Personal Experiences Real Estate Advice

Possession in 7 years – be happy!

It was probably in April 2009 that I got a call from my father-in-law who lives in Faridabad. He mentioned excitedly about a developer who launched a township in the upcoming “nehar-par” area of Faridabad. He and I had talked earlier about me wanting to make a real-estate investment.

“Mela laga hai yahan par, ghar ki bookings phata phat nikal rahi hai – agar tumko lena hai to jaldi batao”. I asked him if the builder was good and if they had done any due diligence. Some friend of a friend or a relative of a friend believed it was a good investment. Relieved that somebody had provided an expert opinion, we decided to take the plunge and booked an apartment.

I transferred the token amount in April or May. I recall the base selling price was about Rs. 24-25 lacs and total price was about Rs. 26-27 lacs. I opted for the construction linked payment that allowed me to make the payment tied with the construction.

Over the next three years the construction happened at a steady pace and I made all payments regularly. During this time I faced three issues, all of which I’m sure have been faced by others as well –

1.     The super built up area of the apartment increased quite a bit which resulted in price increases and unanticipated payments

2.     On top of that, there was a price escalation which resulted in additional payments

3.     Lastly, the company decided to charge me interest and late payments for missing one of the escalated, unanticipated payment that was demanded at very short notice

By 2011, I had paid Rs. 29-30 lacs towards the apartment. Over the next two years, we paid additional money towards possession, registration and maintenance. By 2013, I had cleared all dues that the company required including amounts for possession and registration, and this total had swelled to Rs. 35-36 lacs which was 35% more than my expectation.

After going through a fair bit of trouble to arrange the money and trying to make all payments on-time, I found out in 2013 the company was delaying giving possession and registration. Numerous times we called them, visited their offices and talked to multiple people about possession and registration. All we were told was “Sir, wait a couple of months”. The bigger irony of this situation was I had already made payments for ongoing maintenance of the home, which happens post possession.

In the meantime I learned that many other people who invested with this builder and in this community were also facing a similar situation of broken promises. To add salt to our wounds, newspaper articles appeared about the owner enjoying a New York City apartment while the customers of his company languished. Also came news about sub-standard construction quality, crumbling bricks and plaster, unfinished walls and floors and rusty balconies. The company responded by blaming government approvals and delays, not taking an iota of blame for their delays.

For two full years, we ran from pillar to post to get possession and registration and finally were given possession in late 2015, after almost 7 years. When I complained about the company not compensating a single rupee for the delays that were caused, well-wishers told me, “be happy you got possession, some people may never get possession”. I feel sorry for myself and numerous others who put our hard earned money and faith in this company.

However, the good news from all this is I got inspired to help others and now we have PropertyChek legal due diligence report that checks government records, approvals to ensure builders have title and requisite approvals to construct a property. Whether it is for a new construction of resale, we want to help buyers make sure they get security and peace of mind. Click on the form on the right, to contact us for legal due diligence.

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