November 15, 2008
Tejeesh N.S. Behl
House hunting in the NCR is akin to a picnic— take the day off and visit several properties and property dealers, haggle till your tongue drops off and then haggle some more. My first stop: Eldeco Utopia in Noida’s Sector 93, just off the Expressway. Inside the on-site marketing office, I quickly get down to business: that I am a bona fide house hunter looking for a minimum three-bedroom apartment.
The sales officer offers me three-bedroom plus servant room units that are ready-to-move-in. I cut directly to the chase: damages. “Rs 1.24 crore is the basic sales price (BSP), plus extra charges like car parking, preferential location charges (PLC), etc.,” he says. This, for a 2,150 sq. feet apartment (Super Area)—which would work out to approximately 1,500 square feet carpet area.
While a down payment would fetch me an 8 per cent discount (a teaser, as I discover later), installments make me eligible for only 4 per cent. “Rs 1.24 crore is a bit on the higher side,” I tell him, especially since I figure that apart from the Expressway, there’s not much this apartment can boast of. No nearby provision stores or markets, no easily available transportation, no education or medical facilities, I argue. He responds with future prospects and valuations—I stick to the present. He throws in another 4 per cent—I am now up at 12 per cent discount and hungry for more. “What’s your offer?” he queries. I quote Rs 80 lakh. He baulks, but adds another 4 per cent to the discount basket—making me richer by 16 per cent. Round it off to 20 per cent, I suggest. Clearly, he’s a little weary now and hesitatingly accepts. It’s not much, but it’s a start.
Next halt, the under-construction Omaxe Grand Woods and Omaxe Forest Spa, also in Sector 93. The company’s already discounted the listed price of Rs 7,100 per sq. feet for a 2,900 sq. feet three bedroom apartment at Forest Spa by Rs 900 per sq. feet. “If you opt for a down payment, there’s a further rebate of 10 per cent,” informs the smooth-talking company representative. A price of Rs 5,580 per sq. feet even before I start talking. Greedy, I push for more. He needs authorisation from company for more. At the Omaxe Twin Towers, in Noida’s Sector 50, a three-bedroom plus servant room 2,150 sq. feet apartment is offered for Rs 4,950 per square feet—a measly discount of 10 per cent. I protest and gingerly he reaches out to his calculator and punches in a few numbers. Rs 4,851 per sq. feet, he comes back. I push for more—and the outcome is Rs 4,800 per sq. feet. I know there’s more juice left and the company representative confirms it with his parting shot: “If you are willing to write a cheque right now, we could negotiate something to your liking.” I smile—mission nearly accomplished.
Apartment visited: Eldeco Utopia
Listed price: Rs 1.24 crore plus
Area: 2,150 sq. ft
Price after bargain: Rs 1 crore plus
November 18, 2008
Tejeesh N.S. Behl
Indian it’s el dorado, Gurgaon, is a living example of an idiot-proof city—with little by way of signages and infrastructure, it ensures that idiots and directionally challenged people stay away. Searching for DLF Royalton, I manage to chance upon the nearing-completion Connoisseur Apartments in Sector 43, right next to the Gold Souk. The 2,500 sq. feet four-bedroom apartments, as I learn, come with an asking price of Rs 6,400 per sq. feet—and I am offered an all-inclusive price of Rs 1.65 crore. Sure, it includes all woodwork, modular kitchen and air-conditioning, but the eight figure digit is way too much, I reason with the company’s representative. It’s a sign of the times that realtors are amenable to prices suggested by customers—he suggests a discussion on the price. While I start with Rs 1.1 crore, he responds with Rs 1.55 crore. I quote Rs 1.3 crore—he suggests a teleconference with his MD Anil Sharma, who’s unwilling to go below Rs 1.4 crore.
Fobbing them off, I head towards DLF’s Royalton Towers where a software firm owner, probably singed by the heat of the meltdown, wants to get rid of his fourbedroom 3,900 sq. feet apartment. His asking price: Rs 6,000 per sq. feet. It’s probably been bought as an investment, so you could negotiate, suggests the broker. I check a few other properties—Vipul’s Belmonte on Golf Course Road, where a four-bedroom 4,100 sq. feet apartment is quoting at Rs 5,800 per sq. feet, DLF’s Belaire, launched at Rs 6,000 per sq. feet for a fourbedroom 3,200 sq. feet apartment, fell to Rs 5,600 per sq. feet and has stabilised at Rs 5,800 per sq. feet.
I check into a local real estate consultancy, Temple Estate and Securities and get talking to Anant Bawa, CEO, Gurgaon-Residential. There’s been a softening, he confirms, but only to the extent of Rs 100-200 per sq. feet in most cases with a few exceptions like the Ridgewood Estate where a three-bedroom 1,400 sq. feet apartment went for Rs 76 lakh vis-à-vis an asking price of Rs 84 lakh a few months back. He suggests if my budget is in the region of Rs 4,000 per sq. feet, I should probably look at apartments on Sohna Road.
As I make my way out of his office, his sales executive motions me aside. “If you’re willing to wait for a month, I can assure you prices around this part (DLF Phase 4 and 5) will be down by another Rs 1,000-1,200 per sq. feet,” he informs. My Gurgaon trip hasn’t gone waste after all!
Apartment visited: Connoisseur Apartments
Listed price: Rs 1.65 crore
Area 2,500 sq. ft
Price after bargain: Rs 1.4 crore