Friday, December 10, 2010

Search for an "Aashiyana"

"Do deewane sehar mein, raat mein dopahar mein, aabodana dhonte hain, ek aashiyana doondte hain"
Its a famous Hindi song, which perfectly captures the state of anyone who is looking out for a house. 'Roti, kapda aur makaan' apart from being the gramophonic slogan of all our politicians and the overly used punch line of Bollywood, is after all, the basic human need. But the path of fulfillment of these basic needs is so not basic that you require an elaborate, extensive mental preparation before juggling around any of these.

Finding a house, is a project in itself. And by God! You can do your entire MBA internship with this one project. It involves requirement analysis, budgeting and financing, sales and marketing, negotiations and what not.... Its an extensive field job and extremely time and energy draining.Once you have taken that mental leap of undertaking this endeavor, your struggle begins. You start with requirement analysis - figuring out what type of accommodation you need and where you want it. It generally has 3 categories: must have, good to have and must not have. These form the basis of your negotiations at later stages. You also need to check your finances, which by the way will be taking a huge hit, even if you are looking for accommodation on rent rather than purchase. After that starts endless hours of research, both primary as well as secondary: primary by knocking door to door, which in today's scenario is knocking every apartment's security guard's door and secondary through realty websites, your company bulletin board and newspaper ads. And even after you have exhausted every possible mean, you find yourself with nothing. It is at this precise moment comes our middlemen, the brokers. Since you are left with no choice, you have to take their services, and once you do that you have to start the whole process again because not only you will find that your "must have, good to have etc." are distant dreams but whatever is being offered is totally out of your budget. In addition to that, you have to pay the brokerage which is so high that you would need a second job to pay that off. Then start endless negotiations at each and every step with virtually everyone involved in the process, including yourself. If you are a bachelor then you have additional work to do. Not only your bachelorhood marks you as 'unwanted' in many societies, but it also takes additional negotiations and at times additional financial resources to counter that. In short, you are screwed big time. In the end, if you find a house to your satisfaction then you definitely have over shot your budget by huge margin else you would be living in a place where at the end of the day you don't feel like going.

I have my criteria, but one thing which I know is, when I step in a house, the house speaks to me and if it is the one, 'the chosen one', I just know it by the feel of it. Till then my quest is ON....

PS: Guys, I am looking for accommodation in a specific locality of Pune..... anyone having any worthy information to share, please get in touch with me.

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