What To Expect In Smart Homes By Indian Developers?

Home Automation

In the late 90’s The Jetsons was the most futuristic cartoon. I remember watching stupefied as various members of the Jetson family walked in rooms where doors opened automatically, temperatures and humidity were auto-modified, lights seemed to magically come on and go off and a robot followed them around to fulfill their every need. Back then the futuristic amenities featured in the Jetsons’ home seemed unattainable and inconceivable. Today however, we can enjoy all the high tech features the Jetsons enjoyed in our own smart homes through high quality home automation systems.

Inman reports that by 2020, experts estimate that the smart home industry will be worth over $21 billion. Homebuyers are increasingly favouring smart homes or homes featuring the latest in smart home technology. A 2016 study found that nearly half of Americans either already own or plan on installing smart home technology. Interestingly its the millennial brigade – 18 to 34 years – of homeowners who are willing to pay thousands more for home with smart home technology. In India too the smart home fever has caught on. It may not be the rage it is in the West, however, developers have taken notice and are including such features in their development plans.

Home Automation
Home Automation

The smart cities initiative launched by the government of India has in a big way created awareness about and demand for smart home technology. People no longer want only solar powered street lights, wi-fi networks, citizen feedback management, integrated traffic management and renewable energy powered electricals. They also want their homes to mirror the smart cities they live in. So let’s look at some of the leading smart home technologies you as a home buyer can look forward to in the current real estate market.

Home Automation

Being able to control temperature, humidity and light remotely is just the tip of the iceberg. Devices such as dishwashers, smart refrigerators and televisions, microwaves and air conditioners which can be controlled by voice or pre-programmed are coveted by home owners and in demand. Professionals are constantly on the move and have devices they can control and manage remotely makes life easier, digital and in control. Developers like Ruparel Realty have their pulse on homeowners’ needs and have incorporated a digital footprint for their latest offering in Chembur called Orion. Orion is a residential project offering techno-luxury homes. Home automation is a key USP of the project and a major selling point too.

Video Door Phone

Security in the big cities is of paramount importance. Beyond the common security amenities provided at most residential complexes and gated communities such as 24×7 security guards, CCTV cameras and sensors, residents also want agency of their own security. This is where video door phones take center stage. One might say they are an upgrade of the humble intercom that allowed one to know who their visitor was. The video door phone allows the residents to see the visitor. Most major developers are providing video door phones with their residential offerings. Ruparel Orion, Kalpataru Crest, Runwal Greens and Sheth Beaumonte are some of the contemporary examples of upcoming residential developments including video door phones as amenities in their smart homes.

Automated car parking
Automated car parking (Youtube)

Automated Car Parking

In a city like Mumbai or Delhi parking comes at a huge premium. On most roads in residential suburbs one can pass car after car parked on the road outside homes and buildings. This is a reflection of the lack of planning in providing space for parking vehicles. Upcoming residential projects include multi-levels of parking and in some cases automated car parking. Ruparel’s Orion in Chembur and Puraniks Grand Central in Thane both have multi-storey automated car parking as a major amenity for homebuyers.

Rooftop Solar Panels

This is the age of solar power. There is a visible rush among researchers, scientists and companies working at the cutting edge of science to find the cheapest way to utilise solar energy. This has resulted in numerous rooftops even in urban centres sporting solar panels to augment their electricity supply. Residential complexes in major Indian metros are using solar panels to store power to run common facilities such as elevators, internal street lights and lighting in podiums and car parks. Raunak Group are a big proponent of this technology and have provided in their projects in Thane and Kalyan. JP Infra are also doing so with North, their sprawling residential complex in Mira Road.

Rooftop solar panels
Rooftop solar panels

Digital Keys

Regular keys are prone to be lost or stolen putting your household in danger of crimes. However with digital keys this imminent danger is largely mitigated. Digital keys include using biometrics, face recognition and voice recognition. In some cases the design replicates the key cards one gets at hotels. These keys can also be remotely disabled or activated thus improving home security. Gagan Properties have introduced digital keys at their upcoming project NuLife in Kamshet, Pune which caters exclusively to senior citizens who are prone to forgetfulness.

