Chennai Parking lots in Google Maps

Motorists can view location, dimesions and availability of space at facility

To begin with, information on parking lots in Adyar, Teynampet, Kodambakkam, Anna Nagar and Royapuram will be available. Shown above, a screenshot from Google Maps

Thanks to a tie-up between the city administration and Google, motorists in Chennai can now check out available parking lots in Adyar, Teynampet, Kodambakkam, Anna Nagar and Royapuram before heading there.

Motorists will be able to view the exact location of Corporation-owned parking lots on a road by visiting Chennai Corporation web site

Not only will they be able to view the image of a parking lot, but also find the address, type of parking allowed and dimensions of the parking space.

Armenian Street, one of the designated parking lots overlaid on the map, has a length of 500 metres and width of 5 metres, from Mannady Street to Erabalu Street, for parking of cars and vans. Luz Church Road, another parking lot, extends to a length of 270 metres from Karpagambal Nagar to Vinayakar Temple.

Similar overlaying of parking lot information on Google Maps is yet to be done for the new city limits covering the zones of Sholinganallur, Ambattur and Tiruvottiyur.

Data available on the civic body’s website will help motorists avoid penalisation by the traffic police for violations, and plan their mode of transport even before they leave for their destination.

The complete range of information available online will be of great help, particularly in commercial neighbourhoods such as Purasawalkam and T. Nagar.

According to data on the civic body’s website, each car owner has to pay Rs. 5 for six hours of parking in a designated parking lot.

Parking of autos, motorcycles and cycles is free of cost. Private buses can park for a fee of Rs. 50 per day.

Courtesy: The Hindu

Land acquisition likely to hold up ECR widening

The proposed widening of the 33-km Akkarai-Mamallapuram stretch of East Coast Road, along which Tamil Nadu Road Development Corporation has begun removing compound walls and petty shops, is set to be delayed. Several people who own land on the stretch plan to move the Madras high court against the government for ‘acquiring’ land without paying compensation for 20 years and get a stay order to stop further demolition.

P S Ponraj of Muttukadu, who is among the 25 land-owners filing a writ petition in court, bought 9.75 cents of land there in 2004. “I checked the patta of the previous owner and paid the full amount while registering. When I got the patta in my name, I got only 8 cents. About 1.75 cents worth at least 35 lakh has just disappeared,” he said.

The proof of land acquisition was not mentioned in any of the encumbrance certificates for any of the owners, he said. “Not only have they not paid compensation, they have not even made the notification for land acquisition,” he said.

Lydie Vranken, who runs a restaurant on ECR, has been the driving force for Ponraj and others – sourcing government documents to expose shortcomings. “Though work began in 1992, I got to know that my property is in trouble in 2013 after I read newspaper reports that ECR is going to be widened. Initially I thought the previous owners had cheated me. But the government’s inefficiency came through when I went through the EC,” she said. “We will demand compensation according to the amended Land Act which gives full market value,” she said.

TNRDC officials say the government can only pay compensation according to the value of land in 1995 when the award was given. “We will add 12% interest for delay,” said an official.

According to government notification from 1995, land in Kanathur was valued at 1,872 for a cent. “It is now around 15 lakh for a cent,” said Vranken.

Courtesy: TOI Chennai

House for NRI

The current property market offers value deals for investors with a long-term perspective

NRIs who purchased property in India a few years ago have not managed to rake in the moolah. Unattractive returns in cities such as Hyderabad and Coimbatore have put off NRIs, particularly from the US, according to builders.

However, NRIs with a long-term horizon for property investments may be able to find value buys in many markets currently. Here are a few ideas from real estate experts on the options available to NRIs.

While outward remittance by Indians to buy property abroad is curtailed, there is no upper limits for remittances into India. So, NRIs can remit through normal banking channels and NRE, NRO or FCNR accounts can be used. NRIs can also take interest-free loans from close relatives residing in India. The lender is subject to the FEMA limit of $75,000 per financial year under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme.

NRIs are also subject to tax deduction at source (TDS) withholding (at the rate of 1 per cent) for property purchases over ₹50 lakh. Housing loan principal repayment, stamp duty and registration charges are allowed as deduction from one’s gross income under the overall limit of ₹1 lakh a year, under Section 80C.

