Wednesday, October 31, 2007
However, there is a silver lining: what is not picking up is the ultimate sales. Developers grudgingly admit that there aren’t too many transactions taking place. The festival season between Dusshera and Diwali has traditionally been the time when most families choose to move into their new homes. Property agents confirmed that even though there have been enquiries from buyers, such interests are not translating into deals.
Understandably, many investors are in a state of dilemma. Should they wait for the property bubble to burst? (Will it ever burst?). While prices have stabilised in a few markets, this hasn’t been the case in Mumbai — the country’s hottest real estate market. Some of the veterans in the real estate sector as well as officials of mortgage firms ET spoke to said it may make sense for the property buyer to wait and watch for a while before taking the plunge.
They think if rates don’t soften and property sales don’t pick up till Christmas, prices will come down. Under the circumstances, buyers should wait a little to figure out where the market is headed. This would not only insulate them from unreasonably high prices, but also give them the chance of a decent capital appreciation in the days to come.
But, things could turn out to be less simpler. Many real estate stocks have gone up along with the Sensex. The BSE Realty Index appears among the top gainers every time the market makes a new high. Since its inception in July 2007, the realty index has appreciated a good 39%. Besides, property transactions have jumped in the last five years.
The upshot is: builders, particularly the bigger ones, have made enough money to hold on to the properties. More so, since they have bought out some of the smaller players. As a result they may be in a position to wait longer than the genuine home buyer who has to take that big loan before its too late.
Mortgage analysts said, though property prices have corrected in some cities, there are pockets which still command unreasonably high prices. Some developers are offering new deals to attract buyers. Not only is this restricted to negotiable car parking facility but also in convenient payment terms. For instance, the interest burden during the construction phase is picked up by the developer.
Since construction takes a long time, developers are coming forward to take the interest burden on properties till such time it is handed over to the customer. But here again, the negotiation skills of the customer play an important role. In some cases, such deals could result in a saving of Rs 300-500 per sq ft. In fact, even in cities like Mumbai and Delhi, some developers are offering good deals. These are positive indications for investors and home buyers.
(via Economic Times.)
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Decorating a space in terms of color is as easy as 60-30-10. Don’t believe us? Take a look at some rooms in magazines. You’ll notice that the rooms you like the most are almost invariably divided into percentages of 60-30-10.
Why this works is anybody's guess. Perhaps it is the human tendency to see an overall theme in the 60 percent hue, unifying the coloration. The 30 percent provides visual interest and the 10 percent, not unlike jewelry, provides that little spark of sparkle.
So, when decorating a particular room, divide the colors into percentages:
When you think about it, this color breakdown is similar to a man’s business suit:
Translated to a room setting, it typically means:
Monday, October 29, 2007
Here’s a design principle that has definitely stood the test of time: feng shui, the Eastern practice of analyzing where things go to create the most healthful and beneficial energy flow. Jayne Pelosi, who has her own design firm, Renaissance Interior Design, is a big believer in feng shui and has more and more clients who are interested in it. "They may not always be able to pronounce it, but lots of people have heard of it and are more accepting of it," she says. "It is a simple way to make a change in your house and see if you feel different."
In her book, Pelosi identifies five elements and their associated color that elicit specific energies in your home:
Black or blue, associated with water energy, support inner work, helping us to concentrate, contemplate, mediate and handle creative endeavors. Blue can slow the heart and breathing rates and lower blood pressure. It can be used to increase coolness, to calm and to create privacy.
Green is associated with wood energy, that of growth, decisiveness and action. It can motivate internal change.
Red is associated with fire, which supports life energy. It’s the color of blood, and can increase heart rate, respiration and blood pressure. It also can promote activity and alleviate depression. It’s clearly the color of passion and love.
Yellow is associated with earth energy, representing Mother Earth. It can cheer, infuse with hope, clarify and elevate mental activity. It also creates a sense of stability and nurturing. Yellow is often used for children with dyslexia to help improve focus.
White and metallic colors are associated with metal energy. They can support carefulness and focus, as well as purity.
Mixing colors also mixes the feng shui energies related to them.
Salmon, a combo of yellow/orange and red/orange, is a unique balance of earth and fire elements that’s quite harmonious. Use salmon to call attention to the heart of a space, create a sense of abundance and encourage conversation.
Turquoise, a blue-green combo, evokes the qualities of wood and water. It has both the contemplative qualities of blue and the life of green, making it a great choice for spaces that allow movement and growth.
Lavender, a mix of the qualities of blue and purple, can evoke a sense of calm, spirituality, contemplation and quiet. Use lavender to minimize high activity, calm a stressful situation or create a special spiritual space. Lavender is best not used in spaces where conversation or high activity is encouraged.(via HGTV.com)
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
India's massive urban migration -- it is estimated that 220 million people there will migrate to cities in the next decade -- has triggered a slew of large-scale residential developments. The rural exodus is largely being driven by workers leaving India's agricultural sector to take up more-lucrative employment in the rapidly expanding service and manufacturing industries.
Forecasters estimate that India has a shortage of about 20 million housing units -- and counting -- intensifying the need for more dwellings. The government has created a number of initiatives to address the shortage, including the creation of "townships," or satellite towns located close to big cities such as Bangalore, where overcrowding is most severe.
Township projects are taking shape in various parts of India, but one of the biggest undertakings -- the first phase of which is expected to provide homes for around 750,000 people when completed -- has been drawn up by the Bangalore Metropolitan Region Development Authority, formed by the state government of Karnataka to oversee planning and development in the Bangalore area. The ambitious development will create five integrated townships, which will be developed through a partnership with private developers over a roughly 60,000-acre site.
