Claim Tax Deductions on Home Loan

No matter how much we hate taxation, we have to live with it.

No matter how much we hate taxation, we have to live with it. We all hate the substantial amount of money that is deducted from our salary every month as tax. What we even hate more is the money deducted as home loan EMI. Thankfully, home loan allows you many substantial tax deduction. As per the financial year 2017-18, the upper limit on tax deductions on home loan is set at Rs 2,00,000.

If you are a working professional, you don’t directly need to submit any sort of documents to income tax departments. You can submit them to the employer who will adjust the TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) based on the documents you have provided. This gives you entire year’s time to know your tax liabilities.

In case you are hiring a charted accountant to file tax returns, you need to provide them with all the necessary documents.

List of Documents You Need to Claim Tax Deductions on Home Loan

You can also claim pre-construction interests, payable in five equal instalments starting from the year when the construction is completed.

Calculate your income from the house

The tax deduction for a self-occupied home has an upper limit of Rs 2,00,000. There is no upper limit on the deductions you are eligible on the interest, if you have rented your apartment. Here are the steps for calculating your tax deductions:

  • Gross Value of the property
  • (Less) Municipal Taxes- if paid during the year
  • (Less) Standard Deduction (30 percent of Net Annual Value= Gross value minus Municipal Taxes)
  • (Less) Deduction for Interest on Home Loan
  • You will arrive at the “Income from House Property” figure

Tax Deductions on Repayment of the Principal Amount

It is eligible for tax deductions under Section 80C, the upper limit on tax deductions of principal amount repayment is Rs 1,50,000. This limit the total of money also invested in Public Provident Fund (PPF) account, Senior Citizen’s Saving Scheme, equity-oriented mutual funds, tax-saving fixed deposits, and National Savings Certificate.

However, you can claim a tax deduction on this only after the construction is complete.

Give Your House a Makeover

Simple ideas like re-adjusting your room furniture, replacing bed sheets with white linen or covering furniture with colourful fabric work wonder to give your house the needed makeover.

Caught between low-budget and an urge to give your house a makeover? A makeover doesn’t necessarily mean buying new furniture or doing a roomful of up-gradation. Sometimes one small change is all it takes to add panache to the otherwise dull room. Here are some of our quick, simple yet stylish tips for a quick makeover for your house:

Upgrade Your Light Switch Cover

While we are busy adding artwork to the home walls, we ignore the drab, plastic switchboards, which are often placed in the centre. Its time upgrade the boring covers with snazzy covers to match your decor. Even the most expensive covers are affordable and will cost you way less than any form of wall décor. You can even decorate it yourself using craft paint of decorative covers. Don’t get too overboard with decoration though!

Change Kitchen and Bathroom Furniture’s Hardware

Give the conventional pulls and knobs a break and upgrade them with funky and stylish knobs. The knobs will cost you just a fraction of the cost of installing new furniture but will still make your kitchen and bathroom look new and different. Be sure to measure the length of the older drawer pulls before buying new ones so that you won’t have to drill new holes.

Install a Wind Chime

Install a wind chime in an area where it can hit a breeze. Not only they look beautiful but also the sound they produce makes the atmosphere of the room calm and serene. You can custom-made wind chimes to match or contrast your furniture. And if you are someone who believes in Feng Shui, wind chimes are believed to bring positivity and luck too!

Add Some Green to the Indoors

We all love green outdoors but adding green to indoors can give your living room an amazing makeover. Place a side table with a small plant next to your sofa set or close to the walls in the living room. You can also place small pots of plants in the windows or in the stairs to enhance the natural feeling inside the home

Follow a Declutter Routine

Nothing makes your house better than a daily declutter routine. Even if it is 10 minutes out of your daily schedule, it can certainly make a difference. Arrange the shoes neatly in a shoe-rack. Get rid of stuff from your fridge door. Stack important mails and papers in decorative boxes to hide the mess

Spray Paint to Add Colors to the Room

Whether it is giving a funky makeover to the old mailbox or decorating the kids’ room, spray paint is a great tool for an affordable makeover. You can use a colour matching your furniture or go wild with bright hues. Either way, the end result will surely be worth the effort.

