Hi All I have been a member of this forum for quite some time now and have observed some very interesting trends in real estate which are reflective of our general life fundamentals. We are the coke loving, Levi's wearing generation who like everything to be handed out on a platter. Common examples are when people post one line in a forum "Any idea about XYZ project or builder." If you have interest in a project then at least call them ask for rates, view site plan of the web site and post your thoughts. We are like sheep in most cases following the latest trends and being fooled by marketing honchos who get paid in lakhs to fool us. Some common observations I made are given below.

Having Houses close of Offices: We have been led to believe the having houses near IT parks, office complexes, is very good so these areas should be highly priced. You spend 8-10 hours in office and the rest at home. So home is typically a place where you relax and spend quality time with family. Thats what you work so hard for. :) Your child should be able to play around your house without fear of excessive traffic, pollution, noise, etc. All these factors are negated when you buy houses near major office destinations. You have to satisfy with an 10 X 10 garden with one swing where everyone can play. Unless its like Magarpatta which has been planned well its not worth paying so much to live close to your office. I am scared of what will happen in Wakad. One narrow road which cannot be extended will lead to Hinjewadi Phase 1,2, and 3. The traffic, strain, and noise on the road will be tremendous.

Buying Houses Based on Assumed Appreciation:: Most property dealers tell us we will get great value for houses when we sell them years later. What about its value today? Most builders use this tactic to cover up lack of basic amenities near their projects today. Kharadi and Wagholi are prime examples. Builders are signing at prime rates without basic amenities while they promise the world in future. Kharadi, does not have water, roads are yet to be build, no street lights yet beefed up rates because its close to where your office could be, and it will have tremendous appreicataion in future :). Houses in Kharadi and Wagholi houses should be bought on what they are today rather than what it could be 10 years down the line. If you want to buy it for the future rate should be justifiable around 2000 maximum. I have nothing against Kharadi, Wagholi, Hinjwadi etc, but i just want to emphasize that buy the house for a right reason, and not on trends, false promises and market jargon.

Paying tons of money for useless amenities I see so many people asking for houses with standard amenities such as swimming pool, gym, club house etc. The quality of such amenities is pathetic and we end up paying prime rates for them. Take my own example. I have paid for 1400 sqft where my carpet and terrace area is 1100 sqft. At 2400 per sqft i have paid Rs 7 Lakh extra to builder for things i may not use for most of my life. I could have paid the same amount to the best health club in Pune for lifetime family membership with facilities such as large size pool, tennis, SPA, etc. Builders make tons of profit from such ventures and we do not use most of these sub standard facilities. I loved the house and had no choice but to buy it for personal reasons. Also all builders give these amenities now, so you cannot do much. All I am saying is that dont let builder con you into the belief that he is doing a favor on you by giving you such things. You are paying big bucks for it.

Treating Real Estate as an Investment: I have observed only two kinds of people make money in real estate. The first kind of people are those who are plainly lucky. 99% people come in this category. No one knew, Pune was going to go bang like this. So guyz who had been living here and following parental advice about buying houses have made their money. This trend has started and should finish now. The current rates make it foolish to consider real estate investment. Remember the US market slump did not lead to real estate slump. Excessive inflation in real estate prices was one of the reasons why the market fell. India has gone through its growth phase and now we will see the stabalization. Some Tier 2 cities will grow like Pune but Pune has seen the 100% appreciation. Its totally foolish to expect another 100% jump. The second type of people who make money on real estate are ones who do not follow trends and do lot of research to invest in real estate. These people did not follow trends but relied and solid research and instinct and had a very good idea about how changes impact real estate and economy. It better to learn about the financial management and then decide where you want to invest your money. Avoid investing everyone around you does it.

Buying houses with exorbitant finishing because builder provided Italian, Spanish finishing. Builders are trying to sell houses at not so good localities and pricing them at exorbitant prices because flashy interiors. One walk in Home Town in Ishaniya should dispel the myth. Great flooring, awesome bathrooms, amazing doors, will cost you 10L at the maximum. Thats when you buy the best available in the market and own a decent sized 3 BHK. When you compare this to difference in rates the difference is startling. Normal project cost upto Rs 15-20L lesser and the quality of stuff in the posh house is not even half of what you can buy for 10L you are spending. In most cases the location determines the price and thats how it should be. Better for buy a 3 BHK in a decent locality and spend some money on it to develop it.
Sorry if I was too preach but I hate the fact that intelligent people who do awesomely well in life can make some foolish decisions in real estate.
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