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If you have decided to buy a home, you should keenly investigate many aspects before you invest in your dream home’s construction. You have to ensure that it is sturdy and safe. The home should be liveable for a long time to come and not incur undue repair and maintenance costs. It should also fetch a good value in case you decide to sell your property.
It is not enough if you merely rely on the word-of-mouth publicity that you have heard or read about the builder. Whether you have decided to buy an apartment or a single house or a bungalow, you have to be able to assess your future home’s construction quality. Let us see how you can do this.
#1: Check the soil quality
Any building requires a strong foundation. The strength depends on the quality of the soil on which it is built. Every builder checks the quality of the soil before they undertake the construction of any type. You can even ask for the soil report if you wish to buy an apartment under construction. The soil should be sandy, loamy, or chalky for the foundation to remain strong. This type of soil enables easy drainage of water. However, ensure that the soil is clayey or it is the black-cotton soil type that shrinks or swells with the absence or presence of water.
#2: Double-check the structure and design of the building
As a layperson can't understand the quality of the structure and design of a building, it is best to get these verified by an expert. You will then be able to evaluate how the walls, beams, roofs, and columns are constructed, and how well the building will be able to withstand earthquakes if there are any. You also have to check whether there is any firefighting equipment installed, or whether there are emergency exits, etc. Good quality construction ensures that the weight of the entire structure is scientifically distributed.
#3: Gauge the quality of the concrete
The quality of the concrete should be such as to bear a high load. The ratio of concrete and sand must be suited to providing strength and resilience for a long period. You should ask the builder for laboratory-testified reports that provide the concrete: sand ratio used in the construction. The quality can easily be tested by driving a nail into the wall. If the nail sinks in easily, the construction may not be of good quality.
#4: Assess the quality of the plaster
The quality of plaster should be tested even before painting the home. If the home is left without painting for some time after being constructed, some issues with the plaster may crop up a few months later, especially during the monsoon. Water leaks indicate poor plaster quality and manifest as cracks in the plaster. Even minor cracks should be fixed by collaborating with the builder.
#5: Assess paint quality
Good quality paint enhances the appearance and visual appeal of a house and also increases the life of the walls. Cheap quality paint can lead to poor finishing and durability. The walls are to be painted only after thoroughly assessing the quality of the plaster.
#6: Check wall thickness
The builder must mention the thickness of the wall in their layout design. Then you have to check if the specifications match the actual thickness walls. You can tap the walls with your knuckles for hollowness or use plywood inside the walls. Builders use plywood to strengthen their walls. But termites can damage such structures if they are not treated properly.
Other points to keep in mind are to check the fittings and fixtures including the plumbing fittings, the slope of the bathroom to facilitate draining, and all the kitchen fittings. Check the electrical connections and air conditioning facilities. Check all miscellaneous aspects such as the elevator, children’s play area, parking lot, etc.
Thus, as safety and security are important points to consider, it is a good idea to pay heed to the suggestions in this article before you buy a newly built home.
In the past, people built new homes from scratch; however, now the trend is to buy homes. Everyone wants fewer hassles when looking to own their new homes. Living in apartments indicates an urban lifestyle. Homes also form significant investments, especially when you buy them upfront. When you want to buy an apartment, you are presented with 2 options, buy an under-construction property or a ready-to-occupy property. In this blog, we attempt to weigh the merits and demerits of both so that you can make an easy choice.
1: The cost The first factor to be considered is the cost involved. Under-construction homes are always priced cheaper compared to ready-to-occupy apartments because they are in the initial phase of construction and the realtor is still on the lookout for more investments. Properties under construction are attractive because the total spending would only be 30-40% of the price of readymade apartments. Most buyers opt to pay in installments as is the trend. However, this means you may have to wait for a year or two for the completion of the project.
Readymade apartments, on the other hand, are suited for those buyers who have substantial funds at hand. You can move into these apartments straightaway by paying the cost in full. However, with rising demand, the prices of such apartments are likely to increase.
