Tuesday, September 16, 2008

House hunting

I got this comment a while back and I was going to do a post on it but just didn't have the bandwidth.

So while my script chugs along, here goes some gyaaaaaaaaan..

Hi Div, since you've had some recent experience evaluating houses, can you also write reviews about some builders and share any need to know information about buying a flat in Bengaluru. Thanks

My experience and take on it

1) Apartments are ridiculously expensive in Bangalore, but independent houses are even more expensive so if you got to take the lesser of two evils, go for an apartment.

2) Mantri, Sobha, Brigade, Puravankara, Prestige -- Big names, supposedly great builders, but to be very honest I wasn't very impressed with any one of them. The more apartments I saw, the more I felt that the premium they charge is for the ambiance and the locale rather than the house itself. The apartments these guys make and sell are very expensive (there is one Mantri that will cost you 1.6Crores minimum for the smallest flat and just for the bare-bones structure) but the more I see them the more I don't get why.

3) I've seen many decent apartments from lesser known builders. They are even better than your Mantris and Sobhas. But they lack certain essential elements that you will want to have as basics, like a good approach road, a proper security gate and stuff like that.

4) Gated community Villas are the most ridiculous of all. I've seen ads for Adarsh Villas which say 5.5 crores for a lake-side villa. I have to confess I once wrote to the owner asking if she was kidding. If you are lake-facing 1) you probably run the risk of sinking when the lake bed decides to give way 2) You will probably die of malaria sooner than you imagined. I guess she wasn't too serious about selling it, or maybe she didn't know how many zeroes 5.5 crores had. But either way, she needed some serious sense-knock. But who knows, maybe I am the one that needs it ;)

So all in all -- if you want a place closer to work and god forbid if you work for an IT firm which is located in an SEZ area, you have to shell big monies if you want a good community and a decent society type of apartment. Else be prepared to face bad roads, bad neighbors, eve-teasers and what not on your way to and from work. Actually even the big names can't provide amenities beyond their boundaries. So it can turn out that as long as you are inside the apartment premises you feel like you are in some phoren land, but as soon as you get out of the gate (which is inevitable, my friend) you will be back in India :) So be prepared for it.

If you are considering a Mantri or a Sobha or a Purva or a Prestige, be prepared for the fact that more than 70% f the money you shell for it is just for the outside-the-house-within-the-gated-community amenities like Swimming pools, saunas, gyms, community halls, tennis courts, squash courts and what not, you name it. If you think you might not be using any of these even remotely once in a while, then spend more time in looking for a decent apartment minus the frills. You save a lot more money that way :)

Whatever it is, be sure of what you want from the house you want to buy. Just an investment purpose, you can probably even do it online. But if you are planning to buy a house to stay in it, my sincere advise is to go check it out yourself, go a couple to three times, make sure you know what you are getting into outside the apartment complex (rather than inside) before you decide.

Not sure if its been a great help, this post. But I think I've jotted down most of my observations :)


Anonymous said...

so did u like any to feel like buying it ?

Anonymous said...

Thanks a bunch,Div!

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