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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Tips for NRIs before buying property in India


Tips for NRIs before buying property in India
With over 20.20 million of NRIs (Non-resident Indian) and PIOs (Person Of Indian Origin) across the globe, the overseas investment into Indian real estate has never been an issue. Majority of these people have invested in the homeland in consideration to their individual future plans.

Factors for consideration for NRIs while buying property in India

Which property can a NRI or PIO buy?
How to pay for these properties?
Repatriation of the capital gains?
Availability of home loan
Can a NRI sell or transfer a property?
Which property can a NRI or PIO buy?

An NRI or Person of Indian Origin (PIO) can own both residential as well as commercial properties in India and there is no restriction on the number of properties you can buy. However, you cannot purchase any agricultural land, farm house and plantation property. You can have ownership of such property only if they have been gifted or inherited.

How to pay for these properties

The money for purchase of property can be made either by way of funds remitted to India from abroad through regular banking channels or through the balance in the  Non Resident External (NRE), Non Resident Ordinary  (NRO) or Foreign Currency Non Resident  (FCNR) Account.

Repatriation of the capital gains

NRI and PIO have been allowed to repatriate original investment in equivalent foreign exchange in residential/ commercial properties. However, the gains from such transactions have to be re-invested in the real estate market in India.

Availability of home loan

Loan to an NRI is available the same way they would be to an eligible resident, for reference below mentioned criterion is must for availing home loan

Minimum age of 18 years.
Valid Indian passport (for NRIs) / valid foreign passport (for People of Indian Origin – PIOs).
Steady source of income.
Employed abroad for at least 2 years.
Valid job contract or work permit.
Can NRIs sell or transfer property

An NRI can sell property in India to a person resident in India or to an NRI. A PIO can sell property in India to a person resident in India or to an NRI or a PIO but after having a prior approval from the Reserve Bank of India.

Atulay Nehra, Legal and investment consultant, Magicbricks.com Bureau

Navi Mumbai: Top 3 locations to earn quick returns


Navi Mumbai: Top 3 locations to earn quick returns
With infrastructural development coming up and new development taking place at fast pace, Navi Mumbai is one of the promising suburbs of the city which is offering quick returns in time bracket of one year. Here are the top locations to earn maximum profits in the time frame of an year –

Airoli

Being one of the well connected localities of Navi Mumbai, Airoli bags the attention of home buyers looking for housing near their office. Being a hub of IT companies, workforce employed here looks for housing options in Airoli. This locality also recorded high price appreciation since last year primarily because of high demand and low supply of 2/3BHK apartments.

Lalit Lingwal, owner of Lalit Agency says, “The flat which was available for Rs 72 lakh in 2013 is now being sold at Rs 1 crore. This is majorly because of no new land bank and rare new developments happening in the place.” Apart from this, proximity to Mulund, Eastern Express Highway and Powai makes Airoli a place to invest even for off shore investors looking for regular rental returns.

Ghansoli

As per PropIndex, a quarterly report by Magicbricks.com, property values in Jan-Mar 2013 was Rs 6700-8350 per sq ft which increased to Rs 7,500-8,500 per sq ft in Jan-Mar 2014. This rise in prices was attributed to limited stock of desirable properties along with growing connectivity and infrastructural expansion. Lying on Thane-Belapur Road, Ghansoli also enjoys proximity to commercial zone developed by MIDC.

“Ghansoli has maximum demand of 2/3BHK as the rental demand of such unit is very high. Investors with intent of rental returns invest here to get monthly income of not less than Rs 20,000 per month. This area is also a promising alternative of Airoli where property prices are higher from here,” says Kalpesh Patel, owner of Shree Arbuda Real estate. New constructions are available in Sector 8 and 11 where multi=tower projects from Pyramid, Neelkanth, Bhagwati developers are available.

Kharghar

Kharghar is situated on the stretch of Sion Panvel Expressway which connects the location to other commercial zones of Navi Mumbai, such as Airoli and Ghansoli.

