A Beginner's Guide on How to Buy a Flat in Karachi

Are you searching to buy a flat in Karachi that is perfect, airy and spacious? Perhaps, this guide can help.

 

Our step by step guide on how to find the right place to live, you will find your safe haven and we guarantee it.

 

We will not only explore all social avenues for real estate, but also give you tips and tricks to hack your way through.

 

There won’t be a need to look elsewhere, we promise.

 

Some other websites you can check out for further information are Zameen.com and Graana etc.

Step 1: Do your research

buy a flat in karachi_research

To buy a flat in Karachi the initial step is to be aware of the type of places and communities that exist in the city.

What type of locality would you like to live in? One that comes alive with the hustle and bustle, or does your  lifestyle want peace and quiet?
 

Let’s start by creating a checklist for you to remember things by:
 

A - What sort of a flat are you looking for and for how many people? If it's just two people starting out, it shouldn’t be TOO time consuming to pick one that suits your needs.  
 

Buying a flat for a family will require your utmost attention. But why, right? 

Here’s why:

You’ll have to take care of everybody’s needs, what sort of space do they require (are the kids going to share), would parents need the bigger room or not? All these details you need to sort out soon.

 

B - Do all the rooms come with attached bathrooms? Flats in Karachi are cutting down on this idea and usually have one common bath for a two bedroom apartment.

 

This although changes for bigger (3-4 bedroom apartments) since they’re generally bought by families with more than 4 people in tow.
 

C - Locate your neighborhoods. 

You can just about find the coziest, quietest place in the middle of the city and the loudest on the opposite side.
 

Know your places and map them out. Neighborhoods with parks or convention halls are generally more lively than others if you’re looking for something like that, but that’s just my opinion. 

Word of mouth plays an integral role here. 

Since it is primary information coming straight from the source, coupled with experience, it should at the very least be considered workable.

 

D - How is the water and electricity situation?

Karachi is that one city of Pakistan that suffers a lot from water issues. Most areas don’t get water through lines as the others do.

Here’s one good thing about living in a flat is that the water supply absolutely has to be through what we call “the line”. 

It basically means the plumbing allows you to take your mind off getting the water yourself and leaves it to the maintenance department. Before simply checking it off your list, do ask around about it just to be sure.

Power outages in this country are pretty common. If you don’t have a backup, then you need to learn how to bear the heat. 

Flats in Karachi although have managed to tackle this problem. Backup generators are being installed and some have actually gone as far as getting solar panels to conserve energy. Pretty smart!

Cleanliness, probably the only issue we collectively as a nation haven’t been able to tackle but still try our best to do. 

One way to identify if the municipality of your town is working towards bettering the garbage situation is looking out for the daily cleaning drive. Are people hired to clean up everyday or not? This shouldn’t fall to you at all. 

Check with the people around you about this. 

The people putting up this flat for sale should make sure all of this is taken care of beforehand.

 

E - Furnished or not?

 

Generally, when buying a flat a person would want all the things that come with it, right? Fixtures should be checked and made sure they all work when turned on. 

No one wants to flick a switch and find an empty wall light or a broken bathroom. All signs of a good flat are these small things that we often miss. 

Also while we’re on the topic, let’s make sure the doorbell’s installed along with all the necessary kitchen plugs and switches. It should be thoroughly checked.

Now, if you’ve done your homework and checked the utilities offered OFF your list, this becomes a whole lot easier. It is now time to move on to step two. 

 

Step 2: The Financial Funneling 

Property acquisition is a very serious matter.
 

The mere thought of it sends your mind reeling at possibilities of the perfect little place to call home.

But at the same time, those thoughts should be backed up by your finances. 

It is common knowledge that among the other cities, Karachi’s real estate has the highest demand as well as price and people think twice before signing that deed. 

Your finances are the map that will lead you to that perfect flat in Karachi you’ve been searching so hard for. 

The number one question on your mind right would be where do I go to get the money? Let me answer that for you.

Almost all the banks in the country offer some type of home loans to people with the purchasing power. From short term to long term.

