There is always a demand for good houses and apartments in Mumbai, especially in the affordable range. With more people migrating to this metropolitan city and settling down here, the requirement for residential apartments in Mumbai is always present. Making the most of this demand, many builders are planning to construct residential apartments in various parts of the city.

One such construction firm that is tapping into the demand of the Mumbai real estate market is DB Realty. It is one of the big players in the Mumbai property market, and has proved itself with a number of good projects in various parts of the city. Projects designed and constructed by DB Reality are known for their innovative design and excellent construction. Adding another feather to its cap, DB Reality has now proposed to construct a multi-storeyed residential apartment in Bandra.

With 29 storeys, this residential apartment, once completed, will become one of the hot spots of the Bandra Kurla complex. Though Mumbai is a city that has a number of skyscrapers, the addition of a new one is sure to bring in plenty of investors. The strategic location of the residential apartment as well as the goodwill of the construction firm is sure to encourage many investors to put their money on this real estate and construction firm.

The project has got a positive nod from all the respective permission granting authorities including the AAI (Airport authority of India). The permission from AAI was important because of the height of the project. The project is expected to launch in October, 2015. It is a joint venture between DB Realty and Radius developers with DB Reality owning a 51 percent stake in the project and the developer’s 49% stake. All the planning and developmental activities will be jointly handled by both the partners.

The project is spread over a wide area of 2.6 million square feet and is expected to cost the company Rs 340 crores. The project is expected to be completed in 39 months. This residential apartment is not being constructed on a vacant plot, but on land reclaimed after demolishing the existing buildings. So, you can even call it as a redevelopment project.

Even as the project is being announced, there seems to be a strategic shift in the property in Mumbai rates and trends in this part of Mumbai. Currently, the property rates per square feet are ranging from Rs 35000- Rs 55000 in this area. The rates could increase once this project is completed. So, many of the savvy investors are looking for options to invest their money in properties in the BKC area, so they can make a profit out of their investment in the future. But, we will have to wait for 3 years to find out what exactly is going to happen.

People who want their house to be a landmark in Mumbai can choose to buy an apartment here. It could prove economical for investors to book for an apartment in Mumbai during construction rather than after completion because the prices could be less. DB Realty and Radius developers are all set to give Mumbai a new landmark at BKC.

The city of Mumbai has a growing real estate market with tonnes of options available for buyers and investors. Be it buying a house for personal use or for investment purposes, there are innumerable options at one’s disposal. However, the fast developing real estate market in Mumbai is witnessing an ever diminishing demand in the recent past. Though the property builders are working on their building projects day and night, the gap between property demand and supply continues to widen. What are the reasons for this growing discrepancy?

A lot of projects by a plethora of builders are coming up in Mumbai. These projects are spread over different parts of the city. Though there are good available options for the investors to choose from, the projects are expensive and way beyond the affordable limits. To describe in statistical terms, there are a total of 77,460 units of residential projects coming up in the city, out of which, 2600 units have been completed. Around 5311 residential units are as pricey as Rs 5 crores and above. About 17000 units are available in a comparatively lesser bracket ranging from Rs 2 – 5 crores while 205 units fall in the third category and are priced at Rs 2 crores and above. There are 5,700 units standing empty and the value of each apartment is anywhere between Rs 65 lakhs to Rs 2 crores. Nearly 19,500 residential units fall in the lowest offered range i.e. below Rs 65 lakhs.

The New projects in Mumbai are built on swanky and lavish concepts and demand a high price from the investor. The buyer will seriously feel the pinch when he or she invests in such projects. As a result, the investors are wary of investing their valuable money in any property. There is no doubt that there is a demand for homes in Mumbai, but the demand is only in the affordable segment. The investors now are keenly observing the increasing and decreasing trends in the real estate market in order to gauge the customer requirement. The demand principle says that when prices increase, demand falls. Going by the principle, many investors are hoping for the property prices in Mumbai to come down, so they can invest in the properties. This is expected to be a trickledown effect of the sluggish demand for high end properties.

Top builders in Mumbai should understand that they need to construct projects matching the demands of the people. The demand for affordable homes is on the rise. However, the projects that fall in the affordable housing category are comparatively very low in number. Builders are focussing on making large money rather than meeting the buyer’s demands by constructing as per limited budgets.

The expectation of the buyers and sellers are on different planes, which means that the sellers are not providing what the investors require. It is only when the prices come down that people will be ready to invest their money in a property. Currently, the real estate environment doesn’t look suitable for buyers who are looking for investing in houses for own use or for the investors who are looking for a property solely for investment purposes.

