out-of-the box developments in the real estate industry

Flex it!

Homes that can transform as per the requirements of its owners might have seemed like a dream up until a few years back. But with the concept of flexi-homes catching up that is no longer the case.

Cities are expanding at an unprecedented rate by the day.

But surprisingly, spaces seem to be shrinking. To address this growing concern, there have been a number of out-of-the box developments in the real estate industry over the years. And the concept of flexi-homes seems to be the top contender in the race.

Like the name suggests, flexi-homes are homes that provide innovatively designed living spaces which enable home owners to alter and customise internal layouts like floor plans, sizes of rooms and other architectural elements, depending on their needs. According to Siddhart Goel, senior director, research services, India, Cushman & Wakefield, the trend has caught on in India and is likely to grow in the future. “Earlier, customers hardly had a say when it came to home buying. They had to accept the designs offered by the builders and after possession and customise their homes at additional costs. These costs would often mount up to quite a lot and would also take up months of their time, plus the added inconvenience. The advent of flexi-homes helps them save on both these elements,” he says.

For developers who offer such projects, this is a win-win scenario since a niche segment like this not only helps them stay ahead of their counterparts but also brings in more customers, especially from the HNI segment where customers give high priority to the options available to them in terms of how they want their house to be. Flexible interiors use both architectural elements as well as innovative furniture to incorporate multiple uses. Spaces that can extend like a collapsible wall that make extra room when you have company over or bed rooms that double up during the day, flexi-homes are catering to home buyers seeking living spaces to suit specific spatial needs, together with the right ticket size, social infrastructure, connectivity and amenities.

“Evolving customers are interested in adaptable homes that can meet changing spatial and privacy requirements over time while repurposing spaces to suit multiple utilitarian requirements. For this, homes need to be designed smartly so as to use all available area efficiently. At the same time, interiors, including furniture, should be planned intelligently, in order to facilitate flexibility and utility within smaller unit areas,” says Vivek Sharma, business head, Mahindra World City, Chennai.

Expandable homes have the advantage that the customer is able to invest in spaces in the preferred residential communities of their choice and later, according to future requirements, add to the existing layout. “The construction plans of such homes are required to provide, in advance, the specific structural details and specifications needed to easily accommodate subsequent additions with the least amount of disruption to daily family activities and limited retrofitting of the existing building,” adds Sharma.

For the home owner, these flexi options have given the word ‘space’ a new meaning altogether. One that can be altered and transformed whenever required and often in a matter of minutes. “Investing in a home is a big step. It will definitely make a big difference in buying trends if even a compact residential unit can meet multiple needs. Young families usually do not need a lot of space. But in the future, additional space will become a necessity and having an expandable home eliminates the hassles of selling the existing home and relocating to a larger place,” says Avantika Prabhu, an IT consultant. The concept of both these options together might seem a little farfetched in the current scenario, but with many developers toying with the idea, one can hope that it will soon be a valid option.

Source – Divya Menon, Times Property, The Times of India, Chennai