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Tips for buying affordable houses and flats

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A dream come true for numerous middle-income households is to purchase an inexpensive house. It might be difficult to locate homes and apartments that fit one’s budget due to the escalating cost of real estate. However, with the right research and planning, you can discover good options and avoid overpaying. Here are 6 tips to buy affordable houses and flats.

1. Check Property Listings Sites

Property listing platforms such as MagicBricks are extremely useful for finding affordable houses and flats matching one’s requirements. These sites allow buyers to filter searches using parameters like property type, number of rooms, budget range and location.

For instance, a buyer can configure filters to only show 2 BHK flats available under ₹40 lakhs in their preferred part of the city. The listing sites will return options matching these key criteria. The buyer can then shortlist promising affordable properties aligned with their needs before visiting to evaluate further.

If the search area does not yield enough options, the buyer can gradually expand the location filter in different directions to uncover additional suitable projects. Widening the search area often reveals many more affordable choices compared to only looking in prime localities.

2. Look Beyond Central Locations

Expanding your property search beyond central locations to peripheral areas can reveal significantly cheaper options. Prime inner-city areas usually have very high real estate prices that may stretch beyond one’s affordable flats budget. However, excellent deals are often available in upcoming suburbs connected by public transit like metros and suburban rail.

The trade-off is typically a longer commute to the city center for work. But the savings of buying a property in an emerging suburb rather than an established central locality can justify the additional travel time. For example, a 3 BHK apartment that costs 1.2 crores in the city center may be available for 60-70 lakhs in an upcoming metro-connected suburb 10 km away.

When considering such peripheral locations, it is important to research the availability of essential amenities nearby. Check that the project is close to schools, healthcare facilities, and markets to meet daily needs. Access to public transit like a metro or railway station for easy commute to offices is also recommended. Digital maps make it easy to verify the vicinity of such necessities around shortlisted affordable projects.

3. Consider Projects by Newer Developers

Established prominent developers often price projects at a premium due to their brand value. However, exploring projects by relatively new and upcoming developers can uncover affordable housing options without compromising on construction quality.

These developers who are looking to establish themselves offer competitive pricing to attract buyers, especially for projects in peripheral locations yet to gain prominence. The prices are usually 15-20% lower than branded developers. It is important to thoroughly research new developers before purchasing. Visit their previous or ongoing projects to directly evaluate the construction standards and specifications. Check the finishing quality, materials used, amenities provided and overall workmanship at sample flats and completed buildings.

Speaking to residents of the developer’s completed projects also provides useful insights into their execution capabilities and post-sales service. If the quality checks out from physical site visits, newer developers can offer a great value proposition. Additionally, upcoming developers may be more open to negotiating on price or providing additional facilities if buyers commit early during launches. The ability to bargain on pricing is lower with established brands.

4. Opt for Near-Completion Projects

Properties in planet smart city housing projects that are nearing completion can be an affordable option worth considering. Builders often offer discounts on the remaining unsold units during the final stages of a project. The discounts provide an incentive for buyers to purchase the last inventory so the builder can fully sell out and close the project. The savings could be 10-15% compared to buying a flat in a newly launched project which is priced at a premium. Nearing-completion projects also allow possession within a few months rather than waiting 1-2 years for under-construction properties.

However, it is crucial for buyers to thoroughly inspect the actual construction quality by visiting the site before purchasing. Walk around the buildings, view sample flats, check that common facilities like lifts, fire safety equipment and electrical/plumbing connections are completed. This verifies the property is ready for quick handover. Speaking with residents of already occupied buildings provides additional insights into the developer’s construction quality and post-sales services. If the physical site inspection checks out, near-completion flats can offer a well-balanced trade-off of affordable pricing and quick ownership.

5. Look for Government Housing Schemes

Government agencies at central and state levels formulate various housing schemes to enable affordable home ownership for different income segments. These schemes involve construction of housing projects by government bodies like state housing development boards. The pricing and sale conditions are regulated for transparency and fairness.

For example, the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) is a central government scheme focused on affordable housing for the urban poor. Based on income criteria, applicants may qualify for interest subsidies or other benefits. Additional state government schemes cater to middle income buyers as well.

The properties developed under these schemes must meet quality standards and are constructed in a timely manner by the housing boards directly, not private builders. This provides home buyers more reliability and safeguards than the open market. Those looking for affordable housing should proactively check state and central government scheme details on the respective housing board websites. The application procedure, eligibility conditions, available projects, and qualification process for subsidies would be listed on the portal.

6. Negotiate with Builders

In the real estate market, it is common for builders to have unsold inventory in completed or under-construction projects. To generate cash flow and close out projects, builders are often willing to negotiate pricing discounts on these unsold units. Homebuyers can leverage this situation through careful negotiation.

When interested in a project with lingering inventory, initiate discussions with the builder sales team. Highlight that you have the capacity to make full payment promptly and finalize the purchase quickly if they can offer an attractive price. The promise of immediate closure and revenue generation makes builders more amenable to lowering prices.

Emphasize you are keen on this particular project and ready to sign immediately if they can accommodate a reasonable offer that makes the deal viable for you. Constructively point out nearby competitors’ projects offering similar units at lower price points. This adds justification for a discount.

Conclusion

With the right strategies, owning an affordable home is achievable for middle-class home buyers even in metro cities. Compromise a little on location, be open to newer projects, and leverage government schemes. Do thorough research and negotiate strongly. Planet Smart City and diligent execution can help fulfill the aspiration of owning your own house or flat.

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