Old bungalows have their own specific problems that need to be addressed before you buy. Architect Bharat Gandhi provides some pointers
- Cracks in the wall may or may not be due to foundation problems. Have them checked.
- Monsoon leakages can make life hell if not detected and fixed before you move in.
- Termite trails and other evidence of pests should be fixed pronto.
- Old bungalows may have drainage / sewerage problems.
- The interior plumbing may be corroded, which could result in up to 80 percent drop in water pressure.
- Make sure there is adequate water storage available.
- Check the strength of beams and columns. The reinforcement may have been corroded by proximity to salty sea water.
- Look at the BMC’s DP (Development Plan) sheets to check if there is any reservation intended for the land surrounding the bungalow.
- If there is no fencing around the property and you plan to build some, ensure that there is no ‘setback’ provision for road widening by BMC in the pipeline.
- If the bungalow has period architecture, it may be included under the Heritage list. That means you cannot make architectural modifications.
- Check if there are too many trees on the property and you want to cut some down. Friends of Trees may object!
- Is the power supply adequate? Old bungalows may not support new appliances like air-conditioners and washing machines.
- Permanent-style exterior finish (like tiling) may pose fewer maintenance problems than the non-permanent type.
- Is there adequate parking?
- What are the external noise levels? Moving from the silence of the 20th floor of an apartment block to ground level may damage your eardrums in this bustling city!