Which is better: Buying a resale flat or an under-construction flat?
When people decide to buy a flat, the biggest dilemma that they often face is whether they should buy a resale flat or go for an under-construction flat. Buying both resale flats and under-construction flats has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, which people should compare and decide on, taking their financial condition and requirements into consideration.
In this article, we will be enlisting certain key pros and cons of both resale flats and under-construction flats. You can analyse these pros and cons to decide which might be a better option for you to purchase.
The Pros of Buying a Resale Flat
- You pay for what you see.
The foremost advantage of buying a resale flat is that “you pay for what you see”. Many times, we see that, at the time of possession of an under-construction flat, builders increase the area of the flat, which results in an increase in the cost of the flat.
Furthermore, upon completion of an under-construction flat, there is a huge gap between the expectations of the customer and the actual condition of the flat, which often leaves the buyer of an under-construction flat with a bad taste.
- There is no waiting period.
Another advantage of buying a resale flat is that you can get immediate possession of the flat upon making the complete payment for it.
- Clarity over the final amount to be paid
Unlike the ambiguity around the final price to be paid for an under-construction flat with respect to the inclusion of taxes, charges, and other hidden components, the final price to be paid for a resale flat is quite clear, and there is a very low probability of any additional charges to be paid at the time of possession.
- Essential community facilities are available.
Another critical benefit of buying a resale flat is the availability of community facilities like schools, hospitals, malls, etc.
As most people will buy a resale flat in an already developed area where people are already residing, the availability of these facilities will be there.
- Better clarity over monthly maintenance charges
In all probability, a resale flat will be in a society that has a proper RWA (Resident Welfare Association) in place. There will be no ambiguity over the maintenance costs to be incurred by the buyer after the purchase of the flat.
The Cons of Buying a Resale Flat
- Old Construction
There is a high possibility that a resale flat would have been constructed a few years ago and the signs of wear and tear would be clearly visible and might involve a cost to repair or renovate the flat.
- The layout of the flat can only be changed to a limited extent.
Since a resale flat is already completed, no major change in the structure or layout of the flat is possible.
RWAs also raise objections over major renovations being conducted in a flat, so it might be difficult to obtain their clearance.
- Fewer options are available.
Unlike the availability of choices w.r.t. floors, views, directions, etc. in an under-construction project, the choices in the case of a resale flat are limited as it totally depends on the inventory available in the market.
The Pros of Buying an Under-Construction Flat
- Scattered Payment
Payment for an under-construction apartment is usually linked to the progress of the construction. Thus, the buyer need not pay the entire cost in one go.
- Availability of a variety of options
A buyer might get a variety of choices with respect to floor rise, view, direction, etc. when buying an under-construction flat due to the availability of huge inventories with the builder. However, you might have to pay “Preferential Location Charges” for such a choice.
- Better scope of modification
Buying an under-construction flat does provide a better chance for customers to get the layout of the flat modified according to their requirements. However, a buyer might have to pay a certain premium for such modifications to the layout.
- Competitive Prices
A buyer might be able to get a flat at a very competitive price, especially if he invests in an under-construction flat during a soft launch, when builders do give an introductory discount to initial buyers.
- A Defect Liability Period of 5 Years
With the introduction of the RERA Act (Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act), a builder constructing a project has to provide a defect liability period clause in the BBA whereby he will be responsible for all defects in the structure of the building for a period of 5 years from the date of possession.
Thus, a person buying an under-construction flat might not worry about the maintenance of flats for a period of up to 5 years after taking possession of such a flat.
The Cons of Buying an Under- Construction Flat
- Delay in Possession of Flats
The biggest downside of buying an under-construction flat is the undue delay that a developer causes in completion and handover of flats. Sometimes, the delay extends to a period of time over and above 5 years from the promised date of possession in the BBA.
Due to such a delay, the buyer has to bear the additional cost of rent that he has to pay for the rented unit while the flat that he has bought is still under construction.
- Non-availability of statutory approvals for the project
Are you aware of the fact that a builder has to obtain almost 20 odd approvals from different government authorities before he can commence and complete the construction of a project? Generally, people think if a builder has clear title to land and has obtained a licence from the local Town & Country Planning Authority, he can build a project. But, he has to obtain approval from the electricity supply board, RERA Department, Fire Department, Airport Authority, Pollution Control Board, Environment Clearance, Water Supply, Sewage Connection, etc.
A builder is not merely responsible for the construction of a flat but is also responsible for laying down the essential services and getting their due approval from the designated authority.
- Frequent Changes in the layout of the Project
Many a time, builders change the layout of the project without obtaining due consent from the buyers. So, if you bought an under-construction flat, the builder may change the layout of your flat, for which you may have to pay additional charges due to an increase in area or the inclusion of any new facilities in the project.
However, post the introduction of RERA, builders of an under-construction project will have to obtain consent from at least 2/3 of the customers before making any material changes in the layout of the flat or project.
- Hidden Cost
Taxes and other government fees, water and gas connection fees, FTTH connection charges, and other miscellaneous costs are generally excluded from BBA coverage. Builders generally do not disclose these costs at the time of the signing of the builder-buyer agreement.
Thus, it is advised to thoroughly go through each and every term and condition of the builder-buyer agreement and have a proper understanding of all costs and the burden of such costs.
For most people, buying a house is one of the most critical financial goals of their life. Thus, a buyer should always consider the above-mentioned factors before deciding on the house they want to buy. Always remember that you should feel HAPPY in your home rather than regretting a decision for the rest of your life.