8 Essential Checklist For Buying Property By A Real Life Architect

Today, a real life architect is going to share with you some of the most essential things investors should check before buying property in India. Do you want to know what are the topmost things to look into property before you take that big decision of booking the property?

8 important checklist points before buying property

At some point of time in our life, everyone feels of owning a house. It may be for their own stay or as an investment. Depending on the stage of one’s life, buying a home is associated either with an ambition or necessity or influence through various parameters.

It is taken for granted that it is THE ultimate investment to secure one’s future. Surprisingly, despite of not having a regulatory body, an investment in real estate is assumed by many as a safe bet – safer than Equities, may be because most of them are fortunate enough to not have faced any issues with their properties. However, the risk factor in this investment is equally grave like any other modes.

Without a proper diligence, your dream investment certainly comes with a potential risk that can have lifelong repercussions on your livelihood. By no means I intend to say that all buyers are ignorant about the property survey before finalizing it; it is just that their analysis about their ‘to be’ property is limited to generic factors.

Usually, any Indian buyer looks broadly into following parameters while selecting a property. Interestingly, a buyer buying property for his stay would look into the aspects in an order as mentioned below, while an investor will reverse the order except point #2 which will be on top of the list.

  1. Location & convenience factor.
  2. Rate of the property in comparison to the market trends in the vicinity.
  3. Surrounding neighbourhood.
  4. Amenities offered by the builder.
  5. Building aesthetics.
  6. Expected rate of appreciation in future.

1. Project site or Land

The very first check that one needs to do is about the land on which the project is planned. The land should be a Non Agricultural land (often called NA) and should be registered with the local municipal body.

Each property comes with a ‘Property Card’ which mentions the details of the current owner of land and its status. Apart from the type of land, one should check in the city ‘Development’ Plan whether the land is earmarked for any reservations such as – play ground, police station, public welfare amenities, religious structures, slum rehabilitation etc. For any city development plan, you will generally get it from the website of the municipal corporation.

2. Approvals from statutory bodies

If there is any parameter that is of utmost importance while choosing a property, then it is this. Your property has no value, if it has not got required approvals from the local authorities (municipal corporation or likewise).

Sellers advertise in a most generic manner in one line “All approvals in place” as they are aware that nobody will go deep into investigation of the approvals. I am located in Mumbai and I can tell you that any project that is planned to be executed in Mumbai requires more than 100 permissions / NOCs from various bodies and during different stages of the construction. This document gives you a good idea for these permissions and NOC required in various states.

3. Flat Layout

This is another important aspect to think about before you finalize the property. This becomes a family’s habitat for years to come. Regardless to say, the flat should provide you comfort, joy and a sense of complete satisfaction. Taking all members of family in confidence, it should become a unanimous choice and one cannot leave a chance to regret about the choice at a later date.

4. View outside your flat

This is a selling point that is hot favourite by the builders. “Sea facing flats”, “Flats overlooking the green fields / hills” and similar panoramic views become an USP of any project.

With the help of advanced software’s & computer aided renderings, developers even showcase you during the sale inquiry, the view that you would get once you occupy the premises. We all become excited and we get emotionally attached to the property. While a good view enabling adequate daylight & ventilation is absolutely necessary, one has to be very careful of the ‘view’ aspect.

While you would be certainly happy with the view that you may get, you just need to ensure that you would enjoy it permanently or at least for a long term. There have been instances where the customers have paid a premium price to achieve a great view from their windows but within couple of years, their view got obstructed permanently because of a new building getting constructed on the land adjacent to their building / premises. Here you can’t blame the builder too because things outside his plot, is not under his control.

5. Specifications

When we intend to buy an electronic gadget, say a mobile phone, we tend to go deep into its specification – Operating system, processor, storage capacity, battery life etc. All this study is carried out for a gadget which costs mere thousands of rupees and is with us for couple of years.

Contradictory to it, a purchase like a property, which runs into lakhs and crores of rupees & which could be with us for decades, is finalized on the aesthetics and other generic factors mentioned earlier. Little do we get into the details of the specifications. We seem to be satisfied with just the high-level things which are provided to us – wooden flooring, granite kitchen platform, wooden doors, vitrified tiles so on and so forth. But we ignore the specification of those materials.

Developers generally limit their capital costs incurring on the interior finishes or items that become a part of customer’s possession. They simply ignore the aspect of operational costs as the money goes out from resident’s pocket.

6. ‘Luxurious’ and ‘Affordable’ homes

Developers have started a new trend of marketing their schemes as the one that provides ‘Luxurious flats’, ‘Ultra-Modern flats’ and even ‘Affordable homes’. While it is an individual’s choice of deciding how should be his lifestyle and gaining luxury with hard earned money is no wrong. But buyers have to be prudent in knowing what ‘Luxury’ is being offered. Understand whether the luxury is being offered as a spacious flat with a large carpet area or a standard / compact size flat with finishing items with high-end specification.

7. Fire Safety (In tall buildings)

Tall buildings are sprouting up because of lack of space in the city. It is also an economical viable option for a developer to go for tall buildings within a city where the development charges are high. Buyers too are excited to live in a tall building where they can enjoy great views, daylight & ventilation. But what one doesn’t take seriously is the fire safety measures or evacuation strategy in case of emergency.

8. Big versus Small Developers

It is a general opinion that one should buy property from big, reputed developers as their schemes & construction quality is superior. Someway, buyers feel more reliable on them and are willing to pay more expecting superiority, timely possession, transparency etc.

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