13 August 2019 | Comment | Article by Anna McCarthy

Gavin and Stacey’s new home: The five step guide to the 'Self Build Wales' scheme

In our recent blog, ‘Gavin and Stacey’s new home: Rent, Buy or Build' we explored the possibility of the nation’s favourite Barry/Essex couple building their first home in South Wales using the Welsh Government ‘Self Build Wales’ scheme. In our blog, we invited you to take part in our poll to find out, whether you had heard of the Self Build Wales Scheme and if you would consider building your own house.

The results are in!

Of those who answered the poll a staggering 94% of individuals had not previously heard of the Self Build Wales scheme showing that the scheme is very much in the early stages of being broadcasted. Interestingly, 76% of the individuals who voted confirmed that they would consider building their own house, which shows there is a desire to explore the option.

For those considering the self build scheme, we have compiled a five-step guide showing just how Gavin and Stacey (or indeed you!)  could go about building your home using the Self Build Wales scheme.

Step one: Find a plot

First, the couple would need to visit the Self Build Wales website to view the interactive map showing the available plots in Wales. Each plot on the map will have a ‘plot passport’. The passport will contain information about the plot including the price of the plot, planning for the plot, the approved property designs, the estimated build costs and the application process.

The plots will be marked with a traffic light system showing the availability. If the plot is coloured red, this means that the plot is in the early stages and has just been identified by the local authority. If the plot is amber, this means that the plot has been approved by the Development Bank of Wales (‘DBW’) and planning and enabling works are underway. Finally, if the plot is green, this means that the plot is available for applications.

If there are no available plots in Barry, the couple would be able to register their interest and receive a notification when plots became available in the area.

Step two: Express your interest

Once Gavin and Stacey have found their ideal plot, not too far from Gwen’s of course! They must submit an 'expressions of interest' form confirming key information about themselves and the proposed build of their house. The form will be reviewed by the DBW to see if they meet the qualifying criteria. If the criteria are met, the bank sends the application to the local authority, along with any other qualifying applications for the plot in proposed priority order. The priority order will be based on the local authority's set criteria which will be centred on their priorities for the area, for example, energy efficiency and how efficient the proposed house will be.

Step three: Submit an application – Design and Build

If Gavin and Stacey meet the criteria and are selected for the plot, the DBW will invite them to submit a full application. The full application will include the appointment of a builder and decisions on key areas of design and build specifications. Often young couples live busy lives and may not have the time to project manage a build so the Welsh Government has anticipated this. The Welsh Government and DBW will carefully select builders, developers, contractors etc. and list these on an interactive website. Gavin and Stacey would then use this list to pick their preferred tradesman. Unfortunately, Dave Coaches isn’t currently on the list despite being a jack of all trades.

Step four: Secure funding  

Gavin and Stacey would be assisted by the DBW in their application to secure funding for the plot. They would be required to contribute at least 25% to the purchase, whilst securing a loan for 75% of the plot and 100% of the build costs. The crucial factor here is that the couple will only be required to pay 25% of the plot value, not the house. The percentage will, therefore, be of the value of the land only. This will be significantly cheaper than the 10% deposit required for most residential properties.

Step five: Build!

When the loan has been approved, DBW would oversee the project. Although the as ever helpful Uncle Bryn may offer the couple his assistance, luckily trained professionals appointed by DBW would be regularly monitoring the site with inspections during the build. Crucially, the loan is only payable to the appointed builders in stages, decreasing the risk of builders encountering financial difficulties or problems with the quality of the work undertaken. It is only when the house is completed that Gavin and Stacey would repay the bank's loan by entering into a mortgage for the borrowed amount. They would then be able to move out of Gwen’s, into their self-built, first family home.

If you decide to apply for the Self Build Wales Scheme and require assistance with your conveyancing, please contact our award-winning property department and a member of the team would be happy to assist

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.

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