Stick to plain vanilla

Investing in a flat may be the safest bet for NRIs. Last year, NRIs were more active in the mid-income residential segment, says Kiran Kumar Kavikondala, WealthRays Group. That said, even the residential segment can be risky if you are considering large townships, given the experience with projects such as Lavasa near Pune. Investing in ‘branded’ developers in the growing tier-2/3 cities is an off-beat idea suggested by IAS Balamurugan, Metis Family Offices.

But those who do not find the idea of buying another flat exciting, may look at buying a holiday home in a hill resort such as Manali or a beach property in Goa. Buying property close to a religious place such as Udupi is also becoming popular. In these cases, ensure proper maintenance of the property as keeping it locked up may be risky and also proper upkeep is essential to sustain the property’s value.

There is also some interest among NRIs to purchase retirement homes for their parents. These choices may offer unique benefits to the owner, but may not provide the best returns.

Buying land

Non-resident Indians are allowed to purchase residential or commercial property in India but not agricultural land/plantation property/farm house, says Amarpal S. Chadha, Tax Partner, EY.

While residential land purchases have benefited many investors, buying land can be risky, especially for an NRI. There could be disputes about title, encroachments and pricing or selling the plot in an emergency could be difficult. Pooling is a popular means of purchasing larger parcels of land. Besides lowering monetary investment risk it also helps in ongoing maintenance and monitoring.

Land in gated developments is a safe choice and purchases for larger parcels on the outskirts of the city may be more risky, though the potential gains can be higher.

“NRIs are sold the most expensive property in a project,” says Om Ahuja, CEO of residential services at Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), a global property consultant, “and this is not where the most returns are from.”

He suggests investing in multiple mid-priced homes as it is also easy to find a buyer for these properties.

However, when selecting the project, NRIs should go for one with high-end amenities.

A strong builder reputation, quality, prime location, desirable amenities and a good homeowners’ association are important. Engaging with external property management agencies will be particularly helpful in the maintenance and renting of property.

Thanks to the real-estate boom in the last few years, even smaller cities and towns have seen price gains. Factors such as supply-demand mismatch and infrastructure project delays may influence short-term price trends. The long-term appreciation in capital and rental value will, however, depend on the employment scene.

“NRIs from towns such as Madurai or Lucknow are interested in buying in their hometown,” says Ahuja, “but long-term appreciation would depend on the scope for job growth.” For instance, Chennai and Pune, where job growth is driven by multiple sectors and thus hold potential for a wide range of jobs, have seen better property price appreciation compared to Bangalore and Hyderabad, where jobs are primarily from the IT sector.

Buying a property requires time and one should not try to finalise on a property during a flying visit to India.

“Ask a few builders in the locality on what the price was initially, and the price for the last transaction,” advises Mathew Mammen, Executive Director, Sobha Developers, “and visit a completed project by the builder to assess quality before deciding to buy.” Property is a big investment, irrespective of the currency, and due diligence is required in checking the builders’ reputation for timely delivery, legal aspects of the agreement and tax matters – more so due to the distance factor.

Tax aspects

Owning a home in India has wealth tax implications. An NRI is exempt from wealth tax on a property that has been rented for more than 300 days.

Also, one vacant house property can be declared as self-occupied property and is exempt from the wealth tax. The value (net of outstanding loans) of second and subsequent vacant properties would be subject to wealth tax, at the rate of 1 per cent on the value in excess of ₹30 lakh, says Parizad Sirwalla, Practising Chartered Accountant, KPMG.

NRIs are subject to capital gains tax in India, similar to what is applied to residents. There are also limits and conditions for repatriation based on the funds used for buying property.

If the property was acquired as per the forex laws, the amount of repatriation is restricted to the extent of the initial purchase cost of the property.

