Real Estate Investment: 10 things to check before buying a home

As buying a home is one of the largest investments one can make, it is imperative for home buyers to carefully evaluate every single detail.

Real Estate Investment: 10 things to check before buying a home
As buying a home is one of the largest investments one can make, it is imperative for home buyers to carefully evaluate every single detail.

Many of us have grown up with the dream of building or buying our very own dream home. However, as it is one of the largest investments one can make, it is imperative for home buyers to carefully evaluate every single detail, from costs, government policies, taxes to the loan plans.

Therefore, to make the entire process less stressful, we are putting together a checklist for you:

1. Research

Good research gets one closer to one’s dream home, effectively and quickly. Days are gone when the home buying decision was largely influenced by real estate agents. But today is the age of developers, giving their potential investors a virtual walkthrough while social media platforms define their buying decisions, giving them a unique buying experience. Now one can evaluate and compare properties basis each individual criteria and requirement. In present times, the investing decision of the buyers is majorly driven by the latest amenities which the projects offer. Also online, one can easily gather information about property prices, processes of acquiring a property, documents required during the transactions.

It is advisable to check the basic amenities, like the plumbing, construction, and safe electrical connections. It always makes more sense to weigh the pros and cons before acquiring the property than realising it post occupation.

2. Location

The concept of luxury living is witnessing a paradigm shift. In present times, as the real estate industry goes through a strong resurgence, the one thing that has remained constant is the importance of project locations. A prime location, closer to economic parks, recreational centres, educational institutes and hospitals, should always be favoured and be an instrumental factor during decision-making.

3. Evaluate lifestyle needs

Today, the decision to invest in a home is mostly governed by lifestyle needs. Hence, before making a final investment, we need to consider several factors such as the residential location, amenities, views, infrastructure status, surroundings, proximity to commercial and recreational centres, transportation facilities, potential capital appreciation, developer, and most importantly, the budget.

4. Financial assessment and availability of capital

After taking into consideration the above-mentioned key factors, one should carefully analyse one’s budget, value for money and address the financial commitment during purchase, construction and post occupation.

It is vital to remember that it is not only the Agreement Value to which the costs are accrued to. There has to be provision for taxes like GST, stamp duty and registration charges and common area maintenance costs. Miscellaneous costs such as parking, corpus, legal charges et al. should also be taken into consideration.

Besides, today, no more an investing decision is withheld due to lack of financial resources. There are multiple banks and NBFCs which offer home loans and attractive schemes in tie-up with the developer. Home investors today can choose from the array of schemes and policies which are safeguarded by insurance in case of unforeseen incidents.

5. Investment Purpose

Buying a property is an attractive investment proposition. To start with, it is essential to understand the investment purpose. The decision to invest in a home for personal use is driven by utility and sentiments. But, when a house is bought only for investment purpose, these aspects don’t play a vital role. Scope of asset appreciation, legal status and foreseeing the market dynamics should be properly considered before the final investment decision is made.

6. Additional Costs

After a buyer completely understands the crux of the property acquiring cost, he also needs to consider the post occupation cost. There needs to be a provision for the later costs which accrue from various expenses like fit out costs, interior costs, maintenance costs, property insurance if any, mortgage payments in case of loan availed.

7. Documentation

Once the financial requirements are in place, home buyers must ensure that they have acquired all the necessary documents and should also be aware of their rights which are assured by various government policies.

Detailed cost estimates, approved plan of construction, allotment letter from builder, sanctioned building plan, sales and conveyance deed, extension and licence for construction, NOC from all relevant authorities and valuation report from the architect are a few of the essential documents which must always be acquired / evaluated by the buyer without fail before property occupation.

8. Understanding the impact of RERA

After the implementation of RERA, property developers are required to register with the authority and upload every detail of the projects. This includes title, approvals, agreements, delivery dates, payment schedules, finish, etc. This enables the customer to get a good insight into the project before making a purchase decision.

The following information, amongst others, will be available on the RERA portal:

# Approved Layout Plan

# Building plan sanctioned by statutory authority

# Title documents and Title Report

# Approvals including permission to commence construction i.e.

# Commencement Certificate

# Detailed cost estimate/valuation report from chartered engineer/architect (if applicable)

# Building Layout, configurations and details of units including details of the unit sold

# List of Common Area Amenities and Facilities that will be provided

# Details of consultants on the project and registered channel partners/relevant associations

# Litigations, if any

9. Customer Protection

Implementation of RERA has made the industry extremely transparent and ensures customer protection. This has further helped in gaining customer trust. The government of India is taking multiple steps that shall take the industry a long way, promoting growth and higher investment numbers.

10. Post Possession know-how

The process does not end as soon as the house is purchased, but one needs to be careful also post possession. It is essential to make sure all your documents are stored well along with adequate photocopies. Also make sure all the relevant paperwork/official documents are updated with the new details.

To sum it up, buying a home comes with a lot of emotions and a lifelong security. Hence, homebuyers need to acknowledge the magnitude of this and do the due diligence required to carefully plan their decisions, to enjoy the perks of being a home owner.

(By Reshmi Panicker, President, Business Development & Customer Relations Management, Piramal Realty)

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