SBI starts the cut race: affordable home loan rates @ 8.35%, lowest in market

Upping the ante in the housing loan segment, State Bank of India has steeply reduced its affordable home loan rates by up to 25 basis points, with the lowest rate of 8.35 per cent for new women borrowers.

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State Bank of India, on May 8, 2017, announced a steep reduction in its affordable home loan rates by up to 25 basis points, with the lowest rate of 8.35 per cent for new women borrowers, who are salaried. For the non-salaried women borrowers, the reduction is 20 bps.

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With around 26 percent market share, the nation’s largest lender is also the biggest player in the home loan segment. Even at the existing 8.60 per cent, SBI offers the lowest rate. HDFC, the second-largest player in the space, offers loans at 8.65 per cent to women for loans up to Rs 75 lakh and 8.7 per cent for others. Similar is the minimum rate being offered by the largest private lender, ICICI Bank.

For male borrowers, SBI said the limited period offer is valid until July 31 and the new rate for the salaried will be lower by 20 bps at 8.40 per cent. A non-salaried male borrower can avail of a loan at 15 bps lower than the current rate, said a highly placed source in the Bank. “This is a huge saving for the borrower as the 25 bps reduction translates into a saving of Rs 530 per month on EMI.” The new rates will be effective from May 9, 2017.

Explaining the reason behind the move, which makes it’s offering the lowest in the industry, the said source said the bank has seen a hike in home loan inquiries of late and reduction in rates will further help millions of buyers fulfill their dream of owning a home. Also, the bank expects that the new rates will attract the fence-sitting borrowers to go in for a loan now. This is a giant leap to give a fillip to the affordable housing segment, keeping the government’s vision of providing housing for all by 2022, the source said. A lot of customers are undecided on a new home, as rates of the market, as well as finance, have been high for too long. That should hopefully change now,

With a home loan book of Rs 2.23 trillion, SBI leads the home mortgage segment with 25-26 percent market share. He, however, said the new offer may not push up its market share significantly, as 45 per cent of its Rs 2.23 trillion home loan book is already under the Rs 30 lakh bracket and the rest of the credit industry is also very aggressive.

SBI is also giving a special offer for construction finance, to builders for affordable housing projects. This will give a dual push both for construction finance and also for home finance for affordable homes, but the bank has not quantified the reduction. Clearing the air about the delinquency levels in the home loan segment, the source said that the highest is among the rural borrowers with a ticket size of under Rs 4 lakh, but for other segments, SBI has the lowest bad loans.

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How notification of Real Estate Act rules will affect buyers and builders

In a step that will bring the Real Estate Act closer to implementation, the union government has notified the rules under the act. We examine its implications for homebuyers and developers.

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The union government of India recently notified the rules under the Real Estate Regulation Act, which will be applicable to the five union territories. Now, all the states are expected to notify their own rules, in the near future. However, the question that remains is whether the rules will meet the expectations of homebuyers and the realty sector.

Although numerous promises have been made over the years, not much has moved forward, from ideation to actual implementation of policies, assert experts.

A fair Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA), should hold both, buyers and developers accountable and ensure transparency in the real estate development space. It will help developers to become more fiscally prudent and focus on delivery timelines. There is clearly a trust deficit between customers and developers and this trusts deficit will hopefully, be bridged very soon, thereby, benefitting the entire industry.

Key features of the rules notified under the Real Estate Regulation Act

  • Developers have to open an escrow account for all sales proceeds and use this account for all payments for the particular project. 70% of the money collected, has to remain in the escrow account, to facilitate all project-related expenses and the rest of the money can be taken out by the developer to use as they deem fit.
  • There is an interest penalty for delayed possession that is imposed on the developer.
  • Projects can only be launched, upon receiving the relevant approvals from the concerned authorities. These approvals have to be put up on the RERA website, along with all the pertinent project details and the project has to be approved by the regulatory authority. Customers can log onto the RERA website, to see the project’s details.
  • Properties will be sold strictly on the basis of carpet area.
  • Any grievance/complaint has to be resolved by the state’s real estate regulatory authority, within 60 days.

 

Can the RERA fulfill homebuyers’ and builders’ expectations?

Experts feel that Transparency and trust factor will automatically increase, as it will become mandatory for developers to post all information pertaining to the project’s plan, layout, government approvals, land title status, sub-contractors to the project and schedule for completion, with the state real estate regulatory authorities. This law will act as a regulator, to govern both residential and commercial real estate transactions.

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Tier-2 and tier-3 markets, where a lot of consumers have lost their money in the past, will again see a spurt in investments. Moreover, FII investment and FDI investment into real estate will also grow.

