a cherished dream
To an average, honest, middle class Bangladeshi, the purchase of an apartment is a lifetime's effort. With countless builders investing in the real estate market, the options are over flowing. Yet few families are happy after purchase of the cherished dream. To put it in plain words, the struggle is to make needs come in terms with means. In a buoyant market where material cost is high, the chance of want balancing with means is miniscule.
The first step in buying an apartment in Dhaka is to select the location. Needless to say, the price per square feet (sft) varies from one locality to the next. REHAB, the association of apartment builders, has a price chart selected for different areas of the city. Although not a benchmark, it is more of a guideline, which sellers as well as buyers can use.
While selecting the location, always try to foresee your future demands rather than thinking of your present only. If you have young children, it is helpful if your home is nearby the school. On the other hand, if the child can take a bus ride, locality of the school becomes less important. Some families become akin to a selected neighbourhood, which, given the prevailing law and order situation is quite understandable. But think twice before booking a luxurious apartment in downtown Dhaka; it is possible that a better deal is available somewhere up town.
Next in line comes the selection of builders. This is where the matter gets tricky. Most apartment builders are specialised for certain localities. Then again, as more than one developer is active in a locality at any given time, the options are also there. Most brochures of the company do not list in detail the grade of material that will be used in the apartment in question. So ask for one!
Ask an architect or civil engineer friend (or hire one), to interpret the data for you. Make a note to request them to review the structural plans of the apartment you wish to buy. Make no compromise to gross structural deviations from standard quality. This is of utmost importance! Take your specialist help to a construction site of the developers from whom you wish to purchase an apartment. Once again check if their practice of executing construction details match with the outline given in the brochure.
Once the down payment is made, think as if the apartment is already yours. Make regular visits to the site and observe the development of the project. Stick to the brochure as a yardstick and make a note that all specifications are followed.
To sum it up, don't be penny-wise pound-foolish. Do your homework before you chase you cherished dream. For all you know, it can be a once in a lifetime opportunity!
By Mannan Mashhur Zarif
Photo: Journeyman Archives