When looking to buy or rent a home, there are likely to be several terms or abbreviations that are particular to India.


Firstly, most prices will be mentioned in the Indian numbering system:

  • 100,000 (one hundred thousand) = 1 Lakh
  • 100,00,000 (ten million) = 1 Crore

(Therefore 100 Lakhs make a Crore)

Apartments/houses go on sale at Rs. 35 Lakh (Rs. 3.5 Million) or so, for a modest two bedroom, and can be as high as 5 Crores (Rs. 50 Million) for a bungalow/villa in a desirable neighbourhood.

Rentals are much more reasonable with the same two bedroom renting for Rs. 15,000 a month, and on the upper end, a bungalow for Rs. 1.5 Lakh a month.


  • BHK: Bedroom, Hall, Kitchen. Homes described as 3BHK will have 3 bedrooms, a living room (hall) and a kitchen.
  • Sq. Ft.: Square Feet. Although India goes largely by the metric system, spaces are still calculated in square feet. 1 Sq. Mt. = 10.75 Sq. Ft.
  • Carpet area: The actual inner dimensions of the rooms in the house. Reflects your actual living space.
  • SBU: Super Built-up Area. Generally for apartments, this is the carpet area (actual living space), plus your pro-rata share of the common areas such as lobby, stairwell, terrace. Can be 30-40% of the square footage mentioned.
  • BU: Built-up Area. This includes balconies, and common entrance areas. Can be 17.5-25% of the total square footage mentioned.
  • +reg: Plus registration. When buying a house, there is a government registration fee, which is usually 9.5% of the total value of the sale, which is not included in the sale price mentioned.
  • Fully Furnished: Unless mentioned, most apartments and houses in India are completely unfurnished, sometimes without ceiling fans or water heaters for the bathrooms. Fully furnished can mean anything from a basic set of furniture (usually no washing machine/fridge/stove included) to all appliances (only in very high end rentals). You need to check what is included.

Floor Numbering

The floor numbering system in India works like this:

    • Street level:Ground floor. In apartments which are on stilts, with ground floor taken up by parking spots, sometimes the first level above the street level is considered ground floor.
    • One floor above street level: First floor. Two floors above street level: Second floor, and so on. So a 3rd floor apartment would actually be on the 4th storey (Ground, 1, 2, 3).