The ecosystem of smart homes- a growth story

Smart homes are your ultimate digital dream coming true! Do not mistake this revolution in the real estate industry as a temporary fad or something that would appeal to millennials only. Smart homes embody the very basics of life today- convenience, comfort and inclusivity. They are based on the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) which basically implies that each and everything in your house can be now accessed and managed remotely. All such devices shall be integrated, interconnected and electronically controlled from a single device/application. Piques interest, doesn’t it?

Picture this. You are away on a winter holiday and are dreading the fact that the house will be bone-chillingly cold when you arrive. If it is a smart home, you can power on the heater/thermostat while on the way home. Or something as mundane as this- you need an alert each time your kid walks past the security gate so that you can greet him/her on time at the entrance. You can even close the drapes through voice control and remotely access the live video feed from home. And, this is just the tip of the iceberg. The security features a smart home provides are unparalleled, even when you are not around to monitor the house. Features like gas leak detectors, fire alarms, smoke detectors etc, all become automated in a smart home to provide you with the safest abode.

No wonder then, that the home automation market is expected to cross Rs 50,000 Cr by 2024 in India. Here are a few factors that have fuelled the growth of smart homes in India-

A spike in affordability:

The disposable incomes of the middle-class residents in India have grown considerably in the recent past. With average affordability* in real estate touted to be about 4.5 times of your annual household income, a recent Knight Frank report suggests that the affordability has bettered itself in most of the Tier I cities in India. DNCR, for example, has an affordability score of 5 which is just over the ideal and has come down from a score of 6 in 2010. This is a remarkable improvement.

The need for convenience:

Technology is increasingly offering a level of comfort to people and thus begins the search for everything all-inclusive. This factor weighs heavy for nuclear families where most members are working and it results in a constant paucity of time. The Millennials of today are both extremely tech savvy and hard pressed for time. They want a one-stop-solution for most services and this is exactly where smart homes score a home-run! Who would not like to just enter the house and be able to switch on all relevant appliances with a single voice command? The much-anticipated future has arrived already!

Efficiency and Safety:

With safety being the primary concern for all residents, smart homes bring with them security systems that are exclusive and extremely secure. With convenient surveillance and state-of-art technology used, residents have to worry less. Moreover, smart devices are energy efficient- a cause, most of us are aware of and aligned with. Smart homes are ringing in technology while still being responsible to the environment.

In accordance with the trends, Emaar India is constantly innovating and thriving to make our customers future-ready. Keep watching this space for more updates about our venture into the smart homes arena!

*Affordability Index- is a measure of the capability of residents to afford to purchase something. Case in point- real estate

How can you get a home loan faster?

Home loan applications and experiences are like Indian passport services. The process is extremely smooth for some people and not so smooth for the rest. But what are the factors that bring around these different encounters? You need to be mindful of the fact that exactly like in the case of a passport application, your eligibility for a home loan also can be enhanced with certain pre-meditated precautions. There are logical and well-defined criteria basis which your eligibility is decided and a loan is sanctioned. Thus, while you have your eyes set on your dream house, that is pretty much only the starting point of it all. What succeeds this is the actual test, i.e., your home loan application.

And since we would never want you to miss on your dream house, here are a few suggestions to improve on your eligibility-

What’s your credit score?

A credit score is a 3-digit number that represents your debt-paying capacity basis your historical dealings. There are agencies like CIBIL who own all your past data and basis of factors like how many loans were accumulated, how regularly were you paying them back or if you ever faltered; they calculate these scores for the consumption of further lenders. Things from as small as your credit card monthly payment to any business/home loans in the past are all accounted for while working this score out. Going by popularly set standards, any score above or equal to 750 is said to be favourable when evaluating your profile for a home loan. But each bank/NBFC might have its own criterion and there is no one standard rule.

What is advisable here is to maintain a healthy debt to income ratio and also to be paying off your debts religiously without delays. Check your CIBIL score here.

Are you considering a resale flat?

Hypothetically, if you are buying a resale flat for 60 Lakhs and want a loan for 45 Lakhs, there is a good chance the bank might not agree with you. This happens purely because they would price the flat as per their own valuation and might conclude that the flat is worth only 50 Lakh after all. This, as you shall see will almost never be the case with a new flat being bought directly from the developer. Even though banks might have separate offers for resale houses, you might face some issues like them asking for higher down payments or granting shorter loan tenures. In addition, the piles of documents that you’d be required to produce might not come in very easy from the current owner; unlike how they are almost gifted to you by the developer when buying a new house.

All this seems to be a bit too much trouble for buying a house that has been pre-owned and might have issues that you shall only discover later. Hence, it is always advisable to buy a new house instead and make your loan process simpler.

Did you consider co-applicants?

