Protos' Musings

"In the long run men hit only what they aim at" — Thoreau

Booked a flat in Chennai

with 29 comments

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.


Written by Proto

March 19, 2006 at 22:53 hrs

Posted in Random Ramblings

29 Responses

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  1. Now one more to the list ……..All, atleast many, who had a mouthful to say about Madras….end up buying a home there….way to go..


    March 20, 2006 at 12:31 hrs

  2. Fantastic Suresh. U did what I’ve been thinking of doing for a verrrryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy long period.

    Arunachalam A

    March 20, 2006 at 15:28 hrs

  3. Hi,
    A coincidence I have booked an apartment in the same complex,same block(7) and I am on the 2 floor!!


    April 7, 2006 at 11:19 hrs

  4. Hello Veena,

    I am really very sorry for the extremly late response. But I was/am pretty busy with personal and professional work/commitments.

    Nice to know that you too have booked a flat in Jains Kences, and that too in the same block. It is a pity that the CMDA approval hasn’t yet arrived.

    Have you decided upon the loan? Do you have any updates about when the CMDA approval will come?

    You can reach me at [MyUserId]at[GMail][dotcom]. Hope you can solve that puzzle easily! I don’t want to post my mail id in the “” format to avoid spams.

    My UserId will be the same as this WordPress page: protoiyer.

    Here is wishing you the very best on your dream home project :).



    April 23, 2006 at 23:46 hrs

  5. Hello,

    I am working in the UAE and planning to visit chennai on holidays between May 30 & June 20, 2006. I am looking forward to book/purchase a residential apartment (2 or 3 bedroom) in Chennai. My preferred locations are as follows (order of priority)

    a) Chromepet/Mylapore
    b) Nanganallur
    c) Adyar/Besant Nagar
    d) ECR road

    Could you please send your advise/tips in going about procuring a flat in chennai. You may please share the hurdles that you faced in the process of booking your flat.


    Vijay Kumar

    May 8, 2006 at 01:00 hrs

  6. Hi proto,

    maybe mine is also an xtremely delayed response.. hope u are aware of the
    current details of the project..when do u think they will REALLy handover??
    and have u decided on wood work and such stuff?


    September 5, 2007 at 11:43 hrs


    I booked Jains Green Acres Flat in pallavaram in january 2006 & they said it will be completed in october 2006 but till now it’s not handed over.out of the 684 flats ..600 flats are done..the main problem is CMDA approval / completion certificate etc…

    I don’t know whom should be blamed for this long long delay.. Even though Jains have a good reputation still they are not able to manage this situation properly & about 600 + families are facing this bad & tough situations.

    It’s high time things get sorted or it will become a big problem soon.



    September 5, 2007 at 21:01 hrs

  8. They are quoting Jan-Mar ’08. I guess the worst case would be May ’08. Based on the way it is shaping up, it shouldn’t take longer. Keeping the fingers crossed!


    September 6, 2007 at 01:11 hrs

  9. Hi proto and veena very glad to inform u all that me 2 booked a flat in kences retreat in block 7 in fourth floor waiting 4 completion with finger crossed in right time


    October 21, 2007 at 20:07 hrs

  10. What about buying a land without CMDA approval. Is it advisable. The CMDA approval is expected some time after 6 months.


    November 28, 2007 at 02:52 hrs

  11. Hello!! How are you.. Its really a good post posted on march 2006.. now what is the cost of ur flat.. hope it’s near to half the crore.. am i correct :)


    January 4, 2008 at 20:33 hrs

  12. Hi Guys,

    Is anyone still struck in this CMDA Completion Certificate approval process. I booked a flat in West Mambalam (not with Jains) sometime back in Aug 2006 and still didn’t get the approval. They supposed to handover by March 2007. Still dragging without any proper reason.

    Any idea.


    January 11, 2008 at 00:57 hrs

  13. I want a home construction loan for my 630 sq. feet plot for which all banks are refusing to give stating that plan approval is required which chennai corporation or cmda is refusing to give as stating that the plan will be issued for minimum 850 sq. feet. I need guidance from any one of us.

    housing laon

    January 18, 2008 at 20:45 hrs

  14. not sure why there is so much delay. we have not got our flats handed over yet;. any idea why


    January 22, 2008 at 14:09 hrs

  15. Am also struck with CC issue in West Mambalam.. May be we are sailing in the same boat, anonymous.. Seems the minor deviations, which were not an issue before 2006, is causing the troubles, now that all the CCs are scrunitinized by the High Court monitoring committee.. That’s to my knowledge..


    March 8, 2008 at 20:55 hrs

  16. Jains is one of the worst builder. I have stayed in as rented house and my brother has got his own house in Jain. The way they treated us was pathetic. Just have a look at the flats built by the Jain in kodambakkam area. Everything is leaking and Jains give a damn shit to repair them. Most of them 2-3 year old flats.

    Also one of my friend(inspite of my warning) bought a house in Chrompet. Its almost 3 years from the booking date. He is yet to receive the key.


