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When it comes to buying a home, the biggest dilemma for home seekers often pertains to affordability – where should one draw the line between what is affordable and what is not?
- If one opts for a big home, then, one may need to shell out a higher amount, or opt for a house in the peripheral areas.
- On the other hand, if one is particular about the location, then, the buyer may need to compromise on the size of the house or amenities offered.
- If one opts for amenities, then, the buyer may need to compromise on size or location.
What is an affordable home?
An affordable home should have all the basic amenities, like sanitation, water and 24-hour electricity supply. It is also important to have security and social infrastructure, as well as schools, offices, parks and hospitals, nearby.
Experts point out that the amenities offered with affordable housing projects, also depend on its micro market. In tier-2 or tier-3 cities and other metropolitan cities like Bengaluru and NCR, each location will have a balanced mix of affordable and premium homes in the same micro market. In such cities, the parameters that define affordability, could be smaller-sized homes, standalone towers and fewer amenities.
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However, for a market like Mumbai, the product isn’t much of a differentiator, while the location is. Mumbai has specific regions that have affordable products – for example, Thane to Ambernath has a range of products, in various affordable brackets.
Affordability versus amenities
Wherever a project is considered as premium, owing to its location, customers will have to make sacrifices on the amenities and facilities, maintains Sumit Jain, national director – residential services, Colliers International India. “However, at locations that are more affordable, customers have the opportunity to enjoy facilities and amenities, according to their desired lifestyle. Therefore, parameters like transport, support infrastructure, retail and entertainment, become prime considerations along with the project’s features,” explains Jain.
How to choose the right location and project
While choosing a home, one should strike a balance, between the location and the projects’ features. Locations in the vicinity of office clusters are ideal. However, the property prices in such locations, are likely to be sky-high. Hence, home buyers can consider tier-2/tier-3 cities and other metros like Bengaluru, which offer properties with aspirational lifestyles and are also closer to the workplace.
“Affordability, in the first place, is a relative term. It varies across cities and from person to person,” points out Ravindra Pai, MD of Century Real Estate.
“The only thing that buyers need to prioritise, are the ‘must haves’ and other non-negotiable factors, while they are searching for a property,” he advises.
While affordability is no doubt a crucial factor, it is not wise to make it the sole consideration while buying a home.
Things you should not compromise on, while buying a home