Buying A Home That Works For Your Children

Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.

If we take a close look at how the average Indian family perceives home purchase, children and their needs are a massively important factor.

It, therefore, makes sense to factor in the specific requirements of children while short-listing flats. But what exactly does this entail?

When it comes to children’s needs in a home, there are basically three levels to be looked at:

  • Safety
  • Convenience
  • Recreation

If any one of these is ignored – perhaps in favour of other attractive features that an apartment may have for the adults – the interests of the children in the family are compromised.

Let us study these three levels in some detail, so that the features that families should look for in a home become clearer:

Safety

There is a lot more to children’s safety and security in a residential setting than burglar alarms – though those should definitely be considered.

Even if a home is not a ‘smart home’ at the DNA level, incorporating security-focused electronic features such as burglar alarms and CCTV camera monitoring makes a lot of sense. Such features are pretty cost-effective these days.

However, children’s safety must essentially also involve mitigating or eliminating potentially hazardous situations within the home. For instance, child-proofing electrical outlets is important.

To begin with, one should not consider buying a flat where the electrical wiring and fittings are old or inferior.

Here, buying a flat from a branded developer rather than an unknown but player can make a big difference, since branded developers ensure quality of their offerings at all levels, including ensuring that bathroom tiles, as well as tiles around the project’s swimming pool, are of the non-skid variety. They will also provide sufficient security at a project level.

Another reason to opt for a home by a branded developer is that one is assured of power back-up in the project. Getting trapped in an elevator is not the only risk to children that is mitigated with this all-important feature.

Many accidents in a home happen during power-cuts as the inhabitants stumble around in the dark looking for alternative light sources.

Apart from the fact that power-cuts are also very scary for very young children, the thought of their kids suddenly engulfed in darkness while playing outside is a nightmare for parents.

Convenience

The first factor one must consider here is flat size – children require enough space within a home. While a 1 BHK flat is definitely cheaper, it cannot cater to the spatial requirements of growing children, and too small a flat also compromises everyone’s privacy.

Privacy is one of the major requirements of a family that is buying a home for the long haul. Therefore, families with children should opt for a least two bedrooms in a flat.

The second factor is location. One should definitely look for the availability of good schools and hospitals with full-fledged emergency rooms in the vicinity. Likewise, the location needs to be properly enabled with public transport.

One should also invest some time and effort to inquire about the crime rate in the area. A mere 15 minutes spent on Internet searches for news about the area in question can go a long way in establishing whether it is relatively safe or potentially a source of concern about the safety of one’s children.

Recreation

The third factor is the children-friendly features that the developer has provided within the project. Sufficiently spacious common areas for children to run and play around in are a must-have, as are a well-equipped playground, swimming pool, and clubhouse.

Children – as well as their parents – need sufficient options for recreation beyond the four walls of their home, but within the safe confines of the project’s compound. The clubhouse should have enough means for children to recreate outside the home and must be adequately attended by dedicated staff.

The above checklist is definitely not exhaustive, but these are the basic features a family should look for while selecting a home to buy. Purchasing a home which works well for children is one of the most important long-term decisions a family can take.

If a home proves to be inadequate for the needs of children at some point, there will be no option but to start looking for one that is more suited. This can be a costly and time-consuming undertaking, which can be avoided with proper foresight while planning one’s first home purchase.

About the Author

Kishor Pate, Chairman & Managing Director of Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. is the driving force behind one of the most successful real estate development firms in Pune and beyond. Apart from its signature luxury projects like Montecito in Sahakar Nagar and other premium gated townships, AEHL has also launched highly successful affordable housing projects like Astonia Classic and Colori in Undri and the Mediterranean-style township Astonia Royale in Ambegaon.

 

RERA Is A Reality – Should You Buy Your Home Now?

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

RERA – or the Real Estate Regulation Act – has finally become a reality.

Though there are still plenty of hiccups and it will obviously take some time for the industry to absorb all the facets of the Act, it should be kept in mind that RERA is a process, not an event.

Meanwhile, the foremost question in property buyers’ minds is – should they wait until the RERA process is streamlined, or can they go in for home purchase now?

This is a fair and valid question.

After all, buying a home is in many cases a once-in-a-lifetime event, and one which most people look forward to and plan for assiduously.

At the present time, the real estate market in most cities is flush with options for buyers in most price brackets, and developers have also kept various offers and schemes in place to maintain the sales momentum.

Prices have corrected in most locations, and projects which seemed too pricey only a year ago are suddenly quite affordable.

