#RealtyNewsRoundup: Jaypee Buyers Can Move Consumer Court, Rules SC

Providing relief to over 25,000 homebuyers who had invested in various projects of Jaypee Infratech, the Supreme Court has ruled that they could drag the parent company Jaiprakash Associates Limited to consumer courts to seek compensation. Jaypee Infratech is undergoing insolvency proceedings since August 2017.

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State-owned United Bank of India has reduced its marginal cost of funds-based lending rate (MCLR) by five basis points across tenors. The one-year lending rate has been reduced from 8.85 per cent to now 8.80 per cent. On the other hand, the six-month and three-month rates now stand at 8.60 per cent and 8.50 per cent, respectively.

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Builders’ body Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (CREDAI) has said that some financial institutions are arbitrarily increasing interest rates and escrow requirements, and has sought an intervention by the finance ministry in the matter. The body has said that this arbitrary behaviour by the banks has resulted in cost overruns and project delays.

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E-auctioning platform mjunction will start offering its services for the housing and real estate sector for the Uttar Pradesh Awas Vikas Parishad (UPAVP). The UPAVP has commercial plots for group housing, schools, nursing homes and hospitals across six zones that will be e-auctioned through this platform.

Source: Media reports

Property-Related Transactions Where PAN Is Needed

Permanent Account Number (PAN) is a 10-digit alphanumeric number allotted by the Income Tax (I-T) Department to a person, and through this number the departments tracks the financial transactions carried out by that person. This is why it is mandatory to submit your PAN Card details to carry out most transactions these days. However, only 42 crore people have a PAN card in India so far, data available with the Central Board of Direct Taxes show. Since property transactions involve exchange of large sums between the contracting parties, people involved in such transactions must have PAN cards. In this article, we will talk about what happens if you have yet to get your PAN card made.

Property buyers

All property buyers must have a PAN, even if the law does not make it mandatory for them to have one, for the simple reason that it would make the process much easier. Let us first examine, in which instances having a PAN is a must for a property buyers.

Plot purchase: If the value of the plot exceeds Rs 5 lakh the buyer will have to submit his PAN for the registration purpose. In case the buyer is not a taxpayer ad hence does not have a PAN, he may still request the sub-registrar to register the property by filling Form 60, along with your address proof.

Home purchase: If the value of the deal is over Rs 50 lakh, the buyer will have to submit his PAN. In this case, the buyer will have to use his PAN to deduct and submit one per cent of the transaction value as TDS (tax deducted at source), something the law mandates him to do. Without the PAN, the buyer would not be able to do that

NRI buyer:  Non-resident Indians, whose income is not taxed in India, need not have a PAN. However, they must apply for a PAN if they are going to purchase a property. Depending on the use of this property, the buyer will have to file income tax or apply for exemption.

Property sellers

Plot sale: If the value of the plot exceeds Rs 5 lakh, the seller will have to submit his PAN for the property to get registered. Again, if the seller is not a taxpayer and hence does not have a PAN, he may still request the sub-registrar to register the property by filling Form 60, along with their address proof.

Home sale: The seller must have a PAN to avoid taking several monetary hits, apart from the procedural hurdles.

The buyer will have to provide the seller’s PAN details to deduct, submit and issue a TDS certificate to the latter. In case the seller does not have a PAN, the buyer is liable to deduct 20 per cent of the deal value as TDS, in place of one per cent.

Also, property sellers have to pay long-term capital gains tax or short-term capital gains tax to the government on the profit they earn through the transactions. However, certain exemptions are allowed to the sellers if they use the sale proceeds to buy another property. To claim these benefits, however, the seller must have a PAN.

NRI seller: If the seller is an NRI, the buyer has to deduct over 20 per cent of the transaction value as TDS, depending on the deal value. This is basically an amalgamation of capital gains and TDS both. In case the seller is making short-term capital gains (if the property is sold within two years of purchasing it), the rate of tax would be 30 per cent. Since TDS and capital gains tax would come into play, the NRI seller must have a PAN to complete the formalities and claim exemption.

