Thursday, April 10, 2008

This or that?

My dear readers,

I am SOOOO confused.
Do help out with your views.

As you know Sonny boy is going to a new school June onwards, and said school is at least 22 kms from our home, so , we decided we had to shift homes.
We were initially looking at buying a new place, but then, everybody has been advising us to not go in for a purchase now, as there is going to be a downward spiral in the real estate market soon. So we put off purchase. Also (more)because the rates of the places we liked were going thru the sky! and with us having to pay emi on our existing flat, going in for another hefty emi just wasn't feasible. So it was down to a rented place.

Things were not simple, because, Sonny boy's school is SouthEast, my office is SouthWest and Hubby's office is out North. However, we started off looking at places within a 10 km distance from his darned school which has a green belt area near it for 8 kms, which means no residential /commercial habitation anywhere in those 8 kms.

We were looking for a 2 bedroomplace, but then, apparently , there are NO decent 2 bed apartments in B'lore anymore- its all min 3 bedrooms! So if you wanted only 2 bedrooms, you had to go in for houses. But we didn't see any decent houses either, finally the house we liked turned out to be a duplex, in a 20x30 site. The owners have done a damn good job of putting together a decent home in that size- if we hadn't had a kid, I would have taken that house without a second thought.
So this duplex has just the living cum-dining area and the kitchen on the ground floor and the other 3 bedrooms are on the first floor, with a terrace on the second floor, where you can dry clothes. It is a cute self contained little house, except-

-for EVERY small thing you have to run up the stairs.
- Sonny boy has no place to run around inside the house.
- and no place outside either, for there is just a garage outside.
-the steps are triangle shaped and easy to trip over for small kids and aged grandparents.
- if my current no-maid situation continues, I shudder to think of climbing 2 floors every day to clean..!!!
- when the grandies come, they will have to traipse up and down even if they want to have a lie-down for some 10 minutes.
- you cannot keep track of what one naughty 4 year old with a keen sense for micshief is upto on whichever floor, when you are not on that particular floor.
- In our current home, we are used to some space in the passage to rooms, in this one, there is just a landing which branches out into 3 rooms. the rooms in themselves are big, but..
- His school bus might drop him off in front of the house, or it might be at the head of the road.
- We are out most weekends, so an independent house poses security issues
The pros are-
- It is CLOSER to both our offices than the other option.
- It is in an established residential locality, close to shopping complexes, hotels and so on..
- You can get autos to the place- if you're lucky enough to get a sane auto guy- without emptying your purse
- independent house- no neighbours to interfere in your decisions- you want light outside your house, you put it;you want water 24 hrs, you put on the motor for yourself..
- this is stupid, but the lady staying there currently gave a good rating for the house. They are currently moving to Dubai after her hubby got shifted there, and they have also bought a new flat after they moved here, so I believe it might be an auspicious house.
- house help might prove cheaper.
And - it is a whole 2000/- cheaper, rentwise, even with the brokerage

The other option we have on hand is an apartment complex,
- it comes with the works- swimming pool, gym, clubhouse, tennis club, blah blah..
- no brokerage involved. We came upon it by sheer luck- we barged into a lot of complexes asking if they had a place availalable for rent, and this one had!
- It is again a 3 bedroom place, but at least all on the same floor...
- Has security 24 hrs, which is a big draw for me where Sonny boy is concerned.
- Sonny boy will have more friends here than in an independent house.
- Lots of space inside the house as well as inside the complex.
- It is closer (10 kms from) to his school.
But the cons are
- It is 2000/- more than the duplex
- It is FAR for both of us parents, from our offices.
- It is far from everywhere else we go to, too.
- We MAY have to get a second car, if we move in there, which means more money outflow from already dried up banks!!!
- Inside the complex, it is nice and plush, but outside it is not so nice. The area is just developing, and there is only 1 super market close by
- Autos may well be just a dream, in every which way. Cititaxis are the only option, if guests need to go someplace when we are not around.
- Maids will automatically be more expensive, I guess.
- And ah! this is stupid, but you already know I'm stupid that way- the flat has a south facing door, it is considered auspicious by some, inauspicious by some. I'm in the latter slot. but... hubby very rationally , like a guy, asks me what earth shattering good fortune we've had in our north facing house currently and I 've no answer for that.