Indeed, buyers have every reason to view this as a very favourable time for home purchase. Yet, the ongoing implementation process of RERA is giving them pause.

In the past, we have seen that anticipation of price corrections and lower interest rates keeps many potential buyers on the fence.

Paradoxically, the announcement of RERA is now having a similar effect, largely because buyers are unsure of whether they will benefit from it immediately or whether the benefits will take some more time to come in.

As of now, developers have been given until the end of July to register their projects under RERA. Likewise, real estate agents – who also fall under its ambit – are still in the process of registering under RERA.

As mentioned, RERA is a process and not an event. The process includes the remaining States falling in line and adopting the Real Estate Regulation Act in letter and spirit – and, most importantly for buyers, developers registering their projects under RERA.

None of these things can happen instantaneously, as many people had expected.

As of now, developers have been allowed to continue marketing their under-construction projects until 31st July 2017, which means that they have a three-month window period in which they can register these projects under RERA.

Meanwhile, buyers should only consider projects in good locations, by builders who are in the process of registering their projects under RERA.

Only players with strong balance sheets and an equally strong reputation on the market will be able to see this process through and to prevail in the future.

One sound piece of advice for homebuyers is to check out the developer’s website, which should reflect the fact that they are actively pursuing RERA compliance.

A builder’s depth of credibility on the market has always been the foundation of his success – and it will be even more so in the post-RERA era.

In the months to come, we will see many small-time developers who do not have the capacity or willingness to abide by RERA’s rules and regulations vanish from the market.

They will sell off incomplete projects or land parcels to bigger, established players, dissolve their real estate businesses and turn to other market areas.

This kind of consolidation is a natural and expected by-product of RERA, and one of the primary ways in which it will create a more transparent and healthy property market.

Only builders with sound reputations will remain in the real estate business. In the future, RERA will revolutionize the manner in which residential housing projects are planned, marketed and sold across India.

Homebuyers will be able to stop worrying about lopsided sales agreements, delays in handing over their properties, unscheduled changes in building plans and several other risks which were so far considered part and parcel of buying into under-construction projects.

At the current time, the safest bet for homebuyers is to turn their focus on projects whose builders have a strong reputation and track-record.

It is these players who will eventually remain on the market, and are in fact gearing up for making their projects and businesses RERA-compliant as we speak.

The others will wind up and their projects may either be taken off the market or rebranded under the auspices of these stronger players.

In other words, there is no need for aspiring homebuyers to wait for more clarity on RERA to emerge. It is certain that RERA will clean up the market – and it is equally certain that it is only strong, reputed developers will be able to do business in the future.

The soundest strategy for buyers is to identify projects by these builders which are either complete or in advanced stages of completion, and make use of the very favourable market conditions existing now to close the deal on their dream home.

About the Author:

Kishor Pate, Chairman & Managing Director of Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. is the driving force behind one of the most successful real estate development firms in Pune and beyond. Apart from its signature luxury projects like Montecito in Sahakar Nagar and other premium gated townships, AEHL has also launched highly successful affordable housing projects like Astonia Classic and Colori in Undri and the Mediterranean-style township, Astonia Royale in Ambegaon.

Property Investment Tips: Buying A Home That Delivers

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

With RERA as well as various other policy initiatives such as the Benami Transactions Act and the Government’s determined push for affordable housing, the time has never been better to buy a home.

We are already seeing a lot of increased activity in the residential property market in the larger cities. After the dampener of the demonetization move late last year, the positive buyer sentiment visible now is especially significant.

With the return of buyer sentiment, builders are obviously determined to capitalize on it via increased marketing efforts.

Given that there is already a lot of supply on the residential market – a lot of it for ready possession – fresh launches have been curtailed so that existing inventory can be absorbed. Much of the intensified marketing efforts are centered around special deals and offers.

Advice to property buyers

Obviously, it is a very advantageous time for property buyers right now. Yet, they should be judicious while evaluating offers and schemes and base their purchase decisions solely on the real value of the home instead of on freebies.

Buying a home is an expensive undertaking, often involving a substantial part of a middle-class family’s savings as down-payment and a prolonged commitment to pay EMIs for several years.

Freebies such as gold, cars and household goods have an undeniable attraction, but they are fundamentally frivolous in nature and do not add to the value of the home.

