Picking the Right Builder
Looking for a new flat means taking into consideration numerous factors but primary among them is trust. How much do you trust your builder? Because you will be entrusting your life’s savings into the flat that you are buying.
It’s not something that you can take lightly.
In the case of reputed, or branded builders, there are several established precedents to show the buyer what to expect. Branded builders might turn out to be much more costly, but they are worth it.
One of my friends, Mr. Kulkarni found this the hard way when he bought an flat from an unbranded builder. Dazzled by the marketing spiel and especially the low price offered for the flat in Pune, he went ahead and bought the flat. It is an action he greatly regrets, even till today.
The following is his account of how everything that could go wrong; went wrong. Wise people learn from the mistakes of others and our aim is to ensure that others do not undergo the same experience.
The never ending story of construction
Everyone expects delays in construction, so when this builder specified that the project would begin in 6 months, Mr.Kulkarni assumed it would take a few more months. Instead, the construction began after 2 years.
This meant numerous problems because it drastically changed all the plans he had made with regards to his future residence. In particular, he faced a financial crunch because he was paying EMI as well as rent.
They took the stairs because there was no lift.
Amenities like lifts are necessities and not luxuries. But that is precisely how the residents of this building felt when the lift arrived into their building four years after they occupied the flat.
For four years, those who lived on the third and fourth floor had to trudge up and down every single time. However, the problems of the residents didn’t subside even when the lift arrived. The lift is not of good quality and breaks down every week and doesn’t open on the ground floor.
Ta-da! It’s a new home. But it just doesn’t look like it!
Barely a year after residents started living here, they noticed that the paint was peeling away. It no longer looked like the brand new flat it was supposed to be.
Apparently, only a single coat of paint was given. Shoddy paintwork has made the entire building look old and tasteless.
Park your car, here, there, anywhere
Everyone takes car parking for granted. But residents discovered that this builder had not demarcated any space in the building for a car park.
It’s indeed shocking negligence on the part of the builder who failed to fulfill even this basic amenity for the residents.
Residents have to constantly raise a stink about this.
The presence of a Sewage Treatment Plant in the building is apparently an eyewash as there is no outlet created for the sewage! On repeated badgering, the builder claims that there was no written agreement involved.
Without an outlet for the sewage, residents have to bear the stink and suffer numerous other problems if the sewage is not taken away. The situation seems rather prehistoric!
What happens now on a regular basis
The result of all these problems is that the residents have formed an association and are constantly trying to approach the builder to rectify his mistakes. The builder never answers the phone calls and conveniently stays out of reach.
What’s galling is that he has started construction for another building and the residents fear that he has diverted their money to fund that building, while they continue to languish.
The building has become rather infamous in the locality for all these problems and naturally, people are unable to sell their flats or even rent it for that matter.
Mr. Kulkarni whole-heartedly regrets his purchase with this non-branded builder. Opting for a branded builder might seem expensive but in the long run, it will save you all this anguish. What’s more, if you want to sell your flat, there are definitely better chances of getting a better ROI.
Don’t get taken in by marketing tactics. Low, attractive rates often become high liabilities later on and promises are just empty words.
Before making the plunge, do your homework about the builder. Find out the condition of his other construction sites, speak to flat owners who have bought flats from him and ask lots of questions. No question is too silly or irrelevant when your life’s savings are at stake.
Unrecognized, unbranded builders often divert funds from one construction site to another, resulting in inferior quality buildings, inundated with numerous problems.