Moreover, the upcoming Metro connectivity between Belapur and Pendhar passes through Kharghar which will add advantages to the location. “The capital value in the area is mainly rising because of Metro accessibility and proposed Navi Mumbai International airport in vicinity. In fact land bank is also ample which is giving options to home buyers to look for their desirable units of 2/3 BHK,” says Raju Mishra, a consultant at Shiv Real Estate.

As per Magicbricks.com data, high end properties have recorded steep rise in values in the area. The flat which was available for Rs 75 lakh in Jan-Mar 2013 is now valued around Rs 1-1.2 crore.

Surbhi Gupta, Magicbricks.com Bureau

Location, a deciding factor for resale property


Location, a deciding factor for resale property
Nearly 40 per cent of people looking for a resale property feel that the neighbourhood and location of the property is of utmost importance before concluding the sale.

The factors that we keep in mind while buying a new property and a resale property are not quite the same. At least the proprieties change. This was reflected in a recent poll conducted by Magicbricks, where nearly 40 per cent of the respondents said that the neighbourhood and the location of the property was the most important factor while buying a resale property.

“Neighbourhood is an important criterion while making a property purchase. It becomes all the more critical when the property is in resale. If it is a new project, it is generally equipped with a well maintained environment and neighborhoods. However, neighbourhood becomes an issue when one is buying a stand-alone property or a house in an old project,” sates Deepak Batra, PropWorld.

Budget was considered to be the second most important factor while buying a resale property. Almost 33 per cent of the respondents said that budget was the most important factor. However, as it is resale property there are higher chances of negotiations and getting a good deal.

Another important factors that is critical while buying a resale property is the age of the property. The entire deal and the eventual price of the property can revolve around on how old the property is. You might be able to get the property at a lower rate if it is too old. However, how well the property is maintained also determines the price.

The poll also revealed that the property buyers understood the importance of the age of the property. Thus, 17 per cent of the respondents voted for age of the property as the most important factor to be kept in mind while buying a property.

Traffic snarls and bad roads is a problem everyone dreads. However, when it comes to buying a resale property, these concerns occupy low priority on the minds of the consumers. Probably that is the reason why only about 8 per cent of the respondents quoted traffic and access roads as an important factor for property purchase.

Sruthi Kailas, Magicbricks.com Bureau

Sruthi Kailas is a keen market researcher and is currently a part of the content and research team of Magicbricks.com.

--
“As long as you have more cash flowing in than flowing out, your investment is a good investment.” Robert Kiyosaki
 

Property and polls


Property and polls
While all eyes are on the General Elections, the real estate sector is holding its breath for the potential optimism that is expected once the results are out. This optimism is expected to boost transactions and lift homebuyer sentiment.

There is no doubt that the actions and inactions ascribable to the current government have made homebuyers and developers anxious. The next government’s economic and employment policies will be key drivers to growth in the real estate sector for the next five years. 2012 and 2013 were not the best years for the Indian realty market, and the slowdown impacted all asset classes, except in a few pockets. Revival is no doubt the need of the hour.

There is a sense of hope among developers for a positive post-poll scenario. Will things start looking up for the sector after the General Elections? Will clarity on the new government lead to businesses investing? So far, none of the campaigns has outlined a comprehensive proposal for recovery of the real estate market-specifically in terms of providing more housing and managing interest rates.

Cash crunch ahead of elections

In India, the property market is a key election financier, and considerable amounts of unaccounted money are being pumped out from the real estate sector to fund the elections. Before the polls, developers are expected to provide liquidity to politicians to finance their campaigns. Many developers who are funding possible candidates are delaying their projects due to the lack of liquidity.

The timing is certainly bad. Reduced housing absorption has already adversely impacted developers’ liquidity and in turn, developers’ funding ability. Political commentators also note that certain properties are sold below market rates in order to generate cash for the election campaigns. Given this situation, many developers cut down on new launches and focus solely on selling existing inventory.