Landlords

If a landlord earns over Rs 2.40 lakh annual as rent, the tenant is liable to deduct 10 per cent of the annual amount as TDS. For this, the landlord will have to provide his PAN details. In case the landlord does not have a PAN, TDS deduction would double to reach 20 per cent. The landlord would also not get any credit for this payment. Apart from that, the landlord may have to pay a penalty of Rs 10,000 for not having a PAN.  

In many cases, landlords get the tax officer to issue them a certificate stating of negligible or lower TDS liability. This certificate works only if the landlord has a PAN.  

Also, landlords who get full exemption from paying taxes because they earn less than Rs 2.40 lakh as annual rent will have to give their PAN details to claim the exemption.

NRI landlords: NRI landlords will have to file taxes if they are earning rental income in India. For this purpose, they will have to provide their PAN details to the tenant. To claim exemption on the rental income, too, they will have to submit PAN details.

Tenants

To deduct and submit the TDS on rent, the tenant need to have a PAN, too.

Tenants with NRI landlords: Tenants with NRI landlords have to deduct 30.9 per cent of the annual value as TDS. To submit this amount with the government, the tenant would need a PAN as well as a TAN (Tax Deduction and Collection Account Number).

#WorldHeritageDay: 6 Countries That Have The Richest Traditions And Cultural Heritages

If it is one thing you learn after taking a gander at 2019 Best Countries list by US News & World Report, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and global brand consultants BAV Consulting that ranks nations based on nine different parameters, it is that the countries occupying the top positions are not necessarily heritage-rich.

Top 5 best countries Heritage ranking
Switzerland 27
Japan 10
Canada 42
Germany 20
The United Kingdom 12

In this sub-category, the top honours were bagged by a different set of countries ― none of these made it to the top five in the best countries ranking.  More notably, each one retained its position in this category this year.

Here are the nations that made it to the top six when it comes to heritage:

Italy

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The popularity of Italy is evident from the fact that while this European country is home to 60.8 million people, about 40 million tourists come here every year. While crediting it with the top honour for the third time in the heritage sub-category, the survey says: “From the artwork of Leonardo da Vinci to the fashion houses of Milan, Italy’s cultural influence has always been profound. The country’s regional cuisines inspire chefs worldwide.”

Meanwhile, in the list of 80 best countries, Italy is ranked 18th, a fall of three places from its previous ranking of 15 in 2018.

The survey says: “While Italy may make an ideal tourist destination, life in the country is more complicated. Italy is persistently plagued by organised crime and corruption. Slowing economic growth and high youth and female unemployment remain large concerns.”

Spain

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This European nation with a population of 46.6 million remained the second choice of over 20,000 people that participated in the survey. “Cultural achievements, from the artistic mastery of Velazquez, Goya and Picasso to the globally renowned novel Don Quixote by Cervantes, and traditions like flamenco music and dance are a source of unity and national pride,” says the survey about Spain’s cultural influence.

Meanwhile, in the list of 80 best countries, Spain is ranked 20th, a fall of one spot form the 2018 ranking.

The survey says: “Continued growth built the nation’s tourism, housing and construction industries up into bubbles that eventually burst during the global financial crisis, throwing Spain into a severe economic recession in 2009. Efforts have been made to implement labour pension, health, tax and education reforms, but unemployment continues to beset about a quarter of the population.”

Greece

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It is no surprise that a country that is among the oldest and the most influential civilisations in the world and is known to have propounded the concept of democracy has maintained its position at the third spot in the list.

Noting the country’s great legacy, the survey says: “Greek culture has forged distinctive identities in science, the arts, social sciences and cuisine. Greece gave birth to drama and the theatre, as well as disciplines such as political science.”

Meanwhile, in the list of 80 best countries, Greece is ranked 30th, slipping two positions down from its 2018 ranking.

The survey says: “Within the European Union, Greece has one of the highest unemployment rates – particularly for young adults – as well as an alarming risk of poverty for its citizens. The nation has also become a major crossroads for migrants, though many have faced border closures and deteriorating conditions at camps.”