2: Additions and changes
Under-construction properties may come to you with additional benefits and discounts with the realtor ready to throw in perks to attract more buyers. You can also your place with the best view and bat for extra amenities within the price range.
Readymade homes come with amenities like rooftop gardens and pools in place when you move in. Under-construction properties may fetch a lower carpet area than the original plan. For readymade apartments, this is not a problem. You see what your price is going to fetch you.
3: Savings on tax payment
Purchasing a home for yourself means paying huge amounts of money as tax. However, when you buy readymade apartments you are exempted from 12% GST payment, whereas under-construction properties are bound by GST. Also, Section 80C of the Income Tax Act deducts Rs1.5 lakhs from the principal for the purchase of properties, along with up to Rs.2 lakh deduction on the interest payable. However, these have to be utilized within three years of your investment or this will lapse. For those purchasing under-construction properties, you may lose this benefit if there are construction delays. 4: Your reason/purpose
It is best to buy a readymade apartment if you currently occupy a rented property and you are looking to move out fast. Under-construction properties are likely to take a long time to complete and this may cost you to spend more on rent. There is also a risk of delay and project completion apprehensions. You can opt for an under-construction property if you are looking to shift to a new place within the next two/three years.
5: Location of the property
Another important criterion is the location of the property. If your property is in a currently-developing locality, you can opt for under-construction homes. If the property is in a developed area, you can afford to move into a readymade apartment. In the former case, you get the bonus of capital appreciation when the project is complete, and your home will fetch a higher value.
6: RERA Compliance:
Since May 1, 2017, it is compulsory for any property possessing Occupation Certificate to abide by the RERA rules mandated by the state. This applies to under-construction properties, and this means construction has to follow fair trade practices. In case issues arise, questions can be raised and grievances will be addressed by the RERA Appellate Tribunal. This makes way for a speedy resolution of these issues.
7: Customized home
For under-construction properties, you can work out your home plan with your architect. Readymade apartments do not provide much scope for customization, with the framework having been laid already. Before you select your home, ensure that you speak with your realtor. This must help to clear all doubts and you will be happy with the choice.
If you buy an apartment, it provides you with a home and is also seen as an investment option that would appreciate in the future. The real estate sector had taken a hit during the times of the pandemic but is now witnessing a small growth. Owning a home is a big event in anyone’s life and investing in real estate is one of the biggest options for any individual. When you buy a home many intangible benefits come along. You enjoy peace of mind, and security in your life, and enjoy the pride of being a homeowner. These are the main reasons why people like to invest in the real estate sector. Looking at market trends of today, real estate still holds sway as the most stable investment option compared to the stock market, mutual funds, etc. Many surveys bear testimony to the fact that many investors are looking at the real estate scenario very keenly since the pandemic ended. In this short article, we attempt to tell you the benefits you accrue by investing in your dream home and how it can provide attractive returns in the longer term. You can consider the below-said points when you are contemplating buying a home. Price Appreciation It is estimated that the average price appreciation rate for real estate in India is about 6 percent. In the last decade (2010-2020), average property prices have seen a 38% jump in the top big cities in India. All these indicate that it makes sense to invest in the real estate market and values are only likely to appreciate sizeably in the future. Tax Benefits Owning your dream home can get you a tax deduction of up to 2 lakhs. Under section 24 of the IT Act, you can avail up to 2 lakh of tax benefits and this would help to ease your interest rate if you invest in a ready-to-occupy property. Easy home loans Since the COVID-19 pandemic struck, RBI has lowered repo rates considerably. Because of this, home loan interest rates at 7% are probably at their lowest. This is a good time to make use of this opportunity and you can make profitable investments. A couple of years ago, home loan rates were 8-9% per annum. Investment is stable and risk-free Looking at the current market situation, buying your dream home would probably be the most stable investment avenue. Your home will appreciate sooner than later. Moreover, as the prices were on a downward trend during the pandemic and are just about picking up, buying your own home now for later resale can fetch you higher profits. The real estate market will rally once the economy becomes more stable. Attractive deals As the market was down and sales were low during the time of the pandemic, many of the developers are offering very attractive deals for the purchase of their property. Therefore, this is just about the best time to buy. There cannot be a better time than now! Steady income source Buyers can also hope to get a steady source of income if they invest in real estate property and then lease it out. It is a safe and secure source of income. Conclusion Investing in a home can lead to better financial returns in the long run. Such an investment also helps to create security over time. With some patience, you can get reap maximum financial benefits from your real estate investments. Investing in real estate is also seen to be a safe way of diversifying our investment portfolio.
