If one is to make a list of the most happening locales in the western side of Pune, it’s likely that Baner will be at or near the top of that list. A small village on the Pune-Mumbai highway till not long ago, Baner is today one of the most premium locations in Pune, boasting of a number of prestigious residential and commercial properties by the biggest names in business. The growth that Baner has seen in a short span of time is mind-boggling and the future looks even more promising for this area.
If one is looking for a home in this part of Pune, it is evident that housing projects in Baner will attract plenty of interest and with good reason. Be it infrastructural projects, connectivity, proximity to workplaces and nice, comfortable homes, Baner has plenty to offer. We look at some of the key features that ensure that a decision to purchase a home in Baner is a wise one.

Proximity to people’s workplaces
Baner first emerged as a real estate destination owing to its proximity to its neighbor Aundh, which emerged as a premium housing destination, but was getting increasingly saturated. Baner stepped in to address the ever-growing demand for housing in this area. Boasting of a large cosmopolitan clientele, Baner is considered to be the ‘Koregaon Park of western Pune’. The infrastructure in Baner is terms of roads, educational institutions, shopping centres and restaurants is comparable to and in many cases, exceeds that in most other parts of the city.
Baner is also well-connected to the center of Pune city, Pimpri-Chinchwad as well as the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. The IT hub of Hinjewadi is located on the opposite side of the Mumbai-Pune highway from Baner and boasts of offices of some of the biggest and most reputed companies such as IBM, Cisco, Capgemini, Accenture, TCS, Infosys and Wipro, which employ thousands of people. Baner is also in close proximity to other IT hotspots such as Senapati Bapat Road and plenty of demand from these places comes to Baner.
Baner is also in close proximity to the Pimpri-Chinchwad industrial belt, home to major manufacturers such as Tata Motors, Bajaj Auto and Atlas Copoco to name a few. To complete the picture, the proximity to Mumbai via the expressway has seen many investors and those looking for a vacation home from the ‘Maximum City’ also purchase properties in Baner, contributing to the area’s attractiveness.

Top class road infrastructure
Having good infrastructure is a major positive for any location, as this plays an important role in attracting new residents, which in turn, leads to more growth and development. Baner has benefited from two aspects: the Commonwealth Youth Games in neighbouring Balewadi in 2008 saw a number of good roads being constructed, boosting connectivity to other parts of Pune and secondly, the inclusion of Baner as part of the smart city initiative of the Government of India.
Today, Baner boasts of good, all-weather roads and great connectivity to the major hubs of Pune such as Shivajinagar, University of Pune and Pune Railway Station, all of which are within 10 km from here. The Pune Airport is 16 km away and can be reached easily as well. Baner’s location on the Mumbai-Pune highway is another major positive as one can reach here from Mumbai’s eastern suburbs and Navi Mumbai within 2-2.5 hours. This aspect has led to many people from these places purchasing apartments in Baner to use as a second home or a vacation home.

A wide range of comforts and conveniences near home
Baner is among the most developed localities in Pune, when it comes to both the quality and number of conveniences available for residents and their families. Whether it is education, healthcare, shopping, dining or enjoying, Baner has plenty for everyone.
Some of the topmost schools in and around Baner include the Orchid School, DAV Public School, St. Joseph’s School and Wisdom World School, all of which are much sought-after for the quality of education they provide. Pune’s most reputed higher educational institutions such as Savitribai Phule Pune University and Symbiosis Institute are within close proximity and can be reached in 15 minutes.
Among the prominent healthcare options for residents of Baner are Medipoint Hospital and Shashwat Hospital. Shoppers too have plenty of reason to rejoice with major establishments such as Big Bazar, Balewadi High Street, Westend Mall Aundh, Pune Central, Inox and and D-Mart, offering plenty to meet residents’ needs and desires.
Sports lovers can visit the nearby Shri Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi to catch their favourite sporting event, while Pune’s international cricket stadium, the MCA stadium in Gahunje, is a short drive away. Quality dining options too are aplenty and include Mainland China, Shiv Sagar, Minus 18 degrees and Sigree Global Grill. Completing this picture are popular clubbing destinations such as Pancard Club and Area 51 Club.