Real Estate in Mumbai is about to get real! After a dull period over the past few years, projects are beginning to shine as buyers are starting to show interest. Booking have been on the rise and property developers are quickly trying to cash in on the trend by pushing huge discounts and attractive deals along with purchases. It is high time the low ballers and those who have been playing the waiting game throw in the towel and jump in to purchase and get the property market of Mumbai going!

Ready to move in projects save a lot of money to the buyer! Unlike projects under construction where you pay up for your house in advance, start paying those installments and still end up paying rent for your accommodation till your apartment is complete, ready to occupy projects make life easier. Rajhans Kshitij is one such project which has caught the fancy of many! Situated in Vasai road, it is easily accessible to the major civic facilities and schools. The classy exterior is well complimented by spacious apartments that start at just over 40 lakhs making it a practical project for many!

Karbao Town, Bhiwandi is yet another locality that has been garnering interest from the public of late. The area now has its flagship project underway by the name of Poonam Hills. It is a residential project that boasts of an Earthquake resistance structure which makes the front page of the brochure. It is definitely something which many would be amazed about.

Moving back into the city gives us the chance to explore an uber luxurious project. L&T’s Crescent Bay Parel needs no introduction! The location, being Parel doesn’t need a description to sell itself. Being smack in the middle of all things thick and thin, the project has the location to boast of as well as the style to look good while doing it! The creative team of L&T have really let go of any inhibitions while designing the Crescent Bay and have given the property market of Mumbai what it has deserved after all these years of an ugly property bubble being blown out of proportion.

Going back to more affordable options available in the metropolitan of Mumbai, Simplicity, as the name suggests is for the modern, yet inconspicuous man who would want a residence without much fuss about it. Modest flats in Mumbai that start from as low as 380 square feet are available in this project though it does flaunt amenities like a swimming pool, club house and an in-house gym facility! ‘Simplicity’ in Shahpur is the definitive description of what the modern Mumbaikar wants but albeit being a bit too far off from the action of Mumbai. However, the proximity to the railway line means you can still consider it.

It you like to go green, then you must go yellow! Yellow Tree is a perfect statement in Asangaon by Prakhhyat Residency. With solar heating, rainwater harvesting, greenery, meditation center amidst all the greenery and a responsible garbage disposal system, it could be the perfect retirement home. Do read my article on buying a second home too!

If you are a first time purchaser of an apartment, then you will be confused with various jargons used in real estate market. Buying an apartment requires you to know more about the terms used there, so that you can stay aware during the whole purchase procedure. There are many a chance that buyer may get cheated by the builder if they are not aware of what plinth area, built-up area, super built-up area, and carpet area really mean. By knowing these areas you can avoid paying more than what is worth for an apartment.

Let us take a look on different area term that are referred while buying an flats in Mumbai;

Carpet Area

It is the actual usable area that lies within the internal wall of the apartment. It is the area that lies within the walls where you can lay your carpet. Carpet area does not include the thickness of the inner wall. It includes living room, bedroom, dining room, kitchen, dressing room and other rooms in the apartment. It is the only area that we can measure in person. You can easily calculate the carpet area by adding together the area of all rectangular blocks or room (Length x Breadth). It is actually 70 to 80% of super built-up area. But this percentage may vary from project to project. The carpet area in some luxury apartment may 50 to 70% of the super built-up area.

Plinth Area or Built-up Area

It is actually calculated by adding 10% or 20% loading factor to the carpet area. It includes total covered area including the utility ducts, internal and external walls of carpet area and columns.

Super Built-up Area

It is actually the original saleable area. When built-up area is added with proportional share of common areas that are allocated for an apartment it forms the super built-up area. It includes the entire built-up area, and common usable areas such as lobby, air ducts, community halls, sports room, clubs, pipe ducts, staircase and lift. But there is no actual way that we can judge whether the super built-up area said by the builder is as estimated by the architect. The difference between super built-up area and carpet area is call loading.  You can calculate this super area by multiplying carpet area by super area loading. The area sold to the buyer is the super built-up area.

Common Area

Common areas include lifts, staircase, swimming pools, sports area, clubs, common corridors of buildings and parking areas. It is actually the portion of the building and land owned by all the individual apartment owners and used by all unit owners. The maintenance and operation charge of these common area are shared among all unit owners.

If you are planning to buy a new apartment in near future, then it is vital that you need to widen your knowledge about all these real estate area terms. As many people are not aware of these terms they end up paying too much for their apartment.

