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Home-Loans-in-Covid-Times

Home Loans in Covid Times

by Naomi |June 5, 2020 |167 Comments | Blogs

Tough times need innovative ideas along with informed and well thought of decisions. The Pandemic apart from causing massive loss of lives has also put many households in financially difficult state- unsustainable for some. Indian job loss figure is close to 13-14 crore. For those who have lost their jobs or earnings, it is important to take stock and realign their strategy.

It is normally advisable to take a Home loan for buying properties for various reasons. As a resultant, most buyers use this option as can be seen from the data; about Rs 13 lakh crore of housing loans was outstanding as on January 31, 2020. Of this, majority are salaried people. Sadly, many have lost their jobs since the scourge of Covid commenced. Its extremely important to save one’s Life and Livelihood -Jaan & Jahan. So, what are the Options? In such trying times, it is not the best option to liquidate the loaned properties, as it would generally result in 10-12% loss on your investments. Hence, this should be the last option. So what are the other options available?

  • If it is somehow possible to keep paying the EMI by enforcing cuts in other expenses, it is the best way out.
  • It is a normal guideline in Job as also Business, that one should have a year worth of reasonably liquid asset for unforeseen circumstances, ie Emergency Fund. However, it is not possible for some. Hence, the first step should be to go in for Home Loan EMI moratorium.
  • In most cases when one leaves a Job is issued a Pink Slip, a Severance amount is paid, which must be used to reduce the EMI burden by reducing the loan, or use it for the EMIs once moratorium is over and your situation improves and stabilizes.
  • Most of us have some type of savings- Debt Funds, RD, FD, ETF Gold, PPF, EPF, Equity etc. Except for equity – which would have been drubbed down due to the Pandemic; all other asset should be utilised. This is a “Rainy Day”, and these savings are meant for such times. There has been a notification wrt permission to do 75% withdrawal from EPFO.One can also consider selling some asstes like car etc, which could be spared. Its a No Brainer to say that the interest you get on FD, RD etc, are mostly lesser than the Interest on EMIs.
  • For equity investors, and investors in Insurance, one can borrow against one’s shares / Insurance.
  • Friends and family are tested during bad times. Try it out. It doesn’t need your financial scrutiny and mostly are interest free. Even if you don’t get help, at least you will get to know them.
  • Many of us have family Gold. With the bullion trading at all times high, this can be utilized for both ie selling / loan against security.

Like all Good times move on, so do bad times. It is extremely important to maintain one’s sanity and take decisions as suitable for you. For a particular individual, there may be some other ways also, so try and analyse your fund state and take a decision you feel is good for you.

www.colonelz.com

BAR for Pubs / Hotels- Tipsy Times

BAR for Pubs / Hotels- Tipsy Times

by Naomi |May 28, 2020 |41 Comments | Blogs

Wish you were Beer. Bars are the ultimate evening destination. Ambience of the Bar is a “Make or Break” for success of a Bar. Want it Vibrant, Smoggy, Drooling, Spanky or what? As with most commercial space, some of the 7 Ps of Marketing matter here too. Depending on the Place, ie, whether it is a High end Hotel or a Country side Bar, it needs to be designed. For that clientele, it should exude luxury, style, and comfort and be inviting, spacious, and serviceable, with desired seating space etc.

  • Plan a concept and develop the design on it. Key areas for planing are:

  • Broad Design and Spacing.
  • Bar Counter Design.
  • Dance floor design.
  • Main entrance.
  • Wall design.
  • Ceiling Design.
  • Flooring Pattern.
  • Furniture styling.
  • Different seating formats.
  • Private party area.
  • Planning the components required and the cost of designing the bar would cut down on any unnecessary wastage. Have a theme in mind and decide how much one is willing to spend to achieve the layout.
  • Measurements of a bar are crucial to functionality.
  • If bartenders don’t have enough space, this would restrict their movements and decrease efficiency.
  • At least 3 feet between liquor shelves and the bar top.
  • Utilize the space to its maximum potential.
  • Every detail should come up with the best design best suited.
  • Come up with unusual theme for bar that can help one stand out amongst the competition.
  • Place the liquor in front as drinks are the showstopper.
  • Displaying the liquor bottle is a good way of ramping up the interiors.
  • Innovation is the key to success for a bar.
  • Separate billing point would ensure quicker billing and the guests wouldn’t have to wait to clear the bills.
  • Every bartender should have his or her serving station including an ice bin, soda gun, juice containers, speed rail, back-bar, and condiment tray.

  • Choosing the Right Equipment: Another major step of building the space is to get the equipment to be used at the bar. Having the right equipment makes the place look tied together.
  • Bars should have refrigerators.
  • Coolers, wine racks, ice beans, should also be added.
  • Flooring at the bar area should not be slippery.
  • Rubber mat flooring for the safety of the staff/bartender.
  • Invest in chairs and tables in complementing the interiors of the bar.
  • Investing in used equipment is also a good option initially as this would help save some money.