Quality apartments with modern amenities
Home buyers in Baner are people who are extremely quality conscious and are willing to pay a premium for the same. Unsurprisingly, most apartments that are coming up in this area are designed to cater to the things residents hold most dear such as more livable space for themselves and their family members, usage of good quality materials and fittings, top quality specifications and amenities for exercise and relaxation.
In addition, the homes come with technologically advanced ‘smart’ features such as digital locking, video door phones, usage of access cards etc. In short, developers have taken great care to provide home buyers whatever they desire in their dream home.

Lovely green surroundings
What adds to Baner’s charm are the lovely hills around it, which offer a great backdrop to the place. In fact, many projects here have apartments overlooking the hills and the surroundings, making for a pleasing sight to wake up to in the morning. This aspect makes Baner ideal for a vacation home.

Conclusion
Baner is a locality that is in a sweet spot surrounded by major employment hubs, conveniences of all kinds and beautiful surroundings. Backed up with good infrastructure and with homes catering to a wide spectrum of needs of residents, it is one of the top places to reside in or invest in Pune.
VTP Realty have had a long relationship with the Pune home buyer and we are pleased to offer our latest project, VTP Solitaire in Baner. One of the best designed and well-connected projects in the area, it will offer residents homes which offer optimal space utilization, along with top quality construction, improved security features and facilities for sports and recreation, at very economical rates. We invite you to come and experience for yourself the benefits and pleasures of living in Baner in a VTP home.

The last couple of years have been challenging for the Indian economy in general and the real estate sector in particular, with some major changes such as demonetizationGST and RERA coming in, which have disrupted the normal way of conducting business. However, there have been some developers who have actually been able to thrive in this environment by coming up with projects that are best suited to the customers’ needs and budget. Among these developers, a notable one is Pune’s VTP Realty, whose project VTP Solitaire we shall look at.

VTP Solitaire is located in Baner, which is a premium residential locale in the western part of Pune and known for its proximity to the IT hub of Hinjewadi. In addition, companies such as Veritas (0.6 km), Symantec (1 km) and also, the Teerth Technospace IT Park (5.1 km) are even closer to here. This project represents the developer’s first foray into this side of the city, having already established themselves in eastern and southern Pune with completed projects such as VTP Urban Space, ongoing ones (VTP Urban Nest, Urban Balance, VTP Urban Life, VTP Urban Rise, VTP Purvanchal and Bhagyasthan) and the upcoming ones including VTP Celesta, VTP Solitaire and KP Square. In this article, we focus on some of the key features of this promising project by a well-regarded developer.

VTP Solitaire: Site Overview & Current Status

Baner-Pashan Link Road, the approach road
to VTP Solitaire

VTP Solitaire is coming up on a 2.25 acre land parcel on the Baner-Pashan Link Road. This project, which will come up in phases, will be an L-shaped one, comprising of 4 buildings, a clubhouse, swimming pool, gardens etc. is accordingly, getting registered with RERA. The approach behind the project’s layout has been to efficiently utilize all available space to provide more amenities to residents. The project has a better design philosophy, with the focus firmly on interior design and space.

The project’s first phase will have 2 buildings, A and B coming up. This phase has already been registered under Maharashtra RERA, with registration number as P52100000727, which is a big positive for prospective customers. I could see during my visit that excavation work has started for this phase. The developer has set a target date of December 2020 for possession handover of the first phase. The initial response of home buyers to the project has been quite encouraging, with a number of apartments already been sold.

Each of the buildings will have 14 residential levels with 4 apartments on each level, built above 3 levels of parking. These buildings are among the taller ones in this area and promise to offer residents a great view of the lovely hills surrounding Baner.

VTP Solitaire: Apartment Overview

VTP Solitaire offers 2 BHK and 3 BHK apartments, which are the preferred options for most home buyers in this area. Of the two towers, Tower A will have exclusively 3 BHK apartments, while Tower B will have only 2 BHK apartments.

