Buying an apartment or a house is, from the investment perspective, the biggest decision people usually take (well, some lucky few make a business out of buying property, but we are not talking about them here). Given that a decent house sets you back by somewhere in the range of a crore, we would urge that you look up all possible property portals, consult most of your friends and visit multiple locations when you are in the frame of mind for buying. Important tip to men – please ensure that at least one woman from your family comes along to visit the site. Men tend to miss out small details (like distance from schools, markets etc.) which can make life difficult later!
Now that you have spent about 6 months (maybe more) exploring options, narrow down your list to 2-3 options. You will, of course, reach this short list after considering factors like budget, distance from office/school, ‘reputation’ of builder etc. One very important check to be performed is the Encroachment check i.e. is the property encroaching on any Storm Water Drains (SWDs) or rajakaluves. Please check if the property you are planning to buy is within 50 meters of an existing SWD – refer https://www.zippserv.com/rajakaluve-and-lake-encroachment-check-map-bangalore.html. In case it is within 50 meters, avoid the property!
Now that you have checked for encroachment, factored in your budget and distances, you will have decided to pay for that one property. The builder expects you to pay a booking amount so as to ‘block’ the apartment for you. One thing you need to very careful about; suppose there are issues with the apartment complex later (permissions, legal disputes etc.), you would want to get a confirmation from the builder that he will return the booking amount. A safe thing to do is to take it in writing – you can either ask the builder to sign on this MOU (click for MOU template) or send it to him over email and ask him to reply. If the builder refuses even reply to the email, beware!
Ok – flat booked, now you run to the bank for a loan. That’s all there is. Right? Wrong! While you should run to banks (and shop around for a loan at the lowest possible interest rate), you should also check if the builder is doing things right or if he is floating any construction norms! Get a civil engineer to visit the property and check if the plans are in line with the approvals. This step is the Occupancy Certificate (OC) Eligibility Check. If the apartment block cannot get an OC, you are better off abandoning ship immediately! While checking for OC, do get an opinion on the construction quality as well.
With property, a technical verification alone is insufficient. What you also need to do is check if the paperwork (ownership documents, history of the documents etc.) Once you have paid the booking amount, you can ask the builder to give you documents related to the property. Get these documents verified by a competent lawyer/ law firm (here’s a list to help you) and ascertain that everything is legally correct. You might think that the bank also gets documents verified by lawyers, so why should you do this too? The answer is – Bank has a different risk profile than you. If your building is bulldozed tomorrow, the bank will still recover the loan from you. Taking a home loan from a reputed PSB is not a guarantee that the property is fine. So, you would need a lawyer who represents your interests!
Once you get a clear go ahead on the technical evaluation and legal verification, you can execute the sale agreement. The sale agreement is effectively an expression of interest – that the buyer agrees to buy and the seller agrees to sell the said property. This is the basis for the sale deed that is executed during registration. This is usually drafted by the builder, but there is every chance that it is one-sided. You should consult a lawyer when drafting the sale agreement.
This is the process of executing and registering the sale deed. The sale deed has to be registered at the sub registrar's office; your physical presence will be necessary for this. Usually, the builder will facilitate registration.
After all that hard work (and money spent), you are finally ready to move in! Or are you really? Moving in can be a very tedious process, with a lot of planning on transportation of furniture, electronic goods etc. needed. But even before you collect the keys, you need to make sure that the fittings, the electric sockets, the plumbing is exactly the way the builder promised. Does the flat have a seepage issue? Is the drainage alright? Minor things yes – but you are better off avoiding this after you move in. So, hire a professional home inspector who will do the job for you. You can share the home inspector report with the builder and get him to rectify whatever is not done correctly.
For any help on services related to buying your house, visit www.zippserv.com or call us up on 080-48574040.
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