Eight Million-dollar questions, answered!
IN Hindu mythology, there is the story of a man who visited a famous astrologer and was granted one question.
The man asked, ‘Why only one?’, and thus lost the chance of a lifetime.
The art of asking the right questions is underrated. Especially when it comes to the biggest decision of your life: your home.
Some might argue the biggest decision is your life partner. But if you are a good boy (or girl), you will go with your parents’ choice, no questions asked!
But when it comes to your home, be sure to ask plenty of questions.
Surendra Hiranandani, MD and Founder, Hiranandani Group of Companies, highlights eight pertinent questions most likely to arise during this process, as also how to solve them.
1. How big a house do I need?
It depends on your individual needs. If you are a family of five seeking more room, choose your second home with space and additional rooms.
If you are a young couple buying your first nest, settle for a cosy place for two. That is, if you are not planning a family soon.
Once you have figured out your needs, translate them in terms of built-up, carpet area and the new concept of super built-up areas. Carpet area is simply 75 per cent to 85 per cent of super built-up area. That means if the super built-up area is 1,000 square feet, the carpet area would be around 750 square feet to 850 square feet.
The ratio for built-up can be as low as 15 per cent for an old construction and as high as 28 per cent for new constructions. Super built up is at a phenomenal 40 per cent!
Make a note of the budget you will need for the same.”
2. Which is the right area for me?
Ask yourself, do I want to spend half my life commuting? Or live in townships or residential complexes far from the dust, grime and noise of the city?
Or are the happening suburbs with their attractions — malls, multiplexes, luxurious homes — more my style?
Keep the investment point of view in mind. Suburbs offer value for money and investment appreciation.
3. What do I look for in a neighbourhood?
Once you have the area, narrow it a step further to a neighbourhood. Your immediate neighbourhood will decide how hassle-free your existence will be.
Look for proximity to doctors and clinics, shopping, transport connectivity, schools and hospitals.
Today, people also check out entertainment and recreational options, which could include bowling alleys, game centres, sports facilities, shopping malls, food courts and restaurants.
4. How much importance do I give amenities?
As dull as they sound, these things can be major reasons of concern if they are absent or insufficient.
Starting with water and power supply, look into access roads, parking space, safety and security and perks such as children’s play areas, gardens, etc.
Verify the construction quality carefully. Compare a new construction with other existing projects by the same builder. This way, you can be sure that what you get will be the same as what you see in the sample flats.
5. Does it live up to my lifestyle requirements?
Your house is your refuge from the world and speaks volumes about you. Flooring, tiling, classy fittings and fixtures, fancy lighting, French windows can all make your nest a beautiful place to relax in.
Features offered by your building — jacuzzi, swimming pool, gymnasiums, clubhouses, jogging tracks — will all enhance your lifestyle.
A major element in your lifestyle will be the profile of people living nextdoor. If you have like-minded people in the neighbourhood, it puts your social calendar in place too.
6. What if I want more?
Above and beyond these, if you are looking at the best, most elite complexes, you are likely to be offered wide open spaces with lush, landscaped gardens and tree-lined roads.
This gives the complex an elegant feel, besides keeping the air fresh. Other green ideas that builders incorporate are rainwater harvesting and sewage treatment plants.
But like all good things in life, this comes with a price tag which you should be able to afford.
7. What if all this is there but the flat size is small?
Small flat sizes are a fact in a city like Mumbai. But there are myriad ways to maximise space with clever interior design. Traditional layouts have fast been abandoned in favour of specialty rooms or areas within the home.
Thus, larger rooms can be segregated into various areas of utility with the help of furniture, screens, dividers and so forth. Balconies can provide both leisure and storage space, even a computer room.
8. What about resale value?
The most important aspect in resale is the view. Naturally, all the amenities will be factored in, but houses with a great view normally sell for premium prices.
So if view is what pleases you, it may be worth that extra chunk of cash. Only people who can afford to pay a premium for a view will be your buyers so you may have to wait longer or drop your asking price substantially and match the general rate of the neighbourhood.
Excellent construction quality and good infrastructure in your area could give your property graph an upward slant.
If you ever get a chance to visit that famous astrologer, forget the above eight questions (because you already know the answers!).
Just ask him one question: Which area will witness the biggest property boom? Then go right ahead and invest!
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