Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Effect of GST on Indian Real Estate

The implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is expected to bring about a major transformation in the taxation structure of India. Currently, the central and various state governments impose taxes on the manufacture and purchase of goods and services. The all-encompassing GST is supposed to do away with the various taxes that burn a wide hole in people’s pockets and prevent double taxation. At present, consumers bear a 25–30% of tax burden on purchase of goods. GST is scheduled to come into force on July 1st this year.

As much as the benefits of this new tax regime are widely spoken about, it is still not clear how GST will impact the real-estate sector, especially low-cost and affordable housing.

Real-estate experts across seem to be trying to get their heads around on how this sector is expected to get impacted by the implementation of GST. The three primary taxes that are levied in this sector are Service Tax, Value Added Tax (VAT), and Stamp Duty. GST is expected to replace the first two, while the third one remains as is.

To understand this GST - real estate conundrum, we shall break down the components of taxation in the sector. Firstly, let’s understand that Service Tax, which goes to the central government, is applicable for only properties that are under construction. This tax is levied on a percentage of the total price of the said property. Land cost is not included in the calculation of Service Tax. Hence, currently there is a 75% abatement on under-construction properties valued at less than Rs 1 crore and 70% on such properties that cost more than Rs 1 crore, like high-end luxury apartments in Bangalore. In both these cases, Service Tax is calculated on only the remaining 25% and 30% of the gross value of the property.

VAT too is applicable on properties that are being constructed, but are payable to the state government. This tax is levied on the sale of the house property and involves the transfer of ownership to the buyer. However, this tax structure varies from one state to another, in the range of 1–5%. Experts are of the opinion that the implementation of GST will not only simplify the tax structure in real estate, but also reduce the scope for litigation.

Stamp duty, which is not going to be included in GST, is calculated as a percentage of either the agreed value of the property or the minimum price at which the property can be transacted, depending on which value is higher. Some experts believe that stamp duty is a good revenue-generator for state governments and is therefore kept away from the ambit of GST.

Going by the understanding of GST vis-à-vis real estate, experts believe under-construction properties to be pretty expensive after July 1, 2017. Nevertheless, they suggest to wait and watch until the designated date to see the rate of GST to be implemented and its resultant impact on real-estate prices before making conclusions.

This is a guest post by Dinesh Dawde

Monday, May 15, 2017


 Image source:

Dealing with the real estate finance and property matters is an uphill battle. You never know which move will make or break your future plans. Especially for the first-time dealers or the new beginners, the real estate dealings are a learning road. The investors step into this new world of investments and weigh the pros and cons of various property deals against each other. Once they are fully satisfied and have talked to their agents and lawyers, it is only then that they get into a contract with the seller. Even then, the beginners and even professionals tend to make unforeseen mistakes at the time. But, through thorough research and learning, they can do their best to avoid the common pitfalls that can be disastrous.

Here are the common mistakes that can be avoided easily if one has some background of financial and real estate guidance. The mistakes are as follows:

  • Lack of research

Image source:

Most of the investors while dealing with property do not know everything that they should. The real estate agents take advantage of this fact and there’s a high chance that they’ll allure you into making less beneficial deals. This is where your knowledge and a good support system are required.
The lack of research can be in choosing the right location or in financing (discussed ahead). Many new investors ask very few questions regarding the property they are shown. This is a big mistake! You should ask everything about the place. How investing there is beneficial? What facilities does it offer and a lot of other things? Say if you are interested in investing in the property located on the Al Marjan Islands UAE, wouldn’t you ask about the other UAE islands and the other potential areas? You must approach every possibility that you can.

  • Not having a strong financial approach

 Image source:

The property investors, home buyers, building renters, everyone must have a strong financial background. The dozens of mortgages offer, loan plans and financial funds are available in the market with the purpose of helping the investors purchase what they want. Here, sticking with the budget you have is very important. Some of the investors are attracted to homes and buildings with a higher price. As a lot of other expenses should be taken into account before expanding the budget, spending money on such a deal is a waste of your money and time. Other bad investments include those with a high-interest rate, high monthly payments, and balloon payments.

  • Giving up easily on negotiations

Image source:

Good communication and negotiation skills are a trump card in the real estate dealings. You need to have a strategic approach if you want to get a good deal and negotiations play a very important role here. To excel in this domain you need to learn the basic techniques and tricks of property dealings. What many investors here do is they give in easily to what the agent has said. Even if they aren’t satisfied with the deal, they fail to negotiate with the agent. Then the end results, in this case, aren’t good enough. This is why you need to learn how to negotiate or at least know the basics of the essential things and how to talk about them before signing the contract.

  • Miscalculating the repair costs

It’s not only the property land or the building that costs you your life savings but also the repair cost that most of us ignore to consider. The repair cost is the money one has to spend, after buying the property, on the maintenance of the building. Everything from the repair of the lost connections to painting, lawn care, the furnishing of the place and few other important tasks are included in the post-property buying expenses. A buyer must consider these and make sure he doesn’t go out of cash so that he could fix these issues as well.

  • Ignoring the due diligence period

A due diligence period is the right of every buyer and those agents who don’t give it or keep it short must be stopped. As the buyer, you are responsible for the deal you are making and you must keep a reasonable due diligence period before finalizing the deal so that you have a chance to end the deal if you find some problem in it. During the due diligence period, you should hire a third-party proper property inspector who looks into every aspect of the house and analysis it. Estimate the repair cost and check whether there is any other issue or not.

Real estate investment is tricky but not impossible. If you follow the proper guide and avoid the common pitfalls we have mentioned in the article, there’s a higher chance that you’ll succeed in making your very first potential deal. Keep your head high and be attentive during the whole process. This is what it takes to get a good deal.

This is a guest post by Rachel Stinson who has always had a knack for writing, food, fashion, and places. Blogging has combined all four for her with an added bonus of enthusiastic audiences. She expertly analyzes real estates and restaurants with respect to pricing and people involved and can express her opinions in an unhesitating, engaging manner. 

Monday, May 1, 2017

Why Home Loan Interest Is Too High for Indian Buyers?

A recent survey carried out by the Indian Mortgage Guarantee Corporation IMGC-Kantar IMRB showed that high housing loan interests and lack of savings are factors that discourage Indians to own a house. According to the survey, borrowing money is another constraint for people that prevents them from investing in a new property. The survey also revealed that the younger generation (25-44 years) is keen on buying affordable houses in smaller towns than metropolitan or mini-metros.

Conducted in two phases, this survey had a sample size of about 4,100 respondents from towns, mini metros, and metros. These respondents were people who had opted for a home loan. The age group was segregated into 25-34, 35-44, and 45-55.

At the launch of the report the MD & CEO of National Housing Bank, Sriram Kalyanraman said, "Housing sector is poised for higher growth, especially in affordable housing segment by the Housing-for-all by 2022 Mission and infrastructure status accorded by government, apart from various other measures,"

As high as 38% participants of the survey had the same opinion that the home loan interests are too high. An equal number of people gave the reason that their savings aren't enough to meet the expenses of buying a new home. Other factors listed in the report were higher property rates and insufficient loan availability.

The report also pointed out that home ownership delays are being caused due to high dependence on personal savings to pay for down payment.

When questioned about the progress on Housing-for-all, Mr. Sriram Kalyanraman addressed by saying that apart from the government lending and loan subsidies, many other private developers launched projects under affordable housing. He added, "The full data has to come from private sector. Once we take it, I think we will surely be in line with Housing-for-all by 2022." Furthermore, he shared that presently small-sized houses of about 500 square feet are in great demand.

It is also believed that demonetization has led to a fall in the property prices. This fall is indicative that it is the right time to invest in properties in various cities. Buying apartments in Bannerghatta Roads, Bangalore, or residential properties in OMR, Chennai, or apartments in Hyderabad will become easier for the public.

