Friday, November 11, 2011






I wrote this post a few months ago and am posting it once more on request from some house hunting friends

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? Why do you want to buy a home in 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 looming round the corner and real estate prices in Pune may actually fall instead of rising if the demand from NRI, IT Techies and other investors starts going down due to the economic downturn and high interest rates. Then only genuine home buyers will remain in the market for whom there is abundant supply.


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 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 Girl and 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 with more and more vehicles adding to the traffic chaos. 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 colleges and all the other places you are likely to frequent. Also make sure your home has easy access from the main road and is near facilities which you and your family will need like hospitals, medical and dental clinics, banks, petrol pumps and garages, shops, malls, markets, parks, entertainment places like multiplexes, eating joints and other facilities like bookshops and libraries, sporting and recreation facilities and clubs, which are of your interest. Give due consideration to the persons who are going to stay in your house for the maximum time - maybe your senior citizen parents may live 24x7 in your house while you and your family will spend a lot of time away at work and school. If you have a pet, a dog perhaps, make sure the design and layout of the house is pet friendly. That's why I emphasize that it is always better to buy a ready possession, ready to move in, fully completed house so that WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET. Another good option is to go in for a relatively new second sale house where people have already lived for a few years and all facilities are well established.


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 like DIGIHOME which will be rendered useless by the frequent electric power failures which prevail in Pune and will prove more of a pain than being useful? How mush will you be using the swimming pool and Jacuzzi? Do you care for snob appeal fancy fittings or do you prefer utility items? The only things I find useful are generator back-up and a good gym for exercise. 


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 in a pre-launch offer 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 of looming economic recession where a housing project may be inordinately delayed or, at worst, may never see the light of day? 


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 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. 

Happy House Hunting…!!! 

Please do comment and tell me whether you found these tips useful.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2011
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. Educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU 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 short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories, 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 research papers in journals and edited in-house journals for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for almost 14 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing. Vikram 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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Vikram said...

Its nice to follow you on Twitter and this is a really good article. I relocated to 'Pune' few months back, and now I am at a point that buying home in Pune is useless waste of money, instead staying in rented home is cost effective and handy option.

Will love to have your views on this point.

Vikram Waman Karve said...

Hi Vikram,
I agree with you that at this moment staying in a rented home may be the best option while you wait and watch and take your time to decide
All the Best