What You Need To Know About Maintenance Charges

Kishor Pate 2Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.

While buying a home in India, stamp duty and registration charges are the most significant additional costs above the base price of the property itself. Close on the heels of this expense come the costs involved in registering with the local electricity board and having a meter fitted.

Yet another burden which home buyers do not always factor in is the cost of insurance to cover the home loan. Of course, all this is in addition to the brokerage payable to the property agent, for which the industry standard is 2% of the base price (but can often be negotiated).

If we take 5% as payable towards toward stamp duty and another 5-7% for the other initial charges, the added expenses incurred at the actual time of home purchase can come to as much as 10-12% of the base price of the flat or the amount availed for via a home loan. However, these are one-time expenses and do not imply a recurring financial burden on the home buyer once they are cleared.

Two recurring expenses that a property owner will face are the annual property tax and the maintenance charges. While the property tax is predictable, maintenance charges are a different matter altogether.

Recurring Maintenance Charges

This is an area where the quality of construction plays a big role. Many home buyers in cities like Mumbai and Pune are drawn to the lower property prices of projects by small-time developers, only to regret it later on.

Such developers often use inferior construction materials which do not stand the test of time. The first step towards ensuring that one is not burdened by huge maintenance costs in the future is obviously to buy homes in projects from established developers with a reputation for quality construction.

Another good reason for buying properties from reputed developers is that many of them provide very reliable and accountable maintenance services via qualified external agencies. Nevertheless, existing home owners who have not taken this primary precaution are not completely helpless.

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Preventing Escalating Maintenance Charges

Flat owners must ensure that the annual maintenance charges are used optimally by the housing society. A majority of housing society offices have a separate fund for maintenance towards which all property owners contribute.

However, the onus of responsibility on flat owners does not end with merely paying these charges. They must ensure that proper preventive maintenance is actually undertaken and that maintenance funds are used for the specified purpose only.

Especially in the case of older buildings, another important step towards preventing huge maintenance charges is to identify the most problem-prone areas within a particular apartment building. To do this, the flat owners should order an inspection of the premises by a qualified agency. The problem areas must be identified, and appropriate remedies must be established.

In many cases, property maintenance undertaken by the housing society’s administrative body is symptomatic. In other words, problems are tackled only as and when they arise. If the flat owners in the building feel that the housing society is not sincere in its efforts and that property maintenance will become a major issue, they must take appropriate action.

The best course of action is to pass a resolution that the maintenance of the premises be entrusted to a professional agency under an annual contract. This will ensure that money meant for the purpose of building upkeep is accounted for, and is being utilized for its intended purposes.

It must be remembered that recurring property maintenance expenses can be quite heavy if the building or project is not well looked after. This also reflects in future resale value of a flat, which is why units in older projects which have not been maintained well do not fetch the expected prices.

About The Author:

Kishor Pate, Chairman & Managing Director of Amit Enterprises Housing Limited, is the driving force behind one of the country’s most successful real estate development firms in Pune and beyond. Apart from its signature luxury homes towers and premium gated townships, AEHL has also launched highly successful affordable housing projects like Astonia Classic in Undri and Astonia Royale in Ambegaon.

Amit Enterprises Housing Launches Astonia Classic At Undri

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Genuinely Affordable Homes In Hot New Investment Destination

Pune, October 9 2014: Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd (AEHL), one of Pune’s most respected and established real estate developers, has announced the launch of its mid-range homes project Astonia Classic at Undri. The project consists of exclusively 2 BHK flats, which are being offered at a concessional price of Rs. 50-52 lakh during the inaugural phase.

Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. states, “Astonia Classic once again translates AEHL’s long-standing commitment towards affordability without compromise on high quality construction and specifications into brick and mortar. This project will consist of 1200 flats with 905 square feet of saleable area. The first 100 booked flats at Astonia Classic will be sold at a reduced inaugural price.”

Astonia classic 3

Astonia Classic soft-launched earlier this year to an overwhelming response from Pune’s budget homes buyers and investors. More than 200 units were sold within a very short span at this stage itself. Construction of the project is underway at full tilt, and buyers will get possession of their flats within 24 months.

