How does interest subvention benefit a property investor

Interest subvention scheme for home buyers

If one picks up the newspapers to figure out where to invest one’s hard earned money, one would probably not consider real estate seriously owing to multiple reports of the recent slowdown in this sector. However, such reports are far from the truth. Real estate in India has seen some much much-needed reforms, which aim at bringing in genuine transparency in its operations and the future is looking quite bright. In fact, now is as good a time as any to invest in a property, if one is looking for genuinely good returns.

This brings up another question: where should one invest? In the post-demonetization era and after the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act or RERA have come into effect across the country, it’s best one invests in a project by a reputed institutional player, with has a proven record of delivering quality projects on time. It is such projects, which are prime candidates for good price appreciations in the future as trust and transparency become key factors for any home buyer, be it an end-user or an investor.

In order to entice property investors, who are undecided on where to put in their money, some reputed developers are coming up with attractive financial incentives, such as new interest subvention schemes. We look at these schemes and how these could benefit an investor in getting a property at a relatively low initial investment, which would enable him or her to cash in on it at a later stage to get the good returns he/she desires.

For the purpose of explaining the benefits of this subvention scheme, we shall take the example of an hypothetical premium project by a reputed developer located in the fast developing millennium city of Gurgaon in Haryana.

How an investor normally pays for a property

For an investor, the process of purchasing a property is similar to that of an end-user, wherein he/she decides on a property and pays a certain percentage of the total amount (15-20%) as a down-payment, with the remaining amount being paid by means of a home loan. This loan is generally from a bank or a housing finance company, which releases payments to the developer as per the progress in the construction of the project.

For an investor, the most important aspects are a low initial investment, lower financial burden owing to EMI and rents and the promise of good returns over and above the total investment made by him/her in the property (after covering for the down-payment, loan amount and the interest payable on the loan). Under the normal system described above, the investor needs to cater for a large portion of his/her earnings to go into payment of EMIs on the apartment as well as rent at the place he is currently staying in. To achieve this, one needs to make many sacrifices and adjustments to one’s lifestyle to be able to manage their financial situation, over the period of construction. In other words, there is plenty of short to medium term pain to be borne for the possibility to good returns in the future.

How the subvention scheme helps

Let’s come to our example of this premium Gurgaon project by a prominent developer in an emerging part of the city. The developer comes up with a subvention scheme, whereby as earlier the investor needs to make a down-payment of say 10% of the total cost of say Rs. 2.5 crore (which comes to approx. Rs. 25 lakh), with the home loan paying for the remainder till the possession date, which is say 3 years from now. However, the point of difference comes in the treatment of the EMIs on an apartment in this under-construction project. The developer, rather than the investor, pays all the EMIs till possession.

Interest subvention scheme for investors (Image credit: Deccan Chronicle)
Interest subvention scheme for investors (Image credit: Deccan Chronicle)

Considering that for an investor, the EMI is the biggest expense he has to incur, this comes as a much-needed relief. While the benefit of a low initial investment remains, one also does not need to bother about having to set aside huge funds towards EMI payments. In addition, assuming an average home loan interest rate of 16.5% over three years, one can save anywhere from approx. Rs. 16 lakh to Rs. 32 lakh in interest costs alone. Hence, an investor and his family can maintain the same standard of living, as earlier and in this interim period, gather enough savings to comfortably pay off the remainder of the loan.

By the time possession comes along, the investor can expect the value of the apartment to have appreciated significantly and by selling off the project, he/she can look forward to making massive gains, while being spared of the medium term trouble he/she had to bear earlier.

Indirect benefits of subvention for an investor

So far, we have focused on the apartment itself. However, a project does not come up in a vacuum, but are accompanied by matching improvements in the transport and social infrastructure around the project. If say, a new highway or metro line comes up near the project in our example within these 3 years, the connectivity to one’s office, the Metro and the Delhi airport will improve greatly. This will attract schools, hospitals and offices to the area, which would increase the attractiveness of the project.

This, in turn, will create greater demand for the project, pushing up the prices of apartments here significantly further. It is here that the investor stands the chance to make even greater returns.

Conclusion

The success of any investments depends upon making the right choice at the right time and price and then, waiting for stuff such as construction and infrastructure to fall into place. With the subvention scheme relieving one of financial stress, it is a welcome way for an investor to make hay in the real estate market, which remains one of the most lucrative investment destinations available.