  • Choosing the Bar Top Wisely: A creative bar top can be beautiful and pulls more attention towards the bar. It is a centrepiece that makes the bar unique but, it is essential to select the right material for the bar top to avoid any disasters.
  • Stones and marbles look attractive but, are magnets for disaster because they have no flexibility or grip.
  • Go for traditional wood bar tops.
  • Choose from Oaks, Maples, Mahogany’s, or Ashes as they have a firm grip and are very sturdy.
  • Wrong choice in materials will result in broken glasses.
  • Round edges should be prevented as it can allow the glasses to slide off onto the floor.
  • Copper and brass are also beautiful but require costly routine maintenance.
  • Learn about the maintenance of the material tips before purchasing.

  • Lighting to set the mood right: The bar area should have adequate lighting for customers to read the menu but, it should not be very bright.
  • The bar area shouldn’t be very dark.
  • Opt for dim ambient lighting to set the mood.
  • Subtle light is the key to setting the mood right.
  • Recessed lighting or tracking lighting can be used which have a switch to help adjust the intensity of the lights.
  • Commercial kind of lights can be used over the bar counter as they illuminate the surface of the bar.
  • Can also opt for complimentary lighting.
  • Light up the liquor rack and the area around it.
  • Add lamps to highlight particular areas.
  • In high ceiling bars, hang pendant lighting or chandeliers to bring the light source closer to the client.

  • Consider fixture details: It is important to differentiate the bar with specially design elements but don’t overwhelm every wall with decoration.
  • Choose a few stand-out pieces that reflect the theme.
  • Rely on small details to carry the rest of the design.
  • Focal point might be unique back lighting, a green wall, a water wall, fish tanks, funky seats or impressive table dividers.
  • Use lighting to set the tone.

If you are also planning to revamp your Bar, do let us know, we will give you an experience unparalleled. Lets do it together.

www.colonelz.com

Find What Suits You Part

Flooring Options- Find What Suits You Part II

by Naomi |May 19, 2020 |36 Comments | Blogs

We discussed and analysed the most common / popular flooring options in Part I. It may not be necessary that the decision of the majority is the right one. So why not explore other options and see what suits our needs better.  Most of these are neither run of the mill option, nor advised as a general option for all purposes. These are better used at specific place and space.

  • Vinyl Flooring. Vinyl floors are a popular option among homeowners, particularly in kitchen and bathroom applications. A synthetic cousin of linoleum, vinyl flooring is water-and stain-resistant, versatile, and provides good durability for the cost. These are 100% Moisture Resistant, have long life as they have a wear layer. However, they are difficult to remove if glued down, can get punctured if any sharp object is rubbed and can get dents by heavy objects. Environmentally not recommended as they are not biodegradable.

  • Carpet flooring. Carpet Flooring uses soft floor covering made of fibre either bounded or stapled. Generally has a beautiful upper layer attached to a harder, stronger backing. Apart from reducing the sound of boots, they are a good insulator, which save energy specially in cold climates. It also gives a psychological warm feeling.  They are comfortable to walk on being soft and easier on the feet. One can even lie down on these if in the bedroom or living.

  • Glass flooring. Glass floorsare used only at specific spaces and could be Transparent or Translucent, depending on the usage. Mostly, these are transparent glass when the need is to view something from above or below the floor. The translucent types are used when there is no such need. In both the cases, toughened glass is used to prevent breakage and long life. Glass floors make the space optically more spacious. The high quality ones have good shelf life and are reliable. It can be well mixed with aesthetic lighting for great effects. They are costly in terms of manufacture, as also installation. They are often slippery and prone to accidents. Most are not scratch resistant and lose their shine over a period of time.

  • Brick flooring. One of the original flooring option, this still finds place with Quality Designers, in lieu of natural stone. Mainly made of clay, these come in various shapes and sizes. These come cheap and are durable and easy to clean. They are environment friendly, having insulating properties and are skid resistant. As they are baked in fire, the surface is hard and often rough, catches stains of paint, oil etc. Inter brick space needs good sealing to prevent mites etc making the space their home.

  • Cement flooring. These are basically cement based, and could be of various types, like Interior Stained Concrete, Metallic Epoxy, Overlays, Garage Floors, Quartz Flooring, Epoxy Chip Flooring and Standard Epoxy.It is a common type of flooring used in all types of spaces, as its non-absorbent nature is very useful for water stores, durability, smooth and decent looks. It has good wearing properties, are easy on maintenance and economical.

