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The growing trend.....

Jan 20, 2018


Ahmedabad is welcoming townships with wide arms. The city dwellers are moving towards this world appreciated trend of living in a city within a city.

Ahmedabad is one of the fastest growing cities in the country with a strong infrastructure. From building broad roads, to LED Street lights, developed public buildings, the city has arrived well in the realty map of the country. A number of townships have also come up.

More and more people are growingly being lived in these gated communities. These well-planned gated communities were earlier not preferred by buyers but now have emerged as sought after townships.

Ahmedabad has already emerged as a developed city. It had well-planned infrastructure, covered drainage, railways station, airport, airport, radio station, much before other cities were blessed with these amenities. With the development of the city, living standards of the city dwellers have also taken an upward trend. And townships are new entrants to this biggest city of the state. Days of cream category to invest in large, palatial expanses of land with the requisite physical and social infrastructure have arrived.

The key elements of luxurious townships in Ahmedabad are prominent schools, super speciality hospitals, swanky malls, multiplexes, restaurants, children's play areas, multipurpose halls, multipurpose open areas, gymnasium, office buildings, shopping centres, common lot, swimming pool, jogging track, party plot to name a few.

Townships are bundled with maximum amenities within the boundaries as the main aim is to reduce the burden on the cities. Along with amenities, townships also follow sustainable living and promote the 'walk-to-work' and 'walk-toschool' culture.

Since most of the townships have proper commercial complexes, people living in the township do not have to go far for work. Township living also guarantees admissions in school. The best part of living in a township is that the inhabitants need not worry about safety issues, with children going to school in the complex itself, one can be sure of their security too. The internal infrastructure of roads, water, and electricity assures a comfortable lifestyle.

Garima Malvanker, Times Property, The Times of India, Ahmedabad

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Now, property owners in Ahmadabad....

Jan 20, 2018

Now, property owners in Ahmadabad to also get transferable development rights benefit


Soon, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation will give Transferable Development Rights (TDR) to owners of the land that has been acquired for road widening and other public projects. Till now, if people had to part with their land for such projects they were either given Floor Space Index (FSI) or cash compensation. Now with the option of TDR, the government need not compensate with cash. The owner will get a TDR certificate that will allow him to construct additional built-up area anywhere in the city.

If he does not want to use it himself he can transfer the rights to a developer even at a later time for a good rate. The problem with the FSI option was that the owners either were unable to construct additional built-up area at the same location or did not want to. Besides, cash in lieu of the deducted land would be spent hastily. Although this policy has been in effect for the builders, the TDR has been made available to the public for the first time in the city. The TDR policy will reduce the burden on the civic body and also reduces the cost of project.

Standing Committee Chairman Pravin Patel said, "Whenever a development work is undertaken or roads are widened, people resist giving away their property. Property owners have been requesting us to give TDR for a long time now. Till now it was only given to builders and developers but for the first time it will be available to even the common man. The citizens can keep the TDR certificate for years and use it whenever they like. It also frees the corporation from financial burden." Ritesh Patel, Thaltej resident said, "The people will highly benefit from the TDR policy. They will be able to keep the TDR with them as long as they like and use it when they want or when they get a good rate."

Source: Economic Times, Ahmedabad

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Smart City Dholera: Early-bird incentives for investors

Jan 15, 2018

Gujarat’s upcoming Smart City Dholera has invited corporates in aviation, defense, electronics, pharmaceuticals, textiles, heavy engineering to set up their base there.

It is also providing incentives, heavy discounts on land prices, financial grants and waivers to compnaies who will grab this opportunity early.

Dholera is the biggest upcoming greenfield city in India under the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) project.

It is one of the eight industrial Smart Cities being developed in the first phase of the $100 billion DMIC project.

The Dholera Industrial City Development Limited (DICDL), the SPV formed by the DMIC Trust and Government of Gujarat has already committed $600 million to it.

The city’s infrastructure will be ready by September 2019.

The city is offering plots ranging from five hectares to 100 hectares.

DICDL has set up a transparent e-Land allotment system to provide ease of doing business to the investors.

There are also plans to develop a greenfield international airport. It will also help handle the increasing traffic from the nearby cities of Vadodara, Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Nadiad and Anand.

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NRI Guide To Buying Property In India.

Jan 15, 2018

Owning a home is a wish everyone has whether it is in your own country or another. Being able to buy a house of your dreams is not just a wish fulfilled, but it is also a way to announce that you have made it. However, buying is not as straightforward as liking a place, paying for it and getting ownership. You need to follow the rule and regulations of the country, especially if you are an  NRI buying property in India.

Obtaining an asset in India has at all times remained the greatest dream of quite a few non-resident Indians living in diverse nations. More than their want to live here, several NRI’s believe that Indian property bazaar is one of the top investment opportunities, which will get them respectable earnings in a few years. With the high demand for homes and government’s aim to attract more funds into the property sector, the rules have been modified to facilitate an easy purchase process for NRI’s.

Now is the best time for you to invest in India, especially if you are an NRI (non-resident Indian) preparing to purchase a property. Though India’s realty segment has seen a price rectification in the recent past, obtaining property in India has also turned out to be more profitable with promising exchange rates.


Here Are a Few Things To keep in Mind When You Are an NRI or PIO Buying Property in India

FEMA Rules

Buying an asset, especially a house in India are subject to rules set out by the FEMA i.e. The Foreign Exchange Management Act. An NRI is defined as a resident of India, but living outside the country. Understanding the entire process is vital to be able to buy a house in the country.

