Friday, December 13, 2019

A quick guide to choosing between a ready-to-move-in and under-construction house

When it comes to buying a house, should a property seeker choose a ready-to-move-in house or an under-construction one? We explain the crucial differences between the two, to help you arrive at a decision

While buying a property is no easy task, another decision that compounds the dilemma for home buyers, is whether to choose a ready-to-move-in house or an under-construction one. While there are advantages and disadvantages to both options, the choice will depend on various aspects like, what the buyer is looking for, his needs/requirements an whether one is buying for investment or end-use.

According to Amit B Wadhwani, managing director of Sai Estate Consultants, buying an under-construction property makes sense, if one is looking at it from an investment perspective, while a ready-to-move house makes more sense, if the buyer is looking for accommodation. “As the buyer is also spending his earnings on the property, it should bring profit. The investment should help the buyer in the long run, wherein, he can sell the property, if need be,” adds Wadhwani.

Points to consider, while choosing a ready-to-move-in property

Choosing a ready-to-move-in flat, helps the buyer to avoid costs associated with living in a rental accommodation and the long wait in big cities, for an under-construction project to be completed. It also gives the home buyer a sense of security. Moreover, the buyer can check the neighbours and the infrastructure in the vicinity of the house, before buying the property.

“When opting for a ready-to-move-in house, a buyer gets what he sees, without the risk of any potential changes in the future. Other factors that influence buyers to purchase ready-to-move-in flats, include the construction quality, which can be verified before purchase, the social and physical infrastructure, availability of loan facilities and the low overall risk. Lastly, buyers do not have to have to wait or face the risk of delays and escalating costs, ”explains Hiral Sheth, head of the department, marketing, Sheth Creators.

However, the disadvantage of a ready-to-move-in house, is that it usually has a higher price than an under-construction property. Hence, it may not be an ideal choice from an investment and appreciation potential standpoint. Moreover, the buyer will not have the flexibility to choose the floor or configuration, as compared to an under-construction property.

Points to consider, while choosing an under-construction property

“Under-construction properties are generally in the non-established parts of the city and hence, the potential for price appreciation due to future development is good. However, this is not true in each and every case. One has to look at the location and future plans around that area. Moreover, in an under-construction project, a buyer also has flexibility in payments, with options like construction-linked plans, subvention schemes, flexible payment plans, etc.,” states Wadhwani.

The implementation of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA) and other buyer-friendly policies, aimed at bringing about greater transparency and compliance from developers, could boost home buyers’ confidence in investing in under-construction projects. However, in places where the RERA is not yet implemented, it is must for a home buyer to check the credentials of the developer and choose a reputed builder.

The biggest risk in an under-construction property, is that of delayed possession, maintains Sheth. One may also have to incur additional expense on an under-construction house, towards development charges, GST, etc., adds Sheth.

Irrespective of whether one is investing in a ready-to-move-in house or an under-construction one, Wadhwani suggests that home buyers should be mindful of the following:

  • The property that you intend to purchase, should have all the necessary approvals and licences.

  • Get all the information regarding the external parties connected with the project, like banks, advisories, etc., to get a better sense of project’s feasibility and quality.

  • Identify your desired location, keeping in mind your regular commute requirements.

  • Check online and on social media for user-based reviews on the locality, project and developer.

  • Consider the total budget for buying the house and plan your finances well.

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Thursday, November 28, 2019

Investment tips: How to buy a home that delivers long-term ROI

The decision to buy a property, should be based purely on the needs of the individual and the inherent value of the unit. We look at how home buyers can ascertain this, to choose a property that provides good returns on investment

With the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA) coming into force, as well as various other policy initiatives such as the Benami Transactions Act and the government’s push to affordable housing, we are seeing increased activity in the residential property market in the larger cities. After the dampener of demonetisation in 2016, the positive buyer sentiment visible now is especially significant. Consequently, builders are determined to capitalise on it, via increased marketing efforts. Given that there is already a lot of supply in the residential market – a lot of it for ready possession – fresh launches have been curtailed, so that the existing inventory can be absorbed. Much of the intensified marketing efforts are centered around special deals and offers.


While this may be advantageous for property buyers, they should be judicious while evaluating offers and schemes and base their purchase decisions solely on the real value of the home. Freebies such as gold, cars and household goods, have an undeniable attraction but they are fundamentally frivolous in nature and do not add to the value of the home.

The price of a home is obviously an important consideration for middle-class property buyers. However, the strategy of looking for the cheapest options on the market, does not make much sense because it is quality that determines value. In the case of residential property, the quality of an offering depends on three aspects:
  • The quality of the location.
  • The brand value of the builder.
  • The availability and quality of facilities and amenities in the project and in individual units.