GST and Indian real estate – Tricky times for home buyers

How does the GST impact your home buying decision

If one had to describe the present time in a single word, it’s likely that this word would be ‘disruptive’. Across the world, the speed of technological innovations and ever-changing regulations mean that dealing with uncertainties is the new normal in any business. India, too, has seen the winds of disruptive change come by and the country, its economy and people cannot help but be affected by the same.

The Indian economy, in general, can be said to have had an action-packed last 12 months, with the twin disruptions of demonetization and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) sharply impacting economic activity. The country’s burgeoning real estate sector, which also had to deal with the Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act (RERA) to deal with, is a good place to examine how these changes have actually played out at the ground level. In this article, we shall focus on the impact of the GST on this vast sector.

GST – The Intention

The GST is probably the biggest change the Indian taxation system has seen. It required a constitutional amendment and long, detailed discussions between the central and state Governments to see the light of day. The GST came with many laudable objectives, which include:

  1. Bringing the country under a single taxation system, thus promoting ease of doing business and removing price distortions.

  2. Bring about greater transparency in tax collections, resulting in greater tax compliance among businesses and hence, a boost to the country’s GDP.

  3. Elimination of the scourge of black money and a cleaner economy.

  4. The provision of tax credit on inputs removes multiple taxation of the same product and benefits producers, service providers and consumers alike by means of lower prices.

The GST was certainly conceived with good intentions. However, nearly 4 months after it came into effect, one can say that things haven’t quite turned out as was intended, based on our discussions with various real estate firms.

GST – How it has actually turned out for real estate

The real estate sector has seen what can be described as a partial implementation of GST. While GST is levied on under-construction properties at a rate of 12%, properties which have received their occupancy certificate (OC) are exempt from the same.

GST and real estate (Image credit: Housing.com)
GST and real estate (Image credit: Housing.com)

The GST was supposed to subsume various indirect taxes levied on purchase of property earlier, such as the Service Tax (4.5% of property price) and the Value Added Tax (VAT) (1% of property price). The difference between the GST rate of 12% and the old rate of 5.5% (service tax + VAT) was expected to be covered by input tax credit received by developers from their suppliers. However, other indirect taxes such as the Stamp Duty on land (around 5-7% of property price, depending on the state) and registration charges (approx. 1% of property price) were left out of the GST’s ambit.

The result is a GST, which still subjects this sector (which contributes around 9-10% to India’s GDP) to multiple taxation, but has additionally also burdened all parties with a larger tax component bringing down demand by pushing up property prices.

GST – End users are having a tough time

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, head of the GST Council
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, head of the GST Council (Image credit: Deccanchronicle.com)

For home buyers (particularly end users), the GST has been a double whammy. Not only has the price they need to pay for an apartment gone up, getting timely possession of their dream home too is affected. If one includes the Stamp Duty and registration charge to the GST, one finds that the tax burden on purchase of a home comes to nearly 18-20% as compared to approx. 11.5% earlier. For a home buyer looking to purchase a home for a base price of Rs. 50 lakhs, he/she now needs to pay Rs. 60 lakhs in total, instead of approx. Rs. 55-56 lakh earlier. This difference of Rs. 4-5 lakh is significant enough to deter a buyer, considering the current economic slowdown.

As GST is not levied on properties having an OC, many buyers are willing to postpone their home purchase till this stage to benefit from lower taxation. However, this has resulted in lower sales during the construction period and as a result, developers have limited cash flow for construction. This, in turn, is leading to delays in project delivery, which again affects end-users, who have to bear the cost of EMIs as well as pay rent for longer.

GST – Investors looking at other options

The other major class of home buyers i.e. investors too have not been spared. The greater tax burden on property purchases means a sharp increase in their transaction cost, which in turn, sharply brings down the returns they will get from future sale. As compared to investing in real estate, other asset classes such as equities (1%) and gold (2%) have much lower transaction costs for an investor and have become more attractive. As a result, fewer and fewer investors wish to get into property purchases, which further contribute to the slowdown in the sector.

GST – Developers struggling to deliver

If home buyers are struggling, the same is true of the developers, who are finding their financial position becoming increasingly stressed.  With sales coming down due to higher taxes, their hope of getting input tax credit on raw materials from suppliers hasn’t materialized either, due to lack of clarity on the GST. As a result, developers have had to transfer the entire tax burden on to customers, which as explained earlier, hasn’t helped matters.

In addition, with lower cash flow from property sales, developers are compelled to complete projects by borrowing funds. These have left the developers with increasing debt on their balance sheets, which in turn call for greater interest payments, imposing an additional cost on them. Delay in getting regulatory approvals has worsened the problems, with developers not able to advertise and attract customers till they get these approvals.

