Snap! Your browser seems outdated, we strongly recommend that you update to a newer version for an optimal viewing experience across this website.

Blog // Essential Guides
October 15th, 2019

Buying a Property in Chennai

10 things to check before you buy

Buying a home for the first time is one of life's most important milestones, which, if bungled, can result in years’ worth of issues. Luckily, the implementation of RERA has given access to ample information on properties and builders. What used to be a decision based solely on location, price, and date of possession has since grown to include other essential factors. Chennai has a vibrant realty sector with its suburban markets driving it to the forefront. There are ongoing residential projects in Sholinganallur, Thalambur, Tambaram, and Adyar that are sought after by potential homebuyers. These places with their accessibility and abundance of IT parks are some of the best places to buy properties in Chennai. Their vibrant luxury real estate sector also owes it to the same reasons.

Here are some checkpoints to cross off before buying properties in Chennai.

Verify the Sale Deed

A primary legal document that serves as a proof of sale and transfer of property, the sale deed is the very first thing to cross off in your list. It is highly advisable to read through all the terms and conditions thoroughly before signing.

Ensure Construction Clearance

Before the builder can even begin construction, the law requires the receipt of a "certificate of commencement". This certificate is issued by the local municipal council’s engineering department after a thorough inspection of the building's foundation, superstructure and its boundaries. It also usually implies that other required licenses and permissions are also in place, although it would be best to verify these individually.

Verify Planning Approval

An approved architectural layout means that the builder's plan has not broken any by-laws and is in full accordance with the prevailing laws. One of the biggest problems that this overcomes is whether the floor you have booked the flat in has construction approval.

Check the Land Use Certificate

Post the implementation of RERA, the number of horror stories of builders constructing residential properties on commercial or agricultural land sans permits has reduced significantly, but it still is something to verify. Given the recent boom in Chennai's real estate, a lot of builders have rushed to acquire agricultural land and convert it to residential zones. This conversion is only possible after the payment of a stipulated fee to the concerned authority. To verify this, a buyer needs to check the order issued by the village Tehsildar or the Deputy Commissioner of the Zone.

Ensure No Objection Certificates (NOCs)

The real estate developer should also be able to furnish potential buyers with authorized and valid copies of the Urban Land Ceiling NOC, an Environment NOC, as well as NOCs from the Electricity and Water Authority.

Verify Availability of Financial Assistance

Most developers have unsold inventory for two reasons: market fluctuations or discrepancies in the paperwork or permissions. Given that builders depend on banks and other financial institutions for financing, when a project doesn't sell entirely, or worse isn't completed, it makes them wary of financing new projects as a whole. For the average buyer, this translates into an inability to secure a home loan. So once you've negotiated with the builder to buy a home, it's wise to do your homework and figure out which banks are ready to provide financing and which ones have the lowest rate of interest.

Check Total Monies Involved

On average, when you buy a property in Chennai, the price specified is the Basic Price. The cost of other factors such as Development Fees, Preferential Location Charges, Parking Fees, Club Charges and Service Tax is computed when the deal is in the final stages of closure. These additional factors can add significantly to the final price of the property and should be considered right from the onset.

Look into the Builder Credentials

Once you've narrowed down the location and the kind of property you are after, it's a good idea to check the credentials and history of the builders with projects in the area. You can do this easily by going through reviews on consumer forums and aggregator websites.

Calculate the Size of the Property

Real estate developers generally only highlight the super built-up area in their marketing collaterals which includes common areas such as staircases, lobbies, etc. A good rule of thumb is that the carpet area is 30% less than the super built-up area.

Check the infrastructure around the property

Proximity to metros, bus stations or other planned infrastructure near the location of the project you intend to buy can boost your return on investment tremendously. Add to this, the property's proximity to IT parks, schools, colleges, hospitals, and entertainment venues and you can adequately estimate how valuable your property will be when and if you decide to sell.

Lastly, check the site yourself

As seeing is believing; the layout and features mentioned in the website or the brochure could be completely different from what's at the site. Carve out some time and pay a visit before taking action. It's also a good idea to drive around the neighborhood and judge for yourself whether you see yourself living there.

If you still need help though, we strongly recommend working with a consultant or a lawyer who specializes in property transactions and can help verify all the essential documents.