This month, Indian developer DLF Group & Limitless, a development subsidiary of Dubai World, the business and investment-holding arm of the Dubai government, were tapped by the authority to develop the first of the five townships, Bidadi. Together, the two companies will invest $12 billion in the project, a 9,884-acre development located 22 miles southwest of Bangalore.
"Satellite towns are essential as the services and manufacturing sectors grow and more people move from the countryside to cities," says Anurag Mathur, deputy managing director of real-estate advisory firm Cushman & Wakefield Inc. in India. "The infrastructure is under enormous pressure in towns such as Bangalore, so the aim of projects such as Bidadi is to decongest city centers."
Bangalore is on course to follow the example of some other major Indian cities to build entire suburbs in huge chunks to meet the hunger for quality housing and office space for one of the world's fastest-growing middle classes. Thanks to changes in the law that encourages foreign investments in Indian development, many of those townships are joint partnerships between established Indian developers and Western real-estate investors, including U.S.-based Tishman Speyer Properties LP, Marathon Asset ManagEment and Walton Street Capital LLC.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Depending on which bubble you live in, it may seem that the momentum of green design is unstoppable. While it is true that a lot has been achieved in the recent past, there is still a vast community that either is unaware of sustainable design as a concept, indifferent to its cause, or unconvinced of its advantages. To convince owners, builders, and designers (or other stakeholders) about the benefits of sustainable design, one must first understand that each group has a different opinion about the relevant selling points.
To an owner, the bottom line may be financial. To an architect it might be environmental and to the engineer it might be performance. There are many reasons to build green and, as advocates for sustainable design, architects should be equipped to provide a suitable argument relevant to the particular audience. The following series summarizes these advantages into three main topics -- environmental, economic, and societal.
Let's begin with the big picture -- the global environmental advantages. Since our buildings use such vast amounts of resources in their operation and since they are made of materials that need to be extricated, processed, and manufactured, it is no wonder that approaching their design in a sustainable way could have global impacts on the environment. Sustainable design offers significant advantages in the areas of energy and water use reduction, air quality improvement, and increased material efficiency.
Reduced Energy Consumption: One goal of sustainable design is to reduce the amount of energy required to cool, heat, and light our buildings. By utilizing passive strategies such as daylighting, thermal mass, and shading, or by utilizing high performance systems, we can significantly reduce the energy demand of our mechanical systems. This translates into a reduced need for extricating dwindling fossil fuels and power plant operation.
Reduced Water Consumption: With water efficient design, our buildings can reduce the amount of potable water required for non-consumptive uses. Efficient landscape, hardscape, and roof designs can also mitigate storm water runoff thereby lessening the burden on our storm and sewer systems. This positively affects local, regional, and global waterways by reducing pollution and supporting natural watersheds.
Reduced Air Pollution: There are a number of indirect (relative to buildings) sources of pollution such as vehicle pollution from the transport of building products and the manufacturing of building products. There are also direct pollutant sources such as HVAC refrigerants and the toxic emissions from our finishes. All of these have impacts on global warming, ozone depletion, and air pollution.
Increased Material Efficiency: Due to the mining, transportation, and manufacturing processes, using local and natural materials in our buildings has a direct benefit on all three of the above strategies. In addition, utilizing recycled, reclaimed, or salvaged materials can lessen the burden on our landfills by reducing the need for dumping.
It's hard to ignore cold hard cash. There are some clear economic advantages to sustainable building. Since we generally pay for the energy and water we use, it would follow that reducing that consumption would lessen the financial burden of building operations.
In the case of passive heating and cooling systems, this also means a reduction in maintenance costs. And by improving the comfort for our buildings' occupants, we can reduce costly employee turnover. The economic benefits of sustainable design can be realized in the short term, long term, and in the added value put towards our projects.
Short Term Advantages: Sustainable buildings can offer immediate savings in the area of utility costs. Whether from reduced electrical energy and water usage, or from reduced cost of storm water mitigation infrastructure, our buildings have the opportunity to lessen the cost of running utility bills. In addition, buildings with efficient layouts can reduce the cost of building materials and construction waste. Also, if a building utilizes smaller HVAC equipment and relies more on passive strategies for heating and cooling, then the first cost of equipment could be less. There could also be financial incentives from local utility companies for buildings utilizing sustainable design strategies.
Long Term Advantages: Utility cost savings over the long term could pay for possible up front cost increases. While the payback duration on items like photovoltaic panels is debatable, some other measures may realize quick pay-offs. Passive systems may need little to no ongoing maintenance; therefore a building owner could save on the building operations budget. This translates into our landscape designs as well. Natural landscapes generally require less maintenance than conventional ones. Another benefit is the churn rate. Buildings designed for flexible layouts can reduce the costs of reconfiguration.
Added Project Value: Many owners are now using "Green Design" as a selling point. For leasing or re-selling property, sustainable buildings can attract new audiences and a new market. This could translate into quicker sales and higher rents. In addition, recruiting new employees (and keeping them) can be made easier by offering attractive and healthy facilities in which to work. Studies have emerged that show employees working in healthy environments work more productively, take less sick days, and tend to remain loyal with the firm.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Sharma, who is partly of Indian origin, left India in 1968 and has since been living in the UK. And he is not eyeing India for sentimental reasons alone.
“I am basically from Himachal Pradesh and I would like to buy a property somewhere around my native place,” Sharma says. Though he has property in the UK, he isn’t buying more there.
Developers say that even as sales in the Indian real estate market are declining, demand from overseas and non-resident Indians (NRIs), especially in the luxury housing segment, is on an upswing.
