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Simple guide to buying a home

, April 6, 2015, 0 Comments

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Buying a home is one of the most important decisions in our life as it could change the way we live forever. Also, it involves investing substantial amount which could mean parting with your life times saving or even getting indebted for a long period of time. Here are the simple steps to going about buying a home in a systematic manner.

Cleary define your need

This is the first and the most important step. It has been observed that people end of visiting numerous properties and realize that most of them do not meet their requirement. Hence, it is essential that you understand your needs first before hitting the ground. The best thing to do would be to sit together with your family and make a table having various parameters/requirements like budget, location, type of house, size, mode of financing, date of moving in, proximity to work place/schools/hospitals/place of worship etc., public transport, amenities like play area, club house, swimming pool etc. in one column and write down your requirements against them in other column. This discipline of putting things in writing will certainly help you in crystallizing your requirement and save you a lot of leg work.

Do some research

Once you have penned your requirement, you can start your house hunting journey right from your home itself. A good way to start would be to visit various property websites/portals. These websites could be categorized as under:

a) Websites like Magic Bricks which have listing of existing properties form property owners as well as brokers and new properties directly from developers.
b) Websites of large national level brokers which will have listings of new properties across multiple cities and locations therein.
c) Websites of local brokers having listings of properties available in resale in a specific micro market.

Another important source would be news papers, especially those caring special supplements and classifieds (usually with the weekend editions).

Meeting a reputed property broker is also advisable as he would be able to provide information and share the advantages and disadvantages of various properties from multiple developers.

One should also visit property exhibitions which are held at regular intervals as they give you opportunity of getting information from multiple developers under one roof.

Site Visits

After you have gathered information about various properties, you need to once again sit together, corroborate the same with the table of your requirements mentioned in step 1 above and shortlist the properties for site visit. Thereafter, you need to plan your logistics for the site visits in such a way that you cover as many properties as possible in shortest possible time.

You may visit the properties on your own or with a broker, in case you are not familiar with the locations. At the site, you need to check on the sample flat, the layouts, the detailed costing, the payment terms, construction schedule and delivery time, status of the requisite approvals (Commencement Certificate etc.) from the concerned authorities, registration and other legal formalities etc. Also it is very important that you see the exact site where the building is coming up and asses for yourself the status of construction. Do not simply go by what the developer or broker has to say in this regard.

Short listing the property

After the above steps and with few reiterations, you would have been able to identify a few the properties from amongst which you would like to buy. It’s time to double check and get reconfirmations. You should check the reputation and track record of the developer especially from someone you know who would have purchased from him.

One should also visit the area in the vicinity of the property and see the life in the neighbhourhood, the social infrastructure, transport facilities etc. It’s also advisable to visit the other completed projects from the same developer and see the quality of construction, finishing, amenities etc. One should also check with some leading bank if they have approved the property for home finance. After having done all this, you can zero in on the property you would like to buy.

Understand the legalities and process involved

Now that you have shortlisted the property you need to understand the legalities involved especially if it’s a resale property. You may have to hire a lawyer for title search, documents verification, etc. You also need to understand what would be the related cost like stamp duty, registration fee, taxes etc. and timelines for completion of registration and other documentation.

Understand the financing options and get pre sanction

In case you would be taking loan then, before you go and commit yourself, it is important that you meet the bank and understand your loan eligibility, cost of funding, amount the bank is willing to lend for that property, expected EMI, pre conditions and schedule for disbursement etc. It is advisable to get a pre sanction from the bank so that you know exactly how much amount will be available.

Meet the developer for negotiation and closure

It’s time to go for the closure and its advisable to go armed with cheque and pre sanction letter so the developer knows you are serious and would be more accommodating in negotiations. You may try to negotiate on three fronts, depending upon your need and circumstances

a) Price – you may negotiate on the base price or waiver of floor rise/preferred location charge, free car parking, reimbursement of Stamp Duty and Registration charges

b) Payment terms – you may negotiate on the payment terms to suit your cashflows

c) Apartment of choice – you may press for getting an apartment of your choice i.e. on lower floor to save floor rise, on higher floor for better view, corner flat etc.

Also at this stage you all need to understand whether there are any other hidden charges or liabilities which may arise anytime in future till you get the possession or even thereafter. You also need to understand the timelines, process and documentation requirement for registration.