Saturday, 17 September 2022 14:55

Interior Design Ideas for Your Apartment

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People migrate to cities when they land a new job or for better education and employment opportunities. Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, etc., are still big draws. Many people look out to settle down in apartments in these cities because they promise convenience and more security than independent houses. In this article, we are sharing a few ideas for the Indian-style interior design of such apartments. #1: Say it with paints Paints can create magic in any apartment. Pick up lighter shades for walls and this would help to maximize the amount of light and reflection inside the rooms. Using the same shade for all walls gives it a seamless appearance. Off-white, beige, sky blue and cream are some suggested shades that you can use. Rooms appear airier. It is a good idea to avoid dark colours in small rooms because they can create undesirable vibes. #2: Use smart furniture Using furniture that doubles up the space is a good idea. Use smart furniture that saves space and which are multi-purpose. Use compact and small furniture for small rooms. This would allow more space in small rooms. Foldable furniture that can be fitted on the walls of the room and folded when not in use is ideal. When you use furniture made of glass or acrylic, it makes the room appear larger and more open and spacious. #3: Living-cum-dining area Opt for an open living-cum-dining area for enjoying more space in apartments. Partitions make the room look smaller and more cramped. Nowadays apartments are having open living-cum-dining-cum-kitchen areas. Some homeowners opt for glass sliders that can be moved to and fro whenever desired or when there is a need for less or more space. #4: Declutter often While t is true that most of us like collecting things we like, it is a good idea to go for minimalist living and decluttering regularly. Research shows that decluttering your home regularly makes you more productive and organized. This will also make your apartment appear spacious. Retain your special possessions inside boxes and store them away in a corner or the attic. Sorting them from your favourite to the least favourite can help you get rid of your least favourite ones from time to time. #5: Opt for a spacious kitchen The kitchen is one the most used areas in a house. Modern kitchen interior design is essential for today’s living. Modern kitchens are designed so that kitchens are large and no space is lost. A modular kitchen design helps in this aspect. Here every bit of free space is used up properly. A parallel modular kitchen design is a good option if your kitchen is small but you need more countertop space. Modular cabinet systems give your kitchen multiple storage options. You can also go for open shelves to store your utensils. You can think of using floating kitchen shelves from the ceiling to provide you with extra storage space. #6: Indoor plants add freshness Plants kept inside rooms add freshness and also help to create a sense of open air. Pick varieties of plants that flourish indoors and those that require minimal care. You can keep small potted plants close to the window where they would get more heat and light. Plants make the room appear airier. If you have balconies, you will have the luxury of doing vertical gardening and maybe grow some herbs that you need for the kitchen. You can also hang pots with plants wherever suitable. Conclusion If you are planning to move into an apartment, these ideas could help you to add more beauty and space and make your life happier and easier.
