Sunday, December 28, 2014

The process of an ‘NRI buying a piece of real estate in India’. Do's and Don’ts

Author: Sachin Gupta | Find me on Twitter

In our earlier articles about Non Resident Indians (NRI) and Person of Indian Origins (PIO) with regards to their investment in India, we covered, range of topics such as:

  1. Guidelines that an NRI or PIO must adhere to for selling, purchasing, and financing a property in India
  2. Taxation aspects for an NRI, PIO, or a Foreigner for buying an immovable Property in India
  3. Opening of NRE-NRO-FCNR-bank accounts in India to buy, sell, rent out immovable property?
  4. Reasons why NRIs prefer investment in Indian Real Estate
  5. Impact of falling Rupee on investment in real estate sector in India by Non Resident Indians

Having covered the above topics in details, we now move on to the process of an ‘NRI buying a piece of real estate in India’. If the process described below is followed diligently by an NRI investor, then investing in Indian real estate can prove to be rather rewarding.

  • Research
First thing first, before you embark on your journey to real estate investment in India, carry out comprehensive online research. How is the builders’ reputation in the market? Locality price indices, city master plan, infrastructure project announcements are some of the things that one should note down. Compare builders’ pros and cons, compare locality pros and cons, and assess the city master plan by visiting the urban development authorities websites. A number of online forums to discuss real estate projects are also available. Visit these independent forums and gauge what others are saying, ask questions if possible. 

  • Depute someone or visit the site yourself
“Pictures tell the story” is a proverb which maybe applicable to other sectors but not to real estate sector in India.  Many newly launched websites focus on ‘Real Photos’, but ask yourself, can they tell you the actual story? Can they show you the approach road towards the project? Can they highlight slums in the nearby areas? Can they highlight the construction quality? The answer is big NO. Therefore, when it comes to buying or renting real estate in India, visit the site yourself. With NRIs living in far away countries, it becomes difficult for them to visit the project site location. Instead, ask one of your friends or relatives to do this on your behalf. The bottom-line is ‘One should never rely on pictures shown in glossy brochures or websites’.

  • Check the bank approvals
Now, that you have zeroed on 2-3 projects after having done the online research and visiting the project site, the next step is to check the bank approvals. Which are the banks that have approved the project for home loan sanctioning? Kindly note, a bank or housing finance company invests about 70-80% of money in the project in form of home loans sanctioned to buyers. Therefore, they will definitely carry out proper due-diligence including the project approvals, clearances, title certificates, etc. Ask the builder about banks which have approved the project for home loan. Talk to these banks. Go ahead with project that has a minimum of 3 banks approving it for home loan.

  • Project approvals
Even though, you have got assurances from banks about project approvals, it doesn't mean that you turn a blind eye to check the approvals yourself. Ask the builder to show you the necessary approvals such as license number issued by Town Planning Department, approved drawings, NOC from various departments. This is to double check that everything is fine with the project and you won’t end up in a soup.

  • Ask questions
Be an extrovert buyer; ask questions to builders, banks, brokers. There is never a silly question. You would be investing a size-able amount of your money, therefore, be proactive.

  • Builder buyer agreement
In recent times, some of the major developers have landed in trouble with authorities and CCI for sticking to one-sided builder buyer agreement. Read the document carefully, and clarify things before you sign the agreement.

  • Hire a lawyer
Despite all the research, one can never be 100% sure. For this, the NRI investor can as well hire a lawyer to do the title verification. The lawyer will ensure that the builder has the ownership title to the land on which he is developing the project.

  • Never pay in cash
Whether one books property online or directly at the builder’s office, never pay in cash. Pay by cheque or via the formal routes such as online transfer. Keep receipt of every payment you make to the developer.

Happy investing :)
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Have any Questions?

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas 2014

NirrtiGo wishes you Merry Christmas

On this joyous day, and throughout the coming year, may your business initiatives be filled with good luck and prosperity.

Warm wishes to home seekers, landlords, Realtor, and property developers.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Looking to sell your home in 2015, pay attention to these 5 tips!