The real estate sector in the country has been growing at 30-35% a year to touch $12 billion (Rs47,760 crore) this year, according to consultancy firm Ernst & Young’s report.
In the last six months or so, the real estate market has seen a drop of 60% in sales in the top cities as higher interest rates crimp buying. But demand from the overseas Indian community continues to be strong because it is not facing a similar sharp rate hike in those countries, where the real estate market is more mature and the returns less assured.
“There is a lot of interest in the Indian property market among the Indian diaspora, especially for high-end houses,” says Kunal Banerji, head, international marketing, Ansal API Ltd said.
Monday, October 22, 2007
You'll also pay for it.
That's because the Mediterranean principality tops our list of the world's most overpriced real estate markets. The rankings were compiled by calculating an effective annualised rate of return on a property based on annual cash flows derived from renting and adjusted for capital gains tax, transaction fees, operating costs and maintenance, appreciation and inflation. We then flipped the return rate to resemble the more familiar price-to-earnings (P/E) measure.
Monaco's housing market earned a P/E ratio of 74.07. What's more, the well-earned moniker of "tax haven" apparently doesn't apply to transaction costs, which rack up to a 20 per cent premium when buying and selling a property.
Rome landed at No. 2 with a P/E of 50.51; it's a slow growth market, which remains very expensive. Representing North America in the world's top 10 were Los Angeles (5th place at 26.88) and Vancouver (6th at 26.81).
The relationship between rental yields and housing costs matters because a low rental yield is a good indication of a stretched market--one that has a bubble--since these markets are more likely to face downward price pressures or grow at a slower rate.
Possible higher returns attracts more buyers and pushes up prices. India's disparate markets illustrate this. Bangalore has a 9.7 per cent rental yield helping it to an 8.74 P/E, a good sign the market has room to grow. Last year prices climbed there by 16.5 per cent. Mumbai, which posted a P/E of 17.21 per cent, saw prices grow 6.6 per cent.(Via Rediff.com)
Saturday, October 20, 2007
>> Do sketch your floorplan and record the room dimensions, window sizes and placement, and the location of special features, electrical outlets, and so on. Take your floorplan with you when you shop.
>> Do take the time to discover your personal style by reading shelter magazines, attending showhouses, and browsing online and in stores to learn what styles and colors really appeal to you.
>> Do identify the focal point of the room (a fireplace, a view, a bed, an armoire).
>> Do define a room's style in writing , being specific. (Not just "country French", but "French Country with a rooster motif, chicken wire cupboard fronts, and a color scheme that includes black and gold.")
>> Do pick a signature piece to focus your decorating decisions. It could be a beautiful fabric, an area rug, a picture, a piece of pottery, dishes, or a postcard. The item should embody both the color scheme of the room as well as the style and mood you hope to create.
>> Do coordinate fabric and flooring choices before making any major purchases, and before choosing exact paint colors.
>> Do purchase large elements first (rugs, draperies, upholstered furniture) whenever possible, and use the exact colors and style of those major pieces to coordinate all other choices.
>> Do use a mix of patterns -- large-scale, small-scale, checks, stripes, geometrics, plain -- when coordinating a room.
>> Do allow for natural pathways in a room (such as from the door to the closet) and try to arrange furniture with those walkways in mind.
>> Do consider the uses and function of a room before deciding on furnishings and arrangements. For example, if your dining room will also be your study, then you'll need room for a desk, books, lighting, and files as well as the dining room table and chairs.
>> Do consider using unifying elements such as trim color, wood tone, flooring, motifs, fabrics, or materials.
>> Do use the principle of repetition when planning shapes, colors, fabrics, and patterns. One red accent in a room may look like an afterthought whereas several red accents here and there will contribute to the color scheme.
>> Do plan ahead for appropriate task, general, and dramatic lighting by using a mix of light fixtures on dimmers for maximum control.
>> Do purchase the best quality furniture you can afford . Learn more about quality construction and materials that can prolong the life of furniture and make it a better buy in the long run.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Natural Homes is a great up-and-coming site for locating low impact houses and eco builders around the globe. Based on Google maps, if you are a green builder anywhere on earth you can upload project sites with pictures and descriptions of the eco building that you are constructing.
The site is a great resource for all things strawbale, cob, timber frame, earthbag, cordwood, adobe, rammed earth, earthship, eco power generation, landship, water management, roofing & eco plaster. It is a great place for natural builders to share their projects and get inspired by the like-minded. It is in its infancy, so if you have built an eco home--put it on the map.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Check out some of the ideas here and see if they can help you bring a fresh look to your home.
- Cover a Chair Cushion
If you have a tired looking dining chair or desk chair, it’s no trouble at all to put a new cover on it.
- Turn the chair upside down. It’s easy if you put a pad down on the top of a table and use that to hold the chair.
- Remove the screws that hold the pad to the chair frame and lift off the pad.
- For a special touch-up, carefully clean the chair frame. If there are scratches on the wood, lightly wipe the wood with furniture touch-up polish or stain. Or touch it up with a bit of paint. Let it dry for a few minutes, then carefully buff it off. Be careful not to get stain on the fabric.
- Lay the chair pad upside down on a piece of new fabric, being sure to center any pattern or stripe.
- Carefully fold the edges of the fabric onto the underside of the chair pad and staple it down. Do not cover the screw holes!
- Place the chair frame upside down on top of the pad and reattach the pad to the frame with the screws.
- Turn the chair upside down. It’s easy if you put a pad down on the top of a table and use that to hold the chair.
- Add Pillows to a Chair or Sofa
A boring or dull sofa or chair can really come alive with a splash of color or pattern that a pillow (or a few) can add.
