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10 things to check before buying a home or Property in India

by Manish Chauhan · 41 comments

Buying a property is a one time decision for many. Its a moment when you are excited, stressed and many a times in hurry!. You look at some properties and one of those properties give you that feeling of “that’s my dream home”. You get attached to something special about the property and every other aspect looks fine to you. On top of it, you feel you want to block the property as soon as you can and get into the process of arranging for booking money, down-payment and finalizing home loan.

parameters to investigate before buying property in india

But, its not the time to rush, but slow down. You should step back for some time and calm down yourself because its a decision which will impact your overall family, life and finances. And you should not be regretting it later.

Just like a detective investigates a case and goes deep down analyzing a situation and then comes up with a conclusion, you should also do some important investigations before you finally take decision of buying a property. So we have come up with 10 things you should look at and think hard about them. These 10 points can also become a comparison tool for you to compare two or more properties, which we will look at in the end, but before that lets see what are those 10 parameters you should investigate before buying a property

10 things to check before buying a home or Property in India

1. Goodwill of the Builder and overall Brand
Before you buy a Property, its important to have a look at the builder profile and his overall history. How many projects he has already delivered, How much delay was there, Go to te website of builder company and check old projects and ongoing projects. Search on internet with the previous project name and you should be able to find some important information about it. See what people are talking about the builder and property.

2. Connectivity to your Work Place

An important parameter to look at before buying a property is the distance between your workplace and the property. Its something you have to deal with everyday. A property which is 3 km away from your workplace is very different from the property which is 12 km from your workplace. Long Distance might mean inflated fuel cost, time lost in travelling and getting frustrated and burning out each and every day for many years to come.

3. Connectivity to Schools, Hospitals, Transport, Markets etc

You should check how far are schools, colleges, hospitals, markets , shopping places and bus/train stations from the property. It should not happen that to save the money on property, but then spent on travelling your kids every day to school. The access to other important places is also very important.

4. Resale Potential in Future

When we buy a property, we are attached to it thinking that we are going to live there for next few decades, but no one known when you would be packing your bags again to move to some different location because of various reasons. At that time, if you realize that the property was suitable for you, but not to someone else, its going to be very bad situation. So you also have to think about the “resale” potential of property you buy. Will the property appeal to someone else ? Think about it again. For example, you might be looking at the property which has common parking, but what about future at the time of selling , every one you talk to wants a dedicated covered parking ?

Also, Most of the people who are buying under-construction properties are very far from core city. So its an important point to check about the future development around the area. Find out whats the future development plan for Roads ,Flyover, proposed malls, and other things which might come up in next 4-6 yrs. If the place is not yet properly connected to main city, there might be future plans for it.

5. Rental Potential

A lot of times, people give their property on rent and move to some other location. At that time, if you realise that the property is not that attractive from rental point of view, you will regret your decision. I am not saying this is going to be a deciding factor in your decision, but still just keep it in mind and have a look at property from this view point only. If property is near colleges or centrally located, or close to commercial places, you will never find issues finding people to rent your property.

6. Air & Lighting

Air and Lighting is something which will determine your living experience on daily basis. The flat you live in should have good enough lighting (natural light) and proper air. Also you should check how the air flows from various angles. In my current flat, the way wind flows is amazing. So when you look at property, check if some other buildings are blocking the air and lighting or not. Which side the terrace or balcony faces and the view outside.

7. Amenities Offered

You should also check what kind of amenities are offered along with property. Things like club house, parking, lift, power backup, swimming pool, gym are some of the amenities. Now you might be a simple person who wants minimal things, but if you want to make sure the property has very good resale potential, you might want to look at these things. After all, all these things will matter to you or people connected to you and if not anyone, may be the next buyer from you will look at all this.

8. Construction Quality

When you go to look at properties, check the construction quality. What we mean by it is check the walls, their overall look and feel, how is the finishing done, Does it look premium or the paints look like as if it will come out very soon. Check the wiring, fitting, tiles quality etc etc. If its a under-construction project, the only option you have is to search on internet about the builder and its past project experiences and what previus buyers are saying about it . Just put builder name or any previous project name along with “+ construction quality” words on google and you will be able to get some ideas – like this project in chennai

9. Road Conditions Around Property

I saw one property which was a little inside the main road. The road was not straight , but was in zigzag fashion and was not that wide. It was a inside road and not the main road, so there was no future potential of getting better road. Travelling each day with same road will frustrate you in long run, but might not be on daily basis. Also its not that safe in night. So when you look at any property, check the overall roads conditions atleast upto 500 meters from the project.

