Maintenance, club house, power back-up… Prepare yourself for expenses besides the EMI when you buy an apartment, says Sonal Sachdev
If you think the EMI on your home loan is the only significant recurring expense you will incur when you move into your new home, think again. Modern residential complexes offer a wide variety of amenities and services to residents. These come at a price.
The most common charges are normally slotted under the head Maintenance. These can include expenses for providing security, cleaning of common areas, upkeep of gardens and facilities, garbage disposal, insurance, repairs and so on. These charges vary from one building complex to another and can actually be quite steep, depending on where you are living and the size of your wallet. The composite maintenance charge can be a few thousand rupees every month or tens of thousands of rupees a month. It therefore pays to check what you will be coughing up every month to live in a swanky residential area before you book that dreamy home.
The other big draw for many prospective home buyers today is a well equipped and appointed club house. Top draw residential properties may even throw in a golf course. Now surely you don’t expect that to be a freebee. Club membership fee and a security deposit are often thrown in as part of the home purchase cost by many builders. What’s more is that the membership fee in most cases is an annual recurring expense, which can be quite a tidy sum. Some clubs also levy a fee for use of select facilities in the club house. For instance, in addition to the annual club membership, you may need to pay a monthly fee for use of the gymnasium and the spa.
In power deficit cities, many establishments provide power back-up to ensure your lights switch on even during power cuts by the electricity supply company. The rates for such power supply are often over 100% more than the normal electricity rates. The cost of water can be another drain. If the daily needs are met only by getting tankers to deliver water, the price of water too will be higher.
If you sit down and sum up all these expenses, you will end up with a more realistic monthly cost of living in your new home. You must do such a computation before you buy your dream home. Remember high living comes with high expenses. And such expenses will only inflate with time. So if you are thinking of retiring in your new home, be sure you’ll have the resources to afford the rising living expenses.