Investing in property is always a life-changing decision. This single decision has a lasting impact on your present and future. The entire process of buying property can get overwhelming as the world of real estate is a complex one. It is essential to orient oneself to this sector during this process. Whether you are buying a new apartment, planning to purchase land or building your own house, there are many rules and regulations that you will have to consider and keep in mind. Getting acquainted with the concepts, terms and abbreviation used in this sector is an excellent idea as it will make this daunting process more comfortable.

What is FSI?

One such term that will come up in this journey is FSI. The abbreviation stands for Floor a Space Index; also referred to as FAR (Floor Area Ratio). In simple terms, FSI is the maximum permissible floor area, that a builder can build on a particular plot/piece of land.  FSI is the ratio of building floor covered area to area available on the land. FSI varies from place to place under the rules and regulations set by the city’s administration.

Total Covered Area On All Floors

FSI =       _________________________

Gross Plot Area

A simple example of this would be, if a plot of land measures about five hundred square meters, the permissible FSI is 1, then the construction of five hundred square meters will be allowed on this plot.  As per the permissible FSI, this number can change.

What impacts FSI?

Many things can have an impact on the possible FSI of a building. Some of these include the size of the plot, type of the building, the location of the plot ( city zone), essential facilities that can be made available for the building, etc. 

For example, the FSI of land may be dependent on where its location. FSI in old and established part of the city can be different than permissible FSI in developing areas. Each city can revise the FSI value depending on the city’s development needs and value of the land. The FSI number defines the potential of the plot and its commercial value

Although the math might be simple, calculating the actual FSI of a potential building can be difficult as many areas such as basements, porches, shafts, lifts, service areas etc. may or may not be counted as a part of FSI as per the regulations of your city. In Mumbai, the basement parking area and stilt parking does not count as a part of FSI. Similarly, rules may be different in another city. A thorough study of the city’s laws and by-laws is required to assess this accurately.

Irrespective of whether you are building your first home or making a prudent financial investment, buying property is always a milestone. As buying property involves a significant investment of money, and it is a long-term asset, it is crucial to understand these factors and the fine print before committing to a deal. Take an informed decision at each step by educating yourself to ensure that nothing jeopardises this significant purchase.

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