Undri, located in the south-east corridor of Pune, has become a new focal point for affordable housing projects and is seeing massive demand from property buyers because of the advantages that this location offers. It provides convenient access to the information technology hubs of Magarpatta and SP Infocity in Phursungi, and Pune’s traditional business and inter-city transport hubs of Swargate and Shivajinagar are easily reached from there.

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Major healthcare institutes such as Apollo Clinic and Ruby Hall Clinic in Wanowrie and Inamdar Hospital in Fatima Nagar ensure access to instant, high-quality medical services. Additionally, Undri is close to the MG Road, Pune’s most popular high street shopping area.

“Property buyers in Pune are seeking homes that can meet all of their families’ requirements, offer convenient access to their workplaces and are also priced reasonably,” says Rohan Pate, Director, Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. “Undri is the perfect location for such home seekers because – not only because of its excellent connectivity, but also because of the well-developed social infrastructure of in neighbouring Salunke Vihar, Wanowrie and NIBM. At the same time, Undri is free of traffic congestion and offers a bracing green environment.”

Rohan Pate also confirms that Sachin Tendulkar, AEHL’s iconic brand ambassador, is still very much on board and that the firm is discussing long-term plans with the legendary cricketer.

Sachin Tendulkar

AEHL is currently engaged in a major forward thrust in its development activities. Apart from its ongoing projects in Baner and Ambegaon, the firm has an ultra-luxury project in Pune’s elite Sahakarnagar area, Amit’s Eka in Nasik and another luxury project in Mumbai on the anvil.

For bookings and inquiries, call 0922998899 now.

Education And Its Impact On Pune’s Property Market

Kishor PateKishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.

The Oxford of the East title is commonly used in context with Pune because of the number of reputed schools, colleges and management institutions in the city.

Apart from the real estate spaces required for the many educational institutions seeking to make an entry or to expand in Pune, this fact has also served to drive demand for residential real estate.

Many families prefer living in Pune because of the variety of schools and colleges available within easily commutable distances. Reputable developers make it a point to source plots in areas that have ready access to these institutes by private and public transport. Large schools too have responded by ensuring that their own school bus services reach all parts of the city.

In fact, access to schools and colleges is an important criterion for families who are looking for homes in Pune. For that reason, property prices also tend to be higher in locations which are close to established educational institutions.

Nevertheless, the marginal premium that home buyers pay for this convenience is still far lower than it is in cities like Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi. Nor does proximity to schools and colleges necessarily carry the same market clout in all cities.

In a city like Mumbai, home buyers are primarily concerned with buying flats that allow them to travel to and from work. In smaller cities like Pune, reaching work is not as serious a challenge.

The public transport system may not be cutting-edge, but most families find that their personal vehicles suffice for most commuting purposes. Nor is shopping anywhere as perilous in a retail boom-town like Pune, as it is in the larger metros, where few people can hope to access anything better than a ‘kirana’ store for their daily needs.

School BoyAlso, Pune has more hospitals, clinics and assorted healthcare facilities per square kilometer than most other cities in Maharashtra (with the exception of Miraj and Sangli, which are more or less hospital towns).

With a number of other home buying considerations taken care of in many of Pune’s established and upcoming areas, proximity to schools continues to be high on priority list of property buyers.

This is why, from a property investment point of view, buying a home in Pune which is close to one or more established educational institutions is an important hedge against real estate market variations.

A cursory study of pricing trends certainly indicates that residential properties which are near to a couple of good secondary schools appreciate better than others. Savvy property investors know that even in a recessionary market, a city’s social dynamics do not vary far from the norm.

With shopping, healthcare and workplace access not necessarily serious constraints, families in Pune nevertheless give utmost importance to the needs of their children. It is not without reason that developers in Pune whose project locations justify such claims highlight proximity to schools in their promotions.

Most families in Pune see such proximity both as a cost-saving advantage, as well as a source of peace of mind. Thanks to the fact that prestigious and established educational institutions are not transient by nature, these advantages are locked into a location over many years.

It is therefore also much easier to sell such properties later on. This is an important investment factor that everyone considering the purchase of a home in Pune should take into consideration.

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