Your Guide To Deep Clean Your Home

We all want our homes to be spick and span all the time. While we do our best to ensure our homes remain clean always, there are areas where a daily cleanup is just not possible. These need a deep clean. We have talked about deep cleaning across our articles. But, what exactly is deep cleaning and how is it different from the regular cleaning?

Basic cleaning is the daily cleaning routine that we follow using regular cleaning products. During this process, the things that are out in the open and in vision are cleaned and kept dust-free. On the other hand, deep cleaning is a process that we perform once in, say, six months. During this process attention is paid to clean those tiny corners that need dirt removal and disinfection. While basic cleaning would take an hour or so on an average, deep cleaning could take hours.

Also read: Moving Into A New Home? You Would Need The Help Of These Professionals

Things done during regular cleaning

  • Dusting ceiling fans and light fixtures
  • Removing cobwebs
  • Dusting blinds and window sills
  • Dusting articles of furniture
  • Dusting photo frames and other decorative
  • Cleaning of appliances including refrigerator, microwave and water purifier/dispenser
  • Cleaning of stove-top and backsplashes
  • Scrubbing sinks
  • Windexing mirrors
  • Wiping of bathroom vanity, tubs, and other fixtures
  • Emptying laundry bags
  • Changing bedsheets
  • Vacuuming carpets, flooring and staircase

Things done during deep cleaning

  • Removing and washing of ceiling fan blades
  • Using disinfectant to clean light fixtures
  • Cleaning vacuum blinds and shutters
  • Wiping furniture with disinfectant and waxing/polishing furniture and other woodwork
  • Washing of lampshades
  • Scrubbing stovetop and other pans
  • Use cleaning liquid to rub cabinet doors
  • Use disinfectant to clean light switch plates
  • Windex mirrors
  • Scrub bathroom fittings, flooring, tubs and vanity using disinfectant
  • Mop flooring, staircase with disinfectant
  • Vacuum carpets or get them dry-cleaned

But while you clean, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Cleaning your home in a wrong order will cost you time. It is essential that you first clean the ceiling and then the floor.  Always clean things or room area that needs a lot of attention. Then go for the ones that can be cleaned easily.
  • Do not use glass cleaning agents for electronic devices. Use specific cleaning agents recommended for that particular area. Clean materials such as leather with a recommended cleaning agent. Avoid use of abrasive cleaner on the surfaces. When used in excess these cleaners can damage the materials. A simple soft scrub soaked in soap water can clean metal, plastic and painted surfaces. If the intent is to disinfect an area, then read the label to check whether your way of cleaning meets the purpose.
  • Always cover your hands. Never spray your cleaner directly onto the surface. Instead spray the cleaner on the cloth and then use it for wiping. This will save the amount of cleaner you consume reducing the chance of chemical burn.
  • Do not wash windows on a sunny day. When exposed to sunlight, the glass cleaners leave streaks and are bad for drying up.
  • Avoid over-filling the dishwasher. This will reduce the effectiveness of the wash.
  • Keep aside different sponge clothes for the bathroom, kitchen sink and floors. Replace the kitchen sponge when it starts to stain and fall apart.
  • Clean the carpet spills as soon as possible. Never scrub your carpet as scrubbing is ineffective. Instead blot the satin with a dry towel, then soak the area in ice water.
  • Do not neglect the rubbish bin. Avoid using the same cloth for all the rooms.

With inputs from Mishika Chawla

DIY Eco-friendly Measures For Homes

The 21st century has us all worried about various environmental issues like climate change and the fear of the melting ice caps. In such a time of mass disarray, we are ready to take drastic measures to ensure that the later generations aren’t born into an Earth as portrayed by most dystopian-era movies or novels. One of these methods is to make the homes eco-friendly. Contrary to popular opinion, making your homes eco-friendly isn’t challenging as there are a plethora of home-made methods to reduce wastage. The government has also come up with various schemes and incentive programs to encourage people to shift tracks and adapt a more eco-friendly way of life. Following are some of the effective ways to make your house more eco-friendly and less hostile to the planet.


