10 things to check before buying your first home

10 things to check before buying your first home

It goes without saying that purchasing a home is a measure of security and comfort for yourself, something to indicate where you have reached in life and also a means of providing future stability to your family. Add in the fact that a home is always an asset for your future generations and the benefits of ownership far outweigh the cons. However, you need to be careful while buying your first home.

It always pays to be a little alert and to do your homework when you are finally venturing to buy your first house. We know you’ll be a little excited but you should always take decisions with a rational mind-set. On that note, here are 10 things you should always check before purchasing your first home.

10 things that you should not miss out on

  1. Key Project Documents- This is something that is indispensable by all means. Get a good legal expert to help you out in this regard. Trust us, it’s worth it! Always check the documents for the project. These include the approvals for the project, building plan approvals, RERA registration certificate, environmental clearance, fire safety clearance and others. You should always check the land title and see whether it is clean and whether the developer has purchased it legally or whether there is any dispute. To sum it up in a nutshell, the title deed should be checked along with the release certificate from the bank in case of a resale transaction on a property that was on loan. Check the land’s encumbrance certificate, land-use, local approvals, property tax receipts and other papers.
  2. Banks associated with the project- Always check the banks which are associated with a particular project. Several real estate companies and developers are already in the red due to piled up inventory and poor track records. Check whether there are banks associated with developers and willing to fund project development.
  3. Always work out your entire cost- Right from the basic property price to other charges and fees including stamp duty, registration, GST if it is applicable, external/internal development charges, parking charges, club membership fees, preferential location or floor rise charges and other hidden costs. This will help you find out the total sum to be paid at your end.
  4. Check the credentials of the developer- No matter how attractive a project may seem, you should always spend some time in verifying the builder’s credentials, his/her track record, similar projects built over the years and overall reputation in the market.
  5. Check the payment plan carefully- Choosing the best payment plan is very essential by all means. There are several types that may be on offer including construction linked plans, down payment plans, flexi payment offers and possession linked payment plans. Choose very carefully and if required, get help from a legal expert in order to understand what you are being charged for each of these schemes and which one is actually benefiting you. In many cases, there are guaranteed rental schemes where developers pay up the rent for a fixed period when construction is going on or for a certain time period post possession. Always read the fine print minutely before taking any final decision.
  6. Housing unit size- The size of the housing unit or apartment should be ascertained with great care. Developers usually include the super built-up area in their brochures. Post RERA, the carpet area is the only important figure that has to be shown by developers. The actual apartment size may be even 30% lower than the super built-up area. Always check the carpet area carefully before buying.
  7. Site inspection- Site inspection is a must before you purchase your first home. Always visit the site, see whether everything is in order and as per the building plan. Talk to people in the neighbourhood about any legal disputes and so on and enquire about the progress of the project.
  8. Connectivity- This is something many people fail to check with disastrous consequences which will keep impacting you on a daily basis. Check whether the area can be easily accessed through basic public transport including buses, auto rickshaws and the like. Also check whether cabs ply in the area and whether there are metro/railway routes nearby. This is something that is very important. Also check the distance to your workplace, your child’s school and so on.
  9. Prices in the neighbourhood- A neighbourhood may have several residential projects being developed but property prices may not essentially be the same across each. Talk to people in the area and find out prices of similar housing units in the same neighbourhood. This will help you understand whether your developer is charging you the right price or not. Of course, interior fittings, extra facilities and so on command higher values but your apartment should not be priced overtly high in comparison to other projects in the area.
  10. Social Infrastructure- You will require some basic social infrastructure nearby including ATMs, petrol pumps, grocery stores, shopping centres, healthcare facilities and schools (if you have children) among others. Check whether these basic facilities are present along with the water and electricity supply situation in the neighbourhood before buying.

This handy checklist will help you take better decisions while buying your first home. Keep calm, do your research, be alert and focus on getting the best possible option to meet your needs.