Buying a house is not something you do every day. It is one of the important purchase decisions you are ever going to make. If you buy a house that’s already built and fully furnished, you know exactly what you’re going to get. But if you’re looking to book a house or a flat that is part of an ongoing project or a project where construction has not yet begun, you need to be very careful. Most importantly, you need to find a builder you can trust.

Given below is a list of questions to ask your builder before you make your decision and pay the booking fee.

1. How long will construction take?

Getting permits, procuring raw materials, machinery and labour, etc. all take time. While the builder might not be able to give you an exact date, you should at least ask for a ballpark. Especially if you have a house to sell first or if you’re going to be renting.

2. What is the cost breakdown?

Aside from the cost of construction, there are various other costs involved. Ask the home builder to break down these costs for you. Look for hidden costs and see if there are any add-ons or upgrades included that you can opt-out of and save a few bucks.

Additional Read: Want to Own a Home? Find Out How

3. How many flats have you sold?

If you see a sign saying “Hurry! We are about to sell out”, you might be impressed with the project, considering that many people have already made a purchase. But how long has that sign been up? If the builder dances around the question, at least get them to tell you how many inquiries they get in a week, or a month.

4. What are some of your past projects?

This is one of the most important questions to ask when buying a house. It is imperative that you get an idea of the builder’s track record. Ask about their past projects and the time they took to complete. Also, ask if they received occupancy or completion certificates for these projects.

5. What is the payment schedule?

If the payment schedule doesn’t suit you, you can negotiate with the builder, but only before you pay the booking fee. The builder will not make any changes once you have booked the property and you could be penalized for making late payments.

6. What amenities and facilities are included?

How many parking spots will you be allotted? Will you have access to the clubhouse and the pool? Are there sprinklers and fire alarms installed? How many elevators are there in the complex? Is there a backup in case of power outages? You should know exactly what you are going to get before you pay the booking fee.

Additional Read: How to Plan the Right Budget When You Buy a New Home?

7. Is there a cost escalation clause in the contract?

If you are taking a home loan, you know exactly how much money you have coming. Therefore, you might want to find a builder that doesn’t include a cost escalation clause in their contract. Otherwise, the builder can cite this clause and charge you for any unanticipated costs incurred during the construction.

After you find the right builder, you could visit the Tata Capital website to use the home loan EMI calculator and learn about the home loan eligibility criteria. With years of experience in the industry, attractive home loan interest rates and minimal documentation, Tata Capital is the right lender for all your housing needs.

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