Thursday, 31 March 2016

5 Questions You Must Ask Yourself Before Home Shopping

It starts innocently enough... you pass a house in a neighborhood you like, you hear someone is selling their home, you happen to look up home prices online. Before you know it, you’re knee-deep in home shopping and open house visits. This can actually be exceedingly dangerous to your financial future.

Falling in love with a home before you actually know what you want in a home is risky. To avoid the “buy first, think later” syndrome that burdens family finances, marriages, and work life, ask yourself these important questions:

1. How much do we want to spend each month on home expenses? There’s a tendency for people who shop first to try and “make the math work” on purchasing a home. Often this leads to stretching the home budget and ignoring crucial expenses such as maintenance and property taxes in order to “make the mortgage.” Determine a comfortable, conservative range for home expenses first.

2. Which neighborhoods make sense from multiple angles? You may love a neighborhood for its leafy streets and family-friendly atmosphere, but what if it adds thirty minutes to your commute? Are the schools good? What are the crime stats like? What’s the walkability score? Don’t view a neighborhood with rose-colored glasses based on a single quality you like.

3. What’s a priority and what’s a nice extra? You may think you want extra bedrooms for guests and a home office, but which one is more important? Rank the must haves against the “nice to haves.”

4. What’s our long-term ownership picture look like? Are you settling in for ten years, or do you suspect you’ll need to move in four? While you can’t predict the future, you can make some estimates. Those estimates will help you understand how much home you should buy, what kind of down-payment you’ll want to have, and what the picture might look like in terms of renovations.

5. When can you move vs. when would you like to move? Rental leases, selling your current home, and job and schooling factors all impact the timeline for a purchase. Wrap your head around the pragmatic timeline as best you can.

Credit :  +Ramprasad Padhi 
Mumbai Properties

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Why Hire a Realtor to Buy from a Developer

Q: Do I need to hire a Realtor to represent me when I buy a new home from a developer?

A: Legally, no. But if you don’t, you might be missing out on some tangible benefits that impact your wallet and how much you get for your money.

There are many reasons why a Realtor is a sound investment during the purchase process with a developer. While some of them can be quite complex (and go beyond the scope of this blog post), here are a few highlights.

Market Value Compared to Purchase Price: How much money are you going to be able to come out of pocket for your down payment? If you don’t want a nasty surprise when it comes to disparities between your agreed upon purchase price and the actual market value of the home, you’ll want an agent with access to information which will help you accurately assess the true value of that brand new home.

Negotiation Power: Realtors are professional negotiators, and often a Realtor can get more from a developer than you would on your own. While some of this might be related to purchase price, other perks may include property or home upgrades.

Financing: It’s probably no surprise that your developer will have preferred financing partners to work with. Many of those “partners” pay good money for the opportunity to handle your loan. But is it the best loan at the best rate? A Realtor can be both a sounding board for financing terms and a source for trusted alternatives.

Contract Expertise: While your Realtor isn’t an attorney, they know a great deal about the ins-and-outs of property contracts. This includes developer’s contracts, which may have provisions that put you in dicey territory should something unforeseen happen. Protect yourself with a Realtor.

These four reasons are a good place to start, but there are plenty more. The bottom line is: The developer will have their own system in place to maximize their profit and minimize their costs. Shouldn’t you?

Credit :  +Ramprasad Padhi 
Mumbai Properties

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

10 Tips for Protecting Your Home During Vacations

I hope you all have  a safe and relaxing time during your vacation this summer.  It’s crucial that we all have time to recharge and recognize what’s important in life.  We only go around once, so it’s important to savor what we have.

Before you leave town, I thought you might be interested in a few precautionary safety tips to keep your home and your possessions safe while you’re gone.  Often in the run-up to a vacation, people neglect to take simple steps to protect themselves from becoming a victim of theft or vandalism.

You’ve probably covered your bases, but just in case, here are 10 basic precautions you can take:

1.    Have someone collect your mail and newspaper daily.
2.    Leave shades and blinds in normal positions.
3.    Put at least two lights and a radio on automatic timers.
4.    Have someone leave trash at your curb on garbage collection day.
5.    Have someone park a car in your parking space occasionally. If you leave your car outside, arrange to have it moved every so often.
6.    Leave a key with a trusted neighbor in case of an emergency. Let the neighbor know where you are going and when you are expect to return, also leave them a way to get in contact with you in case of an emergency.
7.    Lock all windows and doors before you go. On extended trips have someone to maintain your pants, balcony/terrace gardens
8.    Consider turning off your home’s water main to prevent damage from a burst pipe.
9.    Be careful how much you check-in on social media while on vacation. If your privacy settings are incorrect you might reveal to strangers your home is vacant!

Be safe and have a blast...

