Buying the first home is everyone’s dream, but cracking the right deal can be extremely challenging in the current the real estate scenario. From deciding the location to doing the paperwork, numerous aspects should be taken into account and handled skillfully to ensure a hassle-free home purchase.

Buying a home is one of the significant financial decisions of a lifetime and requires thorough planning, more so when you are taking a home loan. In India, most of the first-time homebuyers rely on home loans to buy their dream abode. And, since these loans span over 20-30 years, they add up be a massive, long-term liability, taking away a significant share of an individual’s income. Moreover, since the majority of first-home buyers in India belong to an age group of 30-40 years, which are one of the most crucial years in terms of both personal and professional growth, it becomes even more important to make an informed decision.

Thus, before you take a plunge, it is crucial to lay down a pragmatic and foolproof plan. Make sure you understand the market scenario and conduct comprehensive research to find answers to what to buy, where to buy and how to buy.

Step 1: What to buy: A new home or a resale unit

New home

Taking a call between buying a new house and a resale unit is tough. Generally, the choice between the two is primarily based on the buyer's lifestyle, preferences, and affordability. Since most of the new residential projects across the major cities in India are established in the peripheral locations, the cost of acquisition may be lower. Also, there are additional advantages of buying a new house. These are:

  • Greater flexibility vis-à-vis home loan and finance
  • Better resale prospects
  • Easy documentation
  • Improved amenities (as these homes are newly constructed, they incorporate latest interior designs and sustainable developments that offer various benefits, such as lower utility bills etc.)

However, in the case of a new home, since no one has a prior experience of living in that property, it is challenging to get cues about basic problems, such as leakages, dampness, noise or any other issues that may come up in future. In such a case, you would have to go the extra mile to know everything about the property. The challenges are multiplied if the property is still under-construction. Considering the inordinate delays ongoing projects face these days, it is advisable to do thorough due diligence before taking the plunge. Enquiring about a property’s RERA status is the preliminary step in this regard.

RERA details

It is vital to lay hands on the RERA details of the builder and the project. Visit the RERA website of the State in which you plan to buy a property, and find out if the builder and the project in question is registered with the Real Estate Regulatory Authority. Investing in RERA-registered project would safeguard you in the case of inordinate project delays or any other builder defaults. You may filter out RERA-registered properties on 99acres to ensure you are selecting the right projects.

Goods and Services Tax (GST)

If you are buying an under-construction property, you are liable to pay a GST. However, this may vary as per the unit cost. A housing unit pegged within Rs 45 lakh attracts 1 percent GST and a unit priced above Rs 45 lakh draws five percent GST.

Resale home

If you plan to buy a resale unit, you must consider if the property has been used before or is it a fresh unit. Also, the older the property, the lower are the chances of availing home loans. For instance, Housing Finance Companies do not offer loans to properties more than 50 years old. In case, you buy a 35-year-old property; then the home loan tenure can only be for 15 years.

Besides, buying a resale unit comes with a lot of legal compliance requirement. For instance, you must check the title deed of the seller in the case of a resale unit. Precisely, the title deed is a legal document that establishes an individual’s rightful ownership over a property. Further, you must also obtain a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from banks to ensure that the property is mortgage-free. The process of obtaining NOCs and cross-checking other documents, such as title clearance, allotment letter, occupancy certificate and encumbrance certificate may take a little longer and could be a taxing job. Resale properties also include Transfer of Memorandum (TM) charges in places where land is leasehold.

Nevertheless, the biggest plus of resale properties in India is that they do not attract GST. Thus, you can save a substantial amount of money here.

Where to buy: Location

Once you have made up your mind about what to buy, it is time to decide where to buy, i.e. the location. Be mindful that the area’s significance is paramount in the home buying process, as you can change almost everything in your home once purchased, but cannot alter its location. Thus, thoroughly examine the property and its site. From the surroundings to the neighbourhood, to the connectivity options and other social elements of daily importance, everything matters and should be easily accessible from the property.

To get an idea about the amenities and facilities in a particular project and area, you can use the 99acres ratings and review services. All you need to do is-

  • Visit 99acres.com
  • Enter the area and project of your choice
  • And, click on the ‘Ratings and Review’ tab (highlighted in the image below) 

1An assortment of reviews in the section can help you understand the area’s profile better. The ratings and reviews are posted by the people who have an experience of living in a project or an area. Overall, from connectivity to construction quality, society management facilities, property type, amenities available, greenery and other positives and negatives, you can gather the complete information about a particular locale and the project. The Knowledge Centre section on 99acres also furnishes detailed profiles of popular residential localities across India, providing you with a pool of information at one place.

How to buy:

(a) Property price

Being a prospective homebuyer, undertaking thorough market research and analysing the price trends of a property are crucial steps. Keeping a close tab will provide you insights about how the market moves and is it worth paying a price that your seller quotes or should you strike a negotiation.

To know about the ongoing average prices in your locality, you could use 99acres’ property rates and price trends feature.

The ‘property rates’ not only help you get the per sq ft unit rate in the specific area but also provides information pertaining to investment prospects in a locale. You could study the historical capital appreciation or depreciation quarter-on-quarter, and make inferences about future potential based on more inputs from market sources.

‘Price trends’ on the other hand; furnish the graphic representation of the property values over the years and helps in determining the potential investment returns expected from a property.

(b) Ascertain the paying capability

Identifying your ‘affordability’ is also a crucial criterion when buying a home. 99acres home loan service allows you to access the home loan deals of some of the reputed financial institutions across India. From the current rate of interest to a processing fee and the loan tenure, you can view complete details or request for additional information over the mail.

You can also check your loan eligibility with the help of ‘check eligibility’ feature. It helps you gauge the approximate loan amount that you may borrow with the current income and the amount that you have to repay to the bank over the selected tenure.

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The ‘EMI calculator’ is another excellent feature that determines the monthly outgo with an explicit categorisation of the principal and the interest amount.

 3The documents

Real estate investment is a huge undertaking, hence verifying all the documents is crucial to ensure that the property does not have any legal adversities attached. These include:

  • RERA certificate
  • Systematic registered agreement (for sale between previous parties)
  • Interest and penalties levied on a buyer
  • Approvals and sanctions obtained by the builder
  • Approved project layout
  • Title deed
  • Loans/mortgages (if any)
  • No Objection Certificate (NOC)
  • Funding source (joint venture, partnership or equity funding)
  • Refund clauses in case the project does not get completed 
  • 7/12 Extraction and Village Form No. 6
  • Architect certificate Clearance Certificate
  • Building/Structure Plan
  • Commencement Certificate
  • Completion Certificate
  • Occupation Certificate
  • Proof of payment of stamp duty and registration
  • Development agreement
  • Draft conveyance deed

Once you have narrowed down a couple of choices, you could use the below provided checklist, which will help you compare different properties and choose the best among all options. The prime factors that you must compare while analyzing properties are their location, price, rooms, size, amenities, RERA certifications, annual cost, facilities around, connectivity options and exteriors of the society.

Home Hunting Checklist

Location

City

Suburb

Size of the Unit

 

 

Price of the Unit

 

 

Distance from Workplace

 

 

Public Transportation (buses, autos)

Yes

No

Metro

Yes

No

Schools

Yes

No

Hospitals

Yes

No

Local Markets and Malls

Yes

No

 

To ensure a seamless and hassle-free home purchase, you may consult a legal expert who may help you with the above documents. They may obtain these documents, scrutinise them and submit them on your behalf. However, legal connoisseurs charge a fee for all the assistance delivered.