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6-point checklist for home buyers

Arti Sharma  |  Mumbai 

So, you've got your home loan, and you breathe a sigh of relief. You think: now that I have the money, buying a home should be a breeze.
Well, er, not quite. That was actually the easy part - convincing the home loan company that you are bankable prospect. But unless you are careful, you may end up paying your EMIs, but without a house to live in. For there can be many a slip between the cup and the lip in transactions involving the purchase of the property.
A few questions to jolt you first: How do you know that you're not being conned in the process of buying your house? How do you find out the antecedents of the property and seller? Do you know whether the title deed of the property you covet is clear of legal hassles? If you haven't already thought of this, here's a quick checklist of the documents you need to ask for upfront, after you've gone through a long list of future home addresses.
If you're buying the property directly from a builder, Knight Frank India Research has compiled a list of must-have documents:
* Some form of documentation like the property layout plan and location plan showing the exact area of the property. Plus, a copy of the plan showing the structure that also indicates the built-up area, elevation and ground plan for amenities, parking and such.
* An occupation certificate, which is issued once the building is ready for occupation, with permanent water, sewage and electrical connections.
* A completion certificate handed out by the municipal corporation which the builder gets after he complies with the rules regarding the building's height, distance from the road and compound wall.
* A city survey number, which will help you find out the exact stamp duty payable by you. The survey number is allotted to every plot to identify its location.
* A copy of the society certificate that the builder gets when he files for the registration of a new building.
* Lastly, obtain the title certificate, which will ensure a clear and marketable title for the building or plot or property.
If you are buying the house or flat from a previous owner you need to ask for: (a) A copy of the purchase agreement which can be either the purchase document between the current seller of the property and the previous owner or the builder.
Ask to see the original document before keeping an attested copy with you. It proves that the seller has made all the mortgage payments and also tells you the antecedents of the property you are buying; (b) A share certificate is another document that you need to procure. This is issued by the society and will ensure that the property you are about to buy is indeed owned by the person selling it; (c) A no-objection certificate from the society or committee if it is part of a registered society; and (d) Documented approvals from the society regarding the amenities offered to you like parking space.
Some Additional Tips
A Mumbai-based property advisor says that it is always a good idea to "decide the mode of payment before hand. If there is a non-cheque consideration, make sure to pay that only after the documents have being scanned and verified by a lawyer." Buyers should also look at other aspects like the maintenance charges levied by the society before paying up the first instalments - to avoid a nasty shock later.

First Published: Sat, November 06 2004. 00:00 IST