Lower GST will lead to greater alignment in real estate: SBI Chairman

Lower GST will lead to greater alignment in real estate: SBI Chairman

A lowering of goods and services tax for under-construction houses would bring about greater alignment in the real estate sector, said SBI Chairman Rajnish Kumar.

In an exclusive interview with ETNow, the SBI chief said: “GST on non-affordable housing rate may fall to 5 percent and that of affordable housing to 3 percent. The move will bring alignment in the real estate sector.”

His remarks come against the backdrop of a panel, headed by Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, favoring a cut in GST on under-construction residential properties to 5 percent, from 12 percent currently. In its first meeting, the group of ministers (GoM) also pitched for slashing GST on affordable housing from 8 percent to 3 percent.

The GoM was set up last month to examine tax rates and issues and challenges being faced by the real estate sector under the GST regime.

The Chairman of the largest state-owned bank hoped that any such decision by the GST Council in its next meeting will lead to faster clearance of houses.

A build-up in inventory and subdued prices have long been a pain for the realty industry. Reflecting the state of affairs, industry body Credai said people are postponing their decisions to buy under-construction flats because of high GST rate of 12 percent and 8 percent on affordable homes.

About RBI’s recent surprise policy move to slash benchmark lending rate in a bid to boost lending and lift economic growth, Kumar said the benefit will be passed on to borrowers “if our marginal cost of funding comes down”.

Bankers are reluctant to pass on all of 25 basis point rate cut because of loads of bad loans and the high cost of deposits, according to Reuters. For the banks, any cut in loan rates will have to be accompanied by a corresponding fall in deposit rates, which is linked to a significant improvement in cash conditions.

Banks price their benchmark loan rates, known as the marginal cost of funds based lending rate (MCLR), mainly based on the cost of deposits.

Source: Economic Times

Space for festive cheer

Space for festive cheer

Chennai

On occasions, have you ever felt like you are being held back by something and do not have the energy to succeed in what you wish to pursue? There could be many reasons for such a feeling to exist in a home, but from the Feng Shui point of view, the primary cause could be clutter. Clutter is stagnant and confusing energy that drains you out. The area where the clutter exists in your home is said to have a negative influence and blocks the flow of events pertaining to specific areas in your life.

Most people hate to accept that they have accumulated clutter, while some avoid clearing it up because it calls for effort and time. But the real reason is that clearing clutter is an emotional process and requires a lot of emotional stamina too;

The benefits of clearing clutter, both, of the living space and mental clutter by adapting Feng Shui ensures that you don’t get burdened in the long-run;

Most often, the areas which are prone to stagnation and clutter are the main door or entrance area, kitchen and bedroom;

The entrance of your house gets most of the energy nourishment, and in Feng Shui, it is called the mouth of Chi (energy). Hence, provide a visual relief to your main entry. Discard or move any objects such as the recycle bins from full view, old, unused or broken pots, dust bins, etc;

In the kitchen, clear out the refrigerator, clean the stove and all the pots and pans. Clean out all the drawers and wipe the light fixtures clean. In Feng Shui, the state of your kitchen is the state of your health, especially the liver. So do your health a favour and clean up that kitchen;

Next look at your bedroom; clear the clutter under the bed. Thoroughly clear and clean your closets. Let go of as many items as possible that you have not used in a long time and give away to charity;

Once you have been able to identify and de-clutter your space, you can bring in a spot of freshness and a breath of life by adding lush green plants or a water feature in the east sector of your living room or entrance. Alternatively, if you cannot have plants or a water feature in your space, bring the energy of the certain Feng Shui elements with the colour green or brown or with artwork depicting either a body of water or lush greenery;

Remember, no amount of wind chimes, good Feng Shui colours, water features or Feng Shui plants will negate the depressing energy of clutter in a home. So, focus on decluttering and you will surely see positive changes soon.

SBS Surendran, Times Property, The Times of India, Chennai

Studio apartments: Easy on pocket, low on maintenance

Studio apartments: Easy on pocket, low on maintenance

Chennai

Changing tastes and preferences have led to a demand for studio apartments over the years in many parts of the city.

In the last decades, the demography of Chennai has changed drastically. There has been a steady inflow of population into the city from different parts of the country. Many of these new generation professionals are looking forward to buying their own home within the first few years of their first job. This has led to a demand for studio apartments, which comprise all the elements of a home in a single room.

Right from low cost to low maintenance, the advantages of a studio apartment are many and are preferred by bachelors and travelling executives alike. Ravi, a city based realty expert says that these studio apartments are also being used as service apartments by the corporates. “Primarily, it catered to the needs of travelling executives posted in different cities. The professionals who have offsite assignments always tend to invest in studio apartments if they are offered by the developers, which gives them flexibility to travel during a shortterm assignment.”

