Thursday, September 27, 2018

Indians Buying Property Overseas

Author: Sachin Gupta | Find me on Twitter

Post 2008 financial crisis and sovereign debt problems in various European countries, the property prices fell down. Speaking to one person familiar with Spanish market, one get the sense that there is huge property overhang in the country and therefore government has relaxed norms for foreign nationals to buy property. Similarly, in Switzerland, one can easily buy a holiday home in upcoming projects in Andermatt or in other picturesque locations. Fall in property prices in US, EU, and Dubai make these places attractive for NRIs as well as resident Indians.

There could be various reasons for buying property in these countries from settling there later in life, or sending kids for education, pure investment, holiday destination, etc. "Dubai, London, New York and Singapore are the most popular property destinations for Indians. In 2013, Indians topped the list of foreign nationals who invested in Dubai Property market.

However, buying property overseas has its fair share of glitches and therefore one should adhere to following tips and RBI guidelines in order to make sure that process is legal and hassle free.






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Thursday, September 20, 2018

What is the process of securing a home loan in India? What are the things I should check before opting for a home loan provider? And what are the various kinds of home loan schemes available in the Indian market?

Author: Sachin Gupta | Find me on Twitter 

In the previous post, we discussed about the dilemma of renting versus owning. However, after an in depth analysis of various elements described in the post, Sumit Sharma decided to go ahead with the purchase of the apartment. Now, the next step for him was to arrange for the mortgage loan to finance his purchase. Without a doubt, there are numerous lenders (mostly banks) in the market willing to lend money at competitive prices. Which lender (bank) to choose? What type of home loan to avail? And what are the things to remember during the loan process? These are some of the serious questions Sumit Sharma was confronted with. Lets Break It Down to smaller elements (L BID) and hope Sumit Sharma makes an informed decision based on the understanding of following elements:

Things to check during a mortgage loan process:
Interest Rates:
As per the RBI guidelines, home loan interest rates are linked to bank's base rate. Base rate tends to move up and down depending upon the interest rate movement in the economy. As a buyer, check the interest rates from various banks that are offering the similar mortgage loans. Usually premium charged by banks can be negotiated with the chosen bank; however, it depends on your credit history. Since, banks are in the business of lending money, therefore being a customer one must exercise the customer power and negotiate a best possible interest rate with the bank.

Processing fee:
Normally processing fees include statutory costs, third party charges, and additional finance charges. Because of problems involving loan fees and the potential abuse by some lenders of charging high fees to borrowers, a legislation requires lenders to show annual percentage rate (APR) being charged on the loan to the borrower. For example, if the fixed interest rate charged by a bank is 12% and processing fee is 2%, then normally APR would be 12.25%. Processing fee charges can also be negotiated with the bank.

Prepayment penalties:
Many borrowers mistakenly take for granted that a loan can be prepaid in part or in full anytime before the maturity date. This is not the case; if the mortgage note is silent on this matter, the borrower may have to negotiate the privilege of early repayment with the lender. However, many mortgages provide explicitly that the borrower can pay a prepayment penalty should the borrower desire to prepay the loan. Prepayment penalties are not included in APR.

Types of mortgage loan:
Fixed Rate Mortgages - Constant Amortization Mortgage Loan (CAM):
In this type of loan, the interest rate remains fixed during the tenure of the loan. Here, constant principal amount is amortized (reduced) in each installment. The user has to pay the sum of constant principal amount and interest that is charged on the principal. For example, on a loan of say 12 lacs rupees for 10 years at an interest rate of 12% per year, the constant principal amount that will be reduced every month is 12000 rupees (12lacs/120). In addition, for the first month, interest will be 12000 rupees. However, the interest charge will keep on reducing as the principal is amortized every month by constant amount. Therefore, in constant amortized mortgage loan (CAM), the monthly installment keeps on reducing.

Fixed Rate Mortgages - Constant Payment Mortgage Loan (CPM):
In this type of loan, the interest rate remains fixed during the tenure of loan. In this type of loan, monthly installments are constant. Here, principal amount reduced (amortized) in the starting months is less as compared to the principal amount in later months. However, the interest payment is more during the starting months and then reduces in later months. For example, on a loan of say 12 lacs rupees for 10 years at an interest rate of 12% per year, the monthly constant installment will be 17216.51 rupees.

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. These loans are known as graduated payment mortgages (GPMs)

Adjustable (Floating) Rate Mortgages (ARM):
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. For example, someone who applied for ARM indexed to WPI in year 1 at 5% interest rate might be paying 12% interest rate in 2nd year because inflation has increased by 7%.

