Vastu tips for choosing a new apartment

If you are about to buy a new home or an apartment, there are several Vastu aspects of the property that you must check. Here’s a quick guide

The Indian architectural science of Vastu Shastra has been a basis for identifying and developing the best living spaces. Vastu-compliant plots and homes, help the inhabitants to live their lives with more happiness, wealth, health and prosperity. This ancient practice has gained popularity in the real estate space, for identifying the best places, plots and structures for residential, as well as commercial purposes.



Vastu compliant entrance

While evaluating the design plan or layout of a plot or a construction (flat or apartment), the first consideration should always be for a good entrance. The entrance holds the key to ushering in positivity and happiness for the entire family.


Each living space has 32 possible locations that can function as an entrance of a building. Each of these 32 locations has their own significance and affects our lives accordingly. For instance, an entrance in the southeast zone, the Vastu zone of cash, results in delayed payments. A southwest entrance is among the least Vastu-compliant entrances and families living in such homes can face monetary and relationship issues to a great extent.

On the contrary, if you have an entrance in the north, you can expect great success in monetary and business matters, as well as opportunities in your career. If your chosen property or apartment does not have a Vastu-compliant entrance, you can still buy the property and apply certain simple Vastu remedies.


Vastu compliant room direction

The correct location for a room ensures that you benefit the most from that room. Each room has a positive or negative effect, on the lives of inhabitants of the house, depending on the zone in which it is located.

For instance, a living room in the east zone is ideal for developing and strengthening social connections. On the other hand, a bedroom between the east and southeast should be avoided as per Vastu. Sleeping in these zones results in increased anxiety and disagreements with one’s spouse.

One should avoid building a toilet between the north and the northeast zones in the house. It can severely affect the immunity and health of the members of the family living in the house. For kitchens, the southeast is an ideal zone. One should avoid having a kitchen in the northeast and southwest zones.


Panchtattava or the analysis of the five elements

A living space is divided into 16 zones or directions in space. Each zone has a corresponding main element that affects different aspects of our life. For example, the north zone has water as the main element. The main attributes of this zone are wealth, growth, career, monetary gains, etc. Consequently, any imbalance in this zone has a direct impact on the career, business and monetary health of the inhabitants.

Similarly, fire is the main element of the south zone. The main attributes of the south zone are sleep and relaxation.


While purchasing a home, one needs to check the location of different rooms and internal elements that make up the home. These include kitchen, toilets, balcony, slopes, open areas, water tanks, gardens, service lanes, water storage of neighbors, rainwater drainage, the building’s height, shafts, etc. It is important to verify that each of the 5 elements or Panchtattava, is present in its respective zone – water in the north, the air in the east, fire in the south, earth in the southwest and space in the west.


Modern Vastu and space programming

What if you have already purchased a property or paid the booking amount? In such cases, you can use the fourth check of Vastu – space programming. With modern Vastu applications and techniques, you do not need to deconstruct or demolish your property. Through simple and effective Vastu techniques and remedies, you can balance the elements in a particular zone. The use of colors, shapes, lights, metals and symbols, are highly effective in this regard.



Does Nomination ease inheritance process?

While nominations can be given for shares, bank deposits, mutual fund investments, bank lockers, the rules and implications for immovable properties are different. Here’s how they operate.


The reply to a question raised in the Indian parliament revealed that deposits worth Rs 5,124.98 crores were lying unclaimed for 10 years or more, with scheduled banks. This is a huge amount, considering the fact that banking facilities are generally availed of by educated people. These unclaimed deposits could have been significantly lower if the depositor had appointed a nominee for his bank account/deposit. Here’s a look at what nomination is and its effect on succession.


What is nomination?

The nomination is a process, whereby; a person authorizes someone to receive the assets on his/her behalf, after death. It comes into operation, after the death of the owner. The specified asset is transferred in the name of the nominee.


Rights of nominees and legal heirs

There is a general perception, that the nominee becomes the owner of the asset, once it is transferred in his name or is handed over to him. However, the rule is subject to a few exceptions, that the nominee becomes a trustee to hold the property on behalf of the legal heir.



Under the Insurance Act, an insurance company is discharged of its liability, once it pays the amount of claim to the nominee. It is the responsibility of the nominee, to hand over the claim amount to the legal heir/s. The judiciary has made this amply clear. The Supreme Court, in the case of Sarbati Devi, which was decided in 1983, held that the nominee is a trustee of the property and is liable to hand it over to the legal heirs. This applies to deposits in bank accounts, as well.

