Top 10 questions to ask while renting a house

If buying a house is a big decision, finding a house for rent is not in any way smaller. Finding the right apartment to rent is a big decision as it affects your life and lifestyle. It affects everything from your commuting time to where you eat and sleep to where you shop for groceries and whether you can easily host guests.

Before you finally make up your mind about the area, make sure you have asked the right questions before renting. Doing your homework is very important because after you have signed a lease, it may become difficult to cancel it. Here is a set of questions that you should ask when looking for an apartment to rent:

Questions to ask before you rent

What are the lease terms?

home loan property documentsYou as a renter should be thoroughly aware of the lease, from where it begins to where it ends. The very first question to ask before renting an apartment is to be very sure about the terms and conditions mentioned in the lease agreement. If you don’t understand some aspect or are unsure about something don’t hesitate to ask. Make sure there is no communication gap between you and the landlord.

“Tenants can ask for Title of the property and necessary documents such as maintenance receipts, electricity bill, etc. If it is a mortgaged property and there is a default in loan or a NOC is required from the bank before renting out the property, the tenant may face a tricky situation,” says Vipul Shah, realtor.

“Find out how much the landlord is charging as security deposit. Be clear about how this amount will be adjusted when you leave. Generally, it is adjusted in the last two months. Do not give major part of the amount in cash as you would not be able to show proof of this amount in case of a litigation,” adds Shah.

Some other things to know are how frequently will the rent go up, how much is the advance rent amount, how much of the security amount you will get as refund when , you vacate the flat and what is the landlord’s late rent policy? Generally, the amount of monthly rent goes up by 10 percent or as specified in the rental agreement. Make sure you know how much you will be paying next year if you continue to stay in the apartment. Finally, ask about the restrictions on timings, guest entry, pet policy and meals (no non-veg) policy.

What is included in the rent?

Some amenities in the flat may be covered in the monthly rent, while others may not be. Ask the landlord before signing the lease agreement, if charges for cable, gas and electric connections are covered. Some landlords charge a fixed amount for electricity, while some get a separate metre in stalled. Most of the times, the land lord pays for water and sewer charges to the authority.

Can I decorate my apartment?

Some landlords don’t allow the tenants to even put a nail in the walls.Ask the landlord if you can hang things on the walls? Are you allowed to paint the walls as you want or change the tiles? If he refuses to allow you to hang things on the wall, you can assure him by promising to patch up the wall holes and paint them back to the original colour before you leave.

Maintenance policy

Mostly the tenants need to pay the maintenance amount to the resident welfare associations or management bodies of gated communities. So as to not enter in any conflict later, ask the landlord who will pay the extra maintenance cost, in addition to the monthly rent. “Find out what happens in the scenario of major repairs, such as seepage or other civil works. Make sure the landlord bears the cost?“ points out Shah.

Emergency repairs

A broken washbasin, failed electricity meter, a dysfunctional switch who would bear the cost for these? The tenant or the landlord? In most of the rent agreements, tenants are the other party as the property belongs to the landlord.

Guest policy

Guest policy varies from landlords to accommodation type and even to the gender of the tenant. Some landlords are casual about guests and don’t bother much if they get the monthly rental on time.

In independent houses or flats, guests and visitors are not an issue, but in spaces where the landlord himself lives, there might be some restrictions. Again, male tenants get more leverages on guests than women. “Note the society or building norms about guests and pets as this is where even the landlord’s permission would not be of merit,” says Shah.

Safety and security

Ask the landlord what safety measures the property has, including a watchman, double door lock or a CCTV camera. You can also ask or research about the neighbourhood’s safety quotient is it a relatively safe area or not?

Background of the landlord

Find out the reputation of the land lord in the area. Is he known to be a nit-picker or a gentle adjusting fellow? Ask the neighbours, the watchman of the building, the local grocery shop for more information on the person.

Parking facility

Ask the landlord if the parking facility is covered in your monthly rent. Generally in a gated community, tenants get to enjoy the parking space allotted to the landlord. In independent houses, the parking spaces are taken on first come first get basis.
Social infrastructure

Can you just walk for a few metres to get groceries or take your car out each time? Sometimes tenants, to pay a lesser rental amount opt to live in a developing area which is weak in terms of social fabric.

