There is a big difference between independence and freedom. Nobody realises this more than a Mumbaikar, especially when it comes to the most important of the three necessities of life – shelter – since food and clothing are a distant second and third.
Independence is staying on your own while freedom is staying in your own house. Bridging the gap between the two concepts isn’t easy, even for DINK (double-income-no-kids) couples, due to the ‘fear factor.’ They spend a lot of time, effort and money house hunting but hesitate to book a home of their own.
Let’s look at five key concerns of such fence-sitters and how they tend to derail home purchase decisions.
1. Fear of unaffordable prices
Budget limitations are a ground reality that cannot be wished away by home seekers. Projects offering apartments that do not cater to those starting out in life may as well not exist. The fear of finding a ‘dream home’ that one cannot afford often results in people avoiding site visits altogether and just browsing through advertisements, gazing wistfully at the sample flats and amenities.
2. Fear of illegal projects
The flat fits my requirements and my budget. But has the project received the necessary approvals? Is the developer authorised to construct and sell the flats? Will the authorities raze the structure midway or a few years after I take possession? Will some of the constructed portions be over and above what is legally permitted?
3. Fear of losing the upfront amount
Will the developer complete the project or run off overnight leaving an incomplete structure? Can I take the risk of losing my principal contribution (up to 25 per cent of the total flat amount) saved over years and years with personal loans from friends and family included? What if the flat allotted to me is sold to someone else also and he takes possession first?
4. Fear of delays in getting the home
My leave and license agreement will not be renewed beyond a third term. Will I get possession by then? What if the developer runs short of funds and the project gets stuck? Can I afford to pay rent for many more years while the project continues to be delayed?
5. Fear of not getting what was promised
What if the developer does not give me the promised 2BHK east-facing flat on the fourth floor and asks me to pay more for a north-facing 3BHK flat or lose my payment till date? What if the flats are smaller than what was shown earlier, the elevation, construction, fixtures and finish are of inferior quality and the promised amenities missing?
Only developers who address these concerns would be able to convince fence-sitters to take the plunge and become buyers, to enjoy the ‘freedom’ that a house of their own would represent.