Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Vastu Tips for Home Buyers

Are you planning to buy a flat or an apartment?


Great! Now that we are in the year 2016 buying an independent house is out of the question. It is better to think of buying a flat or an apartment. There are many Advantages of Apartment Living.

But before you buy your brand new apartment or flat you need to analyze a few factors.

Vastu Shastra or the science of architecture is something that you need to examine for your new home.

Some people either deliberately or not so deliberately tend to ignore the Vaastu factors when buying a new home.

Often this creates a lot of problems in the new homes, and it never dawns that certain unresolved elements are welcoming negative energy.

So, what we are going to do here is provide you with Vastu tips for your new home:



The northeast direction is considered to be one of the sacred directions from mythological perspective and scientifically.

Let us ignore the mythological facts and focus on what are the scientific aspects:

In India, the Northeast direction is the farthest one from the sun. This means the Southwest is closer to the sun and if you keep this area of your home open you are welcoming the sun's UV radiations.


UV rays are they good? Of course not!

You do not want to fill your home with these dangerous UV rays.

So, if you have been keeping your home's Southwest door open, close it now and let us think of Northeast.

Vastu comes from the word Vas which means Space and Time.

These are the two most important components of life science that you should not ignore.

As far as Indians are concerned Vastu Shastra is the science of architecture, a legacy, handed across generations.

It is something that we need to nurture and preserve in its best form to lead a happy life in our living spaces.


Health, peace and prosperity are the three things that we all want in our homes.

Vastu Shastra is a science that takes into consideration the Solar Energy and Magnetic power of the Earth.

Vaastu also follows the Cosmic Law of Nature. The sun's rays have a significant effect on our body.

We are not aware of these. But staying exposed to the sun's dangerous rays for a longer time can cause severe mental problems.

Have you ever heard elders or someone tell you that you need to sleep with your head facing the South or West?


Because we know that our head is the North of our body and the feet is the South of our body.

We are aware of the fact that like poles attract and unlike poles repel.


So, what happens now?

Consider your body as a magnet.

When you sleep with your head facing the North and feet towards the South, you know what will happen.

The blood circulation increases when all you need is little circulation while sleeping.

So keep your head towards the South or West while sleeping.

Now you realize why Vastu is an important factor that needs to be taken into consideration when buying flats or apartments.

When choosing a builder or an architect, check whether they incorporate all the Vastu Shastra components while building the flats and apartments.

We want you to experience an immense flow of positive energy in your homes and so we recommend you cross check whether your builders consider Vastu Shastra in building dream homes.

As per Vaastu, if not possible to leave all the four directions of your flat or apartment or villa open, you need to at least let the North and East directions of your home open.

There is a lack of space everywhere, so many buildings are being constructed side by side, so obviously it is not possible to leave all your doors open.

But at least, one of them you can keep open to ensure the flow of positive energy in your homes.

We never said that you cannot choose homes that face the South or West direction because there are many people around the world living in such apartments and are leading a happy and contented life.


So what according to Vastu are these directions doing?


  • West: Brings in materialistic comfort
  • East: Brings in the most important factors mental peace and physical comfort
  • North: Ensures prosperity
  • South: Redemption, Salvation, and relieves you of all the earthly woes.

So if you are eyeing for material wealth then don't think more, a flat facing the West will be the best choice.

But, life is more than materialistic richness.


Some Astrology:

Indians especially since we belong to the land of the great Dwarakapuri and having been introduced to the Vedas and ancient sages and rishis, we have belief in Astrology.


Vastu has some relation with Astrology too.

For people who belong to the star sign Pisces, East Facing houses are suggested.

If you belong to Libra, Aquarius or Taurus, West Facing houses are the best.

For people belonging to Aries, Sagittarius or Leo, North Facing houses are recommended.

Gemini, Virgo and Capricorn go for South facing houses.


Vastu Shastra for Kitchen:

This is where health begins. Ensure that the flat or apartment that you're buying does not face the North East. It would be great if it is in the South West direction.