Don’t forget to remove the dirt and rust before using the spray paint. A base of neutral colors rust-proof paint is a good idea.

Simple ideas like re-adjusting your room furniture, replacing bed sheets with white linen or covering furniture with colourful fabric work wonder to give your house the needed makeover.

 

Creating a Perfect Terrace

A terrace is like a mini-escape from the confinement of your home.

In today’s apartment-style living, only a few lucky ones get the privilege of a having a perfect terrace. A terrace is like a mini-escape from the confinement of your home.  Whether you like to enjoy the splattering rain or the warmth of the sun, enjoy a cup of evening coffee with friends or do early morning yoga in the open, a small terrace is perfect for all activities.

We put in a lot of effort to keep our interior smashing, but we often ignore the very important terrace. It is the time to remodel your terrace. With the central location for all your outdoor activities, you will need to furnish it. From wrought iron furniture to affordable yet elegant bamboo furniture, potted plants and some tree lights, there is so much you can do to give your terrace the perfect setting. Here are some cool ideas:

Comfortable Furniture is a Must

Since we spend a lot of time in the terrace, especially during early mornings and evenings, investing in comfortable furniture is essential. Wrought iron or bamboo furniture are most popular options. Not only are durable and elegant, they are affordable too. Invest in a sturdy wooden picnic table which can double up as a center table and come real handy during house parties. Add some benches, hammocks and cushioned sofas of the given material and you are all set for a comfortable time in the open air.

Good Lighting is the Key

Good lighting is very important for the terrace. It shouldn’t be too bright and at the same time, it should be able to provide sufficient visibility to avoid unwanted accidents. Placing lights at the floor level and around the plant is a good idea and it is warm, welcoming and helps to magnify the beauty of the terrace. Place a moderately bright light in large circulation areas for functionality reasons as well as for the enhanced safety of the home.

A Little Terrace Garden

A terrace décor is never complete without our own little terrace garden. If you are looking to create a peaceful and calm place, ‘Zen Garden’ is perfect for you. Low-maintenance plants like Aloe, Agave and Papyrus in sunken pots surrounded by some white gravel will help you create the perfect country setting. If you don’t have much space on your terrace, a vertical garden is a funky, practical and contemporary option to add the needed green in the home. You can also create a combination of pots, stands and some hanging plants for your terrace garden

Add a Personal Touch to the Terrace

Whether you are decorating the terrace all by yourself or taking help from professional interiors, the most important point is to create a space that allows you to connect. Your terrace is like your private abode and you can decorate it according to your taste. Whether it is about adding accessories that are unique to your personality or using colors that reflect your style, having a private terrace is not very difficult

 

 

Ultimate Emergency Contact List You Should Have on Fridge

Stay happy, Stay safe!

When we are kids, we used to memorize all the important (to us) phone numbers. And phone book was the go-to place for information. There was always a front page dedicated to emergency numbers. A copy of emergency contacts was placed on the fridge door.

Times have changed since then and so have the way used to save phone contacts. Now, we have everything stored in our phone book and are so easily accessible that we don’t even bother to memorize important numbers

However, with security come limitations. If you have a number stored in your phonebook, there is no way anyone can access it unless they know the lock code of your phone. Even in case of emergencies. Therefore, the age-old practice of keeping emergency phone numbers on the fridge is back again. If you are a homeowner, here is the ultimate emergency contact list for your fridge:

Police Department Local Number

Of course, you can dial ‘100’ to reach police. However, in case the number is unreachable you need to have the non-emergency number for your area. Or may be the number of on-duty offices

Local Fire Department Number

Apart from dialing 102 for fire emergencies, fire department have a wealth of information and also help if someone is looking for community training on fire control

