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From The Diary Of A First Time Home Buyer

As a new proud homeowner, I am often asked for 'advice'. Based on my experience and the guidance I received from my well-wishers, I have listed down in detail, the steps I went through, the questions I had and my sources for the answers. I have also try to list what pitfalls to watch out for and some tips for 'safe' buying especially for first-time novices like me.

First and foremost, convince yourself that you really want to buy a home. Because please remember that the process could be long drawn out and requires a fair amount of focused effort. Make sure you have your family's (specially the people who are going to live in the new house) views also.

The first step is to freeze on the broad location. Take into account proximity to school, office, market, hospital etc and availability of public conveyance, if you do need it. Then comes the budget. If like me, you are looking at a home loan, calculate what kind of EMI you can afford, without straining yourself too much. Get an idea of the amount of loan, you can get for a repayment tenure of say, 25 years. The tenure will depend on your remaining working years.

Now is the tough part. Go through various property ads and don't forget to visit the websites of the real estate companies. See who the promoters are and their backgrounds, how long the company has been in existence and their track record of delivery. Actually, I even visited some of their finished projects to judge the quality of construction and met a few residents. While you cannot expect 100% appreciation from everyone, you can gauge the general mood. And thus, I got a fair idea of the size and configuration of the home, I could afford to buy.

By now, you would have narrowed your choice to may be, three or four projects. Re-evaluate taking into consideration the exact location, amenities offered and when will it ready to actually move in (I believe in Vaastu too!). It's time now to go through in detail, the property documents, permissions, specifications, the exact extent of land, usable area and so on. If you are like me, with not enough knowledge and experience in these matters, do the smart thing like I did. Go to a trusted builder. They have experts, who can explain all these in detail. They will ensure that you get real value for your hard earned money because they just cannot afford to lose the trust they have so painstakingly built over several decades.

Happy home buying.
(Extracted from a conversation with a first home customer of Radiance Realty)

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