INVESTMENT STRATEGY

IT’S IMPORTANT FOR US TO ASCERTAIN A GOOD IDEA OF WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING TO ACHIEVE FROM INVESTING IN PROPERTY IN INDIA.

The obvious goal from any investment is to yield the maximum returns possible. However, the more we understand about your strategy and goals, the more ‘targeted’ deals we can source and present you with.

For example, you may want a deal that offers positive cash flow with high capital growth potential. But then again, you may be looking to purchase a property in a specific location and issues such as specification, local amenities or proximity to a Temple, Market or College campus may be of more importance to you.

The more we understand about your expectations and strategy, the more efficiently we can assist with your investment aims.

PROCESS OF BUYING A PROPERTY IN INDIA

Buying properties in India is seen as a dream for many NRI’s, but at the same time it can also be a very daunting experience during particular aspects of the process.

Carefully planning from the initial stages prevents any hassles at a later stage hence it is also important to identify the possible hurdles and do your research thoroughly. Make sure you check the credentials of any agents that you may be considering to use for the deal; understanding the complicated tenancy laws and title defects with regards to the project you are interested in which means you have factored the financing and condition of the property as part of your research.

To help you along the way, here are some more in-depth considerations and pointers that you should bear in mind before embarking on your investment:

Location, Location, Location

A frequently repeated mantra with any property purchase world-wide, this is taking on new meaning in India with the construction of new infrastructure such as highways, bridges and metros. It would be advisable to investigate the surrounding area to be comfortable with its locality and accessibility for your requirements, especially in the newly emerging markets.

Unesta homes can direct you to the area of India that meets your requirements, whether it is near your ancestor’s birthplace, a booming metro city or popular tourist destination. We will make sure your needs are tailored to you requirements.

Cities in India are categorised into either ‘reside-in’ or ‘earn-in’ when it comes to property investment. The key parameters for ‘reside-in’ cities are health, education, environment, safety, public facilities and entertainment. For ‘earn-in’ cities the criteria is based on growth rate of employment, per capita income and opportunities available.

Furthermore, destinations have been classified into a tier system:

Tier I – investing in cities such as Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore can result in 12-15% yield return on investment.

Tier II – investing in cities such as Pune, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad can result in 15-20% yield return on investment.

Tier III – investing in cities such as Udaipur, Jaipur, Bhopal, Cuttack and Ranchi can result in a 20-25% yield return on investment.

The urban landscape in India is currently undergoing a transformation as the real estate wave engulfs low profile locations in Tier II and Tier III cities. As incomes grow, the retail and commercial sector in these cities has grown as well with the development of shopping malls and multiplexes, luxury and budget hotels, resorts and serviced apartments. Thus residential townships, IT Parks and Special Economic Zones are not the preserve of Tier I cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai anymore.

Budgeting

As with all property purchases, there are several expenses beside the purchase price that need to be accounted for:

Stamp duty
Registration fees
Legal Fees
Agent/Brokerage Fees
Furnishing Costs
Future house tax/property tax payments
Maintenance fees

For newly constructed properties, it is also possible that the builder/developer may not be fully transparent at the time of booking with regards to the gross pricing of the property. The gross price should typically be a sum of the base price, external development charges (EDC), infrastructure development charges (IDC), preferential location charges (PLC), car parking charges, club membership if applicable, electricity and water connection charges, maintenance charges service and any other applicable taxes, etc.

While external development charges are levied by the developer on the buyer for developing infrastructure within the complex, infrastructure development charges are levied by the government on the developer and, in turn, passed by the developer on to the buyer. This charge includes development charges for water supply, sewerage, storm water drainage, roads, street lighting, community buildings, horticulture, public health, road maintenance, and street lighting maintenance. Electricity and water connection charges are levied by the developer on the buyer for availing of electricity and water connection on behalf of the buyer.