Plumber

Broken or leaking water pipes can be any severe. Having the number of plumber handy is a must to ensure your home doesn’t become a wet mess in case of emergency

Power company 

A useful number to have on your phone to report power outages, voltage fluctuation or any issue with the bill

Family Doctor

A person you can reach out to in case of medical emergencies

Nearby Hospitals

In fact, it is great if you can have at least 2-3 nearest hospital numbers listed

Next-door Neighbors

They are the closest person who can immediately reach your home in case of emergencies. Always keep in touch with your neighbors

Co-workers (of all the working partners)

The go-to person in case your phone number is unreachable. It also comes helpful when you are planning a surprise party without informing your partner

Animal Control

Unwanted intruder in your home? Or stray dogs, cats or monkeys causing havoc? Animal control can come to your rescue;

Insurance Agent

The person you need to reach out to in case of an accident or home damage. Some companies assign a special relationship agent to all their clients. List his number as well.

Poison Control 

Has your child accidentally eaten the rat-kill? Poisoning emergencies can happen to anyone and therefore, a number of the regional poison control center should be on your emergency contact list.

Locksmith

Don’t forget the locksmith. A good locksmith contact is must for unforeseen circumstances.

It is also important to categorically list these number along with proper mention. Save few most important ones in your phone’s emergency contact list and have a copy of all this in your Gmail too!

 

Stay happy, stay safe!

Achhe din for East & South Pune real estate market?

With the announcement of Pune International Airport, passenger train to Daund and construction of outer ring road – the eastern and southern regions of the city are going to be in focus.

The real estate market in most cities seems to be going through a sluggish phase, but Pune continues to show stable and sustained growth. Thanks to the increasing demand for homes and commercial spaces owing to growth of IT sector in the city. With Pune finding its name included among 20 smart cities, this will go a long way in giving a huge boost to the image of this bustling city. And in times to come it is best to keep a watch on the real estate development in the East and South regions – as this is where the next phase of buzz and development is slated to take place.

With the announcement of Pune International Airport, passenger train to Daund and construction of outer ring road – the eastern and southern regions of the city are going to be in focus. What makes Pune an edge over other cities is its proximity to the financial capital of the country – Mumbai. Another contributing factor is its thriving educational, engineering and automobile scene. With the popular Mumbai-Pune Expressway things have become all the more lucrative for those looking to invest in tier two cities like Pune.

Pune today stands as one of the most sought after destination for homebuyers as well as those looking for commercial set-up. Those looking for land at affordable rates can invest in east or south location as prices will be less comparative to other areas.

The key growth driver for East and South Regions are as follows:

Pune International airport: The existing Lohegaon airport could only handle limited traffic currently. With announcement of a new international airport by CM Devendra Fadnavis which is to be developed 15 kms south of Pune in Purandar will help in serving the purpose. Located near historic fort Purandar – the proposed airport would named as “Chhatrapati Sambhaji Raje International Airport

pune-airport-759

Located on the south of the city, the proposed airport will be connected with six different routes including national highways 4 and 17. There will be a special ring-road connecting major industrial establishments with the proposed airport from Hadapsar & Loni Kalbhor. The new airport is expected to serve the Pune Metropolitan Area and will be the gateway of Pune and western Maharashtra to the rest of the world.

 

Outer ring road – It was in 2007 that the proposal to develop Pune Ring Road was taken by the late chief minister of Maharashtra Vilasrao Deshmukh. The idea is to help in diverting 5739994091823130970_orgthe passing-by-traffic from the outskirts. Vehicular traffic from highways such as Mumbai-Pune-Solapur highway pass through the city, will be diverted on to ring road. This would ensure that they don’t enter the city and cause traffic chaos.

This ring road will also offer better connectivity to the important areas in the city & to the new Pune International Airport for residents of Hadapsar via Loni Kalbhor. It will act as an encouraging factor for those looking to invest in south or eastern regions of the Pune.

