Monday, January 27, 2020

How is rent for residential property in India calculated? What are the basic components of Rent?

Author: Sachin Gupta | Find me on Twitter

Are you a tenant looking to occupy a residential property? Or are you a landlord looking to earn income from your residential property? For both the parties, rent is the primary area of discussion before they enter into a lease agreement. How much rent shall be paid for a given residential property? What are the main components of rent? How much is the security deposit? What are the other monthly charges? How is security refunded back when tenant vacates the property? These are some of the questions we will discuss below in this article:

How much rent shall be paid for a given property?

Rent is the monthly payment paid by the tenant to the property owner for the use of property. A residential property is used by tenant for living purposes or for the purposes defined in the lease agreement. Any deviation in the use of property by tenant can lead to eviction. And what is the agreeable rent that tenant and owner can arrive at? Principally there are 2 methods:

  • Rent comparison method

It is the most common yardstick that is used by both tenant and owner for determining the rent of the residential property. This method is based on the ability of similar properties to generate monthly rent. For example, in a given locality, one needs to look at the rent that others are paying on a monthly basis. If properties in question are highly similar, then, one would expect the same rent for a specified property. However, if the properties are dissimilar, then monthly rent is adjusted. If the subject property is superior to other properties in the locality, then, chargeable monthly rent will be on higher side. And if the subject property is inferior to other properties in the locality, then, chargeable monthly rent will be on lower side.

  • Cost method

This is a method based on the cost of the property. Cost of the property is the sum of current market value of land + cost of construction. In India, rental yields for residential properties are not very high. Typically, a property fetches anywhere between 2-3% of annual return on the cost of property. For example, if the cost of property is say Rupees 1 Crores, then, expected yearly rent could be in the range of Rupees 2-3 Lacs Or in other words, Rupees 16000-25000 per month. One must take note of the fact that, this 2-3% annual rent is calculated when the property in question is fully developed or its FSI (Floor Space Index) is fully utilized.

What are the main components of Rent?

Monthly Rent for the residential property comprises of following elements:

  1. Base rent which is calculated by ‘rent comparison method’ or ‘cost method’.
  2. Utility charges to be paid by tenant as per actual. Utility charges include electricity bill, water bill, Gas charges.
  3. Maintenance charges. Maintenance charges are paid extra by the tenant.
  4. Security deposit – it is the lump sum payment demanded by landlord at the beginning of the lease. It is an interest free payment and is refunded by the landlord to the tenant when the property is vacated. However, if the property has been damaged during the tenure of tenant, then, landlord may hold some part of security deposit to cover the expenses. This is clearly highlighted in the lease agreement as well. Security deposit differs from city to city. In Delhi, security deposit is about 2-3 months of rent. However, in Bangalore, the security deposit demanded by landlord is around 10 months of rent.

It is imperative for both tenant and landlord to discuss these things well in advance and all the charges shall be clearly mentioned in the lease agreement to avoid any difficulties during the course of stay.

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Monday, January 20, 2020

What are the Key Stages in Construction of a House?

Author: Sachin Gupta | Find me on Twitter

There are 2 ways in which one can own a house. One, by buying it from the real estate developer in a group housing project, and the second option is by buying a plot of land and constructing it in your own way by adhering to building guidelines.

There are pros and cons of both the options.

When you buy the house directly from builder, you do not have to worry about land acquisition, approvals, construction, architects, contractors, etc. However, builder of the housing project may take upward of 4-5 years to hand over the housing unit to you. There is all the likelihood that you may not like the final product and therefore you might end up spending decent amount of money on renovation of your house. There could be other issues such as not finding the apartment on your desired floor, or an apartment with good view and access to sunlight, etc. As far as payment is concerned, you will be making it as per the construction linked plan and that is a big positive.