The most remarkable feature of apartments here is the optimal utilization of available area, so as to provide more livable space for residents. This has been achieved by designing the unit so as to minimize any internal passageways etc. Hence, on a like to like basis, residents get larger room sizes and that too at a lower price compared to other projects in the vicinity.

Indicative image of a bedroom in an apartment in VTP Solitaire

VTP Realty is a customer centric real estate provider and in a premium market like Baner, it is essential that they not just match, but exceed similar offerings by other developers. A look at their sample apartment makes this clear. The apartment comes with wooden flooringin the master bedroom and large 600X1200 mm vitrified tile flooring in the living cum dining room, kitchen, other bedrooms and entrance lobby. This gives a spacious and elegant look to the apartment.

Indicative image of the security features in an apartment in VTP Solitaire project in Baner, Pune
Indicative image of the security
features in an apartment in
VTP Solitaire

The sanitaryware fittings used in the toilets will be of top brands such as Grohe or Kohler. The electrical switches will be modular ones of brands such as Anchor. Designed as per the requirements of the IT personnel, who form the majority of home buyers in Baner, the apartments come with additional smart features such as a video door phone (for security), intercom facility, gas leak detector and a digital locking system, where a unique digital code provided to each resident will allow them to lock and unlock their apartment, without fuss.

VTP Solitaire: Apartment Sizes and Prices

Baner is among the most high-end residential destinations in Pune and considering the premium features VTP Solitaire will contain, a prospective customer may feel concerned about the apartment pricing. However, the developer has been proactive in taking care that the apartments here are affordable for the salaried class.

A prospective resident can get a 2 BHK apartment in VTP Solitaire for Rs. 88 lakhs (all inclusive) onwards and a 3 BHK apartment for Rs. 1.22 crore onwards. Considering most of the competing projects in the neighbourhood are available at higher rates starting from Rs. 1 crore for a 2 BHK and nearly Rs. 1.4 crore for a 3 BHK and also keeping in mind the premium specifications and amenities offered by VTP Realty, this project indeed seems to provide good value for money.

The table below summarizes the apartment sizes and prices at VTP Solitaire:

Apartment Configuration Carpet Area (in sq. ft.) Price (in Rs.)
2 BHK 673 – 739 88 lakhs
3 BHK 921, 923 1.22 crore

 

VTP Solitaire: Amenities Overview

The developer’s aim to provide greater value for their money to residents is also borne out if one looks at the amenities planned to come up at VTP Solitaire. The centerpiece will be the clubhouse, planned to contain a fully-equipped gymnasium, indoor games facilities, a swimming pool with infinite edge and a party hall. The complex will also have gardens to promote social interactions and for community celebrations.

Sales office at VTP Solitaire project in Baner, Pune
Sales office at VTP Solitaire

For residents’ water needs, the project will have borewells, apart from a regular supply from the Pune Municipal Corporation. Power backup will be provided for all lifts (1 passenger and 1 stretcher lifts) as well as all common areas. A broadband connection and Direct To Home (DTH) television connection to homes also form part of the plans. Rounding off the amenities, the project will have an onsite Sewage Treatment Plant, which will reuse the treated water for gardening etc. and a rainwater harvesting system.

 

Conclusion

For a home buyer, the factors that matter the most while deciding on a project is the developer’s reputation and track record, a convenient location, quality apartments with more space for oneself and one’s family and a good price at the same time. VTP Solitaire is a project which appears to have these factors covered, which is a testament to VTP Realty’s customer focus and responsiveness to the market demand. One can say that for home buyers looking to stay in Baner and wanting a comfortable, spacious home without spending a bomb for it, this project is an intriguing option.

