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REAL ESTATE

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Do empty homes sell faster? Or do staged homes sell faster? According to a survey by National Association of Realtors® (NAR) in 2017, staging increased the value of a home by 6-20%. Over 77% of buyers find it easier to visualize it as their future home, when it is staged. 40% of buyers are willing to walk through a staged home thy saw online. staged homes spend half the time on the market than non-staged homes. I can personally vouch for having experienced these statistics as a seller. I remember the time when our house was in the market for sale. We…

I’m starting the house hunt series with apartments in East Bangalore, primarily around the Whitefield, Hoodi, and Old Madras area. Let’s start with Casagrand Royce, a 277-apartment spread over 6 towers coming up off Hoodi. Name of the property: Casagrand Royce Builder: Casagrand Location: Off Hoodi Junction. Precisely, on Kodigehalli Main Road, KR Puram, Bangalore. Though the address comes under KR Puram, it is closer to Hoodi Junction. Total area: 4.05 acres Type of units: 1,2,3 and 4 BHK apartment in many variants. Each of these have an option with a private terrace. Total number of units: 277 Status: under…

There are quite a few of you out there who have written to me recently asking for recommendations of ready-to-move in properties. As a buyer, this “find-a-new-home” project is one that sucks the time, energy and miles out of home chasers, testing their patience and perseverance, and proves as an acid test to see if the money they have been saving for their dream home will be sufficient. And, people who are in the house hunting process will agree with me when I say that even the most amicable couples end up having long drawn arguments over the kind of house…

This post is a slight deviation from the pretty pictures of breathtaking homes you often see here. My day job has been all about investment management and financial education, in general. Both finance and interiors, are close to my heart and that is precisely what this post will be about. If you are in the market for buying a new house, I’m certain you have seen at least a dozen houses, if not more. There are three criteria that we gave utmost importance when looking for homes two years back (in that order): Location: where you work, where you stay, and…

In this post, I analyse if you should consider buying a row house in Renaissance Nature Walk. Continuing with the House Hunt series, today I present to you one of our ah! moments. One where space is the king. One where light rules, and flows in unhindered. One where you can spread a chataai on the terrace and gaze at the stars without the exhaust smoke choking your lungs. One where you can indulge in a hobby. One where you can take a walk every evening without watching your step for stepping over trash. One where there is a hint of…

Continuing with the House Hunt series, today I review Birla Apple Aroma which is in the pre-launch stage. It is interesting to see how innovative builders are getting in the pre-launch phase to make it lucrative for buyers. This one caught my attention as the pre-launch of 48 units is done on auctions on Magicbricks. About the property: Name of the property: Birla Apple Aroma Location: JP Nagar Possession: 2018 More details on location and the amenities available: Birla Apple Spire  About the auction: Number of units available on auction: a total of 48 units comprising 8 units each of 2.5 BHK (1345…

Averse to planning and budgeting? Hate numbers? Don’t fret. Not after you read this post. One of the oft-asked questions when you approach an interior designer is “What is your budget?” I cannot stress the importance of planning and budgeting for interiors because this is a huge project, one with many variables than buying the house itself. Often, we don’t know how much money we have and are scared to spend. At the other extreme, people end up buying more with limited resources, resulting in credit card debt. Both the extreme case scenarios are not ideal. And if you ask…

This is the concluding part of the House Hunt series I started last year when we were in the market to look for new apartments/villas in East Bangalore. I reviewed a few homes we visited; it sparked a lot of enthusiasm among readers. But, it was taking forever for me to review one by one. So, I figured the easiest way would be to condense the over 30+ houses we must have seen in a single post with my comments. This should give a fair idea  of the houses in the market.

Before you read any further, here is a brief snapshot of the criteria for our shortlist:

  • Location: East Bangalore covering these areas: Sarjapur Road, Gunjur, Varthur Road, Outer Ring Road from Sarjapur to Hebbal, Marathahalli, Whitefield, Hoodi, ITPL Road, KR Puram, AECS Layout, Thubarahalli, Old Madras Road.
  • Budget: 1.0 cr to 1.6 cr.
  • Type: 3 BHK apartment or villa over 2,000 sq. ft with a large balcony or terrace area.
  • Accessibility: close proximity to schools in Varthur road, outer ring road or Whitefield.
  • Plan: plan had to appeal to us before we visited any place. Look at how to critique a house plan or the vaastu aspects I’m particular about.

What’s in a house plan, you may ask? It was the make or break point for me. When we were looking at houses, we would insist on seeing the plan before we planned to visit personally. There are certain small changes you can do in any plan such as combining a servant room with the kitchen, or including a balcony, or having two access points for a room. But, if the plan is inefficient in its usage of space and does not flow naturally, then there is no merit in visiting th place. Saves a lot of time and this…

Thank you Sreeraghavi for writing with a practical concern. I’m humbled by your request. Sreeragahavi, a reader of this blog, wrote to me in July with a practical query, something that all of us as home owners at one point or the other grapple with:
We have recently purchased a 1585 sqft apartment and it is in construction phase. I would love you to write a post about practical tips to be considered during construction of apartment. The smallest things which we miss during the construction and later regret of thinking about them during construction.
When I was doing the house hunt series, this was the topic I was going to address the next. Better late than never as I get back to the topic.
A few caveats before I begin: I’m no expert in architecture/interiors either by work experience or education. The suggestions you see here are what I have seen at homes of family and friends.
Utility:
  • Plan for the appliances you intend to keep in the utility – drier, washing machine, dishwasher and position the inlet/outlet pipes accordingly. 
Kitchen:
wooden partition