Here are some common real estate terms to decode apartment listings:
BHK – Stands for Bedroom, Hall (living room and dining room), and Kitchen. 1 BHK means 1 bedroom, a hall, and a kitchen. 2 BHK means two bedrooms, a hall, and a kitchen, etc. Many expat apartments in Mumbai will have one full bathroom (toilet, shower, and sink) per bedroom.
Fully Furnished (FF) – All white goods, air conditioners, wardrobes, beds, couches, chairs, cabinets, curtains, lights, fans. If you are not bringing furniture with you from home and don’t wish to buy any in India, then you should look for a fully furnished apartment.
Semi-Furnished (SF) – May include some white goods, air conditioners, wardrobes, and cabinets, along with lights and fans. Varies. Most popular choice for expats shipping furniture from home.
Unfurnished (UF) – Very basic and empty apartment. Usually only fans and lights included.
White Goods – White goods can refer to most anything electrical in the apartment. Ask which white goods are included because the term can refer to different appliances depending on the listing. Examples of white goods include: refrigerator, TV, DVD player, air conditioner, washing machine and dryer, stove top. Ovens and dishwashers are not commonplace in India, though they are available.
- Typically, apartments in Mumbai have a rectangular “Hall” (living room and dining room) and kitchen in the center, flanked by “wings” to each side where the bedrooms and bathrooms are. If there are four bedrooms, two bedrooms will be on the right and two will be on the left. If there are two or three bedrooms, there might be just one “wing.”
- The listed square footage can be misleading. The “Built-Up Area” includes the apartment and the elevator area. The “Carpet Area” is a more accurate estimate – this is where you will be putting your furniture. Viewing the apartment yourself is the best way to know how much space there is.
- Small terraces are common. Some apartments feature terraces large enough for outdoor furniture. Most are just big enough to keep some plants or to hang up laundry.
- Live-in maids are not as prevalent as they are in Singapore, for example, so “maid rooms” are not conventional. However, larger 3 or 4 bedroom apartments may have areas reserved for maids, such as a small bedroom, a toilet room, or a separate entrance/exit.