a plot of land – and so we started our search...

Let me take you back to the early Summer of 2014.

My husband and I had completed a major renovation in North London, just a year or so earlier - adding an open-plan kitchen extension onto our ground floor Victorian flat, our daughter is one and a half at the time. We decided, that although we’d made ourselves a lovely home, that it just wasn’t enough space for our family, and we made the decision to sell it and search for a ‘proper’ family house, however, the house prices in the great buzzing area of Crouch End that we grew to love – had escalated to a level where not one single house in our desired location is within our budget. Not even the doer-uppers!

A vintage poster by London Transport - no underground station, but still an awesome place to live!

What do we do? We desperately want to stay? How will we do it? We rack our brains and decide to look into self-building, some neighbours at the end of our street had managed to do it, so why not us?

Neighbours at the end of our street had inspired us to try and find a plot of land in London. They'd built their house on the land where some derelict garages once stood. Image Credit.

The well-known Crouch End clocktower.

We do lots of research and lots of sums, and figure out that if we ever manage to find a plot of land in London – which is like gold dust anyway – we could just about do it. We’d use the proceeds from the sale of our flat to buy the land and we’d get a specialised self-build mortgage to fund building the house.

So, we put our flat on the market, as we start our search for a little plot of London we could call our own.

To find out what happens next, follow my build series here to see how I get on.


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