Even if you opt for a developing area to lower your rental expense, be sure that essential commodities of daily use are easily accessible. Be clear on what you want and what the landlord expects. As a tenant you should question the landlord before finalising on a house. The rule of the thumb is Ask, ask, ask!

Source: Preeti Sharma, Times Property, Magicbricks Bureau/ Chennai

Looking to rent in Chennai? Try Velachery & Alwarpet

If renting a property in Chennai is on your mind, try Velachery and Alwarpet. The PropIndex (Jan-Mar 2015) data- a report by Magicbricks shows that these two areas offer maximum of rental properties. The data shows that there are over 450 properties available in Velachery and about over 170 properties available ‘to-let’. What’s in store for consumers? Let’s find out –

Alwarpet

Located in Central Chennai, the locality majorly offers 2, 3 and 4BHK units on rent. These are a mix of apartments and villas approximately sized between 1150 sq ft to 3500 sq ft. While the rental values of 2 and 3BHK units are anywhere between Rs 40,000- 90,000 monthly, a 4BHK unit can be rented for approximately over Rs 1 lakh.

“Since Alwarpet is one of the premium localities and offers up-market lifestyle amenities, the rents here are high. Being centrally located, it has good connectivity to all parts of Chennai, which keeps the rental market up,” says Bala Ganesh, an agent in the locality.

Chennai Central Railway Station and Chennai Airport is at 8 and 14 km distance from the locality respectively.

The available transport facilities such as buses, train and autos is relatively good. The upcoming Chennai metro will further better the transport medium.

“Shopping centers, malls and a nice spread of restaurants in Alwarpet constitute its social infrastructure,” Ganesh adds.

Velachery

Located in South Chennai, Velachery offers affordable rental options as compared to Alwarpet. One can find 1, 2 and 3BHK unit options in the locality. These are available in the comparatively smaller sizes ranging approximately from 700 to 1500 sq ft. The rental value of a 1BHK unit is approximately between Rs 6,000-7,000, while for 2 and 3BHK units the monthly rent can be anywhere between Rs 10,000-20,000.

Velachery is considered to be a safe place to stay on rent as it has its own police station and mostly all major streets are well lit. The area houses gated communities which ensure proper sweeping, drainage and sewerage facilities

In terms of social infrastructure, the area offers both private and government schools and colleges are also found in abundance. The prestigious IIT Madras is present in the area. Hospitals, nursing homes, malls and restaurants are also present here.

“It is well connected to suburbs of South Chennai and Mount Road by Velachery Main Road. Roads like Taramani Link Road and Inner Ring Road are also nearby and helps to have an easy access to other parts of the city,” Ramesh Raj of Star Housing.

The Chennai International Airport near Meenambakkam is at 10.5 km distance. The Mass Rapid Transit System connects Velachery to the other areas. Plans of Monrail are also in the pipeline.

Neha has a vast experience and she has written on industries such as real estate, franchise and outdoor advertising.

Source: Times of India Chennai

Top 3 localities in Central Chennai for rental apartments

Looking for rented apartments in Chennai? Try searching them in the central chennai zone. According to PropIndex, an India Apartment Index report published by Magicbricks, localities such as Anna Nagar, Kodambakkam and Nungambakkam, situated right in the heart of the city, offer maximum options to the tenants.

Check out properties in Chennai!

Anna Nagar

Planned by Tamil Nadu Housing Board (TNHB), Anna Nagar is divided into various avenues. The redevelopment has increased the stock in the area with independent houses paving way for multi-storey and builder-floor apartments. Rental values of 2BHK apartments range from Rs 10,000-25,000 per month while a 3BHK unit is being leased out for Rs 25,000-75,000 per month.

“Tenants living here have the benefit of living close or connected to all important places in the city,” says Abdur Ravoof of Green Global Realty. Anna Nagar is situated about 6 km from SIDCO Industrial Estate of Ambattur, 16 km from International Airport and 10 km from Central Railway station.

