Why are site visits important for home buyers?

Why are site visits important for home buyers?

If you are planning to buy a home or have booked one already, you must understand the relevance of site visits. Regular site visits can help check the progress of construction and deviations (if any) from the original plan.

Ankit Sharma bought a flat in a high rise under-construction project in Noida Extension in 2012. He was excited by the view of his 10th floor unit, which was also facing the Sun. During a routine site visit in 2014, he realised that there was a change from the original masterplan. While there was a landscaped garden in front of his tower in the original plan, a commercial complex was now being designed. This also meant that the view from his unit’s balcony would now be blocked.

Frequent visits to the construction site can help check deviations such as the above. Although Sharma could raise his voice against the deviation, he would not even have known about it had he not planned a site visit. This brings us to the question about the frequency of site visits. In other words, how often should a homebuyer visit the site of construction? Let’s find out.

Kishan Agarwal, owner of Prociti, a Pune-based real estate consultancy says, “It is very important for homebuyers to visit the construction site. They must check that the construction work is in progress as per the schedule that is mentioned in the agreement and committed by the developer.”

Seeing is believing

While it may not be possible for a common man to comment on the quality of construction or materials used, deviations from the master plan can be spotted quite easily. “The buyer should check that the brochure, blue print and the actual project are all in line,” says Agarwal.

Here are some of the reasons for a homebuyer to visit the site of construction:

  • Authenticity: A site visit can help a buyer ascertain the genuineness of claims made by the developer. This is especially relevant for buyers planning to purchase a unit during pre-launch. Visiting the site can help such buyers ascertain the all-important land ownership.
  • Progress: Timely possession is one of the first things on a homebuyer’s mind. Regular visits to the project site can help a buyer check the pace and progress of construction.
  • Quality: Along with progress of construction, there are a number of things that a homebuyer can check during a site visit. Kishan Agarwal adds, “During a site visit, a buyer can check the brands of materials used in construction such as cement, steel, wiring, switches, sanitary fittings etc.” This can give a fair idea of the overall quality of construction.
  • Verification of amenities: A homebuyer can inspect the amenities available at the project site. For instance, a buyer can check if the project has a swimming pool, clubhouse or recreational centre as shown in the layout plan.

Impact of the Internet

The advent of technology in real estate has also impacted the need for site visits. With a number of sophisticated features, real estate websites have made it possible to get a detailed view inside your flat. Without an actual visit, prospective buyers can now take a virtual tour or browse through property photographs and videos to make an informed choice. Does that mean that there is little or no need of the traditional visit to the site of construction? Property experts disagree.

As there have been instances of false or misleading information on the Internet, buyers must validate information by visiting the actual site of construction. “Buying a home is probably one of the biggest financial commitments one would ever make. Thus, nothing will ever replace a site visit and personal inspection,” says Kishor Pate, Chairman and Managing Director of Pune-based Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. Coming to the question of frequency of site visits, experts suggest that a homebuyer should plan a site visit once in three to four months to stay updated.