Thursday, May 2, 2013

THREE TIPS FOR HOME BUYERS


THREE TIPS FOR HOME BUYERS
By
VIKRAM KARVE


1. Buy a ready-to-move-in house in a completed project which has completion certificate, occupation certificate and all necessary clearances.

It may prove risky to book a house in pre-launch or under-construction stage for the following reasons:

-          you are not likely to get your completed house on time as execution delays are the norm. Sometimes the time delays for completion of residential projects run into many years and this will upset your financial position and you will suffer the prospect of having to live in a rented house since your own house has not been delivered to you on due date

-          if you buy a completed house, you will get what you see and you can observe the quality of construction and internal fittings and get a feel of the ambience when you buy the house and decide whether it is worth paying so much

-          your house may turn out to be an illegal construction in case the builder is not able to obtain the required clearances. You will be charged property tax even if the building is illegal. There have been cases where buildings have been declared illegal and given demolition notices after buyers have been living there for as long as 10 or 20 years. Buildings may be considered illegal despite the fact that the home owners have been duly paying property tax every year in a timely manner and have been provided electricity and water connections and are paying their bills on time. It defies logic as to why property tax is charged and collected from illegal buildings and why municipal facilities, water and electricity are provided to illegal buildings. It is an absurd situation – how can property tax be assessed for a building that is incomplete and not considered fit for occupation? But then, that is the reality. Home buyers are being taken for a ride. It sounds bizarre, but issuance of a property tax bill, registration documents and water and electricity connections does not make a building legal, as sometimes these things are done even when completion/occupancy certificates are not issued. Both end-users and investors have to beware of this danger, since, whereas an end-users risk eviction, an investor may find it difficult to sell an “illegal” house.

2.  If you are an end-user residential owner, avoid buying a house in a “tenant dominated” residential complex.

Since you are going to buy a ready-to-move-in completed house, you can easily have a look at the ownership pattern (end users versus investors) in the residential project and infer whether the society is going to be “residential owner dominated” or “tenant dominated”. The quality of life is much lower in a tenant-dominated residential society as compared to end-user dominated residential societies. (I will write in detail on this aspect later)

3. Do not hire an interior designer immediately. Wait for at least two years before your get interior decoration done.

A civil engineer who has worked for many years in the construction industry gave me this advice. Unlike in earlier days, when good construction was the norm, nowadays, the quality of construction may not be consistent. Thus your home may have many “teething problems” like seepage in walls and ceiling, uprooting of flooring due to chemical reactions, leakage etc. Your house will take at least one or two years to “settle down” and till then teething problems will keep appearing. If noticed immediately, these can be tackled by the builder. If you complete interior design like woodwork, re-modelling, change of fittings, re-painting of walls etc, you may not notice these teething problems. For example, seepage may take place behind your cupboard, and this will cause long term damage if neglected. Also, the builder will do “touch up” repainting for his original paint only and he will replace his original electrical, plumbing and other fittings only. So be patient and wait for a couple of years before you think of doing up your interiors.


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. 
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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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