Ways To Live Large In A Small Balcony

The balcony is an extension of your home from which you can see the jam-packed road, skyscrapers, and a plethora of people. But this is the time that you need to refurbish your little balcony so that it can recreate the beauty of outdoors where you and your family members can enjoy beverages, read a good book, and can stay in a relaxed mood. In this article, we are going to describe how can you redesign this tiny place into an aesthetically appealing place within your home.

Go Green: This is the time that you need to get rid of the boring white paint rather you can convert your balcony into a hanging garden. You should decorate this tiny place with a lot of greens and seasonal plants for variety. You can even carpet the balcony with a faux garden moss rug which is available everywhere in the market. These days, the markets are crammed with many earthen pots of different sizes and hues, so purchase and place them on your balcony which will accelerate the look of the place.

Decorate With Light Furniture: Why don’t you decorate your balcony with some light-weighted furniture so that you can still enjoy the comfort of your bedroom or living room. Outdoor couches, Ottoman, Armchair, etc. would be the ideal choice for your balcony furniture. You can even place a coffee table so that everyone can enjoy the breakfast and enjoy the view from the outdoor. If you want to become more comfortable or cosy, then keep some fluffy pillows on the couch or chair.

Create A Beach-side Mood: Perhaps everyone on the planet loves to enjoy on a beach because they feel the ecstatic beauty of the beach will rejuvenate their energy and mind. If the beaches are far away from your place, then don’t be sad rather try to be creative and go for a beach set up on your balcony. If you are a creative person, then you can easily bring the beachside hammock to the balcony. But make sure you find a safe and a sturdy spot to hang it. It is also true that not all balconies would be appropriate for this. So, before hanging a hammock, judge wisely. Try to keep some sea shells and other accessories like a beach chair, some plant life, etc. to accentuate the look.

Keep It Simple: If you have a limited budget, then you need to plan in a different way. Don’t go for the costly furniture rather you can keep a bench for two or a coffee table on your balcony. Try to decorate the balcony with some colourful lights to make the look more beautiful and enchanting. If you have a good place on your balcony, then try to hang a piece of artwork on the wall. This will surely help you to get rid of the same humdrum look of your old one.

If you are a creative person, then irrespective of the size of your balcony, you can make it beautiful and stunning by giving some attention and thought.

 

 

Get Rid of Clutter with These 5 Easy Steps

An organized home looks good, feels great and makes it a breeze to find your belongings. However, it is clearly easier said than done.

Who doesn’t want to live in a home that is well organized and clutter-free? An organized home looks good, feels great and makes it a breeze to find your belongings. However, it is clearly easier said than done. No matter how much we long for it, most of us fail to keep clutter at bay. Mainly because we feel it is an unachievable feat. We are not sure how to go about it and refrain from living our comfort zone, to begin with.

Bother not! Make your home clutter-free and organized with these 5 easy steps:

1)   Get Rid of Things You Don’t Need

“I follow a rule where if I haven’t opened a box within 6 months of shifting house, I just get rid of it. If I haven’t needed the stuff in the box for the entire duration of 6 months, that is most likely not needed at my home.  Our houses are full of things we don’t need and the first step in making the home clutter-free is to get rid of ‘excess’.” – Anonymous

Owning too much stuff is one of the primary reasons for all the clutter. To get rid of clutter, you need to make a list of items you don’t need such as outdated gadgets, outsized clothes, old batteries, broken furniture and so on. Remove everything that is a part of the list and you will soon see your home clutter-free.

2)   Create More Storage Space

Lack of storage space can also be a big reason that may lead to clutter. If so, then it is the time to create more storage space. Buy furniture that can double up as storage space and come with storage boxes inside them. Bed, sofa sets, ottoman, table, almost every furniture in your home can have a storage box. You can also upgrade your existing furniture and integrated boxes in them.

Another way is to use the entire wall area and create ceiling-to-floor wardrobes in your home. You can keep the regular use items on the lower shelves while things you need once in a while can be placed up high.

You will be amazed at how much stuff the furniture boxes and upper shelves of the cupboards can store.

3)   Embrace Habits that Help Managing Clutter

Keep aside 5 to 15 minutes every day to replace things with their original position and clean clutter. You will be surprised at how much can be done in mere 5 minutes. Making home clutter-free is an ongoing process that has a lot to do with your habits.

Cleaning kitchen after every meal, replacing towels, books, gadgets to their original position after using them, a family cleaning drive every fortnight are some of the habits that can do wonder managing clutter. It may take conscious efforts in the beginning but once you will see the difference, you will find it easier to embrace healthy clutter-clearing habits.

