Saturday, February 23, 2013

PUNE REAL ESTATE - TIPS FOR BUYING A HOME - RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY


BUYING A HOME IN PUNE
TIPS FOR END USER PROPERTY BUYER
By
VIKRAM KARVE
 

Are you thinking of buying a HOME in PUNE right NOW? 

Firstly, please note – I said HOME and I did not say HOUSE. 

A home is where you plan to live with your family. 

So these tips are for end-user property buyer.

If you are thinking of buying a house for investment due to appreciation, or to earn money by renting it out, then maybe some of the things I am going to say may not be entirely applicable. 

The second important word is PUNE. 

Why Pune? 

Unless you have got a very strong reason to settle down in Pune it is not really worthwhile to buy a home in Pune. 

Considering the poor infrastructure (terrible roads, traffic chaos, poor public transport and connectivity, frequent disruptions of electricity and load-shedding, water shortages, et al) and the unexceptional quality of life, the exorbitant property prices in Pune are not justified at all. 

Yes, you will not get value for your money in Pune as you may in some other place. 

Remember, Pune is no longer the charming town it used to be – I think the city has reached saturation point and is almost bursting at its seams and the infrastructure is simply not able to cope up with the burgeoning population and proliferating concrete jungle. 

The third key word is NOW. 

Hold your horses. Be patient. Wait for real estate prices to correct and stabilize. 

Like I said, I am a novice, but some of my “knowledgeable” friends say that in the prevailing unstable economic scenario and quite a heavy inventory overhang, real estate prices in Pune are likely to fall or at least remain stable till 2014. 

TIP No. 1 – ONE LOOK IS WORTH A THOUSAND REPORTS 

A few years ago we attended a slick presentation by the sales team of a reputed builder trying convince a gullible young group of upwardly mobile persons to book an apartment in an upcoming project in Pune. 

“It’s just a five minute drive to the Railway Station,” they said. 

Today, a guy who bought an apartment there, considers himself lucky if he can reach the railway station in less than an hour negotiating the heavy chaotic traffic of Pune and with the delays at traffic jams at numerous traffic signals enroute. 

(Yes, the railway station is precisely 8 kilometers away, but is it possible to drive at an average  speed of 96 kmph to cover 8 Kms in 5 minutes? This may be possible on the expressway but certainly not in Pune City where you can barely get an average speed of 10 kmph). 

“Beautiful green open spaces surround the project,” they said. 

My friend finds himself in the midst of a concrete jungle, surrounded by a crowd of tall buildings which ensure the sun hardly ever reaches his first floor home. There is noise pollution and air pollution from the road below. 

Tell me, who is going to leave open spaces open anymore? 

If you find an open space be sure that a building will come up there or even worse a slum my proliferate rapidly covering all the left-over open spaces. 

This example brings me to Tip No. 1 - One Look Is Worth A Thousand Reports.

There is an ancient saying:

Don’t Marry a Girl Without Seeing the Girl

and 

Don’t Buy a House Without Seeing the House

Well this applies to all types of property and real estate, whether it is land, a bungalow, a row house, a flat or an apartment. 

You must visit the site and see the property for yourself. 

Also you must ensure that what you see is what you get and for this it is always better to buy a home in a project that is ready, otherwise you may in for a big surprise.                

In Pune the most important aspect to consider is location. 

Commuting is a nightmare in Pune due heavy traffic and things are only going to get worse. 

One cannot see any urgent efforts at improving the road network, and in the absence of efficient public transport, vehicles are rapidly proliferating and the traffic scene is going to get even more chaotic every passing day.

In peak hours there are continuous traffic jams and it sometimes takes me more time for me get to Koregaon Park (25 kms) from my home in Wakad than it takes me to get to Belapur in Navi Mumbai more than 100 kms away by the expressway. 

Fuel prices are rising day by day too and driving long distance is expensive.

So make sure your home is near your workplace, your wife’s office, your children’s schools and all the other places you are likely to frequent. 

Tip No. 2 - SKIP THE FRILLS 

Remember it is you who are going to pay for all those fancy things in the project – and it is a maintenance headache too. 

Do you really require all those fancy high-tech “intelligent home” gadgets which will be rendered useless by the frequent electric power failures which prevail in Pune? How often are you going to use the swimming pool? Piped LPG Cooking Gas which was a boon earlier has become a big headache after the 6 cylinder cap announced in September 2012. Fancy water pumping systems fail regularly. The Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) flushing system generates an unbearable stink in your bathrooms and homes.

The only things I find useful are generator back-up and a good gym for exercise. 

Tip No. 3 - MAKE SURE WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET 

Always buy a ready possession house. Yes, if you are an end-user it is always better to Buy” a ready to move in house in a fully completed project with completion and occupancy certificates rather than Book” in pre-launch or under construction project (you will save VAT too).

Choose your particular flat where you intend to live in and do not make a decision by just seeing a sample flat. 

As I brought out earlier, things will look vastly different before and after construction. 

A friend who booked a house before construction started in a pre-launch offer (impressed by the open fields surrounding the project) now finds himself staring into the balcony of the neighbouring building which has sprung up. 

Also, why take a big risk in the prevailing scenario of execution delays and time over-runs where a project execution may be inordinately delayed or at worst may never see the light of day? 

Tip No. 4 – BEWARE OF THE WORD “ANNEXE” 

In the English Language, the word Annexe means Extension. 

In Real Estate parlance the word Annexe may have different connotations, especially in Pune. 

Thus “Aundh Annexe” may be nowhere near Aundh, but in the back of beyond across the river.

Kondhwa Annexe may be somewhere way off in Undri or Mohammadwadi.

Koregaon Park Annexe may be way beyond Ghorpuri or Mundhwa.

Wakad Annexe may be many kilometres away from Wakad in some out-of-the-way faraway place. 

You've got the drift haven’t you – they just cash in on the name of the nearest upcoming or posh locality to hype their project. 

Tip No. 5 – TRY BEFORE YOU BUY (Have a DRY RUN) 

In fact the best thing to do is to have a Dry Run.

Take a house on rent in the locality (or better still in the building complex) in which you intend to buy your home and you will experience first hand the pros and cons of living there, especially the social infrastructure. 

Like I said, don’t get carried away by all that “created” hype. 

Be patient. Look around. Try out some more localities or ask your friends living there. Rest assured that you will get a good deal. Everything comes to him who waits. 

Bye for now. 

I will share some more lessons I learnt as a novice first time home buyer right here in my blog. 

Do tell me if you found my tips useful.

And remember the ancient saying:

Don’t Marry a Girl Without Seeing the Girl and Don’t Buy a House Without Seeing the House. 


Before I end let me give some food for thought. I do not know whether it is true or not, but I heard on a TV Property Show that whereas the entire Delhi NCR Area (comprising NOIDA, Gurgaon, New Delhi, Delhi, Ghaziabad and surrounding areas) have a total of around 150 Builders, Pune alone has around 1500 builders and developers. If this is indeed true then you can draw your own conclusions.

Happy House Hunting…!!!


VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 2013
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and an anthology of short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional  and academic research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

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