Mr. Sriram Kalyanraman also believes that prices are sure to come down and demonetization has helped a lot of clients. In addition, there is far more transparency in the buying and selling of houses in the INR 15-20 lakh segment.

The report also stated that many Indians still live with their parents, than in a rented place or self-owned house, which shows their financial dependence. Amitava Mehra, the CEO of IMGC said, "There is a gap in the market. These can be managed to a large extent by mortgage guarantee backed loans. With availability of higher loan to value (LTV), Indian home buyers can achieve their home buying dream by not relying solely on personal savings."

This is a guest post by Dinesh Dawde.

Friday, February 3, 2017

The new happening destination Yelahanka

Yelahanka is one of the most happening cities to the north of Bangalore. Yelahanka is on the verge of being the prime real estate hub in North Bengaluru owing to its vast undeveloped areas and easy access to the Kempegowda International Airport. This locality has seen remarkable developments since its inception. It was once known to be a town which did not exist on the maps of Bengaluru. The transformation has been slow and in a paced manner. But the appreciation of property and land value is remarkable.

Yelahanka has an excellent connectivity be it by road, rail and air. The road network to Yelahanka is one of the best in entire Bangalore. Yelahanka railway station is one of the oldest stations setup in Bangalore area and has railway lines connecting KR Puram and Bayappanahalli in the east and Yeshwanthpur in the northwest. If these tracks are improved and daily city passenger trains are introduced, a big part of traffic congestion will be eased as more people will use trains. Since the tracks already exist, it is better to use the existing infrastructure rather than investing in new activities like Metro. Kempegowda International Airport is located off Yelahanka. Government has taken initiative to develop this area on a large scale by making sure north Bangalore is suited to develop and flourish as a Business Hub.

Witnessing the huge growth of Devenahalli Business Park, a rail system is to be set-up that will connect Devanahalli with Yeshwantpur via Yelahanka. Widening of the NH-7 up to the airport from the existing six lanes to eight lanes (currently under process) will result to be next major infrastructural advantage to this area. With the development of this, there will be an Inter-modal Transit Hub at Yelahanka. Yelahanka is peaceful and traffic free compared to all other areas that provide well equipped locality to live in. Good social infrastructure is present here with a number of multi-specialty clinics and hospitals, reputed schools and colleges, among others. The area has a lot of room for good capital appreciation as property prices are currently affordable as compared with most of the CBD areas. Prices are relatively affordable.

Investors are considering buying property for sale in Yelahanka for long-term investment as prices are expected to appreciate. Demand for housing mostly comes from those employed in North Bangalore, especially employees at business parks like Kirloskar Business Park and Manyata Tech Park. This area is more affordable with property prices approximately around Rs 4,700 per sq ft. Large scale infrastructure development is proposed around this stretch that would further enhance market as an investors’ destination. There are three proposed IT parks in and around this region and a proposed four-lane state highway that would connect this stretch to major parts of the city.

There are several benefits to investing in Yelahanka. The availability of infrastructure that ensures good connectivity is definitely a plus point. For those working in the area, being close to work place is an added advantage. The presence of good amenities at a short distance is ideal as well. Of course, one of the key benefits is that property in the area is still in the affordable range as against other property for sale in Bangalore. This area is great for long-term investment.

This is a guest post by A. Ramya

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Why 2017 is Likely to Be a Good Year for NRI Property Buyers

Non-resident Indians from all over the world have been fascinated with Indian real estate market. However, they are bothered by the lack of transparency and ways in which business dealings are conducted in India; especially when information is withheld deliberately from the buyers, and there is a lack of scientific process of due diligence. With several key policy changes in 2016 such as demonetization, Real Estate Regulation Act (RERA), the Goods and Services Tax (GST), and the Benami Transaction Act, the debate now is if the NRIs will be interested in investing in the nation.

Here’s why NRI property buyers should invest in Indian real estate in 2017:

Firstly, there are many ready possession properties built at prime locations such as Bangalore, NCR region, Chennai, etc. There are many luxury villas in Bangalore and 2 to 4 BHK apartments in NCR that are ready to be sold. Secondly, India is expected to keep its place among the fastest-growing economies in the world, with the real estate sector steering the wheel. Furthermore, policies like Goods & Services Tax, Real Estate Regulatory Act, Real Estate Investment Trusts, Benami Act, and demonetization are expected to bring about transparency in the sector. Lastly, the amended rules and regulations will ease up the purchasing process. Relaxation of laws by the Reserve Bank of India for NRI buyers is also a major benefit.

Naushad Panjwani, the managing partner at Mandarus Partners LLP, believes that the Indian realty has major credibility issues largely due to the absence of effective regulator, which is present in other sectors (TRAI, IRDAI, SEBI, etc.). He also believes that some other reasons that hold back NRIs to invest in India could be the shortage of funds for projects, the delay in the disposal of court cases, the lack of title insurance and nexus among politicians, developers, and bureaucrats. Panjwani says, “All of these factors kept good business houses away from the realty sector, and the industry as a whole was characterized by many unscrupulous elements. However, things have started to change slowly. The Real Estate Regulatory Act (RERA) and easing of inflow of funds in the form of Real Estate Investment Trusts, External Commercial Borrowings, and Foreign Direct Investment, have attracted the attention of reputed business houses and customers alike.”

The Chairman Emeritus of Sobha Ltd, Mr. PNC Menon believes that Indian realty sector has reached a stage where it offers NRIs a range of options to invest in, from affordable to mid-range to luxury properties. Menon said, "With greater transparency, tighter regulations, more affordability and enhanced price stability, Non Resident Indians will find interesting property investment opportunities, as long as they have a long-term view and are discerning about which realty project to invest in. India is a huge market with over 1.2 billion people and an emerging economy on a global front,”

Rustomjee Group’s brand custodian and chief customer delight officer, Mr. Kaizad Hateria has expressed his opinion that moves like demonetization will bring about transparency in the real estate sector and minimize unaccounted cash dealings. He said, “Greater transparency, will improve the element of trust in the Indian property market and this will make Non Resident Indians more confident about investing in properties in India.”

The marketing director of Sheth Creators, Hiral Sheth mentioned that realty sector has come a long way by becoming the second largest employer in India. Number of rules and regulations have been amended to ease the process of home buying as well as commercial property. Sheth said, “Factors like Foreign Direct Investment in the realty sector, relaxation of laws by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) regarding property buying by Non Resident Indians and lenient policies via-à-vis the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), have accelerated real estate investments. Also, the availability of affordable properties, attracts a large number of urban Non Resident Indian buyers from across the globe.”

Industry experts believe that 2017 will be a good year for NRI buyers to invest in properties. New policies that will boost transparency and rules that will simplify the property purchasing process are the main reasons for attracting NRI buyers.

This is a guest post by Dinesh Dawde

Thursday, January 12, 2017

How to Choose Building Materials and Estimate their Cost and Quantities for House Construction?

Building material is any material which is used for the construction purposes. Building materials can be categorized into two sources, natural and synthetic. In order to construct a good quality house in the amount you have budgeted, a thorough understanding of the quality parameters, cost and quantities of these building materials are required.

The cost of construction depends majorly on the following factors:
  1. Architectural Design opted (like Open Top, Sloped Roofs, terraces with add-on features etc.,)
  2. Structural Design (depends upon type of strata available for foundation and numbers of floors / configurations (basement, stilt,G+2 etc.)
  3. Specification of Building materials selected (Quality/Brand of materials used for painting, flooring, woodwork, Bathroom, Electrical etc.)
  4. Exterior Finish chosen (i.e. front elevation design, stone cladding, facade, etc.)
  5. Peripheral external developments (such as compound wall, driveway, landscape, hardscape, Gate etc,).

The other minor cost head would be cost of liaison, charges for construction permits & building approvals.

The Construction cost can be broadly split into Labor and Material Cost. The extremely increasing construction trends are considered the driving force behind this fast upraise of total building construction costs. Taking this trend, the material manufactures have raised the prices of materials considerably in last decade or so.

