How To Guard Your Property From Encroachments?

Big fortunes are spent in property investments. Invariably, owners are emotionally connected with their immovable assets. In case their investment goes astray, the loss would not only be monetary but also sentimental. This means the job of a property owner does not end when he receives the possession of a priced asset; this property will have to be perpetually guarded, too. To be sure, there are legal remedies available for you in case your land is encroached upon ─ various provisions of the Specific Relief Act, 1963, and the Criminal Procedure Code safeguard the interest of property holders. However, one would certainly prefer prevention to cure. Let us see how we should go about it.

Keep record of property documents

First things first, property purchase-related documents establish your ownership of a property. As a buyer, you really do not have a scope to go slow in matters of getting all the papers in place as soon as the purchase is done. Apart from the sale deed and conveyance deed, key documents also include mutation and registration of the property. You may also have paid taxes on your purchase. These documents will also support your ownership over a property. In case you used bank finance to fund the purchase, the papers provided by the bank would also solve the same purpose. Simply put, the government should have it in its record that this specific property legally belongs to you. No matter how absolutely tiresome you find the task to be, perform each move with great precision. This is an area where you cannot afford to go slow.

Be vigilant 

Consistent vigilance might be difficult in case you live in one location and own a property in another. The task would prove to be even more difficult if the property is located in another city altogether. Going forward, the task would turn out to be more daunting if you have to keep an eye on a property that you own outside of the country. It would be ideal to make personal visits to your property as and when you can. In case that is not a possibility, you could hire people to take care of your property. There are dedicated service providers to do that today. You could also ask your friends or family members in that city to watch your property for you.

Create a fence around the property 

You are the legal owner of a certain property, and it is a must to let the world outside know about it. In case you have bought a piece of land and plan to carry out the construction in future, it is imperative that at least a fence is created to mark your territory. As a warning for trespassers, there should also be a big board declaring that this property belongs to you. It would only be better if a temporary living space could be created to rent out. Apart from earning a monthly rent, you would also have some permanently to take care of your property.

Ask neighbours to keep watch

We live in times when one hardly has any inclination to mingle with one’s neighbours. Where is the time to socialise in your busy life? Strange as it may sound, we need our neighbours more today than we did earlier. After all, they are the first ones to know that happens to us, good or bad. If a neighbour is able to keep a close watch on your property, you will have no reason to worry about your property. At the time of buying the property, you could organise a small function and introduce yourself to your neighbours. Share with them the fact of the matter, and seek their advice. You could lay your trust in the person who you think is responsible enough and willing enough to help you, and entrust him with the responsibility of your property.

Also Read: SC Ruling To Make Adverse Possession Tougher

Selling Without An Agent? Here’s What Could Go Wrong

Lured by the idea of saving money by not hiring a real estate agent and rather go for-sale-by-owner way? Think before you plan to do this. You never know that rather than saving money you are keeping a lot at stake knowing that an agent will have a better knowledge about the market than you do. After all, it is an agent that is involved in the real estate business full time while your expertise lies in another field.

MakaaniQ lists mistakes that you might make when selling your property without an agent:

Going overboard with property pricing

Unknown to the current market trend you might end up overpricing or underpricing your property. Well, the outcome? Your property will remain on the market for a long time with no takers. While you can learn about the ongoing asking price of properties in your locality through online real estate advisories, you might end up pricing your property on the upper limit of the asking price. You could do this for two reasons. First, thinking that your property is at par or better than other properties in the locality or second, that the buyer would negotiate and bring down the price anyway so why not price it higher. This emotional connect with the property can make it stay on longer in the market. Think through and price the property a little less than the average asking price of the properties in your locality to grab more eyeballs.

Negotiations can get awkward

Negotiations are the deal makers or breakers and getting involved in this process can be awkward. It can even sour terms with the buyer. Even if you are a seasoned salesperson or have great negotiation skills, a buyer with an agent will steal the show from you.