Central locations are traditionally the costliest, as they offer great access to many important parts of the city , such as the CBD (central business district) and SBD (secondary business district). These areas tend to host the offices of high-profile companies and offer a vast cross-section of jobs, from highly-paid management to more modestly-paid support staff jobs. Even the second category of jobs is attractive, because the growth prospects in high-profile companies, are usually very good. This is what makes living in central locations very desirable and from a real estate pricing perspective, very expensive.

In India, this mantra held true for a very long time, until the advent of the infotech culture. The IT/ITeS industry, tends to offer very good salary packages but is not focused on high-value locations. Quite to the contrary, such firms prefer to set up shop in peripheral locations, so as to save on the real estate costs. As a result, many cities’ outskirts have become very desirable places for home buyers and they are far less expensive.

For IT professionals and industrial employees, as well as property investors, buying a home in a peripheral location that connects to an IT hub and/or manufacturing belt, makes perfect sense. Unfortunately, such locations attract all kinds of developers – from those who have a reputation for creating true lifestyle value offerings, to those who specialise in constricted, ‘pigeon-hole’ homes. This is where the brand value of a developer plays a significant role.


With a lot of housing supply available in the new growth corridors, buyers are spoilt for choice. The cost of a flat is obviously important but one still only gets what one pays for. Ultimately, a home is not just an asset but one which performs the very critical functions of offering refuge, comfort and security. Buyers must look for options, which offer them these three advantages to a satisfactory level. Branded builders provide these as part of their standard value offering, because their reputation demands it.


Urban life today, places a lot of stress and demands on us. Consequently, our homes cannot be mere places of refuge but must also provide healing and rejuvenation. A clubhouse, swimming pool and children’s park, are no longer luxuries but the bare minimum that Indian home buyers can and should expect. Nevertheless, even projects without such offerings will find buyers because of their lower prices. While short-listing prospects for home purchase, it is important to ensure that the final selection provides a decent lifestyle and not just an abode.

If one looks at the supply in the residential property market from this perspective, the choice of options automatically narrows down to a more manageable and comprehensive level. Buying the right home is not just about present and future comfort, but also about investment growth. Homes in good locations, built by reputed developers with a good saturation of amenities and facilities, will always yield better capital appreciation, as well as potential rental income for property investors.

Also read: Design tips for elderly-friendly homes

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Thursday, November 14, 2019

Design tips for elderly-friendly homes

As the inhabitants of a house age, the décor of the home may need to be modified to suit their needs. We look at some simple design dos and don’ts, vis-à-vis safety, accessibility and aesthetics that can make the home comfortable for senior citizens

As one ages, simple chores like reaching high shelves, climbing the stairs or getting up from the chair with ease, can become a task. Home owners who are ageing or have elderly parents or grandparents living with them, may need a home décor that is suitable for senior citizens. As comfort, safety and accessibility become key concerns, incorporating simple design changes that do not hinder the aesthetics, is essential.

“Studies have found that doing household chores, gives seniors a sense of purpose and contributes to both, their physical and mental well-being. In terms of design, one has to focus on helping active seniors to be as independent as they can. This means ensuring that they can carry out their activities with ease, simplicity in maintenance and housekeeping, reducing everyday risks and creating a safe home that supports active aging,” explains Nagesh Battula, founder and managing director, FHD (Fountainhead Design Group).

Many seniors continue to contribute to their professions, through advisory or consultancy, even after their retirement. In such cases, a spare room can double-up as a home office, as well as a guest bedroom for visitors or extended family. “Interior decorations should, ideally, reflect the family’s aspirations and preferences. The overall décor of the room should be positive, relaxing and not remind one of ill health,” adds Battula.


In today’s world, safety and security are key concerns. “To ensure the safety and security of the elderly, without compromising on enjoying a quality lifestyle, it is important to install basic amenities like security cameras, smart locks, burglar alarms, sprinklers, etc. Elderly residents living in top levels of a high-rise building, are at higher risk during medical emergencies, fire breakouts and other natural calamities.Hence, the builder or housing complex’s administration, should regularly coach and educate the ground level administration staff on quick, easy evacuation processes for the elderly during times of crisis,” maintains architect Alankrutha C, of N’Hance by Navin’s Housing.


