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Home buying tips: 10 factors to help you decide which floor to buy a flat on

High-rises are becoming a common sight in many Indian cities. This includes not just metros, but even smaller cities. There are many reasons why people are looking at buying a property in high-rises.

So, if you are planning on buying an apartment in a high-rise building, here are 10 important factors you must consider:

* Security and privacy concerns

Lower floors are conventionally considered unsafe compared to apartments on higher levels. This is probably because they can be easily accessed. If you are keen on staying on a lower floor, examine the security arrangements in the society/housing complex.

"Lower floors don't offer much privacy especially if your building is located near the main road or a busy area. If the housing complex is in a congested area, a higher floor is likely to be quieter and more peaceful."

* Fire safety

When you buy a flat on a higher floor, fire safety can be an issue. Here, you must know that any apartment's fitness for occupancy can be gauged by whether it has been granted an Occupancy Certificate (OC) by the local authorities.

With the help of an OC, you get to know that the building has been constructed according to the permissible plans and abiding local laws whereby the municipal corporation of the area issues this document to the builder after ensuring that compliance of all local laws has been done. Home buyers should ask for a copy of OC when buying a flat.

"The builder can obtain the occupancy certificate when it gets clearances from the fire department. Therefore, when the apartment you are buying has an OC, you know that it meets the fire department's safety criteria."

Also, check the presence/availability of fire safety in the form of fire exits, extinguishers especially on higher floors.

Number of lifts and staircases

"Ideally, there should be at least two or more lifts in each tower so that at least one lift is functional in case the other breaks down. This factor is significant if you have elders and children in your family."

In case of an emergency, lifts don’t work so it also becomes important for you to check the staircases that should provide the convenience to walk and access floors easily.

* Floor deviations

"Often, illegal deviations from construction plans happen on the top floor of the building. If you are buying a top-floor flat, ensure there are no deviations beyond permissible limits. It is advisable to check the floor and own a property that has all the necessary clearances."

Vantage point

If the view from your apartment is an important factor, then consider a higher floor as they often give the best possible vantage points. For apartments located near the sea or a scenic area, the view is a significant factor and higher floors are your best bet.

However, there is a point that you must keep in mind.  "The higher you go in a high-rise apartment, the higher will be your cost of purchase. In an under-construction apartment, floor rise charges will apply which makes living on higher floors marginally costlier."

You must also know that builders may charge you more for a north and east facing flat-cum-floor which is considered to be better when compared to one facing west or south.

Mobile network

The construction of high-rise apartments going up to as many as 40 floors has become a common practice in several metro cities. In Mumbai, high-rise even goes beyond 40 floors and in Delhi-NCR, buildings have an average of 25 floors.

So, if you are opting for a higher floor, make sure that there is adequate network coverage in the flat.

* Power consumption

Lower floors are generally cooler than higher ones and have lower energy consumption. This is an important factor to consider in cities that have long and harsh summers.

* Light and ventilation

Living on a higher floor has its advantages. You get better views of your locality, better light and ventilation, and there is lower impact of street-level disturbances compared to those on the ground and lower floors. Higher floors are also usually free from the menace of mosquitoes and rodents (mainly rats).

* Rental returns

In case you are buying an apartment for the purpose of investment, consider lower floors as they fetch better rental returns. Puri says, "However, climate also has a role to play in this matter. In cities like Mumbai and Bengaluru, upper floors are preferred, while in Delhi-NCR and Chennai lower floors are the first choice for rental purposes."

* Connection, service-related factors

Before buying a flat, one must check that the floor is installed with CCTV cameras for security purposes. Also, check the corridor space which is the only available area you get outside your flat when you buy it on any floor. Therefore, you must check that you get enough space outside of your flat as the corridor size varies in housing complexes.

Apart from this, do keep in mind that many service providers do not provide broadband facility on higher floors.

Before choosing the floor, also keep these four things in mind:

* Choose the right builder

Before zeroing in on the right project and the floor to buy a flat on, ensure that you choose a reputed/well-known builder with a good reputation and track record. As a home buyer, it is your right and responsibility to check if the developer has registered the project with the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA).

* Connectivity

Ensure the project is easily accessible from major parts of the city and is well connected by public and private transportation. Measure distances from major parts of the city. You can research the locality and check for current public transport options such as metro, bus, cab availability etc. Also, look out for future connectivity plans like a proposed metro line or an expressway around the locality.

* Proximity to offices and social infrastructure

Look out for options in the vicinity of commercial centres, IT Parks and corporate offices while looking for a new property. Also, keep a close eye on the presence of grocery shops, hospitals, schools, colleges, malls, parks, theaters and entertainment options nearby.

Local infrastructure around the society

The infrastructure in and around a residential property plays a vital role in deciding its current and future value. For instance, the roads connecting to the society and the in-roads within the society should be well-built and well maintained.


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