The information has been curated from various sources and may not be verified as per RERA guidelines *

If you require more information, please write back to ashish.mahajan@propstory.com or call on : +91-9167510950

Owning a residence is a goal many of us live with. However not all of us understand the simple ways in which we can finance our property purchase. The knowledge of various methods of financing can go a long way in planning for a home purchase. Nearly 85% of Indian real estate market comprises of the residential segment and rest is commercial or retail, and increasingly much of it is financed through mortgages. Thereby we list down different financing options a buyer has for owning their dream homes –

Down payment plan
This is a plain off the shelf purchase sort of plan. A buyer has to pay say 10% of the cost of the house as a booking measure. Another 80-85% (only for purposes of illustration) of the money has to be paid within a stipulated time from the booking (say 45 days). The residual amount can be paid off at the time of handover of the unit. The property developer may extend attractive discounts under such a plan since a customer pays nearly all the money upfront.
A buyer may be at a higher risk under this plan as he ends up locking his/ her savings regardless of the time taken to complete project or construction progress.

This helps the builder as larger amount is available with builder for the construction purpose. Moreover, it helps the buyer too in a way. Discounts are also made available by builders to buyers paying money through down payment. In other plans, EMI is deferred which results in loss for buyers, as interest rates can move in either directions the final purchase price of a buyer can vary. Therefore, down payment helps buyers save money.
Given the nature of this plan it is important that a customer does a thorough diligence on the builder before going ahead with the down payment plan.

Construction linked payment plan (CLP)
In CLP, the construction stage of a project determines the amount a buyer owes to a property developer. To start with he has to pay a booking sum of 10-12% (for purpose of illustration only) of the price tag upfront or amount of construction at that time. The rest of the money is linked to progress in construction. It is normally linked with every alternate floor developed.

The buyer is assured that all of his money is not trapped at once. In case the property purchase is made through a mortgage the buyer is supposed to pay pre-EMI to the bank till construction is complete. One may not get discounts similar to purchases under Down Payment Plans.

Time linked payment plan (TLRP)
In TLRP, the buyer is supposed to pay for his purchase at pre-determined points of time and in pre-decided proportions. However, your payments may or may not be in sync with progress in construction. This can put one at risk of construction delays.

Subvention plan
Subvention is another way of sharing the burden of cost of construction. In this process, there are three parties to be considered ¬– banker, buyer and the property development company. The buyer books the property by paying 5-30% (for purposes of illustration only) of the money upfront to the developer. The rest is released by the bank directly to the developer as per pre agreed terms typically in line with the construction progress. Please note that the developer bears the entire interest cost or as per a formula either for a stipulated time period or till the offer of possession. These terms are agreed upon through a tri partite agreement.

A close look at the terms would make one understand that Subvention Plan is nothing but a price discount that is realised over a period of time. Moreover, it is likely that the developer also completes the work on time as the firm will want to offer possession to relieve itself of burden of interest.

The risk one carries in such a scheme is that while the loan is obtained on credit history of a buyer the development company gets to access it at easier terms relative to its own credit score.

0% down-payment and assured buyback
A lot of attractive plans keep floating in the market. One plan assures buyers of 0% down-payment. As a buyer, you don’t need to pay any money, but 5% stamp duty along with 1% VAT and registration charges. Some builders also offer assured buyback plans, wherein they propose that buyers purchase a property and the builders will repurchase the property at 30-35% higher price within 18-36 months from completion of projects. This helps the builders to raise capital in a slow market. However, there is no regulator for such schemes and your money will remain blocked until completion of project, which raises your stakes.

0% down-payment is a very specific plan tailor made by only a handful of lenders.

Relief to first-time buyers
In Budget 2016, the government has promised first-time home buyers an additional deduction of INR 50,000 on interest for loan upto INR 35,00,000/-.

Other subvention plans
20:80 scheme is also there in the market, in which the builder gets 20% of the money from buyers and 80% from banks. Once buyers take possession, then they pay the interest. Because the interest rate charged is generally higher than market rate, buyers end up paying more than necessary. However, because it puts at risk the money of bank, RBI has raised concerns regarding this scheme.

Some banks also don’t charge any penalty on unplanned or early repayment of money. Apart from 20:80 scheme, CLPs and Possession Linked Plans (PLP) are available in various combination of ratios, like 30:40:30, 5:85:10, 10:70:10:10 etc.

