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How I Bought My Dream Home in Bangalore

Updated: Apr 11

I always wanted to do a #30by30 - travel to 30 countries before turning 30, and while that did happen, buying a house at 30 wasn't exactly on my life's bucketlist.

But fate had other plans. After years of bouncing around from one rented flat to another, getting treated like dirt by landlords who could choose to chuck you out at the slightest provocation, and pulling off one trash-to-treasure home makeover project after another, I did start to miss the stability and permanence of one proper house to call my own, and a seed was planted. I became "one of those" people who had home ownership dreams much against the advice of more sane people around. Well meaning advice on the lines of "A house isn't exactly the greatest investment! You can yield a lot more from equity! As a girl, you'd anyway move to your husband's place." was duly thrown my way. But well, when has buying a home been anything more than an emotional decision?

So after jumping through multiple hoops of searching for properties, calling up owners and brokers ad nauseam, touring the city for site visits, and two "almost there", I locked my dream home, next to a real jail.

No really! The building really borders the Central Jail of Bangalore and living here gives "facing a jail term" a new meaning. But luckily, my house faces a lake on the other side.

Being a Cancerian, water and me have a special connection. I'd always felt most at home next to a water body, so it's no surprise that a home by one too always had a lot of appeal for me. I knew a sea facing house was out of the question (or the budget) being in a land-locked city, the next best alternative was to have a lake view. And so using that as my criterion, I checked out many "lake view properties, even though there's no straight-forward to search by that filter. Before I bought the house I did, I almost bought (paid the booking amount and all) an old resale flat in BTM which had a partial view of the Madiwala Lake, well if you twisted the neck at a certain angle anyway. But the seller cancelled the deal at the nth minute, something I thank my stars for it to this day. Because if it had, I would've never found the one I eventually did get.

Even though originally I'd planned to buy a much cheaper house in the same society, because it had a private terrace and a partial lake view, (what more could you ask for, right?) even that house came up a cropper. I was advised against it because of the health hazards of a high-power electric tower right opposite it, and just as I was leaving the building, crestfallen and seeing my house dreams shattered yet again, I saw it in passing.

A house with a 40 feet unobstructed lake front. Everywhere you looked, you saw the lake. Whether from the hall, the kitchen or the bedrooms. I was sold. I didn't care when, how, or which kidney I had to sell for it, I knew it was "the one". And there began almost a 6 month "courting" period between the owner, the builder, the legals and me and scrambling to get everything in order to make the house happen. There were times it looked like it wasn't going to happen. The owner played hard to get. He went back and forth between his original quote to the price he eventually hiked it up to seeing me salivating. The legal checks for the builder didn't look great either. Above all, the money and the fight involved was making me rethink if it was a good idea after all.

But I guess the house had my name on it.

And so, just on the eve of my 32nd birthday, (so technically not at 30), I gifted myself the biggest gift ever - my dream home.

Now some of you must be burning with questions like "How much did it cost", "How big is it", "Is it on loan", and trust me I do want to answer all of these questions. We'll definitely get into the commercials of it in another post, but for the time being, let's just say, it's a dream home. It's so close to what I'd envisioned for myself my dogs, and my future family and hustling for it did pay off.

I think I did get very lucky.

But if you think buying a house is the big achievement, lemme break it to you guys: The real work starts after you're handed over the keys. I can do a separate post and talk about what goes into buying a house till cows come home if you will, but really, I didn't expect that setting up a brand new house from scratch would be so much work and consume all of me pretty much for an entire year.

I moved into my new home near exactly a year ago, and even a year down the line, I'm still at it. In fact, I just got off the phone with a carpenter who'll be coming in tomorrow (and for the 6th time in the last one year) to drill another set of nails on which will hang some more paintings and art work. Oh yeah, I'm one of those people now.

I think there's a goldmine of content waiting to be unleashed just from the last year. I want to write about the process of buying a house, how I saved up to be able to buy a house, the formalities and paperwork and research involved in the process of home buying, the checklist of factors you should consider before booking a property, things that you'll need to do in the house once it's been bought, phew, you see! But for now, I just want to channel all my energy on turning this 'property' into a home.

A house will be most likely the biggest and most complex purchase of my life and it stands to reason that it took almost two years from the time I set my eyes on the house, buying it, and to the time I feel "settled" in it. Update after 3 years: almost 3 years since, if there's one piece that stays consistent in all my life's nomadic and unsettling moorings, it's the house -- seemingly floating on the lake, but keeping me grounded and always welcoming me in its warm embrace.

It's my pride, my joy, and a place I'll hopefully see through to my last breath.


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 I (Monica) am a lifelong traveler, (40 countries), sustainability and veganism advocate, and a marketer by profession. I'm old school in that I still like to blog and document rather than shoot and post.

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