Before buying an apartment, it is important to consider the age and condition of the building in order to make a good investment. In case the building is old or has been ill maintained, it can cause you a lot of problems once you have moved in. Not only do your expenses mount up, the hassle of continuous repairs and maintenance can cause a huge strain. It is, therefore, advisable to find out as much as possible about how well the building is maintained. You can talk to the residents to get an idea about general upkeep and to get more specifics, you can direct many of your questions to the building or society manager.
Having an idea about the building repairs and maintenance policy will help you evaluate and give you a realistic picture of what to expect. Before you talk to the society manager, it is useful to do an initial assessment yourself or bring in an expert if you feel the need, to gauge the overall appearance of the building. How does it look – both inside and outside? Are there any obvious repairs that need to be done? Does it look well maintained? Does it appear to have been painted recently or is the paint peeling off? Are there damp spots or any seepage that you can observe? Does it look clean and well preserved? If there is any landscaping or garden, how does that appear – are the pathways clear and well maintained and do the plants look thriving and well taken care of?
Some of the questions that you can ask the society manager:
- When was the building exteriors last painted and what brand of paints and waterproofing materials have been used? Similarly, check on the waterproofing on roofs, terrace and storage tanks. It is also worth finding out about waterproofing materials used in the interiors of the apartment so that you have a fair estimate of what you have to do to ensure that all waterproofing is intact within your home.
- What is their maintenance schedule and what percentage of the total maintenance amount is spent on regular repairs and maintenance?
- Is there any focus on preventive maintenance?
- Is there a dedicated maintenance and repair committee which meets periodically, inspects and assesses all maintenance requirements?
- Check on rainwater harvesting, sewage treatment plant and water recycling initiatives, some of which have become mandatory in many cities and if not done can run into large amounts whenever it is implemented. On similar lines, find out how compliant the building is with regard to all existing norms and conditions laid out by the concerned civic authorities.
It is imperative that you do all the groundwork before finalizing on the apartment. A well-maintained building is likely to be a good financial investment for you as it can save you a lot in terms of costs of future repairs. The last thing you want is to be stuck with an apartment that can turn into a liability for you.