Buying a home is not only an important financial decision, but a difficult one too — especially for first-time home buyers. Simply because apart from being a long and complex process, it also involves investing whole life’s savings and any mistake or wrong decision made by the buyer is bound to cost him dearly. Therefore, it has become vital to select one’s home carefully and only after doing proper due diligence, particularly in today’s times when property prices are rising like never before and a large number of real estate scams have surfaced in recent times.
However, despite someone’s best efforts, buying a perfect home is not an easy job and buyers are likely to make some compromises while zeroing in on their dream homes. For instance, a particular house with enough parking space may be too big for someone’s budget or a bigger house may be affordable but won’t have enough parking space to accommodate all the cars of the prospective buyer. So, in such cases the buyer may either decide to go for a smaller house with enough parking space or may opt for the bigger house without enough parking space.
On the contrary, there are a few other things which must not be ignored and compromised on under any circumstances. Here we take a look at some factors where no compromises should be made while buying a house:
It is the most important factor to consider while buying a house simply because it helps determine not only the future value of your investment, but also many aspects of your everyday life. Location is also extremely important at the time of selling a house. A buyer should, therefore, have a clear idea of what location will and will not work for him in future and should never make any compromises on that front.
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“Buying a house in an area with no connectivity and support infrastructure is not a good idea, regardless of how cost-effective the purchase price is. Housing projects in non-supportive locations will command lower purchase prices to attract buyers, while homes situated in better locations may cost more because of higher land prices and better demand profile. Therefore, if necessary, buyers should leverage their budget and avail of good locations,” suggests Santhosh Kumar, CEO-Operations & International Director of premier international property consultancy JLL India.
2. Quality of construction
Concrete buildings have a finite life-cycle. There are innumerable instances of buildings collapsing because they were built with inferior construction materials or used faulty designs. Also, badly-constructed buildings will involve much higher maintenance costs, and inferior fittings will need to be replaced often. Construction quality, therefore, is an important factor for buyers to focus on.
3. Reliability of the developer
You should always go for a project developed or being developed by a reputed and reliable builder. “This is extremely important because the real estate sector is still inundated with unscrupulous developers who are just interested in making quick bucks. The interests of consumers hardly matter to them. In fact, sometimes it becomes very difficult to even locate such developers once their projects are sold out,” says Rahul Singla, director, MAPSKO Group.
It is true that the government is trying to enact some laws to deal with such builders, but buyers should remember that barring some parts of the country, the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA) has yet not been implemented across the country, and until it does, the real estate market will continue to contend with unreliable builders who often make tall promises but hardly deliver on them.
“Such promises will relate to the amenities and facilities of the project, upcoming infrastructure which add to the area’s liveability, and delivery timelines. Failure to live up to any of these promises can result in a dead investment for a buyer. It is, therefore, better to stick to developers who have a strong brand reputation in the market, as such builders will do what it takes to preserve that reputation. Anonymous developers have no established reputation, so they have nothing to lose – at least not until RERA weeds them out altogether,” says Kumar.
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4. Legality of the purchase
A buyer should at no point enter into a disputed or an illegal agreement. “While purchasing an apartment/ plotted development, etc., one must be mindful that all clarifications are sought by the developer or the purchaser (in case of independent purchase),” says Shveta Jain, Managing Director, Residential Services, India, Cushman & Wakefield.
5. Basic infrastructure
You should also ensure that basic infrastructure like water, electricity and sewerage is not lacking in and around the house you are planning to buy. It is important to have adequate water and power supply. Remember that though most housing projects being developed by reputed builders these days have a power back-up facility, it can cost up to 3-4 times more than the regular power supply.
6. Parking space
Adequate parking space has also become a major factor to consider while looking for a house. Gone are the days when only the rich and famous used to own a car. Now-a-days – thanks to the availability of easy finance – owning a car has become as simple as buying a pair of shoes for most people. Not only this, each working member of a family wants a personal car. Also, even if someone doesn’t currently own a car, the likelihood of buying one in the future is quite high. In a situation like this, it is important to have adequate parking space in a house or housing project. Lack of adequate parking space often results in fights among the residents of a society or residential area. So if you want a peaceful life, then don’t compromise on this aspect.
Keeping in mind the growing number of crimes, even in the prime areas of metro cities, security has become a major concern for most home buyers these days. Therefore, “try to go for a housing project which promises to lay emphasis on the safety and security of its residents and their belongings, and won’t make any compromise on this aspect,” says Ravish Kapoor, director, ELAN Group.
What you can compromise on
It is not that factors like the size of property, balconies, kitchen and bathroom space, availability of common facilities like gym and swimming pool in a project, etc., are not important, but they do provide some room for compromises. For example, a home would not become less valuable if the size of its balconies is not large enough or its kitchen is a bit small.
Similarly, if you can’t afford a three-bedroom house, you can opt for a two-bedroom house and upgrade later when you are financially fit. Or, you can even buy a smaller three-bedroom house. Thus, you can compromise on the number of bedrooms or the property size. The interior, which can be improved upon later, also provides enough room for compromise.
But certain things like the location or the construction quality can’t be changed later on. So if you make any compromises here, you would be risking both your future and happiness!
It is true that finding an ideal house is difficult, particularly if you have a limited budget. Also, every person has his own priorities and preferences. To start with, therefore, make a list of ‘must-have’ and ‘negotiable’ things first for finding out a house ‘close’ to your dreams, even if it is not your ‘dream house’!