  • Terrazzo flooring. These are composite material, poured in place or precast, which is used for floor and wall treatments. They consist of chips of marble, quartz, granite, glass, or other suitable material, poured with a cement type binder (for chemical binding), polymeric (for physical binding), or a combination of both. They are very durable, with endless design options. Are environment friendly and can be used for internal / external spaces and are recommended for spaces where one prefers cold floor .

There are still more options, about which your designer may be able to guide you. We endeavored to cover the relevant and reasonable amount of information so that we are able to take Informed Decision while deciding on the the Floor which will Floor you for times to come.

www.colonelz.com

Floors to Floor You - What Suits You

Floors to Floor You – What Suits You

by Naomi |May 16, 2020 |88 Comments | Blogs

Making or renovating a house or a commercial space is a long drawn process, involving somewhat infinitude decisions. One of the multitudes of questions that perplex most to be homeowners / commercial space buyers, happens to be about the kind of flooring they need to settle for. The market is flooded with an overwhelming variety of options, which makes it even more difficult to choose the right flooring option for your space. In this Part, we shall be discussing the four most sought after flooring materials and their pros and cons so you can take a well-informed decision.

  • Tiles. Tiles are usually made with a mixture of clay, which is shaped, cured in a scorching kiln, and finally glazed to impart shine and a protective layer. They are usually of two common types, namely, ceramic and porcelain. Porcelain happens to be the more durable one as it is made out of more refined clay and baked at a higher temperature. But, ceramic, on the other hand, is more budget-friendly and lighter in weight, making it suitable option for walls. Which one suits you more? Lets deal with it.

Points to ponder:

  • As one would have experienced in day to day life, maintenance is effortless when it comes to tiles, and there is no fear of staining the floor, all because of the liquid glass glaze on the tiles. All one needs is a damp mop to clean up any accidental spills or the regular mess.
  • They can withstand harsh weather conditions and fluctuations. Mostly they don’t lose color easily.
  • They are available in a wide range of colors, textures, designs, styles, and sizes.
  • They are one of the most affordable option in this list.
  • Owing to their supreme hardness, tiles can turn out to be quite brittle and develop cracks if a very heavy object is dropped on it from a height.

  • Marble. Marble is a natural metamorphic rock formed naturally by subjecting limestone to immense heat and pressure of the earth. The natural beauty is now used extensively in the construction business for flooring.

An analysis:

  • Marble instantly imparts a sense of opulence and elegant style when used for flooring.
  • It can be polished to achieve an unrivalled gleam and sheen on the natural stone, which can light up the entire space. Moreover, whenever one feels the beauty of their flooring has dampened over time, they can revive its former beauty with rubbing and
  • They are very good conductors of heat and are conducive to the installation of the heating system underneath them in chilly climates.
  • They are very environment-friendly.
  • Good quality marble is costly.
  • They are fragile and may develop cracks over a period of usage & dark lines could be seen in the crevices.
  • Marble is porous in nature, thus, making it susceptible to stains.

  • Hardwood. Hardwood flooring gives a very cosy yet modern vibe to the home and is appreciated for its beauty all over the world.

Why & why not:

  • They are highly durable and can last beautifully over decades, with proper maintenance.
  • Abundant variety of natural textures and colorsare available to fit your preference. They can even be stained to achieve a different hue in the future.
  • They can be refurbished and polished easily to pretty them up after continuous use.
  • Wood is biodegradable.
  • They do not go well with moisture and in the areas with high humidity.
  • They are the most expensive option on this list.
  • They need some Tender Loving Care regularly, ie, high on

The climatic and weather conditions, are instrumental in deciding our flooring options to a great deal. In Scandinavian or Siberian region any floor which gives a psychological warm feeling may be more suitable; wooden / carpet flooring could be a preferred option. In Sub Saharan deserts or Middle East, marble  or stone may be preferred. There are many other options, which your designer may guide you to use.  We shall be covering other options in Part II.

  • Vinyl Flooring. Vinyl floors are a popular option among homeowners, particularly in kitchen and bathroom applications. A synthetic cousin of linoleum, vinyl flooring is water-and stain-resistant, versatile, and provides good durability for the cost. These are 100% Moisture Resistant, have long life as has a wear layer. However, they are difficult to remove if glued down, can get punctured if any sharp object is rubbed and can get dents by heavy objects. Environmentally not recommended as they are not biodegradable.

  • Carpet flooring. Carpet Flooring uses soft floor covering made of fibre either bounded or stapled. Generally has a beautiful upper layer attached to a harder, stronger backing. Apart from reducing the sound of boots, they are a good insulator, which save energy specially in cold climates. It also gives a psychological warm feeling.  They are comfortable to walk on being soft and easier on the feet. One can even lie down on these if in the bedroom or living.