Those who reside in cities, often have their residential properties in cooperative housing societies. The cooperative society laws that are applicable in each state govern such properties. According to Section 30 of the Maharashtra Cooperatives Societies Act, for instance, the society is legally allowed to transfer the property in the name of the nominee, in case the owner has submitted the nomination form to the society, in respect of that property. However, such a nominee, who is registered as the owner of the property in the records of the housing society, represents the legal heir/s It is only the legal heir/s, who have the beneficial ownership rights of the flat, ruled the Bombay High Court, in the celebrated case of Ramdas Shivram Sattur in 2009, which dragged on for 25 years.

In the case of provident fund dues and shares in companies, the law provides that the nominee becomes the legal and beneficial owner of such property. Therefore, in the case of shares in a Demat account, the nominee shall become its absolute owner, as decided by the Bombay High Court in the case of Saraswat Bank Limited.

What should you do?

Homeowners should make nominations for all their assets, wherever such a facility is available. As the nominee/s are also the legal heir/s in most of the cases, the making of such nominations, will help the transfer of the asset to the legal heir/s. Even in other cases, it will ensure that that the property does not remain unclaimed or become subject to litigation. While making a nomination for shares and provident fund dues, one needs to remember that the nominee will become the owner of these assets.



Impacts GST will have on Real Estate

With the GST Bill being passed in the Lok Sabha on March 29, 2017, it seems certain that it will meet its July 1, 2017, deadline for implementation. We analyze how the latest version of the Bill will impact the real estate sector.


With 4 crucial bills on GST being passed in the Lok Sabha on March 29, 2017, it’s now a certainty that the GST would be implemented from July 1, 2017. The GST is being touted as the game-changer as it would replace several taxes, cesses and surcharges at one go. The realty market is expecting to benefit from the GST rollout, in a major way. Incidentally, the real estate sector will come under the GST ambit within one year of its rollout.

Experts explain that, with the passage of India’s biggest tax reform in decades, we will become a unified market, with one tax for all goods and Services. Once implemented, GST will significantly ease the ambiguity around our taxation system, promote ease of doing business, encourage more Foreign Direct Investment and stimulate overall growth of the economy.


Positive impact on the taxes

Experts believe that in the present tax system, there are a lot of different taxes that one has to pay, like the VAT or the local body taxes. GST will subsume all these taxes into it. Instead of paying various taxes, at various states and cities, we would soon have just one tax, that is going to benefit us. So, in this process, a lot of labor will be saved, along with large sums of money. Also, we look at taxes to be in line with the standard of the absorption of the industry. We as an industry, who have been suffering from the excess of taxes, which in sum, amounts to 40%; if all that can be reduced then it’s a big advantage to all of us.

 Ambiguity on how will GST impact real estate industry

According to experts, there still exists some ambiguity about to the overall impact of the GST on real estate, as per the recent announcements based on the legislations introduced for approval in the Lok Sabha March 29, 2017.

While questioning the new setup, experts say, that he overall impact is still to be assessed and a few questions come to mind. As the government promotes a cashless economy that encourages the purchase of properties using institutional/bank finance, how then does the GST on EMIs for the under-construction impact the homebuyer? Furthermore, with REITs slated to bring the much-required additional liquidity into the real estate sector, how does the GST on leasing/renting within a REIT impact the overall ROI for investors.

Will homes cost more for homebuyers post GST?

The latest version of the GST bill states that the leasing of a building, in part or whole which includes a residential and commercial building, would be considered as service rendered as per the GST bill. At present, service tax is only levied on the commercial and industrial units that are rented out but the residential unit is exempt from such taxes. Service tax and VAT will be replaced by the Central GST and State GST whereas, stamp duty will remain unchanged as it is out of the purview of GST. Two aspects that will define the impact of GST on the sector, is the rate and abatement for land value in total agreement value of residential and under- construction homes,


Experts believe that lowering costs on account of input credit allowance could lower prices, if developers are willing to pass on the benefits to the end-users, resulting in a saving of up to 20% for the home buyer. Overall, with the implementation of the GST, the consumers may need to bear slightly higher taxes but they could still pay lower prices for the property if the developers pass the benefits of input credits, to their customers.

GST’s impact on the realty sector

  • Under-construction homes to attract GST.
  • Leasing and renting of land and building would invite GST.
  • GST to be levied on EMI of under-construction property.
  • Tenancy and leasing would be considered as rendering the service under the GST bill.
  • Real estate to come under the GST ambit within one year of the roll-out, which means stamp duties will continue to be levied till then.