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1 Introduction
2 Identification of needs & Cost
3 Where to Buy
4 What to look for-1
5 What to look for-2

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1 How to work with your Interior Designer
2 Vedic Vaastu Shastra
3 Airconditioner Sizing
4 Loans & Financiers
5 Property Taxes

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TIPS WHILE BUYING A HOME

11 April 2002
Page 4
 
what to look for-1

Functionality & Efficiency

The design of the flat has to suit your needs as well as your lifestyle. You cannot buy a flat or a house and change your lifestyle to suit its design. If you have grown up being accustomed to a certain relationship between your bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, living room and dining room then you should not, and need not, change that relationship to suit the design of your new residence. When compulsions have you short-listing an apartment not designed to your satisfaction, you should look into the possibility of changing the internal partitions to suit your needs. These changes, however, will have to conform to the provisions laid down in the building rules of the municipality or corporation. If changes are not possible and/or not permissible, ideally you should not buy the property.

We must understand that an architect designs a building to the satisfaction of an average person. At the same time, it must conform to the building rules and the strict guidelines provided by the developer. Chances are, therefore, that the design will not satisfy you a hundred percent. But what is satisfying to you may not be so to someone else. Some people prefer combined living and dining rooms and some people do not. Some people prefer large toilets while some view that as a waste of space. 

Are there too many connecting corridors inside the apartment? Corridors should be avoided because they eat into your valuable floor space. Ideally, the entrance should be through the drawing room; because, surely, you would not want your visitors to walk into your flat through the dining room!

Try to place (by drawing) your furniture on the floor plan to work out the circulation space. A flat with the least amount of circulation space is the most efficient. A large flat with a lot of circulation space connecting the rooms will leave very little usable space for the furniture.

The windows should be in such a position that cross-ventilation of air is possible.

Keeping in mind exigencies/emergencies, the distance between the apartment and the staircase/lift or other exit points should be as short as possible.

You must check for other safety factors, like height of railings, gap between each railing, etc., in the apartment and in the common spaces. Most promoters/builders incorporate safety features to just about meet statutory requirements, and this may not be good enough especially when the safety of children is in question.

Some designers have a tendency to place the toilet and kitchen adjacent to each other to save on cost of plumbing. This trade-off invariably results in poor ventilation of some other rooms in the apartment. Such an arrangement should be avoided, though it is not avoidable in low-income group housing.

Finally, grade all the apartments that you have inspected from the point of view of design, functionality and efficiency and make your final evaluation.

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