First-Time Renter? Here’s How To Appear Financially Stable

Being a first-time tenant could be a challenging. Many landlords prefer tenants with a rental history that they could refer to and know their previous records of paying rent. These records help them know how much rent you have paid in the past and have you been regular with the payments.

So, how can you, as a first-time renter with no rental history, convince the landlord to take you as a tenant? There are certain ways to achieve this. Just do some prep work before you begin.

Here are some tips for you:

  • To begin with, have a source of continuous monthly income so that a percentage of it could be given out as rent. A stable income will ensure your landlord that you pay the rent timely.
  • With a stable income, your annual tax return receipts of past three years can prove to be a strong income history. It also shows your credibility when it comes to paying taxes.
  • You could arrange for a letter of verification from the organisation you are working with. The letter could hold your personal details and also, the duration you have been working with the organisation. It could also include your current income as a proof.
  • Have a stable bank account? A bank statement could help, too, showing the financial health of your account. Savings if any could be an added advantage.
  • You could give in writing that why you do not have a rental history yet.
  • Personal references, including people you know and who live in the city you are moving to, including, colleagues, relatives or friends could be of help. These references could vouch on your day-to-day behaviour and ensure that you will be a responsible tenant.
  • Can someone co-sign the lease with you? For instance, your parent, a guardian in the city, among others can be a credible source for the landlord as he would know whom to go to in case you default.
  • If your financial condition allows, you could offer a two- or three-month rent in advance. This would give the landlord a fair sense of your financial stability and that you are here to stay.

Also read: 5 Tips To Be A Successful Landlord

Can Your Neighbour Derail Your Home-Selling Plans?

Ages might have passed since the wise men first preached fellow humans to “love thy neighbour”, but the wisdom they imparted holds as much water today as it might have done in the past, the isolated lives we live in modern times notwithstanding. If you gave the idea a second thought, you might quickly realise that keeping your neighbour in good humour is in the face more important today than it ever was! Who would want to come home after a tough day at work and argue with their neighbour about parking issues? (The housing society might have allotted specific spaces to both of you, but your unruly neighbour likes to get in your way somehow.)

Equally painful would be the exercise to regularly tell your neighbour to mind their pets. (This person might be in the habit of letting loose.) Your anxiety would only increase if you are trying really hard to catch some sleep because you have an early morning meeting the next day while your next-door neighbour is partying hard, and is generous enough to let you hear it. (So hard is the sound vibe that you could feel your walls vibrating and thumping!)

Of course, you could go and complain about such unruly neighbours to the residents’ welfare association, but doing so often would mean you are not ready to “make adjustments” while you have opted for “community living”. More than often, the family you complain against might go for retaliatory action, too, irritating you in little ways.

Not only can a bad neighbour make your life living hell during your stay at a place, they could make it equally difficult to sell your house if they make up their mind to do so.  While prospective buyers make a visit, they would do everything in their capacity to make the area look as clumsy and untidy as possible. They could so far as to try to get in touch with buyers and share “insights” that might totally derail your plans.  If buyers sense some sort of discomfiture between you and your neighbour, they would like to avoid purchasing your property to escape future conflict.

In both the cases, talking it out – rather than complaining or going for retaliatory action – is your best shot at restoring normalcy. Invite them over a cup of tea and let them know about your struggle for parking only because this neighbour did not apply the little courtesy of parked their vehicle systematically. You could also let them know in a similar fashion how you don’t really appreciate their pets being let loose on your property where they can freely litter.

Complaining to the authorities should ideally be used as your last resort.

When your neighbour tries to thwart your plans of finding a buyer who is willing to pay you as much money as you are asking for, they are also doing themselves harm, often without realising it. In case you are in a hurry to sell off a property owing to neighbourly troubles and end you selling it for less than its market value, they stand to lose, too. Depreciation in the value of your property signifies depreciation in the value of your neighbour’s property, too. Try to put this point across, in those many words, again over tea amid other members of the housing society. In this case, too, approach the RWA only after trying your disaster-solving negotiation skills.

Smart Furniture Ideas For Compact Homes

According to a joint study by and, homebuyers in cities such as Delhi and Mumbai were looking for smaller homes with an average demand for homes spread in an area under 1,000 sq ft. Eying prime locations, such homebuyers are open to compromising on space, considering rates are often quite high. Since compact homes demand smart furniture, MakaaniQ shares some ideas to help you make the right choice.