While the notification of the rules, is definitely a step in the right direction, the success of the Real Estate Act, will depend on its implementation.

However, we should always remember that this act is intended to safeguard the consumers and it should never be treated as a tool to only penalize people.

For RERA to succeed, its implementation should be in true spirit and should not become a tool for corruption, harassment and delays. It is for Government to ensure speed and correct implementation of the Act. Further, RERA is a blessing in disguise for entire realty sector as it will regularize the purchase process and improve transparency.

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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,

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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.

 

10 Best Air Filtering Plants for your house, NASA approves them!

Summers are fast approaching. The heat in the atmosphere is gradually increasing and accordingly, the need for keeping environs of the house cool has increased. Hereunder, find some plants, which shall not only keep your house cool but will assist in inner environs pure.

Using space station technology to ensure the safety of your home may be easier than you thought. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration conducted the NASA Clean Air Study to demonstrate the effectiveness of particular plants to purify the air.

As homes become more insulated and efficient, they also make it easier to trap indoor air pollutants. Chemicals like benzene, formaldehyde, and ammonia can come from household items and pollute your home’s atmosphere without any visual warning.

Neglecting the quality of the air you breathe on a daily basis could result in serious consequences. Illness, allergies, asthma and frequent headaches are just a few of many inconveniences that come from airborne particles floating around your home. Air pollution is also one of the reasons the can affect your digestive system.

There’s no need to dish out hundreds of dollars on expensive appliances when you’ve got Mother Nature. According to NASA, there are plenty of plants that soak up harmful particles in the air and release fresh oxygen – all while adding a decorative touch.

Where does it all come from?
One of the scariest things about indoor air pollution is the seemingly harmless nature of its many sources. Listed below are some of the most common ways a home can become polluted.

• Glues and Adhesives
• Carpets (especially new carpets)
• Chemicals in household cleaners (instead of using poisonous household cleaners you can make your own natural household cleaners)
• Foam insulation materials
• Paint
• Pressed-wood products (plywood, particleboard, and medium-density fiberboard)
If plants are good enough for the pioneers of space travel than they must be doing something right. They also might spark a new found hobby of gardening as well!. The plants listed below are 10 of the most effective air filters Mother Nature has to offer.

1. English Ivy (Hedera Helix)

The English Ivy is ideal for pots because its invasive nature allows it to spread easily. The research found it to be particularly useful in eliminating airborne fecal-matter particles. The plant is also great for a family with smokers in it. Its ability to soak up carcinogens from second-hand smoke helps to purify small areas. It’s also versatile when it comes to growing conditions and doesn’t require much maintenance.

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2. Golden Pothos (Epipremnum Aureum)
NASA considered this plant one of the most effective choices for eliminating formaldehyde. People that have struggled to keep plants alive can rejoice – this one is incredibly hard to kill. It doubles as an effective eliminator of carbon monoxide as well. The vines grow fairly quickly and look great suspended from elevated areas.

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3. Boston Fern (Nephrolepis Exalta Bostoniensis)
This lush plant functions really well as a natural air humidifier. While it’s busy adding humidity to the environment it also does a great job eliminating formaldehyde. Its large feathered ferns span as large as 5 feet and allow just a single plant to have a noticeable impact.

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4. Dracaena (Dracaena Deremensis)
The long striped leaves of this plant can easily thrive indoors with only small amounts of sunlight and moderate watering. It’s an excellent way to eliminate trichloroethylene that comes from solvents and varnishes. A single plant can grow over ten feet tall, but pruning will keep it short if you prefer.

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5. Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii)
The Bamboo Palm can easily fit into smaller areas with indirect lighting. NASA found it to be one of the best air filters for benzene and trichloroethylene and a great humidifier. This palm is a bit smaller than others and easy to grow in shady areas. It releases a good deal of moisture into the air and is considerably resistant to insect infestation.

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6. Dragon Tree (Dracaena Marginata)
This plant is a widely popular option for office spaces and homes for its attractive look and effective purifying power. It pulls xylene – a chemical released from car exhaust, paints, and cigarettes – from the air with little need for maintenance. It can also be potted together and trained to grow into a braid for visual appeal and added purification.

Dracaena-marginata-Bicolor--Costa-Farms-Houseplant 7. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

The Peace Lily is one of the most visually appealing plants on the list with its unique white flowers. It boasts one of the highest transpiration rates on the list as well. Use it to remove trichloroethylene, benzene, acetone, and alcohols from the air. Just be cautious of the plant’s high toxicity and keep it out of reach of children and pets.

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8. Lady Palm (Rhapis Excelsa)
The Lady Palm requires a lot of watering during the spring and summer but makes up for it with its heavy resistance to insects. The lush leaves of this palm grow thick and with rich color without much effort. It’s said to be a versatile and effective filter for multiple indoor pollutants.