Also read: 3 Reasons Why Your Home Sale Negotiations Can Go Wrong

A buyer’s agent would not prefer your property

Selling without an agent can repel the buyers’ agents. They take a step back as sure of not getting a professional set up and in fact at times fear to help the seller out, too, with the paperwork later and not even get paid for it. For purely professional reasons a buyer’s agent would never get his client to your property. They might turn up only if you are selling your property at a very low price compared to the average asking price.

A smaller network

Working without an agent? You will have a smaller network of potential homebuyers. This would only include people who approached you through word of mouth or people who contacted you after you listed your property on online real estate advisories. On the other hand, the agent, apart from all of this, will come up with a list of his own potential clients. This could include people who approached him as buyers, people who purchased property through him or even buyers that some of his other agent friends suggested.

Staging could go awry

Staging, a critical element of making your property saleable, can go wrong. You might deck up the property according to your taste but what if the buyer doesn’t share the same taste in décor? It could be a turn off for the buyer if he/she cannot visualise the property the way he wants it to be. Moreover, you might not be able to see if there are any architectural defects in your property that you would need to mend before hanging the “for sale” board. An agent will not just help you stage but will also figure out ways to mend the defects in your property.

Also read: Why You Must Try Virtual Staging Right Now

Wasting time on unwanted property visits

Can’t differentiate between a potential and not-so-worthy buyer? You might end up entertaining everyone and arranging multiple property visits. This whole process could be tiring, time-consuming and even expensive. In office on a Saturday? The homebuyer may only be free on this day to make a property visit. You are on crossroads thinking which way to go. What if the homebuyer finalises the deal? With that thought, you end up taking every property visit seriously. But, an agent comes to rescue here. While you sit in your office doing your job, he would be doing his by taking the potential buyers for a visit. 

Also Read: 11 Things To Do Before You Sell Your Home

Why Homebuyers Must Consider Loading, Before Making A Purchase

While searching for a home, property seekers may often come across terms such as carpet area, built-up area and super built-up area. Usually, developers use these terms to explain to the home buyer, how spacious the property will be. However, an equally important concept called loading, which is often ignored, can be an important deciding factor in your property purchase. 

To understand what loading factor is, a home buyer must know about the carpet area and the super built-up area. To know more, read here. 

Carpet area is the floor area that you get within the walls of your property, while the super built-up area is the total area on which the apartment is constructed, including common areas such as the lift, lobby, staircase, gym, etc., in proportion to the unit. Loading factor is essentially the difference between these two concepts and is calculated as a percentage. 

Formula to calculate loading factor 

Let us assume that the super built-up area is 1,200 sq ft and the carpet area is 1,000 sq ft. The loading factor can be calculated by the below formula. 

Why is loading factor important? 

Home buyers should know the loading factor is an extra component, for the builder to recover the cost of additional facilities that they are providing, including lifts, lobby, maintenance room, parking and terrace. In premium projects, the loading may go as high as 60%, with the developer justifying the high loading on the basis of the superior amenities that are provided, as compared to usual projects.

A majority of the developers do not mention the loading factor of a unit but it is important for buyers to know this term, as it gives the real value for investment. Most of the time, developers calculate loading in proportion to the super built-up area, instead of the carpet area, to bring down the loading percentage,” explains Vijay Singhania, a Bengaluru-based property broker. 

The real estate law makes it mandatory for developers to disclose the carpet area of the units that they sell, along with the super built-up area, making it easier for the buyers to calculate the loading factor of the unit. 

Also Read: Frequently Asked Questions Buyers Have On RERA 

What is the ideal loading factor? 

For flats, 30 per cent is the ideal loading factor. Anything else, would mean that the home buyer will end up with lesser carpet area. Smaller projects have less loading, while bigger projects with more amenities, will have higher loading. 