Courtesy: Hindu Business Line

Chennai metro likely to impact its property prices

 

Chennai’s real estate hot spots are going to change tracks with Chennai’s first metro. In the first phase the elevated line runs from the city’s bus depot in Koyambedu to Alandur in the south near the airport. It will be a 20 minute long ride versus the one hour ride by car and that’s on a good day.
Chennai’s real estate market may get back on track with the city’s first metro. Experts say prices may rise by 10 percent once the metro comes into operation this October. Developers are hoping to ride to richer fortunes as the city gets its first metro this October. Delayed by many years and costing almost Rs 45,000 crore the metro may result in property prices rising by almost 10 percent in the short-term. Poornima Murali of CNBC-TV18 has all the details. Chennai’s real estate hotspots are going to change tracks with Chennai’s first metro. In the first phase the elevated line runs from the city’s bus depot in Koyambedu to Alandur in the south near the airport. It will be a 20 minute long ride versus the one hour ride by car and that’s on a good day. The first corridor covers Central Chennai and the second corridor covers the North Chennai. These corridors cover not just the developed areas including Anna Nagar, Koyambedu, Ashok Nagar, St. Thomas Mount, Alandur, Vadapalani and the airport but also lesser developed areas in the North Chennai. Property prices have already appreciated. We had seen a similar phenomenon in the national capital region (NCR) when the metro was announced and with the monorail in Mumbai. Prices in these areas currently range between Rs 6000 and Rs 15,000 per square feet and property developers are confident there’s scope for prices to rise by another 10-15 percent. Ganesh Vasudevan, CEO, India Property Online says, “We can expect prices to go up in the 700-800 meter radius of each station; that is likely to happen which is a reasonable walking distance at the same time not too far from the station.” According to Sanjay Chugh, Head – Residential Services, Jones Lang LaSalle, the Chennai metro rail is going to be operational very soon probably in the third or fourth quarter of this year. “We see that the market around and on the corridors of metro will start seeing a lot of traction for sales because once people start using this facility realising the convenience it offers to them as far as mobility goes it will push the prices up by about 10 to 15 percent in the immediate future,” he said  Vasudevan says, “Typically if you see in NCR or Bangalore where the metro is fully functional, we have seen a good increase in resale property values, even for new property values there has been an up tick in rental values, there has been slightly increased demand for small commercial outlets in the footprint of each metro station. So, that kind of an impact is likely to be seen.” With the metro on track for a launch in October, the Jayalalithaa led state government is on onboard for the second phase connecting Chennai’s city centre to suburbs like Madhavaram and Perambakkam. Needless to say real estate developers had sniffed out this new opportunity and have already started launching new projects. The second phase covering 76 kilometers will be underground and will take at least 10 years to be fully operational. However, that’s not deterring builders from launching new projects. A few of the new launches in the developed areas and suburbs include TVH Quadrant, Czar, Panache and Newry Park Towers. As per Chugh, what is happening is metro rail was something that was supposed to come and now we know it is come and it is going to be operational very soon and that is driving a very positive sentiment. “People who are home buyers are looking at this as a convenient option to live where they can commute to work in mass rapid transportation system. That being in place very soon I think in the next two quarters we will see a huge traction and escalation in prices in those areas,”he adds. “Transaction volumes across the city are down. So, it is not that these projects have had any specific demand or incremental sales just because it is closer to metro. There is definitely increased interest in these properties because they are closer to metro but for transactions to be significantly different from other projects we are not seeing that yet but maybe once the metro becomes operational we will see a difference,” says Vasudevan. Builders see a mouthwatering opportunity even before the metro hits the rails. However, only time will tell if it is going to be a smooth ride for consumers buying into all these new projects.

Courtesy: money control.com

வீட்டுக் கடன் வட்டியைத் தேர்வு செய்வது எப்படி?

யானை விலை, குதிரை விலை என உதாரணம் சொன்ன காலம் மலையேறிவிட்டது. இப்போது மனை விலை, வீட்டு விலை அந்த இடத்தைப் பிடித்து விட்டது. அதனால், கையில் பணத்தைச் சேர்த்து வைத்துக்கொண்டு வீடு வாங்குவது முடியாதக் காரியம். சொந்த வீட்டு ஆசைக்குக் கைகொடுப்பது வீட்டுக் கடன்தான்.