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9. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum)
The Spider Plant requires natural light but shouldn’t be exposed directly to the sun. It thrives in moist environments with bi-weekly watering and grows at impressive speeds. Owners prefer to place these plants near the fireplace and kitchen where carbon monoxide may build.

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10. Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata)
The Snake Plant is unique in that it sucks in carbon dioxide and releases oxygen during the night. Many people chose to keep it in their bedroom or carpeted living room. It’s simple to take care of and prevents the formaldehyde that leaks from your carpet and wood furniture from sticking around the air.

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If you have pets then you should be aware that most indoor plants aren’t safe for pet consumption. If you plan on growing plants in or outside of your home you should be aware of their toxicity. You can consult with your vet and see how it may affect your dog, cat, or any other animal that may consume it.

Detoxifying your home is an integral part of the detox concept. This includes not only detoxifying your body but detoxifying your mind and the closest environments as well.

 

Which are the Vastu compliant colors for your house?

The colors in a home have a significant influence on its inhabitants. Hereunder is experts’ advice on selecting the right colors for the various rooms in your house

It is a proven fact that colors have a significant psychological effect on people. A home is a place where a person spends a major part of one’s life. As specific colors stimulate distinctive emotions in the people, it is important to have an appropriate balance of colors in one’s home, to feel fresh and live a healthy life.

 

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Colors for your home, as per direction

The colors have to be decided, based on the direction and the date of birth of the homeowner.

“While each direction has a specific color, at times, it may still not suit the owner. Therefore, homeowners should adhere to the general guidelines for colors as per Vastu Shastra, which entails the following key points:

  • Northeast – Light blue.
  • East – White or light blue.
  • Southeast – As this direction is associated with fire, orange, pink and silver colors can be used to enhance the energy.
  • North – Green, Pistachio green.
  • Northwest – This area is related to air. So, white, light gray and cream are the best colors.
  • West – It is the place of ‘Varun’ (i.e., water). So, the best colors are blue or white.
  • Southwest – Peach, mud color, biscuit color or light brown.
  • South – Red and yellow.
  • Homeowners must take extra precautions while choosing colors like black, red and pink, as these colors do not suit every person.

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Color guidelines, as per your home section

Experts point out that each section of your home requires colors as per its energy requirement, size, and direction. The color requirement of your home section should be as per its usage. People living in a home should keep the following points in mind while coloring the rooms:

Master bedroom: Ideally, the master bedroom should be in a southwest direction and hence, should be painted with blue color.

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Guest room/ drawing room: Northwest is the best place for the guest room/ drawing room and hence, a guest room in this direction should be painted with white color.

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Kids’ room: North-west is the best place for rooms for children who are grown up and go out for study purposes. As the northwest direction is governed by the moon, hence, children’s rooms in this direction should be painted with white color.

Kitchen: The southeast zone is ideal for kitchens and hence, the walls of the kitchen should be painted with orange or red color.

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Bathroom: North-west is the best place for bathroom and hence, the bathroom should be painted with white color.

Hall: Ideally, the hall should be in the northeast or northwest direction and hence, should be painted yellow or white.

Home exterior color: The exterior color of the house should be based on its owners. Colors, such as yellowish-white or off-white or light mauve or orange, can suit to people of all Zodiac signs.

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Colors that you should avoid in your home

Experts suggest that light shades are always good. Dark shades like red, brown, gray and black may not suit everyone, as they represent some of the fiery planets likes Rahu, Shani, Mars and Sun. Red, deep yellow and black should be avoided. Generally, theses colors have high intensity and it may disturb the energy pattern inside your house.

 

Should Indian real estate focus on women homebuyers, as a crucial TG?

Although women form a significant number of property buyers and influence the purchase decision, marketing campaigns revolving around them, remain rare. This Women’s Day, we examine the reasons for the real estate fraternity’s reluctance to focus on this crucial segment of home buyers.

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Even though women have emerged as a critical segment of homebuyers, real estate marketers continue to view women merely as part of families. Not surprising, the marketing campaigns of real estate projects, continue to portray women in a stereotypical fashion – in fancy kitchens or with children. Images of women are either used as models or as a homemaker who is buying a house with the family.

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Nevertheless, statistics suggest that real estate campaigns are far off their target, with this influential group of homebuyers. Women, today, control $28 trillion in annual consumer spending, as per a study. In terms of consumer spending, women drive almost 80% of all purchases. In terms of home buying, 74% women play the role of either a contributor or an influencer, as per a pan-India survey. This includes 32% home buying by single women across the top eight cities of India.