Loading in top cities  

City 

Loading factor (in %) 

Mumbai Metropolitan Region 

40-60 

Delhi NCR 

20-40 

Bengaluru 

20-30 

Chennai 

25-30 

 

How To Differentiate A Good Floor Plan From A Bad One

There are many aspects to be judged while buying a property, especially when it is for end-use. One of such things is the floor plan. There are many things and elements that contribute to making a good floor plan. Here are few tips to differentiate between a good floor plan and a bad floor plan and how you can identify these:

Room size

Prefer a rectangular room over a square one. A good floor plan is the one that has a room of at least 12 ft length and 10 feet of width. This is based on the fact that the typical bed size in India is about 7-9 ft in length. An extra 5 ft space should be left for free movement in the room as well as placement of other electrical equipments. If you are planning a master bedroom, the bleeding space should be at least 7-10 ft along with a master bathroom and a walking closet.

Bathrooms

This factor completely depends on the homebuyers’ requirements. Usually, a 1BHK has 1 attached bathroom while a 2BHK flat might have two, one attached to the room and the other one with the hall. For a 3BHK flat, the third bathroom can be replaced as a storeroom, if you have a small family. It is advisable to keep the common area bathroom functional for guests.

Balconies

Area used for constructing the balconies is not counted in the Floor Space Index (FSI). However, builders add this in the carpet area to manage loading. Therefore, prefer a larger balcony rather than multiple small balconies to ensure healthy ventilation.

Kitchen

A good floor plan is the one that has an open kitchen as it offers easy access to other parts of the house and makes the common area look spacious. Ensure the dining area and kitchen are side by side as these are the most used areas of the home and should have a convenient approach.

Furniture

Any furniture in the residential space is kept at least 3-4 ft away from the wall. Ensure that there is enough space for placing furniture in different angles to avoid congestion.

Common area

Space used by protruding cupboards, big gateways are a waste and are of little use in mid-sized apartments. Instead, prefer built-in furniture such as tables or desks that can also be doubled for iron table, convertible sofas, shelves etc.

View

For a pleasant view of the home, keep the kitchen away from the entrance. The guests should have a view of the living room interiors and there should be no blockage in the inside view.

Loading

Developers usually charge the home buyers as per super area but actually the only usable area is carpet area. The difference between carpet area and the super area is known as loading and is usually 30 per cent of the total floor plan area. Homebuyers should ensure that the loading should not be more than 30 per cent and less than 25 per cent as the common area spaces get compromised.

Also Read: 5 Essentials If You Are Looking Out For A Millennial Homebuyer

Understanding Legal Importance Of 7/12 Extract Document

There are a number of documents required to buy a property in India to ensure if the asset bought is legally free of any claims and litigations. One of such documents required for the purchase of the property in Maharashtra is 7/12 extract. This is an important piece of paper required when the buyer is investing in plots in the rural or semi-rural areas of the state. Since the state has scrapped the usage of this document in the urban areas of Maharashtra including suburban areas of Mumbai, the document holds importance only in those locations where land plots do not have city survey number. 

What is 7/12 extract Document?

The 7/12 extract is an information document prescribing details about a specific piece of land such as survey number, area, date and more particulars about the existing owner’s name. This extract is a combination of two forms. Form 7 talks about the details of the land owners and his rights while Form 12 lists specifics about the land type and usage. ‘Saat-Baara-Utara’ is the regional term for 7/12 Extract Document in Maharashtra. The document is maintained by the revenue department of the state for tax collection purpose. The extract is issued by the Tehsildar or the concerned land authority. Buyer can get the copy of the document after paying the official fee or file petition under Right to Information Act to get the copy. 

Why is 7/12 Extract important?

7/12 extract Documents is an important indicator of the legal status of the plot. It is used for finding information about the ancestral information of any particular land. Past disputes, litigation, court orders etc, that could affect the land ownership or its legal stature can be found in this piece of document. Apart from this, 7/12 Extract is a record of all the activities done on the land in the past. It is important to document so as to identify the land to establish the exact location along with its physical nature. For agricultural land, the extract also keeps a record of the crops that were last grown on the land.