Rainwater harvesting

Considered to be one of the most effective methods, rainwater harvesting doesn’t require much preparation and yet help when facing an acute water shortage. With serious water shortage problems envisaged, simple hacks like a rainwater harvesting tank in your home will help a lot.


Avoid felling of trees

What will you do if there is a fully grown tree in the middle of your property? Do you mow it down to make way for your home? Avoid that. There are various options that don’t involve that inhuman action, like accommodating the branches or other parts of the tree as an integral part of the home decor, or even transplanting the tree. This way, you have the beauty of your home intact and you’ve actively avoided the ruination of the environment.


Better quality wiring and appliances

Buying good quality materials for your electrical appliances help reduce wastage and emissions. Worn-out wirings and imperfect insulation increases the chances of fire hazards. Moreover, modern electronics and wires adhere to the environmental norms and thereby, work towards minimising wastage, while improving efficiency and quality provided to the consumer.


Installation of solar panels

Although a fairly expensive remedy to the environmental problems, it’s considered to make a big change. Solar panels convert solar energy to electricity. The panels are installed in an open area with direct sunlight, which they absorb all day, charging the cells which re-route the converted electricity to the entire house. In a bid to encourage people to use this method, the government provides a considerable amount of financial support to home-owners.


What To Do If Someone Forges Your Property Papers?

Delhi-based Keshav Mondal’s 70-year-old mother has been a victim of property fraud. It recently came to the noticed of the Mondal family that a land parcel registered in the name of Keshav’s mother in 1992 has now been transferred in the name of another person with the help of forged signatures and photograph. Property frauds of this nature are a nation-wide phenomenon.

Recently, Vadodara-based builder Bhupendra Shah, with the help of two accomplices, forged documents to take over one Jaishree Shah’s property. The trio created a fake power of attorney and used it to carry out the transactions, the rightful owner says. In Hyderabad, the Metropolitan Magistrate at Malkajgiri sentenced four members of a family to three years of rigorous imprisonment and fine, for forging a woman’s signature to let out a plot registered in her name.

Since there has been a drastic increase in the number of instances where cheats resort to forgery, what should one do to ensure the safety of one’s property?


Steps you must take when you suspect forgery

Ajay Sethi, who practices property law at the Bombay High Court, says “A victim must file a police complaint for forgery, fabrication of documents and cheating, as soon as they find out about the situation. In the case of Mondal, he must also file a declaratory suit stating that his mother is the absolute owner of the said property and that the fraudulent sale agreement should not be considered.”

It is also important to file the complaint at the police station where the property is situated. If a fraudster tries to establish his rights over a property, it becomes important to lodge a complaint on grounds of impersonation. It would also be appropriate to write to the inspector-general of registration and the sub-registrar and bring the matter to their notice. The victim could also get published in national dailies a warning, stating that the original property owner has learnt about the fraud, and is not in the know of any transactions that might have taken place. According to Kolkata-based lawyer Devajyoti Barman, it is also important to maintain physical possession of such a property, apart from keeping safe the original legal documents that establish your ownership.

 IPC Sections under which forgery is punishable

According to Yogendra Singh Rajawat, a practicing lawyer at the Rajasthan High Court, such cases fall under sections 420 (cheating), 467 (forgery of documents), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using a forged document as a genuine one) and also 120B (applicable when there is more than one person party to the act), of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

What Is A Title Deed?

Those entering the world of property purchase have to enrich their vocabulary before they approach this uncharted territory in order to keep the process commotion-free. While you are at it, it is important to understand the difference between sale deed and title deed, the things that prove your ownership over a property. While you may have assumed the two things to be one and the same, that is not the case. Let us understand what the two terms are and they differ from each other.

