Must Knows

What is a BHK?

[] The BHK full form stands for bedroom, hall and kitchen in a unit. Know everything about what the term BHK conveys, in this article

Besides the budget and location preferences, a home buyer must also decide on the configuration of the property – i.e., 1BHK, 2BHK or a 3BHK. Before that, one needs to understand the BHK meaning.

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What is BHK?

The BHK full form is bedroom, hall and kitchen. It is used to convey the number of rooms in a property. For example, a 2BHK means that the particular property has two bedrooms, one hall and a kitchen. A 1 BHK means that the property has one bedroom, one hall and a kitchen.  3BHK means there are three bedrooms, a hall and a single kitchen in the property. Even if there are two bathrooms/toilets, sellers may or may not advertise it that way but will definitely mention the number of bedrooms.

In short,

1BHK apartment means 1 bedroom, hall, kitchen.

2BHK apartment means 2 bedrooms, hall, kitchen

3BHK apartment means 3 bedrooms, hall, kitchen

4BHK apartment means 4 bedrooms, hall, kitchen

Note that even if the abbreviation does not include a ‘T’ as in a toilet space, all the BHK have a bath and toilet space. Some sellers may market their property as a 3BHK apartment +2T property. In this ‘2T’ refers to two toilets. This is to highlight the benefit of the added space in the 3 BHK.

BHK meaning

The abbreviation ‘BHK’ is used to refer to the configuration in not just flats but villas, independent homes, builder floor properties and bungalows, as well. In the case of plots, the term ‘BHK’ is not applicable, unless someone is using it to refer to the future potential. – for example, ‘You can build a 3BHK apartment on this plot’.

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1 BHK floor plan

1BHK apartment

2BHK floor plan

2BHK apartment

What 0.5BHK full form?

0.5BHK apartment or half bedroom refers to a BHK apartment that has a bedroom that is slightly smaller than a standard-sized bedroom, a bath/toilet and a kitchen. Developers have been experimenting with various BHK apartment formats that are popular among home buyers. Due to rapid urbanisation and evolving demand for dwelling spaces, the trend of 0.5BHK apartment is growing in India. Many luxury BHK apartment also include the option of a half bedroom.

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What is 1BHK full form?

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A 1BHK full form is a standard-sized master bedroom, a hall and kitchen. The bathroom and toilet are not attached with the master bedroom but is outside the room. The 1BHK is a common configuration for people who are looking at real estate exposure especially in central locations, owing to the price range they are available at.

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What is  1.5 BHK full form?

A 1.5BHK full from is a standard-sized master bedroom and a smaller-sized bedroom, which can be used as a bedroom or a study room, library, servant room or even a store room. This additional space in the BHK apartment can be used as a utility room, pooja room, kids’ playroom, or store room. The room may or may not include windows and other facilities.

What is 2 BHK full form?

A 2 BHK means a unit has two bedrooms, a hall and a kitchen. There is an attached toilet in the master bedroom of the 2 BHK and the guest washroom outside the rooms. Mid-sized families, with small children, prefer these, because it gives advantage of space over 1 BHK and is affordable as compared to a 3 BHK apartment.

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What is 2.5BHK full form?

A 2.5BHK means a unit has two bedrooms and a small-size room, which can be used as a storeroom or servant room. Such BHK apartment units are becoming increasingly popular, especially in the Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR). Mid-sized families, with around four to five members, often prefer these, because it gives them the comfort of a 3BHK at a relatively affordable price.

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2.5BHK floor plan

A 2.5BHK apartment

What is 3 BHK full form?

A 3 BHK means a unit has three bedrooms, a hall and a kitchen. Such BHK apartment units are becoming increasingly popular, especially in Mumbai and Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR). In a 3 BHK, there are three sets of washroom with two of them attached to the rooms and the guest washroom outside.


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BHK: Resale value of additional half-room properties 

As already mentioned, developers are experimenting with these additional ‘half-rooms’ or 0.5 BHK. The reason behind such experimentation is the demand from home buyers. Naturally, more buyers are drawn towards affordably-priced properties. Since 2BHK units are very popular, 1.5BHK and 2.5BHK means attractive opportunity for buyers who do not want to switch to a 3BHK and pay more. Half-rooms provide such home owners with the flexibility and additional space they were looking for and thus, even in the secondary market, these 0.5 BHK units are in demand.

What is 1RK? 

Another variant for those looking at small apartments is a 1RK unit. Popular in parts of Maharashtra, 1RK stands for a unit with one room and a kitchen, with a bath/toilet space. As the abbreviation implies, such a unit has given a miss to the hall space.

1RK floor plan

A 1RK unit

Buyers with limited budget settle for this configuration. It is also useful for those who are frequent travellers. Such people may not intend to spend too many days at a hotel and may not want to invest too much into property in a different city either. A 1RK is a suitable configuration for such professionals.

BHK: What to know about the property’s size?

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At times, a 1BHK unit may come across as bigger than a regular 2BHK or a 2BHK could easily be passed for a 3BHK or even renovated into a 3BHK unit. In short, some builders may offer an 800-sq ft property as a 1BHK and some others may package a 2BHK in that space.

Generally, the area of a standard 2BHK apartment ranges from 650 sq ft to 1,000 sq ft or more, depending on the project. In Mumbai and other expensive cities, you would commonly find 2BHK flats of sizes ranging from 650 sq ft to 700 sq ft. In certain localities, the sizes can be less than 600 sq ft. However, 2BHK apartment configurations of sizes 1,000 sq ft or more in luxury residential projects, provide spacious homes for prospective buyers.