Before planning for a bungalow/individual construction unit, one must be aware of the quantities and cost of building materials as they constitute around 55-60% of the total construction cost of a house. While taking a personal round of the nearby market, one should also avail services of construction turnkey solution providers and then take a judicious decision before the start of the construction.

Refer the info graphic attached in the article to get the building material consumption and their costs for a 1000 Sqft budget house construction. The material quantities can be extrapolated based on the built up area of construction you are planning for.

The Major raw material, intermediately and finished construction materials contributing major pie to overall material cost are:

1. Reinforcing Bars(Rebars) / Steel:

Reinforcement steel is the most important structural material in construction. Steel is used in RCC (Reinforcement cement concrete). Generally rebars available in the market are manufactured through Thermo mechanical treatment (TMT). Rebars comes in different grades (i.e, Fe415, Fe500, etc.,). Fe500 is generally recommended by structural designer for structural requirement fulfillment.

The approximate Steel consumption per sq.ft built up area (BUA) is 4 kg (for low rise construction i.e., less than 4 floors of construction). Steel contributes the most among all individual materials, about 25% of total material cost. So, a price rise of Rs.5 per kg can make big difference in the total cost of construction.

2. Cement:

Cement is an important construction material and when mixed with materials like sand, aggregates (stone chips), and water, it binds them together. It is used in concrete, in brick masonry work, in tiling, and in plaster works.

Good quality cement should feel smooth when rubbed between fingers. If a small quantity of cement is thrown into a bucket of water it should sink and not float. Cement should always be kept free from moisture. Its storage should have finished floor raised to at least 300mm above ground level and should have airtight storage. Use of cement older than 2 months should be avoided as cement loses strength with increase in its shelf life.

OPC 53 grade is generally used for concrete works and blended cement (PPC & PSC) for masonry, tiling and plaster works.

The approximate cement consumption per Sq.ft built up area (bua) is 0.4 bags. Cement as a construction material contributes about 16% of total material cost.

3. Sand:

Sand is used mainly in Concrete, Masonry, Plaster and Flooring. Good sand should be well graded i.e., particle size ranging from 10mm to 0.150 mm for concrete and masonry works, and 5mm to 0.150 for plaster. It should be free from slit/clay and organic matter.

Natural Sand (also called River Sand) is obtained from River Beds. Due to environmental impacts and stringent laws by the government, Natural sand is slowly and gradually being replaced by Crushed sand (for concrete and masonry works) & Plaster sand (for plaster works). Crushed Sand and Plaster Sand are manufactured from Quarry Stone using latest production technology.

Sand consumption per sq.ft built up area (bua) is 1.8 cft and contributes about 12% of total material cost for building construction.

4. Aggregate:

Crushed rocks are used as coarse aggregates and are generally used in making concrete. Coarse aggregates are normally available in two fractions 20mm and 10mm for concrete making.

Aggregates should be clean, dense & hard. The aggregate should be neither flaky nor elongated. Flaky and Elongated aggregates decrease the strength of the concrete and demands more cement. Aggregates should be stored properly and different fractions must not be intermixed. Both these aggregate fractions should be used invariably.

Coarse aggregate (chips/gravel) consumption per sq.ft built up area (bua) is 1.35 cft. Aggregate as a construction material contributes about 8% of total material cost.

5. Bricks:

Bricks, in old days, were commonly made of clay and were known as burnt clay bricks. Now a days, bricks are made of other materials such as fly ash. But clay bricks are still widely used in low rise residential constructions today. Bricks are used for masonry wall construction. Other substitute materials to bricks are Concrete solid/hollow blocks, Autoclaves Aerated Concrete (AAC) Blocks and Cellular light weight concrete CLC Blocks.

The clay bricks should have uniform size, uniform copper color, plain (without undulated surfaces), rectangular surfaces with parallel sides and sharp straight edges. Well burnt brick should give a metallic sound when struck with other brick. Good bricks should not exceed +/- 3 mm tolerances in length and +/- 1.5 mm tolerances in width and height. Water absorption should not exceed 20% by weight.

Bricks approximately cost Rs.7000 per 1000 units (Nos). Bricks contribute to about 5% of total material cost and are consumed approximately at 1.45 brick per sqft of built up area (BUA).

6. Tiles:

Ceramic tiles are generally made from red or white clay fired in a kiln. They are finished with a durable glaze which carries the color and design. Ceramic tiles are manufactured for both wall and floor, having varying degrees of wear resistance and water absorption. High strength and Low water absorption ceramic floor tiles are commonly known as Vitrified tiles. Tiles prices vary according to their types and quality.

Tile should be easy to clean, strong, sturdy and stain resistant. Tiles in wet area like bathroom should be of anti-skid floor type.

Tiles consumption per sq.ft built up area (BUA) is 1.3 sq.ft. Tiles contribute about 8.0% of total material cost.

7. Paints:

Paints can be broadly classified into water based or solvent based. They come in thousands of shades and gives multiples finishes like Matt, satin and glossy finish. Certain Paints also have washables, anti-algae/fungal, crack bridging properties.

When selecting an interior paint, try choosing water-based paint instead of oil-based gloss paint. Water-based paints have less odor than conventional oil-based paints.They are much easier to clean up and are durable.

When selecting an external paint look for waterproofing, anti-algae, and dirt pick resistance properties.

Paints (Internal- Emulsion and external grade) consumption per sq.ft built up area (BUA) is 0.18 liter (0.14 liter for internal painting and 0.4 for external painting).

Paints contribute about 4.1% of total material cost.

The Finishers (Bricks, Tiles, and Paints) collectively contribute 16.5% of total material cost.

8. Fittings Category:

Window, Door, CP Fittings, Sanitary wares, Plumbing and Electrical fittings when combined contribute to 23% of total material cost considering budget brands. Top brand options may increase this category cost to 30 – 35% of the total cost of construction. Fittings can be selected based on one’s requirements and choice. In branded fittings quality should not be a concern.


Other than estimating the cost and quantities of construction materials, one should also have knowledge of current labor cost in local markets. This is because the labor component constitutes to 40-45% of the total cost of construction of a house. An unskilled labor charges Rs. 350 to 400 per day whereas skilled labor such as mason, carpenter, painter, electrician etc., charges between Rs. 800 to 1000 per day. The total cost of construction (including both design, material and labor) per square feet may vary anywhere between Rs.1250 and Rs.2500 per square feet depending on the specifications of the building materials you choose for you house.

Now that you have the total cost of construction, you can start sourcing the funds required for the project. Your source might be personal savings or loan from banks/ friends. Although this sounds like a naive step, lack of resources during construction might sometime over shoot the budget. Contractors will charge for De / Re-Mobilization. Some of the construction materials like Cement etc., might expire/loose its strength if the project is delayed by long. So sourcing the funding before the start of the project is just as important step as any other. A detailed cash flow for purchasing construction materials has been shown in the info-graphic to ensure smooth construction flow with time.

This is a guest post by Vinod Kumar Singh

Saturday, January 7, 2017

DIYs that can increase the value of your home

Every home once in a while has to go through some improvisations to increase the value of the house. It is more so if you are looking to rent or sell your property. Some physical changes and improvements can add to the appeal of your house and make it look more attractive. A fresh coat of paint, some new wood work inclusions etc. can be a good start to home improvisations. But if you are looking to do some value additions without spending much, you can try some of the DIYs listed below.

To make a house look more elegant and bright, light color drapes paired with white upholstery and white based furniture pieces are the key. So you can start off by changing the curtains. De-stain any old wooden pieces and re-stain them according to the color tone of the room. Few other economic changes would be to either steam vacuum the carpets or change over the carpets to lighter shades. Lighter shades of carpet make the house look big and elegant. Symmetrical patterns on the back-splash of the kitchen counter, stairway railing and verandah railing will make the house look organized and high fashioned. Keeping the kitchen counter top clear of unwanted items will make the counter seem big and attractive.

