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Is buying a new property best choice? written by Rajiv Raj, published in August 8, 2014

If you have decided to buy your own house and have worked hard to cough up an EMI for your home loan each month, it is natural for you to desire the very best. Almost all prospective home owners think of buying a brand new property or an under construction property to begin with. While it is an exciting idea, you should not be too hung up on the same. Here are some valid reasons why:


While a newly constructed house or an under construction property may sound good in theory, it may not always work out for the best as problems such as construction delays or shoddy construction work may cause relentless trouble for you later. Here are some advantages and disadvantages to consider while thinking of buying a newly built home.


The advantages


    The `newness’ factor: Nothing can be compared to the feeling one gets when moving into a newly constructed home! The walls smell of fresh paint and things are perfect and you don’t have to worry about making the house “liveable”.


    Customisation: If you are buying an under construction property you can have the builder customise the interiors of your home before it is ready to move in. Choosing a colour pallete or some tweaks in basic construction can be a big bonus.


    Modern design plan: Newly constructed homes also come with modern design elements such as open kitchens, customised wall-to-wall closets, bathrooms with latest designs. Modern day facilities such as pipe gas, alarm systems, DTH facilities, internet wiring, to name a few are all taken care of.


    Energy efficient advantage: Modern day constructions (provided you have selected a fairly reputable builder) also use energy efficient construction materials which mean you will spend less on your electricity bills.


    Few repairs: The other obvious financial benefit you get from a brand new house is that all the plumbing and wiring is new, so you will not have to spend money on any major repairs for the first few years.


The disadvantages


    Cost: All things new come with an extra cost and so is the case with any new property. New property costs you at least 10-15 per cent more as compared to a similar property that is relatively old in the same area. All the modern amenities that you went ga-ga over, come with hefty price tags so, be prepared to pay extra for them.


    Commute: If you are looking for a new property you will have to compromise on distances from either your office or your children’s schools. New properties are invariably available in newly developed (or developing) area. Hence, chances are you will spend more time on the commute and may have to travel long distances to reach your favourite weekend hangout or even the supermarket.


    Isolation:  If a well established community and neighbourhood is of primary consideration for you, it is best to stay away from new properties. Chances are it might take quite some time for your neighbours to move in and build the kind of old neighbourhood charm that you were expecting. If you are one of the first people to move in, you may well be in a construction zone for a while.


    Standardised plans: If unique architectural details, old world charm or creative interiors are your cup of tea, a newly built home will disappoint you. If you are the kind who likes to customise the interiors of the house and want to tailor it according to your preferences, it will be best for you to go in for an existing property. Upgrading your home according to your wish is much easier in such homes.


Brand new homes may seem to be a great choice, if you want all the modern facilities and don’t mind paying a premium for it. But if you want to consider your lifestyle, travel distances and of course want to save every pie you can when buying your home, you may well go in for an existing property and upgrade it little by little as and when your budget permits.


 (Rajiv Raj, co-founder and director,