    March 24, 2008 at 20:27 hrs

  17. Hi

    This is just for you’re awareness, please don’t buy flat through any local builders as I did, always try to stick with branded builders…

    I have got my flat in vadapalani,Chennai after a long hassles & buzzles with “Shri Hari Builders” (local builder) He did not delivered on time, Since I don’t have any way , I entered and stayed without electricity & water supply for more than 25 days..

    They were collected 50 thousand for EB and Water Supply, but I got my EB Connection only after 26 moths and the builder forced us to pay extra registration charge 10 k to each person to get the connection again. From innocent they tried to collect 25 k..

    If we asked the builder what happen to the existing subscription to EB connection?
    No answer.

    The most annoying matters is he never pick up our call, and if we try to contact any supervisors, they claim we are not working anymore with “Shri Hari Apartement” but actually they were working on another site for cheat others..

    Cheater Builder – “Shri Hari Apartements” some time called “Shri Hari”
    He is put up neary by ashok nagar…

    So be aware, don’t get cheated. I know the pain of getting a flat in Chennai…


    May 23, 2008 at 17:23 hrs

  18. Thanks everyone for your comments and taking time out to read this blog post. The construction work is still going on, and the project is delayed by 6 months as of now, and probably will be delayed by a few more months for it to reach a state where I would call it ready for occupation (no am not talking about the landscaping or the swimming pool or the club house; can easily live without them). Regarding the quality of construction, I am not too sure whether it is as bad as what Sriram says. Anyways, time will tell. Good luck to all of you with your house hunt.


    June 8, 2008 at 21:22 hrs

  19. good article. Sometimes the post make me feel that there are only very few good builders/promoters in Chennai. I am also planning to buy one in Chrompet. Lets see how it goes. Good luck guys.


    June 9, 2008 at 13:11 hrs

  20. Dear All ( particularly Jains Kencesians )

    Hope we all meet up soon as residents………….yeah………..I’ve also booked a flat in Jains Kences. This was a very wise decision………and i stand by it even today. It is next to impossible to get a house now for the price that was given that time. But I never expected this long long delay………….. The construction quality is OK now, as there is always an uncertainty. Have you insured the respective flats ? If not done………….lets do it now. If anybody has done it……..let me know the procedure.


    June 14, 2008 at 11:38 hrs

  21. Dear All

    Whats happening………….does tht mean the discussions is over ?


    June 17, 2008 at 19:47 hrs

  22. Kamal/Dasavatharam, well, my article is about 2 years old, and so you can understand why there is not too much discussion happening here. What is your flat number? Have you got the handover intimation letter (I haven’t but people in blocks 1,2,3 have I suppose). Thanks for reading and leaving the comment.


    June 17, 2008 at 23:26 hrs

  23. Mine is Block 8. People have started occupying in 7th and 8th block also. Where r u located right now ? India or abroad ? It seems, intimation letter will not be handed over to us, we need to chase it !!!

    Have you started the interior work ?


    July 7, 2008 at 22:53 hrs

  24. […] Jains Kences Retreat. You might find it interesting if you have read my earlier post about having booked a flat. Over to Pradeep! I would hope he starts writing about software and programming as well, so that […]

  25. Hi Sir, I am just trying to see if I could buy an appartment in Kences. The advice from some who stay there is that all is well now. (the place looks very nice with a nice lawn and open spaces)
    Just wanted to know if there are any contrary opinion that I should be aware of.

    Please let me have some comments if possible


    May 11, 2011 at 13:55 hrs

  26. @gilli: “all is well now”? meaning something was not well earlier? If yes, what is it? Unless I know what you are looking for, it is very difficult to provide advise. If you are a pretty rich guy who can afford a Ceebros flat, then Jains is certainly not as good as them. If you are someone who is lower-to-middle middle class, then it is not a bad option! If you are upper middle, you might not like the flaws (low voltage, drain pipes that are a bit leaky, minor issues here and there, and so on).

    There are flaws, but nothing that is as bad as some other Jains (and non-Jains, small builder) projects about which I hear from friends. Also most of the issues are fully resolvable [at the whole apartment level] with some initiative and money, though the root cause for some of the issues is the bad craftsmanship of Jains (drain pipes with T-bends, 4 car parks per block right under the 4 drain pipes, and it leaks at times). I stayed at a Jains flat in RAPuram that is far far better than this, and I heard Jains Pallavaram is far far worse than my apartment. But as you said, here at least you get a decent UDS inside city limits! :) Good luck with your house hunt.


    May 13, 2011 at 12:18 hrs

  27. Hi Proto,
    Thanks for your time and for the reply. Just to clarify I was not actually told that there were any specific big problems. I was just told that things are smooth now which may mean that the initial start up probelms for any big society is now under control. Atleast i assumed that much.

    Thanks again for your valuable inputs.



    May 13, 2011 at 22:01 hrs

  28. wow, awesome blog post.Thanks Again. Really Cool.

    Samara Broadwater

    February 7, 2012 at 13:29 hrs

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