17 April, 2023
4 mins read
Buying a flat or a home of their own is on the life goal list for many people. While the process brings a lot of excitement and feelings of triumph, the ground reality of buying a flat is quite tedious. However, knowing the things to check before buying a flat before starting to search for one’s ideal home can save a lot of time and money. This home-buying checklist will show buyers the most crucial things to check before buying a flat in India.
Apart from the size and interiors of the house, the first thing on a buyer’s checklist before buying a flat is to see its location and the neighbouring facilities/ amenities available. A premium and well-reputed location will ensure that the buyer's flat will be priced according to the current market value and property trends. It will also include close access to premier schools and colleges, hospitals and medical centres, restaurants, sports clubs, gymnasiums, parks, and recreational centres, among other infrastructure. A buyer should also check the distance from the highways, expressways, airports, commercial work zones, and other hotspots from their to-be flat.
Apart from the cost of the flat, every flat has hidden and additional costs, which one has to pay over and above the utilities and living costs of staying in the flat. Buyers must see the breakup of the total cost of the flat before finalising a deal with the builder/ seller. These hidden costs often include the maintenance fees charged by the society, a homeowner’s association fee, a property registration fee, stamp duty charges, GST if the flat is under construction, and other fees. Extra costs include third-party services like brokerage fees, real estate agent fees, home inspector fees, home loan processing fees, and others.
The legal documents involved in buying a flat often intimidate home buyers. But it is one of the most important aspects of buying a house checklist. The legal documents to check before buying a flat include the title deed, the sale agreement, the occupancy certificate, an encumbrance certificate, the commencement certificate, the RERA certification, and other essential documents like No-objection certificates from the relevant parties, building plan layout, and property tax receipts. Among the documents listed, the sale deed, which works as proof of sale and records the transfer of property from one party to another, is by far the most vital document. An encumbrance certificate which serves as proof of no legal liability on the house, and the occupancy certificate given by the city’s municipal authority are also important documents to check.
Many buyers do not have the entire flat deposit money, so they often take a home loan. Before buyers finalise a home loan, they should check the terms of the home loan and their eligibility criteria to see whether they qualify for one. Buyers can check their home loan eligibility on any home loan insurer or property website. The eligibility criteria depend on factors like age, salary, and credit/ CIBIL score, among others. Buyers should also check whether they can pay the EMI before applying for the loan, for which they need to compare loan interest and repayment rates and tenures from different banks and builders. During a shorter tenure, a buyer will have to pay more monthly money towards the loan repayment, which can mean less interest percentage overall. In a longer tenure, the buyer has the comfort of repayment, but the interest rate will increase in the overall calculation.
Before buying a flat, buyers should also include checking whether they have both home insurance and home loan insurance in their flat purchase checklist. While home insurance protects the buyer against pre-specified financial losses incurred due to damage/ loss of the structure and interiors of the flat in question, home loan insurance covers the home loan amount, preventing the burden of repayment from falling on the shoulders of one’s dependents in their passing or any other reason. Home loan insurance prevents the bank/ financial institution/ lender from selling the property if the homeowner fails to pay the home loan.
Buying a house takes a lot of time. Homebuyers must conduct proper research, study real estate market trends, hire third-party support, investigate various legal documents, and tick off many other prerequisites on their flat purchase checklist. Knowing the things to check before buying a flat can help buyers save time and money and ease the home-buying process to a great extent.
Disclaimer- This article is based on the information publicly available for general use as well as reference links mentioned herein. We do not claim any responsibility regarding the genuineness of the same. The information provided herein does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, it is for general informational purposes only. We expressly disclaim any liability, which may arise due to any decision taken by any person/s basis the article hereof. Readers should obtain separate advice with respect to any information provided herein.
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