  • Glass flooring. Glass floorsare used only at specific spaces and could be Transparent or Translucent, depending on the usage. Mostly, these are transparent glass when the need is o view something from above or below the floor. The translucent types are used when there is no such need. In both the cases, toughened glass is used to prevent breakage and long life. Glass floors make the space room optically more spacious. The high quality ones have good shelf life and are reliable. It can be well mixed with aesthetic lighting for great effects.  They are costly in terms of manufacture, as also installation. They are often slippery and prone to accidents. Most are not scratch resistant and lose their shine over a period of time.

  • Brick flooring. One of the original flooring option, this still finds place with quality Designers, in lieu of natural stone. Mainly made of clay, these come in various shapes and sizes. These come cheap and are durable and easy to clean, environment friendly, having insulating properties and skid resistant. As they are baked in fire, the surface is hard and often rough, catches stains of paint, oil etc.  Inter brick space needs good sealing to prevent mites etc making the space their home.

  • Cement flooring. These are basically cement based, and could be of various types, like Interior Stained Concrete, Metallic Epoxy, Overlays, Garage Floors, Quartz Flooring, Epoxy Chip Flooring and Standard Epoxy.It is a very common type of flooring used in all types of spaces, as its non-absorbent nature is very useful for water stores, durability, smooth and decent looks, good wearing properties, easy maintenance and is economical

  • Terrazzo flooring. These are composite material, poured in place or precast, which is used for floor and wall treatments. They consist of chips of marble, quartz, granite, glass, or other suitable material, poured with a cement type binder (for chemical binding), polymeric (for physical binding), or a combination of both. They are very durable with endless design options, Environment friendly. Can be used for internal / external spaces and recommended where one prefers cold floor .

There are other not that popular options too, which your designer my guide you to use. So, if you were wondering which is better tiles or marble flooring or wooden for your residential building services, then make a decision based on these factors above and your daily lifestyle.

www.colonelz.com

Flooring Options- Find What Suits You

Flooring Options- Find What Suits You

by Naomi |May 6, 2020 |13 Comments | Blogs

Making or renovating a house or a commercial space is a long drawn process, involving somewhat infinitude decisions. One of the multitudes of questions that perplex most to be homeowners / commercial space buyers, happens to be about the kind of flooring they need to settle for. The market is flooded with an overwhelming variety of options, which makes it even more difficult to choose the right flooring option for your space. So, here is a breakdown of the popular options, with details of four most sought after flooring materials and their pros and cons so you can take a well-informed decision.

  • Tiles. Tiles are usually made with a mixture of clay, which is shaped, cured in a scorching kiln, and finally glazed to impart shine and a protective layer. They are usually of two common types, namely, ceramic and porcelain. Porcelain happens to be the more durable one as it is made out of more refined clay and baked at a higher temperature. But, ceramic, on the other hand, is more budget-friendly and lighter in weight, making it suitable option for walls. Which one suits you more? Lets deal with it.

Points to ponder:

  • As one would have experienced in day to day life, maintenance is effortless when it comes to tiles, and there is no fear of staining the floor, all because of the liquid glass glaze on the tiles. All one needs is a damp mop to clean up any accidental spills or the regular mess.
  • They can withstand harsh weather conditions and fluctuations. Mostly they don’t lose color easily.
  • They are available in a wide range of colors, textures, designs, styles, and sizes.
  • They are one of the most affordable option in this list.
  • Owing to their supreme hardness, tiles can turn out to be quite brittle and develop cracks if a very heavy object is dropped on it from a height.

  • Marble. Marble is a natural metamorphic rock formed naturally by subjecting limestone to immense heat and pressure of the earth. The natural beauty is now used extensively in the construction business for flooring.

An analysis:

  • Marble instantly imparts a sense of opulence and elegant style when used for flooring.
  • It can be polished to achieve an unrivalled gleam and sheen on the natural stone, which can light up the entire space. Moreover, whenever one feels the beauty of their flooring has dampened over time, they can revive its former beauty with rubbing and
  • They are very good conductors of heat and are conducive to the installation of the heating system underneath them in chilly climates.
  • They are very environment-friendly.
  • Good quality marble is costly.
  • They are fragile and may develop cracks over a period of usage & dark lines could be seen in the crevices.
  • Marble is porous in nature, thus, making it susceptible to stains.

  • Hardwood. Hardwood flooring gives a very cosy yet modern vibe to the home and is appreciated for its beauty all over the world.