We have to tell either place whether we're interested or not before the weekend at least.
I am so confused, I can't decide which option would be better. There is no tenant currently staying at the apartment, so I could not ask them how their experience of 'home' was.

The husband has very 'considerately' and conveniently left it to me to decide, although I can sense that he has a slight bias in favour of the facilities of the apt.
Do let me know what you think gals, before the weekend.

Utterly obliged,
JLT.

Edited to add:

We have to move in by May 2nd week so that we get settled into a routine before school starts. And we have to decide on the house now, as we have to give out our own house on rent.. and we can only show the place while we are still staying there as, once we've moved, it would be madness to commute all the way to just show the house to a probable tenant.

24 comments:

Usha said...

A growing child needs some space to play and run . so all this layered houses are out .And obviously your parents and in-laws would come over and it will be a problem not having a bedroom downstairs. Forget it.
The apartment complex seems fine from sonny boy's angle. But it is madness to have to drive in all directions , especially in bangalore, to work where neither of you can come over in case the maid or whoever is looking after the house needs you to come quickly.

My suggestion would be for you to relax and let both go. Look again. I am sure there are plenty of flats in Bangalore. Ask more people. Even if some brokerage is involved it is better to find something that suits all of you rather than settle for something that you are not totally happy with.
All the best. Which areas are you looking? I will send a group mail and see if anyone comes up with anything.

Just Like That said...

:-) that was quick! Thank you.
We've been looking for 2 weeks now.. have seen about 15 places, and the more we look, the more confused we get.! :-(
Looking at Bellandur Junction, HSR, Kmgla, Sarjapur rd..
The apt is at B Junction and the duplex is at HSR, and sonny boy's school is Sarjapur rd

Just Like That said...

have to finalise by the next week, as we need to make arrangements to have our place given out for rent too. :-( before we move out by the second week of May.

~nm said...

Somehow I would go for the apt option. With us parents at work, the kids need someone to mingle with. Plus its gonna be safer too.

All the best!

Swati said...

I agree with all prons and cons of both places. I live in duplex , apartment and I am considering shifting for ARYAN. I don't feel safe even to go to loo. Aryan is still to gather courage to step down but anyday he can. And to step up , he once fell off from 4th step when I missed by few seconds.

I feel more tired end of the day for running up and down.

Aryan makes sure to make me fun for every small thing. And when alone I have to carry him along.

Sonny boy is in a age when they get very naughty and you cannot eye them 24 X 7.

So , if its only for money and you can afford , do not go for duplex.

Mama - Mia said...

ouch!! quite a tough call here! i would agree with Usha that look for more houses! i mean when we shifted in to the current house, we saw close to 40houses over a weekend! ofcos we had horrible budget constraint!

but 15houses is a verry small number! hope you tried Ad Mag to look for the ghar! will tell ya about some cool website mayunk has discovered too! maybe you know it already!

if looking around more aint an option, i guess, yeah apartment is okie! we are on 3rd floor in an independent house! but we can move i a km radius where rajamma can come! so we have decided to stay put for another year least n then think about shifting! meanwhile plan to put some barricades to hold cubby back! :(

all the best! happy house hunting! :)

cheers!

dipali said...

Stick to one floor! Have lived in both kinds- the duplex is a royal pain. As Usha says, do look around some more before finalizing.
All the best:)
I think I need to do a post on my house-hunting experiences!

Lavs said...

My opinion on this query would be to go for the apartment house.
Reasons:
Security issues –So many burglaries happening all around us, the least we can do to our children is to provide safety. No unwanted sales men can trouble peaceful Sunday afternoon sleep.