10. Locality and Kind of people living around

You should also check the overall locality and who all are living around. Are you comfortable there, will your family be ok ? Will it be safe in night ? will you wife/mother be able to go on a walk for an hour in-case they wish to ? These are some questions you need to answer before buying the property.

Compare two or more properties based on these 10 parameters

If you look at these parameters, it can be a great benchmark points to compare two or more properties and come at the conclusion of which one to prefer over another. So I have created a simple excel based tool, which has these 10 parameters and you can choose up-to 4 properties and compare them on these parameters. It will give you a ranking based on your comparison and tell you which property scores over another. the tool will also point out which is the best option to explore as you keep running the tool. Below is a simple demo of the tool, you can download it for FREE.

DOWNLOAD THE EXCEL – CLICK HERE

Let me know if you loved this article and will it help you for finalizing your property search and also help you compare two or more real estate properties.

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{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

1 S.Sivaram August 19, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Good Article and an eye opener who wants to buy new property with limited knowledge on Real Estate

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2 Manish Chauhan August 21, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Thanks

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3 Debojyoti Das August 19, 2013 at 9:51 pm

dear Manish,
Nice article and points to be kept in mind while purchasing house. One point which is a bit outside this topic. How to balance investment strategy when you have a goal say 2-3 yrs for purchasing a house? Is that you will stop building retirement corpus/children educational corpus for next 2-3 yrs. and concentrate on funds where you get maximum in 2-3 yrs so that you can pay the down payment and then invest for your other goals? Will that be a good step? Though i doubt, and I think answer I might get is every goal is separate and unique and investment needs to be done for every goals irrespective of time-frame which is nearer or which is much away. Experts thoughts please. May be a good point of discussion if someone feels that for next 3 yrs divert majority of investment into Debt funds so that you have a huge sum for Down Payment and then concentrate on Retirement/other goals which is more than 10-15 yrs away….!!! Confused..

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4 PDM August 19, 2013 at 10:03 pm

What should one consider to purchase a plot for own use? what is the advice if someone wants to buy a plot and later construct a house for own use …. where the plot itself needs a huge commitment like 30 – 40 lakhs?

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5 Manish Chauhan August 21, 2013 at 12:38 pm

When you look at things from “goals” point of view, then it does not look correct to stop other investments. But then you will not be able to reach your short term goals. In reality it makes sense to reach your short term goals, by stopping other investments and even utilizing the accumulated funds till now, but then you should later fully concentrate on then . Remember do not become slave of the process and definitions . Do what is needed in realiaty :)

Manish

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6 Debojyoti Das August 21, 2013 at 9:39 pm

Thank you dear Manish for taking out time to respond. Indeed nicely said your point on exactly what measures to take. Sometimes out of track to achieve your short term goal and then compensating it later makes more sense and meaningful. Thank you for clearing the confusion around this.

debojyoti

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7 sanghmitra August 21, 2013 at 9:48 pm

Hey Manish,
In reference to DD query,
For down payment in next 2-3 years keeping the accumulated funds/savings in fixed deposits is appropriate? What other short-term investment can give reasonable return in same tenure?

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8 Manish Chauhan August 29, 2013 at 3:18 pm

I would keep it simple and feel that it should be FD only

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9 Ravikumar August 20, 2013 at 6:56 am

The sheet is helpful. However I suggest adding more rating instead of Good, Average and Bad. I suggest something like Exceptional, Very Good, Good, Average, Below Average.

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10 Manish Chauhan August 21, 2013 at 12:31 pm

THanks for suggestion . I had thought that less options will give a better control

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11 Madhu August 20, 2013 at 10:43 am

Very good article Manish. Its a great starting point for any one buying or even considering renting a property. The list can never be exhaustive but it is upto each individual then to start thinking of other factors that matter to them. Great work & Thanks.

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12 Manish Chauhan August 21, 2013 at 12:31 pm

Thanks for acknowledgement

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13 Arudra Kumar August 20, 2013 at 6:12 pm

Manish,

One very important point which i think you missed is about the availability of Water. Availability of both Ground water aswell as Municipal water (drinking) is essential. There are a lot of places in Hyderabad which satisfy most of the points you have mentioned but face a lot of scarcity for water, especially, in summers. People staying in flats in such areas shell out nothing less than Rs.2500 to Rs. 3000 per month only for water.

