10 Things You Should Know Before Buying A House

Make an informed decision while buying your house!

If you’re a first time home buyer, chances are you may think that the process of buying a house is a stress laden exercise, what with the constant scouring of the newspapers, visits to endless sample flats and above all a nerve racking wait for the final possession. It was always thought that buying a house was a monumental decision, one where families pooled together their resources and bought their dream home; but today it is not so.You can still choose to make your home buying decision a stress-free and peaceful process, provided you have all the information and are fully acquainted with the procedures involved. Let us look at some of the vital things we must consider before giving a nod to any project.

1. Don’t judge a book by its cover

This adage holds true for all home buyers, whether it is your first home or your second. Developers employ the best interior designers and architects to make a gleaming, spacious sample flat at the construction site. They are usually adept at creating impressions that can make the house look bigger than it actually is; some even use lighting fixtures and mirrors to create this appearance. Remember, the beds, dining table sets, sofas and other furniture is usually made in tinier sizes and don’t have much depth; thereby making the floor space look larger.

These are tactics employed to lure gullible customers into believing their homes are going to be spacious palaces. It is better to study beforehand the exact configurations of the house and decide if it meets your requirement.

2. Veiled ‘hidden costs’

Make sure that you make the costing sheet of the flat your bedside companion. Examine every cost factor mentioned in the expense sheet and ensure that you have double-checked the maintenance costs for common amenities such as the pool or clubhouse.

3. Investments in real estate are a sure fire success.

There is no rule book that guides home buyers on money making techniques in realty. Yes, you may refer to ready reckoners or speak to trusted acquaintances but the information will always be second-hand, not your own.Builders and their sales people are likely to say things like ‘prices will be going up next week’ or that ‘there is a sanction which is just around the corner- the property prices are going to go up three-fold’—beware, don’t fall prey to such sales pitches. Use your own judgement and discretion, also consider that impulsive property investments are not the most lucrative option given the current scenario.

4. The walls are leaking; even the sewage is not in place

These kinds of flaws will be discovered only once you have moved into your dream home. First it may be small things such as asymmetrical walls, later it may be the strange smells emanating from the haphazard sewage systems.You will have to live with endless regret that the construction quality is pathetic.
To avoid these kinds of serious blunders, ensure that you have thoroughly checked the builder’s reputation and track record in the real estate market. Avoid unnecessary headaches such as litigations or breaches in purchase contracts—go with a trusted builder. Make sure you have a copy of the municipal sanctioned plan.

5. Unbelievable offers, freebies and discounts

Study the ongoing rates and make a detailed examination of what the typical sizes of homes are in that area. Don’t blindly trust builders offering unbelievable offers such as heavy discounts on per square foot rates or tv sets and vacations to foreign locales. Rather consider it to be flashing red sign, signifying that either the homes are small in size or that his inventory is too large.

6. Check the neighbourhood

Every builder promotes their project by depicting a calm and peaceful surrounding or they may portray the project as being located in a prime location, but is it really so? Imagine living in a house that invites a raucous crowd every night because of the neighbourhood pub or the constant sound of blaring sirens, courtesy the local factory.

7. Even if you want to cancel later, no problem

Falling for this trick is as good as falling into a bottomless pit; it’ll take a long time to get out. Even though the sales person may say the cancellation amount will be refunded easily, you should know the reality is otherwise.Getting a refund from a builder is not easy and there is no rule book with prescribed norms for cancelled bookings. Very often, standalone and small time developers may not return the booking amount at all.Insist on a receipt for the full amount while booking and study the sale agreement very carefully.

8. Pre-Approved loans and tie-ups with banks

There is no doubt that a builder with pre-approved tie-ups with banks and institutions ensures a hassle-free loan process for the buyer. Yet it is safer to check the authenticity of all the documents associated with the project with a legal expert. There have been cases where the developer has backed out on some of his promises and customers have been left out to dry.

9. Possession on time or else…

Builders promise timely possession of the flat or else they will pay you rent, customers can breathe easy, right? The ground reality is that project delays are common and one is left with no choice but to have patience by the cartload. Some developers offer compensations or rent in lieu of the delay, but it’s probably not something you can bet your life on. Penalty clauses come with ‘if’s and buts’ in the agreement or they will have a cap on the amount builders are liable to pay you.The sale agreement should be scrutinised carefully for any such fine print.

10. Legal Woes

Many enthusiastic home buyers end up with inheriting the builder’s problems such as previously unpaid electricity bills, the pool that was in troubled waters because of pending taxes; the list is endless. Imagine the plight of hapless customers who were forced to evacuate from their homes because the entire project was stated illegal.