Unique Living
April 24th, 2018 | by Serge Cowan

Why You Shouldn’t be Obsessed with Big Plots of Land

A luxury villa with large acreage always sounds impressive in the property specifications. However, in reality, big plots of land aren’t always what they’re cracked up to be. There are plenty of generous plots out there, but you’ll end up paying more, and you might not reap the benefits you were hoping for.

My advice? View properties with lots of land, and properties without so much. Brush up on the facts. Then, you’ll be in a position to make an informed decision. Here’s more information.  

What Are Your Reasons for Wanting Lots of Land?

When discussing options with clients, I always ask them to reflect on the ‘why’. In this case, why is it so important to have such a vast plot? Here are a few common reasons – with my response.

I want to build on it in the future

In theory, it’s a great idea. However, in practice, in can be tricky, especially if you’re unfamiliar with local laws. There’s a myriad of issues regarding planning laws, bureaucracy and so forth, and trying to build additional buildings can be a headache. Most countries have specific rules regarding what you can build on the land too; for example, in Ibiza at the moment, you can adjust the property as long as it’s within the original footprint, but it’s a whole different story if you want to extend. That’s not to say that getting permission to build is impossible; but I’d urge buyers to consider the implications before committing; and to seek expert assistance (we’re on hand to offer guidance, utilising our knowledge of local laws).

I want the extra privacy

A major advantage of having land is that you’re seldom overlooked, and that may well be important to you. However, remember that there are other ways to enjoy privacy on your property. A secluded location serves just as well, or even a well-placed wall! Also, if you invest in a more exclusive location, properties are usually designed so they are not overlooked. Rest assured, developers take privacy into consideration.

I’m looking for a place to walk my dog

It’s a nice luxury to be able to walk your dog in the comfort of your own property. But in doing so, you’d be missing out on many pleasant local woodlands or trails. For example, in the South of France, most people have a dog; and as such, it caters well to dog-walkers. There’s so much to see and do over there with your canine companion; the last thing you want to do is while away the hours pacing the same stretch of land outside your front door. The same applies for numerous other locations across the world.

Other Things to Consider

Maintenance can be stressful. This is your holiday home, and you don’t need the extra work when you’re trying to relax. You want to be able to walk into the property, ready to enjoy a blissful break, without having to worry about mowing acres of lawn, or pruning back lots of undergrowth.

You’ll need money to hire additional help. If you’re an avid gardener, this might not apply. But for most of us mere mortals, the thought of spending hours looking after the land soon loses its appeal. Inevitably, you’ll end up hiring a gardening company to take on the work for you, which pushes maintenance costs up. Likewise, if you’re planning on locking up the holiday home for an extended period of time, you might need to hire someone to live there full-time for you, just to keep an eye on things. It’s fine if you can afford it; just make sure that you can.

 What’s it Worth to You?

Big plots of land usually push costs up too. For example, in St Tropez, if you’re looking for a large acreage, you could be looking to pay millions. You may decide that you’d rather spend your cash on other things instead; such as a sea view, more living space or proximity to the beach.

If you’re dead set on getting a large plot, we can assist with helping you to find the right location. To illustrate the point; if you’re looking for land you can build on, we can advise on which properties have the option to build on the additional land – but again this is likely to be reflected in the price – especially if the property already has planning approved. Also, if you can prove that your building is advantageous to the local community (for example, guest accommodation or a cookery school), then you’re more likely to have your planning permission approved.

Not sure what luxury villa is best for you? We’re on hand to meet face to face and talk you through your options, and offer advice as to what’s best for your family and your lifestyle.

Unique Living Founder & Managing Director, Serge Cowan
Unique Living Founder & Managing Director, Serge Cowan

Do you think plenty of land is a top priority, or would you rather spend your money elsewhere? Share your thoughts with us!

Serge Cowan

Serge Cowan

Managing Director and Founder

Serge has an extensive marketing background, after a broadcasting career, Serge moved into marketing where he worked for BSkyB & a number of leading Public Relations agencies.
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