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Once you decide to buy a property you would have to look for a number of things, which are, mentioned hereafter.

But the first thing to be decided is the type of property like whether to go for an independent house, semi independent house or an apartment.

Let us see the pros and cons of the above mentioned property types.

 Independent house:

 Pros:

  • Provides you greater degree of freedom.
  • Ability to design the house as per your wish.
  • Future modification of exteriors can be done as per the latest trends and wishes.
  • If you have keen interest in gardening then you would have a space to build on your interest or grow your pets.
  •  Have more privacy.
  • Expand the space as per requirement in the future when your children grow up.
  • Develop the floors when you want to make some additional income through rent.

 Cons:

  • Security is a concern and will come at a significant cost.
  • Threat of encroachment is there when you are planning to construct your home later.
  • Facilities such as power backup (especially if you want to install generators to run A/C’s etc) and water supply would be expensive and managing the same would be a hassle.
  • Access to external clubs and sports facilities. This would be an expensive proposition for e.g. monthly access to a good gym could cost you anywhere between Rs 2500/- to 3500/-.
  • Services such as plumbers, electricians etc would need to be identified and called for at the time of need.
  • If you have a job which requires you to be traveling to different cities, then security of your household goods would be a cause for worry.
  • If you are in the metros where land is scarce and expensive, you may end up owning precious little space and there will be very little space for garden and to walk around.

 Semi Independent Houses

Semi Independent House is nothing but an independent house only, with a variation that you will share atleast a wall and some portion (common area) of the building with another semi independent house. Therefore all the above mentioned pros and cons of Independent house are applicable to the Semi Independent House also with a contrast that it cannot be modified or developed at a larger extent.

Apartments

 Pros:

  • One of the key advantage of an apartment is security for your family members in the event you are traveling or for the expensive house hold goods.
  •  Facilities such as power and water backup, uninterrupted supply of cooking gas would help you to live a hassle free life. The scarcity of power and good water is becoming a serious problem in most top cities and the problem is expected to escalate more in the future.
  •  An apartment which is part of a large development will have a well maintained garden and landscaping as part of the complex. This will provide space for you and your family to take a stroll and relax.
  •  Club facilities will provide you access to gym, sports, swimming pool etc which will help you to lead an active and healthy life – a must need in the current high stress environment.
  •  Services such as plumber, electrician is available on call (from the society) which will help to reduce the difficulty of maintaining your home.
  •  If you own an apartment and you get transferred, some societies help the apartment owners to rent out the apartment which will enable you to generate revenue from the asset with limited efforts.
  •  No war of words with neighbour for parking space which has become a daily phenomenon in the larger cities. The parking slots are well defined and allocated in case of flats.
  •  If you are staying in a city where you don’t have any friends or relatives nearby it’s always better to go for a flat as you can get acquainted to some of the many families in the apartment.
  •  Availability of convenience stores with the apartment complex helps you to shop for basic essential / groceries easily.
  •  Apartment complexes have staff who comes to collect payments for usage of utilities such as electricity, water, internet etc which removes the frustration of setting reminders for making payment.

 Cons:

  • Maintenance of the common facilities would come at a significant cost.
  • Limited or no freedom to make modifications to the exteriors your home.
  • Very limited space to develop interests such as gardening or growing smaller farm animals (societies mostly object to the same).
  •  Sound seepage between the wall of the adjoining apartments or voice from lower or higher floor could irritate you and vice versa especially if you have a nocturnal neighbour.
  •  There will be a lifelong problem if you cannot get along with your neighbours in the same floor.
  •  No flexibility to expand the space for future needs as your children grow or if your parents move in to live with you.

 After deciding the type, you have to identify the need for which the property has to be bought and:

1. Need comprises of several factors:

You can draw a list of your preference, which should list the following:

  • Land Classification (Purely Residential, Mixed Residential or Commercial).
  • Accommodation.
  • Area of the Plot.
  • Preferred floor.
  • Preferred Location (park/road/lake facing etc.).
  • Preferred Locality.
  • Price range.
  • Room sizes.
  • Builder’s/Govt. properties.
  • Parking.
  • Servant Quarter.
  • Other requirements like distances from Office/School/Markets/Bus Stand/Railway station/Airport, etc…

Here it is essential to mention that it is very rarely possible to get everything (listed above) to your choice in one property but you can try to find out the maximum of above while selecting your property. You would have to compromise on number of counts depending upon constraints like price and locations. Remember, more the positive points, more would be the price.

2. Time of Purchase:

If you need to shift into the property you are looking for immediately, you will have limited time to fine tune the search and would have to settle for properties which are ready to be moved into. But, if you have sufficient time, you can book a property under construction or at an early stage of construction and get the minor additions and alterations done according to your choice. Similarly, you would have time to see a number of proposals available for sale in different localities and then choose the best suitable to you.

Best way to find the right kind of property is to check up with real estate agents, which enlist number of properties. You can short list details of properties given by real estate agents, and owners posted on sites and then at a suitable time and day you can visit these properties. It is advisable to fix up appointments with owners and real estate agents before you visit them. You can then assign your marks to these properties as per the list prepared of your choice. Once through, with this process which sometimes takes number of visits and enough time, you would be able to pinpoint which is the best proposal for you and your requirement.

After you have decided the suitability of the properties seen, you can select the best ones in your wish-list.

3. Then checkup the following important points:

a. Who is the promoter?

b. Has the real estate agent who has shown the property to you, given you the complete information?

c. Is the property title clear?

d. Are there any other complications? (You can check these things from anyone you know in the vicinity of the property in your wishlist)

e. Whether the price is right? 
(Again this can be verified from people in the vicinity)

Applicable to apartments:

  1. If you are availing a home loan, take into account the following points: 
  2. The bank usually don’t approve full loan for a resale apartment (depends on the age of construction).
  3. For valuation of property, banks apply their own terms and conditions (which may vary in a case to case basis). This valuation may not be the same as the way it is done by the seller (based on the current market value).
  4. You need to use your judgment to evaluate a property that you want to buy, based on the current market trends in the area where the property is located.
  5. Recommended action: Consult an experienced trusted advocate in this field (property registration), who can guide you to take a final decision on price factor.
  6. Who are the other flat owners in the building?(If any)
  7. What are the common areas and what is status of ownership?
  8. Permissions required from Competent Authorities?
  9. Credentials of the Promoters? (You can check this by asking the builder about his other completed projects and you can speak to the flat owners living in those projects)
  10. Construction specifications? (You can show the property to some qualified Architect)
  11. Ask for a Draft of Agreement to Sell to be signed (if you intend to enter into a transaction) Once you have decided to buy a property after checking all the above details you should try to get all the terms and conditions of sale and purchase in advance before you part with any amount to the seller. You must try to reduce everything to Black and White so that there are least problems later on.And above all don’t try to save a few thousand rupees on registration process of your property. Go in for proper Sale-Deed (if possible) through a reputed qualified Advocate who specializes on real estate.