 

Pune- Daundh passenger train & Metro:  The passenger train connecting Daund with Pune which travels via Hadapsar & Loni Kalbhor will reduce the travel time for people living in Loni Kalbhor and Urli to reach Pune. With the phase 2 of metro which is supposed to connect Katraj/Ambegaon and Hadapsar is most likely to be extended up to the new airport in Purandar. This two rail projects will make eastern & southern regions most sought after for IT & manufacturing investments.

So, for all those eyeing to buy a new house or property they should consider the South-East region of the city. It is one of the fastest growing and developing areas. With excellent connectivity to major areas and well-known locations, the prices here are lesser than compared to other areas.

 

A checklist for first-time buyers

Buying one’s first home can be a trying experience for most first-time buyers. Getting confused or feeling lost at such times is only natural, unless you have a ready reckoner close at hand. Today we take you through all the information you need to have when you are buying your first home.

Get online

In this highly digitised world, the search for everything from groceries to gadgets happens online and real estate is no different.

Most buyers in the 25-35 age group begin their search online. The presence of a number of portals such as magicbricks.com, 99acres.com, housing.com, makaan.com has made it easy to filter searches according to your requirements, budget, and location preferences. It is a good idea to go through all of these portals and shortlist properties that you would like to see personally.

Once you have zeroed in on the properties that you would like to visit, probe further and read up on the developer, its reputation.

Check out things like delivery time, payments, and delays it has been responsible for.

Use your networking skills to reach out to recent home buyers in the properties that you are interested in and get their opinion as well.

Making the choice

While visiting the shortlisted properties do a thorough check of the neighbourhood.

If you have young children or hope to have a family in the near future, check out education facilities in the area.

Proximity to hospitals, schools and colleges, market areas, amusement and entertainment options should be considered.

The other important factor to consider is the distance from your workplace, railway stations, and airport.

Budget requirements

The first thing you need to remember while buying your first property is that you should not under any circumstances overshoot your budget. It’s human nature to be aspirational, but make sure that your loan does not become a burden for the rest of your life.

Ideally if you are planning to buy a house, you should have been saving up for its down payment at least three to five years ahead.

For young people who harbour dreams of owning a home, start investing in equities in order to get the best inflation adjusted returns.

If you do not have the time or expertise to invest in equities by yourself, it is best to take the mutual fund route and link your investments to a goal like down payment of your first home. This will keep you focussed on your goals and help you make disciplines investments towards reaching your aim fruitfully.

While saving or investing for a house, you also need to bear in mind that you need to maintain a good credit history as your credit score will be taken into consideration, when the lender assesses how credit-worthy you are.

Maintain a good track record of servicing your previous or current loans and make it a habit to repay all your credit card outstanding within the billing cycle.

Further, when you are taking a home loan, make sure that its EMI does not exceed 40-45 per cent of your monthly income.

Aim to increase your EMI repayment over the tenure of your loan as your capability rises with an annual increase in your salary.

 Maintain a contingency fund that will take care of your home loan EMI for at least 3-6 months in case your cash flow is interrupted by an emergency.

Necessary paperwork

Once your financing needs are taken care of, it is time to be aware of your rights as a prospective home buyer. The recently passed real estate Bill safeguards your rights as a consumer and ensures efficiencies in all property related transactions with the mandatory registration of all projects with local governing bodies and the establishment of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) that is expected to ensure timely completion and hassle free handover to the end customer.

Ensure that the following documents are in order:

– Sale deed/title deed /Mmther deed/conveyance deed

– Building plan sanctioned by statutory authority

– Layout approval plan sanction

– NOC from electricity department/pollution control board/water works/ airport authority

– Supplementary agreement / ratification deed (if any)

– Allotment letter from the builder/co-operative society/housing board/BDA.

– Approved plan of construction/extension and license for construction.

– Detailed cost estimate/valuation report from chartered engineer/architect (if applicable)

Post-possession checklist

Storage: All documents related to your property purchase must be photocopied, watermarked, and digitised. It is advisable to keep at least three copies of the same at three different locations.