France

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France, which maintained its position at the fourth spot in this category, is not only a nation that is ancient and rich in cultural heritage; it is among the most powerful nations of today, too.

“It is difficult to overstate the influence France has on the world, both in the past and today. France is one of the world’s oldest countries, and its reach extends around the globe through science, politics, economics and perhaps above all, culture,” says the survey while ranking the nation, with a population of over 67 million, as the fourth best country in terms of heritage.

Meanwhile, in the list of 80 Best Countries, France is ranked 10th, slipping one spot down from its 2018 ranking.

The survey says: “France faces various domestic challenges, most notably how it confronts terrorism…The country also faces slowed economic growth and growing unemployment. Joblessness is especially hitting the country’s youth and young adults and the government has launched an effort to reform the labour market to help tackle high unemployment.”

Mexico

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A nation that houses over 129 million people and flaunts contrasts, with terrain encompassing arid lands and Caribbean coastlines and a society that has extremes of wealth and poverty, Mexico is the third-largest country in Latin America.

Once home of the Maya, Aztec and other ancient civilisations, Mexico is home to “the world’s largest population of Spanish speakers, and it has made a large cultural imprint in Latin America and beyond”, says the survey.

Meanwhile, in the list of 80 Best Countries, Mexico is ranked 35th, slipping four spots down from its 2018 ranking.  

Summing up the overall situation, the survey says: “Mexico faces a range of domestic challenges, including low wages, income inequality and a lack of job opportunities for its indigenous population. Violent crime is a serious concern. Mexico has one of the world’s highest kidnapping rates, and deadly violence tied to drug cartels hit record levels in 2017.”

India

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The country was holding the fifth position in this category in 2017 before Mexico made an entry, forcing it to stumble down.

“India is known for its historical architectural treasures, including the Taj Mahal, Humayun’s Tomb, the Sun Temple at Konarak and other vast temple complexes. But, modern India has also made its fair share of cultural contributions,” says the survey.

“The film industry based in Mumbai, nicknamed Bollywood, makes more feature-length films than any other nation in the world. The country has had three Booker Prize-winning authors since 1980 and has produced world-famous virtuosos,” it adds.

Meanwhile, in the list of 80 Best Countries, India is ranked 27th, slipping two spots down from its 2018 ranking.

The survey says: “India has a fast-growing, diverse economy with a large, skilled workforce. But, because of its population (an estimated 1.3 billion), it’s also one of the poorest countries in the world based on income and gross national product per capita.”

5 Heritage Sites That Tower Over Mumbai’s High-Rises

Mumbai’s growth as a city over three centuries of its history has been phenomenal. While the city is counted among the greatest metropolitans of the world, Mumbai’s real estate is also far more expensive than its global peers’. While there is an old city where several government offices operate out of heritage buildings, there also are skyscrapers dotting the urban space – Mumbai is truly a city where the old and the new survive and thrive together; the city’s true character lies in its contradictions.

However, the architectural history of the Maximum City would never be complete without listing its age-old buildings that stand tall in the city landscape, even as new high-rises keep coming up across the city. Classified as Grade-I, Grade-II A & B and Grade-III, these heritage structures fall under the jurisdiction of the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee. Most of these heritage structures that stand in the city today were built in the British period and display the Victorian Neo-Gothic, the Indo-Saracenic and Neo-classical architectural styles.

MakaanIQ lists five heritage sites that define the architectural character of Mumbai.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Railway Station

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A Unesco World heritage site, the railways station complex that serves as the headquarters of the city’s central railway was previously known as Victoria Terminus. One of the busiest railway stations in India, the structure was designed by British architect Frederick William Stevens, mixing the Victorian-Gothic and the Mughal architectural styles. Built in 1887, the station site is captured in several Bollywood and Hollywood movies.

The Royal Bombay Yacht Club

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Founded in 1846 – it was only in 1880 that a site was obtained from the Bombay Port Trust on lease to build it – the Royal Bombay Yacht Club is the oldest such club in Asia. Besides providing extensive sailing facilities, the heritage building overlooking the Bombay Harbour offers a magnificent view of the Gateway of India, another heritage building. “There is a treasure trove of invaluable yachting memorabilia and a storied celebration under every awning of the Club’s premises,” says the club’s website. For today’s high and mighty, a membership of this age-old club is seen as a stamp on their cool quotient.