Have you decided to invest your money on property? It is definitely a good idea when you look at the way that the real estate in Mumbai has grown in leaps and bounds. When you purchase a property in Mumbai, you not only add an asset to your savings, but also generate a new way to earn from your savings. Now that you’ve decided to put your money in property, the next question that comes to one’s mind is whether to purchase a plot or go for a fully constructed house. There are pros and cons in both and deciding what to purchase depends on a number of factors.

If you are planning to invest in property in mumbai the metropolitan city, then you may have to go for a constructed house rather than a plot. The simple reason is that you may find it difficult to search for a plot in the crowded city. You may easily find an apartment for sale in Mira road than a plot of land. Availability, therefore, becomes one of the most important reasons why many people prefer to go for a house in Mumbai rather than land.

However, if you are very insistent that you want to purchase a piece of land and construct a house by yourself, then you will probably have to go further away from the city towards the outer suburban areas.

It requires a lot of time and effort, and not to say money to construct a house. If you’re planning on doing everything from scratch, then you will have to spend a lot of your time on traveling to markets to buy all the raw materials. Also, you should have contacts who will be able to get you labourers for construction, plumbing, electrical work, painting and all the other work required for the house construction. Plus, you need to be on site overlooking the entire construction process to ensure seamless work flow and to make sure no one swindles the materials. So, if you have a lot of time in hand and don’t mind taking up all these tasks, you can construct a house. Plus, you will be able to save a lot of money.

You want to build a house, but don’t have the time to put in all the effort. Then you can go to a building contractor or developer. He will construct the house for you just the way you want, and you also don’t have to worry about all the nitty gritty details. The catch point, however, is that you may have to shell out more money than planned. Also, if you’re not sure about the reliability of the person, there are many chances that you may lose out more than you can put in.

Many people feel it is very difficult to construct a house, and so look for a fully constructed house in Mumbai. The downside here is that the house can be more expensive than you expected, and may not be exactly what you want.

There are pluses and minuses in both building and buying a house in mumbai. So, if one asks, which is better – buying a house or building one, the answer would depend on your priorities and preferences.

Getting a spacious roof terrace is not possible for people who buy flats in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata and other cities. For those people who cannot afford to buy or build individual villas, apartments are a boon. Though apartment houses have a lot of benefits, they also have some disadvantages such as getting a garden space, separate terrace area, a portico and more. The only choice for them to connect with nature and enjoy fresh air is balcony. With such small outdoor spaces available, we all wish to decorate it to look more beautiful and inviting.

Here are few tips to enhance the look of a balcony:

Planters

Green plants and colourful flowers can definitely transform the look of any space. You can choose plants of various types with colourful flowers for a natural look. If you wish to add more colour to the space, you can go for colourful pots. While small plants in pots add a pleasant look, climbers and creepers add an aesthetic look. If your balcony is partially exposed to sunlight, you can go for flowering shrubs or ornamental shrubs.

Space-saving furniture

We all love to sit out in the balcony and spend some time in the evenings after a tiring day. But in most apartments, the balcony space is too congested for big furniture. So you can simply put a very small round table and a matching chair. You can also go for colourful cost-efficient plastic chairs and tables. For balconies that are too small for chairs and tables, you can go for bamboo swing chair that adds a rustic look. Just place a bright coloured pillow on it that enhances the look. You will surely love to relax yourself all day long on the swing sipping a cup of coffee.

Bird Feeders

If you are someone who love birds, then why not invite them to your balcony? You can hang bird feeders on your balcony that attracts variety of birds to your balcony. You will love to wake up to chirping sound of birds every morning. But remember keeping bird feeders may sometime make a mess on the balcony with poop, seeds and dirt.

Lighting

You can use hanging pendant lights in your balcony for a contemporary look. Go for vintage lanterns for a classic feel. During those festive seasons, you can make you balcony glow in colours with string lights.

Innovative ideas

Apart from these usual ways of decorating your balcony, you can also make it look unique with some innovative decorating ideas. You can use handrail tables, handrail planters, or a handrail perch that add modern look to the space. You can also hang plastic birds that hang from a rope and keep swinging around the balcony. You can also hang some artificial lights in wicker baskets of different sizes.

Buying properties from Real Estate in Mumbai and other cities is itself a big challenge. But after you have bought your house, decorating it to look at its best is very vital. Especially balconies and living room are the important space that require an extra care in decorating.

