The way we shop has evolved to a large extent in the past few decades. We have moved away from offline shopping to buying things online. This may sound surprising, but the fact is that even home buying has largely become an online process today. While the trend of making the final purchase is yet to gather pace, searching and shortlisting properties has become an online game. Ideally, the entire home buying cycle should involve an optimum mix of both offline and online sources. Here’s how to go about it:
Friends and family: Even today when the concept of joint families is gradually fading, home buyers across the country still consider their family’s advice as sacrosanct when it comes to purchasing their dream home. One should consider the advice of those family members who have already invested in a property before finalising a purchase.
Word of Mouth: The most common way to find out about the credibility of a developer or a project is by talking to others who have already invested in the same pocket where you are planning to buy. A lot of valuable information can be gathered just by paying heed to what seasoned investors and property buyers divulge.
Print advertisements: Apart from family and friends, another source of information that could help in your property buying decision are the various advertisements in print and electronic media. Developers often advertise about their upcoming projects along with its pricing details, and payment plans and schemes, among other important details.
Real estate portals: The entire process of home buying has undergone a sea change with the advent of real estate portals. Not only can you look for property listings, but can also use various features such as micro search engines, virtual tours, 3D floor plans, map based searches, and locality wise prices to take an informed decision. Some portals have gone a step further to introduce site visits wherein they arrange pick and drops for physically inspecting a property. It has, thus, become convenient to shortlist properties that match your budget, size and location preferences. Real time pictures and virtual tours have started replacing the need for site visits.
RERA portal: Starting May 1, 2016, all developers and projects have been mandated to get registered under the Real Estate Regulatory Authority of the respective State or Union Territory. After conducting the preliminary research, you must check the builders’ and their projects’ RERA registration status. Shortlisting a builder and a project registered with RERA would ensure protection under the Act in the case of a default in project completion or delivery. Every developer and project registered with the Act would entail a unique registration number and a certificate.
Developer websites: Once you have decided which developer and project to opt for, visiting the corporate website of the developer might prove helpful. These websites usually contain information pertaining to the developer’s ongoing and completed projects. Thus, you may get a lot of background information about the company and its founders.
Blogs and forums: User generated content on various real estate blogs and forums aid buyers to get reviews on new and upcoming projects in the market, news pertaining to developers, latest market dynamics and trends that might impact your buying decision. It is a good idea to be active on these forums in order to get information from other buyers and investors.