It depends on the person willing to mortgage their home. 

Do you want a long term plan because you want to figure out your finances? Or a short term one with swift payment methods?
 

MCB Pakistan stands to lead in the home loan schemes alongside bank Al-Habib and Meezan. You’re welcome to choose from their many plans available that suit your needs the best. 
 

All you need to know about the banks and their loans:

 

  •  MCB, the top tier in housing finance. Provides you with a loan calculator and a home purchase loan of 50 Million.  👉 More info is here
  •  HBL has an eligibility criteria for its existing customers who are also salaried professionals of PKR 100,00.  👉More info is here
  •  Meezan bank provides Islamic Housing Finance to individuals.  👉 More info is here
  • Another prominent loan solution is HBFC (House Building Finance Company) which helps you either construct your house from ground up or purchase it.  👉You can get more information here

 

They plan on providing sustainable housing to the people looking for it. 
 

The minimum amount for a loan starts from 1 Million as per the loan policy in the country and the average loan could take from a month or more in terms of how long a particular bank takes to approve your funds. 
 

For this, as per HBL, a salaried individual banking with HBL is to have 100,000 available as a security deposit and a non-user to have 150,000.In Karachi, almost every flat is either mortgaged or rented and since we’re here talking about buying a FLAT in  KARACHI, let’s stick to funneling our finances to purchase.

Places that come with added benefits of schools and market places nearby, generally have a higher cost of living. But since you hold that power to make a PRK 500,000 purchase and above, you get to choose the best.
 

Step 3: Find an Expert to help you out! (The Real Estate Agent)

Finding the right person for a job only sounds easier but imagine actually finding someone who leads you to your dream house. 

Why do people look for real estate agents?

They always look according to your needs.

All estate agents are by law, asked to declare all details regarding the property so you know what you are walking into, well prepared. 

Less of your time will be taken up if you get the person whose job it is to show you the right flat to live in. 

Remember, your interests matter so if you don’t agree with a place they’ve shown you, you always have the right to ask for other, better places
 

Here’s what you need to know:
 

Their research should be airtight and you should be able to trust their judgement completely. Fact check your research with theirs because that’s the only way to find out if its not a charade.

So I recently came across a friend who was looking for their own place in Karachi and of course, it was supposed to be a flat.
 

I’ll narrate their experience.
 

According to them, their real estate agent was a fluke. With no idea about property law and the legalities. Taxes too were not covered and utilities were completely left out.

 

Be careful in trusting. Always try to ask a couple of real estate agents. Always ask for a reference. 

 

Hiring someone who is highly recommended is always a good thing, but always cover your bases because big cities come big troubles too.

 

Ask for as many references as you can so you can double check. Your sources should be absolutely trustworthy here. What you can also test is how they conduct themselves. 

 

How thoroughly knowledgeable this real estate agent is? 

How well read are they about ownership?

How much do they know about legal side real estate?

 

Always talk to their happy clients to know what was good about them.

Whichever area you’re bound to, ask your realtor about it. Questions like how long have they worked the particular place or how much experience have they had dealing with the place will get you all the info you need. 

Ask for more questions from them when buying a flat they recommended:

 

Is there a society fee that you have to pay per colony/building? What’s the commission process looks like?
 

If no, my second last step will help you but if yes, you can skip it.

Before we get to it, a couple of more questions that will come in handy during the interview.

Since realtors are the middlemen helping the seller and the buyer come to an agreement, ask your agent if they’re willing to run a background check on your seller to help you weed out some of your second thoughts.

You can also check their ratings if available and make a calculated move. 

If there are ways to find out how successful they have been with selling, find them and evaluate. 

Ask for at least two of their most successful cases who will also be willing to back them up on it.

Don’t hold back, background checks are for everyone!

Accurate information will only help you both strengthen your deal.

BUT, 
 

If they’re not being honest, don’t move forward because you’re only wasting time and your precious money.

Now that you have found someone to rely on, tell them what you want and see if they make it happen. 