Transfer: Start the paperwork related to the transfer of name for electricity and water meters if applicable, transfer of society shares and finally transfer of name for property tax records in your local municipal body.

Update: Finally update all your official documents such as passport, bank documents and the likes with your new address.

While you enjoy your home and make memories in it, do not forget to live up to your commitment of making timely repayments on your home loan.

This article first appeared in The Hindu.

Reasons For Home Loan Rejection

A home loan is one of the best options, to arrange the funds needed for buying a home. Generally, it is easy to avail of a home loan, if the applicant has all the documents in place and has a good credit history. However, banks may still reject a home loan application. Some important reasons for rejection are:

  • A bad credit score: Credit score is a significant deciding factor in sanctioning home loan. Make sure you have a good credit score in place before applying for the loan.
  • Bad credit history, which may include a loan settlement in the past that is reflected in the credit report.
  • The project is not approved by the bank.
  • The home loan application, is made for a project that falls in a restricted area.

 

Monsoon checklist for Homes Owners and Socities

The Monsoons are setting in or maybe they already have. The heat is gone and romance is in the air. The pakodas are bhuttas are ruling the snacks and tea has never tasted as good as it does now. Monsoons really bring the best of times for all; the farmers, the city dwellers, the kids, those in love, the animals, the birds, the creative and all who walk the earth.
However, the season of romance can also bring some unpleasantries along and if not taken care of, can be a season to remember, for all the negative things that follow.

Here’s a small checklist of things you need to follow to enjoy the season to the fullest:

1) Get all leaks fixed beforehand – windows, roofs, walls and all the areas where water tends to collect and leak around. Look out for leakages around electrical conduits as they can be dangerous.
2) See to it that all the drains are cleaned out to avoid flooding and the clutter that gives rise to water borne diseases.
3) Safeguard your wooden furniture and carpets from getting damp by covering them up.
4) Don’t let water stagnate as it allows mosquitoes to breed.
5) Keep windows closed or latched at all times as they tend to break during rough weather and cause damage to property or people around.
6) Ensure that all the drains, nullahs and manholes are covered up in and around the society.

These are some of the basic things that will ensure that your monsoons remain as pleasant as they are meant to be. A lot more can be added to it but for now, enjoy the rains!

via IREF

 

5 Painless Ways To Turn Your Home Solar

Energy conservation is one of the important concerns worldwide. As a solution, many countries are turning to natural resources that are available in abundance. One such resource is the solar energy. India, a country which has 300 sunny days on average in a year, is also moving towards this less expensive form of energy. Though solar energy is mostly being harnessed on a large scale for commercial use, even homes are now increasingly moving towatds this form of clean energy generation.

When it comes to making eco-friendly changes these are the little ones that really add up to make a difference.

Fans

Fans are a basic necessity of every household. Run on electricity, ceiling, wall or table fans are now available in solar-operated forms as well. The solar-run fans can ventilate your home while using a renewable source of energy, thus paying no load to your electricity bills.

Water Heaters

Solar water heaters are an alternative to electric water heaters and heating water on gas stoves. While the cost of the product doesn’t differ much from its electric counterpart, the installation cost can be a little more than the usual. However, this is a one-time investment that is made good by savings on energy consumption and monthly electricity bills.

Mobile Chargers

You can use solar chargers to charge your mobile phones, iPods, cell phones and other devices that depend on electricity to operate. These chargers are portable and can be installed at base station or at the rooftop of a home. So, even if there is no electricity, you won’t face the hassle of a low battery in your phone or other device.

Solar Inverters

Solar inverters are one of the highly-adopted solar appliances by households. These inverters operate on solar energy and provide electricity back-up when there is a power cut. There are three types of solar inverters — standalone inverters, grid-tie inverters and battery back-up inverters.

Lighting

Solar-run home lighting systems can be a source of reduction in your electricity bill. These operate even when there is no electricity. So, this can be a solution for far-flung areas where there is little or no electricity.