Vastu Shastra for Toilets and bathroom:

In India, the direction of the wind is from Northeast to Southwest, so if your toilets or bathrooms are facing the North East, the air will enter your rooms from the toilet, and it will contaminate the other rooms.

Bathrooms and toilets are best facing the Southwest direction.


Vastu Shastra for Bedrooms:

Best recommended that you keep your bedrooms facing the Southwest direction so that you can enjoy a sound sleep after a tiresome day at work.

These are some of the simple tweaks and tips that you can follow when buying a new house or you can think of introducing these points in your home.

Are you buying your first home or apartment? Or do you own a home? Are you leading a happy life? Did you get the Vaastu examined before moving into your new apartment? Share your thoughts and comments on Vastu with us.

This is a guest post by Vipin Nayar

Monday, March 23, 2020

Do not forget to check the loading factor, super area, carpet area when buying an apartment in a builder project

Author: Sachin Gupta | Find me on Twitter

Sumit Sharma recently bought a 1685 Square Feet apartment in an upcoming locality of Gurgaon. The apartment was a typical 3BHK apartment. The configuration of the apartment was as follows:

Category Carpet Area (Sq. Ft.)
Bedroom 1 144
Bedroom 2 168
Master Bedroom 180
Kitchen 120
Hall 240
Toilet 1 56
Toilet 2 56
Toilet 3 56
Balconies 159.5
Carpet Area of the Apartment 1179.5
Saleable Area of the Apartment 1685
Efficiency of the Apartment Unit 70.00%
Loading 30.00%

As can be seen from the above example, Sumit got this 3BHK apartment with 30% loading. His apartment’s carpet area turned out to be 1179.5 Square Feet.

Initially, Sumit was taken aback and even contemplated legal action against the developer because what he saw in sample flat was different. The rooms, toilets, Hall appeared bigger to him than what he got in actual. However, on verifying the apartment units of other buyers, he came to realize that carpet area of all the apartments was substantially lower than the sale-able area.

Why? It is due to the term called ‘loading’. While announcing new residential projects, real estate developers come up with plethora of amenities within the gated apartment complex. All these amenities look attractive to prospective buyers on paper and in brochures. However, they forget to realize that more the number of amenities such as club, swimming pool, tracks, gym, more will be the loading. In addition to the development of basic facilities such as lifts, corridors, staircases, the developer will now be constructing all the amenities that he has promised to the buyer. Construction of all these amenities costs and there is no way a builder will keep the cost to himself. These costs are passed on to the customers in form of loading.

In essence, customer pays for the amenities he is getting within the gated apartment complex.

Loading shall not be confused with FSI. While FSI determines how much area within a given piece of plot can be developed as per the local municipal guidelines, loading implies addition of common areas and amenities to an individual flat owner. Loading is generally calculated on a pro rata basis.

In addition to paying for these common areas and amenities in capital value terms, a flat owner would also be subjected to pay a monthly common area maintenance charge for the upkeep of these common areas and amenities.

We have also seen an NRI Customer who invests in Indian real estate is particularly unaware of these terminologies. Therefore, before investing in a residential project, an NRI can hire a reputed realtor or one of the professional Property Management Companies in India to make sure he/she pays as per market conditions. And he/she is not taken for a ride by the developer.

  • Can loading be reduced?

Loading is usually on a lower side in a low rise structure, standalone developments, villas, builder floors. In Government allocated plots, loading is zero. Even in high rise gated communities, loading can be reduced if space utilization is optimum and wasteful amenities are eliminated.

  • What is the loading pattern in cities across India?

Loading varies from cities to cities and in fact from project to project. Lavish projects with wide open spaces and extra amenities will command high loading. Typically, in Delhi NCR region, loading stands at 22 to 30%. In Mumbai, loading stands at almost 50-60%.

  • Is there any government guideline for 'loading'?