Type of Property

According to the law, all NRI’s and PIO’s are eligible to buy any commercial or residential assets anywhere in the country without informing or asking for permission from the RBI. However, the exception to the rule – a non resident Indian cannot buy agrarian land, farmstead or estate lands. He or she can’t gain ownership of such land even if it is gifted. The only way to own such land is by inheriting it. To obtain an agrarian land, estate property, a farmstead in India, they must acquire a special sanction from the RBI and the Government of India.

Monetary Transactions

Although a PIO or NRI obtaining a fixed asset in India does not entail any unusual authorization, the payment for such transactions cannot be completed in a currency other than the country’s currency. As an NRI or person of Indian origin, you can buy the asset using the Indian currency, the Rupee, from funds available in the country through standard financial channels. These funds must be kept in a non-resident banking account as per the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) rules and the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). You can also pay using post-dated cheques or transfer using ECS services from their NRO, NRE or Foreign Currency Non-Resident account (FCNR)

Number of Properties

A non-resident Indian or person of Indian origin can buy any number of housing or commercial properties within the country.

Permanent Account Number

You must ensure that you have a PAN number. You may need it to file income returns if you receive income from renting the property. It is mandatory while the property is being registered.


Just acquiring an asset does not attract income tax. Though, any profits ensuing from the possession of the property, in the form of a lease or wealth gains whether short term or long term rising from the sale of the house is taxable.When a PIO or NRI sells a property in India, a tax is deducted at the source (TDS). The tax amount is calculated at 20.6% on long-term wealth gains and 30.9% on short-term wealth gains. Still, the ultimate assessment rate is the same for both Indian citizens and NRIs. If an NRI is eligible for a lower tax slab then, he or she can apply for a TDS refund by filing an income tax return.


PIO’s and NRIs can also profit from India’s Double Tax Avoidance Agreements (DTAA) with several countries like the USA, UAE, etc., making it an effective to set off taxes paid in one country against the other.

Repatriate the Profits:

Even if you don’t require special permissions to purchase an asset, you need to acquire prior sanction of the RBI to repatriate the profits from a sale. This rule is applicable only if you have acquired this asset by way of a purchase. The amount sent back cannot be more than the original sum paid for the assets. But, the NRI can send back an amount that is equal to $1 million each fiscal year in the following conditions

  • If the assets were attained as a gift, then the sale profits must be deposited into an NRO account and repatriated thereafter.
  • If the asset was purchased out of the funds available in the NRO account.
  • If the asset was inherited from an Indian citizen, the money can be transferred on furnishing documented proof verifying inheritance, a certificate of an approved CA in the Central Board of Direct Taxes prescribed format as well as an undertaking by the NRI/PIO.
  • If it is a residential asset, then repatriation of the sale profits is limited to lower than or equal to 2 properties.

A foreign national can send back sale income even if the asset was inherited from a person outside India. However, prior authorization of the RBI must be attained.

A resident of Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, China,and Iran should pursue explicit consent from the RBI for repatriation of sale earnings.

Home Loan:

Financial institutions offering housing loans and banks registered with the National Housing Bank to offer loans to PIO’s and NRI’s to buy residential properties in India have a general permission from the Reserve Bank of India to do so. Home loans are sanctioned in Indian currency. This amount cannot be directly credited to the PIO or the NRI’s account and is paid to the seller or the developer’s account. The loan must be repaid in the same currency using money from the NRO/NRE or FCNR balance in an NRI’s account.

Power of Attorney (POA):

Since NRI’s often live outside the country they have the option to give their relatives or friends the power of attorney to complete the purchase process in India on their behalf. The POA can specify the rights of the representative can exercise or be a general that offers the same rights to the representative as the principal, in this case, the NRI.

Other than the tips mentioned above, the NRI or PIO is offered receives the same treatment as any other citizen of India.

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Affordable housing: Loans up to Rs 2 lakh see highest NPAs

Jan 12, 2018

With a sharp rise in loan disbursements and number of beneficiaries in the affordable housing segment, loans of up to Rs 2 lakh has ended up with the highest level of non-performing assets (NPAs) in home loans. Public sector banks reported higher NPAs in the sub-Rs 2 lakh housing loans slab than housing finance companies in 2016-17 and 2015-16, according to an RBI report on 'Affordable Housing'.

NPAs for housing loans of up to Rs 2 lakh stood at a whopping 11.9% for PSBs during 2016-17. Housing finance companies also saw a sharp surge in housing loan NPAs in this slab. NPAs went up from 6.1% to 8.6% for the sub-Rs 2 lakh slab between 2015-16 and 2016-17. NPAs stood at 10.4% for this slab. The overall NPAs for housing loans stood at 1.5% and 0.6% respectively for PSBs and housing finance companies during 2016-17. The government's recent thrust on affordable housing through policy measures that include incentive schemes, accordance of infrastructure tag, interest subsidy scheme under PMAY (Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana) have resulted in sharp rise in new housing projects in the affordable segment for low income groups. New unit launches in the affordable housing segment registered a 10.1% year-on-year (y-o-y growth in 2016-17. Affordable housing was the only segment in the residential real estate sector that saw a double digit growth. New launches in the mid-range and high-end segments fell by 11.7% y-o-y and 26.7% respectively in 2016-17.

There has been a more than three-fold increase in the number of houses completed under PMAY between April and December 2017. Nearly 2.9 lakh houses have been completed under PMAY as on December 4, 2017, data with the union ministry of housing and urban affairs showed. Investments to the tune of Rs 1.72 lakh have been made under PMAY projects for constructing nearly 32 lakh houses involving a central assistance of Rs 49,537 crore. Of this, central assistance totaling Rs 12,764 crore has already been released.

