If you are buying a villa within a gated community – whether directly from the builder or from an existing owner – it is easier to know the legal status of the property. Ideally most builders have the documents required in buying and selling up-to-date and thus save a lot of time for the buyer. Before you decide to buy a stand alone property make sure that it’s a right decision for you. You can read our article on Buying land versus buying in a gated community to know what suits you best.
Now if you have decided to buy a stand alone villa you must bear in mind that like any other big investment, buying a property is not an easy task. It can sometimes prove to be a hectic task and you need to exercise much caution. Ignore even the smallest of issue, and you can end up making a wrong investment. I have listed a couple of legal aspects to consider while negotiating with the seller:
1. Make sure the seller has all the documents related to the property in place and are up-to-date. This will save you the trouble of facing legal issues later. Better still, if you get the original documents photocopied, so that you can get them verified from the legal authority.
2. Make sure the property title (title deed) is clear of all legal tangles. Confirm whether the land in which the property is situated is in the name of the seller and that the full right to sell the land lies with only him and no other person.
3. Make sure the title is marketable. Find out if the seller has taken any mortgage on the property or land in which the property is situated. Any title defects that do not comply fully with the laws mean that the land and property in question cannot be sold or bought. A property with unclear title will not be financed by banks or financial institutions. One can easily confirm this by taking the services of a competent lawyer who can find the marketability of the property and its land from the local banks in the area.
4. Always take the help of a competent lawyer. You might know the property laws, but it is always best left to a professional. The lawyer can help you in making sure that the property you are about to buy is free from any type of liabilities or debt. He is the person who will best know the requisite documents and in getting the documents checked legally to make sure that all outstanding debts have actually been paid off by the seller as he claims to be.
5. Make sure that the layout of the building has been approved by the local authority and that it has been registered with them or any other required government body.
6. Check the credentials of the water and power supply of the property. Make sure they are legal and there are no outstanding bills.
7. Make sure that property taxes of the property which are due to the government or municipality are up-to-date. Ask you lawyer to enquire this in government and municipal offices to ascertain whether all taxes have been paid till the date you have started negotiations with the seller.
8. Don’t believe what the seller says about the measurements of the land and the property built on it. Get the land and the villa measured by a government or recognized surveyor from the land record office to ensure that the measurements of the plot and its borders are accurate.
9. Pay everything in cheques. By doing so you will have a record of all transactions. A look at the bank statement will show how much and when you have paid the seller.
10. Other then these take a good look at your finances. Even if you intent to take a loan, always remember that there will be many expenses that will not be financed by the bank. For instance, banks pay only 80 percent of the property value. So you will need to have the balance 20 percent which you will need to pay upfront to the seller once decided. Apart from the cost of the property, you will also have to bear other expenses like, the real estate agent’s commission, lawyer’s fee, registration of the property, notary cost, etc, which will not be funded by the bank and can be a hefty amount. Include these in your plan so that there are no hidden or surprise costs that might pop up later.