Identifying a Property

There are numerous factors a buyer might consider while purchasing property, each with its own advantages and disadvantages:

Old versus new construction:
Sale price is generally determined on the basis of built-up area i.e. the measurement of the residential unit at floor measurement, including projections and balconies, and is measured from the external perimeter of the walls, whereas the carpet area i.e. the total area of a premises measured from the internal walls, is the area that is actually usable. In new constructions, the difference between the two might be substantial, and a buyer can end up paying a hefty sum for a smaller apartment, whereas in old constructions this difference is far lower.

Further, property and municipal taxes on new constructions are assessed at a higher rate and therefore the monthly outgoings would be higher. However, maintenance standards of new buildings are generally better than those of old buildings, and new buildings often provide amenities such as swimming pools, health club, garden, earthquake resistant designs, etc. which an old building might not possess.

Before signing a sale deed, make sure the following points have been thoroughly investigated and you are satisfied that:

Title is free from defects
There are no encumbrances on the property
The property is not locked in litigation
Property tax has been accounted for
No Objection certificate (NOCs) is provided

Assessment of value:
Another factor for consideration when choosing a property is whether the price is commensurate with existing market values. Information on previous transactions of properties in the locality/area can be obtained via local resources (agent, neighbourhood/complex residents and the registrar’s office to name a few). Lately there are many websites that offer year on year price trends in cities and localities. However, it is pertinent to state that agents or (brokers as they are known in India) may be motivated to inflate prices, and it is therefore not always easy to accurately determine the true value of a property in India. As a NRI it is difficult to ascertain the right price, hence unesta.com strives to bring you the best price guarantee in the majority of projects advertised so you are assured of getting the best deal.

Legal aspects of purchasing a property

Upon finding the property that is the right fit for your needs and budget, there are several legal intricacies that must be dealt with to complete the purchase. It is highly recommended that you instruct a good lawyer before purchasing property. Once a price has been negotiated and agreed upon with the seller, the rest of the process should be handled by an experienced lawyer. Buying property in India involves lots of paperwork and diligence, and the lawyer should be well equipped to handle the entire process. To that end, the lawyer should ideally be proficient in transactions in the region of India in which the property is located as rules, regulations and procedures can vary between states and also between districts.

Buying from a developer

There are several factors to consider when buying property that is still under construction. Reliability of the developer is paramount, and you should enquire as to the reputation and record before committing to buying any property that is still in development. Although unesta takes every care to validate credentials of the developers listed on our site, it is vital that you undertake your own research before making any decisions. Financial institutions and banks funding the developer can help with enquiries and to gain a better understanding of the developer’s financial status. It is important to look into aspects such as timely possession, quality of construction, compliance with the sale agreement (especially penalty clauses), providing the amenities mentioned, etc. It is also important to gain first-hand knowledge and the perspective of a previous buyer who has dealt with the developer where possible.

Once you are convinced that the developer is reputable, a lawyer should be instructed to commence a search of necessary documentation, such as:

An approved plan of the building along with the number of floors, and that the floor on which the apartment intended to be purchased is approved or not, as sometimes developers exceed the permissions granted to them.

Whether the developer owns the land on which the building is located, or whether he has undertaken an agreement with a landlord. If so, the title of the land ownership, development agreement with the landowner, and power of attorney executed by the landowner in favour of the developer must be checked.

That the land is not designated as agricultural land, else the construction will be illegal.

The building byelaws as applicable in that area and whether the builder is not in violation of front setback, side setbacks, height, etc.

Whether the specifications given in the “agreement to sell” or the sale brochure correspond with the plans of the construction.

Whether urban land ceiling NOC (Non Objection Certificate), if applicable, has been obtained, and whether NOC from water, electricity and lift authorities have been obtained.

Identifying the correct agent

An agent can assist in locating and evaluating the right property, providing useful market information and resources, and eventually guiding you through the whole process until the purchase is complete.

However real estate broking firms (estate agents) in India are often not institutionalised, and therefore it is essential that the buyer proceeds cautiously and chooses an agent who is experienced and knowledgeable about the market, transparent and informative through the entire process, and objective while providing detailed and necessary information.