The price of a home is obviously an important consideration for middle-class property buyers. However, the strategy of looking for the cheapest options on the market does not make much sense because it is quality that determines value. In the case of residential property, the quality of an offering is vested in three aspects:

  • The quality of the location
  • The brand value of the builder
  • The availability and quality of facilities and amenities in the project and in individual units

The evolution of ‘location value’

Central locations are traditionally the costliest, thanks to the fact that they offer great access to many important parts of the city – most importantly the CBD and SBD (central and secondary business districts).

These areas tend to host the offices of high-profile companies, which also tend to offer a vast cross-section of jobs – from highly-paid management to more modestly-paid support staff jobs.

Even the second category of jobs is attractive because growth prospects in high-profile companies are usually very good. This is what makes living in central locations very desirable – and, from a real estate pricing perspective – very expensive.

In India, this mantra was rather inflexible and held true for a very long time – until the advent of the Infotech culture. The IT/ITeS industry tends to offer very good salary packages but is not focused on high-value locations.

Quite to the contrary – such firms prefer to set up shop in peripheral locations so as to save on the real estate costs. As a result, many of a city’s outskirts have become very desirable places for homebuyers, and they are far less expensive.

For IT professionals and industrial employees as well as property investors, buying a home in a peripheral location that connects to an IT hub and/or manufacturing belt makes perfect sense.

Unfortunately, such locations attract all kinds of developers – from those who have a reputation for creating true lifestyle value offerings to those who specialize in constricted, lifeless ‘pigeon-hole’ homes. This is where the brand value of a developer plays a significant role.

Brand value stands for assured quality

With a lot of housing supply available in the new growth corridors, buyers are spoiled for choice. The consideration of ‘ticket size – the cost of a flat – is obviously important, but one still only gets what one pays for.

Ultimately, a home is not just an asset but one which performs the very critical function of offering refuge, comfort and security – the three mainstays of lifestyle.

Buyers must look for options which offer them these three advantages to a satisfactory level. Branded builders provide these as part of their standard value offering because their reputation demands it.

Facilities and amenities – life beyond mere living

If four walls and a parking space would be enough to serve our housing needs, the real estate industry the world over would be a very unexciting one at best.

The fact is, urban life today places a lot of stresses and demands on us, and our homes cannot only be places of refuge but must also provide healing and rejuvenation from these.

A clubhouse, swimming pool and children’s park are no longer luxuries but the bare minimum an Indian homebuyer can and should expect. A residential project that does not offer these falls far short of the required mark.

Obviously, even projects without such offerings will find buyers because of their lower prices – but such buyers find very little comfort in their purchases. While short-listing prospects for home purchase, it is definitely important to ensure that the final selection provides a decent lifestyle and not just an abode.

If one looks at the supply on the residential property market from such a focused perspective, the bewildering choice of options automatically narrows down to a more manageable and comprehensive level.

Always to be kept in mind – buying the right home is not just about present and future comfort but also about investment growth. Homes in good locations, built by reputed developers with a good saturation of amenities and facilities will always yield better capital appreciation as well as potential rental income for property investors.

About The Author

Kishor Pate, Chairman & Managing Director of Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. is the driving force behind one of the most successful real estate development firms in Pune and beyond. Apart from its signature luxury projects like Montecito in Sahakar Nagar and other premium gated townships, AEHL has also launched highly successful affordable housing projects like Astonia Classic and Colori in Undri and the Mediterranean-style township Astonia Royale in Ambegaon.

At What Age Should You Invest in Real Estate?

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

In India, the current mantra is that property investment is ideal only for upcoming or established career makers – but is this true?

How do banks, lenders and the property sector at large view investors who do not fall in that age bracket anymore?

Can one be too old to put money into property, and would one have missed the chance to grow their wealth through real estate at some point?

Of course, it is true that banks are willing to lend to a person only for so long; when a prospective borrower is looking at retirement in the near future, the concept of giving them a long-term home loan understandably does not make much sense to them.

Let us examine this a little more closely.

When a person is in his or her 30s, they have around 30 years of active professional life ahead of them. Naturally, this gives them abundant time to develop a large property portfolio.

However, even when they are in their 40s, they are far from too old to successfully invest in property. There are still as much as 20 years ahead as an income-generating citizen – and even more if one is successfully self-employed or runs a business.

In other words, there is still plenty of time ahead to make some profitable property investment choices even in one’s 40s.

Of course, it goes without saying that the sooner one invests, the higher will be the ultimate gains because profits from property compound over time.