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. Subsequent payments are usually reset every year for the remaining maturity period. For example, a 3/1 hybrid would mean a three year fixed rate after which the interest rate would become adjustable, tied to an index, and would be reset each year thereafter.

So friends, before going to a bank for home loan, take a look at this blog or even take a print because even if one saves or negotiates .25% on interest rates, processing fee, or prepayment penalties, then it’s worth the effort. Don’t overlook that :)



Have any Questions?
 

Friday, September 14, 2018

Understanding interest rates and its impact on home buying decision!

Author: Sachin Gupta | Find me on Twitter
 
Buying a home has always been a cherished dream for an individual. The very thought of staying within the four walls that belong to you is very enthralling. The home that one owns provides not only the physical comfort but also emotional and psychological security which, in turn facilitate peace in life.

The dream of purchasing a home has remained intact; what has changed over the years though is age profile of buyers. Not long ago, purchasing a home would be a reality when a middle class man is on the verge of retirement. His life- long saving could be barely enough to finance the coveted asset. The balance could be pooled in by relatives and friends.  However, the time has changed now. Thanks to the wave of financial reforms and robust banking sector today. A young man out from the college and grabbing a promising job will soon be found to survey the real estate market to book a house.

The relationship between the financial sector and real estate today is complementary in nature even though the banks may be viewed as having upper hand in terms of being fund providers. It would not be an exaggeration to assume that majority of the transactions in the real estate market in India is being financed by bank loans. In such situations where bank loans have gained so much of importance in our lives, it becomes a necessity to understand the nuances attached with them.

Interest Rate:

A home loan seeker is confronted with a myriad of jargon. The most common and yet the most critical among them all is interest rate. Understanding interest rate and impact of its movement on the loan amount is crucial in making an informed decision.

Interest, to put it simply, is a kind of fee charged by lender of funds from the borrower. This fee or the interest may be computed at a “fixed” or “variable/floating” rate. So, if Rahul takes a loan of Rs. One Lac from a bank for period of one year at a rate of interest of 10%, it means he needs to refund Rs.1, 10,000/- at the expiry of one year (Rs. One Lac is the principal amount and Rs.10, 000/- is the interest).

Eligibility to avail home loans:

Banks and Housing Finance Companies are cautious when they lend. There are certain prudential norms which they follow while sanctioning a home loan. One of them is that the bank would restrict its exposure up to 80% of the value of the asset in respect of residential house property subject to the eligibility of the buyer. How the eligibility is determined and what role level of interest rate plays are interesting aspects to discuss.

In a typical home loan application, a bank would consider the following while determining the maximum amount of loan that can be sanctioned:

  1. Gross Salary/month
  2. Net Salary/month
  3. Value of property 


An example:

Let’s take an illustration. Amit, a young software engineer in his mid twenties wishes to buy a house in Delhi NCR. He zeroes in on a property in Noida. The description of property is as follows:


  • Builder: Sky Builder
  • Area of Flat: 1000 Sq. Feet
  • Rate/Sq. Feet (All inclusive): Rs.5000/-
  • Payment Plan: Construction linked 
  • Construction Period: 2 years 


Equipped with such information, the bank would put a threshold limit of Rs.40 Lac (Rs.50 Lac X 80%) on the loan amount that can be sanctioned against the property. Now it needs to evaluate eligibility of Amit based on his income profile. Banks make such evaluation on the basis of their own criteria which may differ from bank to bank. However, as a general rule, banks consider around 40-45% of net salary of an individual to be needed to service EMI.

The following example shows eligibility of Amit in three interest rates scenarios.  It has been assumed that in all three situations, Amit’s salary remains same and there is no change in any variable except in interest rate. In situation-I, where the interest rate is 10.50%p.a., Amit’s loan eligibility works out to be Rs.40 Lac. This is a perfect situation for him as he needs Rs.40 lac only and the maximum amount that the bank is ready to disburse is also Rs.40 lac. However, the situation is not so comfortable when there is a spike in the interest rate from 10.50% to 11.50% p.a. (situation-III).  Keeping the EMI amount almost at same level, there is a decline in the loan eligibility amount to the extent of Rs.2.55 Lac. The reason is simple. Given the hike in the interest rates and no corresponding increase in the income level of the individual, the banks would like to maintain their risk exposure at existing level. Hence, there is a reduction in the loan amount. A decline in the interest rates would be a spurt for the banks to increase the loan eligibility. This however is subject to overall ceiling with respect to asset value.



