We live in a society where buying a property means different things for different people, but each of them has a special reason for it; whether it’s your much-desired investment as an NRI, your dream home, or expanding your property for family or business. No matter what drives us, it is a massive decision.
Thus, it is important to be well-informed about the process and jot down a pre-possession checklist, especially when it comes to choosing the right property and, in most practical cases these days, choosing the right builder. Here’s a concise guide, for all property enthusiasts, which raises and addresses eight critical questions to ask your builder before buying a property in India (not in ranking order):
Is the location of the project a rapidly developing area?
It is advisable to check the blueprint of the premises, the floor plans, the locality and the general neighborhood, the road accessibility, and the difference between a regular versus a luxury property. If you are an NRI investor, who will not be able to go directly to inspect the site or the area, ensure you send a reliable source on your behalf. In fact, you should also inspect and verify the legal documents of the property.
Additionally, do thorough research on the location and ensure it is close to schools, colleges, supermarkets and retail outlets.
What is the actual cost?
When you are buying a property, there are multiple costs involved besides the cost of the actual building. Ask in detail about the cost breakdown so that you gain an understanding of the cost that you will incur. This is one of the top questions to ask your builder before signing the deal. Find out about all the behind the curtain costs like – development fees, GST, parking rent, preferred location charges, other statutory charges etc.
How good is the quality of the construction?
Conduct a tour of the property and its premises, especially when it’s under construction, to get a better understanding of the quality of construction. Ask the builder about all the materials used in the construction, from the foundation till the finished doors, windows or walk-in closets.
Will they deliver as per schedule?
One of the most important questions to ask your builder before buying a property in India is the delivery schedule promised by the real estate developers. Make sure they have in writing the delivery time which will neither hamper your investment benefits nor your move-in date. This has become a bit easier with the advent of RERA compliance, but one should ensure the builder complies with the RERA guidelines for meeting the scheduled date of completion.
What is the real size/area of the property?
As per the recently introduced RERA guidelines, developments are priced as per the carpet area of the property and not the built-up area. So, before you take the leap and finalise on your property, make sure the developer has priced the property based on the carpet area.
Are the official/legal documents made available?
This is as necessary as the passionate decision to acquire property; to make sure what you want will truly be yours without any hassle or future complications of ownership, registration or any other legality. Some of the vital documents are:
- The Title Deed
- Encumbrance Certificate
- Property Tax Receipts
- The Release Certificate
- Building Completion Certificate (BCC)
- Local Municipal Corporation approvals
- RERA certificate
- Commencement Certificate
- Building Approval Plan
Is the builder reliable?
Make sure you research thoroughly about the builders of the properties you have shortlisted. Check their past projects and their reviews on real estate forums, to get a better idea. If you have the opportunity, then speak to the existing customers of the builders to get a first-hand perspective. Choosing acredible builderwill make or break your real estate deal so double check all the above points before you make the final call.
What facilities and amenities are you really getting?
It is a good idea to verify if you’re getting all the promised facilities and amenities. A site visit will help you determine this. Some of the important amenities to check are: fire alarms, garbage chute system, car parking, lifts, power backup etc.