Wednesday, 13 July 2022 16:55

Different types of paints used in homes today

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There are different types of paints that you can buy and use in your house today. These paints are specifically used for the interior and exterior separately. In this blog, we attempt to give you some basic information so that you can choose the right ones for your home. Primer Firstly, though the primer is not paint, it is a very important component that is used while painting a home. A coat of primer is used before using any other paint. This helps to remove any smoke, dust, and grime from the walls and make them ready to get a fresh coat of paint. You don't need to use a primer coat before any painting job. However, for any unfinished wall, a primer coat is a must. In case you are planning to make use of latex paint, a latex-based primer should be applied first. House paints are commonly classified into water-based and oil-based paints. Whereas distemper and cement paints are water-based, enamel paints are oil-based. Emulsion paints can be either water- or oil-based. Distemper Paint This is a cost-effective paint commonly used on walls in Indian homes. It is easy to use and it is safe. However, it can get discolored easily. Emulsion paint The emulsion paint imparts a rich look and feel to the walls of a house. It is very durable. A stain on an emulsion-painted wall can be removed by wiping with a cloth dipped in a mild detergent. It is a good choice if you have children and pets at home. Enamel paint Enamel paint is popular because of the durability it provides. It renders a glossy effect on the walls and is one of the most expensive types of paint. It is water and stain-resistant. It can be applied to walls, and metal and wooden surfaces. Paints for Home exteriors Emulsion paint Emulsions can be used to impart a sleek finish to exterior walls too. Moreover, these paints make the walls resistant to fungi and mildew. The walls remain fresh through all weather conditions. Cement Paint Cement paints lend a grainy look to the exteriors. These can be used for the exterior walls and patios and garages. They are used for those walls that face rough weather. Paint Finishes Paints can be used to impart different finishes to the walls that they adorn. Matte Finish Matte finish can be used to hide imperfections on the ceilings or walls. The effect is non-reflective. However, it is difficult to clean and needs a frequent touch-up. Satin Finish Also called the eggshell finish, this provides an effect that is midway between matte and gloss. It is used often in the kitchen and the bathrooms and is durable. This effect cannot hide imperfections on a wall. Glossy Finish This is the most reflective finish and is the most long-lasting of the three. You may need more than one coat to de-accentuate flaws.
The monsoon is here and as we all know the rains can cause huge damage to wooden flooring and furniture. Wood absorbs moisture quickly and is damaged easily. In this article, we attempt to provide a few tips that could help you keep your wooden floors and furniture away from damage during this monsoon. Tip #1: Keep your furniture at a distance from the walls. Damp walls, even without leakages, are harmful to the furniture. Therefore, bookshelves, showcases, etc., made of wood are best kept away from the walls. Tip #2: Keep wooden furniture away from the windows. Rain water coming through windows can drench wooden furniture and cause irreparable damage. Also, take care not to keep wooden furniture pieces on the balcony or near French windows that lead to the balconies. You also have to protect wooden window frames from the water by wiping them dry frequently. Placing camphor balls inside cupboards can help to absorb the moisture. They also help to keep termites away during the monsoon. Tip #3: Another way of protecting wooden furniture is by oiling them. During monsoon, we have often noticed that the wooden furniture absorbs moisture and tends to swell up. This is commonly noticed in doors and drawers. You can fight this by either using spray-on wax or by oiling the wood. Tip #4: Apply lacquer finishing coats on wooden furniture items. It is recommended that you polish your furniture at least once a year or some time just before the monsoon season arrives. A lacquer coating will do well by filling in all the small pores and pits. The wood will therefore not be able to absorb the moisture and swell up. Lacquer costa can be used on all the wooden furniture pieces including the living room, bedroom, and dining room. How to care for wooden floors during monsoon Many people use wooden flooring for their houses to enhance the beauty and appearance of the rooms. However, they are prone to water damage. You can follow the aforesaid tips to save your wooden flooring from the monsoon moisture. Seal the flooring’s leakage points If your wooden floors are old, it is a good idea to check the corners and the edges near the walls for any leakage points. These will be the likely spots from where water can seep into the wood. The weak areas should be closed using sealants. Polyurethane can be used to cure the sealants. Keep the floors dry and clean Keep away any spillage or rain drops from the floor. Keep them dry using cloth mops. Dry wooden floors by airing them Just because the rains are in, it does not mean that you have to keep the windows shut. Wooden floors dry well only if there is sufficient ventilation. So keep the windows open. Conclusion The monsoon is here and therefore it is important to take care of wooden furniture and the floors regularly.