Kodambakkam

Kodambakkam is another locality with a high supply of leased apartments. To rent a 2BHK apartment in Kodambakkam, one has to pay Rs 13,000-27,000 per month. Rental values of 3BHK flats on the hand start from Rs 22,000 per month and goes up to Rs 26,000 per month.

However, tenants must be aware of traffic issues the locality faces. Existing roads, flyovers and bridges in the area are not adequately equipped to meet the volume of vehicles in the area causing long traffic jams.

Nungambakkam

Home to several government offices, retail outlets, hotels and restaurants, Nungambakkam is home to the elites of the city. “Nungambakkam is one of the oldest and well developed localities of Chennai. It has no water or sewerage problem and has easy connectivity to all important places,” says Velmurugan V of Gentleman Real Estate, a broker firm.

Rental values of 2BHK units range from Rs 15,000-35,000 per month while a 3BHK apartment is being leased out for Rs 30,000-70,000 per month. Few 1BHK apartments are also available here in the price range of Rs 8,000-15,000 per month.

Source: Times of India Chennai / Ankit Sharma is a real estate writer with Magicbricks having a knack for property trends and latest updates on the sector.

Top locations for buying in Chennai!

As the property market speeds up and buyers actively start looking for properties, the New Year seems to be a little more promising than the previous quarters. With buyers realising the impact of a stable central government, end-users are researching, if not buying, say trend watchers.

Where in Chennai should you invest for healthy returns? Depending on whether you are an investor looking for rental returns or a prospective end-user, Chennai has options for both.

Rental returns

Chromepet, Madipakkam, Thoraipakkam, Medavakkam and Thirivanmiyur have been top scorers for rental yields. With rents ranging from Rs 4,500-30,000 per month, these areas are popular among tenants. Prime reason being proximity to the business districts of Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR). Malay Neerav of Rich Properties and Realty says, “For IT/ITeS professionals working in areas such as Sholinganallur and Velachery, Thorraipakkam is the choicest pick. Proximity to the Grand Southern Trunk (GST) Road via the Thorraipakkam-Pallavaram Radial Road is an added advantage.”

“Among other developments is the new link road that has received permission from the state government. It will connect Neelankarai on ECR to the radial road at Thorraipakkam. If this materialises, not only would the commute time be reduced but property values would also escalate. The upcoming metro, at a convenient distance, is also set to push up property values,” says Marthand Gopalan of City Realty.

Similarly, if you are an investor in Thirivanmiyur, most employees looking for a house close to their workspace at TIDEL IT Park would be your tenants. Sundar Aravamudhan, consultant at Detail and Design says, “There is a cosmopolitan culture in this area. A lot of North Indians prefer this because there is a Hindi speaking population, unlike in the far off places where you find only the local crowd. Over time, they even plan on investing here.”

In the absence of a rationally priced market, Medavakkam is preferred as compared to Velachery, OMR, Pallavaram and Tambaram which are costlier, say industry insiders. The social and physical fabric is conducive with commercial, healthcare facilities and local transport.

K Natarajan, broker at Rajan Homes says, “Buyers and tenants are equally enthusiastic about the Monorail. Some do not wish to compromise on the amenities and therefore, Siruseri, Padur and Navalur are equally attractive.”

For capital appreciation

For an end-user, capital gains are a consideration. As per trends, you may bank on areas such as Velachery, Adyar, Anna Nagar, Perungudi, Chromepet, Madambakkam, Kelambakkam, Madipakkam and Iyyapanthangal. Average capital values in the area are within Rs 5,500 per sq ft with the exception of Adyar and Anna Nagar where prices are in the range of Rs 8,000-15,000 per sq ft.

Interestingly, the premium areas priced at Rs 1 crore and above entered the list of the top preferred localities for sale and rent. Reasons include re-development of certain colonies and increasing supply.

Krishna Gokul, broker, Iyengar Realty and Consultants says, “With aspirations on the rise, buyers are upgrading their lifestyle. Those who cannot afford to buy properties here are taking them up on rent.”

Industry watchers also say that a sizeable proportion of the buying and renting crowd are disposing their properties in Coimbatore, Madurai, Tirupur etc and re-investing in South Chennai. Although this number is not too big as of now, it is an interesting market trend.

