Interior Design Ideas to Make a Room Looks Smarter

It’s always been a difficult task to keep small living space organized. But, there are several smart interior decor ways to make a tiny room look bigger. Here are some of the best residential interior design ideas and tips that can transform your living room.

Finding a spacious home to either rent or buy within city limits would be more expensive. Thus, many home seekers with limited budget prefer small homes or studio apartments. With increasing real estate prices in cities and reduced homes sizes, it has become even more critical to follow smart interior design ideas to make your home look nice and chic.

Avoid Luxury Window Treatments

For small sized rooms don’t use window treatments that are too heavy and ornate. These luxury widow treatments add beauty to the room, but these drapes and curtains that are made of heavy materials will restrict the room from getting natural light. So it’s better to make use of the window in a small room to bring in light to every corner. Especially, light-coloured walls along with the sunlight would make your tiny living space look larger. Sheer lace curtains, slatted window blinds, or bamboo shades are ideal for uplifting your interior décor of the room.

Prefer Light Colours

Always say a big ‘No’ to darker colours in interior spaces for walls and other dominant room features like curtains, sofas etc., if the size of your room is small. According to interior design experts, lighter colours would bring in the illusion of a larger area. Though dark colour themes are more trendy and design-friendly, it best suits the spacious rooms. If you use a dark colour in a space-challenged room, it will make it look even smaller.

Wall with Stripes

When it comes to wall decoration in small indoor spaces, adding either vertical or horizontal stripes to the interior design can generate the illusion of larger space. To make your living room look wider, it’s best to use horizontal stripes. And, vertical stripes help to make your look larger in an upward direction. Also, ensure the colour that you use matches the rest of the furniture and fabrics in your room.

Choose Furniture with Legs

While buying indoor furniture for your home, always prefer the ones which have legs, as it opens up a small space. When it comes to large furniture without legs that rests directly on the floor, it will consume more space and would make the room interior look even smaller. On the other hand, furniture with legs showing will make your small room look brighter with more light. Alternately the room is easy to clean and also small things can be pushed under the furniture like foot wear when you are sitting in the room, low tables and stools.

Use Multifunctional Furniture

When you live in a small living space, it’s always ideal to use multifunctional furniture to utilize space in a tiny room. You can prefer sofa with storage facility or a fainting couch that opens for storage. To create more space in a small living room, it’s better to downsize the furniture in your room.

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.

Why Indian real estate market is a good investment bet for NRIs

Non-Resident Indians have for long been active and important investors in Indian Real Estate. Settled abroad, NRIs have the advantage of exposure to global standards of real estate. They have been instrumental in bringing financial and technological best practices to India from abroad. The year 2020 has heralded a positive shift in Indian real estate already. Lowering of interest rates, the announcement of new credit linked subsidy scheme have made market finance more accessible. Regulatory updates like RERA and GST are also inducing a lot of positivity in the market. But the biggest news is coming from the affordable housing space which has now been designated with the infrastructure status. NRIs on their part have rewarded these efforts with reinforced confidence and vision.

In this story of rebound, NRIs have taken a strong lead as active buyers of Indian property. The NRI populace at 30 million is almost equal to the entire population of Canada. In 2016, the influence of NRI buyers was clearly observed with rising incomes and improving the economy. By the end of 2016, the total investment in a primary real estate in key Indian markets reached $9.6 Billion. Further, 20 per cent of the NRI investments is made by Non-Residents settled in the UAE. Indians settled in the United States, Canada and Australia also hold significant investments in Indian property markets.

As the demographic focused on younger participants, demand for properties in small unit sizes further rose. 2016 is also remembered for some major initiatives by the central government. The Benami Transaction Act, RERA (Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016) and demonetization of higher currency notes of five hundred and one thousand were some of the major steps taken by the government to bring in transparency and better real estate transactions. It brought stability and restricted non – serious investors.

Government intervention alone is not pushing these figures. A depreciating rupee has also provided stimulus to investments from NRIs. The digital medium has also created an unprecedented awareness for property investors today. An online tool like project comparisons carries the ease of comparing different projects on different parameters.

