Selecting between a fully fitted-out house and a bare one is a big decision. Do cupboards in the bedrooms, cabinets in the kitchen, pre-installed home appliances and wooden basics influence your choice while buying a house?
Naveen Kapoor recently bought an unfurnished builder floor in Indirapuram. He wants to redesign the entire house in his own way and, for this, he is willing to spend a few more lakhs.
“I don’t like interiors done by others. I want to do up my house to my taste. I know it will take at least three months, as I am going to change the exterior look of the house as well. But I am fine with it.”
Your choice matters: There are mainly three kinds of properties in the market – furnished, semi-furnished, and bare.
Furnished apartment: A furnished apartment has different specifications and the price also varies according to the amenities offered.
If you buy a fully-furnished apartment, you get wardrobes, cabinets, airconditioners, water heaters, ceiling fans, lights, chimney, and almost everything that makes the house habitable from Day 1.
The advantage is that buying a fully-furnished apartment allows you to enjoy the amenities as soon as you shift, without going through the tiresome process of buying and transportation. But, remember: property value goes up in tune with the amenities offered by the developer.
These are different from ready-to-movein houses which are only structurally complete, but not furnished in a way that they can render a lifestyle to the occupants.
Semi-furnished apartment: In a semifurnished unit, you get minimum furnishing and basic woodwork, but no expensive home appliances. Thus, with basic amenities in place, you may shift in and plan for other furnishings and appliances at leisure.
Unfurnished units: These are bare houses and you must arrange for electrical appliances, wood work, quality sanitary fixtures, lights, etc.
The best part of buying such houses is that you are free to ‘build’ your home, with your style and personality stamped all over. From floor design to lightings and from modular kitchen to walk-in wardrobes – the sky is the limit.
At a live discussion on ‘This Week in Property’ organized by Magicbricks, a property expert said: “Nowadays, all kinds of houses are available. Premium apartments are always fully fitted-out and developers use branded products.
“However, they charge extra for this. This extra cost is very convenient if you don’t have the time to buy all those things. If you want to avoid the extra cost, you can go for the bare-shell apartment and design as per your choice.”
Things to keep in mind: Developers are in the business of constructing houses and fully furnishing a house is not a big task for them, as they buy things in bulk. They can negotiate aggressively with suppliers, so the whole thing works out cheaper for them.
Experts say that after GST came into force, electrical appliances like ACs and fridges, even modular kitchen, have a GST component if you were to buy them. But when these are bought by a developer, he will pay GST on them and adjust against the GST that you pay on the house, with the credit passed on to you.
In the case of premium houses, buyers with ample funds want a house that is unique and exclusive and, thus, may not want a house that has the same fixtures like the others in the neighbourhood.
Where the developer is offering a fully loaded house but the customer doesn’t want the fixtures, will the developer cut the price for him?
Experts say that developers are also changing their strategies as per the mood of the market. A recce of the market shows that some developers have created a bank of products to choose from. They add the cost of furnishings to the cost of your property and reduce the price of what you don’t need.
Kashinath B, a Bengaluru-based developer, says: “If I give modular kitchen to my customers, they are not ready to take it. Everybody wants to negotiate on the price of the apartment instead. I don’t think people are interested in buying a fully fitted house from developers anymore.”
When you are buying a fully-loaded house, experts recommend you get an architect or a professional with experience in interiors to do an audit of the furnishings and fittings that you get, as they can advise you on the quality of the products used.
Another important aspect to consider when you take possession of your house is to make sure you collect the warranty certificates of the products that the developer has fitted. They should be with you, not with the builder, because you are the one who is going to maintain these in the future.