Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Real Estate: The Real Future (Is It ????)

These days, almost everyone (including me) are on an obsessive spree of buying a new home. Some call it second home. Some say its their Investment and for a really few numbers it is a bare necessity. Ofcourse I am no different. In this Real Estate Tornado, Even I have tried to make my hands full and searched for a number of possible options to fulfill my psychological craving to stay competitive in this rat race. At one time, there used to be fun fairs in huge football sized grounds. Now these are replaced by "Property Exhibitions". Almost every weekend, there are such Property exhibitions stalled at various levels at a variety of locations. Visiting a Property Exhibition has now become a favorite pass-time hobby on weekends.


I happened to visit such an exhibition in my home town: Thane. There were many stalls belonging to various builders. Most of them had shown a tendency to favor present-ability by employing "Good Looking" sales girls- Polished as well as Finely dressed. And obviously the crowd preferred the stalls with fairer gender. Wading through the stalls I was mostly concerned with the prices. 

However, pries were effectively hidden and were disclosed only at the end of a boring long speech which the sales girls recited with a beautiful plastic smile.( Why cant I smile that way ??).







It took me some 2 hours to completely go around each stall and grasp all the information available. (P.S.After the exhibition, my SPAM SMS and SPAM CALLS have grown to an unmanageable level)

While going through the exhibition, A few stark observations that I made are mentioned below:


1) Most of the builders provide a free site visit for the prospective buyers.

Catch:

After the exhibition, I called up one of the well known builders(or well publicized ?? anyways, lets call them ABC builders ) and expressed interest for an UPCOMING PROJECT. The project was located near PEN. A place about 80 km from Thane on the GOA Highway.

The right person from ABC was not available to take my call and hence I was asked to leave my name and number. After a while, I received a return call from ABC builders inquiring for my requirements.

Dude: Sir, What is your budget ?
Me: (blank) .....(again blank) ..hmmmm .....I will fix my budget depending on your construction and amenities.


( I had no answer, ......this is a rat race. .) 


Dude: Ok Sir, Tell me your requirement.


Me: Please tell me how I should plan to visit your construction site. I was told that you provide free site visit on weekends.


Dude: yess sir. We have a Site Visit Program Package specially designed for you on every Sunday.


Me: Program ... Package ?? you said it was free ...


Dude: Yes sir, it is still free if you visit in the next 10 working days. Also sir, we have an orientation session arranged for you where we will inform you about the various facilities that we offer. Your site visit will be free only if you attend the orientation session by coming to our office in Andheri(west). You will need to do this one day before the site visit.


Me: Thane to Andheri West ???? (WTF ... Andheri west from thane is like going to a different planet on saturdays. It will take me a lifetime to achieve this task).


Me(again): But I will not be able to visit Andheri for this. Can you please email me the documents, I will read them and get information about the project myself...


Dude: No sir, for availing the free site visit, you need to be here.

To Keep hope Alive, I actually went to his office. All drenched and wet ( our mumbai rains did a guest appearance on that same day).

The dude explained me how their company was stable and consistent with their results. He tried to explain me the model and the plan. Then comes the real fun:

 Sir our project is situated at a strategic location... The New international airport is about to be constructed here. A new highway is also being formed. This will connect the PEN City to mumbai in 15 minutes. So anytime you want to visit goa, you can actually visit your adobe. This home will also be useful when you want to go abroad. .......!!! BLAAAAH BLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH....!!!!

2) "All projects were going to start very soon (in fact the sample flats are ALMOST ready)".


Catch:
In reality when My mom visited the ABC project at PEN, all she saw was a flat ground. I also came to know that some of the land was yet to be acquired.

3)  All Sites have HUGE Club Houses, Swimming pools, Gymnasium and Jogging Parks. All club houses will be provided with a 24 Hours Water Supply, uninterrupted Electricity and a Strong Security Service.


Catch:


Theres no Catch .. Club Houses were really ready ..! 

The only problem was with the Water supply and Electricity connection .!!! So essentially you can Swim in the pool, play tennis, carve 6 pack muscles in the society gymnasium but die out of thirst and may be fall from your balcony out of darkness ..!


4) We already have tie-ups with Major Banks and Loan Providers:


Catch:

I doubt if this so called "tie-up" does really stand, when  the bank officials are about to process and approve your loan. A good old friend of mine told me that when he approached an already tied-up bank with a builder, he went through immense pains and finally got his loan approved after a month. Another friend who approached a co-operative bank also went through the same pains and also took the same time.  

Conclusion: Home loan is Painfull ..! Tied-up builders HARDLY influence anyone.


5) All projects will be completed within the next 12 months:


(Super Duper) Catch:

All the above happens -----------PROVIDED the builder is healthy, his construction workers do not go on a strike, the Sarkari Babu does not ask for an extra premium, the plan gets passed easily, some poor dude does not claim ownership of this land being robbed from him forcibally,  the builders wife does not fight with him in the next  12 months, his dog does not run away with a fair looking bitch and so on ...!! 

So yes, your house will be built in 12 months.. if all the above if fulfilled.

6) All homes are VAASTU Compliant:


"Sir ...The toilets are placed perfectly in the extreme corner so that you do not face any vastu problem which may effect your growth in home office, private or public life. "

I am sure an authentic Vaastu Expert will still want to make some radical changes in this design( yet that's not the focus of this blog) .

6) All Exhibitions will also sell USEFUL DOMESTIC tools and items:


What Catch ?? they sell everything from flower pots to Hand held Slicer-Dicers to Agarbattis.. and yess... the most talked about stuff: FENG SHUI AND VAASTU tools.  .! These are sold as a part of the Property Exhibitions so that you can buy them for your existing homes.




My very Own Business Model for young Entrepreneurs:


For the young upcoming Entrepreneurs , remember this is one of the most exciting ideas someone can ever give you. 

Just get a Painter who can create a good enough Hoarding about your own construction company. Find a good barren looking land somewhere near the woods -  and post your banner and hoarding there. Advertise on every possible email community and exhibitions. People will flock your office/ stall or site . Now you can very easily grow your loss making Agarbatti business saying that you know of a "Tanzanian SMOKE THERAPY" which helps cure anything from Rheumatism - cancer or even AIDS. (For better prospects, Also talk about Swine Flu - the latest panic creator).  "just 2 Agarbattis a day will keep everyone Awake" ....!!!!

And still if you cant make money with the smoke, atleast take everyones Contact number and sell it to an authentic builder. He will keep bugging everyone to buy his bricks. ..!

Hope you make Good Money ..!
Latest Update:

With the above Experience, I realized that I presently do not have any money( unless I get a loan at 8.5% - only or the first one year.. and later on 11%). And hence my home Search is currently Dormant ..!

regards

Ameya Gokhale