Buying a home is no longer the domain of men. With women foraying in to almost every field, it is not surprising that women have been increasingly buying homes around the world. In fact, for today’s woman, buying a home or investing in real estate is as important as some of the key life decisions she takes.

You are a woman and want to buy your own property, all it takes is research, some financial planning, making up your mind and a bit of help along the way. For women who are exploring the Indian market for suitable properties, either for living in or as an investment, please remember purchasing real estate is not just about feelings and aesthetics, but also involves extensive planning and foresight.

There are multiple factors to consider while purchasing a property; whether to live in or to let out. At Waugh Global, we have classified the same in to three big buckets; Research, Plan and Action.

Research well:  Investigate everything from your thoughts to your requirements, to the locality and the property itself.

  • Up your Realty Quotient: Know what’s carpet area, super built-up area, repo rates, capital gains tax, property valuation and the list goes on. It is imperative to do your homework to be well informed before foraying in to the world of real estate.
  • Enquire well: Starting with the reputation of the builder, probable yield in case of investment, loan options, insurance, initial setup costs, locality, property value, rental opportunities, to facilities in the neighbourhood viz hospitals, schools, supermarkets, open spaces, connectivity, telecommunications, this list as big as the previous one and very vital too.
  • Prepare for costs: Not just the sizeable down payment that would be needed to secure the property, there are several other costs ranging from stamp duty, registration costs, utilities connection charges, insurance, and taxes that would have to be borne. Not having enough resources to cover all this, could add an additional burden on you. Financial management prior to embarking on buying/ investing in a property is essential.

Plan it: Buying a property is a BIG decision and needs to be well planned for, including for contingencies that could arise along the way. Being prepared, not only gives a semblance of order to this big decision but also can avert an unexpected nightmare at any point.

  • Determine your budget: This is and should always be the first step. Consult your bank to determine your loan eligibility even before you start looking! After all, it is not just the capital cost of owning a property, but also the associated costs that must be taken in to consideration at this stage.
  • Financial planning: It is prudent to get your bank to pre-approve your loan before you decide to buy a property. Make specific inquiries about special interest rates and other incentives that a bank is offering women borrowers and avail those. Buying a home usually requires a huge commitment and it’s good to be aware of your financial standing, as well as the laws in India and prepare accordingly.
  • Location: Location is a key factor that needs to be considered. Where the property is located in a city in India could play an important role in terms of convenience. If you plan to live in, look for a location that involve less commute to work and is closer to all the amenities in the urban space. If the property is an investment, location closer to a business district could have higher rental takers.
  • Property: Once the locale has been decided, start looking for property option in the area of your choice. The property needs to be perused on numerous parameters. Here are a few:
    • Safety and Security: Take a friend along or get a trustworthy person to inspect the locale, read up on crime rate in the neighbourhood, responsiveness of the law and the security measures at the property.
    • Connectivity: While most major cities in India are fairly well-connected in terms of public transport, it is always advisable to make sure enough safe transport is available at all times of the day.

Action: Now that you are done with the information and formulation phase, it is time for execution. It is highly advisable to choose a developer who has a good market reputation, verifiable track record and is known for adherence to contractual obligations.

  • Legal documents: When buying, ensure you receive a copy of the legal documents. Always verify them with a trusted lawyer.
  • Occupancy: In case you plan to move in, confirm there are others along with you when you move in. This not only provides a sense of security but also gives you the much-needed company in a new place.
  • Moving in: The idea is to add as you go. With major expenses coming your way, one needs to be prudent. However, some necessities need to be factored in. As a woman safety is paramount. Install safety devices like extra door-lock, a safety chain, and a doorbell with camera. Get the utilities, including internet up and running before moving in. Also, have in place all essential appliances to aid you daily.
  • Lease/ rent the property: If you decide to let out, it is essential to know and follow the governing tenancy laws. Always Insure your apartment before leasing it out, after all it is better to be safe than sorry. Draw up a legal rental agreement, with the help of an agent/ lawyer, that clearly states all the parameters concerning the tenancy. It is always wise to have everything neatly tied up legally before letting out the property.
  • Managing the property: Resources for maintenance and fixes will always be a call away. In case you are letting the property, you can avail the help of property managers who would ensure things are running smoothly in your absence.

Buying a home is a big decision, and not something that can be taken overnight. There will always be suggestions, advice and opinions from family and friends and your own doubts about your decision.
If you are single, put aside the ‘What if I meet a man?” concerns.
a. He might move in
b. You can always enjoy rental income
c. Sell it and buy a new home together.

If you are not, and plan to buy or invest, consider all the factors listed here. After all this home is not only a good investment, but an asset for a lifetime!