Smart cities, the future of living in India

There is a great buzz in India, recently, on Smart cities. The government has embarked on ‘Smart Cities Mission’, one of the Prime Minister’s pet projects and has identified, in the first phase, a list of 98 current cities to be developed into smart cities.

Purpose

Economic growth and improving the quality of life of its citizens are the prime drivers of the mission. To achieve this, government plans to enable local area development by using Digital Technology and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). Greenfield areas are to be developed in the periphery of the cities to provide accommodation to the anticipated growth of the population as a result of these developments.

Smart cities will use technology, gather and collate information and data by using smart solutions with the aim of improving the services and infrastructure. The information gathered will be in real time thereby providing quicker solutions to problems on hand. As a result the quality of life improves creating a feel-good factor in the individual. This would also lead to higher productivity, employment opportunities and income generation and consequently, inclusive growth.

How is ‘smart city’ different from a normal city?

A normal city is a defined area with boundary limits including both urban and suburban areas. Land area, population, civic facilities, administration with structured portfolios, well defined transport systems, medical and educational facilities and a faster pace of life, all define a city. It contrasts with a town or village in that the above stated facilities are less or nonexistent in them. It is also true that many a time towns grow into cities.

There seems to be no universal definition of what is a smart city. Many parameters define a smart city and these may not be applicable universally; it would vary from country to country and city to city. The level of development planned, resources required or available, a commitment to change and introduce reforms taking the aspirations of its citizens are all necessary requirements in a smart city. So a smart city is the normal city with much more.

Smart city provides the citizens high quality, cost effective service seamlessly and with a minimum use of the resources. The latest technology is used in providing these services. Digital Technology offers most services at the click of the mouse which otherwise involved a physical presence of the resident to receive many of the services such as banking, shopping, government services (payment of taxes, bills, accessing information etc). Smart cities are high on the social indices, employment opportunities and good and transparent governance.

Let us look at one of the 98 cities that have been identified by the government of India to be set up as Smart Cities – Ahmedabad. Each smart city is to receive a government grant of Rs. 100 crores over the next five years to start with. Consistent with the Smart city plan, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has been involved in two projects: Sabarmati River Front and Bhadra Fort Revitalization. The first has transformed the Sabarmati river front, from a slum infested area due to decades of neglect and decay to being a place of leisure and recreation. The reclamation of a 10.5 km stretch with clean waterways has become not only a centre of tourist importance but also an avenue for commercial activities. One of the largest slum clearance projects of the city had to be carried out for this transformation.

The second is the Bhadra Fort Revitalization project which has helped clear the area of squatters from the Bhadra Fort to the Teen Darwaja area and organized the hitherto disorderly and chaotic hawker trade to a well-regulated and orderly one, preserving its architectural and cultural edifices. Much more needs to be done in other parts of the city to be in sync with the Smart Cities Mission.

How will a smart city impact the real estate?

It is common knowledge that when a geographical area gets a holistic development, trade and commerce gets favorably impacted. People naturally move in to settle down and this boosts the real estate market. All commercial activity is people driven and therefore it pushes real estate demand. Realtors in Ahmedabad are therefore happy. Civic authorities will also be happy for they can provide transparent governance which leads to less dissatisfaction among residents. Residents are happy when they are provided a better standard of living with all amenities and services being available to them. It is a win-win situation for all. Ergo smart city!

Budget-Friendly Home Improvement Ideas

General perception about home improvement ideas is that they are time consuming and end you end up with a big hole in your pockets. When it comes changing your home décor, it is not necessary that you will have to spend a lot of money to make your home look adorable. And, if you have only a limited budget then it’s vital that you spend your money wisely. Here are some of the affordable home improvement ideas that will help you to enhance the beauty of your home;

Add Lighting in Outdoors

Apart from decorating the interiors of your home, it’s also very important to make the exterior of your home look charming. Using proper lighting to light the exterior of the house is one of the best home improvement ideas to make your home shine during dusk. There are several solar lighting products available in the market these days that are not only more technologically advanced but are energy efficient too. Such lighting fixtures might seem expensive initially but are cost effective in long run. Thus, you don’t have to switch off the exterior lights during night time. Eventually, this will also help in keeping burglars away.

Install Molding

One of the key home decor features distinguishing an elegant room from a normal room is the attention to Molding. Apart from being affordable, these wooden Moldings come in hundreds of designs. Be it simple or ornate, you can choose according to your need, taste and budget. Especially, you can prefer moldings which come in flexible materials such as foam, as it will make your installation work easier. Also, there are moldings in the market that includes lighting, as well. Such moldings are ideal if you want to conceal your light fixtures. A simple home improvement idea like molding can enhance the look f your house drastically.

