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Buying a luxury apartment? Here are some tips

Buying a luxury apartment is the ‘in thing‘ in the town. However, there is no one definition of luxury. Hence better to know what exactly you are looking for and check if the developer is offering the same to you.

Surabhi Arora
Colliers International

The concept of luxury is constantly evolving in Indian markets due to increasing purchasing power. The demand of luxury projects has been gradually shifting from the social elite to the middle class signifying the huge potential in this sector. To cater this increasing demand, developers are coming up with affordable luxury projects which target this growing upper middle class. Where on one side, affordable luxury trend is catching up, another concept with which developers are experimenting in the Indian markets is ‘branded residences’. Besides brand name, typically these branded residences come with features and services that make them exclusive. Association with a brand lends credibility, endorsement and identification to the residences. The trend in India started with the association of luxury residential developments and celebrity brands, with movie stars and athletes as brand ambassadors. Few of the developers even associate their projects with hoteliers like Four Seasons, Leela Kempinski, Radisson and Hyatt to develop and operate these branded residences in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Pune.

As there is no clear definition of luxury, the concept is often misrepresented in the name of affordable luxury, super luxury, ultra-luxury, etc. In such a scenario, it really becomes difficult to evaluate whether you are getting value for your money. One should understand, at most times luxury represents one’s ability to use excessive space or an otherwise scarce or expensive resource. Where super luxury or ultra-luxury projects are generally characterised by bigger unit sizes ranging between 5000- to 6000 sq ft, affordable luxury units are smaller in size but characterised by amenities such as swimming pools, clubs, gyms, open spaces, etc. The developers are constantly experimenting to retain the luxury quotient by adopting innovative design and construction practices that not only provide a luxurious environment, but also enhance the financial viability of the project.

Investing in luxury is usually driven by emotional appeal of social prestige. Thus, while buying these projects one should evaluate them on few parameters and ask the developer as to what are the features that according to him make it a luxury project. Compare the prices of the projects in the same vicinity which are not providing these amenities and check the extra cost you are paying for those particular extra features.

The luxury quotient of a project can be assessed on the basis of great view (golf course view, sea view, hill view, etc.), location (prime locality), low density (number of people living in the building), quality (high quality construction material and fittings), ultra-luxury amenities (individual or roof top swimming pool, Jacuzzi, private gym, etc.) and the brand name associated with them. The project equipped with smart features like automated lighting system, automatic multi-level car parks, fast elevators also add to the luxury quotient. The neighbourhood also impact the luxury quotient of a project, thus make sure that you know the buildings planned around your project. The project overlooking slums, graveyards, etc. reduces its value.

It is advisable to go with professional agents with local market expertise. Sometimes the luxury projects are not marketed to the public or are marketed as ‘invitation only’ or ‘limited edition’ projects. Thus a broker with local knowledge can definitely help you to have more options. Generally, luxury projects spend a lot of money on marketing material. The glossy pictures and expensive brochures are sometimes misleading. So it is advisable to go beyond photographs and do your research.

In fact, luxury is a perceived notion about your comfort, thus, identify your luxury parameters and go for the project which has all such features that you are looking for. For example, few people may consider living in a bungalow as luxury while others may define luxury as a pent house.

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First Published on Mar 3, 2016 12:14 pm
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