Realty after elections

With just a few weeks to go before the world’s largest democracy chooses its new government, fence-sitting investors and homebuyers will remain spectators for that period and make their moves. Many assume that property prices will shoot up post elections, but this expectation in unfounded – there are too many factors at play, regardless of which party wins. Election results do not make or break a market, but they affect market sentiments to a significant degree.

Over the last few quarters, political uncertainty has significantly weakened buyer confidence in many regions. A decisive win for any of the alliances will uplift homebuyer sentiment and the property market will see a return of buyer demand due to the reinstatement of confidence. Post elections, if the road to recovery is unhindered, property buyers may very well re-enter the market in good numbers.

Great expectations

Political uncertainty certainly has a tangible effect on the Indian real estate market, and it is not easy to separate political uncertainty from broader economic factors such as job creation and interest rates. A better vision on infrastructure will help make the market more buoyant. New infrastructure initiatives have a tendency to boost pricing of residential property in the immediate vicinity.

The manifesto of one of the parties in the electoral fray mentions several initiatives in the infrastructure space, with an intended spend and spending $1 trillion on upgrading India’s infrastructure over the next decade.

It also commits to significant expansion of and improvement in the Indian Railway network, including covering a million plus cities by high-speed rail. The manifesto also mentions upgrading the infrastructure of the port sector, developing inland waterways to strengthen infrastructure and encouraging public private partnership for the creation of world-class airports.

The manifesto of this party’s strongest opponent has a lot to live up to. Considering the disdain with which it dismissed the opposing party’s manifesto, what the real estate sector would expect from this party is a dedicated focus on housing and infrastructure investment, given its vision of a 12 per cent GDP growth rate.

The key factors currently at play in the Indian real estate industry are unsold inventory, absorption and interest rates. It is unlikely that these factors will change immediately post polls, regardless of which party wins. Over the longer term, what will matter most to the real estate sector are a hard relook at FDI in housing, REIT legislations and the effective implementation of Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill.

The Reserve Bank of India will play a key role in the post-election scenario, be it in bringing down interest rates for home purchase, or allowing flexibility to reintroduce subvention schemes, or restructuring debt for debt-ridden developers. The RBI’s role in deciding whether to ease lending rates in order to make it easier for more people to qualify for a loan – and the magnitude of down payment needed to buy a home – will also impact the real estate market.

Undoubtedly, a new, stable government will boost businesses and ignite investor confidence. However, the real impact of any change will not reflect in the economy for at least another one year, and the effectiveness of any new initiative is something only the future can tell.

A combination of bottomed-out property prices, low interest rates and a return of buyer confidence can create the perfect environment for recovery – and even a bull run. If the incoming government is able to keep interest rates low and employment generation high, it will provide the platform for a far more stable and investment-friendly real estate market.

Source: Times Property, The Times of India, Hyderabad

--
“As long as you have more cash flowing in than flowing out, your investment is a good investment.” Robert Kiyosaki
 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

30 Inspiring Quotes About Embracing Foolishness

30 Inspiring Quotes About Embracing Foolishness 

BY 

For those who want to accomplish extraordinary things, April Fool's Day is a day to celebrate