வீட்டுக் கடனுக்காக வங்கிகள் தரும் வட்டி விகிதங்கள் 3 வகைப்படும். அவை, நிலையான வட்டி (ஃபிக்ஸ்டு), மாறுபடும் வட்டி (ஃப்ளோட்டிங்), கலவை வட்டி(மிக்ஸ்டு)

நிலையான வட்டி

வீட்டுக்கடன் வாங்கும்போது நிர்ணயிக்கப்படுகிற வட்டி குறிப்பிட்ட காலத்திற்கு (3 அல்லது 5 ஆண்டுகள்) மாறாமல் இருக்கிற வட்டியைத்தான் நிலையான வட்டி என்கிறார்கள். 3 அல்லது 5 ஆண்டுகளுக்குப் பிறகு (இது வங்கிக்கு வங்கி வித்தியாசப்படுகிறது) பணச் சந்தையில் நிலவுகிற வட்டி விகிதத்துக்குத் தகுந்தபடி நிலையான வட்டி விகிதமும் மாறுகிறது.

நன்மை, தீமை என்ன?

வீட்டுக் கடன் வட்டி உயர்ந்தாலும் 3 அல்லது 5 ஆண்டுகளுக்கு ஒருமுறை மட்டுமே நிலையான வட்டியும் அப்போதுள்ள நிலைமைக்கு ஏற்றவாறு அதிகரிக்கும். உடனுக்குடன் வட்டி அதிகரிக்காது என்பது வீட்டுக் கடன் வாங்குவோருக்கு நன்மை.

பொதுவாக, மாறுபடும் வட்டி விகிதத்தை விட நிலையான வட்டி விகிதம் அரை சதவீதம் அதிகம் என்பது இத்திட்டத்தில் உள்ள குறைபாடு.

மாறுபடும் வட்டி

இது ரிசர்வ் வங்கி 2 மாதங்களுக்கு ஒருமுறை அறிவிக்கின்ற கடன் கொள்கையில் வட்டி விகிதம் அதிகரிக்கப் படுவது அல்லது குறைக்கப்படுவதைப் பொறுத்து மாறும் தன்மை உடையது. வீட்டுக் கடனைத் திருப்பிச் செலுத்தும் முழு காலத்துக்கும் ஒரே அளவு மாதத் தவணை (இ.எம்.ஐ.) இருக்காது. அவ்வப்போது சில நூறு ரூபாய்கள் அதிகரிக்கலாம் அல்லது குறையலாம். மாதச் சம்பளம் வாங்குபவர்கள் இந்த ஏற்ற இறக்கத்தைச் சமாளிக்க முடியுமானால் மாறுபடும் வட்டியைத் தேர்வு செய்யலாம்.

நன்மை, தீமை என்ன?

வட்டி விகிதம் குறையுமேயானால் அதனால் கிடைக்கக்கூடிய நன்மையை வீட்டுக் கடன் வாங்கியவர்கள் உடனடியாகப் பெற்றுக்கொள்ளலாம் என்பது இதில் உள்ளச் சிறப்பு. நிலையான வட்டியுடன் ஒப்பிடும்போது இதற்கு அரை சதவீதம் குறைவு என்பது லாபம்.

இந்தியாவில் பணவீக்கம் மற்றும் விலைவாசி பெரும்பாலும் ஏறுமுகத்தில் இருப்பதால், வட்டி விகிதம் உயரும்போது அவ்வப்போது மாதத் தவணையும் உயர்ந்துவிடும். இதனால் வீட்டுப் பட்ஜெட்டில் அடிக்கடி துண்டு விழ வாய்ப்பு உள்ளது. இது ஓர் குறைபாடு.

கலவை வட்டி

கடன் தொகையில் ஒரு பகுதியை நிலையான வட்டியிலும் மீதத் தொகையை மாறுபடும் வட்டி விகிதத்திலும் வைத்துக் கொள்வதுதான் கலவை வட்டி திட்டம்.

நன்மை, தீமை என்ன?