Home Buyers

Generally, it is assumed that one must have the ability to service home loans for 25 to 30 years to finance one’s property portfolio. However, many banks in India have now understood that people can and do work past the conventional ‘retirement age’ of 65 these days.

Interestingly, once one has secured a good portfolio of assets, one has additional clout and credibility with banks since these properties can act as collateral for fresh loans even at age 50 or above.

Definitely, the time to experiment with ‘speculative’ investment should be over by this time, as one should justifiably have a healthy aversion to risk by age 55.

By this age, the ideal strategy should be to boost the value of one’s existing assets via proven value-boosting routes such as renovations.

Without a doubt, a person who wants to keep investing in property in India at age 60 or above needs to have a very clear understanding of the market, as well as a great deal of confidence in one’s personal finances.

As already explained, it is now technically possible – under certain circumstances – to raise a home loan for property investment even after retirement.

The question whether one would want to is, of course, a personal one and would depend on a variety of circumstances – most related to one’s financial soundness and appetite for such activities.

So far, so good – but what about buying a home for personal use? This is where it gets a lot simpler because there is no ‘ideal’ age for home ownership.

If one has been living in rented homes all one’s life, buying a home even at 65 makes perfect sense. In the first place, it is the perfect retirement gambit, as it provides freedom from the recurring expense of monthly rent.

Secondly, it secures a sound asset which gives unmatched financial security and can be used to raise funds in emergencies. Thirdly, a property is the perfect bequest to leave behind for one’s children.

The bottom line is that there is definitely such a thing as an ‘ideal age bracket’ for property investment – though this age bracket is flexible depending on various factors.

However, there is no ‘ideal age’ to buy a home for personal use. The latter fact is especially true if one sees a self-owned home more as an abode and sanctuary of financial freedom and security than an investment instrument.

About The Author

Kishor Pate, Chairman & Managing Director of Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. is the driving force behind one of the most successful real estate development firms in Pune and beyond. Apart from its signature luxury projects like Montecito in Sahakar Nagar and other premium gated townships, AEHL has also launched highly successful affordable housing projects like Astonia Classic and Colori in Undri and the Mediterranean-style township Astonia Royale in Ambegaon.

Pune Property: All Roads Lead to Ambegaon

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

No discussion on Pune’s property boom locations is complete without an extensive evaluation of Ambegaon.

An increasing number of Pune’s homebuyers are opting for areas with generous natural endowments and absence of the crush of the city’s central areas.

As Ambegaon offers superb connectivity in addition to a green, hilly environment, it has naturally emerged as one of the most favoured property locations in Pune.

As a matter of fact, Ambegaon will be one of Pune’s most exciting property boom regions for several years to come during the following ten years.

Apart from its abundant greenery, the backdrop of hills and excellent connectivity, it is also an eminently affordable location.

Moreover, it offers a good spread of housing options, from multistoried apartment projects to luxury townships.

Ambegaon is also close to the new MIDC in Shirval, which is a massive employment hub which has given rise to ever-increasing demand for both budget and premium homes here.

Some of Pune’s leading developers have responded to this demand with projects that bear the brand of reliability, are very suitably priced and additionally offer tremendous investment appreciation value.

The growth of Ambegaon has been partially because of the spill-over demand from Sinhagadh Road, which has developed very rapidly and seen unattractive price growth as a consequence.

But one of the leading factors for Ambegaon’s quick rise to fame has been the fact that it gives property buyers a diversified choice of homes, ranging from premium bungalows and villas to budget flats.

This location’s natural ambience and absence of congestion and pollution lend it a distinct aura of exclusiveness, simultaneously providing homebuyers a welcome option to live and raise their families in bracing, naturally blessed surroundings.

Residential areas with the kind of abundance of trees and green open spaces available in Ambegaon are home to healthier and happier people, and have a cooler climate than the inner-city concrete jungle.

It is no accident that Pune’s core city dwellers tend to be more susceptible to suffering from conditions like asthma, bronchitis and hypertension – most of the city’s previously splendorous green cover has been eroded by real estate development.

In contrast, Ambegaon is a haven of peace, calm and greenery – the hallmarks of Pune’s glory years.

Moreover, Ambegaon is constantly seeing upgradation of its support infrastructure by the Pune Municipal Corporation – a very important factor driving property investors’ interest in this location.

Investment appetite here is also because of the accelerated development of places like Bavdhan, Sinhagad Road, Wagholi, Bhugaon and Undri.