Each plan comes with its own risks and benefits. Check which one suits for you before buying property. VTP Realty is a Pune-based leading developer of real estate which is creating a niche for itself as a customer centric firm. We are happy to engage with our clients and prospects on financing options for VTP Properties.

You may be a person who knows a lot about making real estate investments or who may be in the profession of advisory. But have you ever paused to learn about the techniques that go right into the process of construction of buildings? Has it ever occurred to you that you need to learn about the construction techniques of homes before you take the first step towards buying or advising one? In this article, we will look into the various construction techniques adopted by real estate developers and how each of them is different.

Conventional techniques
The conventional techniques are the ones that refer to the traditional methods of construction, the knowledge of which is passed from one generation to another. New technologies are hardly used. These methods are associated to the in-situ method or wet construction method, which is quite labour intensive.

In the conventional formwork, standard framed panels are tied together over their backs with wailings, which are essentially horizontal members. The wailing resists the horizontal force of wet concrete.

One side of the wall framework is first assembled, in order to ensure correct plumbing, alignment and strutting. Now comes the steel enforcement cage which is positioned on the other side of the formwork. The most common material used for wall formwork is plywood sheet along with timber. Using plywood this way helps to remove it easily and be reversed to maximise the number of reuses.


Conventional Formwork (Source: Fine Line Construction Services)

Conventional technique is quite cost effective. Bricks remain cooler too in comparison to concrete. Moreover, modifications are easy to be implemented. However, the conventional formwork also suffers from limitations. The wall forms are prone to edge and corner damages. Increased pressures by wet concrete can cause the abutments to open up and lead to leak of grout and hence, a bad finish to the wall. This is why the attached piers are also given special attention.

MIVAN Technology
MIVAN is a popular type of aluminium formwork technology. The formwork and floor slab structures provide structural system in one continuous pour. Using this technology, large room sized walls and floor slabs are erected at site. Since the forms are strong, accurate and easy to handle, they provide option of approx 250 repetitions. This is akin to moulding.

The fine tolerances achieved in the formwork components manufactured through machines help to construct concrete shapes with utmost consistency, accuracy and high quality. This helps in prefabrication of plumbing and electrical fittings and also dimensional accuracy of doors and windows.

MIVAN Technology (Source: Comparison of the use of Traditional and Modern Formwork Systems (Swapnali M. Karke, M.B. Kumathekar))

MIVAN is a wonderful technology when durability is required from formwork. It is an easy-to-use, adaptable and a cost-effective option for using formwork. But because it uses a mould, making modifications is not as easy as in conventional formwork.

Tunnel form technology
This is another formwork technology that ensures high quality of construction that meets standards of accuracy and precision. Tunnel form technology is a highly efficient industrialized system of on-site construction. In this technology, a stable structure is put up on a 24-hour cycle basis. It enables the builder to construct large slabs and walls in one operation on a daily cycle.
This technology brings together speed, quality and precision of concrete produced in factory with the flexibility of in-situ construction.


Technology (Source: Comparison of the use of Traditional and Modern Formwork Systems (Swapnali M. Karke, M.B. Kumathekar))

This technology is a perfect fit for repetitive cellular projects; for instance, hotels, schools, apartment blocks etc. Work happens with speed, accuracy and quality. The tunnel form technique is commonly used for multi-storied buildings as it reduces cycle time. Another advantage is that the walls and slabs are cast in large dimensions. The components of the formwork are made of steel, which makes it sturdy, durable and apt for repetitive usage. No starter concrete is required for the walls and a builder can achieve easy alignment and de-shuttering. Productivity of labourers is also ensured.

However, making modifications is not as easy as in conventional formwork. This is again due to use of moulds, which make it next to impossible to make modifications.

Prefabrication
Another technology that has been quite instrumental in accelerating the process of construction is prefabrication. It is the practice of assembling components of a structure not at the place of the actual project, but at a factory. It also involves transporting the entire assembly or sub-assembly to construction site and assembling it with the main structure.