Sale deed is a document but title deed is a concept

After a buyer and a seller reach an agreement to carry out a property transaction based on certain terms and conditions, they have to formalise the process in order to prove that the said property has seen change of ownership. They then have to prepare a document, known as sale deed, where every single detail related to the transaction is mentioned. According to the Registration Act, 1908, this document must be registered to become legally valid.  As soon as a sale deed is registered, it becomes a legal proof that the title of the property has been transferred in the name of the buyer. It is in this capacity that sale deed becomes a title deed. That way, a sale deed is also a title deed.

Also Read: How sale deed is executed

Sale deed is an agreement but title deed is statement

Sale deed is an agreement. And, two parties must be involved to make an agreement. This is precisely why all details related to the buyer/ buyers and the seller/sellers are mentioned in a sale deed even though the ultimate purpose of this document is to state that so and so property has been transferred in the name of such and such person. Because this document proves the ownership of the buyer it by default becomes a statement about the title of the property, hence the name title deed. Also, at the time of property registration, the transacting parties have to establish past ownership and title transfer of the asset. A sale deed is a documentary proof of that too. 

4 Ways To Brighten Up Your Home

A home can feel claustrophobic for many reasons. Low sunlight during winter, extensively surrounded by trees and thoughtless construction are a few reasons that kill the vibrancy of a cozy dwelling. Dark corners rob a house of its life. So, living in a claustrophobic home is like a barking up the wrong tree, where you literally struggle to get the bright semblance. Most of the time dwellers tussle to maintain a positive flow of energy for better health and cheerful mood. It has been aptly said that an upbeat home keeps ambience and imagination get going. Let’s see how we can do that.

Large Mirrors and Faux Windows

A home with no windows or fewer ones gives a stifling feeling. So, it’s quite obvious that you as a dweller will suffer for airy and sunny approach. However, by installing large mirrors against walls in your guest or sitting room, you will mitigate that feeling. Install faux window decals beside the mirrors, choose soothing themes for window decals, such as entry to snow-clad mountains or a beach-side with turquoise tides, because nature in any form looks stunning. In case of a low ceiling, do not put an oversized mirror touching the ceiling as this can distract you.

Selection Of Colours

A house with abundant sunlight generally brightens the colours of the home. However, that’s not the case with a claustrophobic home. So, randomly choosing a colour scheme wouldn’t mitigate the dark influence. However, there are fewer colours that can even brighten a dungeon because these colours are highly reflective in nature. For this matter, try using high-gloss pale blue or white, whenever light falls on them from any source they reflect implicitly. If the same colours are applied onto the walls, make sure they have high-gloss properties.

Adequate Lighting

Break the suffocating semblance by bringing adequate lighting in the house. You can do this by strategically placing light items, for instance hide the lamps, in the book shelf or use a pendant light in your bathroom. Provide your kitchen cabinets with headlights. Powerful lighting in the house will eventually highlight the value of mirrors, window decals, high-gloss colour selection and a light-toned furniture.

Light-Coloured Flooring

 photo for claustrophic home (1)

Light-coloured flooring will accentuate furniture, plants, artifacts and your personal accessories in a great manner. (Flickr)

If the walls of your home are painted in bold accents, then you must choose light flooring for your house. Whenever light falls on the light flooring, the reflection beams the overall ambience of the home. Avoid using moisture-soaking carpet or area rugs as light colours don’t absorb damp air. Not only this, light-coloured flooring highlights the placing of furniture, green plants, artifacts and your personal accessories in a valued manner.

Bring Home The Colours Of Nature This Festive Season

Many wait for the festive season to give their home a completely new look and feel. The festive season starts with the festival Navratri (the nine nights festival celebrating nine avatars of the Goddess Durga) and goes on till Diwali. Before and during these month-long festivities, people put their full focus on their home, on keeping it neat and clean and also, decorating it.

This festive season, go back to the roots. Fresh and close to nature, this look goes well with the traditions followed during the month of festivities.