Bedrooms are the biggest appealing points when considering a home. Big beds with neatly laid white and fresh linens are biggest attractions. Symmetrical arrangements of the bed with side tables and other furniture pieces in the room gives the room a sense of space. Similarly white sheer curtains and drapes make the room seem brighter. You can customize the door and cupboard knobs by painting them all in a same tone of metallic shade. These metallic shades make the home appear custom made and add value to the property. Landscaping in the backyard or merely adding some greenery to your terrace garden will show detailed touch in the house. Every buyer or renter want to see a personalized touch in the house they are looking. Creating a specific purpose for each space in the house will show how each space can be efficiently utilized. Even if it is not utilized the same way as yours, it throws opportunities and ideas for much more use to the space.

Use of energy efficient fixtures and appliances adds as a huge advantage when trying to put the house on the market. Energy efficient incandescent light bulbs, power saving smaller appliances will be looked up as a huge saving on a long run. Adding additional storage outside of the house in the garage will also be considered a value addition. Leaving these additional storage half empty will make the storage space seem more and will help the buyer visualize how much the storage space can accommodate. Every home improvement once started must be completed to satisfaction. Refrain from taking bigger home renovation projects if the deadline seems too tight. Consider the use of the particular update or renovation in the long run and foresee how it will add value to the house before implementing any changes to your home.

This is a guest post by A. Ramya

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Top 5 Lighting Ideas to Light Up your Rooms like never before

Not everyone understands how far proper lighting can go in enhancing and transforming the look and feel of interiors of a house or an office. A careful planning with respect to lighting can add a lot of aesthetic values to the looks along with serving its functional purposes. Any of the interior architects in Bangalore can vouch for the fact that a properly-lit room can offer a much peaceful and calm atmosphere.

If you have plans to change few bulbs here and there at your residence or office or if you are looking forward to an extensive overhaul of your space then consider these 5 lighting ideas that can literally transform your rooms for better.
  1. Chandeliers- There are few things to chandeliers. They are clichéd, they are costly and they are still a must if you really want your living room to be beautifully and uniformly lit. Most people see chandeliers just as props to beautify their spaces, but these lighting objects are also very functional as they help you get rid of those corner shadows in the room. A crystal chandelier can add elegance or a metallic one can offer great visual treat. These light fittings often come with dimmer levels to use them as per your needs.
  2. Recessed light fittings- If you don’t want your entire living room bright but just want to illuminate one particular section of it, then, recessed lighting is the answer for you. You can typically find fluorescent, halogen or incandescent bulbs outfitted in these lighting devices. There are usually dimmers attached to it that can be used for decreasing and increasing the illumination and thus changing the ambience in the room in less than a second.
  3. Task lighting- Now you may confuse this with recessed lighting as these are also used for illuminating specific areas in a house but for specific tasks and not necessarily just to create pleasant ambience. Perfect examples would be lights above the dresser, study lamp, table lamps etc. They can be typically found in the form of pendants, portable lamps, track lights etc.
  4. Funky cabinet lighting- Being in kitchen and preparing dishes can be all the more fun with some funky lighting embedded in different cabinets. It is practical and also one of the very smart ways of making your kitchen exciting. Whether it is the kitchen counter top, the cabinets or the exhaust, these light fittings can make your job simpler. Consult one of the home interior designers in Bangalore to learn more about these cool and practical lighting solutions for kitchen and other cabinets in your home.
  5. Bedside lighting- A little lighting along the bedside can help all of us, especially if you like reading your favorite books right before sleeping. There are many options like bedside lamps, wall-mounted ones or floor lamps that you can choose from. All these often come with a dimmer to regulate the intensity of lighting.
While many home or office owners are driven by lighting options and solutions available in the market, many others approach it one space at a time. Hiring one of the best interior designers in Bangalore can help you get over this confusion.

The trends in home lighting solutions keep changing year after year, but at the end it boils down to how comfortable and peaceful ambience can they create inside the spaces you live in. Office lighting is equally important as right lighting can keep the workforce pepped up and in good mood, which in turn can help any business.

This is a guest post by Bharath Joshi

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

How to Apply for SBI Home Loan Online

State Bank of India (SBI) is the largest and one of the oldest public sector bank of India. It started its banking business in India in the year 1806 with a market share of 20% in deposits and loan in the banking sector. SBI has been ranked at the 232nd position in the Fortune Global 500 list of the year 2016.

SBI and its five associate banks have a comprehensive list of banking products and services that they offer to their customers through its wide-spread branches all over India. They offer products to residents as well as non-resident Indians. Apart, from banking products, SBI and its associates offer products like insurance, credit cards, fund management and investment in capital markets as well.

SBI Home loan:

SBI is one of the largest providers of home loans in India. With their comprehensive list of different kind of home loan products, they have something that meets everyone’s expectations. SBI was voted as “The most preferred home loan provider” by the consumers themselves in CNBC Awaaz Consumer Awards. The easy to avail, transparent and trusted SBI brand of home loans are better than any other home loan products in the market.

With a market cap of Rs. 190,000 crores and total outstanding loans of Rs. 11 lakhs crore as on March 2015, SBI stands at the leading position well ahead of the private sector banks in India. This is at least in part due to their innovative products and competitive interest rates.

Features of SBI home loan:

  1. SBI home loan is available with minimal charges;
  2. Interest is charged on daily reducing balance at very low rates in comparison to similar products available in the market;
  3. They offer the loan with no prepayment penalties. So, if you have surplus money, you can prepay the loan anytime and reduce the interest burden at no extra charges;
  4. Apart from loans, their home loan products come with other exclusive benefits as well;
  5. No hidden costs and charges;
  6. With such a widespread network of branches and the online facilities, the loan can be availed from any part of India easily.

How to apply for SBI home loan:

SBI home loan can be applied by visiting any branch of SBI as well as through the online route at just a click of the mouse. SBI recently started the online home loan application process which helps customers check their eligibility and find a quote in accordance with their requirements.

Firstly, the customer needs to fill an online form to get an instant e-approval. After that, the bank officials shall visit the customer to complete all the penalties. Also, the customers can upload all their documentation online. This has helped in reducing the processing time considerably and made the whole process customer-friendly.

SBI home loan products:

SBI offers a variety of home loan products designed to meet everyone’s requirements. Here are few of the home loan products offered by SBI:
  • Home Loans: This product is offered for buying a new home, buying a pre-owned house, and for the construction of a house;
  • Loan for earnest money deposit: This loan can be availed to finance the earnest money requirements to book a residential plot or a house property that us sold by government housing agencies or housing boards. This loan can be repaid by the housing loan availed from SBI later;
  • Takeover home loans: this loan facility allows customers to shift their existing home loan from any other commercial, public, private, housing finance company or foreign bank to SBI;
  • Tribal Plus scheme: this is a specialized scheme for people living in the hills or tribal area of Northeast India and areas around Bhopal, Lucknow. Chandigarh, Patna, and Bhubaneshwar;
  • SBI Privilege Home loan: This home loan product is specifically meant for government employees;
  • SBI Shaurya home loans: only defence personnel can avail a home loan under this category;
  • Her Ghar: As the name suggests, this home loan variant is exclusively for women home owners and is offered at a concessional rate of interest;
  • FlexiPay home loan scheme: Availing a loan under this scheme, help young professionals reduce their financial burden by repaying the loan in easy installments.
  • NRI loans: SBI has special home loans to cater to the needs of NRIs.

SBI home loan interest rates:

SBI offers home loans at very competitive rates in comparison to other banks. Presently, it is offering home loan at the rate of 9.15% onwards depending upon the product you choose. Whereas, SBI home loan concessional rates that are offered to women start at 9.10% onwards.

