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Step by Step guide for home buyers

In my previous blog, I touch based upon when to buy and the basic factors you need to consider while purchasing a home.

In this blog we will discuss the necessary checklist for home buyers, a step by step guide for home buyers.

Points to note while buying a home 

It’s mandatory that you identify a lawyer who can advise you on legal matters pertaining to the property you plan to buy. You cannot avoid this as purchasing a home essentially could mean investing your life time savings plus taking some exposure to debt. So it’s always better to be safe than be sorry later. Always request for a written opinion from your lawyer.

Never fall in love with a property. This may sound bizarre for most of the first time home buyers. But this is my thumb rule. If not this one, there is always another property you can buy. So never get carried away by a property. Always perform the due diligence and if you get a negative report, just move on and look for other properties available in the market.

Always watch out for the RED signals. If you are offered a property below market price, then you better be cautious. Always explore the reason behind why the present owner would like to sell the property ? It’s very important from whom you buy the property from. It’s equally important to maintain a cordial relationship with the seller. This is where the role a property consultant really helps. This way even in case you come across any issues in the future after your purchase you can approach them again.

If you are buying an ancestral property, then you have to ensure all legal heirs concerned are signing or are settled based on what they legally own.

If you are buying a flat then 

  1. Always seek for the approved plan copy from the respective authorities. Look for deviations. Roughly calculate the FSI (Floor Space Index) achieved. If it’s more than the prevailing rules that existed during the time of construction, then you can be assured that there are some deviations.
  2. Look for the total number of dwellings approved and constructed. Speak to the other flat owners, seek opinion on their property.
  3. Ensure you have reserved car parkings as promised and if it’s promised make sure its mentioned in the parent sale deed and your sale deed as well.
  4. How to arrive at the pricing ? As you would know building is a depreciating asset where as land is an appreciating asset. So to arrive at the pricing, you should consider the UDS (Undivided share of land) the property enjoys, age of the building, other amenities present, and the prevailing rates for a new flat in that neighbour hood. This would help you to arrive at an estimation.
  5. Once the legal clears the documents, and if you are convinced with the seller and the Flat, well you are good to go.

If you are buying a residential plot then

  1. Ensure it’s approved and it has got PATTA in the current owners’ name. If it has a building on it, ensure the building plan is approved by the authorities concerned.
  2. Ensure, seller has paid vacant land tax upto date.
  3. Make sure the access to your property is public and not private. If it’s private then a portion of the access has to be conveyed to you as UDS (Undivided share of land).
  4. Always check the zone classification. There are Residential,  Commercial , School , Institutional , Hospital , CRZ (Costal regulatory Zone) etc. Now all zones are not meant for a residential purposes.
  5. Ensure your plot is not in any special zone where your FSI will be below the normally permitted FSI.
  6. As a part of the document verification ensure all Survey Numbers are mentioned properly in the Sale deed. Some times your plot may fall in multiple survey numbers. Now, how do I check this , get a copy of the FMB sketch (Field Measurement Book). Check the survey numbers and see if your plot resides in multiple survey numbers.
  7. Make sure the extend of land conveyed, matches between the sale deed document and Patta. If there is a difference, then you need to consider the value whichever is lower.
  8. Ensure to take the encumbrance certificate (EC) which would trace at least the last three owners or for minimum 30 years. Your lawyer would advise you as to how many years of EC you need to take.
  9. Make sure there are no outstanding mortgages on the property. If there is any lean marked against this property and if it’s reflected on the EC or in any of the documents, please ensure the loan is closed or you have the relevant documents proving the loan closure, before you buy the property.
  10. Finally, get an authorised surveyor to physically measure the property to ensure, you physically get what is conveyed asper the document.

Preparation of Sale Deed – Now having identified a property and completing the due diligence, it’s up to you to prepare the sale deed. Your lawyer is the best person to draft a sale deed. In the sale deed please ensure you bring in the following points very clearly.

  1. Ensure seller and buyer details are mentioned correctly as per the ID proofs shared
  2. Mention PAN Card or Aadhar Card Number as mandated by the SRO (Sub Registrar Office).
  3. Ensure the present residing address of the seller and buyers are up to date.
  4. Now it’s important that in the Sale Deed , you bring in the entire history of the property. A good lawyer would do this as this would cover all aspects like who was the first owner and subsequently how the ownership got transferred.
  5. Ensure all measurements are mentioned accurately. Let it be Land extend or be it flat extend or UDS.
  6. Make sure all the survey numbers are mentioned.
  7. In the schedule of the property, where you mark your boundaries, ensure the neighbouring property details are up to date.
  8. It’s all ways better to take a print of the draft sale deed and go through the entire document line by line in a relaxed manner.
  9. Make the final changes to the draft, share a copy with the seller, for their approval.
  10. Now you are good to go.

Registration – Now having finalised the property, finalising the sale deed, the next step is registering the property on to your name. You may follow the following guidelines

  1. Ensure all property related tax documents are in the current sellers name. Also they have paid off the tax dues to the respective departments. If you are buying an apartment, ensure no monthly maintenance charges are due towards the society.
  2. Identify the SRO (Sub registrar Office), for your property. Now, we have moved into online registration so you will have to take a token. If your lawyer is willing to do this, then that would be ideal. If not, suggest you make an attempt with the help of a document writer, who would know the process well.
  3. Paying stamp duty, nowadays the Government offers multiple solutions. You can pay via online, or take E-Stamp or buy Stamp Paper like good old times. The choice is yours. Ensure you choose the right / reliable Stamp vendor if you are buying Stamp Papers. 
  4. Once you have taken online appointment with the SRO for registration, the documents will be uploaded along with the ID proofs of the Buyer and seller.
  5. On the day of the registration, just sign the documents, pay the complete amount and take possession of the place. It’s important that you get vacant possession on the same day. Otherwise you should make a rental agreement for the interim period the seller wants to stay till they vacate.
  6. Collect all original documents including the mother and parent documents. Collect all original tax receipts and related documents. If you are purchasing with building, you should take the approved plan copy as well. It’s better to request your lawyer to make a  list of original documents to be collected and share this with the buyer.

Post registration – There are certain things you need to complete once the purchase is completed, only then we can say the transfer is complete.

  1. If it’s a flat or vacant land, transfer the property tax, electricity and the sewage connections to your name
  2. If it were and independent house, apply to transfer the Patta on to your name.
  3. Once you have all these steps completed, make sure you make a good folder to hold all these documents.
  4. Ensure to keep safe of all the original receipts pertaining to this deal.

So that’s it, now you are the proud owner of your own home.

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