The COVID-19-induced lockdown is again on us and many parts of the county, including cities, have been going through stringent measures to contain the virus. With organizations sending their employees with laptops to work from home 9WFH), on a positive note, family time is back again. And, amidst the pandemic, no need to say that those who are shrewd are making the most of the time.
This is a good time for home buyers since the home loan interest rates are at the lowest. There are ready-to-move-in projects, which save not only money but also your precious time. You and your spouse and including your children are at home and you have plenty of time to search and discuss your dream home. This is the time when you can revive the property discussions that you’d pushed to the back burner due to lack of time.
Here’s how you can utilize the lockdown period to find your happy home.
- Discuss with your spouse/children and arrive at what type of property you are looking for
- Check your financials. Reach out to banks from the comfort of your homes and analyze your buying capacity
- There are plenty of banking websites that offer services like checking your credit score, analyzing your buying capacity and equated monthly installment for the loan amount
- Find out the income tax benefits you can avail on your home loan for you and your spouse
- Get to know the details of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, an initiative by the Government of India, which provides affordable housing to the first-time homebuyers
- Since WFH has almost become a norm, keep in mind the demands of such an arrangement and include the same in your home search. It would be good to look for a home that provides you space /area/room to set up your workstation
- These days, every builder is available online and hence do an online search to look for properties that suit you and your family’s requirement
- Additionally, you can post your property requirements for free on online platforms like 1SqFt.com and get a call back from property owners and builders
- Since builders are keen to sell their inventory, good bargains are possible and this makes it an ideal time to make a purchase
- Those who are having spare money to invest, too, can make use of this period to close deals at attractive rates
- To understand the prices, look for area-wise property costs that are available with the respective state’s registration department, which is available online. There are also property portals that give you a fair idea of the prices over a period of time
- As physically visiting the property may not be possible for most of you, use the virtual tours offered by the online real estate portals and builders to take a close look at the property
- Going virtual has other advantages, too, as you can showcase the properties to your dear and near ones even if they are in different parts of the country
- Search online for builder information, reviews and look at their completed constructions
- Reach out to the resident welfare association members of your intended property to know more about the apartment, amenities and facilities nearby
- Do a thorough online search of the neighbourhood and ensure that the shortlisted property has all the facilities like schools, hospitals, supermarkets, etc, nearby
- Once you shortlist a property, do not forget to apply for an Encumbrance Certificate. You can apply it online and once you receive it, by going through the certificate you can find out whether the property is from encumbrance or not
Amenities to check for if you’re buying an apartment:
Power-back-up: Since most organizations are moving to a hybrid work culture involving work from office and WFH, it is wise to invest in a property that offers power-back-up to ensure a seamless working experience from home
Parking facility: In the wake of coronavirus spread, people have started preferring private vehicles over public transport. This increases the demands for parking space and hence it is advisable to look for properties that have designated parking areas for your vehicles
Children play area: With schools opting for online classes, children are forced to stay indoors for long hours. Physical activity is very important for their health and hence parents should keep in mind the availability of play area in the apartments they choose to buy
Open green spaces: The pandemic has again highlighted the need for airy and open green spaces. While space is a constraint in almost all cities, homebuyers should not compromise on open space citing the cost involved. It is always wise to invest in properties that give you some green cover and lung space
While the above amenities can be considered essential, a buyer should also desire facilities like a medical store, diagnostic centres, grocery stores, ATM, milk vending spots, among others.
You may find that the above points will take at least 10-15 days of your time to complete and by the end of a fortnight; you might have shortlisted 3-5 properties.
Once the lockdown is over, make a personal visit to the properties and choose the best one that suits all your needs.
Voila, you’re all set to close the deals at the best rates!
Sindhu Vijayakumar is a tech, business, and creative content writer and marketing solutions provider, who has been helping several B2B and B2C companies with their content and marketing (including digital marketing) needs. She has been guiding startups with marketing content initiatives, both internal and external, across multiple platforms and formats to drive sales, engagement, retention, leads and positive customer behaviours.
An MBA in Marketing and Sales, she loves crafting engaging business and digital content for businesses. As a professional content writer who is comfortable writing on technology, she has been providing writing services to many software and technology organizations, including mobile app development companies.
A gold medalist in journalism, before turning to freelance, she was a full-time journalist with The Hindu, The Times of India and Sulekha.com, and for over a one-and-half decade, she had published hundreds of articles on communities, urban development, lifestyle, wellness and parenting trends. As an accomplished radio programmer, she had propelled the south FM stations of Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd, to exceptional heights.
A Research Scholar in Management, her special interest areas are startups, tech, application development and small businesses. She has published several papers on communication in national and international journals and is also a published author of fiction and poetry.