These locations have for long been catering to the demand for quality housing coming from employees of Pune’s Information Technology sector, but Ambegaon additionally gains from its proximity to the Pune-Mumbai Expressway, the famous Sinhagad Technical Institute and the Bangalore Bypass.

In other rapidly growing locations of Pune like Baner, Wakad and Hinjewadi, the predominant demand for investment properties comes from neighbouring Mumbai.

Ambegaon, on the other hand, has unique location advantages, Ambegaon is also a hot favourite with investors from cities like Sangli, Satara, Kolhapur and Shirval.

About The Author

Kishor Pate, Chairman & Managing Director of Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. is the driving force behind one of the most successful real estate development firms in Pune and beyond. Apart from its signature luxury projects like Montecito in Sahakar Nagar and other premium gated townships, AEHL has also launched highly successful affordable housing projects like Astonia Classic and Colori in Undri and the Mediterranean-style township Astonia Royale in Ambegaon.

Reaction To Union Budget 2017-18

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

The Union Budget has announced that 1 crore rural houses will be created by 2019, and the outlay for rural housing under PMAY is Rs. 23000 crores from the previous Rs. 15000 crores.

This will help address the housing needs of the homeless and those living in ‘kachha’ houses in the rural areas, and potentially help reduce pressure on urban areas if it is in conjunction with employment generation

The total allocation for infrastructure is a whopping Rs. 396135 crores in 2017-18. This is very good news for the real estate sector, as the correlation of infrastructure with real estate growth is a well-established fact.

Affordable housing has finally been given infrastructure status. This will mean cheaper loans for developers of budget housing and significantly boost the Government’s target of Housing for All by 2022.

The Affordable housing has seen a significant change in the Government’s existing scheme, with the qualifying size requirements now changed from built-up area to carpet area of 30 sqm and 60 sqm for projects within the municipal limits of the large 4 cities.

On the all-important front of personal income tax, the existing tax rate for incomes between Rs. 2.5 lakh to 5 lakh has been reduced to 5%, and taxpayers in other categories will also save Rs. 12,500.

While this will definitely boost the overall consumption story, it, unfortunately, will not have any significant impact on housing demand.

However, the FM did indicate that lending rates are likely to come down in the wake of the demonetisation move. A decline in interest rates would have positive implications on housing demand.

What Makes A Real Estate Investment Location Lucrative?

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

A simple Google search on real estate investment locations will throw up hundreds of results. Finding genuine online advice – the kind that can lead you to a truly lucrative real estate investment decision – is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.

The Internet’s usefulness as a tool to guide your property investment decisions depends upon the individual’s capacity to read between the lines of a mammoth amount of information which may or may not lead to house one is looking for.

Year 2017 should be a year for residential real estate investment, as the Government is ensuring low interest rates and a slew of incentives via schemes such as the Prime Minister’s Awas Yojana (PMAY).

So, interest in and appetite for real estate investment is back in force – but where should one invest? After all, successful real estate investment is proverbially driven by ‘location, location, location.’

When you are trying to identify the right location to invest in, you are obviously ready to put up a lot of saved or leveraged capital. This is no time to rely on sponsored advice and blanket generalizations.

What must come into play here is some basic knowledge of what makes the real estate market tick, and more specifically what drives demand in any location. The viability of a location is what will result in the hoped-for returns on investment.

So, how does real estate location viability actually work? From a residential property investment perspective, every city – especially if it is a tier 1 city – has its hot investment corridors, and other micro-markets which are simply not working currently.

Some of the important real estate drivers to look for are employment generation, infrastructure creation and historic price growth.

Mumbai, being the country’s financial capital, has been attracting massive investments over the years despite its astronomically high ticket sizes.

Bangalore has become India’s prominent Information Technology capital and been attracting consummate investments.

However, Pune has begun stealing Bangalore’s thunder as a preferred InfoTech destination, owing to:

  • Better real estate affordability
  • Global reputation for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services, and
  • Massive wealth of trained workforce.

The third factor is a very important one, and plays a big role in the city’s viability as a real estate investment destination.

Pune Mumbai Bengaluru

Pune – the veritable ‘Oxford of the East’ – has numerous high-quality educational institutes which regularly churn out graduates who are directly absorbed not only into the city’s IT firms but also into its manufacturing belt and services sector.

This directly translates into housing demand across a broad budget band, and in various locations of the city.

All such cities have micro-markets which are suitable for either commercial or residential investment, and others that are probably avoidable right now.

