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Insurance Article

Buying a Home Online? Here's what You Need to Know

October 10 2015
click-the-mouse-to-buy-the house

Click the mouse to buy the house!

Allowing you to explore multiple options at your fingertips with real-feel images and videos, it has transformed the home-buying experience.

If you are buying a home online, read on to know what's in store before you click "Buy".

Market Watch

Earlier, property portals were majorly used for research and shortlisting. However, now tech-savvy Indians are boldly investing in property through the nascent online platform. The greatest advantage of looking for homes online is that it offers you several options, which you otherwise would not have known or considered, under a single portal.

You will get variety in sellers, location, pricing, amenities, etc. and relevant updates based on your search, so you don't have to look for these separately.

Virtual Tours

zoom-in-to-see-every-detail

Zoom in to see every detail

Home portals offer detailed information with maps for understanding the location and neighborhood. It also gives an idea about the available infrastructure and amenities. You can analyze the floor plans, design and layouts, and tour through 3-D models of the sample flats.

Time Saver

While searching online, you can avoid the hassles of physically moving from one location to another to visit the various properties on sale. You can take your time and hunt from the comfort of your laptop or phone. You can also eliminate the middlemen, save brokerage and escape undue pressure from builders to buy.

Add-ons

You get expert tips about bank financing, legal and tax matters. Many portals have special calculator facilities for computing home loan EMI (Equated Monthly Installments), stamp duty and registration fees.

Besides, several freebies, coupons and discounts are provided exclusively to online buyers. For example, if you booked within a specified date, you get an extra room! Some developers also offer free modular kitchen, free home decor etc. to online buyers.

The booking amount for online purchase is usually very low compared to offline token amounts. However, you may end up paying a significant amount by way of transaction fees if you make card payments.

You can also complete the purchase deal offline after paying initial booking amount online.

Challenges

The real estate market currently does not have an exclusive regulatory body. Therefore, even offline customers are sometimes trapped in fraudulent deals, recovering their hard-earned money only after ages. So you must be extra vigilant while booking online.

Some industry insiders view online home portals as mere marketing gimmicks by desperate builders who are sitting on unsold property. Unfortunately, the sector is ruled by illicit funding groups coupled with annoying agent cartels, which reinforces this view.

However, don't let this dampen your experience. The following precautionary measures will help you to make an informed decision:

  • Consider only trusted websites and reputed builders
  • Conduct thorough due diligence and checks at each stage of the transaction
  • Verify information on portals through independent third-party sources
  • Review the feedback of other buyers on property portals and social networking forums
  • Insist on written commitments about delivery for under-construction properties
  • Visit the builder's office and property site and inspect the neighborhood
  • Get all documents vetted by a specialist real estate lawyer
  • Preserve records of all communication with builders, brokers and websites
  • Ensure you have the option of cancellation with refund of booking amount
  • Beware of misleading and outdated information

Chalk a meticulous plan and buy your dream home only after you are completely convinced about the deal. Alongside, opt for home insurance online to protect your home from unfortunate events.

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