Also, the complex procedures of filing GST returns have increased the cost of compliance on developers, affecting their ability to deliver further. While developers have welcomed initiatives such as the RERA and demonetization which have brought greater transparency and trust in real estate, the current slowdown due to the GST is a major worry.

Time for fresh initiatives

Looking at the way things have panned out post-GST implementation, one can say that as things currently stand, the GST seems to have constricted rather than encouraged growth of the real estate sector. Considering this sector is one of the biggest contributors and employment generators of the Indian economy, this state of affairs should be a concern to the Government as well and some urgent initiatives are needed to put things back on track.

Recent news concerning the GST Council considering bringing real estate as a whole under the GST, instead of the piecemeal approach currently adopted, is definitely a positive. More such steps are needed to encourage growth in this sector, which affects everyone from developers, laborers, suppliers, the government and finally, the home buyers.

VTP Solitaire, Baner – Value For Money Premium Homes

Indicative image of the Living room in an apartment in VTP Solitaire project in Baner, Pune

The last couple of years have been challenging for the Indian economy in general and the real estate sector in particular, with some major changes such as demonetization, GST and RERA coming in, which have disrupted the normal way of conducting business. However, there have been some developers who have actually been able to thrive in this environment by coming up with projects that are best suited to the customers’ needs and budget. Among these developers, a notable one is Pune’s VTP Realty, whose project VTP Solitaire we shall look at.

VTP Solitaire is located in Baner, which is a premium residential locale in the western part of Pune and known for its proximity to the IT hub of Hinjewadi. In addition, companies such as Veritas (0.6 km), Symantec (1 km) and also, the Teerth Technospace IT Park (5.1 km) are even closer to here. This project represents the developer’s first foray into this side of the city, having already established themselves in eastern and southern Pune with completed projects such as VTP Urban Space, ongoing ones (VTP Urban Nest, Urban Balance, VTP Urban Life, VTP Urban Rise, VTP Purvanchal and Bhagyasthan) and the upcoming ones including VTP Celesta, VTP Solitaire and KP Square. In this article, we focus on some of the key features of this promising project by a well-regarded developer.

VTP Solitaire: Site Overview & Current Status

Baner-Pashan Link Road, the approach road to VTP Solitaire project in Baner, Pune
Baner-Pashan Link Road, the approach road to VTP Solitaire

VTP Solitaire is coming up on a 2.25 acre land parcel on the Baner-Pashan Link Road. This project, which will come up in phases, will be an L-shaped one, comprising of 4 buildings, a clubhouse, swimming pool, gardens etc. is accordingly, getting registered with RERA. The approach behind the project’s layout has been to efficiently utilize all available space to provide more amenities to residents. The project has a better design philosophy, with the focus firmly on interior design and space.

The project’s first phase will have 2 buildings, A and B coming up. This phase has already been registered under Maharashtra RERA, with registration number as P52100000727, which is a big positive for prospective customers. I could see during my visit that excavation work has started for this phase. The developer has set a target date of December 2020 for possession handover of the first phase. The initial response of home buyers to the project has been quite encouraging, with a number of apartments already been sold.

Each of the buildings will have 14 residential levels with 4 apartments on each level, built above 3 levels of parking. These buildings are among the taller ones in this area and promise to offer residents a great view of the lovely hills surrounding Baner.

VTP Solitaire: Apartment Overview

VTP Solitaire offers 2 BHK and 3 BHK apartments, which are the preferred options for most home buyers in this area. Of the two towers, Tower A will have exclusively 3 BHK apartments, while Tower B will have only 2 BHK apartments.

The most remarkable feature of apartments here is the optimal utilization of available area, so as to provide more livable space for residents. This has been achieved by designing the unit so as to minimize any internal passageways etc. Hence, on a like to like basis, residents get larger room sizes and that too at a lower price compared to other projects in the vicinity.

Indicative image of a bedroom in an apartment in VTP Solitaire project in Baner, Pune
Indicative image of a bedroom in an apartment in VTP Solitaire

VTP Realty is a customer centric real estate provider and in a premium market like Baner, it is essential that they not just match, but exceed similar offerings by other developers. A look at their sample apartment makes this clear. The apartment comes with wooden flooring in the master bedroom and large 600X1200 mm vitrified tile flooring in the living cum dining room, kitchen, other bedrooms and entrance lobby. This gives a spacious and elegant look to the apartment.