As against $6 billion NRI investments in 2013, the figure is expected to almost double in 2017, with approximately $11.5 billion to be invested this year. This would account for 20% of the total market, estimated to reach the $60 billion mark this year. The figure could go even higher, given the proactive approach adopted by the government in addressing the concerns of the realty sector.

Digital is effectively bridging the geographical gap as almost entire information regarding a property purchase is available with the click of a button. So even if a non-resident is physically able to visit the project site, he/she can still make informed decisions using online resources.

As the new financial year kicks in, Indian Real Estate with the NRI diaspora at the forefront is poised for accelerated growth.

5 Common Real Estate Investing Mistakes You Should Avoid

1. Avoid checking the builder’s reputation

Choosing a reputed and trusted real estate developer ensures the credibility of your investment. A renowned real estate brand will procure all relevant legal permits and documents required for property sale. They also ensure that their projects are approved by RERA to ensure transparency in all transactions. Moreover, a well-experienced developer will always go that extra mile to satisfy their customers. If you are buying a home or an apartment from a reputed brand, you can be assured of good quality construction and excellent customer service. You can visit the company website, social media pages and project sites to get a complete picture of the developer. Alternatively, you can also seek feedback from previous customers or buyers to check the builder’s reputation.

2. Not choosing the right type of property

Once you have made a decision to invest in real estate, you should also decide which type of property you are going to invest in. You can either buy a residential property or invest in a commercial space. Most of the first-time investors tend to overlook this aspect because they may not have much idea about the real estate market. Choosing the wrong property can put your money at risk and result in dead investments. Consider buying properties in prime locations as they will always have great demand. Also, look for in-house amenities and civic facilities nearby the property. You can get good resale value and returns from such properties. Depending on your budget and purpose, shortlist a few properties and seek help from a trusted property advisor to find the right bet.

3. Not doing proper research

This is one of the most overlooked aspects of property investment. Prior to investment, you must first analyze the market conditions and conduct thorough research of the prevailing property rates in the desired location. Without proper knowledge and understanding of the market, chances are more that you may get deceived by brokers or fraudulent agents. Once you shortlist a few properties, you must check aspects like location benefits, land value, rental demand, road connectivity, nearby facilities, builder’s history, etc. Various aspects like lack of water supply, air pollution, poor transport facilities and civic amenities can affect your investment if they go unnoticed.

4. Not estimating your financial capability

Nothing is as important as evaluating your finances when entering a new investment deal. Apart from the major expenses like the cost of the property, taxes, and registration fee, there are many other hidden costs involved in property investment. If you are buying a house you have to consider maintenance costs, cost of furnishing and interiors, cost of repairs if any, utility charges, etc. Prepare a detailed document of the expenses and check whether you can afford it. If you are planning to take a home loan, then you must consult with a bank to know your eligibility. Having a good credit score will help you get a loan at lower interest rates and longer repayment tenure. A credit score of 700 or above is considered to be good and increases your credibility to get a loan.

5. Not seeking expert advice

Most investors don’t consider seeking professional help for real estate investments. They think that they can be successful investors even if they don’t talk to any industry experts. But this may put them in trouble later on for there can be many unknown issues associated with properties. Interacting with a reliable property advisor will not only save you from fraudulent offers but will also ensure that your property is free of legal issues. An experienced real estate agent can find you a good property at a fair price deal. Also, it is always ideal to consult a financial advisor to plan your expenses and prepare yourself for the investment.

Smart Tips – How to WFH Productively

COVID-19 has caused obvious changes to most aspects of everyday life including how we all work from home. While some offices have resumed with minimal staff and follow strict guidelines, a vast majority of organizations continue to work in the new normal.

 

The new normal has broken the constraints of an office cubicle and created a sense of freedom that previously did not exist. WFH opened up a door to an exciting new world that gives us a sense of comfort in the work we do.

