TECHNICALITY-Finding out how much the flat will cost you...

Flats are generally priced on basis of area. But, how much area? What area? We shall discuss the way this area is calculated and how flats are priced here...

Saleable/ super built-up area:

Carpet area is defined as "the net usable area measured from the inner faces of wall to wall". However, the trend nowadays is to calculate area on the basis of built-up area or "super built-up/saleable area".

Built-up area is the net area of a flat, including space covered by the wall thickness. This is generally 15% more than the carpet area of a flat. This are also includes the "common spaces area".

There are two types of "common spaces" area:

  • Common Spaces on each floor
  • Common spaces in the building

Common spaces on each floor:

The staircases, lobby, lift, etc. on the floor are to be divided "proportionately" among the flats on the particular floor. For example, a building may have four flats per floor with different built-up areas. The built-up areas of the four flats may be 1000, 2000, 3000 and 4000 sq. ft. It means that the proportionate shares of floor space among the four flats are 10%, 20%, 30% and 40%.

Now, if the area of staircase, lobby, lift, etc., is 100 sq. ft. then it should be shared among the four flats as per the proportion of floor space enjoyed by them. So, out of 100 sq. ft., 40 sq. ft. goes to the 4000 sq. ft. flat, 30 sq. ft. to the 3000 sq. ft. flat and so on. Therefore, the gross area of the four flats on a floor becomes 1010 sq. ft., 2020 sq. ft., 3030 sq. ft. and 4040 sq. ft. respectively.

If this is too complicated, just remember that if you have a bigger flat, you have to pay for more of the common space on each floor. If you have a smaller flat, you have to play for less of the common space on each floor.

Common spaces in the building:

Every apartment building must have a lobby, a staircase, a pump room, an electrical room, etc., at the ground level. There must also be one or more stair-room at the terrace level and sometimes, also a lift machine room. All these areas should be proportionately divided among all the flats.

So, "Super built up area" = built up area + common spaces on each floor + common spaces in the building all together!

Now, generally, when calculating the cost of the flat, you are charged on the basis of per square feet of super built up area.

Other costs...

You will have to pay a "stamp duty" of 6% to 12% of the total cost of the sale. Besides that, you will also have to pay around 1% as registration fees. All these will increase the total cost you pay, so they must be considered.

There will also be "maintainance costs", property taxes...and many other minor things. So, when calculating how much you can afford to spend, calculate all these things. Also when negotiating with the seller, negotiate on the basis of these things and ask the seller to give you a complete break up of all the prices involved.

After everything else is done....

After you find out how much the property costs you, after you negotiate over the price, it would be a good idea to take down all your negotiations "in writing" from the seller. If the seller has promised certain things like parking, a certain rate per square foot etc., take all that down in writing. Do not rely on the "seller's promise".

The next step is to prepare the "agreement of sale". Basically it is a agreement that covers everything you have negotiated and decided and other legal formalities...

If the seller insists on drafting the agreement, get it checked properly by your lawyer. There may be certain loop holes in the agreement because of which you may end up in trouble. You could also draft the agreement though your lawyer. Once the agreement is ready and accepted by you and the seller, you need to officially get the flat to be transfered to your name though the "registration" of the agreement though the Govt. Sub-Registar in your city. Pay the money and the flat is yours.

This process is a little more "long-drawn" than it seems by reading the above paragraph. However, it is not too complicated and you can easily ask your lawyer to help you with the process. What is more important is that you keep in mind the points discussed in the previous pages about the choice of flat, home lones etc.
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