Here are few suggestions on molding;

  • It’s always the best to install crown molding, as it will make your room look spacious. However, you have to be more concerned about proportions while installing it. If your ceiling height is less prefer simpler styles to avoid overdoing it.
  • While installing chair railing, ensure that you place them at one-third distance of the ceiling height. Placing a chair railing is important, as it can affect the proportion of the room.
  • Also, installing wooden moldings around the doors, entryways, and windows is also important to add more elegance to your home.

Choose a Right Ceiling Fan

While decorating your home, ensure that you have a stylish ceiling fan that matches the interiors of your living room or bedroom. If you have old or outdated ceiling fans replace them with new and trendy ones which gives an appealing look to your living space. Also, ceiling fans won’t cost you much.

Follow these ideas while installing ceiling fans at home;

Fix a ceiling fan 7 or 8 feet above the floor. If you have got a low ceiling at home, get a hugger ceiling fan that’s flush mounted.

Prefer ceiling fans that are energy efficient to reduce your electricity cost. Also, ensure that you buy a quality product with less noise and good cooling results.

Tips For Purchasing Your Dream House

Buying a property is a lifetime decision and for this, you need to be furnished with the correct information. Purchasing a good apartment has been made easy with existence of reputed dealers or developers who offer various facilities and luxuries such as swimming pool, children play-area, gymnasium etc. in the residential apartments. But, a momentous decision like acquiring property needs to be carefully thought out. In this article you will find some crucial tips to help you in purchasing an apartment or other property.

Booking an Apartment under Construction

In case of booking a property under construction, you should take a few points under consideration. Here, you should demand for the allotment letter and development agreement. When it comes to constructed properties, you should check out the property rights of the seller in terms of title and possession of the property as well as the right to transfer the property.

Identify Your Needs

The first and foremost thing required is to identify your desires and specifications while buying a property. The requirements and features desired in a home differ from buyer to buyer on the basis of their family size, lifestyle, usage etc. so the buyer must be able to identify the preferences in regard to the dream house.

Check Out the Legal Aspects

Once you are decided on your set of requirements and accordingly find a property, the next thing is to check the legal aspects of the property. This entails acquiring approvals and No-Objection-Certificate (NOC) from the Municipal Corporation, Electricity Boards, Area Development Authorities, Water Supply & Sewage Boards and other concerned authorities. Check out that the developer has entered into proper development agreements and ensure that the property has clear titles. This is highly important beacuse every bank sanctions home loan only after checking your documents for authentication.

Be Informed About Taxes and Duties

The buyers should prepare themselves by acquiring an in-depth understanding of the government policies and other legalities such as Stamp duty, Service tax etc. before buying a property. The correct know-how is of utmost importance for making an informed choice for the purchase decision. Buying property is a major task and thus requires wise investment in terms of choosing the right property at the right price. Therefore, do your research thoroughly before buying apartment or signing any agreement to buy the property.

Rental Agreement: A Legal Overview

The ongoing migratory trend to cities and metros from rural areas has aggravated the demand of rental accommodations all across the country. Be it students or young professionals, people looking for better a better future and prosperous lifestyle end up in metros or upcoming big cities that offer both of these things. However, the only thing which is hard to find in these cities is accommodation, and finally they have to settle in for a Rented Accommodation. However a Rented Accommodation also has numerous legal provisions to be dealt with. Below you will find some useful tips to handle these legal aspects with ease and efficiency.

A Rent Control Act, was proposed by the government of India to eliminate and control the exploitation of the tenants. However, this created more problems than it solved. In 1992, the central government proposed a model rent control legislation that could solve major legal confrontations between landlords and tenants. This also met with failure. Finally in 1997, several state governments adopted their own Rent Control Acts that had all the provisions for solving any dispute among the landlords and tenants.

What is a Rental Agreement?

  • A Rental Agreement refers to a legal contract between the landlord and the tenant that clearly defines the right of the tenant to use the rented property.
  • It also clarifies the time for which the property is rented after which the tenant losses its possession of the property.
  • A Rent Agreement also defines the amount of rent, which is to be paid by the tenant to the landlord for using the property.

Importance of the Rental Agreement

Rental Agreement is of pivotal importance to both the parties because of it establishes a formal legal relationship between both the parties.

