Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Is this a good time to buy for the first-time home buyers?

"Yes!," says Renu Sud Karnad, joint managing director, HDFC:


I want to move from my rented flat to my own house. My friend was suggesting I should wait for another few months, as I would get a better deal and the interest rates would be lower too. Please advise if this is a good time to buy.

Renu's answer:

As you rightly said, developers are launching a number of affordable, low-cost housing projects and innovative schemes to bring back confidence and encourage buying.

The cost of buying a house has come down due to a combination of factors, such as drop in property prices, lower specifications and reduction in the average size of units.

Thus, for any new property being built or any new construction, the cost of acquiring the property is down by 30-40%.

Home loan rates have also come down substantially from their peak and are at 2006 levels.

While there is a possibility of a further drop in interest rates by 50-100 basis points (one basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point) because of huge liquidity and low inflation, there is very little possibility of the rates shooting up in the near future.

We feel developers have already lowered prices and may not be able to bring them down too much from these levels.

Hence, for a first-time home buyer like you, this is a very good time to buy a house. Ask Mint |

Buy now but keep on fighting for lower property rates!

You know very well that i am not a builder, a home buyer, or a real estate investor. I am a real estate salesman.

I earn my salary only if you buy a home. Obviously, i will always say, "Buy Now!". However, i will add to it one clause, "Buy now, if you must buy!" I will never forget to add "if you must..." because i am going to get my "commission" only if you complete the deal and take the possession. Commission, and not a salary, is the main income of a real estate salesman.

So, more than a booking, what i am interested is in your regular disbursements till the possession. It means, if you cancel your flat, i am not going to earn anything. Over the years, i have realized that, most of the property buyers who cancel their booking, cancel it not because of the financial reasons but because buying a home was not "must" for them.

When you cancel your booking, I have to spend double energy to sale the same flat again to another customer to recover my losses. This is the main reason, real estate salesman and builder don't consider it as a priority to refund your booking amount. They think you are an irresponcible person who is careless about your personal finances and about your life.

By saying, "Buy now, if you must", i make sure that you are serious about buying home and you are taking well calculated financial decision. Down the line, i see that, both of us are benefited out of your decision.

Though, i don't blog to sale the property and earn any financial rewards from any builder for writing about their project on Ravi Karandeekar' Pune Real Estate Market News Blog, i keep on saying, "Buy now, if you must!" because it has become my nature, not a professional profitable attitude anymore.

When some of my readers insist on property price reduction, i completely agree and support the demand. Not because i hate the builders or subscribe to the idea that they are exploiting property buyers but because i believe that if real estate becomes affordable many more people in urban India can own a home.

Yes, as a real estate salesman it means to me more income opportunity. But i am not only real estate salesman, whether i like it or not, i am citizen of this country, India. India where "Right to Property" is not a fundamental right of the Indian citizen, anymore! It was a fundamental right till 1978, when it was repealed through constitutional amendment act.

Most of the people who talk against builders and property rates are actually angry about not being able to buy a home. They are not actually against the small builder who builds a small township of 100 flats. These people are angry with the big real estate company, the government!

These urban citizens, who fight for affordable homes, may not join extremists to fight "the big real estate company" and target real estate in Mumbai. But the demand to reduce the property rates and make home affordable, i am sure, will create an awareness about "Right to Property", which will restore the dignity of the citizens of India. "Right to Property" can become a fundamental right of Indian citizen, once again!

Someday, who knows, we may see that the human population on this earth may liberate themselves form their respective real estate companies which do nothing but use them to guard their real estates, which are called Mother Lands or Nations. An idea coined and popularized by those who earn power and wealth from it.

Now you know, i am not only a real estate salesman and a citizen but a dreamer too! What about you? Are you ready to fight for affordable homes? Do you believe in "Right to Property" should become your fundamental right once again? Please, share your views in the comments.

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1 comment:

  1. Ravi,

    You are very correct when you say playing waiting games with builders will hurt the Indian economy...

    But, being a Real Estate Salesman, You should have good enough contacts within the builder community.

    Did you try ever to convey the builders about our problems?

    Did you request them not to be so greedy earning profits, that they forget about their responsibilities as respectable Indian Citizens?

    You know better that builders are earning more than 40% profits even in this recession. Is this justified? Don't you think a little part of it could be sacrificed to help the Indian economy?

    And of course, people like Renu Karnad of HDFC, will always say its a right time to buy...
    I think their "Advice" should be taken with a pinch of salt.