நிலையான வட்டி, மாறுபடும் வட்டி ஆகிய இரண்டு திட்டங்களிலும் நன்மை தீமை இருப்பதால், இரண்டையும் சமன் செய்ய வேண்டும் என்று நினைப்பவர்களுக்குக் கலவை வட்டி விகிதம் பொருந்தும்.

பெரும்பாலோரின் விருப்பம் என்ன?

மாறுபடும் வட்டியைத்தான் பெரும்பாலோர் தேர்வு செய்கின்றனர். இதற்குக் காரணம், நிலையான வட்டி அரை சதவீதம் அதிகமாக உள்ளது. இரண்டாவதாக வட்டி குறைந்தால் அதன் நன்மை உடனுக்குடன் கிடைக்கும் என்பது.

செய்ய வேண்டியது என்ன?

பொதுவாக நாட்டில் பணவீக்கம் அதிகரிக்கும்போது கடனுக்கான வட்டியும் அதிகரிக்கும் என்பது எழுதப்படாத விதி. இதை வைத்து நீங்கள் முடிவு செய்யலாம். பணவீக்கம் அதிகரிக்கக்கூடிய நிலைமை இருக்குமானால் நிலையான வட்டியையும், பணவீக்கம் குறைவாக இருக்கும்போது மாறுபடும் வட்டி விகிதத்தையும் தேர்வு செய்வதுதான் உங்களுக்கு லாபகரமாக இருக்கும்.

கடந்த இரு ஆண்டுகளில் என்ன நேர்ந்தது என்று பார்த்துவிடுவோம். 2012 மற்றும் 2013ஆம் ஆண்டு அக்டோபர் மாதம் வரை இந்திய ரிசர்வ் வங்கி தனது ரெப்போ ரேட்டை (ரிசர்வ் வங்கி மற்ற வங்கிகளுக்குத் தரும் குறுகியக் காலக் கடனுக்கான வட்டி விகிதம்) 13 முறை தொடர்ந்து உயர்த்தியது. இதுபோல் முன் எப்போதும் நிகழ்ந்தது இல்லை. இது எதைக் காட்டுகிறது என்றால், பணவீக்க விகிதம் அப்போது அதிகரித்துக்கொண்டே இருந்ததைத்தான் இது காட்டுகிறது. இதனால் வங்கிகள் ரிசர்வ் வங்கியிடம் இருந்து அதிக வட்டிக்குக் கடன் வாங்கினால், அந்த வட்டிச் சுமையை வாடிக்கையாளர்களின் தலையில்தானே வங்கிகள் சுமத்தும்?

சரி, தற்சமயம் என்ன நிலை என்றால், மொத்த விற்பனை விலை பணவீக்கம் கடந்த ஜனவரி மாத நிலவரப்படி 5.05 சதவீதமாகக் குறைந்துள்ளது. கடந்த 7 மாதங்களில் பணவீக்கம் இந்த அளவுக்குக் குறைந்தது இல்லை. அதேபோல் சில்லறை விற்பனை பணவீக்கமும் கடந்த 24 மாதங்களில் முன் எப்போதும் இல்லாத அளவு 8.79 சதவீதமாகக் குறைந்துள்ளது. இதுவும் 2014 ஜனவரி மாத நிலவரம்.

எனவே வரும் ஏப்ரல் முதல் தேதி அறிவிக்கப்பட உள்ள ரிசர்வ் வங்கியின் கடன் கொள்கையில் வட்டி விகிதம் குறைவதற்கான வாய்ப்புகள் அதிகமாக உள்ளன. இந்நிலையில் புதிதாக வீட்டுக் கடன் வாங்குவதற்குத் திட்ட மிட்டிருப்பவர்கள் தயங்காமல் மாறுபடும் வட்டி விகிதத்தைத் தேர்வு செய்யலாம்.

ஒரு நல்ல சேதி

ஓரிரு வருடங்களுக்கு முன்னர் வரை மாறுபடும் வட்டியிலிருந்து நிலையான வட்டிக்கு மாற்றிக்கொள்ள விரும்புபவர்கள் மீதம் இருக்கின்ற கடன் தொகையில், அரை சதவீதம் அளவுக்குக் கட்டணம் செலுத்தவேண்டியிருந்தது. அந்தக் கட்டணம் ரத்து செய்யப்பட்டு விட்டதால், இப்போது மாறுபடும் வட்டியிலிருந்து நிலையான வட்டிக்கு எப்போது வேண்டுமானாலும் கட்டணம் இல்லாமல் மாறிக்கொள்ளலாம்.