4)   Put Labels

Put a label on everything. On drawers where you store your medicines, stationeries, electricals, paperwork or on baskets inside the fridge. Label food items and arrange them on different shelves based on their types.

When you label things and keep them in a designated area, it becomes a lot easier to pick certain things and replace them back after using it. Not only for you, but everyone in the house can keep things in their designated area thereby effectively reducing clutter.

5)   Do Smart Shopping

In addition to getting rid of excess, it is also important that you shop wisely. The more things you bring into your homes, the more you have to find space for. And when you buy only the things you really need, you end up saving a lot of money as well. The best way to shop is to carry a list of items before entering the mall or supermarket. If you are tempted to buy anything that is not in the list, question yourself if you really need it? Can you do without buying it?  In most cases, you will save yourself time as well as the hassle of managing unwanted things.

Follow these steps and make your home a clutter-free heaven

 

Pune Real Estate Market Shows a Growing Trend Despite National Low

In a recent study of real estate market by PropEquity, Pune has emerged as one of the top cities to invest in India, next only to Bengaluru.

The real estate sector is the second largest employer in India next only to agriculture and is expected to grow by nearly 30 percent over the next decade. The Indian real estate sector which comprises of sub-sectors such as housing, retail, hospitality, and commercial is expected to touch US$ 180 billion by 2020.

The housing sector alone contributes 5-6% to the country’s GDP and is well complemented by the increasing demand for office space in urban and semi-urban areas.  It is also expected that real estate will incur more NRI investments in both long and short-term in the next decade.

Pune is expected to be one of the most favoured real estate investment destinations for both Indians and NRIs alike.

Growth of Pune Real Estate

In a recent study of real estate market in India conducted by PropEquity, Pune has emerged as one of the top cities to invest in India, next only to Bengaluru. It has been a rough period for Indian real estate as both the property occupancy and sales have drastically dropped across India, especially in the Northern parts of the country. There has been a drastic reduction of 27% in Delhi-NCR real estate market value in last 12 months.

Pune is the only city in India that has maintained consistent growth in real estate despite the bad market condition and has seen an appreciation of 25 to 30 percent every year. In fact, there is a heavy demand for residential properties in Pune with the real estate sector recording compound annual growth of 14 percent. To fulfil these requirements, a number of residential projects are upcoming in areas like Keshav Nagar, Wakad, Balewadi, Ambegaon, Hinjewadi, etc.

The eastern belt of Pune has also seen a massive growth thanks to its proximity with IT parks and airport.  With the increase in property price in Bangalore, Gurgaon, Chennai and Mumbai, Pune has now emerged as a preferred destination for IT companies. And the best part is that the development in Pune is happening in a phased and planned manner thus showing great potential for future expansion

According to a recent survey by Magicbricks, despite Demonetization last year, Pune has shown an annual growth of 3.4%.

While most units fall in the Rs. 30 Lakhs -Rs 1 crore price bracket, there are luxury houses worth 20 crores as well.

Awesome weather, affordability and quality of living are few other factors that have resulted in improving property prices in Pune. As per  “Mercer 2015 Quality of Living” rankings, Pune is ranked 145 which is significantly higher for the quality of living than the country’s traditional metros such as Delhi and Mumbai. It doesn’t come as a surprise when not only people in India but NRIs also invest in Pune Real Estate market resulting in the upward growth trend.

 

 

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.

6 Ways To Boost Your Home Loan Eligibility

Buying a home is a significant undertaking. It requires meticulous research, careful planning and thorough checking before the buyer can be at peace. One of the major aspects of purchasing a home that worries buyers is with respect to taking home loans for the same.

Irrespective of whether or not you can afford the purchase with your savings (which is rarely the case), one is usually advised to take a home loan to spread the commitment over a few years. What then follows is nerve-wracking analysis of each bank’s home loan and deciding on the right one. In the midst of all this, it is also important to ensure that you can maximize your eligibility for a home loan or qualify for the maximum amount of home loan possible. In the midst of all this, it is also important to ensure that you can maximize your eligibility for a home loan or qualify for the maximum amount of home loan possible.

So how can one improve home loan eligibility? Here are some ways:

Increase loan tenure

This is probably the oldest tactic in the book. The logic is that when one increases the tenure of the loan, the EMIs are reduced. Lower EMIs then boost the borrower’s loan eligibility. However, this needs to be thought through based on each individual’s circumstances and preferences

Step-up loan

In this option, individuals can opt for step-up loans which essentially mean that the EMIs in the first few years will be low and then consequently increased for the remaining period. This again lends to higher home loan eligibility when calculated with the lower EMIs in question.

