Dos and don’ts for buying a house on the basis of a sample flat

[] Sample flats are an effective tool, for developers to woo customers. While it also helps home buyers to get an impression of the flat they intend to purchase, there are several other factors that buyers must consider. We explain…

Real estate in India, has gradually transformed, from being a commodity sale based on price, to an experiential purchase that involves high involvement. In this scenario, sample flats can be an effective tool, as it enables buyers to see something tangible and also helps builders to convince the buyers.

You are reading: Dos and don’ts for buying a house on the basis of a sample flat

Sample flats help buyers to get an impression of the scale and dimensions of the flat, usage of space and the possible décor scheme that they may want. Buyers can also get a fair idea of the electrical points, air-conditioning points, refrigerator space, etc., in the unit, which helps them to plan the interiors of their own homes. From a builder’s point of view, a sample flat serves to highlight the potential of the product being developed. “Enhancement in product and visual appeal, are crucial in the current stressed market. Consequently, developers are increasingly striving to create sample flats that showcase opulence. Sample flats also aid in buying decisions, as it gives a better idea of what a buyer can expect from the flat,” explains Rohit Poddar, MD of Poddar Housing.

Sample flat versus actual flat

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With the emergence of ultra-luxury offerings, where huge investment is involved, a sample flat has become mandatory. “As the product is high-end, so is the sample flat. Also, to make it more exciting for the buyers, builders are ready to spend a little extra, to make the show flat look like a dream home. Marble, granite, carpets, furniture, light fixtures, etc., are the commonly included elements that add grandeur to the flats,” says Ashok Kularia, managing director, ANJ Turnkey Projects Pvt Ltd.

While you visit a sample apartment, always ascertain what will be included in the finished product and what will not, like wall finishes, furniture, fittings, etc. While a developer may include modular or customised kitchens, artwork, decorative walls and so on, in the sample flat, it is important to find out whether any of these will also be provided as standard amenities, in all the flats being sold. Home buyers can also use the sample flat to check the floor to ceiling height, quality of the flooring, sanitary fittings and any appliances that will be fitted in the apartment.

[] Learn to look beyond exaggerated brochure claims

Should you opt to buy the sample flat?

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Vivek Mohanani, MD and CEO, Ekta World, points out that sample apartments and sales offices, are often built much before the work for the project commences. “In instances where the show apartment is built in the actual building premises, then, those are definitely sold along with the furniture and fittings. The decision to purchase the show apartment, will depend on the client’s personal requirements, as the apartment will be sold on an ‘as is, where is’ basis, which would leave them with certain things that would not need,” adds Mohanani.

The advantage of buying a sample flat, is that it will be fully-furnished and you can save significant expenditure on doing up the interiors. The sizes of the furniture and furnishings, are custom-made for the apartment, allowing it to appear more spacious. Moreover, the appreciation in property prices, will surely cover the additional expenditure involved in opting for a sample flat.

However, you should also understand when you are likely to get the possession of the flat. Gauri Khullar invested in a 3-BHK, whose possession was expected in 2010 but has been delayed. “The developer had almost convinced us to buy the sample flat, with complete furniture, modular kitchen and fixtures like air-conditioner and geyser and it was comparatively cheaper than the one we had booked. However, because I wanted to design the house in a different manner, we did not opt for the sample flat. With no possession till date, all the furniture and fixtures would have been ruined out of disuse, resulting in more loss for me, if we had opted for the sample flat,” says Khullar.

Things that buyers should keep in mind, while seeing a sample flat

Ascertain whether what is shown in the sample flat, is what you will get in the final product.
Look out for the kind/brand of sanitary, electrical fixtures, etc.
Sizes of the furniture in sample flats are generally smaller than standard sizes, in order to make the apartment appear bigger.
Check the area of each room and height from the floor to the ceiling, before saying yes.

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Category: Lifestyle

Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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