Hi,
How do NRIs normally go about finding the appropriate plot/apt to invest? meaning how to find what's a good investment? how to shop? what to look for? etc
I know this is a very broad question, but I'm just looking for some tips or how you normally go about?

I'm a native of Chennai, but I've never really caught up in the real estate investments or RE situation in Chennai, though my dad keeps gives me some limited info. All my understandings have been from forums (glancing forums for past couple of weeks).
If I decide to invest my dad will be able to visit the place, negotiate etc. But my parents are old, and I want to do most of the legwork myself (research and analysis at least - whatever I can do without being physically present)

How do you suggest I get into RE investing?
To begin with I'm considering the following:
1) Browse forum to get an idea of what people are actively talking about
2) Read news about general trends on RE in Chennai and India and about macro economic indicators

Anything else I can do, to get myself upto speed? Your suggestions are highly appreciated.

I'm purely interested in investing and not as an end user. I would like to buy something not too expensive (<40L) at least initially to see how things turn out and maybe after 1-2 years depending on my financial situation invest more.
Read more
Reply
23 Replies
Sort by :Filter by :
  • For your budget, you can invest in plots. Go for reputed layout promoters like SVP, BLB, et
    CommentQuote
  • Most Chennai based NRI people who put money in RE are looking for end-use.

    Few questions

    How often do you visit Chennai?
    How long do you spend when you are here?

    If you do not visit often, then get in touch with brokers and look for township projects. If you spend a lot of time in Chennai, then you are already familiar with developments and know some info. Tv ads, paper, Property shows on TV, Property exhibitions.

    What is your time worth - can you take off for couple of months?
    If yes, then look for resale units, plots. If no then stick to new apts.

    Budget -
    Are you in touch with realty prices in India?
    Look it up online to see trends.
    <40L is very less, you will find small 1-bhk/2-bhk units 30-40Km from city. Generally not suitable for NRIs as traveling to the site is time-consuming.
    Even when complete, you might not be able to adjust to live there.

    Selling is not easy too, especially when units are on outskirts. Big townships are better easy to sell and get out.
    CommentQuote
  • Plots are also not suitable for short term.

    Loans are difficult to get. Registration is 9%.

    You need to make minimum 30-40% return in 2 years to break even.

    They for long term horizon only.
    CommentQuote
  • Thanks K11 and Love4Land.
    I visit Chennai about once or rarely twice a year (usually for a month).
    Yeah, I understand that 40L doesn't fetch much in Chennai -
    I recently purchased an apt which will be for end use(not my but my parents' use), so investment budget is not very high atm (planning 40L, but can stretch to 50L max).

    Currently I'm not planning for my end use, but just as an investment or asset and hence not much concerned about the distance or locality, but just the growth potential.


    Originally Posted by k11
    Most Chennai based NRI people who put money in RE are looking for end-use.

    Few questions

    How often do you visit Chennai?
    How long do you spend when you are here?

    If you do not visit often, then get in touch with brokers and look for township projects. If you spend a lot of time in Chennai, then you are already familiar with developments and know some info. Tv ads, paper, Property shows on TV, Property exhibitions.

    What is your time worth - can you take off for couple of months?
    If yes, then look for resale units, plots. If no then stick to new apts.

    Budget -
    Are you in touch with realty prices in India?
    Look it up online to see trends.
    <40L is very less, you will find small 1-bhk/2-bhk units 30-40Km from city. Generally not suitable for NRIs as traveling to the site is time-consuming.
    Even when complete, you might not be able to adjust to live there.

    Selling is not easy too, especially when units are on outskirts. Big townships are better easy to sell and get out.
    CommentQuote
  • k11,
    In your opinion which do you think is better for a 4-5 yr time horizon? a sub urb plot like Oragadam,Urapakkam etc or an apt in city(like Chrompet/Selaiyur etc)?

    Originally Posted by k11
    Plots are also not suitable for short term.

    Loans are difficult to get. Registration is 9%.

    You need to make minimum 30-40% return in 2 years to break even.

    They for long term horizon only.
    CommentQuote
  • Who are some of the reputed builders for purchasing plots in suburbs? Other than SVP and BLB mentioned by Love4Land.
    I'll try to get a list and produce a list over the weekend and post it here if it turns out a meaningful list.
    CommentQuote
  • The budget is too low for investment grade apartments. In Delhi or Mumbai, sub-sales are very common. The brokerage network is very extensive and it is easy to find buyers during construction phase and before registration of sale deed. In Chennai it is a big hassle. Hence market here is end-user driven.