DOs:

  • Plan ahead: Plan a break time and do not deviate. This will enable you to finish your tasks efficiently and consistently while having time for personal tasks. You shouldn’t feel mentally or physically exhausted by the end of the day.
  • Create a to-do list: Make a list of the work you need to complete for the day and try to accomplish it. This will help you stay focused.
  • Have a dedicated workspace: Have a dedicated workspace where you can work efficiently and comfortably. Working from a common area will shift your focus to everything insignificant.
  • Set timings: It is crucial to set regular work timings and stick to it in order to remain productive. Snoozing your morning alarm will throw your schedule out of the window.
  • Communicate: Constant communication with your boss/supervisor and co-workers will help make the process a smooth one. So, don’t hesitate to connect whenever you get time.
  • Stay organized: Use apps like Google docs to stay organized and on schedule. Maintain folders to avoid last-minute confusion. It is one skill that counts.
  • Backup plan: Faulty internet connection or power outage can hamper your work. So make sure you have a perfect backup plan in place to prevent your work from getting hindered.

Here are some things you need to avoid:

DON’Ts:

  • Don’t treat WFH as a vacation/holiday: Your boss is still monitoring your performance on the job while you are operating from home. Work with sincerity and adhere to the deadlines for deliverables. Do not consider it as a holiday or a time to relax.
  • Avoid personal work: Set your personal work aside during your work hours. Or else, it may lead to delays and slips in your deliverables at work.
  • Don’t let social media sidetrack you: It’s tempting to have tabs open from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram on your personal computer. However, social media can stretch your workday if you let it, ultimately affecting your work-life balance.
  • Don’t allow your e-mail to become a distraction: While it’s important to check your e-mail throughout the day, be sure to dedicate a specific time for it. E-mails should not become a source of distraction when you are with your family.
  • Don’t let your workday slip away: It s important to create an inflexible and strict routine which you can stick to. Make a schedule that allows you to be productive.
  • Avoid personal calls while working: It’s okay for you to break away for a few minutes in order to take a personal call or make one. But it is important to set a time limit for the same.
  • Don’t bother with dressing style: If your job doesn’t require you to conduct video calls or otherwise be seen by others, there is absolutely no point in changing from your pyjamas into work clothes every morning. Trust me, this can save you a lot of time.

Lower Interest Rates an Attractive Catalyst for Home Purchase Now

The Coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown it brought about has evidently created a hard time for the real estate companies. However, they now see a light of hope with falling interest rates on home loans. This would certainly act as a catalyst and attract more buyers. RBI has recently decreased repo rates by 40 BPS, taking the total fall in repo rates since lockdown begun up to 115 BPS. As a result, the rates are now as low as 4%.

As a result of the decline in repo rates, interest rates are falling. EMI has already gone down to 7.5% and is expected to fall further. These are great news for homebuyers as the properties are becoming more affordable for them.

Other than the affordability, a number of factors are pushing up the demand for properties. The pandemic and the high requirement for safety measures have brought about the need for having a home of one’s own. This would help the people maintain their own health and security and thus stay safe from COVID-19. As a result, residents living on rent are now planning to buy their own homes and shift there. Moreover, with a large number of people losing their jobs and thus finding it hard to consistently keep paying their rents, they prefer to purchase a home.

The job losses have also triggered a phase of reverse migration. People coming back to their hometowns after losing employment in the metro cities are now seeking new homes. Another section of people among whom the demand for residential properties is increasing is that of investors. Although the real estate sector already held a large number of Indian investors, the stock market attracted a fair share as well. Now with the stocks fluctuating and resulting in heavy losses for many shareholders, they are switching to real estate. Homes are much more stable sources of income and at a time when employment is scarce, such sources are high in demand.

According to reports, most homebuyers are seeking ready-to-move homes in the affordable and mid-budget segments. Many developers are increasingly focusing on such projects and additionally offering special rebates, refund policies and more. This is a good time for homebuyers to make their purchase as interest rates are low, developers are offering favourable deals and home investments are growing more profitable. It is expected that several good changes are going to emerge in the realty sector and the post-COVID era would see the industry on a stable path towards flourishing.

How to Maximize Space in your Home?