Credit :  +Ramprasad Padhi 
Mumbai Properties

Monday, 28 March 2016

How to Part Peacefully with Your Landlord

How to Part Peacefully with Your Landlord

If you’ve been thinking of buying a home, but the prospect of breaking your apartment lease has you holding back, you might be glad to know there are options available to you as a renter. A lease isn’t always an iron-clad agreement with all the rights on the side of your landlord. Of course, buying a home isn’t the only reason to break a lease. There are many reasons to break a lease: Your job may have changed, you might find the rent too steep, or you may have lost a loved one who used to share the space with you. Here are a few things you can do to help extract yourself from the situation:

1. Find the opt-out clause. You may not have read your lease very carefully when you were excited to move in, and now is the time to go back and pick it apart with a fine-toothed comb. Many leases will have clauses which allow you to legally break your obligation to stay for the full-term of the agreement. This might involve a fee of some kind, but can often be worth the expense if the conditions are right.

2. Negotiate with your landlord. If you’re on good terms with your landlord, come out and explain your situation honestly. The landlord (or property management company) can elect to let you out of the lease, even without an opt-out clause. See if you can do anything to “sweeten the pot” for the landlord, such as finding a replacement renter, or propose a sum to buy your way out. (Get anything you agree to with your landlord in writing.)

3. See about subletting. Look at your lease agreement and see what your rights are regarding subletting the apartment to someone else. While some forbid the practice, others may create allowances for subleasing your apartment to someone for the balance of the agreement. If the agreement is unclear about subleasing, talk with your landlord about your plan and get an agreement in writing.(Recognize you’re risking your security deposit if the subletter doesn’t take care of the place.)

4. Go to mediation. If you can’t come to common terms, consider enrolling the help of a mediator. Local housing advocates and “renter’s rights” groups may be able to connect you with people who can help.

This all assumes, of course, that you’re not leaving because your landlord is a deadbeat. If you’re battling a landlord who refuses to fix up the place or otherwise has been combative, you may have a legal case to make to break your lease. The key is documentation. Document everything with photo or video evidence, and keep meticulous records of your complaints.

Shouldn’t your monthly payment be paying you instead of a landlord?
Talk to me today about taking the first steps towards home ownership:

Credit :  +Ramprasad Padhi 
Mumbai Properties

Friday, 25 March 2016

Questions to answer before you buy a second home

If you’ve ever dreamed of owning a second home, it’s never too early to begin planning how to make that dream a reality. Whether you’re ready to buy now or think it may be a little while before you make the move, there are several key considerations that will inform your “second home strategy.”

1. Identify why you want a second home. What role will this second home play in your life? Is it designed to be a family retreat? Are you hoping to supplement your income with a cash-flow positive rental? Is your second home going to be a retirement destination? It could be all three, of course, but you’ll want to understand the unique requirements each situation dictates. This will include location, tax impact, and the home’s amenities.

2. Begin with your location. Many second home purchases are made for seasonal reasons, with many flocking to the south and the west for winter months. This may be the norm, but it might not be so for you. Where do you want to be? Have you experienced the location first hand, or is a visit in order? If you imagine kids and grandkids making the journey to share this home, will it be conveniently located?

3. Eyeball the upkeep. You may think you want a 3 bedroom apartment lot with a spacious balcony or terrace, but imagine paying to maintain that big space for all the time you’re not in your second home. Mitigating your exposure to upkeep can be an important factor in holding your second home for the long-term.

4. Figure out financing. This is especially important if you don’t have the financial picture ironed out yet. Securing a housing loan for a second home can be tricky, and a number of buyers look for all-cash purchases of relatively inexpensive homes. Regardless of how you do it, financial planning is a must.

5. Talk taxes. How a second home impacts your tax picture is a vital part of a second home strategy. The tax implications can vary widely depending on how you choose to utilize the home, whether for personal residency or as a rental. Even how long you choose to rent out a second home each year can have unique tax implications. Laws change, so take the time to review your strategy periodically with your accountant.

Credit :  +Ramprasad Padhi 
Mumbai Properties

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Understanding Home Loans While Buying Real Estate

Understanding Home loans while buying real estate
Many home buyers especially first-timers, choose the home loan route as the transaction value is large. There are many criteria that need to be evaluated and verified before arriving at this decision as the market is flooded with banks and financial institutions that are keen to offer home loans to the right customer. A few tips for the home loan process will be helpful:

Save for down payment: For the uninitiated, down payment is that part of the home property cost that the buyer has to contribute while buying a home. It is important that this amount gets saved and this saving needs to begin at the earliest possible. Putting aside a particular sum of money will add to this down payment amount. You can arrive at this monthly sum by understanding your monthly budget and savings in detail.
Also remember the higher your contribution towards the home, the lower your EMI. Opt for automatic deduction from your savings account to be transferred to another account to save regularly for the down payment amount.