Buying a property is a huge long-term investment, and requires a great deal of time and effort. One cannot just put all the money on some piece of property because the advertisers have colored a rosy picture of the entire sale. Nor does one buy a property in Mumbai just to satisfy a whim. There are many documents and authorizations associated with any piece of property, and before you make your investment, you should have a check list to ensure you’ve made all the necessary documents and certificates.

Once you have decided to buy a property in Mumbai, you can check out the various localities that will be perfect for your requirements. After you’ve decided on the area, check out the property rates in the locality and find out the development and progress in the area in the last five years. You can also checkout the various projects undertaken by top builders to ensure that the property value in the area will remain stable or rise in the next few years and not drop.

Now that you’ve zeroed in on the exact location to purchase property and identified the seller, get the following documents for verification:
• Original copies of the land document and sale deed
• Original copy of the parent document
• Certificate from the local body authorizing the construction of a house/flat/apartment
• CIDCO approval, if applicable
• Latest encumbrance certificate (EC) that will give you an idea about the loans taken on the property or any other legal details
• Title papers of the property
• IOD (Intimation Of Disapproval) and CC (Commencement Certificate) – These documents are provided only if BMC has approved construction, and the house is built on undisputed land
• If you’re purchasing a constructed house, then ask for the original building plans and check if it has been approved by the local government authorities
• If the land had been used for agricultural purposes in the past, then you should also check for the conversion approval of land for constructing residential buildings
• If you’re looking for property in Mumbai, you should also ask for Intimation of Disapproval (IOD) and Commencement Certificate (CC)

There are lots other factors also that you should check before you buy the property. First, check the availability of water in the locality. Find out if the locality has proper metro water supply, and the regularity with which water is supplied. If you’re purchasing an independent house or flats in Mumbai, you can also check if it has a bore well.

Safety is another important aspect in your check list. You should ensure that the locality is safe for your family. If you have children, then it would be a good idea to check if there is a large playground or park for the children to play.

The points described here are just the tip of the iceberg, and there are lots more that you will have to add to your checklist while buying property. Those points will depend on your personal requirements and budget constraints.

Green Real Estate in India has come a long way! From a measly 20,000 square feet back in 2003, certified green projects in the country have risen to over 3 billion square feet this year! That is a colossal increase by any standard; part of this is due to environmental awareness among the public and partly due to the benefits that the government has made available for greener projects in the country.

The Mumbai Municipal Council has decided to heavily incentivize environmental friendly eco-projects in the city. With the growing strain on the land and the natural resources, it is a good way to keep the projects less commercialized and in turn provide a better living atmosphere for the urban public. Certified Green Projects in Mumbai will now receive a huge discount of 20% on their property tax!

If this is not incentive enough, one should know that a project needs to have energy-saving features to attain the ‘Green’ status. This means that there are more savings in the longer run than just the property tax alone. In a concrete jungle like the city of Mumbai, the heat and humidity can make for a claustrophobic experience and the green projects which require open space and considerable amount of greenery will definitely make a more pleasurable experience for the residents.

Other localities like Chandigargh, Kolkatta and NCR have plans in place where an additional leverage of up to 10% is given on the Floor Space Index if the property plan is certified to be green! So what is a Green Project? Any building which is sustainable during the process of construction and maintenance through efficient use of resources and is environmentally responsible with its design can be certified to be Green!

Of the 3 billion square feet of green spaces in India, Mumbai accounts for a whopping 600 million square feet! That is 20% of all the built up green spaces in India contributed by one single city! And all this was without any guaranteed incentives announced till date. However, the municipal of Mumbai has taken note of efforts of the developers in making Mumbai a better place to live in and have now announced the cut in property taxes. This will also motivate people to check out the unsold green properties in Mumbai over the regular ones.

The Indian Green Building Council appreciates this move and also estimates the savings that Green Buildings effect upon on the society. Approximately 200 million square feet of commercial office spaces in India are certified as Green. An average office space of 1,00,000 square feet can save up to Rs. 40 lakhs in energy every year! And if the building has water conserving tactics in place, the savings could double up!

Commercial spaces that are certified as green are often avoided by huge companies since they cost marginally more to rent. But the savings are higher which is not factored in! If proper awareness is imparted to the people and corporate administrations alike, we could be looking at a brand new Mumbai apartments very much sooner.

Every Mumbaikar does not have the financial position to own a house and dwell in it. As a result, there is a never diminishing demand for rented houses and office spaces in the city of Mumbai.

