The kitchen in the urban Indian home is no longer the domain of the cook or the servant alone. With evolving family norms like working couples who prefer to rustle up their own meals and men working from home, kitchen set-up and decor are increasingly occupying a significant place in the field of interior decoration as the kitchen is no longer regarded as a space used merely to cook food but an intimate family space that must necessarily appear inviting and yet be useful and functional.
Formerly a kitchen was supposed to look dull and somber with stainless steel cabinets and fittings. Nowadays however, these are increasingly giving way to warmer metal tones as brass and copper. Even Iron and similar tones are becoming popular.
For smaller kitchens in city apartments, small, compact corner sinks are fast gaining popularity. This is not just a wonderful way to utilize that unused corner in the sink, it is also considered cute and chic.
Wooden accessories including wooden cabinets and counters can transform an ordinary kitchen into one of the sleekest, most elegant spaces in the house. More and more people prefer to accessorize their kitchen with simple yet superb wooden items.
Colorful splash-backs are in this season! Many interior designers and home owners are now choosing to decorate the kitchen with bright, vibrant colors and unleash excitement in the kitchen. Pretty iridescent tiles, marble slabs with interesting patterns and colorful latticed cabinets have become quite a rage with people who regard the kitchen as something more than a place to cook and store.
Kitchen lighting is no longer confined to boring bulbs and overhead lights. With regard to exposed lighting, the artistically inclined are increasingly veering towards light fixtures that are showpieces and marvels in themselves. On the other hand, layered lighting and lighting in hidden spots under shelves and cupboards are also catching the fancy of those with more subtle and understated tastes.
Countertops using black granite or quartz breathe character into the kitchen. Whether left glossy and varnished or with a dull matte finish, such countertops do not fail to infuse the kitchen with immaculate elegance. Black countertops with a matte finish are considered all the more stylish this season.
Open shelves and cabinets, though not quite the norm in Indian kitchens yet, are gradually being given preference by those who own not just pretty kitchens but pretty kitchen paraphernalia as well. Open shelving allows people to display their exotic collections of crockery and other delightful kitchen accessories that, needless to say, have their own special appeal.
Last but not the least, Indian kitchens, like their Western counterparts, are also being transformed into kitchen- cum dining spaces with large kitchen islands and elegant chairs or stools. This concept is especially gaining ground in condominiums and furnished apartments with modular kitchens. Wooden, Metal, marble-top, mahogany-topped, vintage-style, glass-top, or with bar stools- the gamut of kitchen islands is huge. It is only a matter of time before they gain complete acceptance in the urban Indian kitchen.
Keeping a home and its residents safe and secure from antisocial elements has been of utmost concern since time immemorial. For centuries galore, all kinds of ways and means have been devised to safeguard the home.
With soaring crime rates across Indian cities, the issue of home security has assumed humongous importance. All kinds of security apparatuses are now gaining popularity in urban Indian houses or apartments. These include the installation of CCTV cameras, Electronic Intruder Detection Systems, Video Door Phone systems and so on. The traditional system of posting security guards at one’s house gates has also not gone out of fashion.
With metropolitan cities spilling out of their borders, more and more homes are coming up around city suburbs and fringes. While the development of these budding cities, springing next to metropolitans, is taking place at an astonishing speed- it is also true that many of the homes here are situated in remote, far-flung areas, far away from the bustling city centers. This might sound like a boon to many country lovers, yet this makes home security an absolute necessity.
Hiring security guards and keeping watchdogs and alarm systems are the expensive but preferred home security options for those with individual homes.
At the same time, the many multi-facility apartment complexes and condominiums, that are mushrooming all over these developing suburban areas and are gradually becoming a hit with India’s vast middle class, are also equipped with tight security apparatuses. These include the installation of CCTV Cameras and 24*7 Security Guard systems. Security guards do not allow intruders and trespassers to enter the complex while CCTV Cameras ensure that the movements of all suspicious persons get recorded. The full-proof security in these apartment complexes has been one of the reasons for their growing popularity.
Thus the range of home security options is wide and it is up to the discretion of home-owners to choose what they feel is the best and safest for their home!
