Thursday, 23 September 2021

Gold mine in your garden?

PEOPLE with large gardens are increasingly selling them off to property developers, and experts claim that, for some of us

PEOPLE with large gardens are increasingly selling them off to property developers, and experts claim that, for some of us at least, parting with our piece of green could sow the seeds for a better financial future.

In some areas, demand for land on which to build has never been stronger. In south east England in particular, builders are desperate for sites. The government has promised that 200,000 new homes would be built in the region over the next 15 to 20 years, so a freeholder with a good-sized plot could be sitting on a substantial pot of money — and Chancellors estate agents have a dedicated team that are able to help.

Selling land for development examples

One fine example of private land sold for profit was a piece of scrubland between two houses in Kings Sutton, Banbury.

This land had been left dormant for many years until Chancellors’ head of land and development, Matt Richardson, was introduced to it via one of their branches.

Within three months this piece of land and a few of the neighbours were in option agreement and a planning application has just been submitted to the council. The cost to the land owners upfront? Just their time.

Another fine example is a piece of land in Cumnor, Oxfordshire, where a deal has just been struck to integrate two pieces of land for building, and will generate a six-figure sum for the landowners. The end result will be five detached units for the successful property developer.

Sell part of your garden: is your land suitable?

Naturally, not every garden has profit potential as it must fulfil certain criteria. Crucially, the land in question must be at least quarter of an acre on the whole. Ideally it should also be located in a desirable area, have easy access and planning consent. If all these boxes can be ticked, you could be looking at a small goldmine.

Tax implications for land sales in the UK

Even better news is that any financial gains from selling part of your garden could escape the tax man. General principles are that if the land is part of your “principal private residence” and is not used for agricultural or business purposes, its sale is free of tax.

Beware though, as this definition is strictly enforced. Our experience is that the garden must be dedicated to plants or fruits and vegetables and used purely for domestic purposes. Any deviation may incur capital gains tax — things like having a beehive and selling the honey at the local shop, or letting a neighbour’s animals graze on your land for a fee.

Another possible deal-breaker would be the refusal of any kind of planning permission for the land you want to sell. Naturally, a professional tax advisor must be consulted to provide guidance on any particular situation before any land can be fully marketed for sale with confidence.

Land appraisals from Chancellors

Why chance your own hard earned money with the complicated planning system? Let Chancellors appraise your land and find you the right developer that will enhance your garden/garage/side plot/brownfield site. They will deal with the planners, neighbours ….and most importantly, the cost. All you give up is time, and of course, your small piece of the UK.

If you have a garden that will appeal to a developer, you could raise a lot of cash. And with equities languishing, cash is a precious thing these days.

To take advantage of a free, no-obligation appraisal or for some advice about the potential of your land, contact Matt Richardson on 01344 408105.

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