Tuesday, 24 May 2022 08:37

A Thing or Two about Window Blinds

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A Thing or Two about Window Blinds Blinds are typically made of vertical or horizontal slats. Blinds can be used for windows, doors, and even room entrances. Blinds are hung to filter light, allow for privacy, and also insulate spaces. These slats are made of plastic, metals, and sometimes fabric. Custom blinds can be specifically made for spaces inside a building. Readymade blinds are available in standard sizes for doors and windows and they come cheaper. Apartments of today, as well as commercial buildings featuring offices, are styled with different types of blinds. In this article, we attempt to provide information about the common types of blinds that are available in the market. Venetian Blinds Venetian blinds have horizontal slats that are made of metal, plastic, or wood. The slats can be tilted up to 180 degrees to allow a specific amount of light to come in. Modern Venetian blinds are also available as ‘cordless’ types. This type is preferred by families having small children and/or pets. Mini Blinds Mini blinds are often the smaller version of Venetian blinds. The slats of mini blinds are often made of metal. The micro blind is an even smaller version of the mini blind with the slats measuring just half an inch wide. Vertical Blinds Vertical blinds are the best choice for large windows or glass doors. The slats for these blinds of made of fabric or vinyl. An important point to note is that you should measure the length of the slats that you need only after fixing the horizontal track on the top. However, in case you do not measure, the slats may trail on the floor. Well, if you want them like this, you can install them without measuring their length. Panel Blinds Panel blinds are vertical and the slats are usually made with fabric. These can be used as room dividers as well as for covering windows. Usually, they do not have a tilt option. So they either filter out all the light or allow in all the light. Motorized Blinds Motorized blinds are more expensive than the other types. Nowadays, the controls can be initiated via apps on smartphones or via smart home assistants like Siri or Alexa. This model ably supports those individuals with disabilities. They also look stylish, which means they are for everybody. Aluminum Blinds Aluminum blinds work best for rooms that are sunny as they effectively repel the heat. These are best suited for living rooms or bedrooms. The slats are made of 6- or 8-gauge aluminium and the slats have widths of ½ inch up to 2 inches. Rolling Blinds Rolling blinds are designed to unroll from a spool that is installed at the top near the frame. This type is mainly used to keep away the heat and light of a room. They are also used to keep out the winds.
It is only a couple of months before the monsoon will come calling. Waterproofing means keeping your house dry and not allow water to penetrate to the inside of your home. This means there will be less humidity inside and consequently less damage. Waterproofing frequently begins with checking your doors and windows for leaks and closing any to forestall damage due to heavy rains. We list a few basic ways in which you can rain-proof your home. ► Check for Leakages Water seepage into the roofs and walls can not only cause long-term damage to the structures but also make for a damp and uncomfortable environment. This check is best done when there are light showers. Any wet patches on the walls/roofs indicate seepage through cracks. These can be fixed using adhesives and plaster and sealing these cracks.
If you are planning to buy an apartment of your own in Kerala, the frequent advice that you would receive is to check whether all government approvals and clearances are in place before the purchase of the apartment. This is done with good intentions because it always can happen that you will miss something important. Realizing that purchasing a home is a high-value long-term investment, you must check out all the approvals that have to be in place before take a final decision to purchase a home. For this, you have to understand the negative consequences of not having certain approvals, and why having them approved is very important. A builder who is offering you an apartment with all the approvals in place is one that you can place your trust in. The the approvals have to be obtained by the builder before they sell your home to you, the negative consequences of not having some of these approvals will only affect the homeowner. These disturbances to your life may continue even many years after the sale has taken place. Therefore, you must buy your property only from a trustworthy builder. Let us now have a brief look at a list of approvals that you should ensure are in place before purchasing an apartment in Kerala.