Indicative image of the security features in an apartment in VTP Solitaire project in Baner, Pune
Indicative image of the security features in an apartment in VTP Solitaire

The sanitaryware fittings used in the toilets will be of top brands such as Grohe or Kohler. The electrical switches will be modular ones of brands such as Anchor. Designed as per the requirements of the IT personnel, who form the majority of home buyers in Baner, the apartments come with additional smart features such as a video door phone (for security), intercom facility, gas leak detector and a digital locking system, where a unique digital code provided to each resident will allow them to lock and unlock their apartment, without fuss.

VTP Solitaire: Apartment Sizes and Prices

Baner is among the most high-end residential destinations in Pune and considering the premium features VTP Solitaire will contain, a prospective customer may feel concerned about the apartment pricing. However, the developer has been proactive in taking care that the apartments here are affordable for the salaried class.

A prospective resident can get a 2 BHK apartment in VTP Solitaire for Rs. 88 lakhs (all inclusive) onwards and a 3 BHK apartment for Rs. 1.22 crore onwards. Considering most of the competing projects in the neighbourhood are available at higher rates starting from Rs. 1 crore for a 2 BHK and nearly Rs. 1.4 crore for a 3 BHK and also keeping in mind the premium specifications and amenities offered by VTP Realty, this project indeed seems to provide good value for money.

The table below summarizes the apartment sizes and prices at VTP Solitaire:

Apartment Configuration Carpet Area (in sq. ft.) Price (in Rs.)
2 BHK 673 – 739 88 lakhs
3 BHK 921, 923 1.22 crore

 

VTP Solitaire: Amenities Overview

The developer’s aim to provide greater value for their money to residents is also borne out if one looks at the amenities planned to come up at VTP Solitaire. The centerpiece will be the clubhouse, planned to contain a fully-equipped gymnasium, indoor games facilities, a swimming pool with infinite edge and a party hall. The complex will also have gardens to promote social interactions and for community celebrations.

Sales office at VTP Solitaire project in Baner, Pune
Sales office at VTP Solitaire

For residents’ water needs, the project will have borewells, apart from a regular supply from the Pune Municipal Corporation. Power backup will be provided for all lifts (1 passenger and 1 stretcher lifts) as well as all common areas. A broadband connection and Direct To Home (DTH) television connection to homes also form part of the plans. Rounding off the amenities, the project will have an onsite Sewage Treatment Plant, which will reuse the treated water for gardening etc. and a rainwater harvesting system.

Conclusion

For a home buyer, the factors that matter the most while deciding on a project is the developer’s reputation and track record, a convenient location, quality apartments with more space for oneself and one’s family and a good price at the same time. VTP Solitaire is a project which appears to have these factors covered, which is a testament to VTP Realty’s customer focus and responsiveness to the market demand. One can say that for home buyers looking to stay in Baner and wanting a comfortable, spacious home without spending a bomb for it, this project is an intriguing option.

Vascon Xotech, Hinjewadi – A new address for techies

Apartment building at Vascon Xotech project in Hinjewadi, Pune

Any mention of the Information Technology (IT) and biotechnology (BT) sector in the city of Pune is sure to have a mention of Hinjewadi. A small village on the city’s outskirts till a couple of decades ago, Hinjewadi is home to some of the biggest companies from across the world, whose futuristic office buildings have added a distinctive look to the skyline of this area. All these commercial developments have, in turn, attracted a number of real estate developers as well, who aim to provide the large population of techies with a home near their workplace. One such developer is Vascon Engineers, who have come up with a project Vascon Xotech in this area.

Vascon Engineers have a long association with the Pune real estate sector, having a number of residential and commercial projects to their name over the last 25 years. Vascon Xotech is their first residential project in Hinjewadi. The developer claims the location is ideal for the starved for time IT and BT professionals who are looking for both convenience and a better work-life balance when deciding to purchase a home. I recently visited the project and have mentioned my impressions of it in this article.

Vascon Xotech: Location & Connectivity

Arguably the biggest positive of Vascon Xotech is its location less than 1 km from Shivaji Chowk at the heart of Hinjewadi. Major IT companies such as Accenture, Cognizant, TCS, IBM, Cisco, Infosys etc. all have multiple campuses across Hinjewadi, all of which are within 1.5 – 6 km from this project. The same also applies to major industrial companies such as Tata Technologies and Dassault as well as biotech companies such as Gennova Biopharmaceuticals, Sai Life Sciences and Omniactive Health Technologies.

Onsite Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) at Vascon Xotech project in Hinjewadi, Pune
Onsite Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) at Vascon Xotech

The development of Hinjewadi as a major IT destination has had a few side-effects too, such as increased traffic jams and greater commuting time as a result. By having their project in close proximity to workplaces, the developer has looked to make the commutation problem irrelevant. The arterial Mumbai-Pune highway is less than 2 km from the project site. The bus connectivity to other parts of Pune city such as Pune Municipal Corporation, Shivajinagar and Pune Railway Station is very good and frequent.