Traditionally an Indian home was never complete without a courtyard and a vegetable farm. However, with space becoming a much coveted item in urban Indian clusters, gardens are increasingly becoming a rarity in most homes.
At the same time, ardent lovers of gardening are not just investing in cozy country homes located away from the city centres, new age gardening concepts like terrace gardens are also catching the fancy of verdure lovers. As a result, gardening- typically regarded a western hobby- is flowering like never before!
Be it hanging pipe planters on PVC pipes, potted tomato plants, exotic culinary herbs planted in boxes and troughs, rose gardens or traditional garden hedges- gardening comprises a wide gamut of fanciful options. One only needs a dash of imagination and innovation to create wonders with our green friends.
While pipe planters on PVC pipes present an unusual gardening idea, growing potted tomatoes and other vegetables are gradually growing in popularity. Earlier, no Indian household was complete without the humble Tulsi or Basil in the front courtyard. Now again, Basil has found a special place in the kitchen gardens of gardening connoisseurs who have started growing it and other exotic herbs like thyme, sage and mint with great care. Rose gardens and traditional garden hedges call for sprawling gardens and lawns that are uncommon, but not entirely impossible to come across in the homes of the well-heeled.
In this day and age of anxiety and stress, gardening presents a wonderful hobby in which to spend one’s time constructively. As a result, more and more urban Indians are taking it up and thereby, lending fresh dimensions to this evergreen pastime.
Ghaziabad, an upcoming city located in the Delhi NCR is gradually becoming a hub of residential housing projects. Growing and developing at an astonishing rate, Ghaziabad is no longer considered a dusty, suburban town but a city that holds great promise in terms of realty development.
It is no great secret that buying a home in Delhi is no longer an economically feasible option for those in the middle income bracket. With house prices having spiraled in places like Gurgaon and Noida, Ghaziabad is definitely the next destination of those desirous of buying or investing in homes in the Delhi NCR.
Having realized the enormous real estate market potential of Ghaziabad, various realty players are investing in residential projects, most of which are slated to be ready for handing over within the next 2- 3 years.
The mushrooming of several glittering malls and shopping complexes alongside these residential projects is a sure indication of Ghaziabad’s blooming status as an upcoming city.
A great many of the residential housing projects of Ghaziabad are well planned condominiums offering modern amenities like ample parking space, security apparatus, swimming pool, children’s park, games’ court, health spa, gym and so on. Many of them are also located in the midst of nature which should be an added attraction for nature lovers.
These beautiful homes equipped with the aforementioned facilities are also affordably priced. Best of all, they offer the middle and upper middle class buyer a lifestyle he might always have aspired to live without burning a hole in his pocket.
The capital and its suburbs have always been country’s one of the robust realty markets in the country. The demand of mid-segment housing has significantly increased. The luxury residential sector has lately witnessed a slight market drop. This has lead to a slump in the economy. Subsequently, buying a home is a distant dream for many buyers.
The residential sector of Delhi NCR is moving towards affordable houses in upcoming locations. It includes residential projects in Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad. The real estate developers are constructing innovative and robust infrastructure in tier 2 and tier 3 cities.
The demand of homes has increased and changed drastically from low-rise plot development to high-rise apartments and complexes. Builders in Noida and Greater Noida have introduced a diverse range of affordable projects that boast prime locations and greenery. These housing societies have been developed with privileges such as sports club, gym, spa, swimming pool, amusement park, gardens, covered parking space and health club.
Mohan Nagar and Noida Extension are becoming a hub for newly launched residential projects. These projects are perfect for those with limited means. This area offers good connectivity by bus and proposed metro stations to Delhi. The residential area is a perfect combination of high end living surrounded by lush greenery.
The property of Ghaziabad thrives along two national highways NH-24 and NH-58. The new residential projects are rising because of proximity, innovative infrastructures and excellent connectivity to Delhi NCR. The metro rail project of Delhi government has been already appended a boost in the connectivity and the junction Anand vihar has already boost the mobility.