Author: Sachin Gupta | Find me on Twitter

Without doubt 2014 was tough for sellers and investors who were looking to sell their properties to make a profitable exit. It can be safely said that, 2014 was buyer’s market. Will 2015 be the same? We can’t predict, however, with improvement in economy and possibility of interest rate cuts, there could be a turnaround. We will see. But sellers and investors looking to exit must pay attention to following tips in order to attract prospective buyers or renters.

  • Attract web and mobile buyers

Today nearly all preliminary property searches in India are online. Gone are the days of newspaper classifieds. Even among online users, there is a significant portion of people who use mobile phones over web search. Therefore, if you wish to get leads from the right kind of buyers or renters, you need to focus on optimizing your property listing for mobile and web devices. Make sure you enter the right information about your property including the size, rate in Rs / SqFt, amenities offered, photos, specifications, locality, and detailed description. If you miss out on providing the right info to prospective buyers, they will simply move over your listing. Therefore, be as detailed and accurate as possible.

  • Be an investor

Put aside your feelings or emotions when you enter the market to sell your property. It might be possible that you have lived in the house that you are selling and may have memories of living there. However, when it comes time to sell, it’s crucial that you realize that your home is also an investment and shall produce market rate of return. Therefore, don your investor hat. Negotiate well with the buyer and showcase him/her how your property is different from other properties in the same locality.

  • List or advertise only when you are ready to sell

Many sellers advertise their property just to assess the market. If ever, you wish to assess the market, take advice from local agents or go through the research section on many websites about locality prices. Listing your property before assessing the market, or before doing the cash flow analysis, or before finding yourself a place to live, or before cleaning and staging your subjected property is like inviting trouble at a later stage. Don’t rush through the ‘sell’ process. In order to justify your return on investment, make sure your property is ready to be occupied by prospective buyers.

  • Hire trusted agents

Never ever list your property with multiple agents; it will bring down the property value. Instead, hire 2 to 3 professional real estate agents and persist with them even in difficult market. Choice of agent can make a substantial difference to your property and its capacity to generate higher ROI. Sanjay, who lives in Bangalore hired a company which specializes in property management services in gurgaon to sell his apartment on Golf Course Road, Gurgaon. Therefore, it is very important to hire professional people to manage your home.

  • Pay attention to First impression

First impression is the last impression. Keep that in mind. Advertising online with accurate and detailed details shall be the first objective. The second task shall be to clean and stage the property. Nothing frustrates prospective buyers and renters more than inaccurate property details of your property. If the buyer is visiting for the first time, make sure your property is cleaned and staged.

Have any Questions?

Friday, December 19, 2014

Which are the Research organizations in real estate sector in India?

Author: Sachin Gupta | Find me on Twitter

Real estate is a large sector and contributes about 6% to nation’s GDP. The sector is also the second largest employer of labor (formal and informal), just behind agriculture. The practices that were followed 10-20 years ago may not be relevant in today’s fast paced economic growth. The sector as a whole and its participants carry out research & development on a regular basis to improve upon construction methodologies, manpower skill enhancement, and improvement in building technologies, housing finance, and production of raw material.

India aims to house all its households by 2022, an ambitious target. There is a shortage of about 18.76 (till 2012) million housing units at the ‘bottom of pyramid’ segment of the society.  With so much at stake, the focus on research and development shall increase manifold to achieve the goals set up by government of India.

While builders, housing finance companies, material manufacturer focus on building & delivering short term targets, organizations involved in research & develop continue to innovate for long term results.

Several institutions, organizations and companies in India and the world offer educational and research opportunities in the field of housing and housing finance. Most of these institutions promote technical education and cultivate a constructive environment for promotion of scientific methods and technologies to improve quality of products and services offered.

Which are these organizations and institutions in India? We list them below:

Have any Questions?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

What landlords need to know about renters given the sluggish real estate market?

Author: Sachin Gupta | Find me on Twitter

If you’re a landlord owning a residential or commercial property for the purpose of renting it out, then you’re probably well aware of the rental market. Demand is limited but there is ample supply of real estate including the office space properties and residential houses. So, your property would fetch less. Except for the markets of Bangalore, and Pune, rental market is sluggish across all other cities in India.