We have ticked off the first three real estate essentials off our list; your ideal place, the money and the agent.

It’s now time to consider all the little things that we think of when buying a flat, but often don’t cover.

 

Step 4: Top Middle or Ground?

Buy A Flat in Karachi

Did you know the price range for every floor differs? That’s right. The top floor usually comes at a lower price unless it's a penthouse compared to ground floor flats. 

Look at the passageway for example or the stairway, are they both narrow and crumpled? Are the steps too steep or high? Often when searching, we skip the part where we actually have to get to the flat completely. 

Your ease should be priority. If there are children or senior citizens involved, wouldn’t these stairs just become a nuisance? Yes they absolutely would. 

I remember how my own grandmother wouldn’t sell at the idea of moving to a top floor flat because the flat we found (and because we didn’t search properly) was only trouble. 

But here come the pros; we now have elevators installed in all the buildings WORTH living. Even the more cooped up ones come with small ones.

You’re lucky if your deal for the ground floor goes through because there’s nothing like literally being down to earth but also keeping a little bit of heaven.

 

Pros for top floor: it's the top floor and the view is great. 

Cons: without an elevator it won’t work well. Unless you’re living alone and are fit to run upstairs 4 times a day.

Pros for ground floor: ease of access, and you’re safe from the scorching heat of Karachi.

Cons: your passageway is everybody else’s passageway. According to me it shouldn’t be too big of a factor to base your decision on, but it varies.

 

Have you considered the middle floors though? I think they win this round. Not too hot or too cold and sharing isn’t a big deal either. 

You get the view and works without an elevator because lesser steps.

 

Step 5: Check your Living Space
 

Our main problem in a city so big is the need to develop 10 projects at the same time so our population can fit somewhere. 

Sure you’ve chosen your floor but is the space according to you? Are the rooms square and spacious or rectangle and right? (a nicely furnished living room)

All these questions should be written down when meeting the real estate agent and should be reviewed by them so they ONLY show you the right places.
 

Most people get stuck with one straight useless passage as their living rooms and that has been a problem of the ages. 
 

No one wants to play field hockey in their homes 

Angles aren’t considered because no matter how much we want it in an ideal world, it's the opposite here.

But here’s what I suggest you do, and as much work as it sounds, it will help. 

Have your agent print the layout and see it for yourself. Imagine a furnished place or just draw it over the blueprint. 

What you do is lay out the print, and place what you think fits in the right area.

Not only will this help you create a clearer picture but you’ll know if the angles aren’t drawn up by someone who had no idea what they were doing. 

We are now sorted on the main ground plan but let’s not skip the minor details of the interior of the flat you are about to purchase.
 

Step 6: How’s the ambiance?

Buy A Flat in Karachi

In my subjective view, every flat should be airy, spacious (no matter what the size) and by spacious I don’t mean area wise, I mean no unnecessary pillars in the middle of the room or walls and angles sticking out, no.
 

What you should see the minute that you walk into the flat is like an opening, in its literal sense. No rooms should be on your face but rather strategically placed on the sides or further along the way. 

 

Also while we’re on the subject of what looks perfect and what does not, open kitchens are slowly moving out of style but if you’re still looking for that  single counter top fashion, by all means go for it.
 

Step 7: Think about Balconies

Second important alert: Can there ever be enough balconies?

No, I don’t think there needs to be one leading outside the bathroom but, I have actually seen some very smart ways of introducing them in the backsides of the flats. 

One particularly caught my attention. Not only had the architect made sure there was an entire passageway between the bathroom and a cupboard (yes an in-built cupboard! Smart, right?) but they also made sure the balcony at the back came equipped with a washing area.

You could both have your laundry room next to the bathroom or at the other end of the space. Either way, it seems like a win-win to me.

Although, a counter to this could be poorly constructed and congested spaces. Narrow and unusable. 

What a balcony should look like is the following:

You should be able to have enough space to maybe decorate the place a little, make it cozy and turn it into somewhere you would love to have your evening cup of tea. The entire aesthetic is on point.
 