Because of the amount of business Mumbai, Bangalore and Pune generate – and the fact that they are in the cross-sights of many large commercial players – these cities are excellent choices for commercial space investments as long as:

  • One picks one’s location and property size wisely
  • Achieves a reasonable entry point in terms of ticket size

Commercial real estate investment calls for larger capital and longer investment horizons, and ROI is generally derived from rental income.

Areas which are close to relatively affordable residential catchments or at least provide good connectivity to them should be favoured.

When it comes to residential real estate investment, it pays to remember that speculative investments may have played a role in escalating prices beyond affordability in some areas.

Several factors have now combined to drive out speculators from most Indian cities, and price corrections have occurred. If the prices have bottomed out or the location is still in growth mode, it is a good time to invest in it.

One should look for factors like proximity to workplace hubs, infrastructure availability – especially in terms of connectivity and public transport – and a decent saturation of social infrastructure such as shopping outlets, healthcare and schools.

About The Author

Kishor Pate, Chairman & Managing Director of Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. is the driving force behind one of the most successful real estate development firms in Pune and beyond. Apart from its signature luxury projects like Montecito in Sahakar Nagar and other premium gated townships, AEHL has also launched highly successful affordable housing projects like Astonia Classic and Colori in Undri and the Mediterranean-style township Astonia Royale in Ambegaon.

The Advantages of a Pre-Approved Home Loan

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

A self-owned home is the dream of every Indian, and all of us want to see ourselves being able to go in for it one day. When that day comes, the last thing we want is any reason for delay or insecurity to cloud the decision.

This is especially true if one is a first-time home buyer. Obviously, the most challenging and confusing part of the home buying process is the financials.

Confusion here can relate to which the best lending institution is, what type of loan is best and what the conditions are, and what size of home loan one can comfortably pay off over the years of tenure.

However, one of the biggest worries for a first-time home buyer with regards to a home loan is how long one needs to wait for its approval. In this scenario, the best bet for a first-time home buyer is to apply for a pre-approved home loan.

Getting a pre-approved loan means that you have already dealt with one of the trickiest parts of the purchase process, and can now focus your time and attention on finding the best property options available. Pre-approved loans also give you an upper hand when you at the negotiation table with a developer.

Understanding the difference between loan pre-approval and pre-qualification

Pre-approval and pre-qualification of home loans are completely different things. Pre-qualification is more like an educated guess on the part of the bank or lending institution about how big a loan you qualify for.

This estimate or loan eligibility is based on your current earning power, credit score, financial history, and so on. A pre-approved loan, on the other hand, is a written guarantee by the lender that you have secured a loan.

To grant a pre-approval certificate, loan officers will conduct an employment, remunerations and ‘credit worthiness’ check.

This will include collecting all past financial data like loan of credit card repayment history, credit card statements, disposable income, current debts, and more. Generally, all of this would be done using special software.

Home Loan

How to get a pre-approved home loan

The first step towards obtaining a pre-approved loan is finding a lending agency you can trust. It might be one that you know, one that an acquaintance works for, or one that has been reliably referred to you.

While any lenders would conduct an extensive credit check, you must find one that is not only willing to lend to you but also has a good reputation on the market.

Another important thing to check is the rate of interest that will be charged on your home loan. The best agencies will come up with competitive rates and also offer helpful customer service.

In these cases, the loan officer will actively help you out to get the pre-approval, and discuss the type of settlement you would be eligible for given your salary, investments, tax returns, debts, credit score, etc.

How does a letter of pre-approval help?

An important advantage of a pre-approved loan is that you know your spending limit. You are precisely aware of what kind of property you should be searching for. This eliminates from your search properties that you are not eligible for.

Secondly, with a pre-approval letter, you will not have to wait for many of the formalities of property purchase once you come across a suitable option. You have the advantage of being immediately able to book the property using the pre-approval letter. A pre-approved loans also gives you a lot of credibility with builders/promoters, and increases your negotiation power.

Getting a pre-approved loan is the easiest way to buy your dream home in the current market scenario. It is not only assuring but also keeps you within the limits of your affordability – and makes you a highly credible buyer whom any seller will take seriously and extend the best possible deal.

The approval should give you an opportunity to make a choice at leisure, but should not lead to the trap of landing in a circle of indecision and complacency. The pre-approved home loan should be a tool which lets you make a decision when you find a house of you and your family’s choice, and to act on it.

