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.

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.

Dos and don’ts for NRIs Investing in Indian realty

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Besides exercising necessary due diligence, NRIs also need to adhere to certain specific laws and regulations, while buying, selling, or renting out real estate in India. The realty market in India, has always seen considerable interest from the Indian diaspora, as an investment avenue, with developers constantly striving to woo non-resident Indians (NRIs), they can choose from a variety of options, in the residential and commercial segments.

Buying and Selling

An NRI can either come to the country and buy or sell a property, or give a Power of Attorney (POA) to a relative and get the transaction done, without coming to India. NRIs can also avail of home loans in India. The documents for the loan may vary, according to the country in which the NRI is settled.

Generally, the term of the loan will be 10 to 15 years, while the amount that the NRI is eligible for, will vary based on age, income, education, etc. To finance the property’s purchase, it is advisable to use a non-resident external (NRE) account, as this will help the NRI to take back the capital invested in the property, when they resell the property.

Investing for the future

Once the primary residence is secured, NRIs can also use surplus funds, to invest in a second apartment and use it to generate rental income. However, they must be aware of all the bye-laws and regulations that apply to NRI investors, especially with respect to taxes, as rental income is taxable in India.

It is also taxable in other nations, except in cases where a treaty exists between the two involved countries, with regards to double taxation, he points out.

Real Estate automates with technology

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Throughout history, most of the inventions are influenced by the nature and the demand for a better form of usable materials. Since ever humans are trying to incorporate various scientific calculations along with the valuable and operational items to improve the living style and standard. These experiments gave birth to the new technology which changed the face of the world and proved beneficial to run various components of the life cycle.

In the current scenario, our life is surrounded by technology and our dependence on it is increasing on a day to day basis. From morning alarms to quick breakfast, computers and laptops for official and personal works to transportation- everything is dependent upon the technology. Similarly, various sectors like agriculture, real estate, and education etc are also dependent on technology.

Sparsh fastens with technical offer the best housing experience

Although the real estate sector is a combination of natural and artificial resources like land and buildings-residential or commercial- its dependence on technology has been increasing periodically. The concept of buying, selling, renting houses is deeply linked to the technological advancements. The sector is using latest technologies- skills, machinery and tools to provide the best in class construction to people.

Sparsh- Touch Life will be well-equipped with latest and user-friendly technology that will help, guide and secure the residents in best possible ways. Sparsh has strategized the use of best and updated technological advances like fibre to home, Building Management System, 24×7 CCTV security, etc will help in leading a healthy, active, comfortable, secure and smart life at Sparsh.