For the Tenant

The Rental Agreement not only decides the rights of the tenant but also decides the terms of use of the property along with timeframe for which the property is leased out, at the end of which the tenant loses right over the possession of the property. It also ensures that that as far as the tenant is complying by the terms of the agreement, the Landlord can’t evict him from the property until completion of the lease period.

For the Landlord

Like the tenant, this agreement holds great importance for landlord. It defines his rights over the property. Even after completion of the lease period the landlord can ask for monetary remuneration if the property leased by him is not returned in acceptable form. For instance:

  • Any damage in terms of tiling, plumbing, flooring or electrification
  • If any major changes in terms of construction are done to the premises that are not acceptable to the landlord, the latter can ask the tenant to undo these changes
  • In case of renting out furnished property, the landlord has to check the s tate of furnished items
  • All major electricity and telephone charges have been cleared from the time of possession till today.

5 Vaastu Tips To Fill Your Home With Positive Energy

Vaastu Shastra, the Indian science of architecture, has a remedy for all your problems. Whether it is related to health, prosperity, finances, or bringing in positivity in the home, a Vaastu consultant in India can wave his wand and eliminate all the negativity. While there are numerous Vaastu Shastra accessories like laughing Buddha, horse shoe amulet,  Gomati chakra tree, turtles, that can be added in a home to fill it with positivity, there are many Vaastu tips as well that can help you get rid of all the negativity and welcome only the positive vibes. If you also want to fill your home with positivity and get rid of all the negativity from your home, here are some tips you can follow.

Bring Nature To Your Home
Nature is one of the most powerful tools that are always oozing with positivity and serenity. If your aim is to bring in some positive vibes in your home, add a touch of natural greens here and there in each room. There are a number of indoor plants that one can choose from to place inside the house. Whether it is your bedroom, your living room, the study room, or even the bathroom, adding some plants would definitely bring in the positivity. You can use flowers like roses, lilies, daisies, etc., to arrange in a vase, you can bring in the good luck bamboos as a center piece, or simply get a money plant to crawl around the walls to cut down the negativity and positive energy flow inside.

Sprinkle Magic With A Bowl Of Salt
A bowl of salt can work wonders in filling your home with positivity. Salt, a symbol of purification, is said to absorb all the negative energy from your home and pave way for positive energy to fill in. By eliminating all the negativity, a bowl of salt sprinkles magic in your home. For those who have negativity looming in your home, a simple bowl of sea salt is what you need to boost positivity. The North-East and the South-West directions are ideal for placing a bowl full of sea salt in your home. This purifies the home and cleanses it of any negative energy.

Let The Sun Get In
An important Vaastu factor for bringing in positive energy is the sun. The placement of windows, doors, and ventilators in the house should be in such a way that ample of sunlight is peeking inside the home. The sun is a great source of energy and this energy should be utilized rightly, every day. During the construction itself, the direction should be taken into consideration to ensure sunlight falls in from sunrise. Also, ensure that the curtains and blinds of the house are opened every morning to let the morning sun rays spread and seep in and remove all the darkness and dullness from the mind, body, and souls of those living in the house.

Add a Musical Element
Wind chimes are one of the most effective Vaastu tools in eliminating the negative energy and adding a touch of positivity in the premise. Placing it at the entrance doors or the windows is a great idea to break the negativity and let positivity and tranquility fill the soul. They have a gentle tinkering sound which enables the positive energy to linger in the home and fill it with prosperity and serenity.

  • North Direction: Metal wind chimes should be the choice in north to give way to career opportunities
  • West Direction: For good luck in the lives of children, metal wind chimes should be hung in this direction
  • South Direction: Wooden wind chimes can be hung up on any southern door or window to attract fame
  • East Direction: For the rapid growth of the family members, wooden wind chimes can be hung in this direction

Paint Your Home InVaastu-Friendly Colors
The colors you choose to paint your home have a strong effect on the vibe of your home. You need to be very careful while choosing the colors for your home to break the monotony, maintain the décor, while also boosting positivity. While white and lighter hues are ideal for filling the room with serenity and peace, adding pops of colors here and there in the house will only ensure positivity in the home.

Legal Documents To Check Before Buying Land

Owing a house is a dream of every person and is very important in one’s life. However, you need to be careful while buying any kind of property, so that you may not fell into any legal trouble. Before purchasing land, you need to verify that whether the land has a marketable title or not. The legal status of the land you are planning to buy is the foremost thing that you should consider before taking any further step.