In many projects, it is common to find prefabricated concrete slabs and prefabricated steel sections being fitted in the main structure. Prefabrication works when a part or a form has to be repeated many times. There are times when it is difficult to mould concrete components on site and when it is feared that concrete may dry up before it reaches the construction site. This practice has also been found to reduce labour costs, chances of accidents and hazards, welding costs and inaccuracy in construction.


A house being built with prefabricated concrete panels. (Source: Wikipedia)

There are a number of advantages. It has been often found that moving partial assemblies is cheaper than transporting raw materials at site. Factory tools like robots, cranes, conveyors etc. can reduce costs and increase quality. Indoor fabrication can also reduce impacts of severe weather.

These are the various construction techniques that are largely followed in India. The process of construction of buildings is getting better, more efficient and seamless by the day because of advancements in technology. VTP Realty takes utmost care and deploys the best construction methodology depending on size and delivery times of its projects. It is investing in modern technologies to further improve its product delivery and augment the scale of developments.

The man who said that the best things often come in small places surely wasn’t referring to living spaces. One may get dreamy-eyed about ‘cozy’ spaces, but the fact is that there’s a lot to be said, for the ‘bigger is better’ philosophy.

It doesn’t matter if you have more space than you need: buying a home is a once-in-a-lifetime decision for most family. Extra space only means that congestion will not be in issue even in the future, either from the expanding family or from visiting guests. More space leaves you room to experiment with decors, to move furniture about and add some more of it when you feel the need, without blocking up your living spaces.

In a practical vein, however–especially with the exorbitantly high prices of real estate–real estate acreage comes at a premium not many can afford. The hottest topic nowadays, when it comes to residential spaces, is how to make the best of what you have.

In the times we live in, residential real estate is often defined in terms of number of bedrooms–the BHK nomenclature–or in terms of square footage, or often both. The truth of the matter is that these are woefully inadequate without understanding just how the total space has been utilized i.e. the layout. For the modern home-buyer, whether looking for an investment or a long-term family home, understanding the layout of a property prior to purchase is instrumental towards long-term satisfaction.

New layout trends are emerging to suit the lifestyles of the modern family. Kitchens used to be tiny walled rooms with little or no ventilation, with separate dining rooms; that is not a thing of the past. Modern homes are now modeled on the concept of open-plan living. With open-plan dining and living areas, the kitchen too has finally arrived as the central show-space: complete with designer woodwork, granite counter tops and brand-name steel chimney contraptions. New homes are particularly being designed with open-plan ideas at the core of the layout, as the design play into three key factors: energy, Eco-space and lifestyle.

Our homes may technically not be getting any larger, but we’re fast learning to adapt by utilizing spaces better, with smarter layouts that create a perception of space.

The true assessment of space is more about how it is used and perceived rather than physical measurements, more so as a part of the fast-paced, digitally-driven way of life that has become a hallmark of the 21st century. Multi-tasking is the name of the game and we’re living in what is literally a 24/7 culture.

To a large extent, however, extraneous factors also play into how you plan your home layout. Factors such as your location–more importantly the topography of your location–along with the sun exposure, wind patterns and views, have a significant impact on your decision-making process.

What’s of utmost significance to how you plan your home layout, however, is your family, their respective routines and their lifestyle. Here, an important aspect to take into consideration is the how your family’s routines and lifestyle will evolve over the near and not-so-near future. If you have young children, this evolution is likely to be faster-paced than usual, as your kids grow up with rapidly changing needs. And then, of course, when you come right down to it, some aspects are merely a matter of preference.

Luxury: the very word conjures up images of vast, well-adorned living spaces, fast cars and, extravagant lifestyles. It has always stood for a way of life that the privileged are quite simply used to, and yet is out-of-reach for the everyman, the common consumer. This is also a large part of the reason why, for the longest time, the Indian luxury sector stayed away from mass media and mainstream advertising. This is because luxury brands did not feel the need to reach out in a big way: their customers knew who they were, and exclusive invitational events were often enough to reach out to a customer base that values exclusivity that the luxury brands provided as much as its comfort.