“The land title document (7/12 extract) in one’s name, is very important and it is widely used in rural and semi-rural areas, for identifying owners, for sanctioning of agriculture and non-agricultural loans, etc. These documents are available (in digital format) online now,” says Maharashtra revenue minister, Chandrakant Patil.

How to get 7/12 Extract Online?

This document can be derived from the Tehsildar’s office which has jurisdiction over the city where the land is location.  You can obtain the extract for the desired tenure. Alternatively, you can obtain the 7/12 document online by following these steps-

1)      Visit Maharashtra government’s website or click here

2)      Select the division, district, Taluk  and village name from the list given on the website

3)      You can search the extract by feeding in any of the following details-

1)      Survey Number/Group Number of the property

2)      First Name of the Owner

3)      Ancestral Owner of the Property

4)      Last Name of the Owner

5)      Full Name of the Owner

Click on Find Out and View 7/12 Extract.

7/12 Extract Online

From May 1 onwards, land owners would be able to print 7/12 land record receipts online with digital signature that would ensure authenticity. 

Can you transfer the title in 7/12 Extracts?

Industry experts say that 7/12 Extract is a land record for tax collection purpose and can be produced as a proof to show the possession rights of the land. But, the document is not a proof of an established title. Therefore, one cannot transfer the title on the basis of 7/12 as it does not act as a proof of ownership.

Steps For Buying The Right Retirement Home

Most people plan on buying a home specifically for living post-retirement. Your wants, desires and needs can be totally different at 60 years than what they were at 30 years. You may not have dependent kids anymore, not want stairs forever and desire a change in the location. Retirement is a good time to change things up but you shouldn’t be swayed by desires and miss out on the right steps to buy a good retirement home.

 

1. Pick a strategic location

As you age, mobility becomes an issue. A location that provides you easy access to all the things you need and proximity to family and friends is advisable. While rural locations are good, urban cities are often easier to move around in. You should also consider every activity you enjoy and see if they are easily accessible. Some of the things mentioned in realty ads may seem enticing but useless to you. Hence, it is essential to know what your must-haves are.

 

2. One-storeyed homes are ideal

Being health conscious may delay its effects, but old age will cause you to hate your stairs at some point in time. You will detest going up and down them. You should also consider the unfortunate condition of someone using a wheelchair. If you are getting a house constructed, you may include wider pathways and doorways, as they are easier to navigate for people in a wheelchair, popular features for handicaps like walk-in showers etc. Fortunately, the current trends in making homes focus on spaciousness, so it shouldn’t complicated to find such. Also keep the number of visitors you might have in mind including children and grand-children.

 

3. Do your homework about retirement communities

Some of you may find it appealing to live in a retirement community. But we will advise you to do your research before you buy. It is nice to be around people your age, with similar things to do, but such communities can be strict as well. You might be limited to the customizations you may want, like home decor, the duration of stay over of your children and grandchildren etc. The experience of going from your own home to one that is like a condominium, where people tell you what to do, can be challenging. Pay enough attention to the lifestyle you actually want.

 

Is The Space Crunch In Your Kitchen Artificial?

There is only so much space in your kitchen while there seems no end to the must-have accessories that you ought to accommodate in this space. Subsequently, you are left with no option but to device newer methods to achieve the unachievable. You implement all the “21 ways to battle space crunch in your kitchen” but even then, your success is only limited.  What would actually make a difference then? Must you cope with the kitchen troubles because you cannot buy a new home with a bigger cooking space? Well, there is. Truth is, you might be responsible for the artificial space crunch in the kitchen.

How so?

You bought a new food processor last month but you refuse to let go of the old device you have had in your kitchen for years now. Your excuse is to not give away the old thing is that it could be put to use when you have bigger parties to host. You cover up for not throwing away the old things also includes thoughts of using it if the new one fails at some point. This is true of so many other things, too ― utensils, chopping blades, peelers, plates, glasses, toasters, cutlery, jugs, you name it. We keep making additions into our kitchen year after year while holding on tightly to our old stuff. This is the tendency that leads to artificial space crunch in your kitchen. Old is gold and all that but who are we kidding? New things are bought precisely for the reason that old ones have stopped working — it is only reasonable to not get emotionally attached to things to keep your kitchen clutter free.