Lots of kids in the apartment mean more friends for sonny boy. This is the time for sonny boy to play to his hearts’ content. His exposure would increase.

Neighbours mean assistance in times of trouble. Supposing, you are caught up in traffic-sonny boy can play and be his friends till you come back. There would be kids traveling to the same school as him. On time constraint days, he can catch the school bus along with elder boys/girls. I have seen that in some apartments watchmen themselves send off /receive kids from their school van. This means one job less for you.

From my personal experience-My dear friend who moved into Duplex flat got so bored climbing stairs for each and every thing that within one year, she decided to sell her house and move into an apartment. Her parents and in-laws complained so much about knee aches climbing those dizzy stairs. When she got pregnant the second time, her parents refused to come to her place because of those stairs. She had to move to her parents’ place with her elder son.

Her son fell down a couple of times. She herself slipped one night when her son was cranky with hunger.

I know that money will be a constraint—But I am sure you will pass over this phase too. And surrounding areas of big apartments are bound to develop. When my father purchased his flat in 1986, that area was the ending of madras corporation. But now, everything is available at our door step.

Finally,I am sure whatever you choose, it is bound to work out. Good luck!!!

choxbox said...

sending you a mail. your situation is amazingly similar to what ours will be soon!

Just Like That said...

~Nm: security is a huge factor which makes me think in favour of the apt too..but, am not sure...

Swati: OH!:-( that bad huh? Forgot to mention that we'd have to leave behind our crockery shelf, pooja shelf and kitchen shelf if moving to the duplex. and the 6 seater dining table which we thought would be a permanent fixture in our OWN house:-(

Mama mia: 40! FORTY!! houses!!!!! Girl, it must have been before Kabir and you must have split it 20-20. Or you guys are the greatest enthu cutlets ever! :-D I can hardly see 4 houses in one trip before I get pooped. Problem is the distances- we stay in one end and are looking at the other ends!Tried Ad-Mag, but most of them were taken already by the time we called.

Dipali: Et tu, No?
thks for the wishes tho'.
:-)

Lavs: To be very honest, I too prefer the flat for all good reasons, but something about it makes me hesitate, and I think it is not knowing why the earlier people moved out and in what circumstances.. but so far all of you advise against the duplex, so.. I dunno

Choxbox- sent you a reply back too :-)

Rohini said...

Overall the apartment sounds like a much better option except for the commute, so in your place I would go for that but maybe it would be better if you could squeeze in one more round of house-hunting? Maybe you could be really specific with the broker and ask him to show you only apartments and only in localities which make sense from a commuting point of view so that you won't waste time seeing houses that don't fit your criteria...

choxbox said...

I'd say stick with the apartment option - better social scene, more security etc.
Given that you'd be renting, if you are really dissatisfied with the property, you could always move after a year or so. Staying in the area will make it easier to find a more optimal one locally.
Also, as your son grows older, things might change. He might not mind a longer commute and you could go further away from his school eventually.

B o o said...

If its only this or that, then I personally would choose the apartment. But then, its always easier to choose when you are nt the concerned party. Good luck with the move. Im sure things will sort themselves out once you take the plunge.

Suma said...

oh..dear!! house hunting woes...

me? i'd let them both go...i would prefer the apt complex esp because you have a kid..i can't tell you how good it is for a growing child to be around kids his age...but since you say u don't have a good feel abt the apt...don't...

just a thought...wouldn't it be better if you take a house near one of your areas of work...'cos sonny boy will anyways use the school transport...but one of you will be available faster in case of any emergency at home...(considering blore's apalling traffic)

keep me posted...

Candyfloss said...

Oh boy, this is hard... but overall I'd say that if the house doesn't have a garden and is spread across 2 floors, that's a big strike against it. So if you really, really, think there are no other options, then my pick would be for the apartment.