That was then. Cut to 2017 and you see that the face of luxury has undergone a radical makeover. Decades of economic liberalization and rising purchase power has empowered the average albeit upwardly mobile Indian consumer to reach a point where they can successfully aspire to own luxury products. This new breed of consumers is ambitious, capable and unafraid to spend on what’s worthwhile. The attitudes towards luxury have gone from observing the lifestyles of the ‘kings’ to, to use a cliché, aspiring to ‘live life king-size’. And the brands are more than aware of this. Exclusivity is still the buzz-word, but it has gone from being a snobbish elite club to a more accepting brand of exclusivity, which the increasingly ambitious Indian consumer can aspire to.
The Indian luxury sector, as a result, is expanding by leaps and bounds: unverified sources suggest that it has been growing at a compounded annual growth rate of about 25 per cent. If Amitabh Kant, CEO of Niti Aayog is to believed, the market for luxury goods and services is set to grow to 10-times its current size and reach a topline of $180 billion.

Now that luxury is no longer a preserve of those born into money, luxury brands are adapting their communication style to appeal to a larger base of new age consumers, who have the purchase power but are also looking to get the most value for money.
The key challenges facing the luxury sector, be it automobiles, jewellery, housing or high-end electronics, are as follows:
Value Validation: The average Indian consumer, when faced with a wide variety of luxury options, will still go for whatever gives him the most value-for-money.
First-Time Buyers: This customer is the apple of every luxury seller’s eyes, but also the biggest challenge. Yet to get a taste of the ‘feel-good’ factor of owning a luxury brand, this customer needs to be groomed through the state where he/she feels intimidated by the brand, lacks brand knowledge, to the point where the desire to own a status symbol wins over all other retarding aspects.
The ‘Avoid Flaunting’ Mindset: Yet another contradiction in the bag of paradoxes that’s India, where there are only so many who have the desire to flaunt luxury and wealth, whereas others are equally reluctant to engage in anything remotely flamboyant or ‘flashy’. It’s this reluctance that luxury brands need to.

Now that we have established both the demand and they supply for luxury goods and services, let us now take a specific look at the luxury housing scenario.

Luxury housing is one of the luxury sectors that has undergone an entire paradigm shift in terms of what it offers and what it stands for. When it was the preserve of the uber-wealthy, luxury living was more about aggrandized living units: exclusively built and vast residential spaces adorned with the finest products money could buy. It was about the most expensive marble flooring and the finest bath fittings and so on. It was, in essence, a very internalized sense of luxury, suitable to the sort of buyer who values glamour and exclusivity above all else. Not that this approach to luxury housing is no longer relevant, but there’s a new and emerging approach that is fast becoming the hallmark the luxury real estate industry.

In an era of middle-class families with relatively deep pockets, housing providers are focusing on luring young urban families where both spouses are typically working couples with well-paying and secure occupations. They can afford luxury, they aspire for luxury and yet they want to get the most bang for their buck. While the previously mentioned uber-luxurious housing units are not for everyone, the new emerging trend in luxury housing, aimed at the everyman buyer, is all about creating ‘luxury ecospaces’. In stark contrast to the near-isolated exclusivity of uber-luxury housing, these new living spaces are all about giving an entire community a sense of achievement and grandeur.

Thus, while these homes will be relatively smaller and configured like typical urban apartments, the user can expect relatively expensive furnishings and fittings to be used, including brands that are sure to up the luxury quotient. However, it’s in the facilities provided for public usage, albeit only for the residents of the township/ apartment complex, that truly define the splendour of living here. From exquisitely designed swimming pools to grandly built club-houses and exclusive eateries serving gourmet cuisine, the entire experience is configured to provide a glamorous lifestyle experience to a larger number of people. This achieves an economy of scale that also makes it easier for the housing provider/ developer to give maximum value for money to the buyers.

With the meteoric rise of the Indian economy on the cards, the purchasing power of the common Indian will only go up, and so will the demand for luxury goods that stand for more than just fancy workmanship and a famous name. Utilitarian luxury is a trend that will gain in significance and will be further enhanced as brands focus on providing a bespoke experience to every consumer.

