House

My personal journey of finding a dream house

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We’ve all heard that popular quote – Home is where the heart is and of course it’s where WiFi connects automatically too! It was true for me too. I love my house. I loved the well lit, breezy living room. The wood work gave me enough storage space to put away things I actually don’t need(but i might need it later !). My neighbours were friendly and pot luck dinners during festivals were something to look forward to.s

Then, the flat behind my house was demolished and reconstructed , blocking out the light and breeze. My living room is now lit by the tubelight.  My son’s art work , toys and books needed more space. Many of the neighbours moved out and a friendly greeting became a rarity let alone pot luck dinners.  When your present house doesn’t make you feel at home or when paying EMI seems more sensible than paying rent ,you know it’s time to think of buying your own house or moving to a new one.

We decided to buy a new house. Thus, began our house hunt.

It looked quite easy. With so many wonderful websites that lists out houses and weekly supplement in our newspaper that give us handy tips, we thought we were all set to begin. Real estate isn’t my forte ,so as step 0 , I found out the house prices in my existing locality. I like my existing neighbourhood and I’ve seen it develop. I thought it was a good area to live in. What I found out, quickly made me to move on to step 1 – budget.

Budget is the easiest to decide. How much can we afford?That’s what goes out from pocket.Quite straightforward. What would be tax benefits of a housing loan?That’s what we prevent from going out of our pocket . Not so straightforward  We took  help from many of the websites that Google suggested to finalize our money matters.
Before deciding on what we wanted in our new home, we decided on what we didn’t want.  We didn’t want an independent house and we didn’t want to travel long for work/school.

Once the budget was decided , we looked for houses closer to our current locality. And we also considered suggestions from friend, family, ex-neighbours. Zeroing in on localities wouldn’t have been so difficult if we didn’t have contradicting ideas and confusing ‘What Ifs’.

A villa would mean more space. But it would be so far . An apartment would be closer  to city center.

What if real estate doesn’t appreciate here? This home is for us to live, not for investment(not entirely for investment)

What if our workplace changed? Then, we would rent this out. So, should we spend a lot , if we aren’t going to live there. Let’s rethink our budget.  Let’s just buy a home as an investment and live in a rented house. Didn’t we just agree home is for us to live in. Duh !

We kept going in circles for quite some time. Finally, what we think as good sense prevailed.We tried not to over think some of the variables and for some others, we made backup plans(like, what if we lost our job!)
So, What did we want in our new home? Like most families,  we wanted a good neighbourhood with schools and hospitals. A playground/ free space for kids and adults alike. Terrace garden and greenery around would be lovely. Solar panels and water recycling too, maybe?

Would it be possible to find a home that isn’t noisy and yet close enough to access public transport? We began shortlisting houses from wonderful websites and poured over the floor plans.

“How big is 11ft*14ft?”

“Ok Google, convert 25 sqm to sqft.”

“Does a 4ft wide balcony include the railing?”

“This looks good, but it doesn’t have an extra toilet.”

“There’s no ventilation in the kitchen.”
As the search continued , it was getting difficult to find a house within our budget , in our preferred location , matching all our criteria. Budget wasn’t going to change. Changing location might mean no easy commute. (We’ve had this conversation before! ). We would have to compromise on the amenities/specifications. We relooked and re-shortlisted acceptable floor plans.

Then , we began to view houses. It was a constant reminder of what looks good on paper isn’t necessarily good in real.

“If roads are this narrow just outside such a big apartment complex, we would have a traffic jam in the car park !”

“Are you sure this land hasn’t encroached the lake? What if it starts to flood or froth?”

 “The neighbouring plot is empty, but when someone completes construction it will block the light. Just like how it is now. “

“Playground is part of phase 2 of construction. Does it mean builder doesn’t have enough money.” 

With every passing weekend, when we were almost sure there’s nothing new to look for,   just when we were ready to give up, we found a place we think we’ll like to call a home. Our  hunt is over.

Now I say, terrace  garden would attract mosquitos . 2 balconies are just what we need!

What? Interior decoration ? That’s a battle for another day!

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