"From the consumer's perspective, while availability of low cost credit is driving the demand for affordable housing, policies like Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) Act may infuse fresh buyer interest in the realty sector," RBI said. While the joint efforts of the government and the RBI to boost affordable housing have generated positive outcome, a host of factors including lack of suitable low cost land within the city limits, lengthy statutory clearance and approval process, shortcomings in development norms, planning and project design is affecting the pace of affordable housing development, it said.

Source: Economic Times

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Gujarat RERA puts Rs 3 lakh fine on Vadodara-based builder for not registering project.

Jan 12, 2018


Builders who fail to deliver the schemes on time and fail to provide the pre-decided amenities should consider this as a warning. Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) has started taking action against errant builders and recently penalized a Vadodara based builder with Rs 3 lakh for failing to complete the project in time. Jayesh Patel, a builder in Vadodara, had failed to hand over the possession of the flats in his scheme.

A person, keeping his identity a secret, filed a complaint against Jayesh by sending an e-mail to RERA. The officials of RERA summoned Jayesh on January 1where he accepted that he had failed to register the project through 70 percent of the work had been completed. Consequently, authorities imposed a penalty of Rs 3 lakh penalty on the builder. He was also instructed to register the project within 15 days.

RERA has been granted the authority to fine a builder for up to 10 percent of the project cost for failing to register it. Jayesh's project amounted to Rs 3 crore but RERA took note of the fact that the builder faced difficulties in selling his units besides delay in construction work due to lack of funds. Accordingly, he was fined Rs 3 lakh. Dharmendra Patel, a Vadaj resident, said, "My family suffered a lot when our builder did not give us possession of our house on time. Now, however, the developers will have to complete the project and hand over possession on time. They will also be penalized for flouting norms, thanks to RERA." 

Jaxay Shah, President of CREDAI, said, "It is important for every developer to abide by the rules under the Act. Also, by giving possession of the property on time the developer is only fulfilling his responsibility and obliging the buyer."

Ajay Patel, Senior V-P GIHED-CREDAI, said, "Guidelines are clear in RERA. If the project is ongoing then one must register it with RERA. Developers face trouble when they take the Act lightly. The developer also needs to take BU permission before selling the property. However, the underlined fact is that the builder should not take the Act lightly and abide by the guidelines."

Source: Economic Times, Vadodara

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How GST has taken the suspense out of Budget.

Jan 12, 2018

The Goods and Services Tax (GST), which was imposed on July 1 last year, radically changed many things in Indian economy. One change that has gone unnoticed is its impact on the Budget. The GST has shorn the Budge its suspense and mystery by taking away half of its work, the indirect taxes. Now GST Council decides tax rates for goods and services. In fact, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had dropped indirect tax proposals in his previous Budget in anticipation of GST coming in force after a few months. 

The Budget now is mostly about allocations, direct taxes and customs duties and levies. 

Indirect taxes gave the Budget its mass connect, though income tax is still a big item of curiosity for the masses. Earlier, the Budget got the attention of every Indian, right from the man who sold bidis by the roadside to the middle-class housewife looking to buy jewellery. 

People avidly waited for the Budget to know what got costlier and what got cheaper. 

Days before it was presented in the Parliament, Budget occupied the mindspace of common Indians. Small shopkeeper would start hoarding items that were rumoured to be taxed more. Or rates of such items would already go up. 

Due to indirect taxes, the Budget had everything for everyone. Rich or poor, young or old, student or professional, businessman or roadside vendor, every Indian instantly felt the impact of the Budget. 

The Budget was the time the aam aadmi hogged the news. Much before it was presented, the media made a beeline for the aam aadmi, asking him about his expectations. It was also the time when aam aadmi could hold forth on a complex subject with authority. 

After the Budget, the aam aadmi would rate the Budget. Everyone had something or the other to say about it. Right after the Budget was out, one could feel the pulse of the nation as everyone had an opinion on the government. The Budget was a great festival of democracy that galvanised the whole of India. 

Now, except income tax, there is little in the Budget that would make an instant connect with the masses. Of course, various schemes, from agriculture to housing, do impact lives of all Indians. But indirect taxes were about the items of daily use. 

The government was deciding important parts of your daily life. Fiscal deficit or a Krishi Sinchai Yojna does not evoke the reaction that cheaper refrigerators or costlier branded clothes do. 

Before last year, the finance minister's budget briefcase was seen as a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. As he entered the Parliament brandishing his briefcase, people looked at it with apprehensions as well as expectations. The Goods and Services Tax (GST) has changed all that. 

In a way, the finance minister has lost a big part of his power. It was a standard ritual for various industry bodies and other pressure groups to line up at his office to plead their cases for concessions, rebates and other benefits. Now, it's the GST Council that gets their attention. 

Source: Economic Times

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How to improve your credit score before applying for a home loan.

Jul 04, 2016

Improving one’s credit score has many advantages. Not only does it make it easier to obtain a loan, but it can also help the applicant to get an attractive rate of interest

It is advisable for home loan seekers to obtain a credit report, before applying for a large loan, such as a home loan. This report, which provides a person’s credit score, can be obtained from any one of the four credit bureaus operating in the country – CIBIL, Experian, Equifax and Crif High Mark. A score between 750 and 900 is considered as excellent. However, if the score is below 675, one may need to improve the credit score before applying for a home loan.