So, why do such irregularities exist when it comes to the area of a property? This is because there are no set rules for a standard-sized BHK property and the localities or property markets may establish an unsaid rule pertaining to the same.

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For example, you may be able to find bigger 2BHKs in Hyderabad as compared to Mumbai. Size irregularities in BHK means availability of land in a certain region. It also depends on the premium attached to a building in that space, the overall construction cost and the sale price, etc.

BHK: Carpet area and built-up area

When we discuss size of the property, it is important to understand carpet area. Carpet area in a BHK means the actual usable area you get for use in your home. It does not include the thickness of the inner walls, or the space used in building the lobby, the elevator, the stairs, the play area, etc. On the other hand, built-up area in a BHK means is the carpet area plus the area that is covered by the inner walls and the balcony. We have discussed it at length here.

1BHK versus 2BHK: Why should one prefer to buy a 2BHK flat?

When deciding on the option of buying a 1BHK flat versus a 2BHK unit, there are a number of things to keep in mind. While the debate on the choice between 1BHK versus 2BHK flat is quite common among the home buyers on a slightly tight budget, it gets confusing with multiple options by real estate developers with various formats and even home loan offerings by banks and NBFCs. The factors that can influence the decision are property price, location, space, builder, future family requirements, etc.

Below given are factors in detail:

  1. Planning for the future: For a first time home buyer, a 1BHK means the best combination of affordability and comfort. But investment in a home must be considered with a long-term view. For a small family, a 1BHK apartment may seem to be enough initially, but if you decide to expand the family, the same flat may not be sufficient. But a 2 BHK apartment can offer enough space for a modern-day family to enjoy comfort.
  2. Real estate market dynamic: Even for a bachelor, a 2BHK apartment may make more sense. This is because 2BHK apartments are more in demand, and therefore the real estate companies pay far more attention to the supply and amenities of a 2BHK flat. More options in the market for 2BHK means the buyer gets more options for location, price, etc.
  3. Investment purpose: A 2BHK flat has more chances of getting sold in the market than a 1 BHK apartment. This is because the demand for 2BHK is always more than for the single bedroom format.  So if you are purchasing an apartment for investment purpose, then a 2BHK house is always preferable.
  4. Price of the apartment: It is needless to say that real estate prices depend on the size of the property. A 2BHK house of the same size and in the same location as a 1 BHK flat will cost more. So if the 2BHk flat is out of budget, even after taking a home loan, then the 1BHK flat will be the only option.

Considering all the points and the realities of Indian real estate, a 2 BHK apartment is almost always better than a 1 BHK flat.

2BHK apartment/ 3BHKapartment/ 4BHK apartment: Renting vs buying

There are a lot of aspects to consider while choosing to take a 2BHK/3BHK/4BHK apartment on rent or buying the same. Here are some of them:

Budget and prices

Renting or buying is one dilemma that confronts almost everyone at one stage or another, especially in a metro city. Buying a flat 2BHK/3BHK/4BHK means one will be more burdened financially than renting. One has to calculate one’s income and then look at the EMI if one is planning to buy any configuration BHK apartment. The budget of the BHK apartment has to be judged on various factors, and if a home loan is to be taken, then the EMI should ideally be up to 25% of one’s salary. But if buying a 2BHK/3BHK/4BHK apartment will put excessive strain on the pocket, then one must go for rent.


If one stays on rent, one can easily vacate the apartment and move to another one in a different location when the need so arises. But such an option will not be so easy in case of purchase of a 2BHK/3BHK/4BHK apartment. There is far greater flexibility involved in a renting a property be it any BHK . Purchasing of a property must be done after careful analysis of chances of relocation required by the buyer.


Living in a rented 2BHK or 1 BHK or 3 BHK comes with a lot of restrictions on what one can do and what one cannot do. There can be restrictions on the time of the entry and exit also. There can be no major alterations made to the structure of the 2BHK/3BHK/4BHK flat. But these restrictions are not there in the case of a self-owned 2BHK/3BHK/4BHK flat.


A person living on rent may not be able to do up the interiors of the 2BHK/ 3BHK/ 4BHK flat beyond a certain limit. But the owner of a 2BHK/ 3BHK/ 4BHK flat can do as much interior work as one desires.

Tax benefits

For a rented 2BHK/3BHK/4BHK flat, one can only avail tax benefits on the rent amount. But in case of the purchase of 2BHK/3BHK/4BHK flat, there are several tax benefits. The tax benefits on the purchase of property have increased after the 2019 Budget. The interest paid on the home loan qualifies for a deduction of Rs 2 lakh. In case the stamp duty value of the purchased property is more than Rs 45 lakh, the tax benefits go up to Rs 3.5 lakh per annum.


Are 1RK and studio apartments the same?

Both 1RK and studio apartments are similar given that they are smaller configurations. However, a studio apartment does have a hall or living space while a 1RK gives a miss to the hall space.

Are smaller configurations easier when it comes to resale?

Most home buyers opt for smaller units, because of budget constraints or investment preferences. In recent times, 2BHK have moved faster in the market, because these are relatively affordable as compared to 3BHKs. However, whether a small unit will move faster in the secondary market depends on market sentiments and trends typical to a given property market.

(Images courtesy and developer websites)

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Category: Must Knows

Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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