The government of India in its Real Estate Regulatory Act made it mandatory for developers to charge only on carpet areas. However, it is yet to be seen in practice. The bill says that “Introduction of the concept of using only ‘carpet area’ for sale which has till now been ambiguously sold as super area, super built up area etc.’’ For more about Real Estate Regulatory Act, read here.

Have any Questions?

Monday, March 16, 2020

The two options for the soon-to-be landlord

Around the globe, there are just two options for everyone looking for the ideal tenant match for their house: One is easy but expensive and another is comparatively difficult but cost-effective and fully autonomous. The easy but expensive one is where you appoint a property management service to find and then manage the tenant and rent respectively in return of which they charge an amount. The second and only one left now is where you do all the hard work in finding a tenant and manage them in your space. While the level of guarantee as to the right tenant is less in either case but the moment you take things in your control, things become a hell lot easier both for your pocket and also provide peace of mind.

The takers for both these options are many but let us look at both the options for the first clueless timers’ sake.

For those comfortable with property management service

The choice to go for property management services is not bad, it not only saves time and effort in finding the ideal tenant but also do a clear background check to ensure that the tenants are genuine. If you are planning to opt for this model, there are just two things for you to consider: where to find the right service provider and being comfortable with the expenses that you will have to incur.

  • Where to find the right property management service provider?
Depending on where your property is, you can either go for the traditional word of mouth medium or use reliable real estate portals available on the internet. The latter is much easier for all you have to do is put in your location and search, for example, if your property is in Bangalore, just put in ‘property dealers in Bangalore’ and you will get a number of results on time.

  • Be comfortable with the expenses
In order to be comfortable with the expense, you will first need to get an idea of the exact amount. Confirm and research the going service rate in the market and also ask your provider if the cost of managing the property is recurring or one time. Doing this will prepare you for the coming expenses.


For the 'do it yourself' counterparts

Doing all the tasks on your own definitely makes you a Brave-heart. Although it may look impossible, it takes less time to get it

  • Advertise your house
Begin online. For nominal fees and sometimes even free, you can now advertise your property on renowned websites. Like the last Bangalore example, what you can do is post a ‘Flat for rent in Bangalore’ ad that will eventually take the prospects to the hyperlinked image. For those who want a more advanced result for less money, they should try YouTube or Vine. Upload a simulated tour of the property, then share the links on different classified websites such as Craigslist, also add them in your various social media platforms. After listing your property, do not forget to put in the necessary "For Rent" signage in the front yard.

  • Tidy it up
Strangely, some landlords do not even bother to tidy up their houses and apartments before putting it up for rent. Normally, the nicer and cleaner your house is at times when the prospect comes, the nicer it looks when they both stay and leave.

  • Repair structural shortcomings
Replacing the busted appliances, chucking out left-behind scrap, pests and termites spray, getting rid of flies and mosquitoes by using the latest mosquito killer devices, and by simply adding new paint coat will take you far in attracting the ideal renter. Also the probability of getting a higher charge increases, big time.

  • A ready rental policy
Have a document that clearly specifies the various lease’s TnCs, such as if pets are allowed, if you need a security deposit, and/or expect the tenants to bear their renters insurance. Make sure you have it ready even before you start shortlisting tenants.

We all know how difficult it can be to find the right tenant for your property. There is no right or wrong option here, everything depends on the efforts you can take and the money you have. Now that you know what it takes to go in either of them, make a sound decision.

This is a guest post by Tripti Rai. She writes about the real estate sector, she keeps her readers informed about the latest developments in real-time through her writing.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Are you a start-up or a growing organization? Find the checklist before you lease your next office space.

Author: Sachin Gupta | Find me on Twitter
Are you a start-up or growing organization? As a small company looking to bring new and innovative products and services to market, you want all your focus on the job at hand. You simply need no deviation from your core activities. While in large companies there is always a team to look into the non-core activities of a firm. The start-up can simply not afford it. The non-core activities include finding the right office space, manufacturing facility, admin tasks, and many such activities. Whereas the focus of a start-up is always on its products, customers, etc. However, there is no getting away from non-core activities.