Much of the momentum in the Chennai real estate market is because of the way the job centres, educational institutions and upcoming infrastructure are situated. If you are looking for good deals, research well and invest wise!

Source: Times Property, Chennai/MagicBricks.com Bureau

Rent negotiation during monsoon in Chennai

Are you looking out to rent a property in Chennai? This may be a good time. With the monsoon knocking at the door in Chennai, rental markets in some areas of the city get a fresh look in favour of prospective tenants.

“One can negotiate about 5-10 per cent of rent during this season in certain areas in Chennai,” says Sridhar Varadaraj C, vice president, Hannu Realty. Flooding and drainage problems in many localities are some reasons that give tenants a scope to negotiate. This is often an annual affair.

“Although the monsoons do not have a major impact on the Chennai rental market on the lines of Mumbai or Pune, one can negotiate on rental values with the owner during these times. This is primarily due to the drainage and water-logging issues faced by tenants,” says Varadaraj.

So which are the areas that offer you negotiated rents?

“The low lying areas of Velachery, Porur, Kolathur, Perungudi, Anna Salai, Tambaram, Mugalivakkam, Thiruvottiyur, Besant Nagar, Pulianthope and Vyasarpadi among others are the primary target areas,” says Thomal Ammal, owner of City Gate Consultants.

According to Magicbricks data, while currently Velachary offers properties on rent within the price range of Rs 12,000-30,000 per month, Porur offers in the range of Rs 12,000-25,000 per month. Tambaram rentals on the other hand are in the range of Rs 10,000-15,000 per month and in Kolathur current rental values range from Rs 11,000-22,000 per month. In areas like Besant Nagar, the rental values are slightly higher in the range of Rs 25,000-55,000 and above per month. Most of these units are in the mid-segment category comprising of 2 or 3BHK units.

During the monsoons however, one can easily negotiate for a rental drop of about Rs 1,000-3,000 per month. The negotiation is also dependent on the demand and supply scenario according to Varadaraj C. “For instance, an area like Velachary where demand for rented accommodation is always high as compared to supply, the percentage of negotiation may not be as high as 10 per cent,” says Varadaraj C.

Similarly, in Besant Nagar, one of the prime localities of Chennai, owners are reluctant to bring down rental values by more than 5 -7 per cent, during these months. But in areas such as Mugalivakkam, Perungadi and Tambaram, where road and civic infrastructure is still coming up and the supply matches the demand; scope of negotiation can be as high as 10 per cent or sometimes even more.

This trend is likely to continue for another 2-3 years as the concerned authorities are in varied stages of addressing the drainage and water-logging issues. For instance, Tambaram Municipal Corporation has planned an Underground Sewage (UGS) programme, which is   still in the implementation stage. Wherever sewage construction is happening, concrete roads are being laid above it in an attempt to solve the water logging problem. However, it is not completely ready.

The Chennai Corporation recently held a meeting with other government agencies to churn out plans for the upcoming northeast monsoon. In the meantime, it can rain lower rental values for tenants of these areas.

Source: Times of India / Magic Bricks /Neha Nagpal, Magicbricks.com Bureau
Neha is a writer for over seven years now and has written on industries such as real estate, franchise and outdoor advertising.

Chennai City police revive verification system

Tenant details back under the scanner

 

City police revive verification system; nearly 89,000 forms collected so far

In an attempt to curb crime and provide security to senior citizens in the city, the city police have revived the tenant information system.

They are now accepting filled-in forms at police stations. Till Thursday, nearly 89,000 tenants in the city had submitted their details through tenant verification/information forms.

The police have revived the initiative as the Madras High Court has lifted the stay on creation of the database.

The police say this measure will help to identify miscreants occupying residential areas under the guise of tenants.

To help residents submit the forms, the police are considering placing a box at police booths throughout the city. At present, residents have to either send a courier addressed to the respective station house officer or furnish the details in person.

Several residents have submitted forms at the nearest police stations. However, they have raised concerns over how such enormous database of personal information will be safeguarded.

Ravindra Gupta, a house owner in MKB Nagar, said: “I submitted forms with proof of identity. The police must provide more options for people who are unable to visit police stations. Acknowledgement receipts must also be provided quicker.”