A look at the commercial office space market in Gurgaon. See how rents have fallen across micro markets during the period of July - September 2014.

source: Magicbricks

It’s a buyer’s market to say the least. As renters sit comfortably in the driver’s seat, here’s what else they are up to:

  • Saving money:

Renters who are looking to rent out office space or residential houses are able to save more in current market scenario. Barring the places like Pune, and Bangalore where there is steady demand for real estate, all other markets across the country are in downturn. Renters are getting office space or residential property at a substantial discount, thereby, able to cut their operating expenditures.

  • Negotiating harder:

Renters are able to negotiate hard with landlords. Whether they are looking to rent office space or residential property, tenants are taking their time, sometimes months to finalize the deal. By doing so, they are being able to get substantial discounts on rent paid to the landlord. Many well settled tenants have also moved out of their existing properties to get new spaces at lower rates.

  • Getting lucrative deals:

A rent deal these days is not just about rent and maintenance charges. Tenants are having a considerable say in the use of common facilities of the building. In addition to getting price cut on rent, tenants are bargaining for free car parking spaces, shorter lock-in period, and less upfront money which goes out in form of security deposit & advance rent. For example, a typical office space deal in past would have standard lease terms of 3 years lock-in period, 6 months security deposit. However, tenants are now negotiating hard for 12 months lock-in period and security deposit of just 3 months.

  • Getting posh facilities:

Common facilities such as toilets, corridors, parking spaces, reception, signage boards, etc. are being renovated by the landlords to attract renters. In some instances, landlords are going out of their way to provide high quality interior work for furnished office spaces and residential properties.

Keeping all these factors in mind, many prospective buyers are also evaluating the pros and cons of renting versus owning. And in many instances, buyers are postponing their decisions to buy real estate and instead they are opting for lucrative rental deals.

Have any Questions?

Friday, December 5, 2014

What Newly Arrived Expats Need To Know About Rented Housing Options in Chennai

Chennai has attained an enviable stature in very short span of time. Industries, modern infrastructure, a lifestyle to go for and booming state economy are some of the factors that have placed the state in a list of developed cities. Southern part of India is developed and has ample opportunities in terms of career and a better lifestyle for one and all. If analyzed broadly, the state’s name shines bright in automobile and the banking sector and these sectors have also created a lot of career options for professionals or entry level job seekers for quite some time now.

Moreover, major IT companies and manufacturing firms have their branches here and this has surged the migration rate to a good number. Job aspirants and experienced professionals from different parts of India are coming to the amazing south Indian state for job and finally getting settled. On the arrival, an expat may look out for a rented accommodation for himself in an area that is close to his/her work setting and is also well-connected to the essential social as well as commercial infrastructure around the locality or the region.

Here are some of the things that an expat should consider when opting for a rented accommodation in Chennai:

Few Important Pointers to Take Note Of

  • North-West & Central Chennai Can Be the Best Deal
Now this is not a hard and fast rule but northern and central part of Chennai can be a best fit for expatriate relocation. There are localities like Beach Road, Egmore and Anna Nagar, to name a few are some of the regions that are a good mix of residential and shopping areas. The localities are also well-connected through roads and also offer close proximity to railway stations and airport. So, the first step could be selecting the right location and any of these localities can be a best fit.
  • Serviced Apartments Are Good to Go
The southern part of India is riding high on realty success and one of the yields is the serviced apartments. The apartments are relatively cheaper than luxurious 2 BHK homes and have all the amenities intact within. The person residing within needn’t worry about adjusting as the apartments are spacious and are apt for both temporary and permanent stay. Expats can have a pleasant stay in such flats and this could be a good bridge towards finding a new and better housing option. Places that have already adopted the concept of serviced apartments include Bangalore, Chennai and similar developed areas.
  • The Cost of Living
Compared to developed cities like Bangalore, Chennai has quite an affordable cost of living. The daily recommended minimum amount of money for food per person is Rs. 240, which is just within the price range of monthly recommended minimum amount of money for food per person (assuming 31 days), Rs. 7,439.88. The expats who have just arrived and have spent a good number of days will find their pockets not much exploited when expending on groceries, healthcare or simply on leisure.
  • Flats For Expats
Areas like Old Mahabalipuram road and Besant Nagar are some of the densely flocked areas; majorly by the expat populace. There are realtors who have constructed a range of residential spaces that are being offered at an affordable price range. Expats are favoring mostly small-sized apartments and 1 BHK house for rent in Chennai. The flats are constructed in areas that are near to the social infrastructures and also have a close proximity to the IT hubs.