Clubbed income

 Loan eligibility automatically increases if you can join forces with a family member and take the loan. This means that both of your incomes will be considered as opposed to just your income. Especially in the past decade, this has become a common solution with women also working and contributing to the family finances

Variable pay

One mistake that a lot of people make when calculating their home loan eligibility is not taking into account the variable aspects of their pay such as performance-related income and other monetary perks. You may notice that once you include these components as well your loan eligibility is instantly boosted

Prepay existing loans

If at the time of approaching your banker for a loan, you already have a loan in your name (i.e. car loan, personal loan etc.) it could bring down the amount your eligible to borrow for the home purchase. One way to fix this is by pre-paying any existing loans you have in part of in full

Employer-bank offers

Banks sometimes have tie-ups with large multinational corporations wherein they offer the employees of said corporation some benefits to taking a home loan. These could be in the form of lower interest rates, waiving of processing fee and so on. It would be prudent to check with your banker if any such offers are available to you to utilise. Given that RBI reduced the interest rates last year, it is likely to encourage a lot of prospective buyers.

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.

 

Home Loan Process For NRI’s

Owning a home is a dream for most of us and thanks to the diverse home loan schemes available to make that dream a reality. How is this different in case of Non- Resident Indians (NRI)? Is it equally easy for them to obtain a home loan and own the property of their choice? NRI home loans are now easily available in India, subject to fulfillment of certain conditions.

NRI Status:

Before getting into the details of a home loan for NRIs, it is essential to understand just who is a non-resident Indian. All banks and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) go strictly by the definition of NRI as adopted by the Reserve Bank of India. Under the RBI definition, any citizen who holds a valid Indian passport and stays out of India for employment or business spending less than 182 days in India in one financial year is deemed as a NRI. So before applying for a home loan under NRI category, make sure you qualify for a NRI home loan keeping in view the minimum number of days to be spent away from India.

Here we take a look at what is required to avail this loan and how it differs from a normal loan taken by a resident Indian:

Eligibility and Documents required

An NRI should meet the criteria on minimum age and minimum years of work experience abroad. The criteria vary across institutions. In State Bank of India (SBI) the minimum age limit is 18 years and the number of years a NRI should have worked should be 2 years. But if you intend to take a loan from ICICI bank, then it is enough if you had worked for one year abroad, but your minimum age should be 25 years. If you are a self-employed, then you should have stayed abroad for at least 3 years.

order modalert online india Paper work

For the documentation process, a copy of your passport, visa and employment related documents such as your three to six month salary slips, appointment letter, employment contract if any and address proof, are mandatory. These documents can be submitted to the overseas bank branch located the closest to you, in the country where you reside. The documents are then sent to the Indian branch for processing.

Loan tenure & Interest rates.

Earlier there were differences in the interest rate charged for a NRI home loan and for the ones offered to resident Indians. But now the rates are the same.

When it comes to loan tenure, institutions and banks like HDFC and SBI offer longer periods of 20 to 30 years – the same as offered to a resident Indian. But in some cases the loan tenure is restricted to 10 or 15 years.

Maximum Loan Available

While banks and non-banking financial companies are free to use their discretion in offering the maximum loan amount for NRI home loans, there is not much difference in deciding maximum amount of loan compared to Indian residents. Usually NRIs can expect a maximum loan amount ranging from 80-85 percent of the total market value of the property. There is however a difference in which banks or NBFCs calculate the maximum loan amount for NRIs.

Some banks use the gross monthly income of the NRI as a yardstick offering upto 40 times the gross monthly income as the maximum home loan amount. Other banks use net monthly income as their defining yardstick limiting a certain percentage of net monthly income as a deciding factor.

source site Features of NRI loans

  • Loan tenor restricted to 10-15 years in some cases
  • No difference in interest rate offered to residents and non-residents
  • Repayments made through NRE/NRO accounts
  • Loan repayment is eligible for tax exemption only if an additional taxable income earned from India

 

With references from State Bank Of India, HDFC & ICICI Bank loan eligibility segments.

10 Green Tips to Consider for Healthy Living

These days everything that matters have a green label to achieve. Going green isn’t beneficial only to the environment, but also saves our health and the green guys in our wallets. So what are the basic green things that we should take care of? Well, here’s a small list of what you can do in your day-to-day life. After all, it’s these small changes that an individual does that adds up to the big change in the environment.

http://fiveonenine.ca/tag/holiday/ Turn Appliances Off

When not using any electrical appliances, switch them off. Don’t leave the trimmer plugged in if you are not using them or don’t leave the phone charger in the socket. When you plug in appliances that you are not using, phantom energy is utilised that can cost you money. Also, you are wasting the earth’s resources needlessly, so turn off anything electric that you are not using.

