Tuesday, 10 November 2009
Buying a "Home"
I have been working for an organisation which claims ‘Where homes come true’, for the last dozen years.
In the process, I must have had sold a few thousand apartments, bungalows, villas and condominiums. Every day someone would be sitting in front of me with slightly expectant, wary looks and listening to me extolling the virtues of the property I wanted then to buy. There was sooooooo much to talk about. The air funnel, the shadow line, the swimming pools, the garden for the children to play, the Vaastu compliance, the common amenities, the fittings and fixtures, ----------------.
Some were convinced and bought. Others just smiled and moved on to some other property. I shook my head whenever that happened. After all, why should they not buy after I have extolled the virtues of the property? At any point of time, I knew more about Real Estate than what they could ever dream off. Silly people! Didn’t even understand good and professional advice!
In this period I stayed in a rented apartment. All through the boom and bust of real estate I did not buy any property.
This year my family pushed me to buy an apartment for us. After all ‘it’s better to pay EMI with its tax benefits than to pay rent. After all, you build an asset in the process,’ they said. I had heard me saying that to a lot of people and it felt strange hearing it from others.
So it was decided that a house has to be bought! Pronto! And with my knowledge and experience, it was going to be a child’s play.
Four months and about 500 apartments later, I accepted defeat. I could not finalise a single apartment for buying. Some were above budget, some had defects, some were not having enough legal papers, some did not have ample choice to choose from and some were just not good enough. Many people, most of them my friends and colleagues from the industry tried to help and failed.
As I was accepting defeat and was resigning to my fate of a life in a rented accommodation, my family (parents and wife) took charge. One day they went out, saw a couple of projects and finalised on one. I was told to arrange for the finance as they liked the place. Defeated, I did as ordered.
After a couple of days, I visited the project with a lot of inhibition bracing for the worst. Yes! There was the not too good approach road, the buildings were located too close to each other, the basic workmanship was okay but the finishing could have been better, it was on the top floor and a host of other things. But since, I have paid for it , I wanted to go ahead.
Another six months and some interior developmental work later, we were ready for the Grihapravesh. As is the norm of the family, a couple of hundreds of my kindred souls and friends joined us for the puja and the lunch. All of them said kind words about the project—some out of genuine liking, some out of courtesy.
The ritual requires one to stay three nights at least in the apartment immediately after the puja. So I stayed back after all left and late at night as I reclined on the makeshift bed, I looked up and saw the moonlight filter in, creating a show in light and shade. I quietly rose from the bed, made my way to the balcony and reclined on the easy chair enjoying the soothing breeze of the early winter.
I woke up with a start when the first rays of light hit my face. I looked around and found my home.
The faults are still there, there is a lot of work to be done before I move in, and the area is still slightly undeveloped— yet from that very moment I have found my home.
These days I just mention the important virtues of the projects I am selling to prospective buyers and let them choose. After all , it’s their home they are choosing – not buying a house that I am offering to them.