The Gateway of India

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The 26-metre-high structure overlooking the Arabian Sea is a perfect example of a sturdy structure that has stood the test of time. The site has withstood three terror attacks. Used by the fishing community until it was renovated for use as a landing place for British officials, the Gateway of Mumbai was designed by Scottish architect George Wittet by combining architectural styles of Roman triumphal arch and the 16th-century architecture of Gujarat. Counted as Mumbai’s top tourist attraction, the Gateway of India was built in 1924.

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation Building

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Overlooking the Chhatrapati Shivaji Railway Terminus, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) building is a Grade-II (A) heritage site. The Mumbai civic authority operates out of here. In 1884, Lord Ripon, the then Viceroy of India, laid the foundation stone of the building, designed by Frederick William Stevens, applying the Gothic revival architectural style.

The Crawford Market

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The market has a new name now; it’s called Jyotiba Phule Marg commercial market. Built in 1868 by Arthur Crawford, Mumbai’s first municipal commissioner, this market, famous for fruit, food items, cosmetic items and pets, was design by William Emerson. The building’s structure follows a Norman and Flemish architecture style. Recently, conservation artist Abha Narain Lambah completed the renovation of the old shops in this market.

Busting 5 Common Myths About Pre-Approved Loans

When you venture into the bewildering world of real estate in pursuit of finding a dream home, the impact would surely be overwhelming— it is a world full of unlimited possibilities where anything can happen. In that pursuit, it may so happen that we cease to think realistically. We would certainly like to have the best, but our financial position might not allow us to get that just now. A homebuyer could save himself the trouble of feeling these extreme feelings in case they already know from what kind of money they could spend on a home purchase. They already know about their personal savings, all they now have to do is to get a bank to let them know what kind of home loan they are eligible to get. Towards achieving that goal, pre-approved home loans are the perfect answer.

What are pre-approved loans?

Typically, buyers start looking for a financer once they select the property they mean to purchase. A pre-approval, on the other hand, happens when the buyer has made up his mind to buy a property but they have yet to select one. This buyer would approach the bank, give it every detail required to process the request and get an answer in some time. The bank will assess the prospective borrower’s financial position by analysing his personal information, monthly income, credit score and credit history, work experience, et cetera. Based on this information, the bank would let you know a tentative amount they would be willing to lend you if you were to actually borrow.  It would issue a letter, confirming the same.

Now, there are several misconceptions attached to this concept. Let us find out the reality behind it to have a better understanding of pre-approved home loans.

MYTHS VERSUS REALITY

It is a surety that you would get the loan

Financial institutions have to employ a good deal of work to scan all those documents to arrive at a number they will be willing to lend you for the future home purchase. Naturally, they would certainly do all in their capacity to turn you into a customer from a prospective customer. However, they have their limitations.

The entire calculation would change as the intended property comes into the picture.

Upon technical analysis, the bank might find that there is a mismatch between the asking price and real value of the property. A financial institution, for instance, would not lend Rs 50 lakh for a property whose market value is perceived to be similar. It would expect the buyer to arrange at least 10 per cent of this value from his own savings and get the remaining amount financed even if the borrower received a pre-approval for a Rs 50-lakh loan.

You have to take the loan once it is pre-approved

There are no have tos here, from the perspective of the borrower as well as the lender.  If you are not able to find a property with the timeline that is set by the bank, the validity of the approval will expire. Similarly, if there is a change in your financial position, the bank might drop the offer.

Being pre-qualified is similar loan being pre-approved

Don’t be mistaken if these two terms are used interchangeably; they certainly are not one and the same thing.  A bank would grant you the position of being pre-qualified for a home loan after examining some specific details about you. This is more of a verbal and informal commitment. A pre-approval takes place when you formally apply with for a home loan and the banks put in due diligence to process your request. In this case, the commitment is more formal and documented, too. For home loan pre-qualification, a prospective borrower may or may not be asked for a processing fee. In case of pre-approved loans, they have to pay a fee.