Title Deeds

  • Make sure that the land is in the name of the person selling you that property and he also possess the right of selling that property without the consent of any other person.
  • Get the original deed checked by the lawyer for legal confirmation
  • You can also ask for the previous deeds of the land for your verification
  • Before registering ensure that you get release certificate from all the other persons owning that land in partnership

Tax Receipt and Bills

Before making final payment make sure that the previous owner has cleared all dues like property tax, electricity bills, water bills etc. and there is no outstanding payment. Make enquiry in government and municipal offices for assuring that all the tax receipts and bills are duly paid.

Measure the land

We advise you to measure the land before making registry in your name. You can also take the help of reliable and authorized surveyor for measuring the land accurately. Survey sketch of the land can also be taken from the survey department for comparing its accuracy.

Sales Deed

Do not forget to take a sales deed from the seller for conveying the property to the purchaser. With this document you can ascertain that the property you are buying doesn’t belong to any society, builder, development authority etc.

Pledged Land

There are chances that the land you are buying is mortgaged to the bank in lieu of any loan. Ensure that the seller has paid back all his loans and also ask for releasing certificate from that bank, which is required for releasing the land against all the debts.

Agreement

Once you settle down all the financial and legal matters with the other party, then it’s the right time to give an advance payment or write an agreement. With this you ensure that the owner does not change his previous commitment regarding the cost of the property and also doesn’t sell that property to someone else for more money.

Registration

Registration is the proof of the transaction that has taken place between the two parties. Register the agreement with the Sub-Registrar of Assurance under the provisions of the Indian Registration Act, 1908 within four months from the date of execution of the document. Ensure that the details mentioned by you in the agreement are true. All the previous deeds, house tax receipts, original title deeds, etc. along with two witnesses are required at the time of registration.

Ahmedabad tops list of youngest realty buyers: Study

According to a joint survey of 10 cities in India by Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIM-B) and Magicbricks (MB), Ahmedabad tops the list of youngest real estate buyers.

The survey titled Housing Sentiment Index (HSI) is jointly developed by IIM-Bangalore (IIMB) and Magicbricks (MB) and is based on an online survey of prospective home buyers after careful screening by MB and IIMB.

A total of approximately 3,000 buyers are surveyed every quarter in an online survey across 10 cities Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Pune, Noida, Gurgaon, Bangalore, Chennai, Ahmedabad and Kolkata.

The HSI index for youngest buyers in the 18-25 age group puts Ahmedabad at 131. On the other hand, Kolkata topped the list of oldest buyers in the 50 years and above age group at HSI of 131.

In terms of housing prices, the value of HSI can range from 0 to 200. A score of 100 represents neutrality, meaning people do not expect house prices to either increase or decrease.

A score of 200 indicates that all respondents expect house prices to increase. A score of 0 indicates that all respondents expect house prices to decrease. The index also highlighted price sensitivity among real estate buyers in Ahmedabad.

The city saw 62 per cent of those earning less than Rs 10 lakh per annum (HSI 84) look to buy in Ahmedabad while 30 per cent plan to buy in Gurgaon (HSI 144).

Moreover, over 51 per cent of those living in their own houses intend to buy property for residential purpose, implying a move to a bigger/better residence. In Ahmedabad such respondents are 60 per cent (HSI 83).

Among other factors, Bangalore has the maximum IT crowd (51 per cent, HSI 141) while Ahmedabad has maximum self-employed (25 per cent, HSI 92) and retirees (4 per cent). Noida which increased by 33 per cent in the previous quarter, fell by 4 per cent to 124 while Hyderabad fell by 4 per cent to end at 97.

Ahmedabad is the only other city with an HSI below 100. In Ahmedabad, of the buyers 59 per cent want to purchase property within the next six months (HSI 102) while 22 per cent are ready to wait a year or more (HSI 105).

The HSI survey is conducted by the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore-Century Real Estate Research Initiative (IIMB-CRERI) which was set up through a grant from the Century Real Estate as well as Magicbricks.

Important Tips to Buy a Property in Ahmedabad

Are you planning to buy a property in Ahmedabad? If yes, then you’ve made the right decision. Ahmedabad is a well-developed city in India. Millions of people buy properties in Ahmedabad as it is a wise investment.

