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Are you thinking of buying a HOME in PUNE right NOW?
Firstly, please note – I said HOME not HOUSE.
A home is where you plan to live with your family. If you are thinking of buying a house for investment, or to earn money by renting 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 a recession is round the corner and real estate prices in Pune are going to fall.
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 averagespeed of 96 kmph to cover 8 Kms in 5 minutes? This may be possible on the expressway but certainly not in PuneCity 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 worse still 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 Girland Don’t Buy Land Without Seeing the Land.
Well this applies to all types of property and real estate, whether it is land, a bungalow, a row house 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 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. Petrol prices are rising day by day too.
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? 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. As I brought out earlier, things will look vastly different before and after construction. A friend who booked a house before construction started (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 risk in the prevailing scenario where a project 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 beyong Ghorpuri or Mundhwa and Wakad Annexe may be many kilometres away from Wakad in some out-of-the-way 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 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. 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. Till then tell me if you found my tips useful and remember the ancient saying: Don’t Marry a Girl Without Seeing the GirlandDon’t Buy a House Without Seeing the House.