While the nearest railway station to the project is Akurdi (8.5 km), more convenient options for residents would be Shivajinagar (15 km) and Pune Railway Station (18 km). The Pune Airport is 23.5 km from here and can be reached within an hour.

Vascon Xotech: Social Conveniences

Another aspect where Vascon Xotech comes up trumps is the large number of social amenities near it. With Hinjewadi having experienced massive development over the last 15-20 years, a large number of reputed service providers have opened their establishments here. If one looks at schools, one comes across Mercedes-Benz International School (1.5 km), Blue Ridge Public School (3.5 km) and Orchid School (7.5 km). Higher educational institutions such as International Institute of Information Technology (2 km), Symbiosis Institute of International Business (2.5 km), Indira Institute (2.5 km) are very close to the project, with the Savitribai Phule Pune University (11 km) and Symbiosis University (14 km) a short drive away.

Among the medical care centers near Vascon Xotech are Sanjeevani Hospital (1 km), Ruby Hall Clinic (1.5 km) and Helambe Hospital (3.5 km). Orritel Hotel is right opposite the project, while major hotel chains such as Fortune Inn Exotica, Courtyard by Marriott and The Gateway are within 2-3 km from the project, as are a number of multi-cuisine restaurants. Topping off the list are major shopping centers such as D-Mart and Xion Mall (both 1.5 km away).

Vascon Xotech: Project Overview

Vascon Xotech is planned to come up in phases. The first phase, comprising of a single building named as ‘B’ is already completed and is in the ready for possession stage. This tower has 12 residential levels, built above 2 levels of parking i.e. the basement and podium. The 8th floor has space for a refuge area, as per building regulations.

The amenities are present in the common area of the project and include a clubhouse, a garden and a swimming pool. The project has 47 apartments in all, 4 to each level, with each apartment being provided a single parking space.

Vascon Xotech: Apartment Overview

Vascon Xotech offers apartments of 2 BHK and 3 BHK configuration. At the time of our visit, we were informed that all 2 BHK apartments had been sold, with only some 3 BHK units remaining, which indicates the appeal of the project. Of the four apartments on each level, 2 each are of 2 BHK and of 3 BHK. The base price of an apartment is Rs. 6000/sq. ft.

Master bedroom in an apartment in Vascon Xotech project in Hinjewadi, Pune
Master bedroom in an apartment in Vascon Xotech

As one enters an apartment, one passes through a small lobby, which opens into the living cum dining room. At the opposite end from the entrance is a terrace. The kitchen and dry balcony are next to the dining area, while a short passageway connects the living area to each of the bedrooms. Both 2 and 3 BHK apartments come with two toilets, one attached to the master bedroom and the other being a common one. The living cum dining room and the bedrooms are quite spacious and exude a premium appearance.

The master bedroom has elegant-looking laminated wooden flooring, while the living cum dining room and other bedrooms use large 600 X 600 mm vitrified tile flooring. The living room and all bedrooms will be provided with AC, television and telephone points. All apartments have piped gas facility. Power backup will be provided for the lifts and common areas. The bathroom fittings will be of Hindware or Parryware.

An overview of the apartment configurations, sizes and prices at Vascon Xotech is provided in the table below:

Apartment Configuration Carpet Area (in sq. ft.) Saleable Area (in sq. ft.) Price (in Rs.)
2 BHK 645 1075 67 lakh
3 BHK 919 1450 97.6 lakh – 1.02 crore

 

Vascon Xotech: Amenities Overview

Gymnasium in the clubhouse at Vascon Xotech project in Hinjewadi, Pune
Gymnasium in the clubhouse at Vascon Xotech

Vascon Xotech has a clubhouse in a separate building on the ground level. The clubhouse has a gymnasium and will also contain a LED screen and music system for residents to get together and watch movies or sports events. Behind the clubhouse is a landscaped garden with a kids’ play area.

Across the road from the building is a swimming pool for residents. In addition, the complex contains an onsite sewage treatment plant (STP), which will allow the treated water to be used for gardening or flushing.  Also, rain water harvesting would be carried out to conserve water and use it effectively to meet residents’ needs.

Conclusion

Vascon Xotech is a project built for the techies, aiming to provide them comfort, convenience and value for money when it comes to their homes. Located in the prime location of Hinjewadi and offering homes with many premium features, the project has a lot going for it. It is an option worth considering for prospective home buyers working in and around this major IT and industrial area.