Senior citizens like Ratna Sivasubramanian of Anna Nagar said they feel secure sharing details with the police. “I shifted from Tuticorin recently. I feel safer with the police knowing my whereabouts,” she said.

Responding to residents’ concerns, police officers said there are plans to monitor the database on tenants through a common server at the police commissionerate.

It may be recalled that the suspects in a daring bank robbery in February 2012 had masqueraded as college students and were living on rented premises in Velachery. The episode ended in a gruesome early morning gun fight in the residential colony, and all suspects were gunned down by the police.

The tenant information system, introduced then, hit a road block after a court stay against the police seeking tenants’ personal details.

Senior city police officers made alterations to the questions in the form and the Madras High Court cleared the revival of the information gathering process by end of 2013, said a senior officer at the commissionerate.

Earlier this month, commissioner S. George had issued a statement requesting landowners to submit details of their tenants. The deadline, which was September 30, has been extended now.

“The data to be furnished is similar to that needed for a mobile phone connection or booking a railway ticket. But house owners can choose their tenants without any permission from the police. There will be no interference in the agreement between the owner and the tenant,” said the officer.

Source: The Hindu

Customizing home for new look and needs in Chennai

Chennaiites customising home for new look, needs

More and more buyers in Chennai are customising their houses to suit their modern needs. Some are re-designing their old houses for a new look, while some others are trying to equip their residence/buildings with added amenities. Naturally, it means a few extra lakhs spent on the re-designing and renovation but the idea is to have a house that fits in with your lifestyle.

Take for example, the inhabitants of Manikanthan Residence who planned to go in for a thorough makeover of their house. They wanted to make sure that their house stood out in the locality. They called in an architect and went in for landscape planning inside the house.

“Our grandkids keep visiting us. Parks are clogged with water during the monsoons and we thought we needed to give them an alternative play area preferably inside the house,” says Mukund Manikanthan.

Consequently, while the ground floor remained a semi-public space, the first floor was used as a private area. The second floor was remodeled as a recreational space.

Who’s doing it?

“People who are remodeling their houses are connoisseurs of fine living, who value design and comfort over money,” says Subhapriya Vadivel of DesignQube, a group of architects in Chennai.

“Luxury has become a necessity for a big cross section of the community over the years. Being well informed and well travelled, buyers have become finicky about the space they live in, where they spend their maximum time,” adds Vadivel.

Although a majority of these accommodations that are being remodeled are either farm houses or beach houses used as weekend getaways, there are those who are redesigning the houses they live in. Moreover, experts believe, if you put in a little extra into the look of your spacious house, it has the potential to grow your investment.

Abu Baker of Colliers International talks of the intricately done beach houses in Neelangarai that are a hit among keen investors. “They go in for corporate leasing, as vacation rental accommodations, as guest houses and earn up to Rs 4 lakh per month. Such houses are discerningly designed and that makes way for an additional income.”

Pricing and location

“We have worked on a range of luxury apartments, designer villas, cozy beach houses and farm houses in the stretch of ECR, Vandalur – Kelambakkam highway, the GST corridor and around Chengalpet. The prices of these houses vary between Rs 6,000-20,000 per sq ft,” says Vadivel.

Gone are the days when branded developers dictated the standards of luxury, today you have a range of world class design and interiors choices if you can’t afford a brand or if the branded houses don’t match your sensibility. Throw pastel shades on the walls, design a titanic book shelf, remove the doors of your kitchen, go for a custom-made bathroom, most of all, enjoy your space.

Source: Times of India Chennai, Magicbricks com Bureau

PG accommodation – Growing demand for PG accommodation in Chennai

PG accommodation – Growing demand for PG accommodation in Chennai – With the growing population of single professionals in Chennai, city-based realtors are receiving number of queries for single bed accommodation, close to office area and in vicinity to market places.

“People from other states are single and prefer Paying Guest (PG) accommodation. These units are well furnished with basic necessities, required in daily life,” says D Tony, a local broker dealing in PG homes.

As per the Magicbricks data, maximum number of such accommodation is available in Thiruvanmiyur within the price range of Rs 3,500-12,000 per month. Thorapakkam, Medavakkam and Adyar are the other locations where single bed units are available at a monthly rent of Rs 4,000-12,000.