Elderly people may also not have the same vision as other people in the house. “Eyesight changes and common eye ailments, may require brighter and cooler lights and fewer yellow lights. Ensure that there is adequate ambient general lighting for safe movement around furniture, obstacles, etc. and focused lights for activities like reading books or instructions on medicines, etc.,” adds Battula. With technology, it is also possible to operate the lights, fans and air-conditioners using a single remote, which can make it easy for seniors.


Furniture in the house, should be arranged such that there is sufficient space for seniors to move about freely. Keep items that are used often in lower cabinets, within easy reach. The furniture should enable seniors to carry on their daily lives easily. For example, a small shelf or table besides the bed, can be useful for keeping spectacles, phones, medicines and water. “High chairs or sharp-edged tables can be dangerous.

Furniture with rounded edges and seating options with a good hand and neck rest, are ideal. Avoid fancy rocking chairs or furniture with a straight back, as this can cause uneasiness. Instead, opt for a sofa/chair that has a reclining back and sufficient cushion support. Lighting inside a cupboard, can also be useful,” says Alankrutha.


The main criteria, when selecting flooring for home with seniors, is to ensure that it is not slippery, is easy to walk on and easy to maintain. Fashionable bathroom tiles or marble/ ceramic flooring in the house that is slippery, may not provide sufficient grip. In the bathroom, one can use anti-skid tiles. “Alternatively, use honed tiles or premium vinyl flooring in bathrooms that have a smooth base, as these are water-resistant materials.

In the living room, it is better to avoid polished stone flooring or ceramic/ porcelain tiles, as it can be slippery when wet. If one already has such flooring and replacing the same is not possible, then, consider placing a carpet on the floor,” advises Alankrutha. The building should also cater to the mobility needs and safety requirements of the seniors, with ramps for wheelchairs and stairs with handrails or safety bars.


  • Avoid any loose rugs and floor carpet. You can secure the rugs, carpets and door mats, using anti-slip rug underlays.

  • Dry bathrooms reduce the possibility of slipping. Ensure that the areas near the WC and wash basins are dry and that the wet area is confined to the shower area.

  • A showerhead with adjustable height, is better for seniors.

  • Provide good, even distribution of ambient lighting across the floor space, without creating glare.

  • A comfortable and attractive area, for elderly to do their exercise, pray or pursue hobbies such as reading, knitting, painting, gardening, etc., can be a bonus.

Also read: 5 reasons why refinancing your commercial property makes sense

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Saturday, November 2, 2019

5 reasons why refinancing your commercial property makes sense

Refinancing one’s commercial property is common practice in the developed markets. Here are the top 5 advantages of refinancing your commercial property

Refinancing an existing loan for a commercial property is a practice that started in the western world and has caught on in many Asian countries including India, for some time now. Refinancing offers a host of advantages for a business and with the evolving financial market, it is a fairly common practice nowadays. Refinancing a commercial mortgage is basically replacing an existing loan with a new one. In other words, it involves paying off an existing loan and then taking a new one at better rates or terms and conditions.

Here are the top five reasons why refinancing makes sense and why you should go for it:


Refinancing often results in lowering the cost of borrowing. If you get a lower interest rate from a bank or NBFC, you can pay off the existing loan and opt for another one at a lower interest rate. This will leave you with more money in your hands by way of substantial savings in interest rates. The transition from higher rates to lower rates is especially possible in times like these when there is a low interest rate regime. A saving of 100-200 basis points in interest rates can result in a lot of money in your hand.


You can go for a new loan with a shorter repayment period. If you have an existing loan with a repayment period of 20 years and do not want to service that loan for 20 years, a new loan with a shorter duration can be taken. It is well-known that the interest component in EMIs is highest in the first few years of a loan repayment period.

If you keep the longer loan, the actual principal amount will get repaid in later years of the tenure of the loan. If you choose a new loan with a shorter duration, then the amount that you will pay as interest through EMIs will be lower. Hence the overall outgo to service the shorter-term loan, will be lower.


If you have many commercial properties and are servicing several different loans, then choosing one bank or NBFC and getting refinancing from it for all your properties, can be advantageous since this one bank or NBFC that you choose may be willing to offer more favourable terms and conditions as it will get a bulk deal. This is called the consolidation of loans. Dealing with just one entity on a monthly and yearly basis for all your properties will be easier for you also.


Paying off an existing debt on a commercial property can be a useful means to recover equity. You can free up equity in the form of cash and use it as working capital for any of your businesses.


Floating interest rates can take up or bring down your EMIs considerably, making your financial burden volatile. Moving to a fixed-rate loan will require refinancing and can help you control volatility in business operations and servicing any other debt or debts that you may have in your business.

Also read: Top 10 commercial real estate terms you must know

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