There is no penalty for not availing of a pre-approved loan

Sure, there is a penalty. The bank would forfeit the processing fee in case you are not able to grab the offer that is extended for a limited period. State bank of India, for example, charges a flat fee of Rs 11,000 to grant pre-approved loans. This money is not refundable if the validity of the offer expires.

Also, every attempt to get a loan gets registered in your credit report. Making several such attempts and not availing of them would reflect poorly in your credit report. Banks would judge you adversely for that when you have to do serious business with them in future.

You can stretch the time limit

In case you are not able to grab them within that time period, they cease to exist. This period may range between three and six months. The validity of pre-approved home loans at public lender State Bank of India, for example, is three months. After this period, the bank would forfeit the amount you have submitted as the processing fee and the offer would no more be valid.

Only in specific cases, the bank might extend the time limit if the borrower keeps it in the loop and gives a genuine reason for the delay.

Top Affordable Projects In Kolkata’s New Town

As it stands today, Kolkata’s New Town is an ideal choice for those looking for affordable property in the City of Joy. Prices are at its record low currently in this real estate hotspot ─ data available with propTiger.com show average prices stand at Rs 3,500 per square foot (psf).

 This, however, is set to change, thanks to the locality getting a Metro connectivity. Construction is underway on Line 6 of the Kolkata Metro that will connect the Netaji Subas Chandra Bose International Airport to New Garia while passing through New Town. This route is expected to be operational by 2021.

Since rates are likely to see an upwards movement in future, time is ripe for investors to put their money in a realty hotspot. To assist those investors who are willing to exploit the opportunity,PropGuide lists five projects that in New Town that offer homes under Rs 50 lakh.

Merlin Aspire

RERA Id: HIRA/P/NOR/2019/000372 

This project by Merlin Group offers 1BHK apartments in five different that range between 518 square foot (sqft) and 530 sqft. Prices of these units run between Rs 12.43 lakh and Rs 12.72 lakh.

The project, which will be ready for possession in June 2020, offers all the basic amenities for the dwellers, including a gymnasium, a children play area, an intercom facility, a 24×7 security system, power-backup provision, etc.

Core Vishnu Tower

RERA Id: HIRA/P/NOR/2018/000136

This under-construction project by Core Construction & Development that is set for delivery in March 202 offers 2BHK units in four different configurations, ranging between 601 sqft and 712 sqft. The 16 apartments in the project are available in the price range of Rs 18 lakh to Rs 21.4 lakh.

Amenities in the project include round-the-clock security, a gymnasium, Wi-Fi connectivity, a power backup facility and a closed car parking area.

Ambey Green

RERA Id: HIRA/P/NOR/2018/000059

This project by Ambey Group has 36 units of 1BHK and 2BHK configurations that will be available for possession early next year. These units are available in seven different sizes, ranging between 450 sqft to 925 sqft. Apartments in the project are are priced between Rs 21.60 lakh and Rs 44.40 lakh.

The project is equipped with all basic facilities.

The Sky Garden

RERA Id: HIRA/P/NOR/2018/000069

Those looking for a premium property in the affordable price range can opt for The Sky Garden, an offering by The Banyan Tree group. The project offers 188 units in 2BHK and 3BHK configurations in different sizes. Rates of units vary between Rs 34.63 lakh and Rs 53.07 lakh. The project that offers amenities such as an amphitheatre, a children’s play area, a club house and a gymnasium will be ready for possession by 2022.

Neelkanth Chitrakut Heights

RERA Id: HIRA/P/NOR/2018/000190

This under-construction project by Neelkanth Nirman is offers buyers over 160 units in 2BHK and 3BHK configurations. Rates of these units range between Rs 34 lakh and Rs 49.47 lakh. 

The project will offer buyers amenities, including an amphitheatre, a children’s play area, a club house, a fire-fighting system and a gymnasium.