Most of the PG accommodations are equipped with features such as, unlimited Wi-Fi connectivity, refrigerator, LCD television with DTH connection, common sitting area with sofa and dining table and two meals per day. A single bed, a study table and a wardrobe is available in each room separately for every individual.

Demand analysis

Majority of the demand for PG accommodation is in locations which are close to the IT corridors of the city. Sholinganalur, OMR, Karaipakkam are the most demanded localities for rental accommodation. However, maximum supply is concentrated in Thiruvanmiyur, which is based 12-km from the main corridor, but has cheaper transportation towards the industrial end.

Of all the loaclities, Medavakkam is closest to OMR and Sholinganallur where single bed accommodation is available within Rs 4,000-8,000 per month.

“People coming to the city from other states live here for hardly three-four months during their training period. Hence, they prefer PG accommodation rather than renting 1BHK apartments, where they have to pay large amount of security deposit,” says Ajinkya Sheth, owner of a PG accommodation in Medavakkam.

With the growing migrant population, the city is set to receive increasing number of queries for single bed accommodation. However, with limited options, one may need to shell out more money and look for 1BHK apartments in preferred areas.

Source -Times of India Magicbricks.com Bureau

Tips to increase the value of your home

Photo: Tips to increase the value of your homeFrom renovating the kitchen to adding the right kind of lights, there’s a lot you can do to increase your apartment's appeal, says Lakshmi KrupaWhether you are looking to sell an apartment or just living in one, it always helps to have add-ons that will not only enhance your lifestyle but also add to its market value. So plan ahead and make wise moves. Experts opine that it is better to spend a little extra right at the beginning to reap rich benefits later on.Check for seepage"Address seepage issues," says Sumitra Vasudevan, associate, Aprobuild architects. This is among the biggest concerns of potential buyers. "Whether it's because of rains or water from the bathroom or balcony of those living above your home, seepage issues need to taken care of ," she says. This is of more importance because you need to persuade your neighbours to make changes to their home. "If it goes uncheked, water leakage can cause damage to the building's structure too," she says.Let there be lightKeep your apartment well ventilated. Homes that let in a lot of light and air are undoubtedly more appealing than ones that are closed up and seem claustrophobic. “A lot of old apartments have closed kitchens. These days people prefer open kitchens,” says architect Anupama Monhanram of Green Evolution. It would be a good idea to open up your kitchen and maybe even add a few bar stools across a counter, giving it a contemporary look. “You can also add mesh doors above your bedroom doors. It will bring in a lot of light and aid cross ventilation,” Mohanram adds. Add mesh doors to your wardrobe too and let your clothes breathe.Renovate a little“Renovating the house to add better tiles (vitrified tiles are in now ) and the toilets in particular will also go a long way,” Mohanram says. Adding water-saving flush systems in the toilet, creating wet and dry areas and even adding a glass enclosure to the shower can help. But most importantly, make the living space appealing. “Don’t paint the house in any off-beat colours if you are looking to show your apartment to potential buyers,” warns Mohanram. Lakshmi adds, “It’s best to go with off-white or beige for wall colours as these are neutral.”Wire it rightWiring is another important area when it comes to home improvement. “Upgrading all the electrical wiring in your home will certainly add to its value,” says Lakshmi. Adding appliances that save electricity such as star-rated air-conditioners and geysers may also help. “Be sensible about lighting,” Mohanram says, “Most often, if you keep your home ready-to-move-in, its appeal increases.”Consider replacing large tubelights with LEDs or CFLs. "These days even CFLs come in yellow colour. These enhance a room's look while offering long-term savings."Focus on façadeDon’t leave the exteriors of your home out of the equation. A coat of paint on the exterior walls, a little bit of work on the main door and floors, and even some bright lights on the corridor can go a long way in enhancing its image.Furnish thoughtfullyIf you are thinking of leaving behind furniture for your buyer ensure that the house is thoughtfully furnished. “Don’t overcrowd the space and add furniture that is both functional as well aesthetic,” Mohanram says.Buy furniture which will also increase in value over time, such as rosewood and teak cupboards or tables. You can even invest in a good carpet such as hand-made Kashmiris that will gain value over the years.It’s in the woodsAdding woodwork to your apartment will reduce the burden on the next buyer and in turn, increase its appeal. Says Lakshmi, “Since this a one-time investment, those buying the home from you will appreciate not having to spend on woodwork.” Decide on the wood, laminate, etc, based on your budget but choose something that will require low maintenance. Add wardrobes and close all lofts in your bedrooms as well as the kitchen.But spend wisely. While these additions can increase the appeal of your home it may not always be possible to recover all your costs.Source: The Hindu Chennai