Why developers shy away from women-centric ad campaigns

Real estate professionals think that the problem lies in the mindset of most of the developers. It is not just the first-generation conservative developers, who reject women-centric marketing campaigns. Even the second-generation luxury developers do not want to risk market disruption.

It is tough to convince such builders that women, who are the single and a powerful consumer group in the housing market, do not need or desire validation of their life’s choices from your brand. It is your brand that needs to be validated by their choices.

It is a global phenomenon that women are used in real estate advertising, only to add an element of glamor. In the western property markets, there are instances of women being used to spice up ad campaigns. Home buying is still considered as a family affair, in our society. Hence, Indian real estate has shied away from using any form of sex in advertising, even though other segments overuse it, to sell anything from coffee to cars, with success. In a way, it is okay to not have objectification of women in real estate advertising, when your project offerings are not designed to meet the needs of women in general and the single women in particular.

 

Real estate purchase still viewed as a family affair

Experts point out that the thought of bringing women to the forefront of marketing campaigns never took Centre stage.

Home buying is such a family-driven affair that most of the time, the thought process revolves around how to tempt a family and not an individual. Some change is there in the mindset but we still have a long way to go, before we start thinking about women as buyers. For example, in south India, the focus is more on women buyers, even if the campaign is family-driven. However, in north India, the focus shifts to the male-driven family units. Women may be contributors today but so long as their independent buying does not reflect in numbers, the market’s orientation is unlikely to change.

Women in real estate and their portrayal

  • Women play the role of influencer or contributor, in 74% of real estate buying decisions.
  • Of this, 32% of buyers are single women, in the top eight cities.
  • Use of women in advertising has generally been to add glamor, rather than talking to this target audience.
  • With home purchase perceived as a family affair, developers still question why they need to talk to women, rather than how to talk to them.

 

What will you compromise with: Affordability or Needs while buying a house?

While affordability is the most crucial factor, when it comes to buying a house, there are a few other aspects that homebuyers should not compromise on. We look at how to strike the right balance

When it comes to buying a home, the biggest dilemma for home seekers often pertains to affordability – where should one draw the line between what is affordable and what is not?

  • If one opts for a big home, then, one may need to shell out a higher amount or opt for a house in the peripheral areas.
  • On the other hand, if one is particular about the location, then, the buyer may need to compromise on the size of the house or amenities offered.
  • If one opts for amenities, then, the buyer may need to compromise on size or location.

 

What is an affordable home?

An affordable home should have all the basic amenities, like sanitation, water and 24-hour electricity supply. It is also important to have security and social infrastructure, as well as schools, offices, parks and hospitals, nearby.

Experts point out that the amenities offered with affordable housing projects, also depend on its micro market. In tier-2 or tier-3 cities and other metropolitan cities, each location will have a balanced mix of affordable and premium homes in the same micro market. In such cities, the parameters that define affordability could be smaller-sized homes, standalone towers and fewer amenities.

 

Affordability versus amenities

Wherever a project is considered as premium, owing to its location, customers will have to make sacrifices on the amenities and facilities, However, at locations that are more affordable, customers have the opportunity to enjoy facilities and amenities, according to their desired lifestyle. Therefore, parameters like transport, support infrastructure, retail and entertainment, become prime considerations along with the project’s features, explain the experts.

 

How to choose the right location and project

While choosing a home, one should strike a balance, between the location and the projects’ features. Locations in the vicinity of office clusters are ideal. However, the property prices in such locations are likely to be sky-high. Hence, homebuyers can consider tier-2/tier-3 cities and other metros which offer properties with aspirational lifestyles and are also closer to the workplace.

Experts opine, affordability, in the first place, is a relative term. It varies across cities and from person to person.

The only thing that buyers need to prioritize is the ‘must haves’ and other non-negotiable factors, while they are searching for a property.

While affordability is no doubt a crucial factor, it is not wise to make it the sole consideration while buying a home.

 

Things you should not compromise on while buying a home

  • Never compromise on security, even if it makes the property affordable.
  • Similarly, do not ignore children’s needs, in a bid to find a property with a lower price.
  • Ensure that basic necessities like water, food and health services, are available.
  • Beware of unscrupulous builders, who may offer a good deal on a property.
  • Do not choose projects that offer a lower price, by compromising on the quality of construction.

 

Buying a new apartment: Some Vastu tips you can use

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.

A south-west 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 south-east 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 north-east 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 south-east is an ideal zone. One should avoid having a kitchen in the north-east and south-west 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 neighbours, rain water 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, air in the east, fire in the south, earth in the south-west 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 colours, shapes, lights, metals and symbols, are highly effective in this regard.