#RealtyNewsRoundup: I-T Department Makes Form 16 More Comprehensive

The Income Tax (I-T) Department has revised the format of Form 16 issued by the employers to make it more comprehensive. The new format will include details of income from house property, remuneration received from other employers, deductions under various tax saving schemes, investments in tax savings instruments, different allowances received as well as income from other sources. This revised form will be active from May 12.

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To promote affordable housing among homebuyers, the government is planning to ease financing and construction norms, say media reports. Apart from easy access to loans and relaxed eligibility for buyers, the government is also planning to offer the homes in a rental-cum-ownership format under its Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.

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The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is all set to give Mumbai’s Crawford Market a makeover. Under the BMC’s redevelopment plan, the heritage fountain and the three buildings in the market will be reconstructed. A two-storey basement parking will also be constructed in the crowded market by 2022.

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Kolkata’s luxury residential highrise, The 42, has become India’s tallest building, taking the title away from Mumbai’s The Imperial. The 268-m high building with 65 floors is located at Chowringhee, and is being developed in partnership by four developers, including Mani Group, Salarpuria Sattva Group, Alcove Realty and Diamond Group.

Source: Media reports

Can Numbers Help Your Property Move Faster In The Market?

Just how astrologers across the world use date of birth to determine the future of an individual, numbers play an equally important role in determining the fate of a property. The significance of numbers in real estate dates back to thousands of years across cultures. 

Number in a property, say the apartment number, the street number, or the numbers in the price are taken into consideration by many investors. While some numbers are believed to accelerate the value of the property some could prove to be unlucky. MakaaniQ compiles a list of numbers you must know of before buying or selling a property. 

The lucky ones

Number 8

In Chinese culture, eight is considered to be the luckiest number. If your house number or even street number has an eight or sums up to eight, you are in for a good price. Also, many home sellers even price their property using eight, the number that depicts fortune, as the only digit. For instance, Rs 8,88,888 or Rs 88,88,888 apart from the auspicious factor, experts say such pricing also attracts attention of buyers making them curious about the property.

 Number 7

Another number that is considered to be auspicious for home sales is number seven. So, how about adding seven zeroes to the price of your property or using seven in the price. Also, a home or street with number seven in it can go out easily.

Number 9

Also known as the magic number, number nine holds relevance across religions and so it does in real estate. In fact, if we look around, a lot of products are also priced ending nine. Not just auspicious this also, makes the price look lesser. For instance, a home buyer is likely to click on the property which is priced say Rs 49,99,499 over a property priced at Rs 50,00,000.

Number 5

Another number that holds similar relevance is number five. This is also used prominently while pricing the property.

The unlucky ones

Number 666

Known as the devil’s number, 666 will not be commonly seen in price listing. Moreover, apartments with this number have a lesser chance of being sold at a good price when compared to others.

Number 13

This number is  globally considered inauspicious. So much so that many buildings that are higher than 13 storeys do not have the 13th floor. Apartments on the 13th floor, or 13 number house or a property located on street number 13 will have less takers.

Number 4

This number is a big no-no if you want to fetch the right price for your property and not under-value it. According to Chinese numerology, this number is considered to be unlucky because it sounds like the Chinese word for death.

7 Key Elements Of An Elderly-Friendly Bedroom

Thanks to easy availability of finance, most buyers are able to buy a home while they are young now days. However, as time would have it and this young person would age. With age, this person would require its house to serve it differently than it did in his youth—as we age, we are not able to move along as easily as we do when we are young. That brings us to the question, what features should a bedroom must have to quality as elderly friendly?

Tall bed

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As they age, the joints in human body become weak, and that makes moving downwards hard. A bed that is higher than a normal one – the height of a regular bed is between two and three foot –will ensure an elderly person do not have to bend too much to get on and off the bed. Experts suggest that 25-36 inches is the ideal height for a bed for the elderly.

Slip-resistant floor

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Slippery floor are not good for anyone, but they could be especially troublesome for the elderly. This is because ones motor skills become weak as they age and this makes them susceptible to slipping. In a house that has to host people with advanced age, slip-resistant floor must be installed to ensure ease of movement. One could pick from cork, rubber, linoleum and hardwood flooring to achieve that goal.