It is not very well known but having co-applicants increases your loan eligibility considerably. Mostly because a new income is then added to the application which then increases your repayment capacity. This also helps when you are past your 40s/50s and the tenure is shortening because the number of salaried years is reducing. The co-applicant can be your children (earning) or your spouse. In fact, co-applying for a house with your wife might get you some added advantages like lower interest rates and stamp duties, apart from increasing your eligibility.

We sincerely hope that you buy your dream house and do it with no glitches on the way. However, while looking, we’d suggest that you go for RERA registered projects and buy unoccupied flats from the developer rather than opting for resale. Your dream house deserves to be brand new!

Now a clutter-free home is just a few steps away. Learn with Marie Kondo

‘Does this spark joy in your life?’ has become an anthem in a lot of lives lately. If you are familiar with Marie Kondo, you will recognize this phrase instantly. Marie is an organizational consultant/tidying expert who advises you on how to keep your house tidy. What really strikes you when you watch her or read about her is that her concepts are so real and relatable, they can well be extended into our everyday lives. We shall tell you how.

The basic principle of Marie’s KonMari art of organizing is that you retain only the items that fill you up with joy and the ones that don’t, you purge. Realistically speaking in our lives, if we could just keep the things/people/relationships that make us happy and let go of the rest, won’t that make our lives so de-cluttered? Hence, there is more to Marie’s philosophy than what catches your eye. She started studying the art of tidying when she was just a teenager and her journey to becoming the most sought-after consultant worldwide, is an inspiration! Her method is not just art, it brings about a change in perspective.

Here, we break down our learnings from KonMari that teaches us exactly how to go about managing clutter in your house.

Categorization

She says it is advisable to go sorting by categories and not rooms. For example, tackle clothes as a category and not be finishing everything in your room before you move on to the kids’. She even has a pre-defined flow of how categories must be handled-

Clothes-> Books-> Other papers-> Komono-> Sentimental Items

Komono comprises of kitchen, garage, bathrooms and other miscellaneous items. Stack everything up and start picking out one thing at a time. Hold it in your hands and if it doesn’t spark joy, let go of it in full. This way, the items that you do decide to keep will be the ones that you really aspire to use. As far as possible, she says, stick to the order of categories and keep the sentimental items to the last because that is when your sensitivity to joy is at its maximum.

Letting go

Once you have decided to purge, detach yourself from it. But wait! Before that thank it for the role it played in your life and fill up a box of such things. Finish discarding before you move on to storing. You can consider donating your belongings. Purging of things that were bought unnecessarily or things that have been kept around waiting to be used, creates more space for the things that are respected and actually used. You shall find yourself much more sorted the next time you visit a shop because your mind would have de-cluttered itself and, in all likelihood, you shall not buy something you don’t need.

Storage and respect

Marie insists that the items you do decide to keep with you must be treated with utmost respect. Do not store them shabbily and give them the respect they deserve. Instead of stuffing them in a big almirah, go for smaller drawers with categorizations. Avoid vertical stacking because that might suffocate your belongings, you must allow them space to breathe. If you decide to hang them, do so in a slope like fashion; from short to long or vice versa.

Application of KonMari is uncomplicated once you set your mind to it. So, let us get tidied up! How was your KonMari experience? We would love to exchange notes in the comments below.

GST and you

If you are looking for your perfect dream home, now is the best time to buy one and live life king sized. GST (Goods and Services Tax) puts an end to a complicated tax system containing multiple tedious steps, and gives you benefits, which earlier were not there. Here are some eye-opening reasons how GST will benefit a home buyer. So, if you’re someone who is planning to buy a new home for yourself or just a property to invest in, GST will bring in more transparency in taxation, of course! The prices, henceforth, are likely to drop by 1 to 3 %, according to research experts.

There is no doubt that the erstwhile tax system, a complicated and tiresome process of never ending calculations, which made all of us scream for help! Service Tax, VAT, Stamp Duty, Registration Charges, and this didn’t end here, each of them had different figures as per state laws. Consult the ones who bought their homes before the implementation of the bill, and you’ll come to know of the enormous insanity that went around the process. But now, tough times are over! GST charges for all under-construction properties is fixed at 12% . One fixed tax amount, and zero indirect taxes on ready-to-move-in properties.

Earlier, VAT and Service Tax used to account for nearly 9% of the ticket price of the property. Since that will be lower than the GST applied to the sector, the developer will have to pass on the benefit of the price reduction to the buyer; making it an anti-profiteering provision. As much the GST takes the property developers into consideration, it equally provides relief to consumers, making a meticulous process of selling and purchase much quicker and less painstaking.

Consider the post-GST era to be the perfect time to get your hands on your dream home. If you’ve been planning to hunt and buy one, then do away with the hesitations and doubts. Welcome to a simpler world, welcome to GST.