Talegaon near Pune – An upcoming urban housing destination

Rio Vista project in Talegaon (Image Credit: Parmar Construction Company)

Among the upcoming satellite towns near Pune, Talegaon is one that particularly stands out as a real estate destination. This town has far outgrown its humble beginnings and is today, attracting a number of developers to come up with top quality projects and home buyers aplenty in equal measure.

This emergence of Talegaon as a promising real estate hub is not by accident, but is due to a coming together of a number of factors such as great connectivity, a pleasant climate and plenty of industrial growth nearby. We look at each of these factors which make this town so attractive to various categories of home buyers in the area.

Talegaon: Top-notch Connectivity

Mumbai-Pune NH4 at Talegaon
Mumbai-Pune NH4 at Talegaon

In today’s age, one can say that good connectivity is the harbinger of progress and Talegaon is doubly blessed in this regard, being well-connected by road and rail. Talegaon lies on the major national highway NH4, connecting Mumbai to Pune and onwards to Satara and Kolhapur. The Mumbai-Pune Expressway too is only 4-5 km away. One can reach here within 2.5 hours from Mumbai, 30 minutes from Pimpri-Chinchwad and 1 hour from Pune.

In addition, the town is connected by a well-tarred road to the neighbouring industrial area of MIDC Talegaon, as well as other major industrial areas of Chakan and Shikrapur. These industrial zones house major MNCs such as L&T, General Motors, Volkswagen, POSCO, JCB etc., with more (such as Foxconn) in the pipeline. A 200 hectare floriculture park for growing and storing flowers for domestic consumption and export has also come up here, as an initiative of the MIDC. Another major benefit, connectivity wise, is a link road from here to Hinjewadi & Talawade, the main IT hub of Pune.

Talegaon is well-served by PMPML buses from Pune as well as State Transport buses from Mumbai and other cities. Also, it lies on the Mumbai-Pune railway line. All local trains to and from Pune have a stop here and some even originate and terminate here. It’s not surprising to see how this connectivity attracts people of all hues.

Talegaon: Well-developed social infrastructure

Talegaon also can boast of good social infrastructure present in and around the town. A number of educational and healthcare options abound here, with large hotels and shopping centers within close proximity at Hinjewadi as well. Among the schools present here are the High Vision English Medium School, Heritage School by Pearson and BK Birla Centre for Education. The notable colleges around here include the Tolani Maritime Institute, MIMER Medical College and DY Patil College of Engineering. Medical care facilities are available at Lifeline Multispecialty Hospital, Pawana Hospital and Pioneer Hospital.

Talegaon: Lush green surroundings with a pleasant climate

Talegaon is at a nice elevation, which is actually higher than the popular twin hill stations of Lonavala and Khandala. This aspect ensures this town has a very pleasant climate all year round. In addition, it is surrounded by hills on all sides. Particularly during and just after the monsoon season, these hills abound with waterfalls and plenty of greenery, offering a soothing site to one’s eyes.

A view of the green surroundings of Talegaon from Rio Vista project (Image Credit: Parmar Construction Company)
A view of the green surroundings of Talegaon from Rio Vista project (Image Credit: Parmar Construction Company)

The Indrayani and Pavana Rivers flow by near here and their pristine waters add to the charm of living in this place. The town also boasts of large open spaces and offers great views of the surroundings for as far as one can see. With popular tourist attractions such as the Karla Caves, Bhaja Caves, Lohagad and Visapur Forts in close proximity to the town, it serves a good base camp for a nice short holiday.

Talegaon: Affordable homes

Adding more fuel to the demand of homes in Talegaon is the affordability of properties here. In comparison to Hinjewadi, Wakad or even Ravet nearby, Talegaon emerges as a far more economical option for home buyers. The average base price of a multistorey apartment in Talegaon comes to approx. Rs. 3,000/sq. ft. One can easily get a 1 BHK home for around Rs. 22 lakh and a 2 BHK apartment for Rs. 33 lakh, which is a lot lesser than elsewhere in Pune or Pimpri-Chinchwad.

Talegaon: Attractive to a wide variety of home buyers

A combination of all the above mentioned factors has meant that Talegaon is a much in demand housing destination. A significant portion of the demand for a home comes from people looking for a second or vacation home, particularly from Mumbai and to a lesser extent, from Pune. Demand has also come in from NRIs looking to settle in India and from senior citizens, who are attracted by the sylvan surroundings.

