Home Maintenance Tips for the rainy season

Monsoons are beautiful. The weather becomes pleasant and rain brings a certain amount of joy among us. Tea, coffee with hot fritters, along the window side with a view of beautiful rain drops dripping down the window panes is priceless! We all love monsoons but it comes with a set of terms and conditions. From health to home, special care has to be taken especially, home care is very crucial during the monsoons. Following are a few tips to keep your home prepared for the harsh rains.

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Water-proof your home

Water-proofing protects the structure from extreme rainfall and also saves on repair cost and hassle, in terms of breakage and weakening of the the structure.

Keep the home pest-free

Puddles and stagnant water are common during the monsoons. As mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, one should keep areas like air-conditioner ducts, drains, trays beneath potted plants, etc., clean and dry. Clean the terrace and rainwater drainage pipes of dried leaves, so that water can flow easily and not stagnate. Before laying a carpet on the floor, ensure that the floor is completely dry. Alternatively, roll them up and store them away for the season. Vacuum and air them well and keep camphor balls along with the carpets, before putting them away.

Few other things to keep in mind

  • Try to avoid anything made of paper or cardboard during monsoons. If it gets dampened it might retain moisture and due to excessive moisture they easily get spoilt. If at all you have cardboard boxes at home, do not keep them on the floor. Place them at a higher altitude to avoid spoilages.
  • Do not shut the windows! Even though it is advised to shut the windows when it is raining, open the windows to allow daylight inside the room. It reduces humidity and removes dullness inside the home. . Also, it removes the bad odour from home. Spread Silica gel powders in cupboards and drawers. They are essential moisture absorbers. If you couldn’t get silica gels, a simple alternative for these would be neem leaves. Spread a few leaves in your cupboard to avoid smelly clothes. Use a layer of paper to avoid neem leaves contacting the clothes.

Monsoons are beautiful and enjoying them without worries is all what we wish for. It is better to follow few preventive measures to avoid major consequences to our homes due to rains. Following the above basic tips can be very helpful. If you have any points to add, please do let us know. We will be happy to share with our viewers. Happy Monsooning!

How carpet area definition changes in RERA

The Real Estate Act has made it mandatory for developers to disclose the carpet area of the units that they sell. We look at the definition of carpet area and how it will affect home buyers and property prices.

The area of a property is often calculated in three different ways – carpet area, built-up area and super built-up area. Hence, when it comes to buying a property, this can leads to a lot of disconnect, between what you pay and what you actually get.

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Not surprisingly, the maximum number of cases registered in the consumer courts, are against developers on the issue of cheating, vis-à-vis the size of the flat.

According to the provisions of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (RERA), it is now the duty of the developer, to make buyers aware of the carpet area and quote prices based on this and not the super built-up area.

Carpet area under RERA: What does it cover?

Carpet area, or the net usable area, is the space where one can spread a carpet. Built-up area includes the carpet area, plus the extra areas certified by the authorities, such as the area of the outer and inner walls, dry balcony area, etc.

Super built-up area includes the carpet area, the built-up area, as well as a share of the balance area, such as the stairs, lobbies and galleries, which can be used by the entire building.

Decor tips for a Peaceful and Calming Home

Everyone desires a home, which is a private haven, relaxing and a place to rejuvenate oneself. We look at how home owners can, with just a little bit of planning and a few décor aids, create a serene atmosphere.

In today’s frenetic world, it is important to create a calm and peaceful home, to recharge and begin a new day, refreshed. Every personal space has a calming vibe and every home reflects the personality of the people living in it.

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Home lighting

Light not only helps in illumination but also aids relaxation and creates the right ambiance. Using natural light, is an easy way to create a peaceful home. “Mood lights can work wonders, in creating a calming atmosphere. It sets the right mood, leaving one cheerful and relaxed. Opt for blue, amber or even off-white colour lights, as these can improve sleeping patterns. It is best to position the lights facing downwards, to ensure that the light does not hit the eyes directly.

Create a Natural Environment

Bring natural elements like plants into the house, which help to clean and oxygenate the indoor air, making it easier for you to breathe. Arrange some fresh flowers in pots, to make the home more cheerful. Indoor water fountains can also lend peace and calm to the interiors. The sound of trickling water has a tranquil effect and connects us to nature. Other natural materials, like fabrics, furniture, etc., can also affect one’s mood. Add natural materials like rough jute, linen, old leather, pure silk and raw wood in the home.

Tips, to create a soothing ambience at home

  • Create a purifying, rejuvenating atmosphere in your home, by choosing natural scents like those from beeswax candles, essential oils and fresh flowers.
  • Opt for candles and tea lights, to provide a soft, warm glow that can help you to unwind.
  • The bathroom can have a shower curtain with soothing colours or prints. Avoid clutter on the counters in the bathrooms and instead, opt for closed storage. Scented candles, incense sticks or diffusers, can also be placed to create a tranquil atmosphere.
  • Add chimes to the entrance or balcony areas, for a soft, tingling sound.
  • Display pictures, posters or souvenirs and knick-knacks from trips that remind you of good times.
  • Put up positive quotes around the house, to help you stay focused on your life.

