Dream home or nightmare? Buyers please take note
When we look at the whynewfirsthomebuyersregret their purchase, thereasonsgiven vary widely among people in different parts of the world. Whenit comes to home purchase, the ‘regret’ factor is quite intertwinedwithsocialvalues- asetof variables wherenocookie-cutter approach can obviously apply. After all, what is considered importantinAustraliaorCanada may not resonate very loudly in an Indian’s mindset. Nevertheless, it is possible to comeupwith a list of regrets which are common to everyone, regardless of geography or culture.
Before wegetinto this, it is relevant to reflect on why people wind up making home purchase decisions that invite regret later on. The foremost reasons are impulsiveness and excessive focus on a low purchase price. While impulsiveness can have many reasons, being overly focused on getting a cheap deal needstorealfurtherexploration. In real estate, when you buy cheap, you get cheap.
This means that what you get whenyoubuythecheapestpossible propertyis definitely notoptimal except perhaps in terms of cost price. Property prices are dictated by location, available civic and social infrastructure and the presence of good amenities and facilities. If one chooses the cheapest available property, thereisboundtobeacompromise onthese very important factors - and it is these factors that lead to satisfaction withone’shomepurchase in the first place.
Another common regret is winding up too far from one’s workplace. Thenegativeeffect of living too far from one’s workplace is especially felt by people who lived in rental accommodation before buying their home. Becauseoftherelatively affordable rent structure in India, families can usually rent homes conveniently close to their income earners’ places of work.
While the pride of home ownership after years of living in rental homes is undeniable, this joycanbeseriouslydilutedbythe workplacedistancefactor. Thisis one of the primary reasons why integrated townships work so well in India.
Suchtownshipshavecommercial office spaces integrated into the project alongside residential spaces, thereby creating the perfect juxtaposition of residential and commercial catchments. A home in a township which also hosts one’s place of employment is the very definition of ‘dream home’ in India.
An associated homebuyer regret - lack of kindergartensand schools in the vicinity - is often a ‘hidden’factorfornewly-married couples that only rears its head when children are on the way. A home may be quite perfect in otherrespects, butnon-availability of good play schools initially and primary schools thereafter can be a serious spoilsport.
For closely related reasons, inadvertently buyingahomeina neighbourhoodwithahighcrime rate becomes a ground for huge regret. Whileevenlow-endhousing projects usually haveat least some level of security for residents, the world beyond its gates is beyond control. Safety and security have become a major issue whose severity keeps mounting in all Indian cities.
Insufficient infrastructure is anothermajorsourceofregretof inexperienced homebuyers. It is not unusual for people to make homepurchasedecisionslargely based on misleading assurances bybrokers, developersandprevious owners with regards to the availability of waterandelectricity. Sincethesupplyregularityof thesehighlyimportantresources can often not be established on a single inspection - and, in India, even changes with the seasons - buyers can wind up regretting their purchasewhenitistoolate.
NowthattheRealEstateRegulation Act(RERA) is inplace, misleading assuranceshavebecome punishablebylaw, butonlytothe extent that there is documented evidenceofthem. Inotherwords, it is now punishable by law to advertise or otherwise market properties in a misleading manner. However, verbal assurances canobviouslynotbetracked- and unfortunately, countless property buyers have had reason to regret taking too many verbal assurances at face value.