Another group of interested home buyers here is that of real estate investors, looking for good returns on their investment. Their optimism in this town’s growth prospects is justified by the fact that property prices here have doubled since the end of the year 2009. The town also attracts people working in the industrial hubs of MIDC Talegaon, Pimpri-Chinchwad and MIDC Chakan, as well as some spillover demand from the IT crowd working for various companies in Hinjewadi & Talawade IT Park.

Talegaon: Important projects

Aayush Park II is an upcoming project next door to the already completed Commander’ Aayush Park, being developed by the Earnest Group. This project comprises of 337 residential units of 1 and 2 BHK configuration spread across three towers. The amenities provided to residents include a children’s play area, gymnasium, jogging track, study room and a multipurpose court.

Goyal Properties, one of the emerging developers in Pune, have their upcoming project My Home Talegaon located just off the Talegaon – Chakan Road. Offering quality 1 and 2 BHK apartments spread across 3 wings on a 2.5 acre land parcel, it boasts of amenities such as a landscaped garden, jogging track, amphitheater, multipurpose hall and a children’s play area.

Indicative image of My Home Talegaon (Image Credit: Goyal Properties)
Indicative image of My Home Talegaon (Image Credit: Goyal Properties)

Located almost next to the Indrayani River is Parmar Construction Company’s project, Rio Vista. Offering 1 and 2 BHK apartments at an affordable starting price of Rs. 21 lakhs onwards, it’s unsurprisingly attracting plenty of interest. Among the amenities on offer are a river view deck, a river view meditation zone, a Spanish themed clubhouse, party lawn and a central plaza.

Conclusion

When one hears the name ‘Talegaon’, it is understandable that one would consider it to be a village, owing to the ‘Gaon’ in its name. However, one visit to this ‘village’ is all it will take to dispel any such notion. Talegaon’s easy approachability, the affordability of apartments here, the pleasant climate and lovely surroundings put together make it a great place for someone to consider purchasing a home in. One can see why this hitherto nondescript village has seen such a rapid rise in real estate and is now, poised to become a new satellite city of Pune. A host of prominent developers have taken note of this town’s promise and have come up with projects, perfectly suited to the profile of interested home buyers here.

Gagan Nulife, Kamshet – Resort living for the elderly

Gagan Nulife project in Kamshet near Pune

If one looks at the ever-expanding skylines of our cities, one sees a number of residential projects of all kinds coming up (apartments/villas/row houses), all catering to various categories of home buyers. However, a glaring miss in the Indian real estate sector has been homes for the senior citizens and elderly among us. The needs and requirements of this class of home buyers are quite different from a regular customer, but until recently, there was little or no attention paid to it. This picture is now changing with projects coming up catering exclusively to the elderly, one of which is Gagan Nulife in Kamshet near Pune.

Gagan Nulife is a project, developed by Gagan Properties, a major player in the Pune market, with a large portfolio of residential and commercial projects to their name. The developers claim to have done plenty of research into senior living before coming up with this project. The project has been designed by noted architects Perkins Eastman of USA. I visited the project to see whether it delivers on its promise.

Gagan Nulife: Location & Connectivity

Gagan Nulife is located in the town of Kamshet, just off the Mumbai-Pune NH4. A left turn at Kamshet and a short 2 minute drive from the highway bring you to the project. The highway location conveniently connects it to the cities of Pune (48 km) and Mumbai (105 km), which account for most of the interest in the project. Also, the popular hill station of Lonavala is 18 km away from here. However, the hills are not too far away from here. In fact, one gets an amazing view of the lovely Sahyadri Hills from the project, an amazing sight for residents to wake up to.

View of Sahyadri Hills from Gagan Nulife project in Kamshet near Pune
View of Sahyadri Hills from Gagan Nulife

The project is 1.5 km from Kamshet Railway Station, while Lonavala station (18 km) is a convenient stopover for most passing trains. The developers have looked to assist residents in commuting by providing a complimentary shuttle bus service to within a 20 km radius of the project. The nearest airport to the project is Pune Airport (50 km).

Among the medical care centers located near this project are Kamshet Hospital (1 km), Indrayani Hospital (1 km) and Mahavir Hospital (2 km). However, residents of this complex need not go even that far, with a state of the art Oyster & Pearl Hospital with ICU facility coming up at the project itself.

Gagan Nulife: Site Overview

Gagan Nulife occupies an area of 14 acres. This project is coming up in phases. The first phase, for which construction is on, comprises of apartment blocks D and E, the latter having 3 wings. The targeted possession date for block E is September 2017, while it is December 2017 for block D.

