Compromising is something that we all hate to do, but the reality is that we have to compromise on something or the other every day, whether it is at home or at work or anywhere else. This, unfortunately, holds true even when one is looking at buying a home – unless one is a shipping magnate, it is simply not possible to have everything when it comes to purchasing a residence.
Given that compromise on some of one’s expectations of a future home is inevitable for the common man, it is important to know where compromises can and shouldn’t be made.
Compromises you can make while buying a home
- Size of the property – A majority of home buyers give a lot of weightage to the size of the home they wish to buy. Specifically, the square footage and numbers of bedrooms and bathrooms are under focus in this respect. When one maintains an uncompromising emphasis on size with no flexibility of budget, three aspects usually get adversely affected – the quality of the location, the quality of available amenities and the quality of construction. None of these are factors on which one should ideally compromise. If there is no leeway in one’s budget, it is always advisable to invest in a smaller, well-located property which offers all the lifestyle accoutrements one requires.
- Interior décor – There are two good reasons why most budget-bound property buyers prefer ‘bare shell’ flats to those which the developer offers with complete interior décor. The first is obviously the price – fully outfitted apartments come at a significantly higher cost. The second is preference – home décor is a very individual concept for which there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Home buyers look forward to appointing their property in a manner of their own choosing, not somebody else’s. Therefore, it is perfectly okay to compromise on interior décor except in the unlikely instance that such a flat meets both one’s budget and personal taste.
- Size of kitchen and bathroom – To increase space in the living room and the bedroom, many developers today cut down on space in the kitchen and bathrooms. Often, the kitchen may be open and merged with the living and dining area. One should ask oneself how much this matters if one is gaining on living space in the bargain. This is, of course, strictly a matter of personal preference and needs. However, the size of the kitchen and bathroom can definitely be compromised upon if the need arises.
- Size of the balconies – Again, balconies are not functional living spaces which do not play a very big role in the overall comfort experience of a home, or indeed places where one spends a lot of one’s time. This is why balcony spaces are not counted as ‘livable’ area and are charged at a lower rate than the rest of the flat. The size of the balconies is something that can safely be compromised on if one is getting a property at an attractive rate.
- Budget – Buying a property is an investment for a lifetime, and a home is the ultimate ‘performing’ asset which meets the most important needs of shelter, safety and comfort even as it appreciates in value. As far as possible, one should be able and willing to be flexible in one’s budget, as many of the best options may be available for slightly higher prices. If one finds a highly suitable and desirable property which is priced slightly beyond one’s budget, it makes sense to extend it via a marginally higher home loan or contribution from personal resources.
Compromises you should not make while buying a home
- Location – Never ever compromise on the location of the property in any manner. Ensure that the area that you have chosen for buying a property is a safe and wholesome neighborhood and offers a good possibility for appreciation in the future. Talk to local real estate agents and know about the chances of property appreciation in the location, and ensure that it has a low crime rate. Also, make sure the location works for you on all relevant fronts – it should be near to or give good access to your place of work schools, healthcare facilities and banking and shopping facilities, and have good connectivity to the rest of the city.
- Reputation and market standing of the builder – Usually, the property rates quoted by reputed, established developers are somewhat higher when compared with those of unknown builders. Remember that well-known builders have worked hard over many years to build their brand equity, so as to be known as strong players who deliver on their promises and offer superior homes with enhanced specifications. It is always prudent to invest into this brand equity to safeguard one’s investment and benefit from a better living experience. Do not compromise on the reputation of the developer you patronize. You will have the corresponding assurance regarding the quality of construction, after sales support, the legal sanctity of the property and overall lifestyle experience.
- Parking space – Maybe they were optional for many families in previous decades, but the availability of adequate parking space can no longer be compromised upon in a residential project. Even if one does not currently own a car, the likelihood of buying one in the future is quite high. Even if one is not buying a home for personal use but to rent it out, a property without adequate parking ranks lowest on the rental desirability scale in any Indian city today. Never compromise on this aspect.
- Healthy environment – Properties that are located right next to or close to highways or busy roads will face lots of noise as well as air pollution. Look for a property which as far away as possible from such pollution sources without being simultaneously cut off from the basic conveniences. One should under no circumstances compromise on this, particularly if one has children and elderly people at home, as noise and air pollution will directly affect their as well as everyone else’s health. It is for this reason that integrated townships have become so popular these days, as they – among many other advantages – offer the ultimate freedom from pollution.
As long as one pays heed to these important dos and don’ts, investment in a home will pay off in all respects. While compromise is certainly a fact of life in today’s world, it is equally true that everyone has the freedom of choice on what to compromise or not. A home is a treasure for a lifetime, and buying one should be approached in such a manner that most of one’s expectations are fulfilled.
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