First-time home buyers' checklist

19 AUGUST 2017
Purchasing a “Dream Home” is one of those life accomplishments that top nearly everyone’s bucket list. However, searching for your dream home comes with different considerations than any other real estate purchase. Buying one’s first home can be a tiring experience for most first-time buyers. Getting confused or feeling lost at such times is only natural, unless you have a ready beckoner close at hand. First time home buyers in India need a lot of caution and due diligence before signing on the dotted lines of a home buyer’s agreement. The following tips are intended to guide first time homebuyers as they finalize one of the most crucial investments to be made.
  • Plan Your Finances:

    It is essential to ensure proper financial planning before you make the decision to invest in a property. The first step would be to review your current financial obligations such as student loans, life insurance or any other commitments to get an essence of your true monthly income. Your budget for buying your home should be based on your household budget and how much money you can afford put aside for the EMI of a home loan. Besides the EMI you should have a healthy savings account that can pay for the additional incidentals such as stamp duty, registration, car parking, clubhouse charges and other sundry charges by the builder. An important advice by financial experts is to set aside 4 to 5 EMIs as reserve funds to work in unforeseen circumstances such loss of employment or any situation that exerts pressure on financial resources available at your disposal

  • Learn About Different Interest Rate Options:

    A common dilemma for the first fine home investor is choosing between a fixed rate of interest and a floating rate of interest. A consumer has to choose between peace of mind by opting for fixed home loan where the interest rate remains constant during the entire loan tenure and does not change with market fluctuation or should they take a risk by going for floating loans. In this scenario the interest rate is dependent on the market and fluctuates according to economic situation in the country. A new option that is growing in popularity is the fixed-floating home loans that come with a fixed interest rate in the initial years and floating rates thereafter. This option gives customers stability on their EMIs outflows for the first few years, thus helping them plan finances better and provides protection against future fluctuations in interest rates

  • Go Loan Shopping:

    Shopping around for a home loan will give you a great market insight and help you select the best suited financing option. Comparing loans and negotiating with banks can save you a lot of money. Once you know what each bank has to offer in terms of rates and fees, negotiate for the best deal. These days, banks also offer home loan insurance as a bundled product along with your home loan that protects your family from loan liabilities in case of your unfortunate demise within the policy term. When selecting for a lender, it is also advisable to check the prepayment penalty and foreclosure charges. You can also consider co-ownership between two family members to get a bigger loan amount

  • Get online:

    In this highly digitised world, the search for everything from groceries to gadgets happens online and real estate is no different. Most buyers in the 25-35 age group begin their search online. The presence of a number of portals such as,,, has made it easy to filter searches according to your requirements, budget, and location preferences. It is a good idea to go through all of these portals and shortlist properties that you would like to see personally. Once you have zeroed-in on the properties that you would like to visit, probe further and read up on the developer, its reputation. Check out things like delivery time, payments, and delays it has been responsible for. Use your networking skills to reach out to recent homebuyers in the properties that you are interested in and get their opinion as well

  • Learn the difference between sq. feet, built up and super built up:

    During purchase of a flat/property, there should be no ambiguity related to carpet area, super built-up area and super built up area. Carpet Area is the area enclosed within the walls, actual area to lay the carpet. This area does not include the thickness of the inner walls. It is the actual used area of an apartment. Built up Area is the carpet area plus the thickness of outer walls and the balcony. Super Built up Area is the built up area plus proportionate area of common areas such as the lobby, lifts shaft, stairs, etc. Sometimes it may also include the common areas such, swimming pool, garden, clubhouse, etc.

  • Making the choice:

    While visiting the shortlisted properties do a thorough check of the neighbourhood. If you have young children or hope to have a family in the near future, check out education facilities in the area. Proximity to hospitals, schools and colleges, market areas, amusement and entertainment options should be considered. The other important factor to consider is the distance from your workplace, railway stations, and airport

  • Check the Credibility of the Builder:

    Before purchasing a property one should look into the credibility of the builder. This essentially means checking on the developer's past projects, their previous projects, quality of construction, rate of appreciation in value, current demand in the market and number of future projects that are being undertaken. It is also an added advantage if the developer is affiliated with a governing body like CREDAI

  • Keep a tab of necessary paperwork:

    Once your financing needs are taken care of, it is time to be aware of your rights as a prospective home buyer. The recently passed real estate Bill safeguards your rights as a consumer and ensures efficiencies in all property related transactions with the mandatory registration of all projects with local governing bodies and the establishment of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) that is expected to ensure timely completion and hassle free handover to the end customer