Step 8: A Peek at the Parking  

Parking is essential because that’s the basic means of transportation. You’re planning on living in a flat in Karachi where the population only rises and where a family of 6 would each have their own separate car.
 

That’s probably taking up your own parking space. 

Real estate developers are getting smarter with this. Big projects have better planning and of course cost you but they’re so worth it. An example would be of a very famous series of flats by Creek Vista in DHA (creek vista, Icon tower)

Brilliant plan and even better execution. Even their parking is great.

If you’re a big family with more than two cars, you need to look for places that validate multiple car parks or find an easement nearby if you’re unable to get that much space. 

Last words for this: Don’t skip a look at the parking! They might just give you a smaller space and you will have to live with it. Not ideal.

 

Step 9: What is Nearby?

Buy A Flat in Karachi

In my experience, not enough thought is given to market places, schools and other facilities nearby. 

Sure tiny shops at the corner make-up for a “market” but you won’t find half the things you need. Here’s where my advice comes in.

A good solid market-place should be accessible, meaning 10-15 minutes away on foot for when you feel like walking.

Or a 5 minute drive when you feel lazy. It should also have all types of vendors available. No one wants a grocer or only a dry cleaner. It’s a hassle. 

For a hassle free vegetable run, choose your surroundings carefully.
 

In short, you should have the following things very near to you:

  • Supermarkets
  • Shopping stores
  • Daily fresh items store
  • Pharmacy
  • Hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Beauty Salons
  • Restaurants
  • Kids play area or gardens
  • Fitness centers
  • Mosques 
  • Schools & Kindergartens


 

Step 10: Laying The Legalities Down

We are almost down to our last step but not the least. The Legal Work. 
 

Pakistan is one of the countries with the highest property disputes and these mostly happen because either of the parties were ill informed about their decision, or they had someone unfit to guide them. 

(Remember step 4 with the estate agent)
 

If you’re unable to get your realtor to help you legally, there are several sources online that you can indulge in and find answers from. 

First things first, you should know what a sale agreement contains and how liabilities emerge. 

A seller will make you an offer and you will either accept or decline it. IF the seller only invites you to check the offer out, they do not owe you anything in case something goes wrong. 

I have seen many cases being mislead by this analogy. An offer is different from an invitation to treat.

Unless the implication was of the sort that would lead many people to come to the same conclusion, your legal team should be able to create a constructive appeal to fight this. 

Now a sale agreement would obviously include the names of the parties and all the clauses drawn up by the representatives of the parties. 

These clauses will talk about the amount agreed upon and terms of moving in and leaving if things go south. 

Some clauses may even be allowed to turn null and void while the rest of the agreement functions as it is. 

👉Here is what your standard sale agreement looks like

Run through it and familiarize yourself with it. Sit with your lawyer and hash out the details you want to be a part of your agreement.
 

With capital involved and that means a bank, you will need to make sure all legalities are crystal clear. Courts rarely allow a stay-order where property is involved.

Seeing the circumstances although it may change its mind depending on the family and other situations so this step has to be run through a fine comb. 

Here’s some more information regarding legal property terminology in Pakistan 👉 Learn more here
 

To sum up:
 

We’re at the end of our Guide on How to Buy a Flat in Karachi and now let’s tick the final things off our list:

All the wrong information has been filtered.

The right person for the job found and their work completed.

Legalities are black and white.

Your finances sorted.

We hope you have found the place you’ll call home through our simple yet smart little hacks and now we’re here.
 

And that this article helped you add all those things you missed out on your real estate essentials list and that you’re on your way to fulfilling your dream.

It’s now time to take the keys and put them to the locks. 
 

If you’re planning to buy a flat, why not a book time with us?

 

Image credits:

https://unsplash.com/photos/dTCNj6ptvG0
https://unsplash.com/photos/I_LgQ8JZFGE

 

Article by Noormah Ahmad - Real Estate Writer

Currently working as an Account Manager in a Digital Media firm with a passion to write & create quality content. 

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