Commercial and residential projects are rising in the region includes Mohan Nagar, Indirapuram, NH-24, Vaishali, Vasundhara and Kaushambi. A well-planned infrastructure and affordable rates of realty draws the attention of buyers. Two national highways thrives the interest of buyers and turns the city from dusty to high demand. A flyover at Mohan Nagar, Ghazipur Chowk and a residential zone at Raj Nagar Extension are connected to NH-58. Hence; it becomes a preferred destination for buyers.
Delhi is becoming unaffordable for common man so, the end users and investors are moving towards Ghaziabad. Raj Nagar Extension has a sufficient land for construction in affordable rates. All these factors make the Ghaziabad the most demanding realty spot for buyers. The options of 2, 3 and 4 bedrooms are ready to use or under construction in the reasonable rates depending on the location and available amenities.
Navratra is considered very auspicious time for new deals; prospective homebuyers must bear in mind that realty investment always pays, and one should not wait for prices to fall as it rarely happens—in the Indian market.
As Pitrapaksh comes to an end, are you ready to buy your first-or second-house during this auspicious Navratra days?
This is a time when even the most cynical customers, the habitual nitpickers, start to plan to buy their long-cherished house-they either book a flat during this period, or start their search mission for one.
Realty analysts are of the view that rather than wait for a time when prices fall in the realty market, one must scour the market and book a flat according to one’s budget. For one, an endless wait will only get longer, as prices rarely come down in the Indian real estate market.
Given the trend of rising property prices over the last few years, the price of the property you have shortlisted will most likely keep going up, even as you wait. By all accounts, residential real estate is one asset class whose rates have been steadily rising in most markets.
While analysts have been saying that residential property markets in locations like the National Capital Region and Mumbai are ripe for a price correction, developers have been able to hold on to prices even as buyers wait for a fall. Given the demand-supply imbalance, the trend is likely to continue and your investment will, in all possibility, stand you in good stead even when other assets take a beating.
Nikhil Jain, CEO of Ramprastha Developers, says: “If you are thinking to have your own house or second property, you should not mind investing in the outskirts of your city. With the passage of time, even outskirts become part of the city.”
There are many people in the capital who would tell you that when they bought property in a particular area, it would be invariable without any worthwhile facility; but a couple of hard years later, development invariable happened. And with development, the value of their property climbs manyfold. That has changed the class character of a large number of people. As the rates have gone up in main parts of the city, one should not mind investing in the outer or little unknown areas of the city.
Investment advisers say that, if possible, one should buy another house before retirement. Those who have no pension to fall back upon after retirement must buy another property, as it would give them social security at the later stage of their life. The thinking behind this advice is that if you have more than one property, you can give the second house on rent and earn a good amount by way of rentals.
Those who invest in property cannot be losers; this is especially true for all those who do not get pension benefits in their current profession. It goes without saying that immovable property is a huge asset one can bank upon when the chips are down.
Property can be a great source of income for your retired life or in case you lose your job; lakhs of people have lost their jobs since the global economic crisis a few years ago. There is little doubt that property is a sound investment proposition, provided you make it at the right time.
Nevertheless, experts advise prospective buyers to invest in only those projects whose developers have a proven track record.
Gaurav Mittal, CEO of CHD Developers, says: “I have observed that the number of those buying second homes in the NCR is swelling fast. That is an indication that the present generation knows for sure that investment in property will help their cause if they were to fall upon bad days.”
Devinder Gupta, CMD of Century 21, says: “Between land and constructed property, a plot is a more lucrative option as it is much easier to sell-also, the rate of appreciation is higher. If you live in Delhi, you should not think twice in buying land in any part of the NCR; it is bound to give you enough returns in the future.”
Talking about the Navratra period and the realty market, experts say this is one time when even those people who already own properties, go out and book one more. With jobs hardly permanent in nature, people have come round to the view that a second property is the surest insurance to fall back upon in their old age, and those among them who can afford it, book a second property before they hit 50.
- Realty analysts are of the view that rather than wait for a time when prices fall in the realty market, one must scour the market and book a flat according to one’s budget. For one, an endless wait will only get longer, as prices rarely come down in the Indian real estate market.
- Those who have no pension to fall back after retirement must buy another property, as it would give them social security at the later stage of their life.
