It is not often that you go shopping for property. You will be in a really tiny minority if you happen to be among those who go through the stress of buying a home more than once in your lifetime.
Buying a home is most often a tough call, not just for the financial bit of arranging for the down payment and bracing for a lengthy period of repayment of the home loan. Pressing the 'buy' button is preceded by site visits to different projects and endless rounds of discussions and brainstorming, be it with your spouse, relatives, colleagues or friends, if only to be assured that you are on the right track.
A discerning buyer will always want the property to have a decent location, good connectivity offering an easy commute to the workplace, and of course high-quality healthcare facilities nearby - and not forgetting good schools if you have children that age.
A positive combination of these factors will make your investment good value for money and also hold out the promise of a rise in the value of your property should you at any point need to sell it. You need to get it right as far as possible; there are no second chances when you are making the biggest investment of your life. A hasty decision or an error in judgment can prove costly, and ruing your purchase after the deal is struck will not be of any use.
However, very often people do land in trouble if they do not look beyond the obvious to check for the risks to the investment. While in one of our stories we tell you that residential real estate may be one of the better investment options in terms of potential returns over the long term, there is a great need for caution since the property market in India is an opaque and under-regulated one with sharks swimming all around the pond.
Did you check whether the title to the property is a clear one? Has the builder already sold the same property to someone else? Will the builder stick to the promised timeline? What has been the track record of the developer on an orderly handing over of completed properties?
In our cover story we tell you about some of the hidden risks in property deals and how to guard against them. This is not to say that there are no good developers around, but even there it is better to try and minimise the risk of getting caught in a tangle.
The first quarter corporate numbers are out. The revenue trends are not as bad given the uncertain environment in which companies operated during the period. There are challenges that companies need to overcome, such as high input costs and high interest rates, to really get back on track which, in turn, will reflect in their stock performance. We provide you a detailed analysis of the results and tell you what to expect in the days to come. It should help you in your investment calls.
SARBAJEET K SEN