Read previous article in Home Buying Guide series: 11 steps to shortlisting real estate projects for buying

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When you have already discovered potential projects for investment and have shortlisted some of them on the basis of your preferences, next step in property purchase process is property comparison. You dig deep among shortlisted projects and try to compare them on the basis of either the information available online or by physically going to the sites. We will cover site visits in detail in next section of the guide. This post in the Home Buying Guide series covers 6 steps to comparing real estate projects for buying.

Comparing real estate projects online can save a lot of time and the saved time can be put in further steps of buying your dream property – legal review, hefty negotiation on price, procuring home loans and more. All of these steps we will cover in subsequent sections of this home buying guide series.

The practice of confusion marketing is very common in all industries. Real Estate is no different. With multiple projects by each builder, multiple floor plans in each project, varying set of amenities, diverse location of projects, different pricing, complicated payment schemes, unpredictable area/project appreciation, attractive offers rolled out by builders, unit you are getting to book – floor rise/which side it is facing, arranging funds….and the list continues. You would wonder if someone can simplify home buying process for you and not complicate further because of vested interests. Do not worry. This blog will help you and we do understand genuine problems buyers face during property purchase.

Step 1: Do not get overwhelmed with information

It is first important to not get overwhelmed by any information coming across your end during your property hunt. Be it flashy hoardings, sugar coated sales pitch by sales team or festival offers you get to see from time to time. Take all the time you have to make an informed decision of buying a great flat considering your personal preferences and not on the preferences of a builder, broker, friend, colleague etc. You don’t get to buy a home everyday, neither do you get to sell it immediately when you want to get rid of a bad investment. So be cautious.

Step 2: Rank 5 most important parameters

Once you have shortlisted projects of interest, pick top 5 criteria(non-negotiable ones) for your selection on the basis of following 13 parameters(in no particular order). You may find more than 5 as non-negotiable but to eliminate chaos around comparisons and property hunt, it is important to first have a self understanding of most important parameters for you and your family. Helps in deciding when there is a tie between two projects or amongst more than two.

  1. Location – Which part of city you want to invest in, how far from city centre you are okay to live in and location of important establishments like schools, hospitals, workplace etc.
  2. Rate/sqft  – How costly the project can be, evaluate on the basis of total cost including car parking, possession charges, PLC, all taxes, registration amount etc. and not just base cost.
  3. Overall budget/EMI – What is the total amount you can spend and what is the EMI you can afford? This also includes payment scheme of builder. Construction linked plans, subvention schemes etc. 
  4. Amenities – List of amenities which are relevant for you and your family.
  5. Vastu – Whether vastu compliance is an absolute must for the unit you want to book?
  6. Availability – Under Construction or Ready to Move in. If under-construction, how many months/years can you wait before possession. How long can you wait if there is a delay in getting possession from the Builder?
  7. Builder reputation – If you are very particular about Tier 1, 2, 3 project categorisation and want to invest in a particular builder project only.
  8. Master plan – If you have a strong preference for size/number of units in a project. Big, mid, small size projects etc. (Ex: 5 acre being okay for you Vs will-invest-only-if it is a 20 acre project)
  9. Floor plan – If you have a strong preference for internal architecture of flat. Ex: L shaped living room vs U-shaped living room, size of master bed room, bathrooms etc. 
  10. Legal soundness – If you would like to invest in a project which has maximum compliances in place and is legally very sound. Do keep in mind that this is a grey area and very few projects will have everything marked green when it comes to compliances.
  11. Type of project – Apartment, villa, row house, penthouse etc. – any specific type of project you would prefer over others?
  12. Company of friends, colleagues, relatives etc in the project – If you have a strong preference of investing somewhere where you have acquaintance(s) already.
  13. Appreciation trend – What prospects the investment will have in terms of resale or letting out on rent? Quite relevant if you are buying property for investment and not end use.

Step 3: Rank next 8 important parameters

Once first 5 are selected, rank next set of parameters out of the remaining 8 left – these parameters are the ones which are negotiable for you and you may or may not find all of them important for your investment. Can call these as secondary parameters in property buying decision making.

Step 4: Shortlist projects on the basis of primary parameters

Once you know what your most important parameters are, first look for projects which at least satisfy your first 5 criteria. This may take few weeks or even months but you must invest whatever time it takes at this step. This is the step which will ensure your happiness quotient when you will eventually move in to a bought property. You would know you have what you wanted the most. This will give a huge mental peace to you and your family.

2 BHK vs 3 BHK

Step 5: Shortlist further on the basis of secondary parameters

Then amongst the set of projects shortlisted in step 4, filter further on the basis of your next 8 parameters (out of 13 listed above). It is important to note that these 8 parameters may not be trivial ones. Just that they are not as important as first 5. You should invest time in digging information about these if they are not clear. Talk to people who have already invested, use public forums for clarifying doubts.

Step 6: Filter list until only 1 project is left

Keep refining the list further until you are left with only 1 project and a particular unit(new booking or resale) in that project. This is when you know you have got a right fit. Congratulations! Raise a toast. You have come a long way in your property hunt and are very close to inking a sale agreement.

Following above method of comparing real estate projects helps in cutting down any dilemma, chaos around property selection and reduces time you have to invest in buying a property. Like mentioned in the article above, comparison of projects is complemented through site visits. Site visits help in crystallizing thought process around knowing with absolute clarity what a project has and what it doesn’t have.

We will cover aspects of property site visits in our next section of home buying guide. Feel free to share your comments and feedback below about this guide post. 

Read next article in Home Buying Guide series: The Ultimate Guide to Carrying Out Property Site Visits

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