CHECK YOUR HOME IN AN APARTMENT
The apartment culture is of recent origin and has become very popular. This type of group housing is not alien to the human culture. Earlier people used to live on riverbanks in groups sharing common facilities.
In the early twentieth century Bangalore was known for such group housing but in a different manner. Group housing popularly known as “Vatara” was very common in Bangalore where small dwelling units were constructed in a single compound and families lived in perfect harmony and unison. The Vatara, used to be horizontal or L shaped with single storey buildings whereas the apartments are vertical with multistoried buildings.
In Bangalore in the early seventies, the first Apartment constructed was Shalimar Apartment. In the early eighties Apartment culture began to show its presence in Malleshwaram. Apartment Culture is rapidly picking up, Bangalore now has nearly 400 players who have arrived on the scene to promote various Apartment Projects including many on the outskirts of Bangalore. According to a survey, during 97-98 nearly 10,000 flats were lying unsold. Now the situation has changed. An established Promoter can easily sell all the flats within a few days after completing the Bhoomi Pooja.
Flats have certain advantages when compared to independent houses. Community living offers security and certain amenities and facilities, which an individual cannot afford and which can be shared with other occupants as common facilities at minimal cost. Facilities like gym, recreational center, swimming pool, sauna; Jacuzzi, full-fledged security, clubhouses, sports and games come at nominal cost. Generally Apartments have Owners Residents Association, which attend to the problems of the residents and carryout repairs.
The purchaser of a flat need not worry about issues like obtaining plan sanctions, finding a contractor, supervising the construction, getting water, power, sanitary connection and other related formalities, which the Developer takes care. Purchaser may have the interior done according to his needs on payment of some additional fee.
With respect to sanctioning of plans, the various approving authorities have powers with some restrictions. The village panchayat cannot approve a plan of a multistoried building; they can approve the ground and first floor. The city municipal council can approve a plan of ground and three floors, like wise the Bangalore City Corporation too have some restrictions on approval of plans. High Rise Building Complex or a Building more than 8000 sq.ft of land and any building plans exceeding the prescribed height has to be approved by Town Planning Authority. It must be kept in mind that any massive violation of the sanction plan will face the threat of demolition of the buildings at the future date.
It is also necessary to ascertain whether the building has complied with the Floor Area Ratio (FAR), that is, total built up area permitted on the plot with prescribed setbacks - vacant space that is left around the building.
Financial institutions are currently offering long-term loans at a very low interest rate. Housing finance companies and banks also prefer financing the flats as multiple beneficiaries live in a single compound and it would be easy for them to follow up and need not spend much on legal formalities.
Any high rise structure should have clearance from BWSSB, BESCOM, FIRE FORCE, TELEPHONE DEPARTMENT and also from the AIRPORT AUTHORITY OF INDIA.
No doubt, there are certain disadvantages also, most important is the lack of privacy which is available in independent houses, where the resident is the king of the house and has unlimited freedom. The owner of a flat cannot have additional construction and alteration, even in order to repair a leak on the ceiling one has to obtain the permission of the association and the person living on the upper floor. Whereas, in the case of an independent house, the owner may add additional construction as per his requirements and let out the same to supplement his income without any hindrance.
Generally local people prefer independent houses. The resale value of flats is less, since the building gets depreciated and demolishing a flat and reconstructing it is also not possible. In case of independent houses, though the building gets depreciated, the land value appreciates. If necessary the old building may be demolished for new construction. Then the resale value of an independent house is always more. Flat owners have to pay monthly maintenance charges, which at times will be equal to or quarter or half the value of rents paid to a house, depending upon the amenities provided.
Process of Purchase
The purchaser of a flat has to take into account the location of the flat, its proximity to civic amenities and also select the builder according to their track record. It is always advisable to visit some of the projects completed by the builder before booking a flat.
Verification of the title of the property is one of the important aspects of purchase of property. Though the builder provides legal certificate from their advocate, the purchaser should always independently get the title verified by his own Advocate. Only advocates with a minimum of 7 years of experience are eligible to issue legal opinion for the apartment to the Developer as per the Karnataka Apartment Act.
If the property is sold by a general power of attorney holder, verify the terms of GPA and whether the owner who has given the GPA is surviving or not, should also be checked.
Validity of the GPA, Joint Venture and other Title deeds are most important factors that should be kept in mind. Agreement with the developer should contain the ownership details, sale price, payment schedule, Specifications of the construction, car park details, undivided share of land, common amenities, Penalty clause for both parties, what are the other deposit charges, Registration charges, Sales Tax as applicable or not, etc., should be mentioned in the Agreement. Further, it must also contain the layout plan, sketch of your portion of the apartment, with specifications, date of commencement of construction work, date of handing over of the apartment, penalty for delayed construction and payment defaults, no escalation clause, guarantee for the quality of construction and construction materials used.
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