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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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TIPS WHILE BUYING A HOME

11 April 2002
Page 5
 
what to look for-2
 
Quality of Construction

If you are buying an apartment, check out the credentials and track-record of the promoter, his contractor and his architect. If you plan to construct your own house, hire a reputed architect and a quality-conscious contractor. As a double-check, get hold of a list of other projects undertaken by the promoter/builder/contractor and architect you have short listed and inspect these projects to see how they have braved the vagaries of weather, usage and time.

Quality of construction should be one of the most important criteria in your selection process. There are certain aspects of construction that can be assessed merely by a visual inspection of the exteriors. But such an assessment would be wholly inadequate. A lot more than just a 'visual feel' has to be probed - reinforcements inside the roof slab, the beams, columns, concealed pipes for water supply, enclosed drainage and sewerage lines, electrical wires and conduits, etc.

When it is not possible to look into every aspect of quality, you must insist on a 'performance guarantee' clause or at least a 'structural liability' clause in the agreement for sale of the flat, so that the builder remains liable for any defect in the building for at least one to three years from the day he hands over possession to you.

Do bear in mind that, apart from quality material, quality construction owes a lot to quality workmanship. A construction will perform poorly if workmanship has not been up to the mark. More often than not, poor workmanship shows up - the building looks ugly and develops cracks particularly in such places where lines and planes had been filled up with extra thick material to achieve the desired level of finish.

 
Surroundings, landscaping and additional amenities


An increasingly important factor nowadays in the selection of apartments is the overall look and feel of the building complex and the quality of lifestyle on offer. If some thought and care have gone into the landscaping of the common areas and if features like well-designed pathways, jogging tracks and well-maintained lawns and gardens are a part of the surroundings, the complex will command a premium on the strength of sheer aesthetics and the panache that it extends to day-to-day living. Additional amenities, like a swimming pool, club house, gymnasium, etc., go a long way in contributing to higher levels of comfort which you might be looking for. However, the flip side to all this is the maintenance cost for these facilities that have to be shared by the residents and, if you are eventually one of them, your monthly maintenance bill may be fairly steep.

 



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