Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd
A decade ago, an Indian woman independent and capable enough to buy her own home was a rare case. However, things have changed today. Latter-day Indian women are very well educated, have good jobs with excellent career growth prospects, and even hold important government or corporate leadership posts.
In any case, they certainly have the ability and confidence to craft their own lives, and are very much able to fulfill their dream of owning a home regardless of whether they are married or not. In fact, buying a home is fast beginning to figure as a bigger priority for many Indian women than marriage. This is not surprising, since a self-owned home is correctly seen as the #1 security anchor in India – and the best foundation from which to make long-term life decisions.
For women who investigating the market for suitable properties, here are some points to consider:
– Prepare For The Initial Costs: First-time home buyers tend to save a considerable while to get a sizable down payment together. However, keep in mind that property purchase involves several other initial investments like government duties, utilities connection charges, transfer fees in the case of resale flats, insurance and taxes. Apart from your down payment on a home (or your contribution towards a home loan) you need to have an additional fund of 5-6% over the base cost of the property available.
– Be Confident About Monthly Outgoings: Anyone eyeing a property purchase should first figure out the monthly mortgage and whether they will be able to afford it. Online mortgage calculators can be helpful, but they will only tell you the value of the principal and associated interests. There are other monthly expenses involved in home ownership, and these include insurances, taxes, maintenance charges, utilities charges, etc.
For working women, it is important that all these amounts put together do not exceed 35-40% of their net income. Do not neglect to figure out your overall cost of living before deciding on how big a home loan you can safely service, and keep in mind that property is not the only investment you should make towards your ongoing financial security. You should also put at least 10% of your monthly income into a retirement plan.
– Be Realistic And Maintain Forward Focus: Home ownership is a great step ahead in a woman’s life, and towards independence in your retirement age. But your first home is not necessarily the only home you will ever buy. Remember that you can always upgrade in the future if required or desired, so there is absolutely no need to buy the biggest-possible flat now. Never compromise your current financial viability by buying a needlessly expensive home.
– Shop Around Extensively For Home Loans: When it comes to choosing the right lender, do not go by the recommendations of friends or relatives alone. Do extensive research on the several different lending institutions available to you. Ideally, you should get pre-approved for a home loan the interest rate should be the most competitive. Remember that as an Indian woman, you are entitled to ask for a lower rate of interest on a home loan – be sure to insist on this benefit.
– Be Sure Of The Developer’s Credibility: Every day brings new stories about buyers who have been hoodwinked by unreliable developers. Either the project has been unreasonably delayed, has never even taken off or the delivered property (or amenities and facilities) are grossly different from what was initially promised. Do not fall into such a trap – no woman looking for the security of home ownership should have to deal with such a setback. Make sure the developer has a strong reputation on the market by doing multiple checks with reliable agents, the home loan company and also on the Internet.