With the recent influx of IT professionals in the Pune city and increase in rentals ,there has been an increase in inclination among professionals to buy residential apartments and houses. The quest for housing is riddled with capricious builders who try to extract unreasonable amount of money from unsuspecting home buyers. a 10 point check lists before settling for a builder or project would prevent grave shock post buying.
- Look for NEC (Non Encumbrance Certificate) for the land first. Many small builders start construction to encash boom with a hope that they will get more land subsequently. Later they are stuck in legal battles. Mont Vert in Wakad is one example of this.
- Check if proper plan exists for the entire plot. Organised builders have 3D realistic models . A good way to cheat customers is to show plan of society and show everything outside it in green. This may not be reality. Jaypee Greens in Noida is one example.
- Check if the builder has a website which is live. If the builder is serious , the website will mostlikely exist. Recently I got a proposal from a builder in an email. When I checked the company website, I found that the site was fraud and it was just a template website which was yet to be developed.
- Check if the plot is square. A square plot with a central space is key to good housing . Do not invest in properties where they have 4 or more buildings in line. these are bad plots. Example Park Street, Park wayz, Capprichio in Wakad.
- Do not ever buy in place which is very low lying. The rain months in Pune are 5 long ones. The rivers swell and water collects in low lying areas. If you buy in those plots the chances of flooding are high. Example , Kapil Malhar on Baner Road
- Look for proximity to main road and availability of Public transport. Most societies are made in obscure plots with upto 1 km earthen or non existing roads. Do not ever buy that. Even a 0.5km drive in rains can bring tears to eyes after the roads are washed off.
- Check for avaialbility of municipal water supply. Normally builders promise that it will be there but considering the red tape, if its not already there inthe locality it may take years to come.
- The builders jack up sq feet rates every month. Today they are quoting between Rs 2200 to 3800 . A thumb rule to calculate the value of a property is to compute total value of 20 to 25 yrs of rent for a similar property in same area. Example a 1200 sq feet flat which fetches a a rent of 10000/month has annual rent of 1,20,000 . Its intrinsic values is between 24 lacs to 30 lacs. Rent is a surer indicator of demand for housing. Use this to evaluate the merit of this deal.
- Look for market nearby. Sometimes we are mesmerised by the models and views of flat but it when you start living in you gete a shock. Even buying a standard bread will need you to drive 8kms. Example in Wakad area you can only find local breads , no Modern, Britannia or Harvest.
- Security is a prime concern in Wakad area. The good looking societies are very vulnerable to thefts and I have seen 3 house break ins in last 1 month of stay in a row house society in Pune. Check for presence of street lights, boundary wall height, barbed wire etc.. Avoid any society which has slums near by. Given the political color , the slums never disappear and are a threat to safety.
These are preliminary considerations , Once you do these , comes the evaluation of construction quality . I will write more on this in my next blog