Located in the center of the complex is an amphitheater, while the other amenities are spread across the project. Next to the entrance of the project is the clubhouse as well as the aforementioned hospital. The area in the center will be vehicle free to ensure safety of residents. The project comes with generator backup for common areas as well as a stretcher lift in each building. The project has also been provided the Silver certification by IGBC (Indian Green Building Council).

Gagan Nulife: Apartment Overview

Gagan Nulife offers homes of 1 BHK and 2 BHK configurations, each of which are in two categories: Compact and Spacious. Block D will have 4 apartments per residential level, all of which are 2 BHK Spacious apartments. In block E, wings E1 and E2 will have 6 apartments per residential level, of which 3 are 1 BHK and 3 are 2 BHK Compact apartments. Wing E3 will have apartments of the same configuration as block D.

Living room in an apartment in Gagan Nulife project in Kamshet near Pune
Living room in an apartment in Gagan Nulife

Not just the apartments, but the entire complex has been designed to provide ‘no step entry’ to residents. Hence, the senior citizens, who will reside here, need not ascend any steps, which may be inconvenient for them. The apartments too have been designed with special care keeping in mind their needs. The bedrooms and kitchen are quite spacious. Anti-skid tiles have been used in the flooring for all rooms and the bathroom, the latter of which will also have grab bars for resident to be able to comfortably seat themselves.

Kitchen in an apartment in Gagan Nulife in Kamshet near Pune
Kitchen in an apartment in Gagan Nulife

Further adding to the convenience of residents is the facility of keyless entry to their apartments. All apartments will also be provided an inverter for power backup. Video door phones will be provided for security purposes, while an easily accessible panic switch in each apartment will allow residents to communicate directly and speedily with the onsite staff, in case of any emergency. All these features clearly indicate the thought that has gone behind designing this project.

The following table mentions the apartment configurations, sizes and prices (the price includes a maintenance fund) for the first phase of Gagan Nulife:

Apartment Configuration Carpet Area (sq. ft.) Total Cost (Rs.)
1 BHK Compact 456 – 486 43.5 – 46.3 lakh
1 BHK Spacious 682 – 697 64.8 – 66.2 lakh
2 BHK Regular 797 75.6 lakh
2 BHK Spacious 888 84.2 lakh

 

Gagan Nulife: Special Facilities for Residents

It’s not just the apartments alone at Gagan Nulife that are designed specifically for senior citizens, but also the facilities that they will be provided. Included in the package is 15 years maintenance of the complex, which will be carried out by the Signature Group, who come with a rich experience of managing senior citizens residences globally. This will include facilities such as daily housekeeping, weekly laundry, maintenance of common areas and weekly activity programmes to keep residents active and have them interact with each other. Also, periodic medical check-ups of residents will be conducted and a nurse will be available on call for any emergency. The agency appointed for providing these services comprises of professionals who are experts in their respective field. This aspect should help build trust in the minds of residents of the project.

The complex will have an ATM and a pharmacy for residents to purchase any medication they need. Guest rooms will be provided in the clubhouse, where family members and relatives of the residents can stay. The corridors will be wide enough to allow for wheelchair access, while 24X7 ambulance service will also be provided.

Gagan Nulife: Other Amenities

Under-construction clubhouse at Gagan Nulife project at Kamshet near Pune
Under-construction clubhouse at Gagan Nulife

The sheer number of amenities provided to residents at Gagan Nulife is mind-boggling. In fact, the complex will have a total of 1 lakh sq. ft. of amenity space. The clubhouse is at the heart of the amenities. Apart from the guest rooms, pharmacy and ATM, it will have a multi cuisine restaurant as well as a community dining hall, which will offer residents a variety of dining options. The clubhouse will also contain a temperature controlled swimming pool, library, coffee shop, salon, spa, common TV room and an internet café. In addition, a geriatric fitness club will have equipment for the senior citizens to use comfortably to keep themselves fighting fit.

The central amphitheater will also have a party lawn, providing a common space for community celebrations or for watching performances. There will also be a mini golf arena for residents to enjoy. Among the sports facilities provided will be a badminton court, chess and an outdoor gym area. Also provided in the complex are a temple, Pooja garden, meditation zone, vegetable garden and a Zen garden.

Conclusion

A look at the plans for Gagan Nulife and the way the project is shaping up is a clear indicator of the developer’s focus on the needs of their elderly customers and the sheer attention to detail, which has gone into this project. This well-connected project with top class facilities ensures that the residents need not leave the complex for any of their needs, however big or small they may be. One can say that this project paves the way for other similar projects catering to the needs of the often overlooked segment of home buyers i.e. the elderly.