Often termed as one room-kitchen apartment, these apartments have an attached bathroom and have an area range of 200 to 450 sqft. A studio apartment, also known as a studio flat or self-contained apartment, efficiency apartment or bachelor apartment, is a small apartment which combines living room, bedroom, and kitchenette into a single room. It is apt for a small family area ranging around 200 to maximum up to 450 square feet. Studio apartments are the entry level in the housing spectrum and are priced between ’25 to ’30 lakh.

Prices do play an important role; if the pricing is high then the buyer would opt for a compact two-BHK apartment instead of a studio apartment. Chennai being a conservative market, the design is slightly tweaked to accommodate a separate bedroom.

Arun Nair, a marketing representative, who moved into a studio apartment two years back maintains that price was the deciding factor. He says, “The cost played a key role and getting the best deal in the heart of the city is tough. I wanted a studio apartment as it provides you a compact space which is easy to maintain and clean. Also, studio apartments are always a good option for bachelors because of the low maintenance and cost factor.”

The demand for studio apartments is big among business executives. Ravi adds, “The demand for studio apartments has been growing consistently over the last few years and this demand is here to stay. With large companies setting up their units in Chennai and emergence of IT-space, we are looking at serious numbers required in the coming years.”

Source: Times Property, The Times of India, Chennai

How to find some extra space in your home – 360 Property Mgmt

How to find some extra space in your home

Chennai

Are all your closets and drawers already way too occupied? Irrespective of how big your home is, some extra space is always a boon. Most homes overlook spaces that would be ideal for storage. Here’s how you can find that space in your home.

While growing up, weren’t you enticed by stories of secret nooks and hidden compartments in homes and attics mentioned in your favourite mystery books and movies?

These days, however, with living spaces in the city getting smaller, hidden spaces have become a necessity. They take care of the extra stuff and make your home appear clutter-free. Here are a few ways through which you can incorporate some secret storage spaces in your home. The target here is to utilise your visible space for storage without making it look like a storage space.

Raghav Kapur, Region Head – South India, SILA gives us a few hidden storage ideas:

Under the bed and headboard – With rolling bin and drawers, the area under the bed can be utilised for off-season clothes and footwear. The headboard too can be used for multi-storage purposes; above the toilet – Install a traditional medical cabinet or hang a wicker basket to store your towels or toiletries. Hang it right above the toilet seat;

Inside the cabinet doors – Install hooks on the inside of your cabinet doors, which can be used to hang utensils and measuring cups in the kitchens, cleaning supplies in the bathrooms and clothes in the bedroom;

Corner of the walls – The corners of walls are spaces that are usually overlooked. They can be capitalised on by adding a shoe rack, book table, or a cabinet for electronics. This can be done for every room in the house.

Gita Ramanan, Co-founder and Designer of Design Café helps us with the pros and cons of hidden storage spaces

Pros:

You can hide valuables and important documents; an intelligent way to organise spaces and give the illusion of a clutter-free home; for families with children it helps store their toys and can also be utilised to keep a few things out of their reach.

Cons:

Hidden spaces have to be customised into your furniture and may not meet the space expectations; they tend to be a bit unwieldy and might not be very handy in an emergency; you may end up cluttering the home in order to store more. Make a design plan and follow it to make your home look organised as well as attractive.

DIY ideas to create storage spaces

Staircase

Use removable ply or drawers to make storage spaces under each step;

Tuck-into innovations

Use pullouts and pushaway furniture for those units, which don’t have high utility;

Furniture storage

Opt for storage ottomans and closet cradles to turn your functional items into storage spaces. You can also build a drawer under your dining table; this way all your cutlery items would be where you require them. You can also do this under you coffee/ centre-table and use it to store remote controls, magazines, etc;

Floating shelves

Incorporate floating shelves with drawers under them on one of the walls of the room. You can utilise the shelf to display books, artifacts or plants;

Wall cavities

Make sure you have all the permission required to make cavities in your wall. These cavities can be used to store a variety of things. Just add a photo frame over it to cover up the hole in the wall.

Slides next to the kitchen counter

A sliding vertical drawer next to the kitchen counter or kitchen can be used to store spices or utensils. A similar drawer next to the wardrobe can be used to store dupattas, neck ties, socks and much more.

Pooja Mahimkar, Times Property, The Times of India, Chennai

2019

happy-new-year-2019-360

 

Keeping your house Cool

You can adopt many ways to avoid heat transfer from the roof to your living spaces.

The flat roofs of buildings are exposed, for the maximum duration of the day, to the scorching heat of the summer sun. It is but natural that the roof gets badly heated. The rooms below them also become unbearably hot as the heat gets transferred below. How can we avoid or reduce this heat?