- Look around the room to see what it needs. Is it color? Or a bold pattern? Or a subtle pattern? Or some colorful trim?
- Visit your local decorating store or home center. Most discount department stores have a wide assortment of decorative items.
- Find a pair of pillows that will add WOW to your room. Then look for two un-matched pillows with the same colors, but different pattern. Look for pillows with tassles, fringe, or beads or maybe made of an interesting plush fabric. Remember, these pillows are going to be an accent to your room. Go wild!
- Place the new pillows on the furniture. Try different combinations until you hit the jackpot. You’ll see an instant change in the look of your room.
- Paint One Wall
If your room needs a pick-me-up, think about painting just one wall a contrasting color, to draw attention and add interest.
- You can paint any wall, but think about what you’re trying to accomplish. You could create a backdrop for your bed by painting the wall behind it a different color. Or frame your bathtub with a soothing shade. You might think about the wall behind the dining room buffet or a long hallway wall. How about the wall at the end of a long kitchen?
- Whatever you paint will be the focus of the room. Choose wisely, as that’s where the eye will be drawn.
- This is a place where you can be bold. Since you won’t be using a lot of the color, don’t be afraid to choose a color you’d not choose for a whole room. Make sure the color blends and harmonizes with the other things in the room.
- Use blue painter’s tape to mark off the wall you’re going to paint. Apply the tape carefully and it will make the job much easier.
- A small paint roller may be all you need to put the paint on. Follow the directions on the paint can. Let it dry, and then rearrange your furniture along the wall.
- Make a Simple Canopy Over Your Bed.
You can add drama or serenity by constructing a simple canopy over your bed.
- Screw chrome, iron, or porcelain towel rings into the ceiling over you bed and pull a long width of fabric through them, forming a swag over your bed.
- Hem four sides of a wide panel of fabric, cut the width of your bed and long enough to go from the floor to ceiling and half way back again. Apply fringe or tassels to one of the short ends. Cut two wooden dowels the width of your bed. Hang the dowels from the ceiling across the top of the bed, about 12 inches apart. Swag the fabric panel over both dowels and pull the fabric down to the floor behind your bed. The other end will hang over your bed like a valance.
- Cut a 12” wide board the width of the bed. Cover it with fabric. Staple fabric cut and finished about 18” wide along the two short ends and one long side. Screw the wood board to the wall above your bed, using L-brackets.
- Screw a large chrome, wood, or iron ring into the ceiling above your bed, near the wall. Pull a long length of sheer fabric through the ring, spreading the fabric out to the sides of the bed. You might attach the fabric to the side of your bed to hold it in place.
According to the National Paint and Coating Association, the equivalent of two gallons of paint per person is purchased each year in the US. Unfortunately with each purchase, there is likely to be leftover paint that may end up either stored in a garage or thrown in the garbage eventually making its way to the local landfill. Large amounts of leftover paint have become environmental and economic concerns for local solid waste agencies. Collection of leftover paint is expensive and many local communities do not have the resources available to offer this service on a continuous basis to local residents. By better estimating paint needs per project, and identifying reuse and recycling options, you can reduce the over purchasing of paint and minimize the amount of paint being sent to your local landfill. When using paint for projects in and around your home, it is always best to purchase and use only the amount of paint you will actually need for the job. Buying only what you need not only cuts down on the amount of leftover paint for storage, reuse or disposal, but it also saves you money! To minimize the quantity of paint that must be managed: * Buy only what you need. By calculating the correct amount of paint needed for a specific project area, you can reduce the amount of leftover paint. The paint specialist or retailer helping you select your paint and paint products should be able to assist you with your calculations.
* Continue painting your project until all the paint is gone.
* Use up any leftover paint on another project if possible.
* Consider using leftover paint as an undercoat (not as a primer) if you have a bright colored wall needing to be painted a lighter color.
* Pour paint into another container to keep paint fresh. By not painting directly out of the paint can, you can minimize introducing mold or bacteria into the paint resulting in the spoiling of leftover paint.
* Store paint properly with the lid secured. Some programs recommend storing the paint can upside-down to create a tight seal and prevent the paint from drying out; however, if the paint is stored for a long period, the paint may solidify on the lid making it difficult to reopen. Check with your local program to see what they recommend.
* Reuse your paint applicators by cleaning them in a bucket or container. This will further reduce the amount of waste being generated from a paint project. Be sure to follow any specific directions on the manufacturer’s label of the paint and/or paint related products.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Every seller wants her home to sell fast and bring top dollar. Does that sound good to you? Well, it's not luck that makes that happen. It's careful planning and knowing how to professionally spruce up your home that will send home buyers scurrying for their checkbooks. Here is how to prep a house and turn it into an irresistible and marketable home.
- Disassociate Yourself With Your Home.
- Say to yourself, "This is not my home; it is a house -- a product to be sold much like a box of cereal on the grocery store shelf.
- Make the mental decision to "let go" of your emotions and focus on the fact that soon this house will no longer be yours.
- Picture yourself handing over the keys and envelopes containing appliance warranties to the new owners!
- Say goodbye to every room.
- Don't look backwards -- look toward the future.
Pack up those personal photographs and family heirlooms. Buyers can't see past personal artifacts, and you don't want them to be distracted. You want buyers to imagine their own photos on the walls, and they can't do that if yours are there! You don't want to make any buyer ask, "I wonder what kind of people live in this home?" You want buyers to say, "I can see myself living here."
People collect an amazing quantity of junk. Consider this: if you haven't used it in over a year, you probably don't need it.
- If you don't need it, why not donate it or throw it away?
- Remove all books from bookcases.
- Pack up those knickknacks.