Life in a smart home is certainly of a higher standard and affords better control, management and security. Developers today ensuring they keep abreast of the latest technology and provide these in their newer developments. Mantri Group has incorporated a host of technologies at their WebCity in Bangalore. The project features social parks, web room, digital library to have a fun reading experience and social water clock with greetings. As technology races ahead the scope for more enabling and experiential digital amenities will only widen and homebuyers’ appetites for digital or smart homes will grow.

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.

Abundance of green, open spaces at Gagan NuLife
Abundance of green, open spaces at Gagan NuLife

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 globally renowned architect Perkins Eastman of USA. I visited the project to see whether it delivers on its promise.

Read more about project Gagan Unnathi in Kondhwa

Indoor activity for Senior Citizens at NuLife

Gagan Nulife: Special Facilities for Senior Residents

Gagan NuLife is designed with a special focus on senior citizens and their needs. The state-of-the-art Dr. Bade’s Geriatric Center and Nulife Hospital with ICU facility focuses on the well-being and health of the residents. It includes a fully-equipped, fully-functional hospital with ICU, Operation Theater and day care. Periodic medical check-ups of residents are conducted and a nurse is available on call for any emergency. Facilities such as preventive medical check-up and routine physiotherapy are available and provided by a professional team of experts across various fields.

Geriatric center at Gagan NuLife
Geriatric center at Gagan NuLife
Medical facility at Gagan NuLife
Medical facility at Gagan NuLife

The complex has an ATM and a fully functional pharmacy for residents to purchase any medication they need. Guest rooms are provided in the clubhouse, where family members and relatives of the residents can stay. The corridors are wide enough to allow for wheelchair access. The NuLife package includes 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. Events such as Music Night, celebration of festivals of Ganesh, Kite Flying, Independence Days, etc are celebrated in a way that engages all resident seniors as well as their families and friends.

Amenities building at Gagan NuLife
Amenities building at Gagan NuLife

Gagan Nulife: Site Overview

Gagan Nulife occupies an area of 14 acres. This project is coming up in phases. The first phase comprises of apartment blocks D and E, which have 3 wings each namely D1, D2, D3 and E1, E2, E3.

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 amenities facility called Nucampus which houses recreational facilities 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).

Celebration_of_Ganesh festival celebrations at Gagan NuLife
Celebration_of_Ganesh festival celebrations at Gagan NuLife
Music Night celebration at Gagan NuLife
Music Night celebration at Gagan NuLife

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 D3 has 4 apartments per residential level, all of which are 2 BHK Spacious apartments. In block E, wings E1 and E2 have 6 apartments per residential level, of which 3 are 1 BHK and 3 are 2 BHK Compact apartments. Wing E3 has apartments of the same configuration as block D3.

Living cum dining room at Gagan NuLife (Representative image)
Living cum dining room at Gagan NuLife (Representative image)

Not just the apartments, but the entire complex has been designed to provide ‘no step entry’ to residents and wider doorways. 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 and easily stand-up.

Specially designed bathrooms and toilets at Gagan NuLife
Specially designed bathrooms and toilets at Gagan NuLife (Representative image)

Further adding to the convenience of residents is the facility of keyless entry to their apartments. All apartments are provided with an inverter for power backup. Video door phones are provided for security purposes, while an easily accessible panic switch in each apartment allows 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:

Flat Type  RERA AREA Sq.ft. Price (Rs. Lakhs)
1 BHK 477.9 – 712.98 50-70
2 BHK 824.81 – 920.73 80-90
Community dining at NuLife
Gagan NuLife outdoor gym
Gagan NuLife outdoor gym

Gagan Nulife: Other Amenities

The sheer number of amenities provided to residents at Gagan Nulife is mind-boggling. In fact, the complex has 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 has a multi cuisine restaurant as well as a fully operational community dining hall, which offers residents a variety of dining options. The clubhouse contains a temperature controlled swimming pool, library, coffee shop, salon, spa, common TV room and an internet café. In addition, a geriatric fitness club has equipment for the senior citizens to use comfortably to keep themselves fighting fit.

