Your ideal home awaits you. A superb home at an attractive location is everyone’s dream. Listen to this incident that raises a big question.
One of my friends, Mihir, hired a builder for the construction of his home. After signing the contract papers, he moved to Delhi for a month.
The construction was scheduled to begin at the onset of Mihir’s journey to Delhi. The builder was his cousin’s friend. Hence Mihir trusted him with the project. He was unaware of the Ponzi scheme that the builder sold to him.
When Mihir returned from Delhi, he had some breathtaking revelations about the builder. The builder was deviating big-time from his promised delivery terms. The construction was way behind schedule, and when Mihir asked the builder to stop work and return the advance amount, he came up with documents that showed the spending of amount on unwanted expenses. Mihir felt cheated.
Where did the deal go wrong? Was it something that Mihir could have prevented? Yes, he chose the wrong builder – a significant reason why investors and owners get cheated in the construction industry. Most builders come up with these Ponzi schemes and successfully dupe investors.
Here, you will get a fair idea about 5 important factors to consider before building your dream house.
1. Acquisition of land
The location of your plot is a significant factor that impacts the value of the property. Apart from this, you also need to evaluate other important details like:
The budget available for the purchase
The proximity of the plot to nearby restaurants, hospitals, and schools
Proper commencement of all the documentation work involved like:
1. Sale deed: This is a legal document that confirms the completion of the selling process from the seller to the buyer. The Registration Act of 1908 deems the deed necessary for the sale to be registered as legal.
2. Encumbrance certificate: This is a mandatory document considering property transactions. If the owner provides you with an encumbrance certificate, then rest assured, as this is a legal proof of his complete ownership over the property without any liabilities.
3. Ownership structure: This is an important document to consider before finalizing a land deal. There can be multiple tenants or ‘tenants in common’, and all of them must agree to the transaction.
2. Finding a contractor
Word of mouth is the best, but it’s always a good idea to approach the big names in the industry.
India has observed a series of housing frauds from builders. The courts and other authorities are taking the necessary steps to curb these scams and put a much-needed halt on such builders. Builders have in the recent past taken resort to activities for gulping hard-earned money of investors.
A good builder will have a solid reputation among the locals and the local builders’ associations too. Here a few tips that can help you find the best builder for your project:
Reach out to real estate investors as they have the best idea about the local builders. Shortlist the ones that your trusted real estate investors suggest you.
Check the local construction sites
Wandering to find builders may seem a bit old for the digital age we are living in, but it is indeed one of the best methods to find a good builder. Look at boards outside construction sites as these will give you a fair idea about the builders that people in your locality trust.
Approach the investor or the lender
Lenders and investors can be an enormous source to find some reputed builders. They might have worked with good contractors, and if you have maintained a good relationship with your bank, then they can refer you the best. However, ensure to go through their past projects and experience before you decide to settle a deal with a builder.
3. Selection of an adept engineer
A competent engineer can prevent forthcoming oversights with his compliance and skills. He/she can consult the builder on the backdrop of the construction of your dream project. The builder and the engineer, in unison, can review any structural damage on the structure and recommend the most competent repair work.
The engineer will come in handy in the construction phases where the situation goes haywire. Apart from this, the engineer will also research any building regulations where the construction is being planned.
Most people in India don’t realize the need to hire an engineer for the dream and become a victim of fraud. Confusion still prevails, and the investors feel cheated after the Supreme Court ordered demolition of complexes in Maradu Municipality, Kochi in May this year. The builders and the authorities are playing blame games while the occupants demand a way to retain possession of their dream homes. Had they hired a genuine engineer in the first place, negative impacts could have been avoided.
Go for an engineer who has a broad understanding of the field and holds enough experience to address possible risks in the construction phase. Ensure that the engineer has a license and has good terms with the local civic authorities as well.
4. Finalizing a budget
Now that you have a builder and an engineer to do the job, you have a team. Devising a budget is always a task that requires a team. Go through all the considerations that the builder and the engineer put forward to you in a union. If this is your maiden budget-making task, then here a few tips:
Analyze all the areas where you get a brickbat from the builder and the engineer. They are the ones who can adequately represent the cost structure of your project.
Take help from your team and create a list of the materials required for the construction. At best, the budget you generate will prevent you from any future shortfalls.
Before breaking ground, ensure that your team is in alignment with the plan and the proposed budget to avoid any glitches in the future.
5. Being involved in the construction
Many of you will argue that Mihir could have avoided the harsh situation if he remained involved in the construction personally. Your argument is rational. To avoid delays or mishaps on the construction site, being actively involved becomes primary. You don’t want to take the risk of your project collapsing just because the builder neglected some facts that needed attention.
You being present at the construction site will open up ways to boost the activities in the construction. The massive investment you have put in deserves a best-in-class approach from the builder, workers, and the engineer. Ensure that the builder adheres to the propositions made in the contract.
To sum up,
Never compromise your dream house for terms that can result in a delay in deadlines or bringing the construction to a halt.
A good team comprising of an experienced builder and a knowledgeable engineer can help you fight all the key challenges and attain your dream of building a house. You can look forward to a project with fewer risks and low thrusts to increase your spending.
All the best for your dream house. Go on, this is the best time to start planning your dream home. The government’s recent steps to enhance bank funding and making affordable housing a reality are applaudable too.
George Webster has been serving as a civil and a structural engineer at Shah and Talati. He has acted as an arbitrator and mediator in many construction deals. He is a music lover and holds a keen interest in history and politics too.