Read more: Top 5 Modular Kitchen Designs For Your Home

And then, your daily habits — lack of activity to be more precise — make a regular contribution, too.

  • You make such a hullaballoo about the lack of space but do you ensure your kitchen sink stays clear of dirty dishes at all times?
  • Do you care to put the big pots back to the cabinets after the party has been hosted and the guests are gone?
  • Do you shy away from using the space beneath the sink because there are fears of foul smell hitting your head?
  • And, do you regularly get your dustbins cleaned? All these and many more big and small habits not only clutter your kitchen but can also be hazardous for your physical health.

A clean and clear kitchen would demand more of your interest and require more of your effort to stay that way.

Read more: Decoding The Modular Kitchen

Best Feng Shui Colour Ideas For Your Home

The choice of colours for your home reflects your thoughts, mood and personality. When used in the right manner, colours can have a therapeutic effect. While colour trends keep changing with time, there are certain colours that never go out of fashion.

The Feng Shui colours, which bring the desired Feng Shui energies to your house, create harmony and balance. MakaaniQ lists some classic Feng Shui colour ideas for attracting positivity to your home.

Yellow

 Yellow represents the fire or earth element. Yellow hues add sunny, nourishing and happy feel to the atmosphere. With a touch of yellow, your kitchen, living room or kids’ room can add a welcoming Feng Shui energy to the space. Sunflower yellow or pale buttery yellow colour tone are some suitable options.

Red

A fire element, red is a vibrant colour that symbolises good fortune, passion, courage and romance. Jazz up your living room, dining room or kitchen by using dynamic shades of red. The colour is also ideal for southeast-facing rooms. But remember to balance the energy of red with some calm colours.

Green

Green hues carry healing Feng Shui vibrations from the nature. The colour reflects the wood element and is said to heal headaches and eliminate anxiety.

Blue

Blue represents the water element. An elegant and serene colour, blue encourages positive communication, calmness and spiritual inclination.

Orange

Orange is a mix of red and yellow hues, so it captures the energies of both colours. Incorporate orange in your home décor to create a lively and fun-loving aura. Earthy orange is a great choice, especially for bedrooms.

White

White is a metal element and denotes purity, innocence and spirituality. Adding this colour to your bathroom will be a fantastic idea.

Grey

Greys make for a neutral and calm intonation and represent the metal element. They are best used as an accessory colour.

Brown

Brown is an earthy colour. A bedroom or living room in a brown-coloured theme is generally an area full of warmth and comfort.

Also Read: Feng Shui Colour Themes That Can Attract Wealth

Documents Required For Buying Property

Planning to buy a property? Well, get ready for a major paperwork as the process involves providing (to authorities and the bank in case you are taking a home loan) and acquiring several documents (this ensures your ownership over the property). 

Here is a list of documents that are required for buying a property:

Sale deed

This is the most important piece of paper required for property purchase. Sale deed has to be produced in original as it establishes the ownership of title of the property. You need to register the sale deed in the Sub- Registrar’s Office of the area where the property is located.

Also Read: Important Clauses in Sale Deed

Extracts

Khata certificate or extract is known by different names in different states and is an important document for the registration of a new property. It is also required if you want to transfer the ownership of the property at a later stage. This document is a proof that the property has an entry in the local municipal records and the construction has been done according to an approved plan. Banks ask for this paper before granting you a home loan.

Mutation register extract

This specific document is for Gram Panchayat properties and provides the details of previous ownership. Though not required in original, this is mandatory to produce if the property you are buying is in Gram Panchayat jurisdiction.

General power of attorney

This document is required to prove whether the sale or purchase of a particular property is being done by an authorised person on behalf of the owner of the property. This has to be produced in original for getting a home loan.

