Carry this checklist for ready-to-move-in properties on your next site visit
If you have chosen to invest in a ready-to-move-in property.
The millennial generation has realized that buying a house may not be as beneficial or important as it is made out to be by the elders.
For salaried individuals and working professionals, buying a house has always been one of the biggest decisions of their life, if not the biggest. Generations of Indian jobbers have utilized their hard earned life savings to invest in a house, burying many dreams and desires to secure a roof over one’s head. But is buying a house really that important? Not for modern professionals. The millennial generation, so accustomed to investigating every financial decision in depth, has realized that buying a house may not be as beneficial or important as it is made out to be by the elders.
1. Cost: Buying a house is 4X as expensive in India than renting a space. On an average, home loans have 8.5% interest rate vs 2% rental yield. This differential is highest in India compared to most major economies.
2. Workforce mobility: The nature of work today has become such that workforce needs to be ready to shift to different regions for a relatively long period of time.
3. Flexibility: Renting gives you immense flexibility over buying a house, which often brings along a huge debt. People’s needs change over years, but a self-owned house doesn’t.
4. Income stability and benefits: In the uncertain job market of today, a fixed, high and regular demand on funds such as home loan EMI might become difficult to manage in times of crisis or in between jobs.
5. Home loan EMI inculcates financial discipline: Home ownership does have benefits. Being a big investment, home loans force you to commit your income for years to come. At some level, it’s a forced investment of your income which you might have splurged away in needless expenses.
If you have chosen to invest in a ready-to-move-in property, there are a lot of benefits in store for you, but also need to do a few extra checks to ensure that you are choosing the right property. Ask yourself the following nine questions and make a note of the answers, and then compare the same before you shortlist a property.
1. What’s nearby?
Your home is an investment in your future, so you need to plan for the possible changes in your life down the line. If you plan to start or grow your family, check proximity to schools and colleges. To ensure comfort, check proximity to not only your current office, but major commercial hubs. For convenience, check proximity to chemists, grocery stores, hospitals, and public transport (like metros). It can be daunting to check proximity to all these things, so instead, prioritise what is important to you, and compare accordingly.
These checks will help you save a lot of travel time and transport costs, but keep in mind that properties in well-connected localities have a higher chance of appreciating in value over time. However, such homes will also come at higher costs.
For the Kashyaps, it was Dadi Kashyap’s request that became the deciding factor, “All I want now is a home I can retire in peacefully. And for that, I need to be close to God.” And that’s why the Kashyaps added “near a temple” to their checklist.
2. How safe is the locality?
Speak to your potential neighbours and ask them what it’s like to live in the locality- is it safe for kids? Elderly people? Women? Are there a lot of partygoers, or is it more of a family-friendly location? You can also try and get access to the weekly or monthly publications by the locality’s Residential Welfare Association and have a look at the kind of incidents reported. If you want to be triply sure, you can look up crime rates in the area in which your home is located, as well as the CCTV surveillance that your building, society and locality.
When the Verma family were searching for a property, their primary requirement was to ensure their daughter, Shruti's safety. "Her work hours were such that she would come back at 2 am. Her company provided pick up and drop cab services. But our main concern was to find a gated community, with a guard, in a safe locality to ensure our peace of mind."
3. What is the quality of life the locality offers?
There are some facilities that most new-age builders provide, such as security guards, 24*7 backup power supply, elevators, fire-fighting equipment in corridors, garbage clearance, dedicated parking and more. But you need to double check if these are available, and also if they are chargeable. In certain upscale localities, you may also get access to additional facilities like club house, parks, gyms, pools, interior landscaping, etc. but these usually increase property costs.
4. How green is your home?
With global warming levels rising exponentially, it is important to consider the local pollution levels. This includes air, water and noise pollution. You may want to look for a high 'green quotient', which means that power sockets and appliances should be able to conserve substantial energy amounts, the house should receive enough natural light, which can reduce the amount of electricity consumed and should be surrounded by greenery. It is also possible to reduce your carbon footprint by taking certain measures when you are moving from one house to another. These measures can include smaller shipments which will lead to lesser transport carbon emissions, recycling or selling belongings which will no longer be used etc.
For the Sharmas, it was a priority to raise their child as a good citizen of the world, who has a sustainable way of life and is always trying to minimize his/her carbon footprint. The Sharmas were set on
5. What is the actual cost of living?
You must take a wholesome view of your budget and the expenses you can accommodate it in. Keep in mind additional costs such as registration fees, property tax, stamp duty, maintenance, electricity bills, etc. Moreover, properties in the same locality or apartment complex may be priced differently. Like a pool-facing or park-facing flat would cost you more than one that has a view of surrounding buildings. Prioritise such amenities based on your family’s needs.
6. What issues are you likely to face with public utilities?
We have all heard a story about the perfect house that our friends found, only to discover a few months later that there is a severe water shortage problem. You must make sure that the property you choose has access to basic services like municipal water, power supply, and gas pipelines. This way, you can avoid the trouble of arranging these facilities later.
In one instance, a newlywed couple faced the consequences of a hasty decision made under pressure: "We were in a hurry to move into a house that was ready for possession. We did not check the condition of the utilities in the house, which was our biggest mistake. A month after moving in, we realised that the electric circuits were ancient and the wiring in the house, creating a hazardous living environment. We had to get the entire house rewired, which cost a pretty substantial amount. The lesson was to make sure that all such household utilities were up to code, before zeroing in on the space."
7. Do you have all the required documents in place?
One reason why the process of buying a ready-to-move-in home may get delayed is because of the paperwork. Before you shortlist your top choices and start the moving process proactively, it is important to ensure that the following documents in place:
· Sale Deed
· Completion/Occupancy Certificate
· Building Plan
· Encumbrance Certificate
· Mutation Certificate
8. What is the quality of construction?
It can be challenging to check the quality of construction yourself, unless you are an expert. You may be able to see ceiling leakages, cracks in the walls, or whether the paint is chipping. But there are many other factors- the quality of plumbing and electrical fixtures, the strength of railings, the quality of construction material used, whether the construction is earthquake-resistant, and more. A good option is to consult a local property expert, who knows the area well and has important information about the builder’s credibility. When you depend on ICICI Property Search to find your dream home, you will have a dedicated expert to accompany you on every site visit, who will be able to answer these questions for you.
9. Can you trust your builder?
If you are looking to buy a home, we are sure you have been spending time reading the newspaper to keep up with the news about your builder’s reputation, and the projects they are setting up. You can check whether they hand over properties to homeowners on time, levy undue charges and are registered under RERA (Real Estate Regulation and Development Act). But that research may not be enough to truly understand a builder’s track record. You need to get a deep understanding of their financial health, any complaints customers have made, whether they’ve got the necessary approvals from the state government, whether they have any legal history, and more.
When you depend on ICICI Property Search to find the home of your choice, you get access to detailed information about 300+ properties offered by builders whose track record is studied and verified by our team of experts. The properties and builders listed are checked against various criteria before making it to the Property Search listing pages, so you can rest easy knowing you are being offered quality properties.
Investing in your dream home is often a once in a lifetime decision and it is always better to be well prepared with a checklist during site visits to ensure a thorough assessment of the pros and cons of a potential future home. Make sure you check your concerns have been taken care of during subsequent visits and get every member of your family to express their opinion, because they will be living there too.
If you have chosen to invest in a ready-to-move-in property.
5 home truths that you must consider