- Clean off everything on kitchen counters.
- Put essential items used daily in a small box that can be stored in a closet when not in use.
- Think of this process as a head-start on the packing you will eventually need to do anyway.
- Rearrange Bedroom Closets and Kitchen Cabinets.
Buyers love to snoop and will open closet and cabinet doors. Think of the message it sends if items fall out! Now imagine what a buyer believes about you if she sees everything organized. It says you probably take good care of the rest of the house as well. This means:
- Alphabetize spice jars.
- Neatly stack dishes.
- Turn coffee cup handles facing the same way.
- Hang shirts together, buttoned and facing the same direction.
- Line up shoes.
- Rent a Storage Unit.
Almost every home shows better with less furniture. Remove pieces of furniture that block or hamper paths and walkways and put them in storage. Since your bookcases are now empty, store them. Remove extra leaves from your dining room table to make the room appear larger. Leave just enough furniture in each room to showcase the room's purpose and plenty of room to move around. You don't want buyers scratching their heads and saying, "What is this room used for?"
- Remove/Replace Favorite Items.
If you want to take window coverings, built-in appliances or fixtures with you, remove them now. If the chandelier in the dining room once belonged to your great grandmother, take it down. If a buyer never sees it, she won't want it. Once you tell a buyer she can't have an item, she will covet it, and it could blow your deal. Pack those items and replace them, if necessary.
- Make Minor Repairs.
- Replace cracked floor or counter tiles.
- Patch holes in walls.
- Fix leaky faucets.
- Fix doors that don't close properly and kitchen drawers that jam.
- Consider painting your walls neutral colors, especially if you have grown accustomed to purple or pink walls.
(Don't give buyers any reason to remember your home as "the house with the orange bathroom.")
- Replace burned-out light bulbs.
- If you've considered replacing a worn bedspread, do so now!
Monday, October 15, 2007
To fulfill the demand, property developers in India are developing residential, commercial and retail space in the major metropolitan cities of the country. This demand for property has made cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, and Jaipur the most coveted hot spots for commercial and residential activities. More and more people are coming to these cities in search of better employment, which has resulted in high demand for residential property in these cities.
The demand for property in Mumbai is even higher as it is the business capital of country and world’s largest film industry is also situated here. Every one in India wants to be in this city of dreams. Many people want to settle in here in hope of good career and some want to spend a few days here. This has made the job very difficult for those who are looking to rent or buy residential or commercial properties in Mumbai. But many real estate agencies are helping people in buying property in Mumbai. These agencies offer a wide range of services to their customers together with buying, selling, renting-in and renting-out. In order to expand their business few property agencies offer some services through internet. So if you are looking to buy residential properties in Mumbai or buy commercial properties in Mumbai then simply visit to the website of any of such real estate agencies like Better Homes India and you can find the best deal for you.
But there are some points that should be kept in mind while buying or renting a property for you.
1. Take a seat with your family and come up with an amount that you are ready to pay out.
2. Keeping in view the amount at your disposal, agree on some grounds with your family. For example, if you looking to buy residential property in Mumbai, you must agree on some basic things with your family like; how many bedrooms you want, in which area of the city the apartment should located, etc.
3. Be realistic in your decision. Always keep an eye on your budget and limitations.
4. Be very clear with your property dealer about your requirements and budget. Many online property agencies have detailed search form on their website that can help you in locating desired property for rent or buy in Mumbai.
5. Be ready to compromise. It is not always that you can rent or buy a property that has every thing you want. It could have your desired no of bedrooms in the amount in your hands but could be half a kilometer away from your preferred location.
6. Last but not the least; always beware of fraud real estate agencies. Always look for trusted and well established property agencies.
So it is becoming easier and easier today, for both foreign & domestic investors as well as common man, to find residential or commercial property in Mumbai that best suited to their requirements. All you have to do is be clear about your budget and requirements and acquire the services of good property agency and Better Homes India is definitely one of them.
About the Author:
Daniel Marshell is senior real estate consultant associated with Better Homes India, a leading real estate firm in Mumbai, India. He has more than 25 years of first hand experience of working in Mumbai Real Estate Market. For more information please visit http://www.bhomes.com/india
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Former United States vice-president Al Gore and the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change have won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, the Norwegian Nobel committee has said.
Dr Rajendra Kumar Pachauri is the chairman of the IPCC, the influential body established by the World Meteorological Organisation and the United Nations Environment Programme, to investigate global warming and its consequences.
The Nobel committee, in the citation, said, the two were awarded "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change".
Congratulations to Al Gore And IPCC from all of us at Snowcem Paints.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Many homeowners express a desire to work with an interior decorator, yet few actually make the call. Why? Perhaps they've heard about opinionated designers or projects that went over budget.
Yet hiring a designer is the best way for many people to get the home of their dreams. After all, most busy people may be more than happy to turn over the legwork and details to a professional.
If your first thought is, "I can't afford a decorator," then this article is for you. There are actually many ways to work with a professional when you're on a budget.
1. Visit an online design advice website
While this option may have the most haphazard results, the expense is generally minimal. You need to provide room measurements and/or a photograph of the room. In addition you'll fill out a detailed questionnaire.
Designers will send back a floorplan and perhaps even color suggestions.
2. Use the free design advice at retail stores
Many large furniture stores have in-house designers who stand ready to assist customers with their decorating dilemmas. Though the advice is free, the designers may be on commission for each item they sell. Of course, they'll come up with a plan that includes their products. You may actually end up paying a high price for their help.