Eligibility criteria and documentation required for availing SBI home loans:

Eligibility criteria and the documentation required depends upon the employment status of the person who is applying for the loan. Here are the requirements that are needed to be met for availing the loan:
  • In the case of salaried employees:
If the applicant is serving as an employee with a company, then he needs to be 18 years of age to a maximum of 70 years to get their home loan approved from SBI. The minimum income should be at least Rs. 1.2 lakhs p.a. to avail a home loan between Rs. 5 lakhs to a maximum of Rs. 1 crore. The loan can be repaid in 5 years to 20 years. The applicant should be working for at least 2 years with the current organization in order to be eligible for the home loan.
  • Documents required:
  • Application form with photograph
  • Residential and identity proof as accepted by bank
  • Salary slips for the last 3 months
  • TDS certificate, i.e. Form 16 of the previous year
  • Salary Account statement for the last 6 months
  • A cheque for the home loan processing fee.

  • In the case of a self-employed person:
If the person is self-employed, then he can avail a loan when aged between 21 years to 70 years. Minimum annual income of Rs. 200,000 is required to be eligible for the home loan. A loan of Rs. 500,000 to Rs. 2 crores can be availed by a self-employed individual and this can be repaid within 5 to 20 years’ time. The applicant should have been in the same business or profession for at least last 3 years in order to qualify.
  • Documents required:
A majority of the documents required to be submitted by a self-employed individual are similar to those that need to be submitted by a salaried applicant. The documents that are specified to self-employed professional and businessmen are as follows:  
  • Educational certificates
  • Proof of business existence
  • Certified copies of income statement and balance sheet for last 3 years
  • Bank statements for last 6 months
  • A cheque to cover the applicable processing fees

Presently, there are no processing fees on SBI home loans if it is being transferred from a different lender to SBI or if the loan is being granted for a SBI approved housing project.

This is a guest post by PaisaBazaar Team

Friday, December 16, 2016

Reasons Why Demonetization Has Brought about the Right Time to Invest in Real Estate

Much hype is created around the demonetization of the currency and its effects on the real estate sector. The fear that the real estate sector will suffer immensely as a consequence of this decision is, however, unwarranted. In fact taking long-term perspective in account will help us see that demonetization will actually bring some positive changes.

Thanks to the demonetization, India will witness transparency and organized ambiance. From a home buyer's view, this is a welcoming change, as it will place him in a stronger position with so many benefits to reap.

Top reasons why you must invest in realty sector (post demonetization).

  • Demonetization has accelerated the flow of money into banks. This excessive money will allow the banks to give out a loan at a cheaper rate of interest. People can avail home loans with ease to build their dream homes.
  • Projects that were earlier delayed on account of lower cash will now speed up. Increased cash flow with banks would also facilitate industries to avail loans at better lending rates than what was being offered earlier.
  • Better liquidity has resulted in deflation, which in turn has given rise to price stabilization, hence making it a buyer's market. The Reserve Bank of India has more than enough expanse to lower the REPO rates now. If the banks have liquidity, it will help them convert the REPO rate into reduced borrowings for home loans. The rupee is also expected to become stronger in the coming few months, thus increasing the purchasing power of customers.
  • Investment in infrastructural construction - Demonetization will lead to a surge in the percentage of money accounted for which will result in an increased collection of taxes. This means the government will have much more resources to invest in infrastructural constructions in India. This will be a win-win situation for the consumers who have invested in affordable projects on the outskirts of the town as they will get more connectivity.

Also, the transformation to cashless economy will make the home buying process all the more transparent and convenient. Therefore, if at all you are planning to buy new apartments in cities like Chennai, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Hyderabad or any other city, keep in mind that this is the right time. The Realty Sector has witnessed a slowdown in the past two years and prices of apartments have dipped by almost 10%.

This is a guest post by Dinesh Dawde

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Home Loan Prepayment: The Whys and Hows

A few years ago, Misha took a large home loan, at a monthly EMI of almost Rs.37,000 and interest rate of 11.75%. She still has to pay close to Rs.26 lakhs of the principal amount with just a little over 10 years remaining. She is looking for options that can help her diminish the loan burden. As home loans are some of the biggest debts we take on during our financial lives, repaying them often becomes a substantial burden on middle-income earners with a fixed salary. However, there are four ways in which you can reduce your home-loan debt—or at least minimize its effects:

1. Transfer your home-loan to a low interest provider: If Misha transfers her home loan to a lender who levies 10.5% interest instead of 11.75%, her loan tenure comes down drastically. If she maintains the same monthly EMI, the reduced interest brings the tenure down to 113 months from 124. The longer you spend repaying your loan, the more interest you have to pay—therefore, Misha will save approx. Rs.4 lakhs in interest.

2. Increase your EMI and reduce the tenure: This can be availed only if your financial situation changes substantially. For example, you had been saving for your child’s education, but she has already left for college. Or your salary has been hiked by 30% or more. Suppose Misha pays Rs.42,000 a month instead of Rs.36,407 a month— her interest tenure comes down to 96 months from 124, as a result of which she pays Rs.476000 less in interest.

3. Make prepayments: Prepayments are payments made towards your loans in large chunks, and at irregular intervals. Here are the basic ways in which they differ from EMI payments:

  • EMIs are compulsory and regular. You pay them every months, and you pay a fixed amount. While this amount can be changed, there is not much flexibility. Prepayment, on the other hand, depends entirely on the loan taker
  • Prepayments are much larger than EMIs, for example the average home loan EMI can be anywhere between 10,000 and 50,000, while prepayments are numbered in lakhs.
  • The most crucial difference between EMI and prepayment is that a large portion of your EMI goes towards payment of interest, at least towards the beginning of the loan tenure. Prepayments, however, go directly towards your principal, thereby bringing down not only the loan tenure, but also the outstanding loan amount.
If Misha makes prepayment of Rs.2 lakhs for 5 years, alongside her regular EMI of Rs.36,407, her total interest will drop by a staggering Rs.8.5 lakhs and her loan tenure will be almost halved— from 124 months to 73 months. Obviously, out of the three options for reducing the home-loan burden, making prepayments is the most profitable one. But while going down the prepayment route, there are a few things you must note:
  1. You will have to pay interest when you are making a prepayment, i.e. the day you make the payment, your principal will decrease and from that point on you will be paying interest on the reduced principal. But suppose you make a prepayment on the 10 of the month— the interest on the original amount for those 10 days will have to be paid as well.
  2. Some loan providers insist on validating your proof of income before accepting prepayment, as these are usually big ticket payments. Therefore it is advisable you carry bank statements for the account from which you are making the payment, dating back to at least three months.
  3. The longer you take to repay a loan, the more your loan provider will earn. Therefore, accepting prepayment is often not in the best interest of the bank, so there might be measures like prepayment charges and limitations in payment mode. There may be a specific period after loan disbursement during which prepayment is not permitted. Also, the borrower may have to be present personally to make prepayment. Acquaint yourself with these rules and regulations before you take the leap.
  4. Once your principal loan amount decreases, your CIBIL score (which reflects your credit worthiness) will improve. Follow up on your credit score within a few months of making the prepayment, to ensure that the reduction in outstanding balance is reflected.
  5. Make sure to preserve the acknowledgement of payment. This document contains important details such as outstanding principal, home loan tenure, and change in EMI (if any).
The catch is, prepayment is possible only in case of a sudden financial windfall, such as yearly bonus or inheritance or gift. Then you would have the dilemma of whether to invest it and increase savings, or whether to prepay your loan and reduce your debt. Our advice is, if the rate of interest from investment is less that the interest you pay on your loan, it is better to make a prepayment. For example, investing in a provident fund would fetch Misha interest at 8.8 currently, while her loan interest rate is 11.75. Therefore, making a prepayment makes better financial sense.

This is a guest post by Team Paisabazaar

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Step by Step Guide to Buying Property in Thailand

In our last post, we discussed why investing in Thailand real estate can prove to be beneficial for foreigners. With Thailand economy growing at steady pace and improvement in transport system in Bangkok area, the time is ripe for foreign investors to invest in Thailand real estate.