“A good credit score can help you get a loan at a more attractive rate of interest. This can lower your interest burden by lakhs of rupees, during a loan tenure of 15-20 years,” asserts Sujit Kumar, a Delhi NCR-based lawyer, who improved his credit score, before applying for a home loan.


Immediate measures

When it comes to improving your credit score, first check for any error in your lender’s record books. While you may have repaid a loan, the bank’s records may still be showing some credit outstanding against your name. Rectifying such mistakes, will improve your credit score.

Disagreements between a lender and a borrower may also be the cause of a poor credit score. Resolving such disagreements, paying the dues and closing the loan account can boost your score.

The most important thing for a good credit score, is to make all the payments on time. If you have missed a particular payment, make amends right away by paying up.

Consolidating your credit will also help. You may have taken five personal loans. Consolidating all these loans, into a single one, will look better on your records, by indicating that you are not excessively credit-hungry.

Also, when it comes to credit card bills, many borrowers pay up only the minimum amount and revolve the rest of their credit card loan. This is a bad practice, as the rate of interest on credit card loans is very high. If you have been doing so, replace the credit card loan with a personal loan, which will bring down your interest charges and enable you to meet your dues.


Long-term measures

In case you have a delinquent loan against your name and you don’t have the ability to repay right away; this is a situation that can only be remedied over a period of time. If you have a high proportion of unsecured loans, vis-à-vis secured loans, you should try to alter the mix over a period of time.

Another behavioural change that you must make, is to avoid shopping for loans excessively. In trying to bag the best possible deal, do not apply or make enquiries at 15-20 banks. Each time you make an enquiry, it gets registered against your name and indicates that you are credit-hungry.

See also: These are the factors that decide whether you get a home loan or not

“If a person is too hungry for credit, it reflects poorly on his credit score,” cautions Arun Ramamurthy, director, Credit Sudhaar Services.

Suppose that your credit card provides you with a credit limit up to Rs 2 lakh, don’t use up the entire limit as this is also perceived as a sign of credit hunger.

Despite your best efforts, if you are not able to achieve a good credit score on your own, then, there are professional agencies that you can turn to, such as Credit Sudhaar, etc. These agencies can help you to achieve the right mix of secured and unsecured loans. They tell you about the right number of credit cards you should own, given your economic status. They also inform you about the maximum percentage of credit on your credit card, beyond which you should not go.


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How to save tax on the sale of a house.

Jul 04, 2016

When you make a gain on the sale of a house, you have to pay a tax on your gains. If three years have passed between the date of purchase and sale of the house, then, your gain from the sale will be classified as a long-term capital gain. If three years have not elapsed, your gain will be treated as a short-term capital gain. Long-term capital gain is taxed at the rate of 20%, while short-term capital gain is taxed at your marginal tax rate.


Indexation benefits

You are entitled to avail of indexation benefit on long-term capital gains. If you bought a property in 1994-95 at Rs 20 lakhs and sold it in 2015-16 for Rs 1 crore, your long-term capital gain will not be Rs 80 lakh. Instead, it will be calculated as follows:

Capital gain = Selling price – Indexed cost of acquisition.

Indexed cost of acquisition = Purchase price x (Index in year of sale/Index in year of purchase).

Now, the index in 1994-95 stood at 259 and in 2015-16 at 1,081.

Hence, your indexed cost of acquisition will be = 20 x (1081/259) = 83.48

Your long-term capital gain will be = 100 – 83.48 = 16.52 lakh.


Reinvesting in a property

Under Section 54 of the Income Tax Act, you don’t have to pay any tax on long-term capital gains, if you invest your gain in another property. However, there are a few preconditions. Firstly, this benefit is available only to an individual or an HUF (Hindu United Family). Secondly, your gain must be invested in another residential property and not in some other asset. Thirdly, you must invest in the second property, either one year before or within two years of the sale of the first property. If you are constructing a new house, its construction must be completed within three years from the date of sale of the first property. Lastly, the government has now restricted this exemption to only one residential property.

“You can’t avail of the exemption under Section 54, if you sell your house after holding it for less than three years,” cautions Jatin Khemani, managing director of New Delhi-based Stalwart Advisors. Moreover, the amount that is eligible for exemption will be the lower of the two – the capital gain arising from sale of the first property, or the amount invested in the second property.

See also: Long-term capital gains tax: Exemption on buying multiple houses

If you avail of the benefit under Section 54, you can’t sell the second house within three years from the date of its purchase or from the date of completion of its construction. “If you sell the house in less than three years, then, the amount claimed as exemption under Section 54 will be deducted from the cost of acquisition of the new house,” explains Manish Saluja, a New Delhi-based certified financial planner.

If, till the date of filing one’s income tax return, the capital gain is not utilised to purchase or construct another house, then, you must deposit the unutilised amount in a Capital Gains Deposit Account in any public sector bank. The new house can be purchased or constructed, by withdrawing the amount from this account within the specified time limit.


Invest in specified bonds

Section 54EC also provides for exemption on capital gains tax, if the amount is invested in the bonds of Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) or the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). The investment must be made within six months of sale of the property. One can invest up to Rs 50 lakhs in these bonds, which have a tenure of three years

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How to make wine bottle accent lights in just 3 quick steps

Oct 01, 2015

Are you one of those who loves throwing a party- but don’t know what to do with those wine bottles. Well the internet is flooded with various DIY ideas that help you convert those bottles into vases or use the corks as card holders. But here we teach you a quick and fun way of turning your boring wine bottles into accent lights that are ideal for those romantic dinners. Material indeed Wine bottles Soap and sponge Drill Clay Sandpaper LED Christmas lights GasketMethod Step 1 – Gather all your wine bottles and peel off the labels. Then rinse the bottle thoroughly using some soap and sponge.