Friday, 08 April 2022 15:55

Home Loan Guide for the Millennial

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If you are an upwardly-mobile millennial in India, you would have already realized the importance of worthwhile investments that you have to start making now. Having a home of your own is surely one of them. However, you would have also realized that buying a home is not that easy a job. If you are planning to buy your first home, considering that you are young, you may require some sort of financial assistance to help buy your first home. Many banks and other financial institutions provide loans to eligible individuals which would help them buy their houses. If you are at this juncture in your life, you must obtain a clear idea about how home loans and mortgages work in India. Committing hasty mistakes can cost you a great deal of money as home loans run for 20 to 30 years. This simple home loan guide will provide you with some basics that will help you when applying for a home loan in India. What is a Home Loan? A home loan is the amount of money that you borrow from any financial institution or bank of your choice at their specified rate of interest. The institution usually requires that you pay back the borrowed sum in the form of equated monthly instalments (EMIs) in a mutually agreed period. In most cases, the borrower offers the property that they intend to purchase as collateral security against the money borrowed. In case you, the borrower, fail to pay off the loan as specified, the institution would sell the collateral security property to recover the outstanding amount. Advantages of taking a home loan Availing of a home loan is surely a long-term commitment for you. However, there are several advantages you enjoy in the longer term. • Over time, the value of your house will appreciate and not depreciate. This means it can be a source of wealth for you in your later years. • A home loan falls under the category of good debt as it is linked to the acquisition of an asset, unlike credit card loans. When you pay off the loan on time, your creditworthiness swings positively. • A home loan comes with tax benefits. The payments that you make as interest towards a home loan, the interest you pay during the pre-construction period, the principal amount that you have repaid, the registration and stamp duty charges, etc., can all be used as deductions during the payment of taxes. Different Types of Homes Loans in India Home Loan This is a loan using which you can buy a property under construction, a unit that is ready to move into, or one put up for a second sale. Typically, you can avail up to 85% of the cost of the dwelling when you take this loan. Land Purchase Loan Banks may provide loans to buy plots of land within the corporation/municipal limits. The interest rates are similar to that of regular home loans and the processing also follows the same steps. The usual limit for the loan amount is 70% of the plot value. Home Construction Loan If you want to construct a home and not buy a readymade dwelling unit and you want financial help for this, you should apply for a home construction loan. The application procedure and the processing of the documents are different in this case. You should have already purchased the plot where you plan to construct the house and the house should be built within a year. Home Renovation/Expansion Loan If you already own a home but want to remodel a room or expand the size of your home, you have to apply for a Renovation/Expansion loan. Institutions lend up to 75% of the expansion or renovations costs involved. The amount of loan sanctioned depends on many factors such as your age, your creditworthiness, your repayment ability, etc. The term of this type of loan is usually 15 years and you should be at least age 21 or above to apply for this type of loan. NRI Home Loan This loan is a variant of the regular home loan that helps non-resident Indians to buy property in their home country. The compliance aspects and application procedures are different for this type of loan. Other loan types include home improvement loans, bridged, loans, home conversion loans, etc. Eligibility and Documentation required for Application of Home Loans The eligibility criteria for applying for home loans include: • In India, you can be salaried, self-employed, or a business person to become eligible for applying for a home loan. • You must have completed 18 years of age at least. Most banks/financial institutions offer home loans to salaried/self-employed in the age group of 18/21 years to 70 years. • You should have a regular income to prove that you can repay the loan on time. • Your savings history and professional stability are important. • A bad credit history within three months before the application month can have a negative effect. • The type of residence you currently stay in is taken into account. Documents Required when applying for a Home Loan When applying for a home loan, you are required to submit the following documents: Checklist 1.0 Completed loan application form with photos 2.0 Proof of identification (any one of the below) Driving licence/ration card/passport/PAN card/ Voter’s ID card/ employee ID/bank passbook 3.0 Proof of age (any one of the below) PAN card/birth certificate/10th standard mark sheet/bank passbook/passport/driving license 4.0 Proof of address (any one of the below) Bank passbook/Bank account statement/Voter’s ID card/Ration card/Passport/Utility bill/LIC policy 5.0 Income Proof: Salaried individuals (any one of the below) • Form 16/Letter from employer (Appointment letter also required if you have been with the current employer for less than a year)/Last three months’ pay slip/Three years’ IT returns/Six months’ bank statement Self Employed Businessmen (any one of the below) • Last three years’ income tax returns /Last two years’ Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss Account None of these lists is exhaustive and vary according to the lender’s requirements. A home loan is a long-term commitment, and you should choose the loan wisely after clearly understanding your commitment during the term of the loan.

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