Sunday, March 28, 2010

House Construction-When you should start?

I keep getting several mails from people who plan to build house in their native place in Kerala.Mostly they want to know how much it will cost to construct a house.If I tell a figure which they think is comfortable for them,they will start construction activities immediately.If I tell a higher cost figure,they will drop construction activities at least for the time being

To tell  possible cost of construction ,my knowledge in architecture,engineering and Vasthu will not be enough.I also will have to study Astrology.

To tell you frankly,one should start construction of house the moment you feel the need for a house in Kerala without waiting for some one to tell a lie about how much it will cost simply to make you happy.Without any data,no one can tell possible cost simply hearing possible plinth area of house you may simply guess.

I decided to construct a house for me in Cochin about seventeen years back.My Father wanted me to live in house which he built partially for me at native place,Cherthala.While working in Cochin,I was forced to move from one rented house to another after specific period of time ,packing and moving after a tiring search for house to meet my requirements and budget.

Finally when I decided to build a house,i was not an expert as I have never built another house.Just by being an Engineer you cannot build a house.Any Engineer friends of me will agree to it and that is why we have built maximum number of  houses for engineers.They at least know that an experienced Engineer in house construction is essential for building a house while many even now believe or are  forced to believe that a usual contractor is enough.

At that time even though I left comforts of my job and started our marketing company,I have not yet started construction company.

I kept searching for land by reading real estate ads in news papers and responding.In most cases I could not manage the amount of money required for buying the land even though some of the many plots seen were good enough ,if not bad.

One day I found an Ad in news paper for land in a good locality.I went and saw land just before 8 am on the day the advertisement came.I liked land at first sight itself.Price was reasonable.So no negotiation.I have given verbal commitment to the land owner who did not insist on an advance then and there.I only offered to buy  front portion of 15 cents of  land measuring about 6 cents.Later land owner told me that another person met him 15 minutes after me and offered to buy entire 15 cents and given a token advance of Rs.10,000/-Land owner being  a decent chap agreed to sell only balance portion keeping his word to me.

Now how will I manage money for buying land as I did not have that much money ? Next day I simply paid token advance of Rs.10,000/- without really knowing how I will arrange balance money.

Even though I never had the courage to ask my father for money,since I liked the land I took him to see the land.He also liked it.Then through my mother I made him agree to give a portion of money as loan.That was the best negotiating win of my life-making my Father agree to give me money even as loan.

Then I got a temporary Over draft from my banker using good performance figures of our marketing company and finally I managed to purchase that land even though the other portion was really sold  only after many months.

Again when I started construction,there was no money.My Father advised me to do construction later after saving enough money(Possibly to avoid me asking for more loan).But I was not willing to wait.I know very well that every passing day will push up cost of construction thereby pushing away from me my house construction.

For foundation work,I simply borrowed money from a private banker at high interest rates.After that money was over,I again went to another private money lender and got money at high interest rate.By that time I also managed to get housing loan from a housing loan company at lower interest rate.

As construction went on some what fast,I tried to minimise cost wherever possible without compromising on basic facilities needed and quality of work.

When the house construction was nearing finishing stage,there was no way to arrange money required.So I simply requested a supplier to our marketing company to extend credit period telling him frankly my need for money.As I had very good repaying records with the supplier he agreed with a condition that I should continue making payments even though amount of payment in each installment can be reduced.So his credit favour has helped me in bringing the house construction to finishing stage.

Finally when the house warming was going on I simply told to myself-“If only instead of presents these relatives and friends can pay in cash?”I was so badly in need of cash but no one was willing to help.

After building this house I realised the need for a professional agency to build houses as this field is full of cheats and crooks.That is how I entered into house construction and after building more than 200 houses I have lots and lots of people who value my services a lot and treat me like a family member for the rest of their life.

So my advise to you is simple.Do not wait for money to come to start building your house.Tomorrow will be too late as cost  can only go up to take away from you your dream house,possibly for ever

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