Courtesy – tamil.thehindu

Biometric scanner, videography system to stem fake land deals in TN

The launch of bio-metric scanner to obtain fingerprint impressions of people involved in land transactions and installation of cameras in sub-registrar offices has already speeded up the registration process. Officials of the Registration Department expect the initiatives to usher in transparency and eliminate fake land deals.

The new initiatives were launched last November across the State as part of steps to boost e-governance. Unlike earlier when people had to spend hours to complete the process of registration, the new initiative has helped them finish the work faster, provided they have all supporting documents in order, say officials in the Registration Department headquarters here. Read more

வீட்டுக்கடன் தவணை: சீக்கிரம் கட்டி முடிப்பது நல்லதா?​​

இன்று வீட்டுக்கடன் இல்லாதவர்களை விரல் விட்டு எண்ணி விடலாம். இந்தியாவில் மொபைல் போன் எண்ணிக்கைக்கு அடுத்தது வீட்டுக்கடன் வைத்திருப்பவர்கள் என்று சொன்னால் அது மிகையாகாது.

வேலைக்குச் சேர்ந்தவுடன் எல்லோரும் தவறாமல் செய்வது வீட்டுக்கடன் வாங்குவது. வீட்டுக்கடன் பொதுவாக 20 வருடம் என எடுத்துக்கொண்டால், ஒரு லட்சத்திற்கு மாதம் 1,000 ரூபாய், 10.5% வட்டி விகிதத்தில் வரும். வட்டி மேலும் கீழும் சென்றாலும் சராசரியாக 10% நீண்ட கால அடிப்படையில் வரும்.

இது நம்முடைய அசலையும் சேர்த்து 2.5 மடங்கு. 50 லட்சம் ரூபாய்க்கு நாம் 120 லட்சம் ஏறக்குறைய கட்டுவோம். அவ்வளவு வட்டி எதற்கு தரவேண்டும் என்று பலர் 7 முதல் 10 வருடங்களில் கட்டி முடித்துவிடுவார்கள். அப்படியே பழக்கப்பட்டவர்களுக்கு அதிலி ருந்து வெளியே வருவது கடினம். பொதுவாக எல்லோரும் சொல்வது நான் நிறைய வட்டி கட்ட விரும்பவில்லை அதனால் எவ்வளவு சீக்கிரம் முடியுமோ அவ்வளவு சீக்கிரம் முடிக்கவேண்டும். Read more

வீடுகள் விலை குறைவதை அறிவது எப்படி?

சென்னை உள்ளிட்ட நகரங்களில் புதிய வீடுகள், அடுக்குமாடிக் குடியிருப்புகள் கட்டப்படுவது சமீபக் காலமாகச் சற்றுக் குறைந்துள்ளது. அதுபோல, அவற்றைக் கட்டுவதற்கு வழங்கப்படும் அனுமதி எண்ணிக்கையும் குறைந்துள்ளது என்ற செய்திகள் வருகின்றன. இந்தத் தகவல்கள் ஆதாரபூர்வமானவையா அல்லது யூகத்தின் அடிப்படையில் ஆனவையா? அதைப்பற்றிப் பார்த்து விடுவோம்.

புதுமையான குறியீடு

சென்னையைப் பொறுத்தவரை 2009, 2010 மற்றும் 2011ஆம் ஆண்டுகளுக்கான வீட்டு வசதி – ஸ்டார்ட்அப் இன்டக்ஸ் மேற்கூறிய தகவலை உறுதி செய்துள்ளது. இந்திய ரிசர்வ் வங்கியும், வீட்டு வசதி மற்றும் மத்திய அரசின் நகர்ப்புற வறுமை ஒழிப்புக்கான அமைச்சகமும் இணைந்து ஒரு குறியீட்டைத் தயாரித்து வருகின்றன. Read more

Inlays, when used creatively, can distinguish between the various spaces in a house.