The country is strategically placed geographically and offers convenient trade with 3 largest economies of the Asian continent namely China, India, Japan. At the same time, Thailand is the gateway to the countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). It also offers easy access into the Greater Mekong sub-region, where newly emerging economies such as Cambodia, Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), Myanmar, Vietnam offer great business potential. By 2020, full-fledged logistical infrastructure along with superb physical infrastructure will be ready to accommodate businesses that want to enter the growing economies of East Asia, upper ASEAN (CLMV), and South Asia. In a nutshell, Thailand will act as a stepping stone for investors and businesses alike looking to invest in the region.

In this post, we will list down the step by step process to buy property in Thailand.

  • Step 1: What kind of property a foreigner can buy in Thailand?

First thing first, as a foreigner, what kind of property that you can invest in? As per the Thai laws, a foreigner can buy condominiums which are freehold and these condos can be 100% in foreigner’s name. If a real estate developer in Thailand develops condominium project, then, 49% of this residential development can be sold to foreign buyers. However, Land properties such as; villa/house, bungalow cannot be owned in foreign buyer’s name. For foreigners looking to invest in land properties, company setup is an option (51/49 share).
    • Freehold
As stated above, foreigners are allowed direct freehold ownership in Freehold condominiums. Foreigners can also invest by way of common property co-ownership with locals.
    • Cap on Foreign investment in residential development (condominiums)
If a developer develops a condominium project (residential development) with 100 condominium units, then, at any given time, foreigners can hold maximum of 49 condominium units in that project and 51 units need to be held by locals.
    • Leasehold
If a foreigner is looking for land properties, then, he/she can effectively use land with a leasehold tenure. He/she is permitted by law to own structures or buildings developed on that land. The maximum duration of such a lease is 30 years. The lease can be renewed upon expiration of 30 years lease term. However, if a foreigner has a registered company in Thailand, then, he/she may also buy land or a house built on land.

  • Step 2: A typical buying process for foreigners looking to buy property in Thailand

  1. To reserve a property, pay for reservation fee (generally 50000 THB).
  2. In 1-2 weeks time period, sign the standard purchase agreement with the developer.
  3. Once the purchase agreement is signed, the foreign buyer will need to make 30% of property value to the developer within 1 month.
  4. If you are investing in a completed property, then, pay 70% final payment in 4 months. If you are investing in an under construction property, then, no further payments are made till the construction is complete.
  5. Once the final 70% payment is made, the developer and foreign buyer will meet at the land department to legally register the condominium with the land department of Thailand.
  6. Within 1 month, foreign buyer will receive the title deed and census registration.
Below is a detailed chart for a foreigner who is looking to buy a condo in Thailand:

  • Step 3: Get the FET Form

An authorized financial institution (normally a Thai Bank) issues a FET form (Foreign Exchange Transaction). This FET form is an official statement by the authorized Thai bank of exchanging foreign currencies into Thai baht. Whenever a foreigner brings native currency to invest in Thai real estate, the authorized Thai bank exchanges that foreign currency to equivalent Thai baht and issues a FET form for the conversion of foreign currency into Thai baht.

The FET-form was earlier known as the Thor.Tor.3 (and pronounced as tor tor saam). The FET form is one among many other documents that are required when buying and registering foreign ownership of a condominium unit in Thailand as a non resident.

  • Step 4: Paying for taxes when a foreigner buys the condominium in Thailand

When buying a property in Thailand, Taxes can always be negotiated between the parties in order to determine who pays for payable tax and duty. Generally, the Buyer will be liable for the Transfer fee and the remaining types of taxes are borne by the Seller.

Transfer taxes - The land department levies 2% of the property value which is based on the value registered in the agreement.

Stamp duty - A total of 0.5% of the registered value will be taxed.

Withholding tax - 1% of the appraised property value will be levied (explained below).

The total withholding tax payable shall in any case not exceed 20% of the total price.

How much of these taxes will be paid by the seller and how much will be paid by the buyer? Well, it shall be negotiated before going to the land department and it shall be explicitly written into the sales contract.

  • Step 5: Paying for taxes when a foreigner is looking to sell the condominium in Thailand

Special Business Tax (SBT) is only payable if the property is sold within its first 5 years of ownership and is levied at the rate of 3.3% of the appraised value.

If one retains the property for more than 5 years, then, only stamp duty 0.5% + the 2% transfer fee are paid.

If the subjected property has been used as the principal place of residence of the seller, then, the seller is also exempted from SBT (Special Business Tax). However, the seller name must also appear on the household registration certificate for at least one year.

Monday, November 14, 2016

7 Reasons for Investment in Chennai Real Estate

The real-estate industry is growing at a rapid rate in our country. The contribution of this industry to the national economy is significant. It chips in about 5% share to our GDP. The expansion of the real-estate sector can be attributed to globalization and the setting up of many MNCs. Within this booming sector, Chennai presents a stable and lucrative market to invest in. Let’s take a look at the factors that add up to make this city a prime real-estate location:

1. Ranked among top 12 cities
In a report by Candy GPS (Global Prime Sector), Chennai is positioned among the top 12 cities in the world to invest in real estate. Factors like market transparency, rational prices, and steady growth make this city ideal for investments.

2. Consistent appreciation of property value
The real-estate market in Chennai witnessed a 150% capital appreciation from 2009 to 2012. There is an overall positive outlook for this trend to continue, with the market value expected to increase by up to 10% year on year. These numbers alone give a strong cue for investing in the sector in Chennai.

3. Better employment prospects and flourishing trend of renting homes
The mushrooming of MNCs in Chennai has resulted in better job opportunities, which have further led to significant migration to the city. This trend has increased housing needs, which has hiked the real-estate value in the city. While some of the migrants move to Chennai permanently, there are those who do not have such long-term plans. They would rather purchase a house in the new city, stay there for a certain period, and then move elsewhere. In such a scenario, they choose to rent out their house and earn an additional income every month. Apartments in Chennai are, thus, a great investment.

4. Better investment returns
Increasing value, absence of depreciation, and no phase of depression have made Chennai an ideal city for real-estate investments. More people are now booking their homes and investing in properties in the city, thus propelling Chennai to the top of the real-estate list. This rise in demand has brought about an expansion in the housing sector. Also, a chunk of these investors are NRIs who were born in Chennai.

5. Developed infrastructure and public transportation
Usually, investors are weary of investing in cities that lack public facilities, especially a well-established transportation system. Chennai boasts of an integrated public-transportation network, including local trains and buses, which makes it an attractive real-estate market.

6. Education and health-care facilities
Be it for good education or advanced health-care facilities in the country, Chennai is a name that easily crops up in one’s mind. India Today has rated the city the best place in India for education, what with the presence of leading educational establishments. The city also has renowned health-care establishments. Recognizing these factors, a lot of people from across the country and abroad visit, and at times move base to, Chennai, which enhances the lucrativeness of the real-estate market in the city.

7. Choices across budgets
Those days are behind us when only IT professionals, NRIs, and foreign nationals sought to invest in Chennai. Today, real-estate investors have many options across budgets. They could opt for a small, affordable home or a luxury apartment in Chennai.

This is a guest post by Dinesh Dawde

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Why investing in Thailand Property market can prove to be fruitful for Indians investing in overseas property market?

In October 2016, International Real Estate Expo was held in New Delhi – India. The purpose of the 3 day Expo was to showcase International Properties to Indian investors looking to buy property overseas. Real estate consultants and developers from Thailand, USA, UK, Cyprus, Dubai, Canada, Sri Lanka, and Australia participated in the 3 day event.

Indian nationals have been investing in properties abroad for plethora of reasons namely portfolio diversification, for studies of their children, holiday home to name a few. Singapore, Dubai, USA, UK have been the preferred locations. High Net worth Individuals, Strategic Property investors, Top level executives from India typically form the group of investors that are buying properties abroad.