About The Author

Kishor Pate, Chairman & Managing Director of Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. is the driving force behind one of the most successful real estate development firms in Pune and beyond. Apart from its signature luxury projects like Montecito in Sahakar Nagar and other premium gated townships, AEHL has also launched highly successful affordable housing projects like Astonia Classic and Colori in Undri and the Mediterranean-style township Astonia Royale in Ambegaon.

Pune Real Estate – Green Is the New Gold

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

If we look at Pune’s real estate landscape, it is quite evident that the city has taken a hit in terms of its previously legendary green cover. This is of course unavoidable in the urban areas, which must accommodate the constantly growing population in the city.

This is the price we must pay for growth, which is ultimately good for the economy. However, there’s no escaping the fact that there is a deep link between green environment and the quality of living that a city’s residents enjoy.

Residential neighborhoods that are bestowed with trees, foliage, lawns and natural open outdoor spaces also have healthier and happier people. This is by no means just a romantic concept.

The existence of green spaces actually contributes to air quality, as trees and other greenery absorb toxic pollutants like sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen, ammonia, nitric acid vapor and ozone – and give back life-giving oxygen. Greenery and green open spaces also play a major role in controlling urban temperatures.

Just a decade ago, Pune was known for its abundance of green cover, which generously embraced almost all of its residential areas. Today, a lot of this green cover has gone under the development hammer with the unconstrained proliferation of real estate and massive industrialization.

This, coupled with road development and the unbelievable increase in traffic movement within the city, has given rise to serious health issues now cropping up into once healthy neighborhoods.

As a result, today Pune’s citizens are far more prone to suffering from ailments like high blood pressure, bronchitis, asthma, depression and overall stress. A city that was once an epitome of modern natural living is now starved for oxygen and visual relief from the ever-expanding concrete jungle.

Though a green environment evidently benefits everyone, it is particularly important for the very young and elderly. Children obviously thrive most in green surroundings, and senior citizens living amidst sufficient greenery have fewer health problems and lead a considerably fitter lifestyle than those who live in an environment of unrelieved concrete inside the city.

The more the availability of greenery and green open spaces in a residential neighbourhood, the likelier it is for its residents to spend time outdoors and avoid a sedentary lifestyle.

Without a doubt, life in a city should not be merely about owning a beautiful home, but also about being happy and healthy. As the world continues its fight against global warming and urban areas grow, home buyers in cities like Pune are starting to prefer neighborhoods that have amenities like parks, gardens and enough natural green cover.

sahakar nagar pune
Sahakar Nagar, Pune

Locations like Undri and Ambegaon, where the benefit of protected green cover is still available, score high on their preference list – not only because of their greenery but also because they are also more price-friendly than the congested inner city areas.

These are also among the most preferred locations for property investors; as Pune continues to develop rapidly, its greener areas will eventually command premium prices.

After all, green cover is the pièce de résistance that gives luxury areas like Sahakar Nagar, Koregaon Park and Boat Club Road their unique appeal. And for home buyers, it’s not just about giving kids the opportunity to play outside but also living in a healthy environment – and a more active and vibrant community.

Green spaces in and around residential projects have been proven to bring people outdoors to engage in healthy interactions with neighbors. Common gardens and parks are spaces where people meet and spend time together.

Consequently, people who choose greener living spaces over concrete jungles enjoy better social bonding, are more concerned about the development of their community and neighborhood – and live longer and happier lives.

About The Author

Kishor Pate, Chairman & Managing Director of Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. is the driving force behind one of the most successful real estate development firms in Pune and beyond. Apart from its signature luxury projects like Montecito in Sahakar Nagar and other premium gated townships, AEHL has also launched highly successful affordable housing projects like Astonia Classic and Colori in Undri and the Mediterranean-style township Astonia Royale in Ambegaon.

Pune Real Estate: The Year That Was, And The Year Ahead

Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.

2016 did not bring as much cheer to Pune’s real estate market as previous years had. Nevertheless, Pune outperformed Mumbai by between 20 to 25% in terms of overall sales.

The highest-selling category in Pune was mid-range properties priced between Rs. 35-50 lakh within the city’s municipal limits and its nearby periphery, followed by lower budget housing on the outskirts priced between Rs. 15-30 lakh.

The latter pricing category offered on the market saw some response; however, whether it sustainable is debatable.

The questions which bothered most buyers in 2016 were:

  • What are the hidden cost?
  • Does the location serve my purpose?
  • Will the project I am interested in be completed as per promised timeline?
  • Is the developer inherently RERA-compliant?