                                                                                             Tips to increase the value of your home

From renovating the kitchen to adding the right kind of lights, there’s a lot you can do to increase your apartment’s appeal, says Lakshmi Krupa

Whether you are looking to sell an apartment or just living in one, it always helps to have add-ons that will not only enhance your lifestyle but also add to its market value. So plan ahead and make wise moves. Experts opine that it is better to spend a little extra right at the beginning to reap rich benefits later on.

Check for seepage

“Address seepage issues,” says Sumitra Vasudevan, associate, Aprobuild architects. This is among the biggest concerns of potential buyers. “Whether it’s because of rains or water from the bathroom or balcony of those living above your home, seepage issues need to taken care of ,” she says. This is of more importance because you need to persuade your neighbours to make changes to their home. “If it goes uncheked, water leakage can cause damage to the building’s structure too,” she says.

Let there be light

Keep your apartment well ventilated. Homes that let in a lot of light and air are undoubtedly more appealing than ones that are closed up and seem claustrophobic. “A lot of old apartments have closed kitchens. These days people prefer open kitchens,” says architect Anupama Monhanram of Green Evolution. It would be a good idea to open up your kitchen and maybe even add a few bar stools across a counter, giving it a contemporary look. “You can also add mesh doors above your bedroom doors. It will bring in a lot of light and aid cross ventilation,” Mohanram adds. Add mesh doors to your wardrobe too and let your clothes breathe.

Renovate a little

“Renovating the house to add better tiles (vitrified tiles are in now ) and the toilets in particular will also go a long way,” Mohanram says. Adding water-saving flush systems in the toilet, creating wet and dry areas and even adding a glass enclosure to the shower can help. But most importantly, make the living space appealing. “Don’t paint the house in any off-beat colours if you are looking to show your apartment to potential buyers,” warns Mohanram. Lakshmi adds, “It’s best to go with off-white or beige for wall colours as these are neutral.”

Wire it right

Wiring is another important area when it comes to home improvement. “Upgrading all the electrical wiring in your home will certainly add to its value,” says Lakshmi. Adding appliances that save electricity such as star-rated air-conditioners and geysers may also help. “Be sensible about lighting,” Mohanram says, “Most often, if you keep your home ready-to-move-in, its appeal increases.”

Consider replacing large tubelights with LEDs or CFLs. “These days even CFLs come in yellow colour. These enhance a room’s look while offering long-term savings.”

Focus on façade

Don’t leave the exteriors of your home out of the equation. A coat of paint on the exterior walls, a little bit of work on the main door and floors, and even some bright lights on the corridor can go a long way in enhancing its image.

Furnish thoughtfully

If you are thinking of leaving behind furniture for your buyer ensure that the house is thoughtfully furnished. “Don’t overcrowd the space and add furniture that is both functional as well aesthetic,” Mohanram says.

Buy furniture which will also increase in value over time, such as rosewood and teak cupboards or tables. You can even invest in a good carpet such as hand-made Kashmiris that will gain value over the years.

It’s in the woods

Adding woodwork to your apartment will reduce the burden on the next buyer and in turn, increase its appeal. Says Lakshmi, “Since this a one-time investment, those buying the home from you will appreciate not having to spend on woodwork.” Decide on the wood, laminate, etc, based on your budget but choose something that will require low maintenance. Add wardrobes and close all lofts in your bedrooms as well as the kitchen.

But spend wisely. While these additions can increase the appeal of your home it may not always be possible to recover all your costs.

Source: The Hindu Chennai