Step 2 – Once the bottle is dried, at the end of the bottle, mark a hole where you would want to insert the LED lights. Drill the hole using a drill, but remember to place some clay around and keep pouring some water while you slowly drill the hole. Once you are happy with the size of the hole, smoothen the edges by rubbing some sandpaper.

Step 3 – Get you Christmas LED lights and insert them from through the hole you just drilled and guard it with a gasket. Secure the light wire with a plug and viola your wine accent lights are ready. Place a cork on the top and let the light decorate your bedroom side-table, your living room mantel or you dining table for those cozy romantic dinners!


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Have a tiny kitchen? These hacks will help you organize it better

Oct 01, 2015

Of all the rooms in the entire house, the kitchen is cited to be the one of the toughest rooms to remodel. Since this is one of the most commonly used rooms in the house, we walk you through the process of organizing a kitchen. And if you have a tiny kitchen, these life hacks are sure to make your life easy.

  • Have a big sink but don’t have enough counter-top space to cut vegetables? Then invest in a broad cutting board that can be placed over your sink. This will not only help you expand your counter space but it will also help you while cleaning the entire mess later!
  • If you have a small kitchen and don’t have enough space to organize your cleaning supplies, hang a shoe organizer on the doors of your cabinets. The shoe organizer has pockets that will be able to hold all your brushes and cleaning detergents
  • Placing a rack supported by command hooks too will be very effective in creating smaller vertical spaces under the sink pipes
  • Sticking magazine holders vertically will help you stock up all your foil holders
  • If you are running short of spaces, creating an extra shelf over the sink will help you stock all your herb pots
  • If your sink is covered by cabinets – worry not, screw in a few rods with hooks that will let you hang utensils especially spoons and forks
  • You could also create vertical shelves on the sides along the cabinets to store your china
  • Covering the insides of your cabinet door with cork-boards and pegboards will help you store all the measuring utensils
  • Living in a rented space might stop you from following these tips however, you could stick to using magnets.
  • Utilize the sides of your refrigerator by converting it into a spice rack- just stick some magnets onto the spice shaker and align them on the sides and viola you have a fancy looking spice rack
  • Sticking a few light weight plastic baskets onto metal cabinets too will help you store all those exotic herb jars
  • Investing in a rotating cabinet is a nice idea as well. It will help you store things even in some of the most awkward corners
  • Placing shelves with legs over each other will help you create modern storage spaces for your bright coloured casseroles
  • Using file dividers to stack up oven trays or cooling racks will help you organize your cabinet space much more effectively
  • File holders are perfect for holding plates, so place file holders along your sink and use pan dividers to stack all of them on top of each other

Priya jani for


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Six easy ways to turn your house into a home!

Aug 23, 2015

house is essentially a basic unit of dwelling made of a bricks designed to keep the heat in and the wind and rain out. A home is an everlasting place of fond memories, it is where you are happy, comfortable and somewhere you look forward to coming back to at the end of a tedious day. Whether you live in villas in Kompally or apartments in Worli, we bring you a few easy tips to turn your house into a home that you will love and your family will cherish. Spend time there This is as simple as it gets, the more time you actually spend in your house, the more you may grow to love it. Even if it’s not your ideal space, you can start to appreciate it and make it work for you. Infuse it with passion Let your home not only be a reflection of your interests but let it be a mirror to the passions of your life. If you love reading, fill it with books. If you enjoy music, let your home stream some of your most loved songs. Paint your walls with your favorite color, fill it with your most loved memorabilia and you will soon fall in love with you home. Share it with others Invite your friends and family over for meals and get-togethers and fill your home with love and laughter. One of the most successful formulas for a happy home is happiness and the memory of good times. Make friends with your neighbors Unlike renters who tend to move in and out quickly, a person making a home should try to establish relationships with the people who live close to them. Being friends with your neighbors helps create bonding and a sense of community. This small step goes a long way into converting a house into a home. Make it warm and cozy Just like our parents lived in homes that were filled with furniture and cozy accessories, you too can invest in well-designed pieces to bring your home to life. Pair this with warm lights, cozy floor rugs, inviting wall paintings and you have a house that will soon become your home. Grow something Even if you think you don’t have green fingers, when you tend to something, it will flourish and great pleasure comes from seeing something you have watered and loved, grow.  Growing your own herbs or even decorative plans will add a special touch to your home.

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5 tips to transform your home into a stress free zone.

Aug 22, 2015

Stress influences the mind, body, and behavior in many negative ways and can hamper the pursuit of a healthy and happy life. Most of us experience stress in one form or another at some point in our lives, be it at our work places, our schools, in the streets or in our personal relationships. Your home is meant to be a refuge. One that will not only shelter you from harsh weather but will also shield you from the harshness of day to day life. We bring you a few tips to transform your home into a zen paradise that offers you serenity and peace of mind. 1)  Declutter and clean Coming home to a house that has been de-cluttered and cleaned will immediately place you in a more serene state of mind. A Zen lifestyle is one that embraces minimalism and hence try to avoid having too many paintings, pictures or decorative items around. This will just add to the clutter in your space.

 2)  Use flowers and plants Instead of filling your house with materialistic belongings, try to fill your living space with plants and flowers. Studies have indicated that stocking your room with plants can help calm you down.