We all love staying in a spacious house that gives a sense of extra happiness and comfort. But most often we all end up staying in smaller apartments that are close to our workplaces. But don’t worry; there are some easy ways by which you can maximize the space in your house or apartment. Readjusting the lighting, wall colors, furniture, and other home accessories can help to make your rooms airy and more spacious. Whether you stay in a smaller apartment or an independent villa, it is always better to make some small space saving alterations that will uplift your mood and create a positive living environment.

Here are some cool ideas that you can follow to maximize space in your house:

Adjust the lighting

Let natural light flow into your room as much as possible. Open your windows during the daytime and use light-colored curtains instead of dark, heavy ones that can hinder sunlight. A brightly lit room will make space look larger than it is. If there is a lack of natural light in certain rooms, then set up different types of lights to brighten the space and add a feeling of spaciousness. You can consider installing recessed lighting and track lighting in rooms. You can replace a ceiling light with track lights to highlight certain areas in your room. Recessed lighting can add lighting to your walls and make it look larger. Avoid using floor lamps and table lamps in small rooms as it will make space look more cluttered.

Bring in more mirrors

Believe it or not, mirrors can do wonders as they make your house look larger and spacious. Hanging mirrors in a small space can create an optical illusion of spaciousness. It’s a common trick used by interior designers. Mirrors installed on the walls opposite the windows and doors will reflect light and thus add more brightness to a room. If you have a good view from your window, try to place the mirror in such a way that the view is reflected in it. You may have to get help from home maintenance experts to hang heavy mirrors as they would require strong support to be installed on the walls.

Choose the right curtains

Even the smallest living space can look more spacious and large if you follow a few curtain tricks. The higher the curtain rod, the taller the window will appear. Always mount the curtain rod close to the ceiling and away from the window frames. Classic floor-length panels help to create an illusion of height when you enter the room. Also, make sure that you choose a curtain rod that is wider than the window’s width. It gives the impression that the window is larger. Hang curtains about 4 inches above a window frame in rooms with ceiling moldings and up to 6 inches in rooms without moldings. Try to use lightweight curtains with vertical prints which help to make space look higher. Avoid heavily colored horizontal patterns or large floral prints, which tend to make the room look smaller.

Build more storage

Organizing your stuff and decluttering is the easiest way to add more space to your home. While purchasing your furniture try to choose those with built-storage spaces such as a storage bed, ottoman stools with storage, etc. Such multi-functional furniture can be used to store blankets, bedsheets, towels and curtains. You can also install overhead cabinets in all rooms to store away things that you may not need frequently. If you have free space under the staircase, install storage racks or cabinets to make the most of it. Stacking newspapers, magazines, and plastic containers can create more clutter in your home. So every month you should make sure that you get rid of such unwanted stuff.

Arrange your furniture

The right balance of furniture can make the room look spacious and roomy. It may sound surprising but yes it’s true that some quick rearrangements can transform the appearance of your home. If you think that your room looks very crammed, you must consider replacing or removing some furniture. This process can be made enjoyable if you and your family can do it together on holiday. Get suggestions from your spouse or children because who knows it may turn out to be very innovative and helpful. Heavy and outdated furniture can easily be exchanged to buy more trendy and sleek alternatives. If you are setting up your new home, then it is always better to seek advice from a certified interior designer. A less crowded and organized house can make life more enjoyable for your whole family.

Paint the walls with neutral hues

Smaller apartments or homes can look more constricted when you apply the wrong wall color. By choosing the right wall color, you can make the room feel taller and more spacious. For smaller homes, it is better to choose lighter color shades to paint the walls instead of rich darker shades. Lighter or neutral hues can add more light to your rooms. Avoid warm, dark shades like orange, red, and yellow for your house interiors. These colors may look pretty in larger living spaces but in small rooms, it will create a feeling that the elements of the room are closer than they are. You can also try color contrast to the ceiling or walls by choosing slightly different shades.