For a magical effect for homes

How about using natural and semi-precious stones and inlays to create a stunning effect in living spaces?

Exotica in interiors is oft sought after while decorating a residence. This exotica manifests as furnishings, wall paintings, art and sculptures, bringing in differential elements such as inner courtyards, water bodies, and opening up the interiors to enchanting landscaped gardens. But how about using natural and semi-precious stones and inlays to bring splendour into the spaces?

Inlays in the form of semi-precious stones, natural stones, metal and even wood on walls, floors, ceilings, on doors, cabinets, even door knobs, can prove to be arresting in an interior, lending a high level of opulence to the spaces. Inlays of various materials bring in an aesthetic demarcation of spaces by lending a specific character or functionality through their individual portrayal.

Aesthetic demarcation

For instance, in a large free flowing living area, opting for a floor inlay of semi-precious stone or even granite and marble in the form a carpet in the seating area would effectively demarcate the functionality of this space as a formal entertainment zone. Likewise, the entrance to the pooja area featuring a rangoli made of semi-precious stone inlays on the floor would again indicate the specific functionality of the area.

While marble and granite are common choices for such floor inlays, semi-precious stones such as mother of pearl, agate, jade, malachite, amethyst, red jasper, tiger eye, mother of pearl, and red onyx add richness to the décor besides their aesthetic appeal. These inlays, be it a rangoli or fashioned as a charming carpet, also offer easy maintenance by dispensing with woollen and silk carpets.

Material has a say

Says Architect Leena Kumar of Kumar Consultants, “Depending on the materials used for inlays and intricacy of the patterns, these induce feelings of opulence, grandeur, delicacy, warmth or pure artistic delight.”

She further adds, “These inlays, when used creatively, can distinguish between living spaces, sleeping spaces, area of worship and such. A living space calls for brighter colours and greater detail while a sleeping area would be more toned down in both colour and pattern.”

Walls, especially in the pooja area, could feature exquisite inlay work and intricate patterns in metal such as brass, copper, and silver foils and also in natural stone like marble and in wood, the designs even depicting a story.

Similarly, doors, be it the entrance or pooja area, also serve as excellent places to incorporate inlays. These can be again in metals such as brass, copper, silver or gold foils or in natural stone, or semi-precious stones like mother of pearl teamed superbly with intricate carving in wood.

These stone inlays stand out as a strong contrast against the wood base, enhancing the beauty of the wood carvings, accentuating the richness of the décor. Similar inlay work can be extended to wardrobes, mirrors in bedrooms and cabinets, door knobs, table tops in dining and living spaces and even in railings of staircases.

Says Leena Kumar, “These inlays need not be confined to artistic layers on stone and wood but can be fused into tea tables as back-lit surfaces. Semi-precious stones such as onyx are excellent for a back-lit table top which appears spectacular at night when placed in the patio.”

Onyx is also an excellent surface to be used as back-lighting features in spaces where they can serve as demarcating elements or in open spaces incorporating greenery like a large patio overlooking a pool or terrace garden. Here, the light filtering through the stone inlays in the wood would throw arresting patterns on the floor or ceiling to create drama in the space.

Similar backlighting can be opted in bedrooms too where the light filtering through the patterns of the inlays creates a magical aura. Semi-precious stone inlays can be used in bathrooms too, on the tiles.

Courtesy: The Hindu

How to repatriate sale proceeds of Indian property

How to repatriate sale proceeds of Indian property

The recent times have seen an interesting new trend in the whole NRI property debacle — NRIs from North America and Europe are coming to India to sell their purchased or inherited real estate after they obtain citizenship in these countries. This is not a trend that has been extensively examined, but it makes perfect sense. Holding on to real estate is not always feasible if one is unable to manage them.

This is especially true if the NRIs in question do not visit India frequently and are not open to renting out their properties. They prefer not to burden relatives and friends with the task of paying property tax, maintenance and society dues and see more sense in encashing the capital value of their inherited properties

Selling such real estate is usually not the biggest challenge. What can create confusion is the viability – and ways and means – of remitting the resulting funds back into the country of residence. There is, in fact, a fairly straight-forward process.

