Booked a flat in Chennai
I am back to blogging after a couple of weeks’ break. The last two weeks were among the most demanding and zapping of my life so far. But at the end of it, I am happy to inform you that I have booked a flat in Chennai.
But before I say anything further, I would like those of you having the time and patience to go through two articles — the first from the pages of The Hindu and the second a blog piece from Thennavan — that explains the current market scenario in Chennai, and how we are witnessing in Chennai today what Mumbai experienced a few decades ago, or what Bangalore experienced over the last decade and a half.
The same bubble/boom has started in Cochin, where Kathrikadavu area has witnessed a cent percent appreciation of land value and per sq. ft. rates — can you imagine that, a 100% appreciation in an year? — and to a slightly lower extend, Coimbatore. Even in a place like Trivandrum, as per highly reliable sources, the per sq. ft. rate for a flat is pegged at inr 2500, in an area like Sasthamangalam.
Hence, I would like to believe I have taken the right decision, albeit a rather belated and a relatively costly one. I will explain why it is a relatively costly one in a few minutes.
As I was saying, I am happy to inform you that I have booked a flat in Chennai, in a place called Virugambakkam, which is about a km from the much more famous locality of Vadapalani, and half a km from Saligramam. Its a Jain Housing project, named Jains Kences Retreat, and they are constructing 256 flats in an area of about 4.8 acres in one end of Virugambakkam (end adjoining Saligramam), in Reddy Street, just off the Arcot Road. If you are visiting the Jains Kences Retreat link, please do click on the the pix and the map, to get a better idea of the project.
The project has just started, and the construction will happen over a period of one and a half years, and it will be ready for occupation by the end of 2007 (yes, 2007).
I have gone in for a first floor, three-bedroom flat with a Super Built-up area of around 1400 sq. ft., which will roughly translate to a Plinth/Built-up area of about 1250 sq. ft., and finally a Carpet area of about 1100 sq. ft. It will be in the 7th block (if you check the map you can locate block 7 easily).
The rate at time of my booking was 2200 per sq. ft., and that includes the Registration Charges, Stamp Duty, EB, Water and Sewage connections. So, on top of that I need to pay for Covered Car parking (don’t think I can buy a car anytime soon :), Corpus Fund (Resident’s Association), 12% Service Tax on the Labour Cost — about 85k — and Maintenance Fee for an year. I also need to take care of the wood work myself. So, in all it is going to be around 35 lakhs.Right now, I am running around for arranging a Home Loan, and that in itself is a huge task, if you want to zero-in on the best possible deal for your requirement and situation. Things are not as straight-forward as people would like us to believe. There are so many fine points that you need to be extremely careful and cautious in choosing the right loan with the right institution.
Finally, an explanation for the earlier, “costlier” part. Land prices are, on an average, climbing at the rate of INR 100 per sq. ft. per month, in most of the areas of Chennai. Reputed builders are quoting, in a place like Velacherry — which is not actually part of the city of Madras till a few years back as per Subru — is now having a rate of anything between INR 3000 – 3300 per sq. ft. In Saligramam, another reputed builder is rumoured to have plans to open bookings at INR 2700 – 3000 per sq. ft, and that project will be within half a km from Jains. So you understand the rate of appreciation here.
I had attended The Hindu Property Plus Fair in YMCA grounds, Royapettah during the last week of Jan, 2006. At that time the Jains were having a stall, and on telling them that my budget is around 25 lakhs (it was that figure then, during the days of innocence :), they recommended one Virugambakkam and Pallavaram. For the former the rate was around 1900 per sq. ft. I booked the same Virugambakkam project 7 weeks down the line, and the rate has been hiked to 2200 per sq. ft., and still there are more than 3 applicants for every available flat, no matter what the rate quoted!
I am skipping the The Week That Was# 10 and 11. You can believe me when I tell you that life was full of house-hunt, discussion with various builders about upcoming projects, and recently discussions with various bank managers.
Have a great week ahead, and thanks for reading thus far.