Here are some interesting ideas you could implement:

Say it with flowers

Flower garlands are used to decorate homes during the festive season. The entrance, the windows and the temple in the house, all are decked up using flowers. The flowers add colour and fragrance to the home, making you feel close to nature.  

Brighten up with earthen decorative

The market, during the festival season, is full of decoratives made of terracotta. From diyas to flower vases, and from idols to side tables, each of these are available in colourful terracotta. You could pick all this variety for your home to give it a traditional look.

Colours of festivity

Festive season is the right time to add new and fresh colours to your home. Paint your home with colours that reflect nature or are in-sync with the new décor you plan to add to your home. Apart from painting your home, you could add new furniture or furnishings that reflect colours of festivity. Traditional Rajasthani cushions and rugs, phulkari wall hangings, among other could be an interesting way to give your home an ethnic look.

Light up the mood

Following the theme, invest in a lot of diyas and replace them with the lighting you would have otherwise used to decorate the façade of your house. Colourful diyas and their light will give your home a traditional look and feel. Also, you could save on energy by not using electricity-run lighting.

Five Things NRIs Buying Property In India Must Know

If you are a non-resident Indian (NRI) planning to buy a property in India, time could not have been better for you to do so. While India’s real estate sector has seen a price correction in the recent past, buying property in Indian has also become more lucrative with favourable currency rates.


MakaanIQ looks at what differentiates NRI property buying from resident property purchases in India:

  • An NRI buying an immovable property in India does not require any special permission. However, the payment can’t be made in foreign currency. NRIs can make the purchase using Indian currency, the Rupee, through funds received in the country by means of normal banking channels. These funds have to be maintained in a non-resident account under the foreign Exchange management Act (FEMA) and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) regulations. There are also no restrictions on the number of immovable properties that an NRI may purchase, either residential or commercial.
  • NRI investments into the property market are treated on par with investment made by resident Indians, but for some exceptions:

Also Read: NRIs Can Get A Home Loan But Conditions Apply

Nature of property

NRIs can buy all sorts of immovable properties in India other than agricultural land, farm house and plantation property. To acquire agricultural land/plantation property/farm house in India, they have to get approval from the RBI and the government.


When an NRI sells a property in India, TDS (tax deducted at source) calculation is done at the rate of 20.6 per cent on long-term capital gains and 30.9 per cent on short-term capital gains. However, the final taxation rate is similar for NRIs and resident Indians. If an NRI has a lower tax slab applicable to him, he can apply for a refund of the TDS by filing their income tax return.

Home loan

The RBI has given a general permission to banks and housing finance companies registered with the National Housing Bank to provide loans to NRIs for buying residential property in India. Sanctioned in Indian currency, the loan has to be repaid using the same currency. However, the loan amount, according to the regulations, cannot be credited directly to the bank account of an NRI and has to be disbursed to either the seller’s or the developer’s account. The loan can be repaid using funds in an NRI’s NRO/NRE account or FCNR deposits.


Managing a real estate investment requires considerable effort, especially if you plan to give the house out on rent. Now, with, you can avail of end-to-end Property Management Services through our trusted partner. Sit back and relax, while your dedicated property manager takes care of everything – from finding tenants and ensuring you get the rent on time, to managing and maintaining the property.


Power of attorney (PoA)

As they live outside, NRIs have an option to give PoA to their friends or relatives to complete the property purchase process in India. The PoA can be general or specific about the rights your representative can exercise.

Also Read: 5 Real Estate Laws You Must Know About

Repatriation of funds back to the foreign country

There are certain guidelines for repatriation of funds. An NRI or Person of Indian origin (PIO) may repatriate the proceeds from the sale of immovable property in India on the conditions mentioned below:

  • The property must have been purchased in accordance with the FEMA directives, applicable at the time of purchase. 
  • The amount repatriated cannot exceed the original amount paid for the property, if the property was acquired in foreign exchange remitted through normal banking channels or out of funds held in an FCNR (B) account.

