House Hunting at the Age of 60

Finding a dream home may still be easy but the processes thereon are the real challenge, if only it truly is your dream home and you don’t have to face any other problems while living in the house.

Such has been the case for my father too, who had to first bear the repercussions of infrastructure issues in his chosen home in a plush neighborhood in Delhi and thereafter had to head out for a grueling experience – house hunting at the age of 60.

It all started in the month of February this year when he had to meet several developers, brokers and builders; go through the ordeal of travelling from one sector to another while looking for a ready-to-move accommodation in the NCR region and all as per the date, time and venue set with the different developers beforehand. Of course, I had fixed these “appointments” a week before, did my homework on the different builders, houses and budgets and was a part of the entire hassle; however, the level of frustration, anxiety and the undue pressure to think and decide such things over a span of few days was manifold in his case, as compared to mine, for the simple reason of him being way older than me.

This was just the beginning.

Once we finalized on our choice of flat, builder and locality, our next phase involved clarifying doubts regarding registry and possession of the said house – this led us to question people who have a know-how of the real-estate industry especially in the NCR region, some banks that had approved the project and our own online searches on the viability and authenticity of the builder’s claims.

Since then it has been a joyride, well, so to say. Following up with the customer care for the different documents that had to be sent to the bank (since we had taken a bank loan), meeting several authorities in different departments at the corporate office of the realtor, to talk about the need for speeding up the registry and handover process and forwarding applications, none of which were paid heed to, apart from giving false assurances – it has been quite a journey.

To this day when after more than two months of making the entire payment and getting the house registered, procuring the registry documents, sending them to the bank, we are still following up and requesting the higher authorities for carrying out substantial work at our flat, so that my parents can shift to the house, at least by this month.

When we happened to meet the owners of an adjacent flat there, we came to know that they have been handed over their registered flat after six months of making the full payment. They did not feel the need to follow up with the builders and authorities only because they were to put it out on rent.

There have been many home buyers like my father who have had the possession of their homes delayed by days, months and even years, thanks to the inactivity, insensitivity and complacency of the realty market and most of all, the over-promising but under-delivering attitude of the builders and developers, not to mention cases where builders have resorted to faulty, unlawful methods to dupe the buyers. Not long before we face the day when the thought of buying one of the basic necessities of human living makes us shudder.

Meanwhile, I cannot even bring myself to fathom the emotional and mental harassment that my father has been subjected to, in this entire humdrum.

They say, “There is no better place than Home Sweet Home”. But I wonder how much more stress, confusion, angst, dilemma and frustration he has to go through to finally arrive at the ‘sweet’ abode!

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