The aspects that come into play are:

Taxation

As in the case of resident Indians, NRIs who sell purchased property after three years from the date of purchase will incur long term capital gains tax of 20%. The gains are calculated as the difference between sale value and indexed cost of purchase. Indexed cost of purchase is nothing but the cost of purchase adjusted to inflation. Calculation of indexed cost of purchase is easy – many websites provide a calculator; else a chartered accountant can assist.
In case of inherited property, the date and cost of purchase for purposes of computing the period of holding as well as cost of purchase is taken to be the date and cost to the original owner. To be more precise, the amount of long term capital gains together with the cost to the previous owner (i.e. the person from whom the property is inherited) would be considered as the cost of purchase. NRIs are subject to a Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) of 20% on the long term capital gains. But there are certain instances when NRI can get a waiver of TDS. One such case would be if the NRI is planning to re-invest the capital gains of the property in another property or in tax exempt bonds. In such cases, the NRI will be exempt from tax in India, and no TDS will be deducted either.

If the NRI sells the property before three years have elapsed since the date of purchase, short term capital gains tax at his or her tax slab is incurred. Short term capital gain is calculated as the difference between the sale value and the cost of purchase (without the indexation benefit). The NRI will be subject to a TDS of 30% irrespective of his or her tax slab.

NRI selling their properties can apply to the income tax authorities for a tax exemption certificate under section 195 of the Income Tax Act. They must make this application in the same jurisdiction that their PAN belongs to and will be required to show proof of reinvestment of capital gains. If the NRI is planning to buy another house, the allotment letter or payment receipt will need to be produced; if capital gains bonds are chosen instead, an affidavit to this effect will have to be prepared. Usually, buyers withhold the last installment of payment until the NRI produces a certificate of exemption. A NRI has up to two years from the date of sale to invest in another property, or up to six months to invest in bonds.

Tax Exemptions

Section 54 – This section stipulates that if NRI sells a residential property after three years from the date of purchase and reinvest the proceeds into another residential property within two years from the date of sale, the profit generated is exempt to the extent of the cost of new property. To illustrate – if the capital gains is Rs 10 lakh and the new property costs Rs 8 lakh, the remaining Rs 2 lakh are treated as long term capital gains. The sold residential property may be either have been self-occupied property or given on rent. The new property must be held for at least three years.

NRIs cannot invest the proceeds on the sale of a property in India in a foreign property and still avail the benefit of Section 54. However, some recent hearings with the appellate authorities have held that exemption can be claimed under Section 54 even if the new house is purchased outside India. However, this is not explicitly specified clearly under the law, and it is advisable for an NRI to consult a tax expert before making any investment decisions outside India to avail of tax benefits under Section 54.

Section 54EC – This section of the Income Tax Act states that if an NRI sells a long term asset (in this case, a residential property) after three years from the date of purchase and invests the amount of capital gains in bonds of NHAI and REC within six months of the date of sale, he or she will be exempt from capital gains tax. The bonds will remain locked in for a period of three years.

Repatriation

General permission is available to NRIs and PIOs to repatriate the sale proceeds of property inherited from an Indian resident, subject to certain conditions. If those conditions are fulfilled, the NRI need not seek the RBI’s permission. However, if the NRI has inherited the property from a person residing outside India, he or she must seek specific permission from the RBI.

The conditions for repatriation of such funds are not really complicated – the amount per financial year (April-March) should not exceed USD 1 million, and should be done through authorized dealers. NRIs must provide documentary evidence with regard to their inheritance of the property, and a certificate from a chartered accountant in the specified format.

What NRIs must pay attention to is the income tax implications in their country of residence. Many countries tax their residents on their income regardless of where it originates from, while others provide partial or total exemption on capital gains arising on sale of a residential house if certain conditions are met. The most important point to ponder is the income tax liability in the country of residence on the amount of gain, and whether claiming exemption under Sections 54/54F/54EC is really worth it. The NRI may, in fact, be better off claiming only partial or no tax exemption on the capital gains in India.

Courtesy: First Post