Having said that, it's important for you to feel at home in the place, and I sense that the apartment doesn't do that for you. I think it will be worthwhile to look some more.

I remember when we moved to Chennai, we moved into one reasonably ok place because we were out of time, but I continued to look and 3 months later I found the perfect place by serendipity and we moved again. When you're renting you can afford to do that, although of course you want to avoid it...

Itchingtowrite said...

main priority- the child should not commute too long for school- therefore distance to school 1st priority.
if i had only these 2 as choices- i would go for the apartment inspite of the extra money -
1. security, complete service etc
2. maids- much easier to get them as they would be shared resource- doing many houses. also the building maid would serve as a standby if needed.
3. guests- won't be ther all the time so even if they come they could use th citi taxi.. autos not coming could be a big pain but the occassions u need an auto would not be too many.
4. space & friends for both u & kids. a child cooped inside a house tends to get cranky. here u hav an option of taking a walk if the kid gets cranky. in a house there is nothing but the terrace & that's not too safe
5. vaastu- i know it irritates. everything might be right & vastu interferes. if u feel uncomfortable with the vaastu don't go for it.

but looks like u hav been searching for just 2 weeks. sometimes it takes 2 months to get the right house to come by. so if u r not in a rush u cud wait becoz it gets annoying to move in and thn keep looking for another one.

Vidooshak said...

i haven't read the comments, so maybe i am repeating. this post was so close to heart since we have to start house hunting too. earlier we thought of moving so Cubby gets some friends, then stalled because it had to be near where his nanny can come. now i am thinking we might as well continue here till he's in school; seems like a shifting then becomes more critical.

i would always vote for apartments. coming from bombay, that's all we know. the jhanjhat of maintaining a "house", not to mention the trek to bedrooms, is enough to settle for a cozy apartment. of course, i am sure you can look more and find an apartment that's not so remote. auto guys and shopping is not a real concern-- autos refuse to go even to MG Road and shopping happens at Spar anyway :- )

all the best with your search. make sure you call us for the Grah Pravesh party at Sahib Sind Sultan

Compulsive Dreamer said...

Hi,

I stay in HSR and we just moved homes. There are some nice apartments in HSR which you might want to look at and which are pretty spacious. If you can send me your email id, I shall send across the details of these apartments, and the contact numbers as well of some of the society managers/ scretaries, security people.

BangaloreMom said...

Hey

Just came over after reading ur comment on my site. This could be a long comment but here goes:

The ideal solution would be look for a different place and forget abt these two.

If that is not feasible here is my take:

Since both of you are working, I think the commute time is of utmost importance. Considering the Bangalore traffic, if you want to have any quality of life at all, it seems VERY important that you stay at least reasonably close to the place of work.

Also, since you do not have parents living with you on a permanent basis anyways, the steps thing may not be a major problem. Just have a Divan or something placed in the Living Room. This will help them get some shut eye in the afternoons without climbing stairs. Make sure that you lay the ground rules with Sonny Boy about wandering off alone. Since he is already 4, I do believe this is manageable.

Primarily because I know how nightmarish commute can be in Bangalore, I would vote for the house. Hope it helps. And can I have ur email Id?

artnavy said...

try for another place - else opt for the apartment

duplex is a definite no no after our holiday at Baroda

have u tried magicbricks.com

Just Like That said...

Dear sweetie pies,

Thank you, thank you , thank you, one and all! :-D Am clearer in my mind now...

Just Like That said...

Compulsive dreamer, welcome to my blog- can you mail me at notquitejustlikethat@gmail.com?

Just Like That said...

Blore Mom: The commute was precisely why I did think of the duplex as an option. But there is NO place to keep anything other than a sofa set in the living room :-(
Mail me at notquitejustlikethat@gmail.com

WhatsInAName said...

ok I thought for you.
If no choice, I would say, go for the apartment
"Sonny boy will have more friends here than in an independent house."
This is more than what justifies every con!