    Plots are not profitable in short term as you would have already paid registration and stamp duty charges, which are unrecoverable costs. Construction costs are also increasing, so these days plots are generally exchanging hands among investors and end users are slowly shifting to apartments. layout develpers in Chennai do not maintain for more than year or two. It is a big hassle afterwards as you have to regularly visit the site, clear vegetation, etc..

    Developers like BLB and SVP will facilitate in finding buyers if you intend to sell your plots in future. They'll charge a nominal fee for brokerage services.

    Other good layout promotors:

    Leo housing, Jains, Om sakthy and VGN.
    CommentQuote
  • Agree with Love4land and K11. My 2 cents: For your horizon and budget land is the right option. Some plot developers do maintain the land for 5 years (My experience is with Abi estates). I would pick Oragadam/Sriperumbathur.

    You haven't mentioned the apt' where your parents live. One option is to look for resale apts in that locality itself. But investment grade apartments are difficult to find in that budget.
    CommentQuote
  • Thanks for the suggestion murugesh.
    The apt my parents would be in is at Kovilambakkam. We got a 2 apt unit building (so it's neither an apt nor an independent house, plan to rent one unit and keep the other for ourselves).
    Originally Posted by murugesh
    Agree with Love4land and K11. My 2 cents: For your horizon and budget land is the right option. Some plot developers do maintain the land for 5 years (My experience is with Abi estates). I would pick Oragadam/Sriperumbathur.

    You haven't mentioned the apt' where your parents live. One option is to look for resale apts in that locality itself. But investment grade apartments are difficult to find in that budget.
    CommentQuote
  • Originally Posted by randomguy
    k11,
    In your opinion which do you think is better for a 4-5 yr time horizon? a sub urb plot like Oragadam,Urapakkam etc or an apt in city(like Chrompet/Selaiyur etc)?


    I would not consider Chrompet/Selaiyur as city. They extended corp limits recently.

    But for all purposes, City ends at Guindy for most people. Chrompet/Tambaram are suburbs. Oragadam/Urapakkam are extended suburbs.

    Urapakkam seems to have at least some semblance of basic infrastructure. It is on GST rd. You can atleast live there despite issues.

    Oragadam is developing, there no infra, govt is building some but it will take 10 more years for the place to become habitable. No sane person would live in Oragadam in outside the gated community. The RE prices reflect that. Oragadam is much cheaper than GST, so it is not a right comparison.

    Irrespective, townships are the only way to survive in this areas.


    Disclaimer - I do not have any investments in suburbs or extended suburbs.
    CommentQuote
  • Originally Posted by randomguy
    Thanks for the suggestion murugesh.
    The apt my parents would be in is at Kovilambakkam. We got a 2 apt unit building (so it's neither an apt nor an independent house, plan to rent one unit and keep the other for ourselves).


    You can call this Independent house.
    CommentQuote
  • @K11,

    Lot of people these days stay for rent in Chrompet and Tambaram, even IT folks. This was unimaginable few years back. The general profile of residents there used to be home owners and labourers.

    Chromepet, Tambaram and Urapakkam today are same as Mylapore, Mambalam and Triplicane 5 yrs back. So he is kind of right in calling them city areas (well developed urbanized areas).
    CommentQuote
  • Yes, lot of development at tambaram and surrounding suburbs in the last 5 years
    CommentQuote
  • Originally Posted by Love4land
    @K11,

    Lot of people these days stay for rent in Chrompet and Tambaram, even IT folks. This was unimaginable few years back. The general profile of residents there used to be home owners and labourers.

    Chromepet, Tambaram and Urapakkam today are same as Mylapore, Mambalam and Triplicane 5 yrs back. So he is kind of right in calling them city areas (well developed urbanized areas).


    Urapakkam is way too far from city (30+ Km from Gemini), it is far from Tambaram itself (9-10Km). I went to a college, close to this area.

    Tambaram is well developed area, probably more than Chrompet.

    But still they are way too far, cannot be called city, they are suburbs.

    Gemini is the center of city in my opinion. Guindy on GST, Velachery, Thiruvamayur on OMR/ECR are the end-points on the south side.
    CommentQuote
  • The popular perception is that east tambaram, perumbakkam and Sholinganallur are more developed and sought after than Chromepet or Pallavaram, this situation is going to reverse in a few years.

    Imagine projects like Olympia Grande or Vishwakarma skypark, if they were located in Tamabaram-Velachery road towards Tambaram, will they quote same price?

    In a few years we are going to see some reshuffling of what is more expensive locality and what is not. I already see the writing on the wall ever since Olympia grande was launched.
    CommentQuote