On May 26, 2015, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) further liberalized Outward Remittance scheme for Indian Resident individuals. Under the scheme, an Individual can now remit US$ 250,000 per Financial Year (April-March) to overseas locations for the purposes of any permitted current or capital account transaction or a combination of both. Therefore many more properties are now under the reach of Indian investors.

According to a report published in October 2014 by US National Association of Realtors (NAR), buyers from India bought residential properties in USA worth 5.8 billion US$ during the one year period ending in March 2014. Similarly, in year 2015, data released by Dubai Land Department depicts that Indian investors carried out a total of 4089 property transactions estimated at 13 billion Dirhams. UK and Singapore also attract substantial real estate investments by Indian investors.

However, one location that hasn’t caught the fancy of Indian investors but can prove to be fruitful for Indian Property Investors is Thailand (Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya, and other cities in Kingdom of Thailand). Non Resident Indians (NRI) as well as domestic Indian investors can consider including Thailand Properties in their portfolio. Following are the benefits that an Indian Buying Property in Thailand can look forward to:

1. Thailand: A tourists paradise

No foreign power has ever colonized Thailand. Throughout its history, Thailand has been preoccupied with two things: overcoming regional divisions to consolidate central Thailand's power and attracting foreign wealth without allowing it to undermine internal stability. On the surface, the country's politics fluctuate continuously as successive governments attempt to balance regional and foreign interests. Yet Thailand's economic and cultural core remains relatively stable.

Thailand is the member of ‘The Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN). It is an alliance promoting economic and political cooperation by fostering dialogue among its ten members.

Thailand dominated as the most popular regional travel destination last year, with three of its cities making the top ten in MasterCard's Asia Pacific Destinations Index 2015.


2. Bangkok Transport Infrastructure

MRT system – Metro
BTS system – Skytrain
BRT system – Rapid Bus

3. Thailand – India historical relations

Thailand and India share a deep historical bond.

The Thai alphabet is derived from the Old Khmer script (akson khom), which is a southern Brahmic style of writing derived from the south Indian Pallava alphabet.

Thai vocabulary includes many words from Pali, Sanskrit ……especially in praying

During the 5th to 13th centuries, Southeast Asian empires were influenced directly from India and followed Mahayana Buddhism. The Mahāyāna and Hindu Khmer Empire dominated much of the Southeast Asian peninsula.

Theravada Buddhism was made the state religion only with the establishment of the Sukhothai Kingdom in the 13th century.

Hinduism played a strong role in the early Thai institution of kingship, and exerted influence in the creation of laws and order for Thai society as well as Thai religion.

Hindu influences, particularly shrines to the god Brahma, continue to be seen in and around Buddhist institutions and ceremonies.

The Ramakien is Thailand's national epic, derived from the Hindu epic Ramayana.

Popular celebrations in Thailand – Diwali, Navratri ( nationwide including the corporate entities), Ganesh Chaturthi.

Phahurat or Pahurat known as Little India - A Sikh community settled there more than a century ago and established a textile trading center that is still thriving. The golden-domed Siri Guru Singh Sabha temple is a landmark of Phahurat. The neighborhood is also home to South Asian Hindus and Muslims.

The number of tourists from India to Thailand is on the rise. In 2016, Expected number of Indian tourists to Thailand are 1.8 million.

4. Thai Economy and its growth

As per the World Bank Data, in 2015, Thailand’ population was 67.96 million, GDP (Gross Domestic Product) was 395.3 billion US$, GDP Growth rate was 2.8%, and inflation was -0.9%.

Economically, Thailand has been one of the great success stories of the ASEAN region. Smart policies adopted by successive governments have enabled the country to become an upper middle income economy.


5. Thai real estate and its prospects

Find below the detailed analysis of Bangkok realty market including supply, demand parameters and rental yields.

6. Easy Process to buy property and Liquidation or exit

  • Reasonable investment entrance
  • Growing rental market
  • Growing tourist market
  • Iconic buildings – innovative designs
  • Thailand offers the highest rental return in South East Asia
  • Easy buying and selling process – one stop service
  • International banks present for transfer
Click here to read the Step by Step guide to investing in Thailand Property Market.

7. Portfolio diversification

As the saying goes - ‘Never put all your eggs into one basket’. One can diversify his/her investment portfolio by investing in various asset classes or if one has propensity to invest only in a particular asset class, then, geographical diversification certainly helps in risk mitigation. Investing in lucrative Thailand property market will certainly help in diversification of one’s investment portfolio.

8. Double Taxation Treaty

As the name suggests, levying of tax by 2 countries on the same income is known as double taxation. Since, you will be investing in and operating an income generating property in Thailand, therefore, you must make sure that taxes are not paid in 2 countries on the same income. To avoid double taxation on same income, Government of India has entered into a double taxation avoidance agreement (DTAA) with several countries and Thailand is one of them. Here is a list of countries with whom India has double taxation avoidance agreement (DTAA).

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Finding out the best home for yourself

Ask the baby boomers in India, they would ‘tch-tch’ your decision of staying in a rented place. It’s always has been to buy your own place, and pay EMI instead of rent.

But this is no longer the truth for the Indian real estate market. Market studies have revealed that renting a house in Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and/or Kolkata is much cheaper and cost effective. Additionally, majority of demand for homes in India is from the middle class segment, whilst the developers are constructing the premium flats and apartments. To give you facts, currently, more than 69% of the unsold homes in Mumbai cost over Rs. 1 crore or more. This means unsold inventories and eventually crash of the real estate market in India. With buying safely out of option, here are few things that you can keep in mind when making the move to a new city and a new state:

  • Getting a job: Before feverishly searching the online portals for accommodation, it is very important to get a steady job. The city is new, therefore, commute would always be a problem. For example, most people in Bangalore, like staying near to their work places mainly for the convenience of traveling. Therefore, before looking for a flat for rent in Bangalore, figure out the areas nearby your job location and then move in. 

  • Looking for healthcare related services nearby: Most probably, you have moved in to a complete new state which has different weather from your home town. Additionally, you would be staying alone or in PG with strangers. The best thing to do is figure out nearby hospitals and clinics and while you are at it, the house should be located at comfortable walking distance from the supermarket, the bazar, ATMs, clinics, etc. 

  • Getting to know your own place: You have moved in a complete new city. Take some time to know the place. Don’t select the first flat that you see. The best way to understand whether the flat that you have chosen does not have any disturbing elements (like a noisy neighbor, bad neighborhood, etc.) is to visit the place at least twice (once in the broad daylight and another in the night) before taking the final call. 

  • Strong bond with the owners of the flat: Once you have understood and done all of the above criteria, be sure to maintain a good rapport with the landlord. Under no circumstances should there be trust issues. They should be sure of handing over their property to you, and you should be able to take care of the place like your own. Ensure to ask your landlord about any additional costs that might be incurred before moving.

  • Keep additional money: Lastly, keep some additional cash in hand. This is important as it is not only a new place, but you might need some last minute supplies.

Once you have followed this check list, you are ready to move in.

Finding homes can prove to be a taxing affair, especially if it’s the first time or to a city in which the majority of the population speaks a different language. Take the help of friends and colleagues who stay there and have some patience.