Here is the logic of the cause, and the remedy. Concrete is a very dense material. When concrete gets heated, it retains the heat for a very long time. This heat is radiated into the rooms at night when the surroundings are getting cool. Due to the stillness of air below the roof, the air in the room also becomes hot. The ceiling fan revolving below the roof pushes the warm air down. Needless to describe the discomfort.

The remedies are:

Avoid the roof getting heated

Insulate the roof from above

Insulate the roof from below

Avoid the heat transfer from the roof to the room

Cool the roof with some means

Extract the hot air collected below the roof

Extract the heat from the roof before it gets transferred

Shade the roof

If the sun’s heat is unbearable, we stand under a tree or open an umbrella to shade ourselves. We have also experienced that the temperature inside houses shaded by trees are very low and pleasant, in summer also. We park the car under a tree to avoid the car getting heated. Similarly, if the sunlight is heating the roof, shade it with a lightweight roof made of GI Sheet, Mangalore Tiles or canvas. The shadow prevents the roof slab from heating. The shelter can also be used for gatherings.

The roof can also be sheltered by having shading features like pergolas. Creepers can be grown over the pergolas to increase the shade.

High walls or trellises along the perimeter of the roof can also shade the roof. However, it will be a costly affair.

Plants are the best material to shade a roof. Unlike a tin roof, the plants do not get heated. They absorb heat and light. Place potted plants on the roof, shelter the roof and enjoy the vegetables they yield. Make a terrace garden.

The topmost floor of an apartment is the service floor which contains the overhead tank, pressure pumps, lift machine, electric panels, CCTV camera recorders, access monitors, fire safety equipment, water tanks etc. It does not matter if this floor gets heated. It definitely prevents the last habited floor from getting heated.

Top insulation

Terrace gardens will prevent heat absorption. The plants and grass shade the roof. The earth will insulate the roof. Wetness in the mud will certainly cool the roof. However, consult your structural engineer if the roof can carry the garden load and a landscape architect to design a maintenance-easy garden.

Traditionally, “Surkhi”, a mix of brick bat, lime, maravajra (natural adhesive) and Antvalakai (gum fruit) was used as weather proof layer to protect the roof from getting heated. It is not popular nowadays because of lack of skill and know-how. Weather proof clay panels are commonly used for insulation. Each clay panel comes with three tube-like holes.

This void helps to avoid heat transfer. Besides, clay does not absorb and retain heat too much. It is laid over the concrete roof with cement mortar.

Foam concrete panels can be used instead of clay panels mentioned above, in a similar manner. The sponge-like perforation in the lightweight concrete block prevents heat transfer to the roof slab.

A layer of 40 mm gravel (railway jelly) laid on the roof can effectively prevent the roof from getting heated. The gravel shades the roof by day. The polygonal surface of the gravel makes minimal contact with the roof. This prevents heat transfer. At night, the gravel gives out the heat to the cool air. The disadvantage of this remedy is that we cannot walk comfortably on the roof to use the terrace.

In Jodhpur, Rajasthan, roofs are painted white with lime. White lime reflects a great deal of heat that will otherwise be absorbed by the roof. However, the top will have to be painted almost every year.

Many manufacturers use the same technology and offer roof coatings that will last for many years. While some coats are white the others are silver in colour to enhance reflectance. The vendors claim 5 degree reduction of heat.

Bituminous sheets with silver coating on one side are available for top insulation of the roof. They not only reflect heat and insulate but also protect the roof from water leakage.

They are about 8 mm thick and have a silver coating on the exposed side. They are glued to the roof with bitumen liquid. Silver coating reflects the heat and the bitumen insulates.

In-built insulation

In buildings under construction, insulation can be built into the roof. Hollow clay panels and light weight foam concrete panels are available to be used as infills in the roof. Such roofs are called ‘filler slab’ roofs.

The technology has 3 benefits. The concrete consumption is decreased, the load on the structure is reduced, and the heat gain in the roof is controlled.

Source The Hindu

Fancy painting the walls of your house and making it a fun family activity

Wall to action

Chennai

Fancy painting the walls of your house yourself and making it a fun family activity? We tell you how you can achieve just that.

Movies have a way of making us wish we were a part of it. Everyday mundane events are portrayed so well in movies that we wish our usual routine was half as fun as them. A scene where the protagonist is moving into a new home is often glamourised with a happy song set to a montage of happy things; tasks like colouring your home also seem like a cakewalk. Don’t we all want to have a fun weekend painting a statement wall with friends, just the way Ranbir Kapoor and Konkana Sen Sharma did in Wake up Sid? It’s not entirely unachievable after all.

Gather your friends, order in some pizza and follow the steps given below to get a new look for your home.