It’s just getting started!

The decision to buy a house for yourself and your family-a place you can call home for years to come-is a crucial one. The factors that go into the decision-making process are too many to list down here, but one particular ‘tough decision’ everyone has to face is to whether be buy an apartment in a township or in a standalone building. There are no clear winners there as a lot depends on what you feel you need and what your requirements are.

Townships are typically located on the outskirts of a major city, as the land required for such a development is unlikely to be available within the city, and if available is too expensive to be commercially viable. In the outlying areas, the land is not only adequately available, it is also relatively inexpensive. Townships however need substantial investments on part of the builder as part of the basic infrastructure, including schools, medicare institutions and shopping centers. Owing to the distance from the amenities that the city provides, having these facilities within the township is necessary, and often an important selling point.

An idyllic, expansive township, built to be self-sufficient in terms of most day-to-day needs, out in the countryside with a good deal of greenery around may appeal to many people who wish to bring up a family away from the polluted, crowded environs of a major urban centre. However, priorities vary and some people may prefer a home within the city for various reasons: better shopping amenities, closer to work, well-established schools, better choice of medicare etc.

If your priorities make it imperative for you stay within the city limits, your most likely buying option is an apartment within a standalone building. Spaces within the city are limited and land prices often exorbitantly high. However, a standalone building designed and developed by a reputed developer in a good location may very well act as a status symbol for you, owing to the exclusivity, proximity and quality of neighbourhood. These homes would typically be designed from a ‘luxury’ point-of-view, as opposed to homes in a township which are typically utilitarian. If you are buying a home with the idea of cashing in on the rising real estate prices, then inner-city homes are likely to give you better Return-on-Investment.

The flip-side of course, is that one should be very careful in checking out the location: the property shouldn’t be in a relatively isolated tract of the city with no proximity to schools, hospitals etc. If so, you lose most of the advantages of an inner city location, and moreover you may face problems as the property is unlikely to be self-sufficient they way large well-developed townships are. You should also be prepared to shell out the big bucks for maintenance, and for domestic staff who’re likely to demand higher wages than those on the outskirts of the city.
From the standpoint of community living, stand-alone buildings give are better off as these are tightly-knit communities that often take important decisions together. This is often not the case in massy developments and townships.

Townships on the other hand have their own sets of advantages. They offer high quality living standards within a budget. Developers often make a virtue out of necessity by publicising necessary facilities within the township such as schools, nursing centers and shopping centers, but some reputed developers are not incentivizing their townships by also introducing premium sports facilities such as cricket/ football fields, tennis courts and even golf-courses!
Moreover, the large size of the developments introduces an ‘economy of scale’ aspect for various mass-usage facilities such as cable TV, broadband, piped gas etc. as well as the opportunity for subsidized transportation by pooling in. Ample parking space is usually available, yet another big plus especially for families that own multiple 4-wheelers and/or 2-wheelers.

One must be careful when deciding, however, to ensure that road connectivity is not a problem and also, if possible, to ensure proximity to rail and air terminals. Good connectivity to central or nodal transport stations is essential, even if likely to be operational in the near future, for the future of the residential project.

From the point of view of family safety, townships may be a better bet. Owing to the self-contained nature of the projects, children need not venture out of bounds to go to school or to play in the playgrounds. A well-organized township built by a reliable builder will have ample security manpower working in a highly coordinated manner to ensure that the perimeters and the area within are free from encroachment and not compromised by unsavoury elements. Standalone apartments, on the other hand, while easier to secure, are likely to have a less competent security force as the administration is usually not run by a professional outfit. The open areas in townships make for a great quality of life, while the lower pollutions levels are good for health.

In a nutshell, there a various pros and cons for standalone buildings and large townships. At the end of the day, you as a buyer must make an informed buying decision taking your own needs into account, along with the vital features of the project in question. Carefully weighing form, functionality and affordability is the way to go when making such decisions.