Copy of building plan

A buyer must acquire a copy of the building plan approved by the statutory body to establish that the construction of the property is legal and is done according to set rules and regulations.

No-objection certificates (NOC)

There are as many as 19 NOCs that have to be acquired by a developer from different authorities while building a housing project. However, the number may vary according to specific state rules. Ask your developer to provide you the copies of these NOCs, and keep it in your personal record.

Allotment letter

An allotment letter is one of the most important documents required for getting a home loan. It is issued by a developer or the housing authority, stating the description of the property and details of the amount paid by the buyer to the developer. Do keep in mind that an allotment letter is not the same as an agreement of sale. An allotment letter is issued on the letterhead of the authority while a sale agreement is documented on a stamp paper. Moreover, an allotment letter is issued to the first owner and other owners can ask for the copy of the original letter from the seller.

Sale agreement

This document lists all kind of information about the property ― the terms and conditions, the possession date, the payment plan, the specifications, the details about the common areas and facilities, etc. The agreement also holds the developer responsible for the construction of the property. This document has to be produced in original for property purchase and acquiring home loan.

Possession letter

This document is provided to the buyer by the developer, and sets a date on which the latter would grant the former the possession of the property. The original copy of this document has to be produced for getting a home loan.

Also Read: Must Know Facts About Possession Letter And Occupancy Certificate

Payment receipts

Collect original payment receipts from the developer if you are buying a new property. If you are buying a resale property, ask for a copy of receipts from the seller to be produced to the bank.

Property tax receipts

Property owners have to pay taxes. Ensure that the previous occupier/owner had paid property taxes and there are no pending due. Property tax receipts also help in proving the legal status of the property.

Encumbrance certificate

An encumbrance certificate is required to prove that the property does not have any pending legal dues or mortgages. This is one of the key documents banks ask for before they grant you a loan. This certificate also has all the details related to the transactions happened over a period of time. In India, a Form 15 is issued if a property has any encumbrance registered; otherwise, a Form 16 will be given to the owner, stating there are no encumbrances.

Completion certificate

This document is required for getting a home loan. This paper establishes the fact that the building is constructed according to an approved plan.

Occupancy certificate

An occupancy certificate is issued by the local authority to the developer to establish the building is finally ready to be occupied and the construction has been done according to a sanctioned plan.

How To Prevent Property Co-Ownership Complications

Property co-ownership is beneficial in many ways. For one, it makes you eligible for a higher loan amount. In a joint loan, the co-applicant and you can both enjoy tax exemptions, too. But this comes at a cost.

  • Co-owners are jointly liable to re-pay the loan amount; a default by one applicant forces the other to discharge the liability. 
  • The credit rating of both the applicants get affected even if the default is attributable to only one. 
  • The highest amount of loan a person can avail of is limited. So, if you are a co-applicant in a home loan, your chances of getting another loan of a high amount becomes bleak. 
  • In case you do not specify your and your partner’s respective shares in the property in your sale deed, it is presumed that both have an equal share. In case of a dispute between the two of you, this might become a bone of contention. It is further complicated if you and your partner agree to divide the property. For bungalows and buildings with many floor this might be possible. But, for apartment units, doing so becomes a problem. 
  • In case you are in the middle of a financial crisis and want to sell your property to get some cash, you will not be able to do so without your partner’s approval. 
  • A co-owner also has the right of preemption. This means if you are selling your share of the property, your partner has the first right to be the buyer. To sell it to an outsider, you will need your partner’s approval in the form of his refusal to buy your share.

The way out

In most cases, one goes for co-ownership of a property because of financial reasons. If this has to be done, you and your partner should enter into an agreement at the very outset and insert some terms & conditions in the purchase agreement. You and your partner could then go for arbitration in case of a dispute in future. This would protect you from long-drawn court cases.

Also, before you decide to go for co-ownership of a property, make sure your partner is someone you trust. This would help you avoid any unpleasant situation in future. Don’t forget to specify your respective shares, rights and liabilities with respect to the property, to avoid any conflict.