Sumita always dreamed of her own home. A small home with an attached garden.
Sumita did her masters in Botany and started working in a reputed college in Kolkata.
She always loved nature. A home with a garden was her cherished dream of settling down.
Interestingly, her husband Rajat was the opposite. He always wanted to live in a gated community.
Perhaps, this difference in viewpoint has something to do with their individual upbringing. While Sumita lived in her father’s house in Jodhpur Park, Rajat was raised in a residential complex in Salt Lake.
While Sumita focuses on the positives of staying in her own exclusive home, Rajat likes the community life with all the lifestyle amenities.
Still, Rajat decided to find out the pros and cons of building their own house in a small plot of land vis-à-vis buying a flat in Kolkata.
He discovered certain interesting facts regarding both options.
We will discuss them right away.
Land for Building a House
You need to possess a plot of land to build your home.
Purchasing a plot of land requires exhaustive due diligence from your side as a lot of legal issues are involved.
It is essential to make sure the ownership of the land, as well as other associated legalities such as encumbrances, so that you are not entrapped in any difficult situation in the future. Not only does it take a lot of time, but substantial expenses on legal fees also.
Apart from this, finding appropriate land in a city like Kolkata is not easy.
In fact, buying suitable land is one of the major factors that repels homebuyers from building their own houses.
Moreover, building only one house on a piece of land is a very expensive proposition because the land price is sky-high in Kolkata. The cost of an individual house is quite prohibitive as the land price component is added to the construction cost.
In the case of a residential complex, land price is divided among many apartments and hence they are far more affordable.
You Need to Devote a Lot of Time
Building your own home is a massive commitment of time and effort.
Nowadays, it is almost impossible to devote such extended hours, especially when our families are small and there are not many family members to share the burden.
Building your own house means checking on the construction materials and quality, buying each and every fittings and fixture, painting and decorating the house, and a plethora of other hassles.
We all live a fast life these days and are constrained for time. Building a house will take much more time than booking an apartment or a bungalow and getting possession.
Building a house for oneself can remain an unfulfilled dream forever.
Future Repair & Maintenance
Building a house and living there is only a part of the story.
What about regular repair and maintenance you will need to undertake?
In the case of a gated community, there is a residents’ association that oversees repair and maintenance. Generally, professional facility management companies are engaged so that no one’s time is wasted.
If you live in a standalone house, all repairs and maintenance are your responsibility. From getting the right workmen, arranging all materials, and standing around to supervise are time-consuming and stressful.
Often there is a need for urgent repair or maintenance work. For example, your water pump may suddenly start malfunctioning one morning. It can be on a day when you are supposed to show a presentation at a vital office meeting.
All hells break loose because fixing the water pump is also a priority.
You are completely distracted and your presentation does not come out as well as you wanted it to.
Benefits of Living in a Gated Community
The predominant option is to live in a gated community nowadays and not building own house.
The advantages of living in a gated community are so overwhelming that, almost always, it is preferred. Even if you want to live in an independent house, there are gated bungalow complexes where you can have the best of both — exclusivity as well as convenience.
One of the major reasons for preferring gated communities over independent houses is that you can stay high up in a sky-kissing highrise while you do not have this option in the case of independent houses.
A 2-story building is no match for a breezy 14th-floor apartment full of natural light. Watching the city skyline, and the sunset from its balcony is a wonderful experience.
Moreover, gated communities come with a ton of amenities these days. There are health, social, and entertainment amenities and you can enjoy them at a moderate cost.
For example, there are swimming pool, gym, yoga deck, community hall, provision for various indoor and outdoor games, residential club, amphitheatre, and landscaped greenery.
Building all these amenities is not possible in a house for obvious reasons.
Apart from the amenities, living in a gated community means better security are there are detailed safety arrangements and guards. There are a lot of restrictions to prevent unauthorised entry into these complexes.
A standalone house cannot offer such security.
In addition, gated communities usually have facilities like emergency power back-up, treated water supply, and commercial complexes inside to take care of daily needs.
Gated Communities are Extended Families
Gated communities create a microcosm of people from different backgrounds, upbringings, and professions. Over some time, gated communities transform into extended families.
There are a lot of fellow feelings and the residents stand by each other in times of difficulties.
Also, they celebrate together during the festivals.
For example, Durga Puja is like a family event for everyone in a residential complex.
Living in a community of people is also very helpful for mental health. You develop friends in a complex whom you can confide in, and depend on for any difficulties.
Living in a standalone house does not offer these experiences.
For a myriad of reasons, gated communities offer a much higher livability quotient as compared to own houses.
In fact, investing in an apartment in a gated community is preferable as it is easier to sell, and the returns on investment are also higher.
In these days, it is always preferable to buy a flat in a gated community rather than take the huge trouble of building your own house.
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