Mumbai is known to be a commercial city with constricted geography leading to land crunch and shooting real estate prices. The city saw a gradual increase in high rise apartments in 1970s when the apartment culture kicked in an Indian city for the first time.
More than 70% of mainstream Mumbai’s residential land area has apartments built over it than independent houses. A large portion of remaining 30% is occupied by slums. Interestingly, more than 70% of Mumbai’s population lives in slums (Source: TOI).
As a result, buying a plot is definitely much costlier in Mumbai than buying an apartment. Suburban Mumbai regions like Vasai, Virar, Panvel, Taloja, Dombivali, Kamothe etc. have some land options that can be within the reach of a common man. However, one should weigh in below factors to decide :
Floors allowed for construction
If a plot allows construction of only 3 to 4 floors, you may not have a lot of units to be let out on rent. Also, add to it your construction cost in raising those floors. Instead if you invest the same amount in buying multiple apartments in better locations, rental yield can be higher. Resale returns can also be higher from those apartments.
Width of road facing the plot
If you are buying the plot for self-use, it is important to factor in locality and infrastructural amenities. If the road facing the plot is not wide enough, real estate prices may not appreciate fast as compared to an apartment investment in a more spacious location.
Any construction done
You should check if the plot you are considering to buy had any prior construction done on the site. And all paper work related to construction/demolition approvals were taken by your Seller or not.
Gated Colony or Boundary Wall
Does the plot sit inside a gated community or has a boundary wall? It helps in adding to the security of the property. Open plots require added investment for making your property safer for inhabitants.
Type of Ownership
Freehold or leasehold. Are you getting a freehold ownership of land or leasehold? In freehold, you get to sell it to whoever you want in future and have absolute ownership for indefinite period. Leasehold plots will cease to have ownership rights unless the lease is renewed with the Seller.
Basis these criteria, you can weigh in pros and cons of plot you are getting to buy and decide accordingly. For more input on the same, you can refer to regular updates.