Regards,
Arudra.

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14 Manish Chauhan August 21, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Thanks for sharing that point . I am sure this is one of the most important point.

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15 kamala krishnan August 21, 2013 at 12:28 pm

No amount of checking is going to help.Best, pray to God that the property will be completed on time,according to specifications given in the agreement. and the builder will not violate any provisions and future developments in the area will be moderate and not reduce your rental potential.
Speaking from personal experience,Booked with India’s top builder who had super good reputation.However project delayed by more than 3 years and still waiting.Trying to get a loan, however NOC by the lead bank was not issued. On surfing the net came to know that recently a case has been filed against the builder for liquidation since dues were not paid.thought of going to CCI and found somebody already filed a case,however the case was rejected. God help!
Wish India took a leaf out of countries like singapore where the regulations leave nobody in doubt.The URA website gives you all the details clearly.
!.Caveats lodged
2.Price at which transactions were made
3.No of units sold /unsold
4.Construction activities planned in the neighbourhood (most useful for people with asthma allergies etc) and also to determine immediate future supply.
5.Expected completion (top) date
Besides for new construction 2% of the purchase price of the house is retained in a escrow account and released after one year so that in case the buyer has recourse in case of complaints.When will the Real estate regulation bill come into force and even if it does will it have any teeth?

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16 Manish Chauhan August 21, 2013 at 1:00 pm

Yes, these are all the issues, but if you can do some things on your own side, its not going to hurt checking all these !

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17 kamala krishnan August 21, 2013 at 1:05 pm

Would like to add,while booking a property in india always choose a builder who is a member of the Credai.Even though it is a self regulatory body I think some justice is possible to the buyer incase of the builder trying to cheat the buyer. .To quote the renowned Peruvian eonomist
Hernando de soto What the poor majority in the developing world do not have, is easy access to the legal system, which, in the advanced nations of the world and for the elite in their own countries, is the gateway to economic success. For it is in the legal system where property documents are created and standardized according to law. That documentation builds a public memory that permits society to engage in such crucial economic activities as identifying and gaining access to information about individuals, their assets, their titles, rights, charges and obligations; establishing the limits of liability for businesses; knowing an asset’s previous economic situation; assuring protection of third parties; and quantifying and valuing assets and rights.[11] These public memory mechanisms in turn facilitate such opportunities as access to credit, the establishment of systems of identification, the creation of systems for credit and insurance information, the provision for housing and infrastructure, the issue of shares, the mortgage of property, and a host of other economic activities that drive a modern market economy.In the absence of a proper judicial system, it is utter foolsihness to trust our judicial system.

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18 Manish Chauhan August 21, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Thanks for sharing that !

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19 SUDHANK August 24, 2013 at 6:53 pm

It was a nice article and i was feeling all the parameters because i have recently purchased a house which i booked 2 years before and i would focus more on builder reputation and surrounding locality parameters which one can easily come to know while other parameters are also very considerable like distance from workplace and school/hospitals. I have not considered builder reputation parameter and suffered little bit due to that.

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20 Manish Chauhan August 29, 2013 at 11:31 am

Thanks for sharing that with all of us !

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21 Nitin August 24, 2013 at 10:46 pm

I would say , the best thing to look in property if you are staying in that, that you should have peace of mind and you feel relax once you reach home. Because if you follow work and life balance properly then you will be spending more time with family majorly at home or near home. Home should not be a property which is in market and crowded area with 4 side of walls.

It is okay to make sure that you have market, shopping place , other things nearby, but you should not pay in terms of crowd, noise pollution, air pollution.

There are many project (in Pune), who advertise that , near to IT park and shopping area, but down the line in 3-4 years, you will see 100s of carts, taxis, rickshaws, food vendors, hotels, near to you house and when you sit in your room to find peace of mind, you will just hear noise form outside.

Don’t you want to see greenery, want to take a walk outside peacefully ? want to have fresh air ? I (purely I here) would trade my 1 extra hr in commute to get that.

The hottest property which builders/people talk about are really “hot”, i would like to go little bit far away to make sure my life is cool :) .. but again it me and other may have different opinion about that.