What’s hot: Coffee table-cum-dining table

This coffee table is designed with hydraulics in such a way that it can be doubled up as a dining space. The hydraulics placed under the tabletop pushes it to a height ideal for a dining table. So, rather than having two different tables in the home, have one which can be moved to the dining space when your guests coming over. Foldable tables are available in various forms that make them multipurpose. These include tables built-in the wall, ones that have foldable sides, among others.

Also Read: Best Home Furnishing Ideas For A Healthy Lifestyle

Sleepytime: Bunk beds

Bunk beds have long been addressing the space challenge. These can be used for multiple purposes depending on the number of children one has. In case you have a single child, it can be used as a bed as well as a study table. While the study table is on the lower level, the bed can be placed on the upper one. In case of two, both the levels could be turned into a bed with the lower bed having storage underneath. Have three children? The bunk bed still works. The lower part could have another bed as a slide-out, just like the one in the picture above.

Sit in style: Modular sofa

This might seem like a regular upholstered sofa, but looks could be decpetive. This one in the picture can be used for multiple purposes when pieces of it are moved. For instance, move the leg of the L-shaped sofa into a straight line to turn it into a bed. Also, these sofas can be designed with hydraulic storage. For more ideas on how you could design a modular sofa, read this.

Off the wall: Murphy’s bed

These beds are popular in the west where the concept of compact has been prevalent for years now. Murphy’s bed can be folded into a wall when not in use and make enough space in the home. During sleep time, open it for use. These beds are generally made of wrought iron with a minimal design so that it is easily folded into a hollow space created in the wall.

Out in the open: Foldable furniture


In a small home, it is important to make optimum use of outside space also. To turn areas such as balconies into cosy sitting set-ups, buy furniture that can be folded and kept in a corner when not in use. This foldable outdoor furniture set in the picture above, for instance, fits compactly right under the table when it is not in use. The table, too, is foldable.

Also Read: Smart Ideas To Decorate Small Homes

Vastu Tips That Promote Good Health

The adage ‘health is wealth’ holds true in our day-to-day lives. After a tiring day at work, we want to be at home to recuperate mental peace and comfort. According to renowned American director & producer Robert Evans, “buildings designed with careful attention to aesthetics arouse and enlighten their occupants, and that promotes their good health”.

To ensure buildings are designed carefully, ‘Vastu Shastra’ has laid down some important guidelines that help prevent illness, mental agony, negative energy, and promote good health and peace of mind.

PropGuide lists some Vastu tips that will help keep your physical and mental health in a good condition: 

General Vastu tips:

  • Light a candle or lamp daily in the northeast direction. It promotes good health.
  • Constant dripping of taps produces negative energy and signifies deterioration in health. Ensure that the taps in your house do not drip.
  • Using the space below stairs as a toilet, store, or kitchen can cause nervous sickness and heart diseases.
  • Face north or east while studying or working. This promotes good memory.
  • Planting Basil or/and Tulsi purifies the air in the house. Avoid plants like rubber plant, cactus, Bonsai and other milky plants. These might add to your illness and stress.
  • Do not construct stairs or toilets in the northeastern corner of your house; it causes health-related issues and hampers the growth of children.

Bedroom Vastu tips:

  • A master bedroom in the southwest direction ensures physical and mental stability. Never construct a bedroom in the northeast direction; it causes health problems.
  • Always lie with your head in the south direction while sleeping. It promotes a peaceful and a healthy lifestyle. Sleeping with the head in the north direction is not advisable as it causes stress and aches.
  • A pregnant woman should avoid sleeping in the northeastern direction to prevent chances of abortion or miscarriage.
  • A bed with storage space leads to brain and heart-related ailments. Also, avoid sleeping on wrought iron beds; opt for simple wooden beds.
  • Avoid sleeping under light beams as it leads to depression, headache and memory loss.
  • Do not place your bed in front of the mirror, it causes nighmares.
  • Never align your bed with the toilet wall, as that brings negative energy.
  • Keep mobile phones and other gadgets away from bed to have a sound sleep.

Health & kitchen Vastu tips:

  • The southeast direction is considered ideal to have a kitchen.
  • East is considered the best direction for cooking and eating, as it promotes effective digestion and good health.
  • Designing the kitchen in the Northeast direction calls for serious health problems and accidents.
  • Avoid constructing the toilet and the kitchen together. Place the two at a distance from each other.

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  


Loading factor (in %) 

Mumbai Metropolitan Region 


Delhi NCR 







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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.