 3)  Lights and scents Avoid the use of harsh lights in the house that can be headache-inducing. Instead opt for soft ambient lights using task lamps—desk lamps, floor lamps, and table lamps. The best option is to have open windows and bright curtains that let in lots of natural light. You can also have scent diffusers and incense sticks in natural smells, which can not only be calming when it’s time to sleep, but also invigorating when it’s time to wake.

 4) Softness under your feet One of the most relaxing feelings is to walk on soft green grass. You can recreate this experience in your homes, by having soft textured carpets under your feet. There are many options to choose from in the carpet and based on your budget you can choose a carpet in cool earthy tones. 

5)  Switch off electronic devices Electronic devices such radios, TVs and phones are most often a source of distraction and therefore do not integrate in a fully Zen decor. Try to keep them switched off or tucked away out of sight when at home. Also make sure that you hide all the wires and cables that could distort the serene atmosphere of the Zen setting.

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Recycle broken pots using these ultra creative ideas..

Aug 11, 2015

Summer is here and it’s time to pull out all the flower pots from the attic so you could plant some of your favourite flowers and herbs. Oh! But have you broken a few clay pots? Well accidents happen and you are bound to pick up the pieces quite literally. But worry not, instead of throwing away your broken clay pot why not convert them into something useful.

Instead of just throwing away the broken clay pots, draw some inspiration and let the artistry flow. For all your pots that have just chipped around the edge- filling them with some candle wax and using them as candles is a nice idea. If your terracotta pots have completely shattered- string them together and use them as wind chimes. While the broken piece might not actually not sound like a bell, but they act like perfect garden centerpiece.

Well it is spring time and there are high chances you would spend a lot of time outdoors – so why not create an ideal ‘lighting’ atmosphere. Use some chipped clay pots to create some side table lamp shades or stack some pots together and create a quintessential table that holds your summer drinks! If you want to invite a few of your chirpy little friends, just drill in some holes into a clay pot and viola you have a perfect bird house.

Don’t just stick to using pots to plants flowers and herbs- use your imagination and recycle pots to create amazing miniature gardens. Use the bigger piece as the base and line the bottom with some manure and place a smaller piece in the opposite direction and line the pots with small pieces all around forming stairs. Once you have achieved the basic design, fill in the pot with bonsais, ferns, place a gnome or even a small house and viola your have a miniature garden right inside your clay pot!

So let your ‘shattering’ stories inspire many to experiment and be creative. Next time you break a few pots and don’t know what to do with it- convert them into masterpieces using these ideas and viola you have a few useful items that not only adorn your garden but also give you the much wanted summer project that unites you with your family.

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The entire nation is excited about smart cities. While the government is churning out policies to achieve the same, developers are doing their bit by building ‘smart homes’. What about ‘us’? W

Aug 08, 2015


Although Gujarat has attracted the third highest share of investments in real estate across India, investments dipped by 22 per cent in the last four years in this western state.

Investments in real estate sector from various public and private sources in Gujarat have declined from Rs 2.3 lakh crore in 2011-12 to about Rs 1.8 lakh crore in 2014-15, apex industry body Assocham said on Thursday.

On a year-on-year (y-o-y) basis, however, investments attracted by realty sector in Gujarat have increased slightly by 1.6%, from Rs 1.80 lakh crore as of 2013-14 to Rs 1.83 lakh crore in 2014-15, according to the sector-specific survey conducted by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham).

“Ownership-wise, private sector accounted for the lion’s share of 92% of the total investments attracted by the real estate sector in Gujarat while government/public sources accounted for the remaining 8%,” said D.S. Rawat, Secretary- General, Assocham, while releasing the findings of the Chamber’s analysis.

But a majority of projects with about 72 per cent investments in real estate sector attracted by Gujarat have remained non-starter as of 2014-15 and share of such projects has increased significantly from 53% in 2011-12, he said.

Investments in real estate sector from various public and private sources across India have declined by 6% in past four years, from Rs 15.2 lakh crore in 2011-12 to about Rs 14.3 lakh crore in 2014-15, according to the analysis carried out by the Assocham Economic Research Bureau (AERB).

However, there has been a slight increase of just over 2% year-on-year in the investments attracted by realty sector, from Rs 14 lakh crore in 2013-14 to Rs 14.3 lakh crore in 2014-15.

Private sector accounted for the lion’s share of 85% of the total investments attracted by the real estate sector across India while government/public sources accounted for the remaining share. Real estate projects with about 76% of the total investments attracted by the sector across India remained non-starter as of the aforesaid period.

Maharashtra (21%), Uttar Pradesh (14%), Gujarat (13%), Karnataka (12%) and Haryana (8%) are the top five states with highest share in total investments attracted by the real estate sector in India in 2014-15.

Clocking a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 82%, Assam recorded the maximum growth in attracting investments in the real estate sector during 2011-12 and 2014-15, followed by Bihar (19%), Odisha (17%), Uttar Pradesh (16%) and Uttarakhand (12%) amid top five states in this regard.

Jharkhand (40%), Himachal Pradesh (37%), Madhya Pradesh (29%) and Haryana (16%) have registered maximum fall in real estate investments.

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Are you smart enough to live in a smart city.

Aug 08, 2015

The entire nation is excited about smart cities. While the government is churning out policies to achieve the same, developers are doing their bit by building ‘smart homes’. What about ‘us’? What about the people who would be living in these mart homes and cities? Are we smart enough?

As per a recent survey conducted at the CREDAI Conclave, it was revealed that about 76 per cent of real estate companies plan to launch smart homes in the next 12 months. The Indian government itself has been actively taking initiatives towards this mission. Recently, Singapore, Barcelona and other foreign countries have extended their full support to India in its mission to create 100 smart cities.