Amphitheatre at Gagan NuLife
Amphitheatre at Gagan NuLife

The central amphitheater has a party lawn, providing a common space for community celebrations or for watching performances. Among the sports facilities provided are 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 Nakshatra garden.

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

Gagan Nulife: Location & Connectivity

Gagan Nulife is located in the town of Kamshet, Lonavla 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.

Activities for Senior Citizens at 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 nearby Talegaon and Lonavla. The nearest airport to the project is Pune Airport (50 km).

Gagan NuLife
Gagan NuLife

Conclusion

A look at the plans for Gagan Nulife and the way the project has shaped 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.

Pisoli – What Makes This South Pune Locality A Residential Hotspot?

Gagan Renaissance project in Pisoli Pune

If one looks at the way most cities in India have come up, one would see a trend. Most cities began as 2-3 areas getting merged to form its center, following which the influx of population saw the city expand in all directions, bringing more and more land and erstwhile villages in its fold. The city of Pune is no exception to this rule and among these villages, which is now an important part of the city’s ever-expanding skyline, is Pisoli in the South.

Pisoli has seen rapid development particularly in the last 5 years, as it and its popular neighbour Undri saw a heavy inflow of new residential projects and home buyers ready to snap up apartments in these projects. Today, Pisoli and Undri boast of projects by some of the country’s leading developers, apart from social infrastructure that would make more established areas in the city feel envious. In this article, we focus on the rise of Pisoli and what makes it such an attractive real estate destination.

Pisoli: Location & Connectivity

Pisoli is located in south Pune, along the Katraj-Hadapsar bypass road and comes between the areas of Kondhwa and Undri. This proximity to Kondhwa (4 km) and also Hadapsar (10 km), which are both industrial hubs, attracts spillover demand for homes from people working in these areas. However, the main customer segment for properties here are the techies working in the IT hubs of Magarpatta City (11 km), SP Infocity (10 km) and even Kharadi (15 km), who find this area to be affordable and not too far from their workplace either.

Pisoli has also attracted interest from people residing in the saturated areas of Wanowrie, Salunkhe Vihar and NIBM Road, who can get a larger apartment here at a cheaper rate. What also works in its favour is its proximity to the popular shopping destination of MG Road (10 km). Since Pisoli was made part of the Pune Municipal Corporation, the area has seen improved connectivity by PMPML buses, though the frequency needs to improve a bit more.

The roads here are currently being developed and expanded to boost last mile connectivity. While the nearest railway station is Sasvad Road (6.5 km), Pune railway station (12 km) is a far more convenient railhead for residents. Pune Airport is 18.5 km from here. However, the upcoming new airport in Purandar promises to be a game-changer for Pisoli, being one of the nearest areas to it and housing demand is likely to get a major boost as a result.

Pisoli: Social Conveniences

While Pisoli may be an upcoming real estate destination, residents of this area benefit from numerous social amenities present in its developed neighbourhood, which includes Undri, NIBM Road, Kondhwa and Wanowrie. Some of the best schools in Pune are within a very short distance of Pisoli, the most notable among them being Bishop School (1.5 km), Euro School (1.5 km), Sanskriti School (2.5 km) and Delhi Public School (4 km). Among the colleges near here are Sinhgad College of Commerce (2.5 km), Sinhgad Academy of Engineering (2.5 km) and Trinity Academy of Engineering (5.5 km).

Medical care facilities around this area too are plenty and include Sofia Hospital (4 km), Satyanand Hospital (5.5 km), Ruby Hall Clinic Wanowrie (6.5 km) and Inamdar Multispecialty Hospital (8 km). Some of the city’s best malls such as Kumar Pacific Mall (9.5 km), Seasons Mall (12 km) and Amanora Town Centre Mall (12 km) are also easily reachable from here.

