Varun Manian for Times of India – Twin Win

Varun Manian for TOI
Buying in a second home is a sound investment decision. It becomes even more viable when the investment is done in a ready-to-occupy home.

It is a known fact that there is no investment like in property. Over the last one year, there has been a spurt in the number of ready-to-live-in homes in Chennai.In such a scenario, the best way forward would be to invest in a second home one that is a ready-to-occupy property.

Ready to move-in houses offer an edge over the other due to various reasons. Sumit Jain, national director, residential services, Colliers International India explains,“Buying a ready-to-move-in home ensures that it is a more informed purchase.You are aware of the state of the existing place, the amenities there and your neighbours.Your site inspections are substantiated with an all-round evaluation of everything that will help you imagine your future at the house.“

There are other advantages too. “The buyer gets to see the finished project before investing which helps in decision-making. Another key reason is that investors want to avoid delay in construction timelines and save on rent and pre-EMI payments. However, the housing sector has always been un predictable, if it is for investment then property under construction is generally preferred; first homesecond home or self-use buyers go for ready-tooccupy flats,“says Arun Kumar, founder and managing director of a real estate group.

Experts believe there are many factors that favour a purchase decision now. As Varun Manian, a Chennai-based realtor, puts it, a combination of capital appreciation and rental income along with support from banks for low interest loans has made this an ideal time to buy a second home. But if you are buying a second home to let it out on rent, there are a few factors you need to keep in mind.“The location is important as it should be a micro-market where rents are high. In many cases, builders also provide fully furnished homes at an additional price, making renting easier,“says Manian.

When buying a second home, it is important to research and plan your finances as it will be an additional investment.While the advantages of a ready-to-occupy home are quite well known, it assumes all the more significance when analysed through the lens of rental income.“The biggest advantage,“ says Kanchana Krishnan, director Chennai, Knight Frank,“is with respect to the pre-EMI cost. Ready homes offer tax savings and eligibility for deduction can be availed only if the house is in your possession. A second home can also double your income as one can get an income yielding asset from day one. In today’s context buyers can get a good bargain.’ But the immediate occupancy might come with a higher price tag, say experts.“While the pricing of such homes will be higher than under construction ones, it does provide immediate rental income to the buyer. Moreover, the other amenities are usually open by the time the project is completed, making it an attractive rental option,“says Manian.

As Habib W S, president-elect for Credai, clarifies, there is a price difference of 10 to 15 per cent between similar housing units that are ready and that which are still being made.“The ongoing projects are comparatively more economical. But investing in the other kind of house has its benefits too.“

Speaking about the localities and neighbourhoods where such projects can be looked at, Arun Kumar says buyers should look for places where there are huge employment opportunities or a potential for such growth.“In Chennai, the apparent locations are OMR and in Ambattur, that has developed as an extension of Anna Nagar. Perumbakkam,Thoraipakkam, Medavakkam, Pallavaram and Tambaram are other preferred localities followed by North Chennai,“he says.

According to Varun, many people are opting for the suburbs to buy a second home.“People prefer the OMR, Mahindra World City, Perambur, Porur and its surrounding areas.There is also a smaller segment of home buyers investing in ECR, a lot of it for personal use for weekend getaways,“he says.

(With inputs from Ranjitha Iyer)

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