However, in the following circumstances, the NRI/PIO may repatriate a maximum of $ 1 million per financial year:

  • Out of the balance held in the NRO account, if the property was purchased out of rupee source of funds. 
  • If the property was acquired by way of gift, sale proceeds must be credited to an NRO account and may be repatriated thereafter. 
  • If the property was inherited from a resident Indian, funds may be repatriated on producing a documentary evidence proving inheritance, an undertaking by the NRI/PIO, and a certificate of an authorised chartered accountant in the formats prescribed by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).
  • In the case of a residential property, repatriation of sale proceeds is restricted to less than or equal to two properties.
  • A foreign national may repatriate sale proceeds even if the property was inherited from a person outside India. However, prior approval of the RBI must be obtained. 
  • A citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, China, Afghanistan and Iran must seek specific approval from the RBI for repatriation of sale proceeds.

Apart from the above-mentioned points, an NRI is given the same treatment as applicable to any other Indian resident.

RBI (NRI FAQ): Frequently Asked Questions By NRI

Tips to Unpack Like a Pro

Imagine sitting on a pile of boxes, not knowing where to start unpacking from. While moving from one house to another, packing things are far easier than unpacking and putting everything in order again. “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” is a saying that would be very apt in this case. Indicated below are some tips to help you unpack like a pro.

  • Always take photos of the old orientation before packing up. This helps you while you unpack.
  • Number and label your packing boxes using colour codes, reduces your work.
  • Pack the boxes according to each room while moving out. Unpacking room by room is the golden rule of moving into a new house. Always start with larger items and then go on to the smaller ones.
  • Unpack first for function and then for decoration but before everything, prioritise your function.
  • It is easier to unpack essentials. It is very inconvenient when you cannot find your toothbrush or night dress or cell phone charger. There should be a different box for essentials.
  • Unpack your bathroom and bedroom belongings first. After a tiring day, if you don’t have your bed ready after a good shower, you will be frustrated.
  • Save the kitchen for the next day. There are a lot of things that are delicate or breakable, and needed to be unpacked carefully – containers, utensils, etc.
  • Do not unpack anything that might distract you and shift focus from the whole unpacking process. For instance, the television or video games.

Finally, lethargy on your part will only delay your process of unpacking. Prolonging your unpacking doesn’t help; so finish off the work as fast as possible.

Compare Properties On These Parameters Before Buying

Real estate assets are very different from other assets that we own. This is because other assets have certain properties from where we can assess their value. For example, a mobile phone has certain properties and often costs pretty much the same in every part of India. But, a house and mass of land with same properties will cost incomparably more in the Bandra-Kurla Complex than it would in a tiny village in a small town. This is because much of the value of a property has to do with the amenities in the locality in which the property exists. But, there are many parameters according to which you can compare properties to assess their value. This is especially important when two properties have values that are close to each other. You will be able to decide which to choose only by comparing these properties against important parameters one by one.

Which are the parameters?

  • Access to amenities is perhaps the most important parameter that influences the future value of your property. Compare amenities one by one, including proximity to transportation networks, schools, hospitals and offices. Also, check if your apartment complex has amenities such as parking space and playground.
  • Some properties can be easily renovated, increasing space and turning otherwise useless areas into a valuable space. At times, you can sharply raise the value of the property by spending a reasonable amount of money. The layout of the property is an important parameter here. 
  • Proximity with like-minded people is too important a factor to be left to chance. Even if everything else is good, if the right people do not live in your neighborhood, you probably will not enjoy living there. 
  • The quality of construction is a very important parameter, too. The quality of the building material used, the quality of the paint, the fittings, wood and everything that is used in construction matter. 
  • Is the seller open to negotiation? Many home buyers do not take this into account because they assume that the price of the property is final and not subject to change. But some sellers will be quite open to negotiation, while some are not willing to lower the price. This is an often neglected but a very important parameter according to which you should chose property.

Bare-Shell V/s Warm-Shell Properties: Which One Should You Go For?

