Due Diligence for Affordable Homes

Affordable Housing is the current buzzword in Indian Realty. Homes costing anywhere from 7 lakhs to 35 lakhs INR depending on the city, and number of BHK, are springing up in every metro, city and town of India. Intended to serve the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) and Low Income Groups (LIG) in the society, affordable homes are being strongly promoted by the Indian Govt. and builders alike.

However, herein lies the risk, and as a buyer of an affordable home, you must do your own due diligence. While the below factors apply equally to mainstream projects, they are even more important in an affordable home project for various reasons, as explained.

  • Reputation: Is the builder a reputed Realty house? Are they into both mainstream homes and affordable homes? How many affordable home projects have they created before this? If the builder is relatively new and unknown, who are the affordablepromoters? In small-sized affordable projects, margins are lower, so it can attract the wrong kind of people as promoters and investors.
  • Titles & Bank Loan: Is the project being conceived on a disputed land? Ensure titles are clean and clear. Consult the local sub-registrar office or a property lawyer to thoroughly examine the papers. Are banks providing loans for the project?
  • Location: Most of these projects are located on the outskirts to keep the costs low, so it is important to check quality of the neighborhood, as well as distance from the city centre.
  • Road Network: As a direct consequence of the above, are the roads leading to the project, and surrounding areas, motorable? Have they been provided by the municipal body, or is it a temporary provision from the builder? This has an impact on quality of the road.
  • Transport: Does the city municipal body provide bus transport to the locality? If no, how far is the nearest bus stop? This has a direct bearing on the safety and convenience of residents.
  • Common Areas: In order to keep the cost per unit low, builders tend to restrict the common areas in such projects. You need to observe the restrictions, as beyond a certain extent, they can affect the quality of daily life at the project.
  • Amenities: Although not comparable to mainstream projects, some amenities like security, power backup, lifts, and vehicle parking are mandatory at these projects.
  • Maintenance cost: If the purchase cost of the project has been kept low, has it been compensated by charging a high monthly maintenance charge?

While purchasing a home in any project needs its own share of due diligence, an affordable home can be fraught with more risk, so buyers must spend more time investigating the project. Else, lakhs of rupees of hard-earned money can go down the drain.

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