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Plug and play home buying: A new era?

You have heard of bareshell, warmshell & P&P office spaces. Hence, it is not difficult to assume what is this all about.

Sukanya Kumar

All this while real estate professionals did transactions of 'resale homes' & 'builder first sale', the later being properties of either under-construction or ready to move in. The resale homes came either in absolutely vacant conditions, or some had the basic furnitures like kitchenette and wardrobes, may be a bed or two. Now, what is this new concept- P&P or plug and play home?

You have heard of bareshell, warmshell & P&P office spaces. Hence, it is not difficult to assume what is this all about. When you can just move in with your clothes and grocery to a home and everything else is already set, you can just start living. From white goods to curtains, crockeries-cutleries to wall painting, carpets to statues, towel to napkins, light fittings to patio-plants are already done, all you need to do is to just move in!

I am listing here a few Pro-s and Cons of a Plug-n-Play home and leave the platform for my readers to comment and decide.

What is great about it:

1. No time lost in doing up the apartment: Working professionals these days do not have the luxury of time to plan and decorate their home. Moreover, the attachment to the home is feeble these days due to multiple home-buying in a lifetime, as well as continuous shifting in job locations. Your home is just a place for you to 'crash on the bed'. I know a couple who said that they never switched on the lights in their home as they returned late post having dinner outside, and just needed the space to sleep.

2. Old flats are better located: These types of properties are generally pre-occupied and used. It has to be an old apartment and the new ones on sale if has to be within budget, then definitely at a further away location. So, buying P&P could make more sense.

3. You get a perfect idea of how the layout of the apartment is accommodating: A vacant apartment shown by the builder or reseller often not understood well and when you want to fit your large bed, you realise how small the space is, or may be, now looking to you. In a P&P set-up the clarity on space is ultimate. You can't get a surprise later.

4. Sellers may be more flexible as buyers have not yet caught up with the idea: Sellers of these apartments may want to negotiate better. Generally the profiles of such sellers will be, (i) who is moving out of the country/city, hence does not want even the spoon he owns, (ii) an investor who rented it out earlier to an expat family at a good rent, but now not able to fetch as much and wants to dispose it off to come out of it, (iii) person who took a loan to buy and now not able to pull it through and wants to completely square it off in as-is-where-is condition.

5. Society is already formed and no ambiguity: Rules of the society regarding your pet, car parking, club facilities sometime bother you, if not known while buying an apartment. Plenty of times people shift due to mismatch in mentality with the rest of the neighbours. Here, you can literally read the by-laws and decide.

What is not so great:

1. The furnitures may be old & not as per your taste: This has to happen. You may find the apartment designed with ethnic taste while you like contemporary. You may just hate the red floral carpet or the heavy wooden wardrobe and prefer an abstract design and ivory & oak sliding door one. It may just not click.

2. Options are not plenty: Not many sellers are in the market with this offer yet. Your options are pretty much less. You will not find one very soon unless you are lucky.

3. Getting a home loan on the additional spend may not satisfy your need: The seller will surely demand an 'X' amount for the fittings, fixtures, white goods etc., which the bank funding may not support. You must know that banks will only consider the fixed fittings like kitchen, wardrobes, extra bathroom fillings and not the sofa-set, dining table; leave alone the white goods. That too, the valuation of such is going to be much lesser than what your seller demands. Be ready.

4. You may still need to spend time and money to make it as per your taste: If you still have to shop for the new curtains, rugs, light fittings, change the upholstery, alter bathroom fittings and do new wood-polish, you may feel the investment was an unworthy one. Think through.

5. Additional cost and brokerage: You must remember that you need to pay higher for buying a done-up P&P apartment and your real estate agent will also bill you on the whole. The extra spend has to be worth it. Do your math.

Happy Decision-making! Happy Time-saving!!
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First Published on Jan 3, 2017 11:26 am
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