The Week That Was# 12
First of all, many thanks to each one of you who either left a comment, wrote a mail or called me over the phone to congratulate me for having booked a flat in Chennai.
The Week# 12 turned out to be yet another hectic week, and this time the theme of the week was to identify the best possible home loan for me and my friends. [I don't remember whether I mentioned it in my last post, but the thing is I was on the hunt for a flat with with a colleague of mine, Naresh, for the last three months or so; we were later joined by another colleague and friend, Pradeep. Not surprisingly, all the three of us are in the same team].
I spend the first half of the last week talking to the various "identified" banks, and was trying to negotiate the terms and conditions, and more importantly the Rate of Interest :). Subru had sort of brainwashed me over the last one year to go in for Fixed rate of interest, even though statistics quoted by a banker says that about 88% of loans are Floating in nature. The reason being the perceived lower rate of interest.
I weighed the pros and cons of Fixed and Floating, and under the current market conditions, thought that Fixed would be a better option, at least in the short run (say the first five years). At any point of time, I can study the market condition, and if Floating falls back to the 7.x era, can think about switching over. Yes, I know that there is a charge of anything between 0.5%-1% of the outstanding involved in this switching over. I managed to brainwash both Naresh and Pradeep in the process :).
After a very detailed and careful study, during which I spend countless hours reading the net and talking to various wise guys — both home loan consumers as well as bankers — we zeroed in on the following four options by Tuesday evening:
- CanFin Homes [9.5% Fixed for 20 years]
- Union Bank of India [9% Fixed for 20 years]
- IDBI Housing Finance [8.75% Fixed for only 3 years]
- LIC Housing Finance [7.5% Floating; a very very attractive rate]
I must confess that whatever mentioned above is not the be all and end all of this game called home-loan. There are so many nitty gritty details (processing fee, mortgage v/s depository notes, reset clause, hidden charges, loan enhancement) to worry about that the process turned out be a prolonged affair (at least for us).
Finally on Friday morning, we decided to seal the deal with Union Bank of India. Our applications have been submitted, and we are expecting to get the approval well within a week's time. Of course, I won't be getting the quantum of loan that I need at this point of time, but hey, I have an year and a half to slog and do something about it :).
We are also having a jolly time at home with lots of guests turning up in the last few weeks. First there was Lakshmi and her cousin (family friends), who came to attend her MBA Contact Classes. Then there was Sundar Anna. That was over the Week# 11. And this time (Week# 12) we are hosting Durai Sir and Mami, who are on a 10 day trip to Madras. So I have been keeping myself busy one way or the other.
Announcement: My good friend Sarath, who recently won the Kerala State award for the Best Dubbing Artist (Male), has decided to settle down in life..well, sort of. His betrothal is fixed for Sun, 02-Apr-06, and the function will be conducted at the girl's place in Kallekulangara, Palghat. She is a distant relative of Sarath, and is currently doing her Graduation in Speech Therapy in Shorannur. However, I don't think I will be able to make it, thanks to the work pressure (at work I am running behind schedule, which was caused by my commitment towards the biggest project of my life — my home :).
In case you didn't know, Kallekulangara houses the famous Kallekulangara Devi temple, also known as the "Kai-pathi" [Malayalam for palm] temple, where the idol is just a pair of hands, and it is said that Indira Gandhi decided to adopt this
symbol for Congress(I), after praying at this temple in the 1970s.