Friday, July 8, 2011

LEGALLY SPEAKING [Real property]




I am a first-time buyer, opting for a resale home. However, I am unclear about the documents that need to be in place. I do not want to be caught up in a legal tangle. Is there any checklist of documents, to ensure that no issues arise later?
Aparna Mohite

The prerequisites, vis-à-vis legal documents, for a resale home are more or less similar to that of a new home. Nevertheless, the buyer needs to verify a few more issues. The buyer needs to check whether the property has been mortgaged, to any financial institution or body and if all previous arrears are settled, in full.

Very often, home owners opt for larger homes, in locations other than their prevailing home. Although a resale home may not have the kind of amenities available in newer housing projects, the price that the potential home buyer pays for the resale home is a lot lesser than a new property. However, the buyer needs to be cautious and check whether the amenities that the seller has mentioned actually exist. For example, the seller may offer parking space, which may turn out to be an encroachment on public area.

While opting for a resale home, buyers also need to check the home's condition, right from the walls, to the flooring. Preferably, seek the help of an architect, who should draw out an estimate of repair costs, which could be considered before making any final payments to the seller. Also, there have been numerous cases where home owners have sold properties to unassuming buyers, who are left squabbling over ownership rights with contesting family members. Hence, prospective buyers should thoroughly check whether the present owner has a legal right to sell the house and whether all previous dues have been settled and that the title is clear of any issue that may arise later.

In case, the house is part of a housing society, it is important for the resale to be reflected in the records of the housing society, with appropriate changes in ownership name, to register a valid resale. The resale is said to be completely endorsed, when the maintenance bills begin arriving in the name of the buyer. Once the issues relating to title and condition of the home are properly settled, the purchase of a resale home could well be a worthwhile transaction, considering that the price could be substantially lower, as compared to a new property.

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