However, are we, as citizens of India, ready for smart cities? Are we smart enough for a smart city? “A completely ‘smart’ city would not become a reality until we have smart citizens,” exclaimed Dr Joan Clos, executive director, UN Habitat.

Building smart cities does not involve the construction of smart homes alone. It involves smart usage of energy, smart integration, smart mobility, smart public services, smart waste management etc.

“in India, giving priority to the pedestrians, is not the norm. Vehicles have more road space. In order to achieve smart mobility, we need to prioritise walk-ability and pedestrian connectivity. In countries like Hong Kong, 90 per cent of the population travels by public transport,” says Arun Govada, associate director, UDP International.

Similar concerns were raised by the Mayor of Patiala, Amitinder Singh Bazaz. “We have still not achieved a fool-proof system to manage our solid waste. Ours is a country where people still dump garbage on the roads. Until there is a change in the mentality of the people, there is no point in just building smart homes.”

Thus, while real estate seems to be warming itself to the concept of smart living, there is still a long way to go before smart homes become a norm. Firstly, smart living and smart thinking by the people needs to become a norm. Everything else will then follow.

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Rising demand for new projects in Surat..

Aug 08, 2015

After Ahmedabad and Rajkot, Surat is the next city of Gujarat seeing some significant growth in the realty sector. The city is also noting continuous appreciation in property values from past one year. The city surged immense demand in the 2BHK apartment with the size of 800-1200 sq ft and in the price range of Rs 16-25 lakh as confirmed by Rajesh Mishra from Berry Associates. Positive job scenario and expanding retail sector such as opening up small traditional textile industries chain viz a viz entry of new big retailers has boosted the demand of residential properties.

Localities such as Vesu, Adajan, Nana Varachha, Palanpore, and Piplod witnessed appreciation of up to 15 per cent in residential values during past six months. These are the most transacted localities of Surat and saw demand as well as supply in the residential segment says Sachin Piplani, from Shree Estates. The new projects launched in the year 2009-2010 have already noted an appreciation of more than 50 per cent and are available in resale, he added.

Surat is one of the fastest growing cities, both public and private players are actively participating in improving city’s infrastructure, connectivity and provision of adequate facilities. Surat Municipal Commission (SMC) is taking excellent initiatives in developing new roads, flyovers, drainage, drinking water, power facilities as told by Divyam Shah from Divyam Properties.

The city is also seeing enhancing demand in the luxury segment from HNI’s and NRI’s. The properties with large carpet areas (over 2200 sq ft) located at prime locations are fetching values of more than Rs 1 crore and are witnessing descent transactions. The new segment is more popular than the resale segment owing to the presence of lifestyle features in the new projects says Divyam.

Few of the active developers of the city who have launched their residential projects in the city are Gujarat Real Estates, Shubham Residency, Prime Constructions, JT Group and SR Corporations . The current capital values of apartment vary from Rs 2,200-4,000 per sq ft.

By and large Surat is seeing a total transition in the realty sector with wide range of new affordable and premium projects making their way into the city. The growing commercial and retail sector on the other hand is also contributing in the property growth as anticipated.

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Gujarat seeing demand for affordable housing projects.

Aug 08, 2015


Gujarat realty market is experiencing more demand in the affordable price bracket than the premium segment. Tier-II cities such as Surat, Vadodara and Rajkot are also seeing growth in the real estate sectorapart from Ahmedabad. Growing infrastructure, connectivity and other initiatives by state government as well as private entities has led to rising demand and supply in these cities.

Residential projects in the affordable brackets of Rs 10-20 lakh are easy to invest than the ones involving huge investments, as told by local resident and investor, Mayur Jain. There is a niche segment in the city looking for affordable housing options such as apartments and plots and since these are developing cities there is more demand for properties with a low budget, according to Ashwin Kumar, city-based realtor.

In Gujarat, there are emerging affordable hubs offering low budget properties to the end-users. Areas such as Sarkhej, Gandhinagar Highway are some of the upcoming locations fetching attention of both, buyers and investors. Greenwood Sarovar Village is an upcoming residential project located at Sarkhej Gandhinagar Highway which is a 30-minute drive from Gandhinagar Expressway. Here an individual can get 200-250 sq yard plots starting from price range of Rs 8.75 lakh.

There is another upcoming affordable housing project by Tata Housing, located nearly 20 kms from Ahmedabad city centre. The integrated township, known as ‘Shubh Griha’, is available from starting price of Rs 8 lakh.

According to Suresh Iyer from Sterling Greenwoods Limited, “Affordable projects are witnessing good number of transactions than the premium projects. Therefore, most of the developers and builders are launching their new projects in the affordable price range only to meet the demand and are witnessing fair number of transactions.”

Capital values of apartments in the affordable category have noted an average appreciation of 10-15% in the past 6 months, as added by Kumar.

Buyers are buying these properties either for self-use or for investment purpose. Rising demand and transactions is contributing to the value appreciation and this trend is expected to continue, as anticipated by city brokers.

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Dholera: Modis pet project back on the fast track.

Aug 08, 2015

Armed with green nod and fund infusion, Gujarat govt getting ready to issue tenders to build infrastructure at the mega investment region.

A casual visitor might miss the small sign along the highway pointing in the direction of Dholera. The vast area of wastelands, with tiny strips of private agricultural land and a cluster of mud houses with clay-tiled roofs, can make you believe it is another nondescript area in India’s hinterland. But appearance can be deceptive.

Dholera, 110 km from Ahmedabad and comprising 22 villages in the flat alluvial wheat basket of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat, is earmarked to be a poster child for the new government’s development agenda.