Why & why not:

  • They are highly durable and can last beautifully over decades, with proper maintenance.
  • Abundant variety of natural textures and colorsare available to fit your preference. They can even be stained to achieve a different hue in the future.
  • They can be refurbished and polished easily to pretty them up after continuous use.
  • Wood is biodegradable.
  • They do not go well with moisture and in the areas with high humidity.
  • They are the most expensive option on this list.
  • They need some Tender Loving Care regularly, ie, high on
  • Synthetic Wooden flooring. Also called Laminate flooring this is a multi-layer synthetic flooring product fused together with a lamination process. Laminate flooring simulates wood, or at times stone, with a photographic applique layer under a clear protective layer.
  • Should you?
  • They are cheaper than Hard wood and marble; generally in the range of Rs. 150 to 250.
  • They need care and are susceptible to getting spoilt by stagnant water. Some of the other negatives are, Fading, Scratches & dents, May have thin veneer, Off-gassing, Not moisture-proof & High-maintenance.
  • Being laminated, are comparatively delicate and not suitable for rough use as also, high footfalls.

  • Vinyl Flooring. Vinyl floors are a popular option among homeowners, particularly in kitchen and bathroom applications. A synthetic cousin of linoleum, vinyl flooring is water-and stain-resistant, versatile, and provides good durability for the cost. These are 100% Moisture Resistant, have long life as has a wear layer. However, they are difficult to remove if glued down, can get punctured if any sharp object is rubbed and can get dents by heavy objects. Environmentally not recommended as they are not biodegradable.

  • Carpet flooring. Carpet Flooring uses soft floor covering made of fibre either bounded or stapled. Generally has a beautiful upper layer attached to a harder, stronger backing. Apart from reducing the sound of boots, they are a good insulator, which save energy specially in cold climates. It also gives a psychological warm feeling.  They are comfortable to walk on being soft and easier on the feet. One can even lie down on these if in the bedroom or living.

  • Glass flooring. Glass floorsare used only at specific spaces and could be Transparent or Translucent, depending on the usage. Mostly, these are transparent glass when the need is o view something from above or below the floor. The translucent types are used when there is no such need. In both the cases, toughened glass is used to prevent breakage and long life. Glass floors make the space room optically more spacious. The high quality ones have good shelf life and are reliable. It can be well mixed with aesthetic lighting for great effects.  They are costly in terms of manufacture, as also installation. They are often slippery and prone to accidents. Most are not scratch resistant and lose their shine over a period of time.

  • Brick flooring. One of the original flooring option, this still finds place with quality Designers, in lieu of natural stone. Mainly made of clay, these come in various shapes and sizes. These come cheap and are durable and easy to clean, environment friendly, having insulating properties and skid resistant. As they are baked in fire, the surface is hard and often rough, catches stains of paint, oil etc.  Inter brick space needs good sealing to prevent mites etc making the space their home.

  • Cement flooring. These are basically cement based, and could be of various types, like Interior Stained Concrete, Metallic Epoxy, Overlays, Garage Floors, Quartz Flooring, Epoxy Chip Flooring and Standard Epoxy.It is a very common type of flooring used in all types of spaces, as its non-absorbent nature is very useful for water stores, durability, smooth and decent looks, good wearing properties, easy maintenance and is economical

  • Terrazzo flooring. These are composite material, poured in place or precast, which is used for floor and wall treatments. They consist of chips of marble, quartz, granite, glass, or other suitable material, poured with a cement type binder (for chemical binding), polymeric (for physical binding), or a combination of both. They are very durable with endless design options, Environment friendly. Can be used for internal / external spaces and recommended where one prefers cold floor .

There are other not that popular options too, which your designer my guide you to use. So, if you were wondering which is better tiles or marble flooring or wooden for your residential building services, then make a decision based on these factors above and your daily lifestyle.

www.colonelz.com

Interiors for Bedroom

by Naomi |April 22, 2020 |287 Comments | Blogs | ,
interiors for bedroom

In the good old days, one did not have the luxuries available due to modernisation, ie, automation and availability of numerous devices to make our lives more comfortable and enjoyable, specially after a day’s hard work. It was so easy to decide the plan for your interiors for bedroom. With the availability of mind boggling options, many at exorbitant costs, it makes wise sense to take the help of specialists to design your bedroom, ensuring every penny is well utilised. Planning to do it all on your own reminds me of the old adage -’Penny wise pound foolish’.

Let us consider what all ingredients are there in a bedroom of today, which are required to be planned for. The first and foremost is the Bed & the side table, their size, location & what fits to the size of the bedroom. Thereafter come numerous items listed one by one.

Bedside lights, Electrical & power points, for routine and heavy appliances; No and amount of lights, Cove lights, Night lights, their luminosity, location and more.

All lights and electrical equipment today can be automated. Does it suit you- the idea & the cost?

How to handle the curtain rods, ie with false ceiling, or rods, type of drapes suitable for you, blinds, sheers etc.

Handling of walls by texture paint, wall moulding, panelling, wall papers etc.