It happens every day: Opportunities are lost, progress is forgone, ridiculousness is endorsed and evil is sown.
And it happens all because people are afraid of what others will think of them. They play it safe, and they never accomplish extraordinary things, all because they're afraid of looking foolish.
The truth is that if you have the guts to aspire to greatness, sometimes you'll experience failure. You'll look foolish sometimes. But really, who cares? Forget April Fool's Day. Here are 30 inspirational quotes about risking foolishness for greatness, all designed to get you in the right frame of mind.
1. "In my view, it's irreverence, foolish confidence and naivety combined with persistence, open mindedness and a continual ability to learn that created Facebook, Google, Yahoo, eBay, Microsoft, Apple, Juniper, AOL, Sun Microsystems and others." --Vinod Khosla, venture capitalist and cofounder of Sun Microsystems
2. "I learned pretty soon that it was essential to fail and be foolish." --Daniel Day-Lewis, only three-time winner of the Academy Award for Best Actor
3. "The greatest fools are ofttimes more clever than the men who laugh at them." --George R.R. Martin, novelist and creator of Game of Thrones
4. "I think it's my job to risk looking foolish. One of the things I've learned from the actors I've worked with is you don't get something for nothing. If you don't risk looking foolish, you'll never do anything special." --Ethan Hawke, actor and writer
5. "Wisdom cannot be imparted. Wisdom that a wise man attempts to impart always sounds like foolishness to someone else ... Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom." --Hermann Hesse, German novelist, poet, and painter
6. "You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm." --Sidonie Gabrielle Colette, French novelist
7. "Until you're ready to look foolish, you'll never have the possibility of being great." --Cher
8. "People do not wish to appear foolish; to avoid the appearance of foolishness, they are willing to remain actually fools. " --Alice Walker, Pulitzer prize-winning novelist
9. "With too much pride a man cannot learn a thing. In and of itself, learning teaches you how foolish you are." --Criss Jami, poet and author
10. "Youth is a failing only too easily outgrown." --Agatha Christie
11. "I did not want to be taken for a fool--the typical French reason for performing the worst of deeds without remorse." --Jules-Amédée Barbey d'Aurevilly, French author
12. "Foolishness is a twin sister of wisdom." --Witold Gombrowicz, Polish author
13. "If to some my tale seems foolishness I am content that such could count me fool." --Sophocles, Ancient Greek playwright
14. "It's a race between your foolishness and your allotted days. Good luck." --Mark Slouka, American novelist
15. "Our wisdom comes from our experience, and our experience comes from our foolishness." --Sacha Guitry, French actor and director
16. "Too many men are afraid of being fools." --Henry Ford
17. "I am a great and sublime fool. But then I am God's fool, and all His works must be contemplated with respect." --Mark Twain
18. "Who's the more foolish: the fool, or the fool who follows him?" --Alec Guiness (as Obi Wan Kenobi)
19. "Humanity is a parade of fools, and I am at the front of it, twirling a baton." --Dean Koontz, bestselling novelist
20. "Dare to wear the foolish clown face." --Frank Sinatra
21. "I was regularly advised not to go into music, that I should give up that foolish dream." --Dave Matthews
22. "The point of living and of being an optimist is to be foolish enough to believe the best is yet to come." --Peter Ustinov, English actor and writer
23. "The best servants of the people, like the best valets, must whisper unpleasant truths in the master's ear. It is the court fool, not the foolish courtier, whom the king can least afford to lose." --Walter Lippmann, American writer
24. "If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid." --Epictetus, Greek philosopher
25. "The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes." --Sir Winston Churchill
26. "Superstition is foolish, childish, primitive and irrational--but how much does it cost you to knock on wood?" --Judith Viorst, American author and journalist
27. "Making films is about having absolute and foolish confidence; the challenge for all of us is to have the heart of a poet and the skin of an elephant." --Mira Nair, film director
28. "Whatever you hold onto that you want to do, and that other people tell you you are foolish to want to do, don't give up." --Dermot Mulroney, actor
29. "We were young, we were foolish, we were arrogant, but we were right." --Daniel Ellsberg, political activist
30. "Stay hungry, stay foolish." --Steve Jobs

