When I came to Bangalore, the first thing that struck me is that everyone is (and literally everyone) is buying either a plot/flat or independent house etc. When you see so many people surrounding you looking out for 'investment opportunities' in housing/real-estate, somehow you are bound to get influenced. I was also caught into this 'rat-race'. The emotion that controls this rampant buying is the same emotion of human beings that plays a crucial role in stock-markets i.e. greed. I have heard so many stories of people buying flats at 15 lakhs few years back and the same flat now said to be costing more than 70 lakhs. The biggest mistake people do while buying a house is "not researching enough". I got into the same trap, but thankfully got out of it just loosing 10 K Rs (cancellation of booking amount).
In these series of posts, I will try to put my experience of "trying" to buy a flat in south bangalore. These tips typically apply for people buying their first house. Some of the general tips/gyaan would be useful for buying across the entire country.
- Fix your budget before seeing any property and stick to it at any cost (very difficult).
- Never think of buying the first house as investment. It should only be considered if you want to live in it.
- Don't think of "tax-benefits" while buying your first house. It only comes into picture when you are buying a house in a city of non-residence. Otherwise the tax-benefits of home loans will be compensated by no HRA benefits.
- I have heard this a lot "Always go for big builders, since that assures less pain", this is a myth. Buying a house is a lot of pain and efforts, it does not matters much whether the builder is big or small. All builders are crooks and are out their to make money
- Getting a good house is more luck than anything else. You got to be lucky to get a house without much hassel
- Big brand names do not necessarily mean higher resale value. What matters more is the location and the construction quality.
- Flats do appreciate in value but only up to a certain point. Say the original price is 2000/- per sqft at the time of booking. It might go to 2500/- by the time the construction is over and you register it (2 years). From that point on, the appreciation slows down a bit because it is now a second-hand flat. It might go to 3000/- (5-10 years) if the location is good but that’s generally the limit. After that the wear and tear on the flat bring the value down.
- Also the stories of astronomical price increase is in realty a myth. Imagine a 2BHK flat in say Bannerghatta Road (near IIM) costing 15 lakhs in 2002 (five years before) is now costing 70 lakhs (as per the market rate in the same apartment complex). But is that a real re-sale value of the flat? Do you think there would be any takers of the flat for 70 Lakhs when the same type of flat (in terms of quality/space etc) would cost me around say 30-35 lakhs near the same locality (Meenakshi Temple)? Since the real-estate market is on the upwards, a new buyer would always look at the new projects rather than buying a second hand flat. If the market goes down, then the projected cost of 70 Lakhs would also come down steeply.
- Always go for home-loans from reputed financial institution (even if you are capable of), since that ensures a cross check of documentations obtained by builders. For example, I booked the Ittina Mahavir project in electronic complex, HDFC refuses to give loan to any of the Ittina properties. When we enquired further, we got to know that there are lot of BDA notices against illegal activities from Ittina.
- Read all the documents before signing (even signing the booking form). It is easier said than done, since the marketing department of the builder will ensure that you get engrossed in the sugary talk so much that you believe anything he/she says and sign without reading.
- Go through agreement copy atleast 5 times with your family lawyer it’s almost 25 to 30 points and usually its mostly one sided.
- Make sure that following things have been put into agreement
- Builder will not demand for any other payments other than whatever has been specifically disclosed to the buyer in writing.
- Clear possession date in writing
- To avail housing loan from a bank or a financial institution of buyer choice. Usually they force you to get a loan from private banks
- Go and talk to the last completed project of the builder and talk to the owners.
- You may not be Vaastu believer, but purchase a flat which is vaastu compliance just to ensure its re-sale value.