Furniture like chaise, lounge chair with foot stool etc.

TV Unit, whether wall mount, free standing like a console table or a mix or something with a storage.

AC & Room heater location, their power supply arrangements; what if for some reason water drips from the AC- how to handle it?

Do you want a Nook with a mini bar or a coffee maker? Space for your laptop/ Ipad and associated seating?

Handling the Windows, doors & head side of the bed.

Wardrobe- gents & ladies as also overhead storage, shoe storage etc

Painting / decoratives /furnishings.

As is evident from the above, if not Herculean, it surely is a Good designer’s task to handle all aspects and reach at an optimal solution;- economically, aesthetically, functionally & in terms of maintenance. Some consider Designing cost as a drain. However, you actually save on costs by using the services of a Good Interior Designer in interiors for bedroom. As experts, apart from ensuring a beautiful end state of the space, Designers economically optimise the material usage and guide you, along with suitable advise on reducing costs. So, if you want to get best value for money and a dream space, go ahead and get your bedroom designed to your taste & as per your cost.

My Dream Drawing Room

by Naomi |April 22, 2020 |1 Comments | Blogs | ,

Drawing room are generally the Show window of a house.  We want it to be aesthetically designed, while giving a comfortable homely feel. A Drawing room needs numerous aspects to be cohesively considered and located in the right place and size so as to give it an elegant look. There are numerous elements which need to be cohesively aestheticised to bring out your dream.

  • Size of the Drawing Room. Depending on the size of the drawing room, we need to make a choice as to what items, their size and numbers, which could find a place. A fine balance is to be made to include the essentials while avoiding clutter or including too many elements. As a common man, it is not easy to visualise the End State by the use of layouts, or for that matter even with a 3D or PPT. The room itself will have many civil works related elements which have to be kept in mind while designing. These could be:
    • The Main entry door and other doors and their interse distance, size, curtain / drapes plan / option. The area outside, beyond the main door and the space available there. The two spaces are interrelated and need to be treated in sync.
    • Window(s) size(s), location and direction, ie, the path of the sun. This will also dictate the type of curtains / blinds suitable and whether and how the window could be incorporated in the overall design plan.
    • If the space is less, add mirrors to make the room look bigger.  One could put a mirror on the wall opposite to the one with window.
    • Size will dictate the amount of furniture one could place in it so that it neither looks empty, nor crowded.
    • One may be surprised that the size dictates the choice of colour. A Small Drawing Room is preferable with light colour and smaller furniture.
    • Smaller space can be better served with Sliding doors. A huge Living Drawing area could be separated using a sliding partition. One could have a large/mid sized fixed/sliding door for the balcony, depending on the overall sizes. Very Large drawing room can be divided into multiple seating spaces. One could also use coffee tables, sofas or console table for divisions.
  • Furniture. The Bible of Architects and Interior Designers, written by Ernst & Peter Neufert is a major help in deciding the type and amount of furniture apt for the space. There will be numerous furniture types and placing options from which one can chose. Some points to consider are:
    • There are various themes of furniture, like Modern, Minimalistic, Contemporary, Eclectic, Traditional, Vintage, Retro, Rustic, and so on. 
    • The theme for a space should preferably be one. For a small space, only one theme is better. For a huge space, one could have one theme, or seatings for different spaces could be of separate themes. One theme generally looks more cohesive.
    • Normally the largest piece of furniture becomes the focal point. Centre table design is quite important as it attracts attention. Sofas and centre table should have a separation of about 36”.  Some Wicker furniture could also be meshed in. Floating chairs maybe suitable for smaller areas (easily movable). One could throw in an odd arm chair to optimise the space.
    • Side tables are ideally placed on the sides of sofas of all sizes. Considering the current requirements, Side table area should have a switch board for  easy access  to charging points.
    • Entryways should be clear of any furniture. Never put furniture in front of doors.
    • Experiment with colours, textures and patterns in sofa and cushions.; textures of different materials like wood, metal, wool, silk and glass could be considered.
  • Electrical. For any space, where its greater utility is in the twilight hours or beyond, lighting becomes a major contributor. When the guests arrive, you may want a brighter ambience, which could be subdued as the evening progresses. In the previous millennium, it was almost an unwritten rule that drawing rooms had yellow lights. Gen X and Gennext have since changed the Rules. Availability of varieties in lighting and changed mindset, gives a designer umpteen options for quality lighting. From vibrant to focused to soothing to gyrating and what not, are all in. Some of us may be surprised that there are lighting specialists who can change the complete look and feel of a space, just by changing the lights.  Some specific points for lights:
    • Combination of lights could be used on the ceiling. One should not rely on a single source of light. A combination of ceiling lights could be used.
    • The Statement wall could have a Picture light if there is a dominating painting on it.
    • Sconces may be suitable on the main wall, where as Floor lamps along the side tables look great.
    • The corners need special attention. Lamps in corners look nice. Some mix and balance is needed. Chandeliers still find their place for an elegant effect. Dimmers are handy to change the feel of the room.
    • Numerous inputs like location of AC, heating appliances for winters, switch board and other electrical fittings need to be incorporated.
  • Automation. Apart from lights, there are numerous gadgets which one should know about, eg,  SPIN Remote to control different devices; DIY Thirsty Plant Kit, a solar-powered device which lets you know when your plants need H2O; Prizm to play the right tunes to play at the right time. Organic LED Lights- the thin, flexible lights use half the energy that a standard fluorescent light fixture does; Relay- brings all your smart home gadgets together in a single hub where you can control everything; and many more. There’s a race for automation.
  • Furnishings. One of the most difficult part is furnishing. It has unending options. Let us see a few:
    • One could create one main wall or a focused wall. This could be the Statement Wall, which could be specifically designed to highlight the space. A Piece of art could be used here, which could dictate the Statement to be made.
    • Paintings and art / craft works add to the ambience if in restricted numbers. Too many pieces clutter the space and give a confused feeling.
    • Normally the Drawing room should have a TV only if there is no Living room. Wherever you place the TV, ensure that Lights,- natural / electrical should not reflect off the TV.
    • Carpets do add to taste, but need maintenance as they are a house for mites & pests. The size, colour and type normally depends on the seating and should be off the circulation area. (In office spaces, we recommend the opposite, to reduce foot sounds).
    • A gallery with Family photographs gives a homely touch and could be thought of.  One could try some black and white photographs; they have their own charm.
    • Greenery is an ever green option. Add some indoor plants, preferably those with lower maintenance requirement,- potted \ hanging.
    • Space permitting, a Fire place can be added. They bring the Old world charm.
    • Wood panelling and moulding could be used for the Statement wall. False ceiling should be such that they do not overwhelm the roof.
    • For a large space and for connoisseurs, a Designer Bar may come in handy, along with a mix of modern and antique decorative pieces.
    • The curtains / drapes family has various options to chose from; sheers to blinds to rollers to rods in false ceiling etc, to should one use blinds for windows.
    • Treatment of beams is important. You don’t want your drawing room roof to look like that of a garage. Flooring type is a lengthy topic and needs to be dealt with separately, as it contributes handsomely in the overall finesse. Wooden, marble, tiling, hardwood, are some options.