Real estate basics: What is a Conveyance Deed?

A conveyance deed is an essential document required for the purchase of a property. We explain its importance and what a home buyer should look out for, when signing the document.

Conveyance refers to the act of transferring the title, ownership, rights and interests in a property, from one entity to another. The term ‘deed’ refers to an instrument, like a written document that is signed by all the parties to a contract, in this case, the seller and buyer. It is a binding contract that is enforceable in a court of law.

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A conveyance deed is, therefore, a contract in which, the seller transfers all rights to legally own and keep a property.  The purchase of a property is not complete without a valid conveyance deed. The terms conveyance deed and sale deed are often used interchangeably and while they refer to the same contract, there is a subtle difference between the two.

All sales deeds are conveyance deeds but conveyance deeds can also include gift, exchange, mortgage and lease deeds.

A valid conveyance deed must contain the following:

  • The actual demarcation of the property.
  • Other rights annexed to the property and its use.
  • The full chain of titles, that is, all legal rights up until the present seller.
  • The method of delivery of the property to the buyer.
  • A memo of the consideration, stating how it has been received.
  • Any further applicable terms and conditions for the full transfer of ownership rights.

Important points to consider, to ensure smooth purchase/sale of a property

  • The seller is required to certify that the property is free of any legal encumbrance.
  • If a loan was taken against the property in question, then, the mortgage must be cleared before the deed is signed. Buyers have the option of having this checked at the local sub-registrar’s office.
  • The conveyance deed should state the exact date on which the property will be handed over to the buyer.
  • Within four months of the execution of the deed, all the original documents related to the sale of the property, need to be produced for registration before the local registrar.
  • The deed is required to be signed by at least two witnesses.

Buying a Second Home in Uttarakhand (Rishikesh & Haridwar): Pros

The hills of Uttarakhand offer a plethora of second home properties, across segments, with the prospect of earning good rental income. We look at whether it makes sense for home buyers to invest in the state and the factors they should consider.

An increasing number of aspirational second home buyers, are now investing in vacation home destinations in hill stations, owing to the picturesque location, booming hospitality industry and concept of home stays and wellness that such regions offer.

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One such state, Uttarakhand and its cities, Haridwar & Rishikesh, have been favorite investment destinations among investors and buyers from across the country. However, buying a property in Uttarakhand needs an in-depth understanding of the market. Here is a closer look at some of the factors that one should consider, before buying.

Advantages of buying a Second Home in Uttarakhand

State regulations favour buying– Uttarakhand is open to investments from people from other states. The government has clearly spelt out the buying restrictions, for people residing outside the state. There is no restriction on the size of the property/plot, if one is buying within the municipal limits of the cities.

Multiple options for prospective buyers– The entire region of Rishikesh & Haridwar have developed as a residential-cum-vacation destination, with options for all kinds of buyers. New-age buyers who can spend on a second home with their high disposable incomes, are particularly attracted to this region.

Steady appreciation in property rates– Developing and established areas have seen a steady appreciation in property prices across categories, except land.

Freehold properties– All plotted developments across the state are sold as freehold properties, where mutation and transfer of the property is easy, with the necessary paperwork, informs Sahini. This makes fresh registrations of properties easier for new buyers.

Setting your interiors as per Vastu norms

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Many people have the misconception that Vastu is only related to the construction part of a property, the truth is that it is very much applicable on the interiors of home and properties. Even if your home is constructed as per Vastu norms, but you have ignored Vastu for interiors, then it would create disbalance in the overall Vastu of that property.

Vastu plays a key role in interiors of home, as its principles are followed by a sizeable number of the Indians. It is believed that the arrangement of interiors will have an impact the people living in the house. Based on the arrangements, positive and negative energies are developed, affecting the inhabitants. In today’s cramped urban scenarios, it is not always possible to do the interiors according to Vastu due to the scarcity of space.

Interior arrangements of your home impact the Vastu of that property

According to experts, interior design includes everything that comes inside a house- starting from windows, entrance, walls, colors and texture. Vastu principles aim to establish harmony by using the five basic elements – earth, water, fire, air and space. It is believed that if the furniture, accessories and interiors are arranged according to Vastu Shastra, then it will open doors for prosperity, health and welfare to enter the household.

Impact of interiors arrangement on Vastu

Each room has eight directions, so one must be aware of designing the interiors in such a way that they follow the rules of the Vastu in order to sync with the elements. One such norm is that the entrance of the house should be in east. This is because the sun rises in the east and hence opens the door for light and positivity in the household. Also, according to Vastu every color has a negative and positive effect.