3. Hire an Interior Designer By the Hour
Just need a few ideas, color guidance, or furniture arranging help? A designer can come into your home, listen to your needs and desires, and leave you with ideas, sketches, and even color swatches. Call local design firms to find one with designers who work on an hourly basis. Get the most from your money by writing out questions and a list of your top priorities for a room.
4. Visit a Design Center near you
Residents of major cities across the U.S. (Los Angeles, Chicago, and others) have ready access to large design centers normally available "to the trade" only. This means that only registered buyers and designers have access to the resources. However, many of these centers now offer "designers on call" who can assist the public with these exclusive sources.
5. Do some of the work yourself
When a designer specifies painting, sewing, or minor construction, you can save a lot of money by doing some of the work yourself. Though it may take longer, it can be a rewarding experience to work on these project. Be sure to express your desires to do this when you first begin working with a decorator.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
2. Sell the SUV and choose cleaner, more efficient vehicles. Reduce your driving: one gallon of gas burned creates 20 pounds of CO2. Fuel up on ethanol and biodiesel.
3. Use efficient appliances, replace light bulbs with low-voltage compact fluorescents, check your home insulation. Buy renewable energy, like wind and solar, from your power company.
5. Companies -- the one you work for and the ones you buy from -- can save lots of money and reduce global warming by taking similar steps toward energy efficiency.
6. Shop smart: Look for products made from recycled materials, created with renewable energy, and which help you save money and reduce pollution.
7. Use your vote and influence as a citizen to elect responsive leaders; help them organize the neighborhood and town for energy efficiency.
8. Suburban sprawl makes for lots of global warming pollution; plan for walkable communities, lots of trees, open spaces, and public transportation in and between cities.
10. Build new homes and buildings for efficiency and solar power.
11. Support sustainable farming and forestry, including new crops to make into ethanol and other biofuels.
12. Let the corporations who make our cars, fuels, goods and power know you want their products to be as ecological as possible.
13. At all government levels, develop an efficient energy policy, moving away from fossil fuels.
14. Export new energy technology that uses renewable energy sources to the rest of the world.
15. ....and start doing these things today.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
As with any local or regional market, there are many idiosyncrasies that color the business environment, and
What City am I looking at?
Tier I cities are the hubs of business. The financial capital of Mumbai, the political capital of
Tier II cities such as Chennai,
Too many to list, Tier III cities are those that have yet to see the formation of a formal real estate market, but to varying degrees have the right ingredients to attract multi-national tenants. Corporate occupiers are increasingly looking to gain first-movers advantage into cities such as Kolkata,
What to Expect
Despite early signs of the market reaching a peak, most of
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Buildings made of paper are real -- and they don't simply turn to mush in a rainstorm. The most well-known of these, the shelters designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, are crafted of cardboard tubes. Resilient and sometimes elegant, Ban's designs have housed people after earthquakes in
A handful of paper homes in the
But perhaps paper's most promising use in home construction is as a key ingredient in what's often called "papercrete." In a nutshell, it's an industrial-strength papier-mâché that can be made by almost anyone, cheaply, formed into blocks and used like
"The interest in this has exploded in the last three years worldwide" as people look for cheaper, more environmentally friendly ways to build, says Barry Fuller, alternative building specialist and creator of the Web site "Living in Paper."
Papercrete's reach is still extremely small, but it's growing: from fewer than 20 papercrete structures in the
A simple mixture
In its purest form, papercrete is simply paper, water and Portland cement. People often add sand for extra strength, fly ash to make the mix set harder or dirt in place of cement for a more earth-friendly, adobelike substance.
There's some disagreement over what type of paper is best to start with -- some say newspaper, while others claim almost anything will do. (One of the first discoverers of papercrete, a printer named Eric Patterson of
The final, oatmealy slurry is poured into forms -- usually fat
The resulting blocks are "like a really light-feeling pine. They sound like wood when you tap on them," Fuller says. "And they give a little bit when you push hard on them."
The blocks' drying process can take weeks, even in hot, dry weather, which explains why most papercrete homes appear in the Southwest. And a finished home often looks like an adobe building or a straw-bale home.
If all of this sounds a touch experimental, it should. Papercrete hasn't yet been tested for its use as a building material -- at least to the evaluation standards of the International Building Code, which is used by most of the country. In fact, there's not yet even any established means for evaluating papercrete as a building material. Only when it's been tested successfully might the IBC be altered to accommodate it. This entire process is expensive and can take years, those familiar with the process say.
Still, papercrete might surprise you in a number of ways, including its response to the elements:
- Fire. You might think a house made with paper would be a tinderbox. Not so much. "The blocks will burn, if you throw them on your campfire," says inventor Patterson. But when a flame is held to a wall, the papercrete mostly just smolders, say those who have tried it. And some who've worked with papercrete say
brushing boric acid on blocks around outlets and other more fire-prone areas fireproofs them.
- Rain. Water isn't the nemesis you might guess, either. While papercrete enthusiasts say they wouldn't necessarily encourage someone to build a home in the rainiest climate -- say, in a rain forest -- structures are going up everywhere from rainy western Washington state to thunderstorm-prone Missouri. Some experts do advise using sealant on walls, though, and not using papercrete as an outer roofing material.
Overall durability seems good, too. In his search for old papercrete structures, Fuller found a large, abandoned sheep-shearing shed with wings made of papercrete north of
Monday, October 8, 2007
The Spire, designed by one of Europe's most cele
But the Spire's epic scale - soaring to a height from where the curvature of the earth can clearly be seen - does not sacrifice Calatrava's famous lightness of touch. The 150-storey building, which will rise and curl like an architectural will o' wisp from an entirely transparent cathedral-like lobby, will be the highest point to live on earth, from its 50 th storey upwards.
