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Non resident Indians (NRIs) find real estate one of the most preferable options for investment in India. Indian real estate has expanded by leaps and bounds in the last decade and investing in realty is certain to bring in good returns for the expat investors.
However, there are flip-sided risks associated with real estate investments as along with the norms for realty investment on the part of NRIs. There have been cases where NRI buyers have been kept in the dark or misguided about the possession time or the structure and size of apartments bought back in India. Also, especially for NRI s who buy a piece of land in their home land but cannot or do not have the proper means to check the progress of the intended project, the woes multiply.
Here are a number of checks for a NRI buyer/investor:
Do background check of the builder:
There are a number of professional builders who are a lot more trustworthy. So doing a bit of research on the track record of a builder about his completed projects and expertise can help.
Visit the site before buying:
For any real estate purchase it is advisable to visit the sites before buying them. This exercise is worth it not only because you are committing a large amount of money but also because reversing the decision proves costly as well. The builder may provide you with a visual proof but it is always preferable to visit, if not you yourself then may be your close relatives can help you out with this.
Go for a housing loan:
A housing loan through a bank will ensure that the money is released in stages only, which keeps the money safe during the construction. Also, all the banks at their local branches, have their list of shortlisted builders for whose constructions loans are pre-approved, which will help you to choose the right builder.
After the construction gets over, the management of the asset is one of the major issues to be faced. There are some society associations which support the owners of the buildings with services like maintenance and rent collection. There are professional real estate management firms in most metros, too.
Be sure of the built-up area:
Be sure whether the construction rate quoted is for Built-up area or Carpet area. Construction is generally quoted for built-up area and rental is quoted only for the carpet area, leaving a difference of 15 % to 20% between the two based on the type of construction.
Today in apartments there is the concept of super built-up area, which apart from the built-up area includes stair case, common passages, fire escape passage, etc. and can be bloated by as much as 50% of the carpet area.
Suggested by some real estate analysts, while purchasing real estate property, you should go for the afore mentioned rule. The 100-20-20-1 rule says that you check out 100 properties in person; shortlist 20 of them for a deeper scrutiny; enter into negotiation with sellers for 10 of the properties and finally buy the one that is best suited.
Check all the statutory approvals:
Check all statutory approvals like town planning, water supply and sewage disposal, safety approval from the local fire department, etc.
You cannot expect to make a good real estate investment over a short holiday visit to India. Start the process before you come here. In case you cannot decide before you leave, a Power of Attorney to a parent or a relative will be sufficient to decide on the actual purchase even after you leave India.