Prevent Heat And Cold Leakage

This is a common problem at homes where proper insulation is not done to stop the heat or cold from escaping. Ensure there is proper insulation and cover to prevent leakages of heat, especially during the winter months. Energy leakage results in wastage and increasing costs so take necessary measurements to close your home to all types of leaks.

Energy Star Ratings on Appliances

When purchasing electrical appliances, make sure they have certified energy star ratings. Trusted brands and products will have a proper energy rating system that would show how effective they are in saving energy. Purchase only products that have these ratings so that you save on energy and costs.

Plant Trees

This is as simple as it can get. Just plant trees and plants in your apartment complexes or around your house. It is a really helpful way to make your place a better space. Planting trees and plants has its benefits, other than reducing the earth’s CO2. As we know, trees bring shade, but they also reduce the heat around our building, keeping our homes cool. Additionally, if your homes are attacked by insects at night, planting trees and plants will help reduce the invasion.

Use Homemade Cleaners

Stop using chemicals for cleaning your home, instead invest in green cleaning products that are biodegradable and non-toxic. Vinegar, for instance, is a good cleaning agent and is also harmless to the environment as well as for you. When you use homemade cleaners, you can store them in used containers, thus eliminating the need for new plastic containers that will add to the waste.

Intelligent Housekeeping

If you have a housekeeping staff in your apartment, talk to them and educate them on the need for green living. Instruct them on the usage of electrical appliances and management of waste and water and ensure they stick to green methods.

Ineffective Water Management

Water is, as we know, the most important resource we have so selective and careful usage is more a need than just a mandate. Store water in buckets and use them for daily chores instead of running the taps each time. While bathing, try and minimise the use of shower and use devices that would help you recycle your sink water for your toilet needs. Recycle water to use for watering plants and washing and cleaning.

Segregate Waste before disposing

This is an important factor that most of us do not give a second glance to. Waste is an inevitable output in our homes or apartment complexes, but the waste generated should be collected and segregated properly. Segregation of waste before disposing makes it much easier to recycle.

Usually waste is segregated into biodegradable and non-biodegradable. Biodegradable wastes include kitchen wastes, vegetables and fruits, garden wastes and other organic wastes. Non-biodegradable wastes are further broken down into recyclable wastes like paper and glass, toxic wastes like chemicals, medicines etc., soiled wastes like hospital wastes and E-wastes like CDs and DVDs.

Composting Facility

Install a composting system in your home or apartment so that waste can be managed effectively. Composting units are not very expensive and can be purchased and installed quite easily. They help in proper disposal of waste and the mulch or slurry got from the units can be used as fertilizers.

Celebrate Eco-Friendly Festivals

Conduct Eco-friendly festivals and gatherings to minimize pollution. Try not to burst crackers or if at all you do, try and minimize the amount of crackers. Ensure people don’t indulge in too much of burning plastic products and use green, organic or natural products for festivals.

 

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When is the best stage to buy?

If you have the required finances, ready-to-move-in is the ideal option for an enduser. This property would be significantly more expensive than at the launch stage but the buyer is protected against time and cost over-runs and also the EMI payment during the period when the house is under construction.

For an investor who wants regular rental returns from his property investment, a readyto- move-in property brings in immediate rental income which even helps pay back the loan secured to buy the property.

If you are a new investor with limited finances, look for an under-construction property with a suitable payment plan and keep a horizon of 2-3 years for possession. But make sure you go for a reputed builder.

When you purchase a house at the pre-launch or launch stage, the buyer pays small sums linked to the progress of construction but also has a longer wait period before the asset is liveable or starts paying for itself. This option is good in new and evolving growth areas on the peripheries of cities where infrastructure itself is under development and there is a wait period before it is liveable. Since, both infrastructure and housing are being developed at the same time, the user gets the advantage of moving in when both are ready. It also comes cheaper as property values are always lower when the infrastructure in the area is under development. The downside of this type of property is that possession will happen only after a minimum of 24-36 months. During this period you would have to shell out a monthly rental for the place of stay and the EMIs for the new property.

Inputs from MagicBricks.com

Factors you should keep in mind before getting a home loan.

The main criteria are:

  • Your income and your track record of repaying previous loans – this is obtained from the Credit Bureau.
  • Your current expenses including other loans you are servicing. The amount of loan related to the property value.
  • Ownership of the property – this means that the lending bank should be comfortable that the seller has full and complete ownership of the property.
  • Getting a loan depends on the report of the local bank surveyor who will inspect the property and give his recommendation.
  • Home loan eligibility depends on your ability to pay (ie. based on your salary) and not on the age of the building. However, the quantum of loan depends on age and undivided share too, in addition to your repayment ability.