Pisoli: Affordable Apartments

Probably the biggest factor, which drives interest in properties in Pisoli is the vast number of projects coming up and the affordable rates that apartments in these projects have. The property rates in Pisoli are much lower than the saturated areas of Wanowrie, Kondhwa and NIBM Road and are also lower than Undri next door. Most of the projects here are apartment projects of 1, 2 and lately of 3 BHK configuration. The average price for a multistorey apartment here is approx. Rs. 4300/sq. ft.

One can get a 1 BHK apartment here for a starting price of approx. Rs. 22 lakh, while the starting price for a 2 BHK and 3 BHK apartment here is Rs. 32 lakh and Rs. 55 lakh respectively. Very few areas in and around Pune offer apartments at such low rates and unsurprisingly, the demand for housing is quite high. This high demand, in turn, is likely to lead to sharp price appreciation in the near future, which is beneficial if one is an investor.

Pisoli: In Nature’s Lap

View of the Sahyadri Hills in Pisoli, Pune
View of the Sahyadri Hills in Pisoli

Another plus point of living in Pisoli is the natural beauty which surrounds it. The lovely Sahyadri Hills overlook this area and are a sight not to be missed, particularly during the monsoon season, when they contain waterfalls. In addition, the traffic around this area is much lesser than other parts of the inner city. Hence, residents can lead a quiet and relatively pollution free life in the lap of nature.

Pisoli Pune: Upcoming Residential Projects

Gagan Properties are among the leading developers in the city of Pune, with a number of residential and commercial projects in their portfolio. Specializing in providing luxurious yet value for money homes, Gagan Properties have invested heavily in Pisoli, with many of their projects coming up here.

Gagan Renaissance is a premium project with ready to move in homes, which include 1 BHK (carpet area: 510 sq. ft.), 1.5 BHK (652 sq. ft.) and 2 BHK (770 – 865 sq. ft.) apartments. This project offers amenities such as a clubhouse, swimming pool, party lawn and an amphitheater. One can get an apartment in this project, in a price range from approx. Rs. 30 lakh to Rs. 50 lakh.

Gagan LaWish project in Pisoli, Pune
Gagan LaWish project in Pisoli (Image credit: Gagan Properties)

Gagan LaWish is another project in Pisoli by Gagan Properties. This project includes 3 residential blocks, of which 2 blocks are ready to move in and 1 is under construction. It offers large and spacious homes of 1 BHK (carpet area: 528 – 538 sq. ft.), 2 BHK (744 – 874 sq. ft.) and 2.5 BHK (1024 – 1072 sq. ft.). The complex boasts of large entrance lobbies, a well-equipped clubhouse, an amphitheater, children’s play area and a party lawn. An apartment here is available in the range of approx. Rs. 32.5 lakh to Rs. 62.5 lakh.

Entrance to Gagan LaWish project in Pisoli, Pune
Entrance to Gagan LaWish project in Pisoli (Image credit: Gagan Properties)

Move a bit further and one comes to Gagan Cascades. This project, located right next to the surrounding hills, promises to offer a comfortable living environment. The apartments here are of 1 BHK (carpet area: 426 – 470 sq. ft.) and 2 BHK (614 – 769 sq. ft.) configuration. This project is currently under construction, with possession expected to be handed over by June 2018. The price range of an apartment here is approx. Rs. 28.9 lakh to Rs. 48.3 lakh.

Conclusion: Pisoli Pune

One can say that Pisoli Pune clearly has a lot to offer to prospective home buyers in southern Pune. Be it its location next to the hills, its connectivity to important shopping and transportation hubs, the good network of social infrastructure around it combined with the affordable property prices and it’s not hard to see why developers and home buyers alike have been making a beeline to this fast emerging area. Looking forward, one can see plenty of further developments coming up, which will further position Pisoli as an area of choice.