Here are some hard facts that reflect price trends in one of the most popular regions of Chennai:

There are other aspects about Chennai’s realty market that an expat needs to understand. The aspects are pretty much related to the rented housing options. Here are the facts:

Few Lesser Known Facts

  • Safety
Safety matters and it definitely holds importance for the novices in town. The expats should make sure that the localities they are choosing is surrounded by friendly areas so that chances of thefts and miss happenings rarely exist. The facts say that Chennai is one of the safest Indian cities and the populace is extremely law abiding.  Still, there are certain things one can take note of:
    1. Huge amount of cash should not be kept in the flat
    2. Dress inconspicuously as Chennai is a little conservative south Indian city
    3. Try to be friendly with neighbors but be cautious while revealing your personal and professional data.
    4. Other safety measures could be traffic safety as the roads in Chennai are crowded and a little carelessness can be hazardous to life.
  • Dig in Company’s Relocation Package
An expat should be aware about all the clauses in the relocation packages and papers. They need to know that there are companies that include finding a home in their relocation clauses. This can be a great helping hand for expats who are relocating for professional purposes and are looking forward to staying there for long.  The best part is that though you will have a rented option in hand, still an expat will be offered information about accessing to maids and drivers as a part of the relocation package.
  • Power of Internet& Agents
While on a search for a perfect home, an expat can take advantage of the realty portals and websites. There are sites like,, to name a few that can be accessed and considered for searching homes on rent. The person can see through the price range, locality and varieties of housing option for himself.
There is another option that will definitely hit the bull’s eye and that is reaching out to the real estate agents. These agents have been into the business and have met the people in the domain. Moreover, the agents will also help you in stopping onto the right deal and making a feasible agreement documents for the expats and people who have less knowledge about the localities.
  • People & Languages
An expat’s stint with the new city can be fruitful as well as challenging both. In an effort to find a rented option in Chennai, an expat should also have some basic know-how of people, culture and language spoken. This makes the scenario, exciting as well as a learning experience. Considering the language here, the people native to Chennai considers Tamil to be their official language, with Telugu at the second rank. If the expat is an English-speaker, then surviving in Chennai will be easier.

Few Final Words

Chennai is a place to be at the moment and an expat can have plenty of options in the rented arena. The apartments are of varied style and are all provided with the necessary facilities. Moreover, the prices tagged on the apartments and housing options are within the reach.

This is a blog post by Pawansingh kumar

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

3 quick tips for a first time Property Investor in Chennai

Chennai’s realty market has shown positive signs of growth which has attracted a number of home buyers and investors here. And with the market being very profitable, thanks to its high ROI (Return on Investment), the city has become a haven for many first time home buyers. Despite the attractive returns, owning a piece of real estate today seems to be a tedious task. From managing resources to zeroing down on the right location, there are a number of aspects that one needs to take care of. If you are a potential first time investors and wants to invest in properties for sale in Chennai then follow these tips before finalizing your property.

  • Buy properties near government approved infrastructure

As a rule of thumb we always tend to invest in an area where infrastructure projects are materializing, thinking that the capital values of homes will escalate. However that is not the case. Investing in areas close to projects like the metro rail, upcoming airport or even any IT Park will result in government taking over your land. Changes in routes and expansions along a tech park and airports are bound to happen which will force the authorities to acquire neighboring land. Once your property falls under the radar, you will not be able to sell your property according to the market prices. The compensation you receive by the state bodies will be based on the government guideline value which is indexed at a relatively lower price. The best thing to do is to wait for the authorities to approve the project and invest in properties for sale in Chennai only after the work has commenced. It will not only save you from hassles but also result in a formidable investment option in the near future.