Put your documents together: The bank or the financial institution that offers the loan for your dream home will verify your financial status and for this purpose, your financial documents shall need to be in place. For example, your Income Tax returns for the past three years, your bank statements, salary slips/certificates and investment details will be required. If the buyer keeps these ready at the time of applying for the loan, the process of disbursement is quick and hassle-free.

Compare Home Loan Providers: The loan market is full of financial institutions and banks and if your credit score and financial status is good, many of them would want you as a customer. You can compare the home loan interest rates, loan tenures, pre-payment charges and other rates before making your final decision. You can save a lot if you understand these calculations as the home loan may go on for 10, 15 or 20 years, which is a pretty long duration.

Credit :  +Ramprasad Padhi 
Mumbai Properties

Choosing The Right Real Estate Agent

Choosing the right Real Estate Agent
Working with a Real estate agent while selling or buying a home property is a sensible way of going through the entire transaction. You may know someone in your social circle who doubles up as a real estate agent, but it is always a good idea to run a check on the kind of work he/ she has done. It then becomes easier to narrow down to a few potential candidates for this job. Let us look at the questions you could ask before making a final choice:

What are the kind of properties the agent deals with and the geography he works around?
The agent may specialize in selling/buying bungalows or condominiums while your need could be for a bachelor’s pad or a small family home. It is very important that your potential real estate agent works around your neighbourhood whether it is a sale or a purchase. The agents’ knowledge about the area where you intend to buy or sell your property will go a long way in choosing the right property or buyer. His knowledge of the legal requirements could work out to your advantage hence you should check on the same too.

What is the agents experience in terms of years in this business?
It always makes great sense to ask the real estate agent about the number of years he has been in business and whether he has serviced clients with similar requirements as yours. Also check whether the agent works in a full-time capacity or is in the business as a part-time agent. Part-time agents may deliver part-time results only.

Does the agent have references to share?
A good agent who has put in long hours in the real estate industry is sure to have multiple references to offer. References can vouch for the satisfaction and quality of work the agent provides and you can expect similar services too.

Credit :  +Ramprasad Padhi 
Mumbai Properties

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

So What Does Your Realtor Do For You

So what does your Realtor do for you ? 
Traditionally the role of a broker or as the modern day avtaar known as realtor, was more an exercise of showing properties and making buyer and sellers to meet. Just about anyone cud become a broker as there are no entry barriers to the trade and all kinds of people enter the trade. The fly by nite operators gave bad name to the business and caused problems to the few genuine brokers in the business.

But the modern day broker is evolving and keeping in tune with the times
1. Role is evolving from that of just finger pointing to being a true consultant in all sense
2. Need to have all round knowledge of not just real estate but all peripherial areas like housing finance, property laws, insurances related to real estate, property management services etc
3. Represent both the buyer and seller as their consultant and ensure that both their interests are protected at all times and the entire process of the deal is not only transparent but also hassle free
4. The broker should have excellent networking skills with affiliated professionals like advocates, architects, builders and all related professionals
5. Today brokers also have to effectively network with brokers in other locations so as to do bussn in other areas and represent their clients in areas outside their jurisdiction
Even in this new age era of direct marketing by Builders, Realtors hold a very important role in ensuring that your once-in-a-life dream home accquistion doesn’t run into rough weather. And again here, how smooth is the process, depends on what does your Realtor do for you ?
Is he ready to walk that extra mile to make you transition smooth, hassle free and memorable in more sense than one ? That all depends on you choosing your Realtor wisely.

What Should buyer or seller look for in a Realtor
1. Is the Realtor is full time in bussn – part timers in brokerage are not serious about their work and cant represent the clients faithfully and do justice to their deals.
2. Qualifications – A well educated and qualified Realtor will certainly be more professional than his counterparts
3. Operates from a office – that way he / she will be accessible when u need them and also look for people who have assistants and fully equipped offices so u can be attended to when they are not around and usually avoid brokers who are one man shows and don’t have time for all the clients
4. Knowledge – all around knowledge of current market scenes, rates, developments, latest in legalities
5. Reputation – get references from past clients, ask about broker’s service levels, his scope of services etc
6. Broker’s networking with lawyers, builders, architects, other real estate
7. Membership of associations – Shows him to be a part of the organised fraternity

How important is a Realtor
1. Typically home buying/selling is the single most important and expensive decision in the Indian middle class life, so it makes sense to get an expert to guide u in the process
2. The Realtor’s experience will guide you thru the complex maze of buying/selling a property and also advice you on the reputation of various builders and projects, current market scenario of realty, and the various pitfalls, so the client can stay away from problems
3. Realtor can be a one point contact for all the various components that go in a deal like housing finance, legal, interiors etc (more like a Single Stop Boutique in Realty Shopping)
So before you commit to use the services of a Realtor next time, ask yourself What does your Realtor do for you ? And make sure that you get your money’s worth for the commission that you will pay.

Credit :  +Ramprasad Padhi 
Mumbai Properties