At least four real-estate companies from
Unusually for an American high-rise residential complex, particularly one sure to become a mascot for a city pitching hard for the 2016 Olympics and which boasts America's busiest airport and claims it is "ideally located as a link to both Europe and Asia", the Spire is being sold globally. Dominic Grace of Savills, the British estate agent marketing the Spire across the world, says the Spire's exhibition road show will roll out in 14 key cities in south and south-eastern Asia, Europe and
Mike Golden, of
The smallest flat in the Spire, which is expected come 2010 to become a global symbol for a city on the move, will have a starting price of $750,000 f or a one-bedroom piece of art that will include a circular bed enclosure, sliding glass walls and a galley-style kitchen that can be made to disappear from view. The Calatrava-designed taps, bathroom fittings and style mod-cons are thought likely to reach the status of 'contemporary collectibles' with potential auction prices running into hundreds of thousands of dollars. Flats will have a top price in the region of $ 40 million.
Saturday, October 6, 2007
Do not paint out of the paint can. While painting the brush picks up dust and other impurities from the surface that you are painting. If you dip this brush into the paint can then you will transfer it to the can. This will cause specks in your painting .
In an open can the paint will be exposed to the air and it will react with it. This makes the paint thicker and stickier and more difficult to paint with.
A can is bulky and cumbersome to carry around while painting. A paint can is to be used for storage of paint only.
Pour out only about ½ inch of paint into a bucket that you will use for painting. This is a very small amount and before it reacts with air you would have used it. You will have to replenish paint more often but the paint will flow freely and it will be easy to paint with.
The bucket will have only ½ inch of paint so it will be light and easy for you to carry around as you work.
If you accidentally tip the bucket over, neither will there be much cleaning to do, nor would you have lost a lot of paint.
Air dries paint. Therefore expose as little paint to the air as possible. So it is better to expose small quantities of paint to the air at a time.
The oxygen in the air reacts with the paint, making it thick and difficult to apply on the wall.
Replace cap on the lid of the paint can as soon as you finish pouring out paint. Cover the bucket from which you are painting with a tray or lid to minimise exposure to air.
Always use a clean and soft roller to finish off the painting procedure with a smooth surface.
Friday, October 5, 2007
London-headquartered financial services major HSBC is set to be the first foreign financial institution to raise an India-focused real estate fund. The banking major is planning to raise $500-600 million for the realty fund, with fund-raising likely to begin in the next few weeks, sources close to the development said.
“The bank is keen on getting a slice of the real estate market in
An e-mail sent to HSBC Global Investment Banking director and co-head Ravi Menon did not elicit a response.
The proposed fund would be the first India-focused fund for HSBC. It has been making private equity investments in
With real estate becoming a buzzword for investors, several companies have set up realty funds to cash in on the boom in the market. HDFC, Kotak Realty and IL&FS have set up real estate funds where international investors have put money to invest in opportunities in the
Some of the other global financial institutions looking to invest in Indian realty include — Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch. However, these financial institutions are looking to make investments through their global funds.
Thursday, October 4, 2007
This page is your starting place for exploring the rich and varied achievements of women architects. You'll find links to information about several interesting and important women architects, followed by resources to help you discover other women who made important contributions to building and design.
Born in Baghdad, Iraq in 1950, Zaha Hadid is the first woman to win a Pritzker Architecture Prize.
Her work experiments with new spatial concepts and encompasses all fields of design, ranging from urban spaces to products and furniture.
Julia Morgan designed hundreds of homes, churches, office buildings, hospitals, stores and educational buildings in California, including the famous Hearst Castle.
Marion Mahony Griffin
Frank Lloyd Wright's first employee was a woman, and she became the world's first woman to be officially licensed as an architect. Like many other women who design buildings, Wright's employee was lost in the shadow of her male associates. Still, it's easy to speculate that Marion Mahony Griffin contributed greatly to Wright's career and also to the career of her husband, Walter Burley Griffin.
Denise Scott Brown
Over the past century, there have been many husband-wife teams. Typically the husbands have attracted the fame and glory while the women worked quietly (and some would argue, intelligently) in the background. However, Denise Scott Brown had already made important contributions to the field of urban design when she met and married her husband, Robert Venturi. Although he appears to be more frequently in the spotlight, her research and teachings have shaped modern understanding of the relationship between design and society.
Born in Argentina, Susana Torre is best known for her many renovations and remodelings in the United States.
Anna Keichline was the first woman to become a registered architect of Pennsylvania, but she is best known for inventing the hollow, fireproof "K Brick," which was a precursor to the modern concrete block.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Rajan Sharma bought 4,000 square feet of office space on the outskirts of New Delhi for 2,900 rupees a square foot in 2002 and hasn't stopped grinning since.
Four years later, the 42-year-old consultant regularly gets offers more than three times the price he paid for the same office space as the arrival of foreign players, easy finance and rising incomes fuel a rush for prime real estate.
"It has been a very short but a hugely profitable journey," Sharma, who now runs a property firm, told Reuters.
"Seeing these profits I feel I should have done real estate all my life."
He is not alone.
There are literally thousands of sellers and speculators who have laughed all the way to the bank because of a property boom in New Delhi and its two satellite towns -- Noida and Gurgaon. The pace has been almost as brisk in many other cities in India.
In Delhi, prices have been pushed even higher by a government campaign to close shops and offices built illegally in residential neighbourhoods, adding to already fierce competition for commercial property.
And a spreading underground rail network in Delhi, which will eventually reach parts of Noida and Gurgaon, has spurred property prices along existing and planned routes.
