Buying more garden?

14 Sep 2010
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United Kingdom
I may have a chance to buy some overgrown land behind my house, the owners have asked me to make a proposal for their consideration which would include what I plan to do with it and how much I would be willing to pay.

Before I do that I was thinking a few things and wondered if anyone could offer some advice.

If I buy the land, separately from my house, will there be any regular payments like council tax to pay on it?

If I bought it and added it to the house would my council tax increase?

How would I value the land? It can’t be built on, it can only be accessed by going through other gardens, it’s overgrown with trees and it’s about an acre in size.

I believe the solicitors fees would be about £750.

Is there anything else I should be thinking of?

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If I bought it and added it to the house would my council tax increase?

Buying an acre of land might involve a Change of Use for the land if you intend to use it as an extnded garden. This may then need to be agreed/registered with local council and maybe The Land Registry. If it remains as "enlarged garden" then it is unlikely to affect your council tax unless it significantly increases the value of your house.

Also be sure that you will be able to legally access the land from your property after you have bought it. Some plots like that have ransom strips around them. The strip may only be a couple of feet wide but is owned by a third person. This third person when aware of the change of ownership may ask for a substantial sum of money before they grant you permission to cross their land to reach the land you have bought.
The MIL's garden was an irregular shape, marked in red. She purchased the bit in blue for £10k off of her neighbour. The neighbour paid the solicitors costs and put the fence up. No extra council tax increases etc. I think you only pay that on habitable property.

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How many other (realistic) potential buyers are there (where it would improve their garden)?
There shouldn't be any tax charges unless we are talking about a substantial piece of land. Good point above regarding access, make sure it directly connects to your land. I'd look up the current title on the land registry website. Go to the proper land registry website rather than a third party. Its a bit clunky to navigate but will only be £4 for the title and £4 for the plan iirc. As for value it depends on so many things. What will add to your property's value? Where is it? Does anyone else want it? I'd expect it to be 000s for a little strip or 0000s for a small parcel. Finally £750 is probably about the going rate for conveyancing but you can save most of that by doing it yourself. There are guides online and a couple of good books with step by step. Does take a bit of courage though and if the deal is complicated then a solicitor may actually earn their fee. All in all it sounds good. If there was any land adjacent to my garden I'd be biting their arm off
Just to add, why can't it be built on? If its an acre then it would be worth knocking down one of the adjacent houses to put access in. That would up the value to 00000s maybe even over a million in some parts of the country.
it can only be accessed by going through other gardens

But I assume directly joining your garden?

Unfortunately value of such land is entirely a matter of suppky and demand.

If they have approached you, they must be wanting toraise some funds.

Is the land agricultural, is the area green belt?

Be careful as agricultural land cant be made into a garden without change of use.
Vendor may have approached other neighbours so could be a bidding war?
Small areas of land are expensive per acre in comparison to larger ones,especially if they can be annexed to ones house.
If vendors are canny I would expect them to insist on a “claw back clause” to cash in on any possible change of use to development land, or is it in a national park?
For insurance purposes it may be better to add it to house deeds so you would be covered for public liability claims if anyone wandered in and tripped or a branch fell on them. Insuring as a separate plot is more expensive and some the popular companies dont do it.
Thanks very much for the replies.

It’s owned by a church and there is just a stone wall between us then a wall on the opposite side separating the land from the graveyard.

I saw a Deer in there last week so jump over to have a closer look, one of the other people who back onto it (there are 7 in total) was looking at the Deer from his garden.

He mentioned the church wanted to turn it into allotments so I approached them about buying it and maintaining it for the benefit of nature, there are Badgers and Foxes too. They said they may be interested but would like me to make a proposal for them to discuss at their next meeting.

I spoke to an estate agent and he said because my garden is already a good size it wouldn’t add much value and it was him that recommended I keep it seperate from the house.

It’s not agricultural or green belt, i’m not even sure it would be classed as woodland. My neighbour that also backs into it said 40years ago there were hardly any trees on there.

I have my proposal in my head but really have no idea what price to offer. True Woodlands for sale seem to be about £8-10,000 per acre but I can’t find anything similar to this.

This is it in relation to my house/garden:

This is the wall between us:

on the opposite side separating the land from the graveyard.

The adjacent graveyard will be consecrated land. The land in question may have been consecrated at the same time in anticipation of a larger graveyard. Years ago one of the plots we looked at involved a redundant and derelict chapel with an area of ancient graves next to it. To build we would have had to determine the exact boundary of the consecrated land and then if necessary apply for de-consecration of the land that had not been used as a grave yard. We declined that plot
So I need to:

Check it’s not consecrated.
Check it’s current ‘Use’.
Get the info from the Land Registry.
Check for Rights of Way through it?

Decide how much I want to offer.
[A 1m strip across my back garden got me £1k + the buyer paid for land registry and solicitors etc. He got an extension - I lost his windows overlooking us (y)
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