Hemil Parikh, Founder, Elysium Abodes LLP, provides us with a step-by-step guide on how to paint your home yourself:

Steps:

1. Find out what kind of paint is currently on your wall. You will have to apply the same type of paint when you are colouring it. If you wish to apply a different type of paint, then first sand and remove the current paint and then continue with the new;

2. Move the furniture away from the walls. You should ideally move them to the other room or gather them in the centre of the room you are painting. Cover your furniture as well as your floor to avoid getting any paint on them;

3. Clean the walls by using large cellulose sponge and a water solution blended with a few drops of mild dishwashing liquid;

4. Ensure that you have thoroughly cleaned the wall to wipe out any kind of dirt or grease. Always check whether the previous paint is removed in order to avoid chalking / flaking of paint;

5. Make sure you do appropriate sanding of the wall with emery paper, so that you have a smooth surface to receive the paint;

6. Keep all your supplies and tools handy. You will need rollers, paint brushes, a spare apron (to prevent stains on your clothes) and a canvas cloth. Include a mask, which will prevent you from inhaling the strong odour from paint;

7. Using a blue painter’s tape, safeguard all the areas that you do not wish to paint. Door knobs, window and door frames, mouldings etc should be covered with the tape;

8. Dip the roller into the primer; slowly roll it back and forth across the ridges of the tray a couple of times in order to eliminate the excess colour and to prevent drips. Once the roller is evenly coated, run it up and down on the wall section. Apply primer evenly on the wall;

9. After the primer coat, it is time for the actual paint, which should be done over two-three coats depending upon the finish to be achieved. It is advisable to keep a plucker handy in order to remove any sediment / flying dust that might settle on the wet paint. It is advisable to check the walls under proper light before the application of the top coat in order to achieve the optimum finish;

10. Use the brushes along the edges and corner while you can use the rollers to paint the wall;

11. Check if the wall is painted evenly and if the finish is fine;

12. Allow it to dry;

13. An important tip for users to follow is to ensure they peel off the tape while the paint is still wet to avert accidentally eliminating any dried paint along with it;

14. And there you have just painted your own home! Step back and enjoy the moment.

Pooja Mahimkar, Times Property, The Times of India, Chennai

Side by side: Coworking spaces bring in new work culture in Chennai

Side by side: Coworking spaces bring in new work culture in Chennai

Chennai

The south has been at the forefront of the IT boom and today, south Chennai also is seeing several coworking spaces cater to a new kind of work culture that is on the rise.

Almost two decades back, south Chennai saw a new revival thanks to the mushrooming of job opportunities along the IT highway. IT parks were the new norm and hordes of citizens shifted their homes to southern parts of the city. But in the years that have passed, work cultures have undergone a drastic change and today, we are at the cusp of yet another transformation.

In the last few years, co-working spaces have become hugely popular and a preferred option among young professionals. “Buoyed by the central government’s efforts to create a viable eco-system for young entrepreneurs, India is witnessing the mushrooming of multiple start-ups and SMEs across the country. Such businesses are increasingly focusing on coworking spaces,” says Anuj Puri, a realty expert.

Chennai too has had several such spaces come up in the last few years and South Chennai has been abound with coworking spaces. Ashwin Shankar and his brother Shravan started a coworking space in Perungudi in 2014, when the culture was still nascent in the city. Today, their offices are spread across the OMR, Nungambakkam, Alwarpet, Nungambakkam, Guindy, Kilpauk and Anna Nagar.

“We started many of these office spaces close to residential areas as we realised that in our business, location is king. For people who use our premises for part-time work or for specific projects, these neighbourhoods seem to be the right choice. Also, all these offices cater to a different crowd. Our co-working space in Perungudi is largely IT-centric and the one in Nungambakkam caters more to people working in sales and business development. On the other hand, the one in Alwarpet is used for largely creative purposes,” says Ashwin, whose Perungudi and Alwarpet spaces have seen maximum footprint for his network of offices.

A year back Jinal Patel started a co-working space specifically for women in Adyar. She chose Adyar as there was a demand for such an idea in the neighbourhood and connectivity to other parts of the city was also good. “Being a residential area, there isn’t much noise around and it is well connected too. We realised that women are increasingly taking up the path of entrepreneurship (especially post maternity) and are looking for viable space options to work from. Besides, many college students also utilise this space for their work,” she says.

Anuj feels that while many players are jumping on the bandwagon and venturing into co-working space, what bears watching is how they keep pace with the increasing demand for such options from the millennials without really impacting their profit margins. “As long as they are able to sustain a sound business model and earn decent returns on their investments, coworking spaces will continue to thrive,” he says.

Arjun Narayanan, Times Property, The Times of India, Chennai