MUMBAI: Mumbai is known for its fast pace and momentum of development and growth. The city, which offers good connectivity, is witnessing colossal residential and commercial projects, which are going on in every nook and corner of the western line.
Once, the only areas considered prime for housing purposes included south Mumbai, Bandra and Juhu. However today, areas like Andheri, Malad, Kandivali and Borivali on the western stretch, have seen huge infrastructure development and are quite popular locations for owning a personal abode.
These locations have become extremely popular due to many reasons, such as availability of homes in a wide range to suit both, the high income group (HIG) and the mid-income group (MIG); good infrastructure, roads and convenient accessibility to transport (railway and airport); relatively low crime rate and social comfort; no disturbance from industrialisation; lesser slum areas; low pollution; sea view and developed areas with good amenities.
People are often unaware of the many factors they have to take into account while investing in properties. Before putting money in a property, investors need to ensure that they keep a checklist for evaluating a particular property. Buyers assume that the search for a property is always a complicated process and needs research in terms of permissions and location. Buyers in Mumbai probably have to struggle through the property maze in the city a bit more than those in other cities. Here are a few parameters for investors who are thinking of buying a flat in Mumbai, on the western line.
While buyers are looking at a property, they need to have clarity on whether the land has a verified clear title; whether the chosen developer has the ability of completing under-construction projects; whether the location has the suitability and potential to be a profitable bet and whether the project typology is correct.
Conversion/approval of land for residential development:
Ensure that the list of essential permissions and approvals required for the project is known – importantly from the point of view of urban/town planning, municipal corporation, environment and forests, airports, etc. Find out if any of these are obtained and which are the ones that are pending.
The municipal corporation of Greater Mumbai and Thane issues certificates called Intimation of Disapproval (IOD) and then the Commencement Certificate (CC) for construction of buildings. “Establish whether the builder has free and clear ownership of the land on which the project is being built. The project needs to have an IOD. This is a set of instructions that a developer needs to comply with, so that he can legally construct the project. The IOD is valid for one year and needs to be reissued if the project has not been completed in a year’s time. The project also needs to have a CC in place, since development cannot commence before this certificate is obtained. Buyers must verify this without fail,” explains Om Ahuja, CEO – residential services, Jones Lang LaSalle India.
Computation of area:
In Mumbai, several terms like built-up, super built-up, saleable, carpet area, etc., are used to define the floor space being made available to the buyer. “The difference between the carpet area (the actual area between walls in a flat) and the area sold (saleable area) is called the loading factor. Maharashtra laws make it mandatory to sell flats on carpet area basis. The carpet area does not include the area of terraces, flower beds, balconies and car parks, which are granted free from FSI computation to each building. It is hence, important to understand the stated vs the actual carpet area and the loading factor being applied. Loading factor = saleable area carpet area/saleable area. This factor should generally not exceed 30 per cent. Hence, lower the loading factor, the better it is for the buyer. The term built-up area is used for the entire floor area, including the wall thickness, whereas the super built-up includes the common areas like lift, lobby, staircase, etc.,” says Sarita Mantri, key-person, Mantri Realty.
List of promised features:
Buildings, projects and flats are often marketed with several features. It is important to get minute details of such features and ensure that they are mentioned in the agreements. Buyers should also question the penalties related to non-performance. “Approved construction plans are available and they must match with the design being promised. Such approved plans must be displayed on the project site at all times,” opines Dhaval Ajmera, director, Ajmera Realty & Infra India Ltd.
Developers usually take the lump-sum amount and recurring maintenance charges till such time that the building has been fully handed over to the society of owners. “It is important to understand the reasons and elements of such charges and the responsibility of the developer. Also, buyers should understand the total recurring costs they need to bear towards property taxes and maintenance each year,” points out Mantri. Developers with a good reputation and experience are likely to have a professional approach with proper systems and processes in place.