EMI:

Interest rate movements also cause substantial variability in the EMI that we pay. The table below is quite self-explanatory:


Hope this time when news channels flash the story of how RBI Governor is contemplating to tinker with the interest rates in its monetary policy review, you would not be so clueless about its probable impact on your home loan.  So watch out for it with the analyst in you.


Have any Questions?

Friday, September 7, 2018

Tips To Make Your House Look Spacious

Some things cannot be easily changed, one of them being your home, of course most of us do not have the luxury of changing residences periodically at the whims and fancy of our bored existence, but there are quite a few interesting ways, you can employ to give your home a complete makeover in surprisingly low budget…

Let us have detailed look at some of the pointers, which you can use for the purpose:


  • The clutter has to go – 

The first and foremost step in this regard is to clear out all the mess and clutter which takes up most of the extra space in your house. There is in fact a very logically approach to this activity. It is said that if you have not used an item in your home for over six months, then in all probability, you’ll never use it in your life (excluding winter wears). Hence, take a good look around and identify such items…the kitchen is a good place to start…keep your OLX app handy…The next important area to de-clutter is the entry hallway of your house. If you enter into a clean and open area every day, you will automatically feel that your house is more spacious.


  • Make do without too many fancy items – 

This is another thing, which needs to be carefully edited. Get rid of all those fancy items, which are not really necessary for your house either by gifting, selling or by just by throwing away. You will be surprised at how much space opens up after you are done gifting!


  • Redesign your furniture – 

Another great step towards making space in your house is to change the shape and size of your furniture. For instance, you can replace your shoe rack with a hanging shoe organizer, which will not only save a lot of floor space, but will also keep your house cleaner. Another example can be that of a shelving unit, which can be built into a wall or the back of a door.


  • Repaint your walls – 

Another trick, which can be used to make your house look bigger, is to lighten the shade of color of the walls of your house. The lighter the color of the walls, the bigger the house would look. Dark paints make rooms look cozy and comfortable, but they also make them look smaller and cramped.


  • Decorate the ceiling – 

This is one of the most frequently used tricks to increase the height of the house. If the ceiling of your house is painted or has wallpaper, your house will automatically get more height. So if the height of your house is your main concern, consider this option to be a perfect solution for your problem.


  • Re-arrange the furniture – 

Avoid putting the furniture close to the walls, as it makes the place to look cramped and closed. Pull the furniture away from the walls and you will automatically add more space in your house. You can also build your own vertical shelves and make it more fun!


  • More vertical furniture – 

Instead of expanding your furniture horizontally, try to expand it vertically. Bunk beds are a good option instead of double beds in your children’s bedroom.


  • Stripes go a long way – 

Try to put out rugs and wallpapers, which have stripes on them. This will give you an illusion of more width and height. Hence your house will appear far bigger than it actually is. Arrange the stripes in the direction of the longest length of the room for best results.


  • Mirrors, more mirrors – 

As you must have seen in many shops, there are many strategically placed mirrors, which create an illusion that the shop is bigger and more spacious. You can use the same concept for your house as well. Place mirrors in the entryway and room entries to double the width of the room by a large margin.


  • No overhead stuff – 

The more things you will hang from the ceiling, the more cluttered that room will look. Avoid hanging lights and decorative items in your house if it is already very cramped up. Instead of hanging a light bulb, try to put on a decorative lampshade instead!


  • Uncover the windows – 

Remove those bulky curtains from your windows and bless your house with some sunlight. Leaving the windows uncovered automatically makes the room to look bigger and brighter. It would also have the right energy and create a positive vibe; if the windows are left open and off-course some cool breeze would be good too.


  • Remove some doors – 

If this is feasible to you, you can try this unconventional method to literally open up some space. You can remove some doors, which connect rooms together and leave those particular areas open. This will not only increase the size of your house, but would lead to good ventilation too.


  • Color code – 

To make things appear more organized and cleaner, one should try to keep them in accordance with their color tones. If you keep all the colors together in one place, separated by even and thin margins, your room will open up by ten folds and also it is a visual treat!


  • Large scale flooring – 

The floor pattern, which you choose for your house must have large blocks. The larger the pattern, the more spacious your house will look. Also, try to arrange the floor tiles in a diagonal fashion to give the illusion of more space. Tiling is a crucial and costly step, so try to do this in the beginning itself.

So now that you are well equipped with these easy tricks on how to create more space in your house and make it look bigger, what are you waiting for? Choose your top 5 and start with them right away! These tricks are so simple and cost effective that you will be really happy after you are done revamping your house.After all a bigger place is so much better to live in!


This is a guest post by Anasua Mitra, Associate  Manager - Marketing, Wienerberger India Private Limited