However, very few people in Pakistan know about what things should be checked before buying a residential plot in a housing society. Due to this lack of knowledge, the housing developers are able to sell poorly planned and sometimes questionable projects to local population. It is hard to find the guidelines for buying houses, but we can find house marketing advertisement in almost every media. So i thought to share my thinking as a town planner on 'What to check if someone wants to buy a plot in a housing society". I will mainly focus on the technical aspects from urban planning perspective, which i think every buyer should consider before spending his or her life time savings.
Following checklist is very important to ensure the legitimacy and quality of the housing society and your potential plot before committing any income in it:
- I think this is the first and foremost point to be checked however very few people are aware of it. The buyers must check whether the developer has obtained Final/Full planning approval from the local administration, development authority or Town/Tehsil Municipal Authority (TMA) where the housing project is located. These government departments give NOC for the town planning. This permission ensures that the subdivision and land use provision has been done according to the standards. Secondly, they ensure proper plot shapes, road widths and any potential area to be left for waterbodies etc.
- The layout map you are seeing is approved and final. It is the one which has been attested by the approval authority and permission mentioned in the point number 1. Because, in many cases, the maps are tempered and number of plots might be increased in the permitted design. Developers may add additional plots in open spaces / public places or even in the streams / water channel areas. Buyers of unapproved layouts might end up in searching for their plots that may be illegal in status / might be in poorly suited sites like waterways or even they may not get them at all and they will have to be relocated to other plots in future. So be careful, ask for the final approved layout.
- check for the availability of water underground. This is the most important need for construction and living in the residential sites. I know a big housing development in Rawalpindi, Al Haram Town, they sold very cheap plots near Adyala Road however their site did not have underground water for may be around 500 feet. It all adds to the cost of plot in future as the residents need additional deep boring or permanent cost of water tankers.
I started writing this post because i could not fell a sleep in the bed. Its 1:51 am tomorrow is a big working day for me. As Monday is always. So i will write more in later post. Stay tuned. Goodnight!
To be continued.