Finding an apartment in New Delhi!

I set foot in Delhi on Saturday, 17th of September and started the apartment hunt on the 18th. I and my wife are new to New Delhi and with no clue about rents, locales etc, we’ve decided to play it safe. We’ve so far agreed to hunt for apartments in South Delhi and centered around her workplace in Hauz Khas. With our trusty broker, we’ve embarked on the hunt. Sunday, Surinder, our broker, was fresh and excited. Based on his appointment book we wandered between various neighborhoods. We were looking for a 3BHK with reasonably new finishing and a neighborhood where we could enjoy some walking.

Panchsheel and Hauz Khas were first on our list. We wended our way through traffic to arrive at our first apartment. It was a nice one. 3rd floor, private parking, clean bathrooms with newish toilets and accessories. Our blockers: top floor (temp goes really high in summer) and the kitchen cupboards were awful. Plus the asking price was a lakh. Well, it was our first, and we were still feeling fresh. So on to the next – a nicer apartment in Panchsheel again, but another block. Yet another top floor apartment. We needed to chat with our broker and we were developing a sense of what Delhi had to offer.

After looking at various apartments priced upwards of a lakh, I wondered if we had hope of finding anything cheaper. My cousins advised me of 25-35k apartments in Saket, in Greater Kailash and other places, but every apartment we looked at seemed to be priced way higher. So we kept at it and talked to Surinder – we were looking for something cheaper. Day 2, and 3 we looked through Safdarjung, Sarvpriya Vihar, Gulmohar Park and Greek Park. The apartments were nice, but we hadn’t found a fit yet. It appeared that the style of apartment we were looking for, and the locales that we had in mind were all pushing up the quotes.

And slowly the determining factors emerged:

  • Neighborhood – which determines the professions of your neighbors, the facilities offered nearby, the frequency of water and electricity cuts, and the parking conundrum.
  • Apartment size – how many rooms and what size they are, and the total sq. feet
  • The floor – top floor, ground floor, or somewhere in the middle
  • Finishing – how chic does the apartment look, esp the floors (marble, tile, wood) and the bathroom accessories (age, stylishness and arrangement)
  • Building location – middle of the street, or a corner (which sort of sets you up for lighting and parking space)

The major determinant among these were Finishing and Neighborhoods. In order of prices (based on the sample we saw) Panchsheel was the most expensive, followed by Hauz Khas, Gulmohar Park,  Defense Colony, Green Park, Safdarjung Enclave and Sarvpriya Vihar. The max we were quoted in these areas for an unfurnished apartment was 1.25 Lakh. The lowest offer was 50k.

We’re currently looking at an apartment in Defense Colony. If that works, we’ll have concluded the search successfully with 8 days of work into finding our residence for the next 3 years!

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