"There is also fundamental and growing demand for office and retail space because of sustained economic activity driven by software companies and branded firms," said Tanaji Chakrabarti of real estate firm Trammell Crow Meghraj.
Delhi and its suburbs are also home to fifth-ranked software services exporter HCL Technologies Ltd. and huge backoffice units of companies such as American Express Co. and Convergys that employ thousands of staff.
The $23 billion software services sector has been one of the biggest consumers of real estate along with changing shopping tastes that are favouring multi-brand malls over neighbourhood mom-and-pop shops, said Chakrabarti.
A New Economy
Spurring the boom, the government has slashed cobwebs of legislation by allowing 100 percent foreign direct investment in large projects. Stamp duties have been rationalised and reduced, and a policy to set up special economic zones is boosting industrial growth.
Nascent chains such as Pantaloon Retail (India) Ltd. and Reliance Retail Ltd. have lined up multi-billion dollar expansion plans in which the largest component has been set aside for leasing or buying organised retail space.
In addition, companies such as Nike Inc. and Adidas are deepening their presence through franchised operations beyond India's metros to soak up demand from millions in the growing middle class.
"The demand for retail space across India will increase," said Vivek Dahiya, associate director at global property advisor DTZ India. "Certain markets seeing oversupply will see reduction in vacancies."
In Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida alone organised retail space is likely to rise to 14 million sq.ft. by the end of 2007 from 2 million now, he said.
But the sharp rise in commercial rentals in the past three years is hurting growth prospects of organised retail chains, which operate on margins as low as 3-4 percent.
"Rentals are now dramatically higher - by at least 50 percent in a lot of cities," said Kishore Biyani, managing director at Pantaloon. "At these prices we can't sign up new properties."
Biyani, who started retailing in 1997, said annual sales needed to be at least 50 percent higher to offset rising rentals.
In central parts of heavily congested Mumbai city, monthly rentals for discount stores have soared in excess of 125 rupees sq.ft from 55 rupees sq.ft about 2 years ago, said Pranay Vakil, chairman at Knight Frank India.
"This is madness and has little relevance to actual supply and demand factors," Vakil said. "Rentals are now crossing the industry norm of 12 percent of gross sales, making it extremely difficult and unaffordable for retailers."
But even after this rise, monthly retail rentals in prime commercial space or "high street" in Mumbai are low at $11 per sq.ft compared with $24 in Singapore and $80 in Hong Kong, according to data from Knight Frank India.(via IBEF)
Monday, October 1, 2007
Located in a rich traditional realm, the
The centralized entrance gate is flanked by gardens on both the sides, that are demarcated by a low height wall carrying lamp-posts atop a traditional motif. As the main gate opens to give a glimpse of the royalty inside, you are instantly transported to the world of story books.
The beautiful stone cladded structure creates a bold impression , at the same time generates a rustic feel. The long façade penetrated by “ Jharokhas “ and “ Chattris “ is reminiscent of the grand palaces of the region. It will leave you with an unforgettable royal experience.
It comprises of – 9 deluxe Air conditioned suites and 40 deluxe rooms, that offer fascinating views through the sculptural Jharokhas. It also offers banquet and conference facilities in “Manthan”- a conference hall with a capacity of 60 , furnished with all modern accessories; a swimming pool, twin restaurants, bar and facilities for indoor as well as outdoor games.
The planning is unique to the conventional hotel designs.It comprises of clusters arranged around a central hearth”Aangan”, like the traditional homes of the region, which are in turn grouped together like row housing.An open plan providing maximum light and ventilation has been central to the design, but the division into clusters gives privacy as well as comfort, generating an in-house feel. The thick load bearing stone walls help in keeping the interiors cool. The awe-inspiring lush green-gardens offer a respite from the hustle and bustle of the city life.Inside the main block the welcome desk is positioned next to the entrance. The coffered ceiling is contained within a hand painted art work- another interesting feature of the traditions, which has been beautifully explored here. Even the doors and windows are framed within this art-work.
Huge area rugs, several seating arrangements and exotic plan- all these elements make you feel like a royal guest.
The double height atrium is lined with clear-storey windows that pour in natural light. A pair of curved staircase adorns the atrium. It rests on four circular columns. An octagonal waterbody with fountain offers a serene welcome. The staircase leads to a courtyard, which is bathed in natural light from the glass punctured pyramid. Thus all these features combine together to create a pleasant ambience inside as: the courtyard acts as a shaft, while the waterbody acts as a cooling device for the incoming air. It is surrounded by arched walls on all four sides.
Though designing on traditional lines has been the basic concept, yet the internal units have been given different types of treatment, hat lends individuality to each space.Chandeliers add a touch of sophistication to the otherwise simple ceilings.
The flooring at most of the places is done in white mosaic cast-in-situ. It offers cool, low cost as well as low maintenance interiors.
Inside the rooms, the hand painted art flows with the shape of the furniture. The furniture captures the style of “ Royal living “. The furnishings and décor are a sight to behold. The rooms are furnished to make you feel special, complete with the latest state-of-the-art bathrooms.
The hotel is surrounded by dense greenery on all sides. The trees help to shield the sound and dust. A huge corner of the garden is adorned by beautiful fountains.
Whether it is a walk around the lush gardens of the palace, the mornings with the mist swirling around is probably the best time to be here. But as the sun comes out to surround you within it’s warm blanket, you realize that each time of the day is a different experience here.By
Rajendra Mantri, B.Arch, MCA, FIIA, FIV
Rajendra Mantri Architect Pvt. Ltd.
3, Shri Krishna Complex,
Dhabhai Ji Ki Badi,
Phone : (0294) - 2441770
Fax : (0294) - 2441758