Automated electricals

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It does not seem much of a trouble to get up and walk a little to switch on/off the lights, the fans and the air-conditioner when one feels fine. We will not feel the same way if they are sick. Similarly, a person in his advanced years would not have the energy and the will to move again and time to do the job. To save them the trouble, automated lighting system could be installed in the house. This would enable them to get the job done. In fact, advanced technologies allow us to run all electrical appliances using a mobile phone.

Appropriate lighting

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At any age, we need proper lighting in the house in order to make sure our eyes are not unduly strained to have a clear view. For an elderly person who might already be struggling with eye-sight related issues, having a proper lighting system in place becomes even more important.

Apart from that, small focus lights should be installed in their bedrooms so that they are able to find their things easily with their help. Also, make sure you create a good mix of white and yellow light.

Minimal decor

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To ensure easier movements, rooms that the elderly occupied must have only the necessary articles of furniture. Too many decorative elements would simply hinder their movement apart from making the area cluttered. This would help create an easy path of movement for the elderly bringing down the chances of bumping into or tripping over something.

Comfortable handles

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Lever-style handles instead of door knobs must be installed as these are easy to use for those with arthritis or other nervous ailments. For drawers and cupboards, large handles would be ideal. The fitting should also be light in weight.

Cool colours

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Colours can change the way you feel. While vibrant hues could be ideal for children and young couples, soothing and cool shades would be more suitable for the elderly.

This is why we recommend use of pastel colours such as off-white, mint green, brown etc., in their rooms.

This Is What Happens When You Evade Stamp Duty

An intelligent homebuyer tries every trick in the book to bring down the cost of his purchase — from negotiating with cost the seller to haggling with banks in order to get a cheaper home loan. In this process, a buyer might, however, go a little far if they attempt to evade stamp duty payments, the cost one has to pay to the government at the time of registration.  In India, states levy this duty, and charge between 4 and 10 per cent of the deal value as stamp duty. Additionally, a buyer has to pay one per cent of the property value as registration charge.

Put together, these two duties significantly jack up the cost of house purchases. This might lead to buyers adopting insincere methods to avoid the charge. Instances of homebuyers lowering the deal value on papers to evade stamp duty are not uncommon in India, a practice that can actually land them in trouble. While laws related to this offence are different in every state, the Indian Stamps Act, 1899, that happens to be a Central legislation, lays that an evader may be penalised monetarily. Serious offenders may have to serve a jail term of up to one year.

States such as Bihar, Kerala, Odisha and Assam follow the national law as far as the penalty on stamp evasion goes.

In these states, for an evasion of up to Rs 10 lakh, the offender may have to pay a penalty between Rs 50,000, or 20 per cent of evasion amount, whichever is more. If the evaded amount is more than Rs 10 lakh, the punishment will involve imprisonment of up to one year or a fine of at least Rs 50,000, or both.

States such as Maharashtra, Delhi and Karnataka have their personal laws in this regard.

How to save stamp duty tax?

Stamp duty evasion is an illegal act and it can jeopardize your entire purchase. Could you possibly lower this monetary liability in a legal manner? The answer is, you sure can! 

Realtors launching festive offers that include “no stamp duty payment” option have been a common practice. Today, a buyer does not have to wait for the festival season to strike that sort of a deal. Struggling with huge unsold inventory and in desperate need to sell, real estate developers offer such deals all years around.

Another great way to save on stamp duty is to register the property in the name of a woman. Almost all states in the country charge between one or two percentage point less as stamp duty from women. In some states, in fact, women do not have to pay stamp duty on property purchase. In Jharkhand, for instance, women have to pay only a token amount of Re 1 as stamp duty. In Jammu, women homebuyers don’t have to pay any stamp duty.

Unlike earlier, banks now factor in stamp duty charges while granting home loans. This means your bank will calculate this “additional” charge as part of the deal and grant you the loan accordingly. This means the buyer does not have to struggle to arrange the stamp duty amount.

With inputs from Sneha Sharon Mammen