How are Home Loan rates charged by Banks and Housing Finance Companies

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Housing Finance Companies (HFCs) are regulated by the National Housing Bank Limited (NHB), a subsidiary of the RBI. The funding of housing finance companies, is different from those of banks. So, the basis of charging interest on home loans granted by housing finance companies, is also different from the one adopted by banks. These companies base their actual lending rates against a benchmark rate, which is called Benchmark Prime Lending Rate (BPLR).
Interest rates for all the loans are calculated with reference to this rate. This is generally the highest rate that the housing finance company charges. So, a majority of the home loans, are given at a rate that is below this PLR.

Basis of home loan interest rates of banks

Earlier, banks also used to give home loans on the basis of the PLR. From July 2010, the RBI introduced the concept of a ‘base rate’, for computing the lending rates – a rate below which the banks were not allowed to lend even to the best of the borrowers. The purpose of introducing the base rate, was to bring transparency in the transactions and to ensure that the banks pass on the reduction in repo rate to the customers, quicker than what was happening under the PLR regime.

The first purpose was served, as the base rate served as the bottom rate. Consequently, borrowers knew exactly what premium they were paying, over the best of the customers who could get the home loan at the base rate.

The banks are supposed to work out the marginal cost of fund-based lending rates for different tenures, like overnight, one month, three months, six months and 12 months, unlike the base rate, which was used for lending by the banks for different tenures, without looking at the corresponding borrowing based on tenure.

The home buyers guide to choosing the right Amenities

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Amenities are an important part of any Real Estate Project, which builders use to woo home buyers. While some amenities are essential, like a security system, elevators, etc., property sellers may, at times, also highlight amenities to hide flaws in the project flaws or to propel the sales momentum.

Experts believe that it would be wrong to say that amenities do not influence a buyer’s decision. However, if a project has an indoor/outdoor swimming pool, a gym, or a park, it will require consistent maintenance and add to the home owner’s overall monthly expense. Despite this, many buyers now a days ask for such amenities, while buying a project.

Important versus avoidable amenities

The budget and the segment that the home buyer belongs to, also play an important role in deciding whether certain amenities are essential or avoidable. An affordable home buyer may feel satisfied with a basic home, without any extra facilities, whereas a luxury home buyer may want more than the amenities that are already provided in a project. For example, a swimming pool, gym, club house, spa, bar, etc., can come under the avoidable list, for affordable home buyers. However, for home buyers in the luxury segment, these could be the basic requirements.

The list of amenities that are broadly recognised as essential or discretionary for the home buyers are:

Essential Amenities:

  • Car parking
  • Security services
  • Water supply
  • Elevators
  • Power backup
  • 24-hour maintenance

Discretionary Amenities:

  • Walking/Jogging track
  • Play area
  • Club house
  • Swimming pool
  • Gym
  • Rooftop garden
  • Open deck
  • Sky lounge
  • Spa and salon
  • Party hall
  • Temple and religious activity place
  • Wi-Fi connectivity

Why people preferred Second Homes these days

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The concept of Second Homes has always been around, though often restricted to the extremely affluent. It is this class that could afford to have a home away from home, for vacationing or for an occasional weekend relaxation. You work hard every day for years at a job you love. You put as much money as you can away, you support all of your dependents and live comfortably. After years of responsible behavior and sound financial planning, you finally decide to buy a dream vacation home.

The Highlight of Second Home

1. A Perfect Vacation Home

Those living in big cities can opt for homes in the suburbs or nearby destinations as their weekend homes and reap the benefits of a relaxing getaway. Combinations such as Mumbai-Pune, Delhi-Jaipur, and Chennai-Bangalore can help you enjoy your weekend in a different city without being unduly bothered about hotels or guest houses.

2. Tax Implications

Usually for a second home given on rent or which remains unoccupied there will be a tax rebate available on the interest amount paid on the loan taken. To read more on tax implications with regards to your second home.

3. A Word of Caution

The quantum of investment and long-term value that a house, whether first or second, holds is huge. Therefore, there is a strong case for exercising proper due diligence and doing the required homework before you finalise the purchase.

How to choose the right colours for your home, based on Vastu

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The colours in a home, have a significant influence on its inhabitants. We get the experts’ advice on selecting the right colours for the various rooms in your house.

It is a proven fact that colours 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 colours stimulate distinctive emotions in the people, it is important to have an appropriate balance of colours in one’s home, to feel fresh and live a healthy life.

Colours for your home, as per direction

Each direction has a specific colour, at times, it may still not suit the owner. Therefore, home owners should adhere to the general guidelines for colours as per Vastu Shastra, which entails the following key points:

  • North-east – Light blue.
  • East – White or light blue.
  • South-east – As this direction is associated with fire, orange, pink and silver colours can be used to enhance the energy.
  • North – Green, Pista Green.
  • North-west – This area is related to air. So, white, light grey and cream are the best colours.
  • West – It is the place of ‘Varun’ (i.e., water). So, the best colours are blue or white.
  • South-west – Peach, mud colour, biscuit colour or light brown.
  • South – Red and yellow.

Home owners must take extra precautions while choosing colours like black, red and pink, as these colours do not suit every person.

Colours 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 colours have high intensity and it may disturb the energy pattern inside your house.