Being a start-up ourselves, we understand how difficult is to perform these non-core activities within the constrained time and budget. Therefore, let’s start from the first step itself, i.e. finding your next office space. Make no mistake, having a right office space will not only allow you to focus on your core activities but at the same time it will help you to attract talent on your path to glory. So what are the things you as the founder of the start-up should keep in mind before going for office space hunting?

Tip 1 – Area Requirement:
Assess your current team size and the short term increase or decrease in team size. Let’s be clear, that most of the leases with landlord/developer will have a lock-in period of 3 years (it can be negotiated though). Therefore, having an eye on future expansion on team size will help you a great deal to justify the office space you lease for your operations. Having done that, now you need to calculate the area required. Our estimate based on the historical data assigns 80-100 Sq Ft per employee. Therefore, having a team of 10 should mean 800-1000 Sq Ft of carpet area requirement.

Tip 2 – Building efficiency:
It makes sense for you to look for office space buildings with greater efficiency. Now, what is building efficiency? Building efficiency is basically the ratio of usable (carpet) area to super area. In other words, higher the efficiency, the better is the space utilization in the building. Therefore, look for buildings with higher efficiency. For example, the building efficiency for Office Space in Gurgaon varies from 65-80%. Let’s take an example, having assessed your team size; you came to conclusion that you need 1000 Sq Ft of usable area. Now, for 80% building efficiency, the super area (the area on which you will pay rent) will be 1250 Sq Ft. And for 65% building efficiency, the super are will be 1540 Sq. Ft. It’s a no brainer that you will choose the building with 80% efficiency to cut on your monthly rent.

Tip 3 – Parking and Location:
Make sure to check for parking spaces available for your office space. As a standard practice, one parking is made available for every 1000 Sq Ft of area leased. One can also rent or buy the additional car space. If your business requires that your customers visit you frequently, it make sense to find the office space in a locality which is located in central business district, and is easily connected by road, metro, etc. And if you operate a back office call center, then location becomes irrelevant for office space set-up.

Tip 4 – verify other charges in addition to the rent:
Make sure to check the other charges in addition to the monthly rent. Typical charges include CAM (Common area maintenance, electricity, taxes, and lease registration charges). In Grade A buildings, CAM charges would typically be 12 to 16 Rs. / Sq Ft. Electricity charges will be as per actual. And taxes, lease registration charges vary from state to state.

Tip 5 – Read the lease documents carefully:
You would have heard of this phrase a many times “Read the documents carefully” :). Typically, a lease paper should comprise the parties to lease, lease date, lock-in period, minimum rent deposit (6 months, although it is again negotiable), lease term including the lease renewal options, rent appreciation format, CAM charges format, size of the area, and other legal clauses. For more about the lease document, Download "Points to remember before leasing your Office Space in Gurgaon"

Go through the process carefully, and all the best in building a great company!

Have any Questions?

Monday, March 2, 2020

Life beings at 60! Reverse Mortgage Loan (RML) can be your gateway to hassle free and dignified life after 60.

Author: Sachin Gupta | Find me on Twitter

Senior citizens, a term used for people above 60 years of age are a growing population in India. Does that mean giving up on your lifestyle? Or depend on children’s income for fulfilling your basic needs? Well, whatever the logic behind in use of term “senior citizen”, there is no point living a tiring life after retiring actively from employment. In fact, this is the time to visit places, pursue recreational hobbies, learn something new from music instruments to latest in technology. One of the couple we came across in their late 60s is having the time of their life. Visiting various religious places, meditation, public work are some of things that keep them occupied. And there is no pension that they receive from their past employer. So, how do they maintain this exciting lifestyle? Well, to cater to the growing population of people above 60, the financial system including the banks has come up with an instrument called “Reverse Mortgage Loan”.

