What to Check in a Sample Flat?
Most developers and home buyers, until recently, looked at real estate as a commodity sale that was dominated by price. However, with shifting dynamics, real estate has transformed into an experiential purchase that encompasses focused efforts and high involvement from all stakeholders.
Today, ‘seeing is experiencing’ and so visiting the sample flat or show apartment has become an important step in the contemporary house buying process. When a buyer actually sees the rooms physically, experiences the spaces, uses the furniture and assesses the fittings and fixtures present in the sample flat, his or her confidence is heightened and the house buying decision becomes a lot easier. However, all throughout it is important to bear in mind, that the show apartment may just be a boutique representation of the ongoing or proposed development, and may or may not be the 100% mock-up of the actual product that will be sold or owned. Remember, the sample apartment is just to highlight the liveability potential of the house. It needs to be evaluated basis your individual preferences, requirements and habits.
WHY VISIT THE SAMPLE FLAT?
- Creating individual model flats on or around the project has always been a commonly acceptable practice. However, over time the concept of sample flats has changed. In today’s times, most developers choose to ready one flat end-to-end and show the actual apartment as a sample flat. Also, a 3D render of the flat is made to help customers look, feel, explore and experiment with the apartment thoroughly up to the last nail. Check what your developer of choice offers and evaluate it objectively.
- A sample flat will empower you to see something tangible and help you get an impression of the scale and dimensions of the house. It will also give a fair idea regarding the use of the space, the probable furnishings you could invest in, the location, number and accessibility of electrical points, AC points, appliances and furniture space, etc.
- A sample flat visit is recommended multiple times by experts – for example, visit the sample flat on your first visit to the sales lounge, check it when comparing different configurations in the particular project, more importantly assess it before finalizing the unit number that you are likely to purchase and also after the token amount has been given. During each of these stages, you are likely to view the same house with different lenses.
THINGS TO CHECK AND IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO ASK
Orientation of the House
Now, the sample flat is one of the many units that the development will have. So, it might not be necessarily positioned in a way that your apartment will be in. Look at the sample flat as a part of a cluster of flats, rather than a standalone structure. The sample flat might be offering abundant light, good ventilation and scenic views. The windows or the balconies might be just where they should be! But it is important to know whether your house will be experiencing the same considering its specific location, floor level, unit plan design and orientation. The orientation of the house can have a huge bearing on your lifestyle and holistic living experience.
Raw Final Product
The sample flat is perhaps the best possible presentation and beautification for the house in terms of the furniture, light fixtures, fittings, textured walls, modular or customised kitchens, artwork, carpets and other décor. While you appreciate the attractive ambience, it is also essential that as a buyer you imagine the house without the add-ons. Visualize how the raw space will look, when handed over to you, without all the frills, and what likely changes you will incorporate as per your taste and likings. The raw final product will definitely be a different space aesthetically, if not structurally.
Dimensions and Furnishings
The sample flat you are seeing might not necessarily be built as per the dimensions that your particular house will have. In most cases, the largest configuration that the project offers is represented by the sample flat. In either case, ask the builder or the sales team to specifically mention all the dimensions of the sample flat and compare on a room-to-room basis with your apartment. In particular, check and ask about the actual floor to ceiling height, glass or wooden walls and partitions, standard amenities that come with the apartment, quality of the tiles, size of the furniture placed, make of kitchen platform, sanitary accessories and any appliances that come with the apartment.
Electrical Points and Equipment Space
The well-lit sample flat, without a doubt, has the right kind of lighting and the right electrical appliances placed at the perfect places. Ascertain if the electrical points and plumbing fittings will be placed just where they are and understand if that is where you will want them to be. For example, the space where the refrigerator is placed in the sample flat now might be visually appealing. However, considering your individual ease of use, optimum functionality and the placement of other appliances, the refrigerator might need to be relocated. Evaluate not just the kitchen, but also the entire flat from a functionality point of view first and aesthetic next.
As a thumb rule, restrain yourself from getting carried away. The sample apartment is no doubt magnificently done and truly aspirational. But, pause and take time to compare the specifications in the brochure and drawings in the layout plan with the dimensions and features of the sample flat and to your specific unit. A raw flat that is under construction may be indicative of the actual space, but may not be as appealing as the actual product. Be rational in assessing the sample flat, but not too rigid and judgmental.