This is a guest post by Alvira Rehan

Monday, October 17, 2016

5 Factors You Must Consider before Buying Plots

Whether looking to buy plots for your dream house in popular cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, or Hyderabad, or simply making an investment in one, it is important to consider the following factors before making any rushed purchase:

1. Checking, verifying licenses and certificates

Tiresome as it may sound; getting some specific licenses checked and verified by a consultant is of prime importance before buying a plot. These include:

  1. Title deed: This is a legal document that shows you have the right to the ownership of the plot. Before buying, confirm that the deed from the seller (or re-seller) has full right to the ownership of the property, and that it meets all necessary approvals from the authority.
  2. Encumbrance certificate: It is a proof that the property is free from all/any monetary and legal liabilities. It also shows that the property can be sold as free title and that there isn’t any problem associated with the ownership. Ensure that this certificate says the land is free from the earlier-mentioned dues or liabilities.
  3. Release certificate: This is important especially when dealing with resale lands. This certificate, which you get from the bank you have pledged a loan from, shows that the land you are about to buy is clear from all impending loans. It shows that any loans on the land in question have been repaid.
  4. Property tax receipts: Any bills from the owner that haven’t been paid for, for a land on resale are shown on these receipts. Ask for tax receipts from the owner to ensure there isn’t payment pending from the original owner.
  5. Approvals: Make sure that the land-use is permitted as per the city plan. You can get this from the local pubic-body office in your city. Additionally, ensure that the plot layout has been approved by the local body and the development corporation.

2. The wrong impression of renting the property

You may buy a particular land thinking you will cover the EMIs through renting the land. It may be a miscalculated or erroneous approach, as experts say rental benefit on residential properties is a meager 2-3%. Secondly, it may require a much longer duration than expected to rent out your property.

3. The right buying cost

When asking a broker about the plot, ensure that he or she tells you the final cost of the plot and not just the basic one, as such is the case many a time. They may keep you in the dark with respect to extra costs such as, but not limited to: Service tax, preferential location fees, development fees, etc.

4. Look out for available plans

You may be eligible for a guaranteed rental scheme that lets the developer pay you rent during construction of the plot, for a fixed period. Then there is another scheme that lets the developer pay you after the possession. In such cases (and schemes), the properties are generally located outside the city limits.

The fact of the matter is that you need to be aware of all the available schemes or plans before making the payment for your plot. While some may benefit you, some may also result in loss such as subvention schemes where the price is generally 10% higher of normal.

5. Constructing costs

When choosing to make your house, consider these for the construction costs:
  • Home designing plan of the architect
  • Contractor’s fee
  • Labor cost
  • Interior fittings such as tiles, bathroom fittings, etc.
  • Building material costs
It’s wise to pay more towards the initial cost for building your house than to spend extra money at the time of reparation or maintenance.

Whether you plan to buy plots in Hyderabad or an apartment in Mumbai, you must consider these factors to make a wise decision.

This is a guest post by Dinesh Dawde

Monday, October 10, 2016

Ultra Luxurious Houses That Are owned By Big Pocket Celebrities in India

India is rapidly as well as continually growing country with rising economy as well as Big Pocket celebrities who are not just investing in their business for generating more and more revenue but are fully dipped into a luxurious lifestyle. They are investing a huge amount of their earnings in luxury. Not  just them, with the changing lifestyle, many people are looking for luxurious properties in Mumbai. Here is the list of some big pocket guys owning dream mansions in one or the other urban cities of the country. This is how the house of your favorite celebrity or a popular Industrialist looks like:

  • House Name: Antilia

It is the most expensive home not just in India but in the world. The Owner of this ultra-luxurious dream house is none other than the filthy rich Mukesh Ambani. Antilia is spread over an area of 4 lacs Sq Ft. having 27 floors. The building contains amenities which only a few people can dream of. 6 floors in the building is just reserved for parking and 3 for the helipad. If a building has a separate 3 - helipad, then you can imagine the type of world-class amenities it stores.
Owner: Mukesh Ambani

City: Mumbai

  • House Name: Abode
Anil Ambani, following his brother’s footsteps hold 2nd position when it comes to the luxurious houses in India. Currently under construction, he has named his sweet home as Abode worth Rs 5000 Crore, subject to rise based on needs and amenities he wants to fix in his Abode.

Owner: Anil Ambani

City: Mumbai

  • House Name: Mannat
The second richest actor in the world and the King of Bollywood “ Mr Khan” owns one of the most expensive houses in India having an approximate worth of Rs 125 to 150 Crores. All his fans gather in Bandra, Mumbai, outside his residence with a hope to wave him “Hi !!”
Owner: Shahrukh Khan

City: Mumbai

  • House Name: Ratan Tata’s Bungalow

Ratan Tata is the name almost everyone is familiar with. A Very well known and reputed industrialist owns a home worth Rs 125 to 150 Cr comprising the area of 15000 Sq Ft. with 3 storey building and an infinity pool at the top for a view that is breathtaking, something which a common people like us can’t even dare to imagine in our house.

Owner: Ratan Tata

City: Mumbai

  • House Name: Naveen Jindal Mansion

Industrialist turned politician, Naveen Jindal is another filthy rich guy who owns an ultra- luxurious high-cost bungalow in Leafy Lutyens, Delhi. His property is also valued to be Rs 125 to 150 Cr.

Owner : Naveen Jindal

City :  Mumbai

Apart from this, there is a huge list of other filthy rich celebs in India who owns a house which feels like a resort. If even you are one of them and looking to own such kind of a house, QuikrHomes can help you in your search for the most magnificent and lavish house in Mumbai.

This is a guest post by Prakshi Agarwal.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Seventh Pay Commission and its impact on the real estate sector

The Union Cabinet’s implementation of much-awaited Seventh Pay Commission has given public sector employees and pensioners a big occasion to celebrate. The Central Government Employees will receive a hike of about 23.5% in their salaries. This increment in the earnings of the Government employees is bound to have a positive impact on the Indian real estate sector. The hike in the House Rent Allowance (HRA) is expected to increase the residential demand further.

Mentioned below are the highlights of the Seventh Pay Commission that will boost the real estate sector:

  1. Higher purchasing power - The starting salary slag of Government employees is pushed from INR 7000 to INR18000. The topmost salary slag will be INR 2.25 Lakh per month. As per experts, the hike in the salary will increase the purchasing power of the employees, thus tempting them to invest in residential properties.
  2. Increased loan eligibility - The rise in salaries will increase the loan eligibility as well as the repaying potential of the people. The high amount of loans will encourage people to invest more in properties.
  3. Growth in economic development - Employees of some Central Government departments have already started getting the revised salary as per the Seventh Pay Commission. It means that in these departments the six month arrear will also be distributed during the current financial year itself. Receiving a larger amount together will also encourage individuals to make an investment in the residential sector. The increased investment in real estate sector means growth in the economic development of the country. It is obvious that rapid economic growth always works wonders for real estate sector.
  4. Increment in gratuity- The earlier gratuity of INR 10 Lakh has been increased to INR 20 Lakh, and the HRA (Housing Rent Allowance) has been raised from a mere 7.5 Lakh to 25 Lakh. The increment in HRA is bound to bring more money in the real estate sector.
  5. Benefits to Pensioners - Pensioners being a major chunk of beneficiaries of the Seventh Pay Commission will now have more funds at their disposal to invest. They can invest in a dream home that is away from the hustle bustle of the city.
  6. Higher demand for affordable houses - The substantial hike in salaries of middle-class people might result in more demand for affordable residential properties. This is mainly because more middle-class people will have access to a significantly increased lump sum amount.

The sale of residential properties is expected to increase gradually by the end of this year. The implementation of the RERA bill will also encourage the buyers to invest in the realty sector. Also, the new launches in various areas will give the buyer more options to choose from.

A report by Neelkanth Mishra, Prateek Singh, and Ravi Shankar of Credit Suisse suggests that the implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission will have a huge impact on the properties in small towns as compared to the ones in the main cities. This is mainly because more than 80% of the Central Government employees are located in tier II and III cities.

As per the experts, now is the right time to invest in the real estate sector. The expected surge in the realty sector in the coming times might just bring you the wonderful stroke of luck you need. The development of properties in Devanhalli town in Bengaluru makes it a great option for investment.

The experts also believe that along with the housing sector, the transportation sector too will receive a boost. It is seen that people with more disposal incomes tend to spend more on things like food and transportation.

This is a guest post by Pooja Shet