In case of rented houses, the tenants were offered protection under the Rent Control Act. Earlier, it was a possibility to get a decent sized apartment for rent at a very reasonable or probably cheap rate.

However, a state housing department is planning to increase the rents paid by tenants for the properties in Mumbai, in a big way. The government is planning to collect higher proportions of rent from people who live or trade in comparatively larger spaces. The limit decided is over 862 sq. ft. for residential purposes and over 500 sq. ft. for commercial properties. This may affect around 5 lakh people in the city. When compared to fixed rents being paid by the tenants, the landlords would now be able to charge 50 % of the market value of rent for first 3 yrs and then, charge higher rents for subsequent years. For senior citizens, the rent may be as much as 15 % of their income. This may increase the rent rates for Mumbai properties manifold, and bring a change to the real estate in Mumbai.

On one hand, the landlords have acquired the properties long back, when the property rates were as cheap as peanuts, and on the other hand, they argue that the rents received are very low and there is no money to pay for maintenance and repairs of the property. The summation of rent received by the landlords over the years would have surely helped them, recover the amount they had paid to acquire the property. The rents received now, and the resale value in future, is all a profitable avenue to the landlords. In addition to this, burdening the tenants with higher rents is only going to create a one sided and a win – lose situation.

The areas of Mumbai that will be most affected by the enforcement of this law are – Marine Drive, Virar, Nariman Point, Colaba, Mira and Malabar Hill. The upcoming projects, coming up in Mumbai may face mixed reactions. On one hand, people may consider investing in property in Mumbai as, it will get difficult for people to lend their houses on rent due to, an upsurge of the rental bills. On the other hand, the demand for new residential projects in Mumbai may increase if people invest in property in anticipation of higher rental incomes.

People may now opt for guest houses rather than staying in a flat in Mumbai. Though people might have to compromise on the amenities available, it will not dig a big hole in their pockets. Staying in Studio apartments will now become a dream as its affordability has become a million dollar question.

The government has to take sincere efforts to realize the pros and cons of this legal enforcement. A specialized team of experts is planning to be formed for the same, which will come out with an appropriate decision within a span of 2 weeks. The government needs to be more empathetic and understand the needs and concerns of the masses. Being more considerate to the richer class will only result in a unilaterally beneficial law. The Mumbaiites may have to pay higher rents for 1 BHK or 2 BHK houses in Mumbai.

Today’s information age, symbolizes a shift from the, traditional means of communication to computerization. In the modern era, people are comfortable working with the internet for, all their needs. From, searching for valuable information to, making payments, the internet helps us in all. It has not only made our life easier, but also helped us completing our tasks faster and with more efficiency.

Online property portals are the buzzword today. They have taken over the real estate agents in a big way. The traditional way of dealing with real estate, be it, renting a house or looking a house for rent, buying or selling a house or office space is a thing of the past. In today’s busy world it’s hard to find time to approach a real estate agent, put your needs forth and follow up. All of us know that, all queries related to our properties are just a click away. With the upcoming of, numerous property portals, people have started keeping real estate agents at bay.

The online property portals offer a wide reach to the users. Earlier, approaching a trusted real estate agent offered only limited options available with the agent to choose from. But now, you have access to the properties of thousands of people. This offers room for better selection. The internet is always considered a dependable source of information. Any property listed in the portals is sure to gain credibility and create a good impression about any builder. Property listing on portals surely enhances the reputation of any builder by, offering credibility. Any requirement of property can be easily tackled due to the internet access option at all times. Just like a real estate agent, the portals do not have any time constraints; they can be used throughout the day. They not only offer buy, sell and rental options, they are also now trying to give wide options for specialized services like interior designing, vaastu consultants, legal services etc. The internet has a very high reach compared to a real estate agent. With crores of people reading your advertisement, there are higher chances for you to complete the property transaction very quickly and also with less hassle. The portals offer ease in the sense that; they can be accessed to, from anywhere, just with the availability of an internet connection. This helps in accessing the portals even on the move.

The popularity gained by the online portals has not happened overnight. It owes the credit to the popularity of internet usage and the need to save time and effort by people. The online portals offer a plethora of advantages to the users. All you need is, to be internet savvy. Be it, property listing for purchase, renting or sale or other services like architecture, construction and renovation, they can provide help for all. Online property portals are replacing real estate agents in a big way. This is a big revolution in the real estate industry.

Sulabha Kulkarni is a freelance writer and an avid blogger, following the Property in Mumbai and real estate sector closely for many years. 

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