Open kitchen shelving

The kitchen is the heart of your home and the most important part of your household. Having a spacious and functional kitchen can help you feel positive and energized while making food. Open cabinets are now trending in most of the modern apartment homes as it gives an airy feel to your kitchen. So if you are designing your kitchen, consider having open shelves instead of closed cabinets which takes up all the space in the room. Moreover, these open shelves give you the privilege to showcase your fancy cooking utensils and artifacts. Installing modular kitchen cabinets can also cost you a lot of money so if you are opting for open shelving, you can also cut down on your expenses. Put recessed lighting under kitchen cabinets to illuminate the countertop and reflect light into the rest of the room.

How To Check The Construction Quality Of Your Home

If you are planning to invest in a property or new home, we recommend you to follow this construction quality checklist:

  • Determine the soil type
    Check the structural design
    Inspect the wall thickness
    Check the plastering quality
    Quality check of fitting & fixtures
    Assess the quality of the concrete mix

Now let us discuss in detail the above-mentioned quality aspects.

1. Inspect the wall thickness

The thickness or width of the house walls must match with the measurements given in your property’s legal documents. Visit the construction site and inspect the walls physically with the help of a trusted architect. You can also check the quality by pressing against the wall or trying to insert a sharp object such as a key.

If the walls are not thick and rigid, then this will create a hole or crack. You can also tap against the wall using your knuckles to see if it is solid or hollow inside. If the wall develops any cracks easily or seems to be fragile then it means that the builder has not complied with good quality standards.

2. Check the plastering quality

While inspecting a home, you must check if there are any small cracks on wall plastering. This is one of the aspects that usually all home buyers tend to overlook. Some houses may have cracks in the corners or lower portion of the walls which may be hidden under a coat of paint. This aspect is especially important if you are buying an aged property.

The wall cracks may be an indication of poor quality plastering or even water leakage. Many builders try to deceive the buyers by using poor quality materials to construct a house or apartment. So as a buyer, you should not get duped by such offerings. Choose to buy property from a reliable builder with a good reputation as they will always use the best quality materials for construction.

3. Determine the soil type

The type of soil varies from one location to another. The first step of a home quality inspection is to check the characteristics of the ground soil on which the structure is built. The type of soil is a crucial aspect to consider as it determines the strength of the building. Some soils types will not be able to support a high-rise building. If the soil is not stable, the foundation of the building can be affected or even collapse.

Builders will often add sand to the foundation soil and to enhance stability. Clay rich soil and black cotton are not recommended as they have very low bearing capacity and high swelling & shrinkage characteristics. Sandy soil, Loamy soil, Chalky soil, etc. are good options for construction as they allow water to drain away from the site and at the same time will remain firm. It is ideal to get a soil test done with the help of a professional construction expert.

4. Check the structural design

The basic structural design of a building is another key aspect to consider while inspecting a house. The structure which includes wall, beams, columns and roof determines the stability and strength of a building. The design should be in such a way that it ensures maximum safety and rigidity to the building.

Assess whether the building is constructed to withstand earthquakes of a certain magnitude and other common environmental disasters. As a home-buyer, you may not be qualified enough to verify the structural quality of a building. So you can seek assistance from a qualified architect or construction engineer to evaluate the quality of the building structure.

5.Quality check of fitting & fixtures

Home-buyers should pay attention to the minute details while inspecting the construction quality of a home. Fittings and fixtures of a new home determine the level of comfort of the residents. So while you are at the house, go around and check if all switches and electric accessories used are of good quality and ensure smooth functioning. Also check if the kitchen and bathroom fittings such as taps, shower-heads, washbasin, drainage pipes, etc are in good condition.

You must inform the builder if you notice any kind of water leakage or other damages. Another important factor that you must check is the proper placement of doors and window panes. All joints must be fixed and lubricated well to avoid creaking noises while opening.

6. Assess the quality of the concrete mix

The strength of the concrete mix used in a construction determines the load-bearing capacity of a structure. Nowadays ready-mix concrete with the optimum concrete-sand ratio is available in the market. Responsible builders will ensure that they use the best quality concrete mix for building homes. You can check the quality of concrete used for construction by driving a nail into the wall. If the nail gets inserted easily without any effort, then it means that the concrete quality is not up to the mark