While sales take a dip during the Pitrapaksh, realty companies utilize the time to devise their marketing strategies and campaigns for the Navaratra, which is the most auspicious period for land purchases for the Hindus.
Those who think that all those attached to realty world take a long break during Pitrapaksha must wake up to the new reality.
Admittedly, while sales take a dip, realty companies make strategies to launch their marketing and other campaigns immediately after Pitrapaksh.
Pitrapaksha comes a fortnight before the Navaratra festival and is considered an inauspicious period in the Hindu religious calendar. Throughout the Hindu world, departed souls are remembered during Pitrapaksha. On each day of the fortnight, special offerings are made to ancestors whose lunar date of death corresponds to that particular day.
And once Pitrapaksh is over, Navaratra is considered the best time for the realty world. It is regarded as the most auspicious time for starting any new venture or buying anything new. Of course, Navaratra sees huge sale of properties. And in order to cash in upon the auspicious period, realty companies finalize their strategies to strike gold during Navaratra.
“We update our contact list in this period and also give final touches to our marketing strategies, so that by Navaratra we have inquiries pouring in and deals being finalized,” Ajay Singhal, director of Avalon Developers, says.
Realty companies avoid north Indians during Pitrapaksh; however, they are in talks with other communities, as well as non-Hindus, during this time and canvass their projects and products. “All the marketing guys of brokerage firms follow up on prospective customers. Thanks to the names and castes, they know whom they can and should contact during Pitrapaksh. While most people of this part of the country do not talk about buying flats during this period, others are not that fastidious,” Devinder Gupta, MD of Century 21 DGS, says.
It is not uncommon for people of all caste and religious denominations to hunt for their dream homes even during Pitrapaksha, but these people seal the deal only when this inauspicious period is over. “Currently, I am looking for a flat though I will not finalize the deal now. There would be a huge uproar in the house if I finalize the deal. My parents and wife will not allow me to enter the house,” Sajal Kalra, a pharmaceutical industry professional, says.
Realty players say that after a long lull in the market, things will improve during the festive session starting with Navaratras. While there is no dearth of possible buyers in the market, people expect the prices to go down. Sanjay Khanna, director of Kailash Nath Projects Pvt Ltd, says: “While it is true that the cost of flats have gone up over the years, buyers must not forget that the cost of construction has also been steadily increasing and developers need to factor this in while pricing their products. Land is a major component pushing up prices, followed by labour cost, and then iron, steel, and cement-none of which will come down in the foreseeable future.”
However, the cost of the product is not going to deter the genuine buyer, who is likely to return to the market as soon as the conditions are favourable. “I am sure end users cannot wait for very long to buy their flats. There are enough buyers in the market who are desperately keen to have a roof over their head despite the high cost of flats,” Sameer Jasuja of PropEquity says.
There is another view: prospective buyers are not firming up their deals due to the unprofessional conduct of a few realty firms. “Many firms do not hand over flats to their buyers and harass them on various pretexts, which puts off many more genuine buyers from the market,” D K Mandal, president of ILD Developers, says. In the light of this fact, realty firms too have to pull up their socks and keep their words.
Realty firms should seriously address the issues raised by customers in their complaints, as the National Consumer Helpline is getting a barrage of calls from harassed customers of flats and plots. The complaints are wide ranging and clearly indicate that all is not well with realty firms. They seem to look the other way as soon as their customers face some trouble. On an average, the National Consumer Helpline gets close to 75 complaints against the high-handed attitude of realty firms, daily.
The complaints are of various types: construction not completed within promised time, sale of disputed land or property, demand for extra money for various amenities, possession of flat withheld even after payment, promised area not given, not refunding money or cheque bounced, low-quality building material used, not giving the promised (booked plot or flat), builder stops work in between and asks for money for completion, taking deposit for booking and then cancelling the booking over various pretexts, etc.
On an aggregate, the demand in India’s six main markets has declined by around 40% in the past one year.
- Realty companies avoid north Indians during Pitrapaksh; however, they are in talks with other communities, as well as non-Hindus, during this time and canvass their projects and products.
- While most people of this part of the country do not talk about buying flats during this period, others are not that fastidious.