What do you prefer: Corporate or personal lease

What do you prefer: Corporate or personal lease

The most important advantage that a corporate lease offers over a personal lease is the vastly enhanced safety factor. The possibility of fraudulent activity of any kind in a corporate lease is minimal, since the corporate assumes complete responsibility for the occupant. The rent comes in on time, and the owner stands a very high chance of getting another occupant from the same company immediately on the expiry of the lease period.
A corporate lease arrangement makes sense for property owners who value the comfort and high security level of tenants whose financial soundness is vouchsafed to the highest possible degree. They are also ideal for owners who seek the sustained cash-flow assured by long-term leases, since corporate leases are generally signed for either 24 or 36 months.
The primary difference between leasing out a property to a corporate rather than to an individual lies in the fact that a corporate lease equals assured and hassle-free rental income flows. This is by no means a given in the case of a personal lease arrangement. Secondly, there is considerable scope for negotiation, since most landlords are willing to be flexible when it comes to landing a company lease.
The process of leasing out a property to a corporate is same as in a personal lease. The agreement must be signed and registered in court, and once the advance rent and security deposit are paid by the company, the designated occupant takes possession of the property.
While discussing a corporate lease arrangement with a company, the property owner should ensure that he can negotiate for a minimum lock-in period. Also, while the company would expect to be allowed to designate another employee as occupant if the current tenant is transferred, this should not happen without the written consent of the owner.
Company lease and personal lease agreements are almost identical, with the main difference being that in a company lease agreement, it is not necessary to mention the name of the occupant. Instead, the company’s name will appear as the lessee. With regards to the collection of monthly dues, the usual arrangement in a corporate lease is that the  rent is transferred into the landlord’s account by the 7th of every month.
Om Ahuja, CEO – Residential Services, JLL India
The views expressed here are the author’s own

L&T's 'youngest baby' shows growth in face of slowdown

L&T's 'youngest baby' shows growth in face of slowdown

With its focus on just a few cities, signature projects and timely completion, the construction giant's newest arm, L&T Realty, is closing the gap on big players even as others are struggling

Raghavendra Kamath  |  Mumbai  
 April 4, 2014 



Anil Manibhai Naik loves his "youngest baby". That is what the 71-year-old chairman of engineering and construction behemoth L&T calls the realty arm of his company, L&T Realty. He fusses over the projects, holding multiple meetings with architects and personally approves every building that is going to be constructed.

Naik also believes that anything from L&T Realty should live up to adjectives like "signature", "mega" and "landmark". But that is not surprising given the parent company's scale and size. L&T has 21 different business units, and posted net sales of Rs 60,873 crore in the financial year 2013. It's also not surprising, therefore, that within three years of its existence, L&T Realty has closed the gap on the bigger players in the real estate sector. With 35 million sq ft under various stages of development, L&T Realty is almost on an equal footing with the Lodha Group, one of the largest private developers, which is also developing 35 million sq ft of real estate. The country's biggest real estate company, DLF, has 52 million sq ft under development.

L&T's foray into land development took off in the late 1990s when it partnered with the Andhra Pradesh government in constructing HITECH City in Hyderabad, a 5-million square feet, ultra modern office complex that was inaugurated in 1998. Five years ago, L&T made headlines again by outdoing DLF and Indiabulls with a bid of Rs 1,900 crore for the development of an integrated commercial complex at the Seawoods railway station in Navi Mumbai. The 9-million sq ft project at Seawoods encompasses a shopping mall, an entertainment complex and offices on top of the railway station.

L&T Realty came into being in 2012. Many in the industry feel that the brand equity of its conglomerate parent is the biggest pull factor for its realty business. Success marked L&T Realty's initial thrust in residential complexes, when it sold 400 apartments within four days of the launch in Mumbai's Parel area in 2012. The project is a joint venture with the Omkar Group. Consultants said its proximity to the Lower Parel business district, L&T's brand name, a two-bedroom configuration for the units and the launch price of Rs 16,000 per sq ft against the market price of around Rs 28,000 per sq ft did the trick.

Pranay Vakil, founder chairman of Knight Frank India, feels that it was a natural progression for L&T, being an infrastructure developer, to get into real estate development. "If you have a good brand, you can sell the project when it is under construction. Otherwise, you have to finish it before you are able to sell it," points out Vakil.

Deepak Parekh, chairman of HDFC, the housing finance major, underlines the importance of the company's advantage in this business when he says, "L&T Realty has an edge over other developers because it is backed by a well-known brand specialising in construction. The company is converting its own land parcels, not buying land parcels."

