Things You Must Do After Buying a Home
Buying a home of your own is one of the major milestones in your adult life. Becoming a homeowner brings with it feelings of euphoria, of having made it in life, of successfully joining the much-coveted group of property owners. Home buying is probably the biggest investment you will ever make in your life and after the process is over, you might want to heave a sigh of relief. However, it’s not yet time to start decorating and throwing a lavish housewarming party yet.
Transferring the property into your own name and collecting the new keys isn’t the end of the process of becoming a homeowner. There are still a number of important details to take care of first, to secure this expensive purchase. Here’s a list of things you must take care of at the earliest before settling down to celebrate your new home:
Once you receive the stamped property papers in your name, the next step is to find a secure place to store these documents. To begin with, take two to three photocopies of all the documents and get the copies attested against the original. This becomes all the more pertinent if you have taken a home loan and need to submit all the originals to the bank. Once the originals have been submitted to the bank, it is very difficult to procure a photocopy of them later. If possible, laminate the photocopies so there is no question of their fading with time. Store these copies in different places. You could keep one copy at home, another copy in the locker and a third one at your place of work or a trusted person.
The day you execute the sale deed is a long one as you have to shuttle between the Sub-Registrar’s office and your loaner bank. Before submitting all the necessary documents in their original form to the bank, you must create a list of all the documents you are submitting. Of course you would have also taken photocopies of all of them too. You must also insist on obtaining an undertaking from the bank for a similar list of all original documents submitted to the bank and printed on their official letterhead paper. Scrutinize it carefully to ensure it includes all the documents submitted. This is because after 15-20 years when the loan is over, there should be no mistakes in getting all your original documents back.
Aside from photocopies, it’s only to be expected that you also scan all the documents and maintain digital records of all the sale and home loan documents, before submitting to the bank. You could store these digitalized form of your documents in an external hard disk or as DVDs. As with the photocopies, you could keep one copy of the DVD at home, one in your bank locker and one with a trusted person.
After registration of the property in your name, you will need the photocopy of the sale deed document for transferring the electricity meter, water meter, property tax, etc. To obtain these, it’s the norm to take help from agents to affect these transfers and for this, homeowners will need to hand over a photocopy of the sale deed to them. To prevent any misuse of this crucial document, it is always better to create watermark copies of the document before handing them over. The process of watermarking is simple and can be done using an adobe writer with ‘Do Not Copy’ printed on it.
Once the sale is through, you will need to transfer the electricity and water connections into your own name. Having your name on the electricity and water meter records is considered as a reliable proof of ownership of property. It’s always better to obtain the signature of the previous owner on an NOC (No Objection Certificate) for electricity and water meter transfer prior to completing the sale. This is because once the sale is through, the owner might lose interest in you!
In all gated community apartment projects, every apartment owner in the complex is entitled to an undivided land share and society share. Once you have bought into the apartment project, you will need to hand over a photocopy of your sale deed to the Society management board and request for a share transfer certificate or an amendment in the deed of ownership declaration. This will secure your undivided ownership of the land in your apartment complex.
Another important task is to transfer the property tax records into your name – hopefully you would have ensured earlier that there are no pending dues from the previous owner! Aside from this you will need to change your address in other important records such as your Voter’s ID, your Aadhar card, PAN card, ration card, driver’s license, passport, bank records, investments, etc. Though this is a long list and could give you a headache, it will need to be done at the earliest too after buying your new home!
Lastly, you will need to ensure that all due legal process has been followed, and for this you will need the services of a property lawyer. Though it might appear a frivolous use of money, it’s better to be safe when making such a large investment. And since buying a home is an investment that changes ownership with each successive generation, you will need to think about making a will too. You might think you are too young to be making a will, but why take chances. After taking on the mantle of being a homeowner, you will need to secure the future of your loved ones and make a will with the assistance of a lawyer.
Once you have completed all these tasks, you can finally sit back and bask in the pride that comes with becoming a homeowner!