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What things to look out for when buying an apartment in a multistory building.

Updated on February 28, 2013

This writeup is inspired from a recent purchase that I made, my first house. Searching for an apartment, buying it and actually seeing it getting built through various stages has been a truly enriching experience. To own a home, is the dream of a lifetime for many. And hence, I would like to share a few lessons learnt for the benefit of others who are on the verge of taking the same path.

  • Take time to finalize: My wife and I did a rigorous research for around two months in order to shortlist tour dream home. In addition to the extensive online search, we personally checked over 20 houses before zeroing-in on 'The One' . Sometimes, we tend to give in to looks. A house that looks good may not be as good as you think it is. Make a checklist of most important things that you expect from your house and only if it makes through that list give it a final go ahead.

  • Check for potential problems in the locality: Ask around; the people already staying in the building will be able to tell you about the problems they have been facing. It could be anything like drinking water shortage, frequent power outages, water logging and moisture in walls during rains, some bad neighborhood etc just to list a few.

  • Amenities within your reach: Another important aspect is the availability of various amenities like a grocery shop, a pharmacy, a salon within close proximity. It would be to your advantage if a hospital, a school and more importantly your workplace is located close by.

  • Ventilation: Make surethat there are a lot of windows in your house. Also there should be at least 3 feet of gallery space left on all for sides of the building so that any new construction adjacent to your building does not block your windows or balcony. Opt for the apartment with a roadside balcony if it is available. If it is not, there is high probability of it being blocked by another building in future, which may hamper your flat's ventilation and view.

  • Status of the construction: The apartment that we finalized was still under construction at the time we booked it and was due for completion in the next 3 months. This gave us the liberty to choose the colors, flooring tiles and also do some minor alterations to suit our needs. If you are planning to book a semi-finished apartment in an under-construction building, or a planned-soon-to-begin-venture, I would definitely like to advise you to invest in a property that you can take possession of within 2-3 months of booking since it is a common sight these days that many promising ventures either do not finish in time or get scrapped mid-way due to various reasons like lack of funds.

  • To which direction is your apartment's entrance: In multistorey apartment buildings it is better to prefer a west facing apartment. This ensures that you enjoy the mild sunshine in the mornings while the scorching heat post noon will be taken by the apartment across the corridor :)

  • Power points & Electrical switches: This might sound trivial but it is very important to plan this during the early stages of construction. Make a picture in your mind of how you want your house to look like. Figure out the exact places where you would like to see your TV, Refrigerator, Microwave, Washing Machine, AC etc. You should have ample power points for various purposes like charging your cellphone, near the study table for lamp and desktop, one for the bedside lamp etc. It would be convenient if you have cable and internet point one in your living room and one each in the bedrooms. Make sure the power points and electrical switches in the house suffice in case you plan to rearrange your stuff in the future.


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