L&T Realty has ongoing projects in cities where it owned land parcels - Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore. But its vision is broader. Says Naik: "Five years ago, we thought that manufacturing had to migrate to small cities as it was becoming increasingly expensive to do business out of big cities. That's why we went to Vadodara, Visakhapatnam, Mysore, Coimbatore and other similar places."

Different business model

It is not only in moving to smaller cities that L&T's realty business stands apart from others. First, the company does not aim to become a pan-India developer. "We do not have the bandwidth to become an all-India player," admits Naik. "We will focus on Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and, at best, Pune." Commenting on this aspect of the business model, Vakil says that L&T Realty would have to overcome the challenges of knowing and adhering to local regulations in the cities on which it plans to focus, recalling how DLF was forced to pull out on this account after initially venturing into many cities.

Second, all L&T projects come as a complete package. The engineering and construction is taken care of by L&T, while financing for customers is handled by L&T Finance, even the sales, marketing and branding are taken care of by in-house companies.

L&T Realty has also taken care to boost its credibility by not going in for pre-launches, that is, launching projects before acquiring all requisite approvals. Pre-launches are a popular way of raising pre-construction funds. Naik cites the example of a project in Andheri, Mumbai, which has had its launch date changed three times and is two years behind schedule only because the company has been unable to have all the approvals cleared. "We do not sell even 10 per cent of a project without getting all the approvals," claims Naik. "When we say 30 months, we deliver in 30 months."

And given the big controversies over allotment of houses, the company also has strict rules about sales. No one buyer can purchase more than two houses. Even for that, the buyer has to produce two different PAN cards to be eligible. It does not give any discounts to buyers and receives full payments only in cheques.

After the company's Parel launch, the markets have turned tough, says Naik, adding that to beat theslowdown in the market, L&T Realty is targeting non-resident Indian buyers in London, Singapore, West Asia and other places. "The rupee is cheap and NRIs are looking to invest in good properties. We can provide them with good products," says Naik with optimism.

In its joint ventures, the company has been extraordinarily careful in selecting partners to ensure that the brand and goodwill of the company are not eroded. It was for this reason that Naik rejected an offer of a joint venture in Kurla - the project was not only for developing just 700,000 sq ft but it was also located in a non-prestige area. "We get many proposals for joint ventures," says Naik, "but I cross-check every proposal. We do not take approval risks."

As for the financials of the company, while the company refuses to part with top line numbers, Naik says, "It is one of the fastest growing companies for us, and is looking at at a profit of Rs 350 crore this financial year."

REALTY IN A DOWN MARKET

Is it a good time to launch residential projects given that the markets in key cities such as Mumbai and the National Capital Region are on a downward trajectory? According to consulting firm Liases Foras, for the December 2013 quarter, the inventory, or the months required to clear the stock at the existing pace of absorption, across India stood at 30. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region had the highest inventory of 46 months. Inventory of eight months is indicative of a healthy real estate market.

Among L&T Realty's current activities, the Seawoods project is a massive 9-million sq ft project. In Andheri, it is developing a 2.5-million sq ft area, while in Powai East, its latest is a 3.6-million sq ft undertaking. There, the company has leased one tower to JPMorgan and sold another to Sanofi. It is also developing a 2.3-million sq ft residential scheme on the plot. The company plans to develop its Powai West campus in two phases over the next decade.

L&T Realty is also developing 8 million sq ft of residential and commercial properties in Bangalore, and 6 million sq ft in Chennai. The company claims that its mall in Chandigarh, a mixed-use project, has already become a tourist destination with around a million people visiting it every month.

GROUND WORK

PROJECTS UNDER CONSTRUCTION
35 million sq ft, mostly mixed use projects

LAND
mostly owned by the company or in joint ventures

FOCUS CITIES
Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Pune

USP
Large signature projects, walk to work concept, no pre-launches, no discounts,

TOP LINE
NA

EXPECTED BOTTOM LINE FY 2014
Rs 350 crore

Source: Company