At 920 sq km, the Dholera Special Investment Region(DSIR) would be twice the size of Mumbai and is estimated by state government officials to have an annual investment potential of Rs 60,000-70,000 crore. According to its website, a new port, airport, modern highways and rail links will attract automotive, electronics, biotechnology and other industries. It is also supposed to be a smart city and the node in Gujarat for the proposed 1,483-km dedicated freight corridor between Delhi and Mumbai, passing through six states. Being developed by Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation Ltd (DMICDC), with Gujarat Infrastructure Development Board (GIDB) as the nodal agency, DSIRfalls within the limits of the Ahmedabad district.

Until a few months ago, the project, conceived in 2007 when Modi was chief minister of Gujarat, appeared still-born. But not anymore. After a new government took charge at the Centre, things have started moving in terms of necessary clearances.

Since July, a ‘site clearance’ for an international airport has been received, followed by an environmental approval from the environment and forests ministry. This month, the DMICDC Trust decided to infuse Rs 3,000 crore into the project. The back-to-back clearances have, in fact, convinced Dholera Special Investment Region Development Authority (DSIRDA) officials and experts that the project might possibly see an early completion (the official deadline is 2040 for three phases of 10 years each).

The latest round of activity has convinced people like Pratapsinh Chudasama, who owns a grocery shop adjacent to the DSIRDA office in the village, to say: “Ahiyan sau taka ek motu sheher banshe! (A big city is certainly going to come up here!)” Chudasama says his optimism for the prime minister’s pet project stems from a renewed coverage in the local media after DMICDC, the central nodal agency, took the decision to infuse funds.

Experts, such as Sunil Parekh, strategic advisor (projects) to companies like Cadila Healthcare (Zydus Cadila) and Jubilant Lifesciences, admit there was a lack of clarity in between but add they now see a ray of hope. “With the new government recognising the need to complete all the projects along DMIC, and the in-principle approvals, we may see an improvement in implementation over two-three years,” Parekh says.

A DSIRDA official says “the real work will start now”. He is referring to issuance of tenders for work on basic infrastructure like road, electricity, water and other utilities in the first two town-planning schemes — TP 1 and TP 2, spanning 15,000 hectares. Of these, TP 2 is the larger one, with 10,000 hectares under it. According to officials, in the near future, one of the earliest land allotments might be made to Mahindra Lifespace Developers Ltd for setting up the ‘Mahindra World City’, for which the company had signed a memorandum of understanding during the Vibrant Gujarat Summit of 2011.

Moreover, node/city-level special purpose vehicles will soon be formed between the Centre and the state government for the project, with an initial equity contribution of Rs 250 crore by the DMICDC Trust. Further, Rs 350 crore worth of tenders for flood mitigation and control and other infrastructure are expected to be announced, even as a six-lane expressway between Ahmedabad to Bhavnagar, covering 34 km of the Dholera SIR area, is also expected to start soon at a project cost of the Rs 2,800 crore.

Parekh believes the project could easily increase Gujarat’s current 18 per cent contribution to the country’s total fresh annual investments and ease the land availability issue.

There have been problems of land acquisition, so DSIRDA has brought about a development plan, including the town planning schemes, which officials believe will help farmers get better realisations. Earlier, in the absence of a development plan, farmers were worried about losing their land to the government in hostile acquisitions. This led to protests in January this year.

“The development plan specifically protects the farmers’ interests and avoids direct land acquisition by the government. Instead, it ensures land acquisition by industry from the farmers. And, with the availability of proper infrastructure according to the development plan, the farmers are sure to get better realisations,” says a DSIRDA official who does not wish to be named.

However, asked about the surety of farmers selling the land to industry, the official says: “Our focus is to develop infrastructure for now. We will see that when the time comes.”

Apart from land, the smart city announcement is also expected to attract investment into the region. For making it a smart city, the progress on an ICT Master Systems Integrator for implementation of Smart City Components at DSIR was recently reviewed by DSIRDA officials and experts from the Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad. While British infrastructure development company Halcrow has been roped in as a master planner, CISCO and IBM have been contracted the work. These are for a centralised digital control of all infrastructural facilities like water, power and gas traffic through an underground sensor system reporting to a central control room at DSIR. Soon, work on two TP schemes will simultaneously be undertaken in each of the three phases.


  • Total area: 920 sq km (92,000 hectares)
  • Developable area: 567.39 sq km (56,739 hectares)
  • Smart city: Will have control and command centres for managing infra, utilities
  • Facilities: Touted as India’s Shanghai, to have international airport, sea port connectivity, metro rail, expressway
  • Linkages: To benefit DMIC and provide logistics support to Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC); high-access corridor with city centre, industrial, logistic, knowledge & IT, recreation & sports, entertainment
  • Jobs: To double the region’s employment potential, triple industrial output and quadruple exports
  • Investments: Potential to draw Rs 60,000 crore to Rs 70,000 crore a year



  • May: 22 villages in Ahmedabad’s twin talukas of Barwala and Dhandukanotified as an SIR


  • Feb: Dholera SIR Development Authority set up


  • Mid: Work ondevelopment plan begins


  • May: Work on Town Planning (TP) schemes begins
  • Sep: GIDB notifies development plan
  • Oct: TP 1 and TP 2 (15,000 hectares) finalised


  • Oct: TP 3,4,5 and 6 (42,000 hectares) finalised


  • Aug: Dholera SIR receives environment clearance
  • Oct: Rs 3,000-cr fund infusion cleared
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