  • Don’t invest in stagnant suburbs

A number of apartments for sale in Chennai especially in the outskirts of the city are finding many takers due to their affordable prices. However, one should remember to invest in a suburb that is in its growing stage. Peripherals along the north of Chennai especially localities like Ennore, Minjur and Ponneri have several approved industrial projects that are going to come up, however, all those advancements will not be able to formulate for the coming 10 years. So you’d rather invest in suburbs that have already shown signs of growth like Navallur, Sholinganallur and Kelambakkam. Apartments for sale in Chennai especially in the southern region of the city have many buyers due to its economical prices and reliable civic facilities.

  • Strike the right balance while investing in IT hubs

Many IT corridors attract number of investors due to its high rental yield, however it is very essential to understand the market first. The IT/ITes insurgence has already provided many home buyers varied options and investing in an open market would not yield high returns, so it is very important to identify pockets where there is a demand and invest in only those projects that meet the needs and requirements of the working cosmopolitan crowd.

This is a guest post by Sulabha Kulkarni

Monday, December 1, 2014

Looking to buy that elusive dream home for your family? What are the home loan rates in India?

Author: Sachin Gupta | Find me on Twitter

Looking to buy that elusive dream home for your family? Even after identifying the location and builder, the next big question is home financing. Which bank to approach and what are the current home loan rates that are offered by these banks? These are some of the questions that need clarification. At the same time, one might begin to wonder what, if any, are the basic differences between various home loan products offered by banks.

Here we help you in clarifying those questions:

Types of mortgage loan:

  • Fixed Rate Mortgages - Constant Payment Mortgage Loan (CPM):

In this type of loan, the interest rate remains fixed during the tenure of loan. Rate of interest is normally higher in these types of Loans.

  • Fixed Rate Mortgages – Graduated Payment Mortgages (GPM)

Some individuals have less income in starting years of their careers; those individuals are not considered for loan. To overcome this effect, lenders have designed a mortgage loan that retains a fixed rate of interest but includes a series of stepped up payments that are lower in earlier years, thereby better matching borrower’s incomes, and then rising over time.

  • Adjustable (Floating) Rate Mortgages (ARM) also known as Floating Interest Rates:

These mortgages provide an alternative method of financing through which lenders and borrowers share the risk of interest rate changes. In this type of loan, since interest rates are adjustable, they are indexed to say wholesale price index (WPI) or other market interest rates.

  • Hybrid Adjustable Rate Mortgages

This is the most common type of mortgage loan used these days. Hybrid ARMs combines elements of fixed rate mortgages for periods of 3, 5, or 7 years, after which interest rates are reset and the loan becomes an ARM.

Read here for more on Home Loan interest rates and the process of securing home loan in India.

Interest Rates in India – Dated November 28th 2014.

Loan upto Rs 75 Lakh (Floating Interest Rates)
Bank Amount Tenure (Years) Interest Rate (%)
HDFC Ltd Up to Rupees 75 Lakh Up to 20 years 10.15
ICICI Ltd Up to 10 years 10.15
State Bank of India (SBI) Up to Rupees 75 Lakh Up to 20 years 10.15
Punjab National Bank (PNB) Up to Rupees 75 Lakh Up to 20 years 10.25
Punjab National Bank (PNB) Above Rupees 75 Lakh Up to 20 years 10.5
Axis Bank Up to Rupees 75 Lakh 10 Years 10.15
Bank of India Up to Rupees 75 Lakh Up to 20 years 10.2
Canara Bank Up to Rupees 75 Lakh Up to 20 years 10.2
Union Bank Up to Rupees 75 Lakh Up to 30 years 10.25
Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Limited (DHFL) Rs 30 Lakh - 75 Lakh Up to 20 years 11

Loan Above Rupees 75 Lakh (Floating Interest Rates)
Bank Amount Tenure (Years) Interest Rate (%)
HDFC Ltd Up to Rupees 75 Lakh 10 10.15
ICICI Bank Rs 75 Lakh - 5 Crore 20 10.5
State Bank of India (SBI) Up to Rupees 75 Lakh Up to 20 years 10.15
Canara Bank Above Rupees 75 Lakh Up to 20 years 10.45
Union Bank Up to Rupees 75 Lakh Up to 30 years 10.25

Note: Floating Rates changes as and when bank changes their base rates. There are also other kinds of interest rates that bank offer such as 2 year fixed interest rates or 3 year fixed interest rates as described above. Contact your bank for those kind of home loan interest rates.

Have any Questions?