Here are some tips that can help you find the right property in Ahmedabad:

  1. Know your needs: You should figure out your requirements and then start looking for the properties. Know what kind of kitchen you need. How many rooms do you need? What kind of a kitchen do you require? Prepare a list of the type of house you need and then start searching for a property in Ahmedabad.
  2. Location: Once you have decided to buy a flat or a bungalow, you should do some research and choose the best location. You should find out whether there are all the essential requirements such as schools, supermarket, hospital, and a good public transport facility in that area. You can talk to the neighbors and find out what facilities are available in the area.
  3. Do some research: Before buying the property, do not forget to conduct research about the history of the property? Inspect the property and then make the decision. Check the electrical wires, water system and plumbing before you invest. Visit the property and get all the details. This would help you get the best deal.
  4. Neighborhood: Nobody wants to stay in a dirty area. It is important that the potential buyers invest in a property in Ahmedabad that has a safe surrounding. Check whether the area has tidy streets. Check the condition of the neighborhood also before making the right choice.

Ahmedabad – Best Residential City Of Vibrant Gujarat

Ahmedabad’s real estate market has witness a rapid pace of development compared to other cities of India and this is the mostly driven by the high rate of industrial growth, states by a professional service and investment management firm. Quality infrastructure, highly competitive real estate costs along with a robust law and order systems makes Ahmedabad a desirable residential and business destination.

Some Important Facts about Ahmedabad

  • Ahmedabad stands no.1 in Tier 1 cities due to rapid industrialization and infrastructure development.
  • BRTS has improved all overall connectivity.
  • Several expressways pass through the city such as Nh-8, 8A, 8B, 8C, all part of the DMIC.
  • The Ahmedabad Vadodara Expressway that connects two vibrant economics in Gujarat: Ahmedabad and Vadodara.
  • No other expressway in Gujarat is as strategically positioned as the highway, which has led to the flourishing of big ticket corporate house along this stretch contributing to the region’s growth and in turn the Realty sector
  • The Under Construction GIFT City is located about 12 km from Ahmedabad international airport
  • The City has ample employment opportunities, social and civic infrastructure and most importantly, capital values here are lower than those of many tier 1 Cities.

The Bus Rapid Transit has given a facelift to the outskirts of the city. There is also a plan to increase FSI and have a transit-oriented development along the BRTS corridor. These will further boost economic activity in this city. The City also has the Sabarmati riverfront project, which plans to provide large open spaces for public use. In additions, there is a proposal to connect Gandhinagar with Ahmedabad, using the metro system. This is expected to increase real estate price along certain sections of the metro corridor between Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar. Apart from the proactive development approach of the government and local authorities, Ahmedabad has another advantage- the cost of living is relatively lower compared to other large cities of India.

The residential real estate market in Ahmedabad is diverse. Residential units in the affordable category are available alongside house and apartments in the ultra-luxury category. The advance retails landscape of the city also attributes the residential real estate worth. The GIFT City (Gujarat International Finance Tech City) that is proposed to be developed as smart city is also giving a fillip to the real estate value of the city. Ahmedabad has quality public transports inform of BRTS (Bus rapid Transit System) and the best part is that Ahmedabad Bus Rapid Transit is the most successful in the country.

Some Facts Help You to Get the Right Property in Ahmedabad

You may have several questions in mind when you are planning to invest in a property in Ahmedabad. Let’s have a look at some and help you get the right property.

Why are real estate developers in Ahmedabad focusing on creating affordable homes?

The growing residential belt is attracting a pool of skilled and unskilled professionals in Ahmedabad. Homes are available anywhere between INR 20 lakhs and INR 45 lakhs. Builders are focusing on developing multistorey buildings that provide cost efficient homes to the people residing in Ahmedabad.Most of them are showing interest to reside here. Reputed and leading real estate developers are piercing into the market with many residential projects at affordable rates.

How well is Gujarat’s/Ahmedabad’s real estate sector developing?

If one is planning to invest in a property in Ahmedabad, there are several options available.The real estate sector in Gujarat has been spreading its wings. Ahmedabad is considered to be a well-developed city in Gujarat with commercial set ups, industries and textile industries being developed in the Ahmedabad. Cities like Surat, Rajkot and Vadodara have also seen great development in the past few years. Government bodies like AUDA (Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority) and the GHB (Gujarat Housing Board) are creating new housing schemes in Ahmedabad and other cities in Gujarat.

Which are the budget-friendly real estate destinations in Ahmedabad?

The active localities in Ahmedabad are Shilaj, Motera and Chandkheda. The prices of the apartments for sale in these areas are very moderate compare to other locations. Commercial and residential spaces are available for the people within this range. The presence of modern facilities, hospitals, educational institutions and malls make these areas a real hotspot in Ahmedabad.