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22 Manish Chauhan August 29, 2013 at 11:22 am

Nitin

Thats some amazing comment and real life perspective . I am making an article on this topic and will quote your comment . Great !

Manish

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23 sachin August 26, 2013 at 3:53 pm

If you have no black money to pay, you have no choice. No builder will entertain you for a full white transaction in Mumbai/ Navi Mumbai. My first criteria while buying a property was a builder ready for a full white transaction.
But yes, the points mentioned by you are really important to consider while buying a property. Good article.

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24 Manish Chauhan August 29, 2013 at 11:07 am

Thanks for sharing your views on this

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25 Priya August 29, 2013 at 7:21 pm

Manish. It’s a good article. I like the video bit.

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26 Manish Chauhan September 3, 2013 at 2:33 pm

Thanks :)

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27 Suresh @ Best Investment Options September 14, 2013 at 9:57 pm

Manish, I have one observation. If all such facilities are available, then the cost of the property would be generally high. If the cost is high, the appreciation of property value in future may be at slower pace comparing to low cost property where the appreciation can be faster in long run. I hope you agree with me. In such cases what should be the strategy ? If this could have been explained, I would have been excited.

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28 Manish Chauhan September 17, 2013 at 7:08 pm

True to some extent . But I think from resale point of view, a property which has all the amenities etc is better and commands better market

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29 Grpestates October 24, 2013 at 11:55 am

Its the Complete post . It will help the Buyers and Constructors too. This a Helping post…

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30 Manish Chauhan October 26, 2013 at 9:47 am

Thanks

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31 swarup October 24, 2013 at 3:47 pm

Hi Manish,

Nice article dude.I am a new to real estate Investor. I want to buy a house in Pune in PCMC area.

I would like if you throw some lights in Downpayment,emi etc..

Indeed a good article

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32 Manish Chauhan October 26, 2013 at 9:32 am

Hi Swarup

YOu should read all the articles under real estate category – http://www.jagoinvestor.com/category/real-estate

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33 swarup October 26, 2013 at 10:33 am

Thanks Very Much Manish

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34 Waman Kamath January 14, 2014 at 10:04 am

Me and my wife bought two plots on Nirvana Farms through Disha Direct. A lot of things were stated on the brochure about maintaining the estate, public gardening, farming etc. In our recent visit to the site, we notice that the entire estate has turned to a grassland with the landlord taking no responsibility to clear it. Only the office area and club area had been maintained, else everywhere there was grass upto 5 feet. When we visited the site, the land lord (cum maintainence person) was having his family gathering in the club and a rain dance was organised. When we confronted Disha on the poor maintainence, they simply washed their hands saying they were just a marketing company. We feel cheated in every way with no recourse. We get a yearly invoice for the maintainence which we are not paying since nothing is being maintained. All our hard earned money has gone down the drain. We are not sure what we can do now?

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35 Manish Chauhan January 14, 2014 at 12:01 pm

Hi Waman

Thanks for sharing your concern and review about it. Buying a plot/land is surely one of the most rewarding things, but then it brings its own risks. The brochures which you are talking about who did print them and whose responsibility was it ? Are you dealing with same people ? If thats the case, then surely you should raise a consumer complaint and do not pay those yearly charges.

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36 Lovenish Goel February 26, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Hi Manish, my father booked a 1825 square feet villa in amrapali Leisure Valley in June 2011 for 56 lacs excl registry. The possesion is due in October 2014 which is already 2 years late due to farmers’ agitaion. I have seen a lot of videos on youtube and other sites where other buyers have denounced their construction quality. I work in Noida and earn 35000 per month and my father is a pensioner. we currently reside in a rented property in Noida for 20000 per month and it is been 2+1/2 years. Please advise me whether we should sell that villa and move into a ready to move property and what can be good choices for us.

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37 Manish Chauhan March 2, 2014 at 7:14 pm

Well, A plot has a lot of potential from returns point of view , but huge risk also . So if you are fine with high risk, better stay with it

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38 Sweta Kumari March 24, 2014 at 3:09 pm

Buying a Property specially in India is a very risky, If one don’t know the complete and also about the builder/person from whom he/she is buying property. Nice Article Manish.

Thanks.

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39 Manish Chauhan March 26, 2014 at 12:14 pm

Welcome !

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