On the other hand, if you decide to build your own house, then, you take charge of all the things such as buying the plot, obtaining necessary approvals, dealing with architects & contractors, construction, and finishing. The whole process of building your own house may take about 1 year or more depending on the size of the house you wish to build. However, there will not be any compromise on quality. One important point you should take into consideration is that building your own house will be costly than buying it from the developer. Moreover, you should be prepared to shell out significant portion of the value of the property in 2-3 months time period. Also, you may not get benefits of group housing project such as gym, club, pool, playground, etc.

Having assessed the pros and cons of both the options and then deciding to develop your own house, you should stick to following construction stages in the development of your house.

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Monday, January 13, 2020

Selling tricks used by real estate developers and how to avoid them

Author: Sachin Gupta | Find me on Twitter

With the festive season around, the spirits are high. Most of us buy big-ticket items during this time of the year. The big-ticket items may vary from buying a house, car, gold, etc. It is also that time of the year in India when marketers will come up with sale offers; discount offers to lure customers in making a purchase decision.

However, buying a home is a lifelong commitment and you will be paying EMIs for several years and therefore don’t fall in the trap of these discounts, offers, schemes, etc. Instead, you should do your due diligence so that you do not repent later.

We have put together a list of 9 things that the sales executive of a real estate developer will throw at you in order to close the deal. Make sure to research all these 9 things just like this smart buyer has 

So, Are you a smart buyer???

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Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Is it worthwhile to invest in Commercial real estate as compared to Residential Real Estate in India?

Author: Sachin Gupta | Find me on Twitter
People invest their money to achieve targeted rate of returns. Returns vary depending on the investment asset class such as stocks, gold, real estate, mutual funds, fixed deposits, etc. However, in India, majority of people invest their savings primarily into real estate and gold. There are two reasons for it, one – financial markets are complicated to understand and second – they invest in real estate and gold to hedge against inflation (knowingly or unknowingly).

Within real estate, there are various asset classes such as commercial office space, retail spaces, residential, warehouse, institutional, etc. However, about 80% of investment in real estate goes to residential asset class owning to its safe nature and demand from rising middle class.

However commercial real estate or income properties can yield better returns provided one has sufficient knowledge of the city, its expansion plans, industry base, and income levels of the people living in the city. The investor must consider many variables when acquiring income properties:

  1. Market Factors (Demand & Supply)
  2. Occupancy Rates
  3. Tax influences
  4. Level of risk
  5. Amount of debt financing
  6. Proper framework to measure return on investment

Motivations for investment:

  1. Rental income
  2. Capital appreciation
  3. Portfolio diversification
  4. Tax benefits

Understand before investing:

Because of highly competitive nature of the industry and its difficulty in forecasting demand, there are certain times when excess supply is unintentionally produced, thereby increasing vacancy rates, reducing rents, and causing volatility in property values. As an example, even though there may be a definite need for additional Office Space in Gurgaon, the potential for over-development will exist as each developer rushes to deliver additional space to the market before competitors. This phenomenon creates a cyclical pattern in real estate industry.

For example, if the demand for particular property type is less and supply is in excess, then occupancy level and rents will be lower. However, as the demand picks up, the property type will start recovering and occupancy levels and rents will move up.

On the contrary, if demand for particular property type is more and supply is less, then occupancy level and rents will be higher. However, as more space is developed, the property type will come into the balanced stage and occupancy level and rents will come down to optimum/normal stage.

The idea is to understand, what the demand for particular property type is and how much space is already available. As an example, the demand for IT Office Space in Gurgaon is high; however we need to measure the current available space and future developments.

Investment analysis:
In general, when we refer to investment analysis in real estate we are referring to analyzing a particular property to evaluate its investment potential. This analysis should also help answer other important questions: 
  1. Should the property be purchased? 
  2. How long should it be held? 
  3. How should it be financed? 
  4. What are the tax implications of owning the investment? 
  5. How risky is the investment? 
  6. Two key terms: Internal rate of return (IRR), Present value should be calculated

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