Going through the above text we can visualise that it would be a very sound decision to utilize the Services of Specialists to do up our Drawing room. Lets join hands to fructify your Dream Drawing room.

Home Loans for NRIs

by Naomi |April 7, 2020 |289 Comments | Blogs

A huge diaspora of Indians settled abroad, for various reasons ranging from house for parents, to investment option; invest in Residential properties in India. The procedures, taxation etc for a NRI are different from those applicable to a Resident Indian.

Compared to most foreign markets, Indian real estate offers better investment opportunity for Non Resident Indians (NRIs). NRIs who do not have enough funds, could buy properties in India, by taking home loans. Obviously, the home loan rules are different for NRIs and resident Indians. So it is better to know the rules before delving into it. Hence, it is important to know the crucial differences. Normally, the rates are a bit higher and the eligibility a bit lower, when compared to that for a Resident Indian. It is always advisable to get the loan approval first and then decide on the property you want to buy.

The IT Act & FEMA has laid down criteria to be categorized as a NRIs. NRI is legally defined under the Income Tax Act, 1961 and the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA) for applicability of respective laws. NRI is defined under FEMA as a person resident outside India who is either a citizen of India or is a Person of Indian Origin (PIO). The income generated in India is taxable in India & those earned abroad, are not taxed in India.

Qualifying Criteria for Home Loan.Coming to Home loans- a NRI can apply for it, provided he meets the eligibility criteria. Age should be above 18 years; banks decide the upper limit. 60 yrs is the upper limit in most cases. The loan tenure could be even 5 years, to max up to 30 years. Normally, one should have had a work experience of at least 2 years abroad. The loan amount depends on the repayment capabilities. Most of these vary from Bank to Bank, including the Interest rates and the processing fees.

Documentation. Some of the documents which you need to furnish are, Full passport along with work visa copy; Employer ID Card; Passport photos; Work Permit; Employment Contract; Residence proof abroad; Salary slips; PAN Card; loan application form duly filled and so on. Again, it depends on the Bank.

Repayment of Loan. Options for repayment could be transfer money through bank; have an ECS Mandate; issue PD(Post Dated) cheques etc. Ideally, the cheque / transfer should be from the Loanee’s account.

