Sharmila returned to Kolkata after spending 6 years in Mumbai. She was divorced with one lovely 4-year-old daughter.
An economist by profession, she was a little worried about career opportunities in Kolkata.
It was exactly six years since she came to live in Mumbai with her ex-husband Sudip and pursue her dreams of chasing a career and making a loving home.
She came back to Kolkata with her daughter to live with her mother, her only parent, as she lost her father recently.
She was confident of getting into academics or in the financial sector as she had an impeccable career record, with several published papers in her name.
Sharmila’s Dilemma: Buying a Home in a Residential Complex or in a Standalone Building
Once in Kolkata, Sharmila wanted to live in decent surroundings as she wanted her daughter to grow up in a good environment in line with her social status. She could not think of living in her parents’ old, dinghy rental home in Bijoygarh.
The dilemma that haunts the first time home buyers like Sharmila as standalone buildings are much easier on the pocket, whereas residential complexes are costlier because they are rich in amenities, some of which are probably not needed by the buyer.
In spite of her concern for her finances, she wanted to take a well-judged decision on whether to buy a flat in a standalone building or in a residential complex.
Residential Complexes Offer Many Benefits beyond Amenities
One of the major benefits of buying a flat and living in a residential complex is security. Most of the current day complexes offer superior security with facility management team in place as well as CCTV installed. For a family with children and/or aged members, this is a boon. Even with families where the husband or the wife needs to travel frequently, the superior security arrangements in a complex offers better peace of mind.
Residential complexes come with an efficient facility management team these days and the need for housemaids, plumbers, electricians, etc. can be easily arranged by them from their database. There is the added advantage of an uninterrupted power supply as such complexes mostly have DG sets installed.
Residential complexes have defined parking spaces, which are often absent in standalone buildings in adequate numbers.
Residential complexes have well-maintained gardens, walkers’ and/or joggers’ tracks and landscaping as part of the complex, so you and your family can relax. Such complexes generally have gyms, games rooms and even club houses and swimming pools where you can exercise and relax.
Social functions can be arranged easily in the community hall in an apartment complex. Even festivals like Durga Puja are organised with much fanfare in most of the apartment complexes in Kolkata.
As an apartment complex has spacious social spaces like club, games room, garden and community halls where you regularly meet and interact with other like-minded residents, you can feel as if you are a part of an extended family.
Some societies even help to rent out the apartment when the owners are transferred and are not living there.
And the last but not the least, price appreciation of a flat in a residential complex is much higher than a flat in a standalone building.
Benefits of Buying a Flat in a Standalone Building
If you are looking for a flat which is centrally located in Kolkata, the options of buying it in a residential complex are almost non-existent. Most of the times you have to choose among various standalone buildings, as sprawling residential complexes are few in congested city centres.
A flat in a standalone building in the same locality is more economical and even the maintenance cost is lower, as the common facilities are much smaller or non-existent.
If you book a flat in a standalone building, it is likely that you will get delivery of your flat in a somewhat shorter time than a flat in a complex.
In case you are currently staying in a rented apartment, it is beneficial for you to receive the possession of your flat as early as possible. In such a scenario, faster possession of your flat will help you to start living in your flat and you can substantially save on monthly rent.
Currently, standalone buildings are also being built with more amenities on basements, ground floors and rooftops although a sprawling landscaped garden or a swimming pool is hardly possible. Social interaction is somewhat limited in standalone buildings.
Buying a flat in a standalone building in a central locality with well-established infrastructure like schools, hospitals, markets, banks, etc. is often considered more convenient with a lot of small families in Kolkata.
How to Choose between a Residential Complex and a Standalone Building
If your financial resources permit buying a flat in a central locality in Kolkata proper, although the options of sprawling residential complexes are limited, still you will get many opportunities for standalone buildings. A major consideration should rightly be the credential of the developer as you should avoid delays of possession and any laxity in compliance with regulations.
In case you wish to buy a flat in a chosen locality where you find ample choices of residential complexes and standalone building, you will find the standalone buildings are cheaper to buy in.
However, smart buyers today are ready to pay a premium for a flat in a residential complex. The profile of the builders developing residential complexes are far superior and mostly have a better reputation for construction quality, compliance with all necessary rules and on time delivery.
This is the reason why the buyers prefer buying a flat in residential complexes and are often ready to compromise on location preference.
For Sharmila, it took her a lot of thinking to choose between both options. For her, a residential complex offered much better value as per her requirement, especially with her concern for her daughter’s security and her old mother’s need for social interaction and a regular walk.
What do you think is a better option? Please comment with your ideas below.