Most of us nurture the dream to have our dream home one day. Understandably so, all of us dream differently. Some of us want a ready-to-move-in home because waiting is not really our thing; some others would want to spend their time, energy, resources and apply their vision in building for themselves the perfect abode, which would bear their signature all over. The property market is acutely aware of the needs of both types of dreamers. When you go home shopping, you would find plenty of ready-to-move-in fully furnished options. You would also find in equal numbers warm-shell and bare-shell properties.

Before moving further, let us first understand how one is different from the other.

Bare-shell properties: A bare-shell property is, as Abhineet Seth of Abodekraftz put it, a “ready-to-fit-in property”.  This means the walls would be plastered, the bathrooms and the kitchen would be working, too. Basically, the developer has got the basic structure ready, and water outlet and electricity in-let facilities are in place. In commercial set-ups, the developer may also have installed water sprinklers, air-handling units and fire safety equipment in place.  

The picture below would give you a clearer idea about bare-shell properties.


Warm-shell properties: While these also do not quite fit the parameter to be called ready-to-move-in units, warn-shell properties are certainly the upgraded version of bare-shell ones. In this case, the developer offers the consumer certain other facilities, apart from proving the basic structure, making them habitable. Apart from basic flooring and paints, etc., however, no other interior work or furnishing would be in place in a warm-shell unit, also referred to as a vanilla-shell property.

The picture below would give you a clearer idea about warm-shell properties.


What do buyers prefer?

As far as the residential segment goes, buyers looking for affordable properties would generally not venture into bare-shell or warm-shell properties for the simple reason that they would not want to inflate the cost. This buyers segment would look for fully furnished units if they are buying for self-use or even for renting purposes. The same is true of businesses looking to lease smaller spaces. They would prefer a furnished set-up to keep the costs down.

Buyers looking for luxury properties that cost between Rs 5-15 crore would invariably go for properties in good locations which only have a basic structure in place.

“Even if money is not a concern, this buyer segment would not be willing to pay a higher price for a fully-furnished unit because they would want their home to stand out. They would want to do their own interiors, using high-quality materials,” says Seth.

Even if the buyer has bought this property for an investment purpose, they would go for bare-shell properties. “In case the buyer plans to rent the property, they may not want to invest too much in the asset. In such a scenario, they might opt for a fully-furnished luxury space,” says Seth.

In the commercial segment, start-ups and entrepreneurs looking for office spaces, ranging between 500 and 1,000 square metre (sqm) prefer warm-shell properties while those looking for bigger spaces spanning over 2,000 sqm would mostly go for bare-shell structures.

“Businesses leasing for a long term prefer bare-shell properties because they would like to give a personal look-and-feel to the workspace,” Seth says.  “Those who are acquiring the space to lease further would also prefer the same for the same reason,” he adds.

Why is the market full of such properties?

Because of the demand for such structure, real estate biggies have been launching projects specifically for this buyer segment. DLF’s The Aralias and The Magnolias in Gurgaon are the perfect such examples of bare-shell properties.

“From the developers’ perspective, creating and selling bare-shell properties is more profitable as they make profits on only the location and the basic structure. There is hardly any profit that they can make by doing the interior work, despite the fact the latter demands a great deal of investment,” says Seth.

“A developer would find it much easier to sell a bare-shell unit for, say, a crore-and-a-half if the location deserves that much. However, if he goes ahead and spends another Rs 50 lakh doing the interiors, he might find it hard to get any takers for the simple reason that buyers see this as a limitation. They also might have doubts about the quality of the material used in doing the interiors. They would rather do it all on their own,” Seth adds.

Selling warm-shell and bare-shell properties are also easier for builders and sellers because they are less expensive when compared to fully-furnished units.

“More importantly, such units offer the buyer the liberty to develop their space as they might have dreamed,” adds Seth.

Also read: Trying To Add Value To Your Investment Property? Do Reconsider