Due to these completely understandable apprehensions, reputed builders saw the most number of serious inquiries in 2016. It would not be an exaggeration to observe that the year saw developers being examined with microscopic scrutiny.

There was clear evidence that Pune’s property buyers have become very aware of their rights, and that they can expect their interests to be protected by the upcoming RERA; promoters will not be able to dictate terms as they so far have.

However, irrespective of the potential protection that RERA will provide, buyers were more focused on the reputation of the builder than prices.

This was a significant change of temperament among Pune’s traditionally price-sensitive consumers. It indicated that long-term investment value and growth now matters more to them than short-term savings.

More than ever before, the inherent value of sticking to players with an established track-record will make itself felt in 2017.

When RERA becomes a nation-wide reality in mid-2017, Pune’s established developers with a good track record quality products and transparent dealings via official financial channels will emerge as dominant.

Once the Real Estate Regulatory Bill kicks in, fraudulent builders will be pulled off the market, and there will be more clarity than ever before about the genuine opportunities that Pune’s real estate market offers.

For the entire year of 2016, Pune remained a buyers’ market and primarily end-user driven. Developers vied with each other for customers in most locations – a ‘competition’ in which only those with projects nearing completion emerged as clear winners.

High buyer caution prevailed throughout the year with regards to pre-launches and under-construction projects in the earliest stages of development.

With many projects offering ready-to-move options to buyers and investors, the thought of having to wait for 2 to 3 years before gaining possession simply failed to entice.

The locations which scored highest with buyers in 2016 were not the overpriced central locations, but those which offer good connectivity to Pune’s various workplace hubs while circumventing the steep price points of the city’s central areas.

property investment

Most buyers had a firm list of must-haves to refer to:

  • Proximity to the city’s various workplace centers; good overall connectivity via roads and public transport
  • Rational property prices
  • Availability of good schools, affordable healthcare, shopping and entertainment
  • Market-proven reliability of developers’ brand

In terms of location, Undri-Pisoli in Pune’s south-eastern sector was a clear favourite with buyers employed in the city’s Infotech sector and manufacturing industries, as all the requirements were available as above,

Also Ambegaon in the south-western part saw a lot of conversions, thanks to its good connectivity to Mumbai as well as onward to Satara and Kolhapur.

Apart from the fact that these locations are extremely well-connected, they also drew demand because they have a good supply of completed projects by reputable developers.

Fast-paced infrastructure deployment also helped bring these two locations to the top of the charts in 2016, and will continue to sustain their desirability in 2017.

Bhugaon, Keshavnagar and Manjri in the city’s eastern quadrant saw a lot of absorption because of overall access they provide to various key areas of the city. Though they are still emerging in terms of general infrastructure deployment, these are certainly locations to watch in the future.

In terms of general pricing, Pune saw a correction of 3 to 6% in property prices in most markets. Most developers rolled out additional schemes to attract buyers to their projects, with varying degrees of success.

Construction-linked plans drew some interest, but the clear winners among such schemes were all-inclusive packages which included all statutory costs such as VAT, stamp duty and registration fees.

Buyers showed a lot of preference for transparency in pricing, a decent saturation of in-project amenities and facilities, and developers whose trustworthiness was not in question.

2017 will be a year of significant and much-needed change for Pune’s property market. The Government’s demonetisation initiative has kick-started a process of elimination of fly-by-night developers and the cash components in the transactions will come to an end- a process which the final implementation of RERA will bring to culmination.

There will be a lot of consolidation throughout the year, with such players yielding whatever marketable land parcels and incomplete projects they hold to more established players.

2017 will not bring any further correction in Pune’s residential property prices, as demand is already returning in force to the city’s property market. Also, the fact that RERA will bring with it a significant additional financial burden on developers with regards to various statutory compliances, prices may go up towards mid-year.

Nevertheless, the year ahead will be favourable for property buyers in Pune. It will continue to be a buyers’ market, and the relationship between developers and buyers will see a major upgrade because buyers’ rights and interests will be well-defined and well-protected by the new Real Estate Regulatory bill. This is what the Government wants to achieve.

About The Author

Kishor Pate, Chairman & Managing Director of Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. is the driving force behind one of the most successful real estate development firms in Pune and beyond. Apart from its signature luxury projects like Montecito in Sahakar Nagar and other premium gated townships, AEHL has also launched highly successful affordable housing projects like Astonia Classic and Colori in Undri and the Mediterranean-style township Astonia Royale in Ambegaon.