Power of Attorney (PoA). For document signature and processing etc, the NRI can execute a PoA, which is generally valid for 30 days. It ceases in case of the Principal’s demise. The POA needs to be duly stamped as per applicable stamp duty in India and duly notarized within 3 months of NRIs arrival in India.

Finances & Applicability of Taxes. As the NRI earns in Forex, there will be variation in his earnings in Rupee terms, which should be kept in mind for repaying loan. His earnings abroad would continue t be taxed as per that country’s law and his investment in property, as also loan repayment would be subject to Indian Taxation laws. NRIs are eligible to tax deduction on interest paid and loan repayment on home loan if he is NRI as per the income tax definition and files income tax returns in India. Eligibility of deduction etc under various sections hold good. So owning a property needs considering all the above, to come to the real cost of ownership for the property.

Home Loan from Foreign Banks.  Being a NRI in countries which have banks in India, could be used to advantage. Most Western countries have much lower Interest rates for loans. It could therefore be extremely valuable to exploit this option too.

Being a NRI gives you the added advantage of choosing the option of buying a property in India, or the country of residence. In case one has friends and relatives who could look after your property in India, investing in Real Estate is always a good option in India. Suffice to say that the Indian population density is high and everyone wishes to own a house. Hence, for quite some time to come, investment in property in India will be a viable fruitful option. Why miss it if you are a NRI?

Coronavirus – Effect on Property Prices

by Naomi |April 3, 2020 |9 Comments | Blogs

Predicting resolution from Corona virus and effects of it on any sector, is as hazardous a guess as any. Many experts of Real Estate Sector are advocating that the rates are likely to go up as Loans would become cheaper etc. There is another set of analyst who expect that the rates may inch upwards.

If we analyse it, many aspects emerge. Lets deal with them one by one.

  • Financial State of Property Holders. In the era of 2000-2008, there was a deluge of investment in the Real Estate sector. Due to the slide down in last 8-10 years, weaker players moved out and only those with large pockets continued. Hence, selling under financial pressure has got reduced. One would understand that the HNIs or Investors, spread their investment asset class into their Own Businesses, Real Estate, Gold, Equity etc. It would therefore be a reasonable guess that desperate buying or selling is less likely.
  • Business Establishments with good property holdings. It is without doubt that the entire economy would take a big hit due to Covid19. How big? It is largely dependent on sectors and speculations. If the Company had enough liquidity, it would wade through and may not be forced financially to liquidate its assets. In case this stage comes, there could be a Free fall. However, this condition is less likely to emerge.
  • Cost of input materials. Quite debatable, as in some fields there would be time lag in startingproduction, whereas in others, the stockists would be eager to offload to earn much needed revenue & reduce holding costs. Overall, it would have limited effect.
  • Most buyers today are end users, very few are into investment mode in Real Estate. Hence, probably, the demand would more or less be constant. The buyers however, may pend their decisions for some time in view of low revenue flow due to lock down, likely to normalize in 2-3 Qrs.
  • The Builders have been paying salaries & fixed costs, which would result in reduced cash levels and hence eagerness to offload inventory at a competitive prices can not be ruled out.
  • Available data indicate that Property prices in India’s major / important residential markets have not been giving great returns even when the economy had started looking up. So, when there is an added problem its likelihood of giving high returns is arguable. Annualized property growth value (CAGR), as of December 2019 in cities like Mumbai, Noida, Delhi, Gurgaon, Pune, Ahmedabad, Bangaluru, Kolkotta Hyderabad, Indore, Chennai etc had been between -1.4 to 2.8%. Expecting any windfall gains is well nigh impossible.
  • Data indicates that in the major markets, unsold Inventory levels are tremendously high, to the tune of 6 to 7 lakh units, if not more. Developers have to sell these to avoid insolvency and NCLT etc.
  • Government action. Real Estate is one of the major job generators, a very large part being in the unorganized sector. It can not be ruled out that there may be some incentives for the sector to increase jobs. This can not be predicted, as there are too many imponderables for the Govt to handle. It is less likely to attract too much attention from the Financial Planners.
  • As a result of Lockdown, new launches are expected to further slow down. Hence, the existing inventory would get back some demand.  Government had set up Rs 25,000 crore Real Estate fund. The Contagion has led to huge revenue losses for the government and any more infusion here should not be expected in near future.
  • Good news is that Interest rates have come down and likely to further move down, so has been the interest earnings in Small savings & PPF etc, which means some increase in liquidity, as also availability of larger home loans. However, this may be offset by Job losses and resultant lesser number of people having home buying in their priority list.

To sum up, even though the government has extended the benefits offered under Section 80EEA till March 2021 and may be further extended to support the Real Estate Sector, there may not be any quantum shift in the current scenario. There would be some fluctuations, but any drastic chane may not be coming.

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