What is Reverse Mortgage Loan?
As the name suggests, it is the opposite of a normal home loan product. While, in procuring a home loan, you mortgage your property with the bank and pay EMIs so that the home can be yours once all the EMIs are paid. In reverse mortgage loan, the house which belongs to you is mortgaged to the bank or lender and then the lender pays you monthly tax free income without having to sell the house. And it is this tax free income that can allow you the luxury of living a hassle free and dignified life after your retirement at 60.

What happens to my house after the term of the reverse mortgage loan?
One can repay the loan in lump sum at the end of the loan term. Please note that the maximum tenure of the loan is 20 years. As long as you are alive and continue to occupy the house, there is no need to service the loan. However, in case of borrower’s death, lender sells the house and loan is repaid and the remaining amount (if any) is paid to the borrower’s inheritors.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Should be Senior Citizen of India above 60 years of age.
  • Married couples will be eligible as joint borrowers for financial assistance. In such a case, the age criteria for the couple would be at the discretion of the BANK, subject to at least one of them being above 60 years of age and the other not below 55 years of age.
  • Should be the owner of a self- acquired, self occupied residential property (house or flat) located in India, with clear title indicating the prospective borrower’s ownership of the property.
  • The residential property should be free from any encumbrances.
  • The residual life of the property should be at least 20 years.
  • The prospective borrowers should use that residential property as permanent primary residence. Permanent primary residence refers to the self acquired, self occupied residential property where a person spends majority of his time. Factors that may be relevant in this regard include the address used for general correspondence, utility bills, Bank statements, tax return, Bank accounts and Banking relations etc. However, all facts and circumstances may be considered for the purpose of determining that the residential property is the permanent primary residence of the borrower.

How much amount can be availed?

  • The amount of loan will depend on market value of residential property, as assessed by the BANK, age of borrower(s), and prevalent interest rate.
  • The Banks will have the discretion to determine the eligible quantum of loan reckoning the ‘no negative equity guarantee’ being provided by the BANK. The methodology adopted for determining the quantum of loan including the detailed tables of calculations, the rate of interest and assumptions (if any), shall be clearly disclosed to the borrower.
  • The Banks would ensure that the equity of the borrower in the residential property (Equity to Value Ratio - EVR) does not at any time during the tenor of the loan fall below 10%.
  • The Banks will need to re-value the property mortgaged to them at intervals that may be fixed by the BANK depending upon the location of the property, its physical state etc. Such revaluation may be done at least once every five years; the quantum of loan may undergo revisions based on such revaluation of property at the discretion of the lender.

How are the payments made to you by the lender?
  • Any or a combination of the following:
    • Periodic payments (monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, annual) to be decided mutually between the BANK and the borrower upfront
    • Lump-sum payments in one or more tranches
    • Committed Line of Credit, with an availability period agreed upon mutually, to be drawn down by the borrower
  • The maximum monthly payments shall be capped at Rs.50,000/- or such other amount as may be notified by the Government of India.
  • Lump-sum payments may be conditional and limited to medical exigencies.
  • The maximum lump-sum payment shall be restricted to 50% of the total eligible amount of loan subject to a cap of Rs.15 lakh or such other amount as may be notified by the Government of India, to be used for medical treatment for self, spouse and dependents, if any. The balance loan amount would be eligible for periodic payments.
  • The nature of payments will be decided in advance as part of the Reverse Mortgage Loan covenants. BANK at their discretion may consider providing for options to the borrower to change. All covenants/ conditions stipulated by the Banks shall be disclosed to the borrower in advance.

How can funds be used?
  • The loan amount can be used for the following purposes:
    • Up gradation, renovation and extension of residential property.
    • For uses associated with home improvement, maintenance/insurance of residential property
    • Medical, emergency expenditure for maintenance of family
    • For supplementing pension/other income
    • Meeting any other genuine need
  • Use of Reverse Mortgage Loan for speculative, trading and business purposes shall not be permitted

Source: National Housing Bank

Have any Questions?