Planning to buy a holiday home? Don’t forget the basics!

Holiday Home

Holiday Home

The trend of buying holiday homes in the outskirts of a city far away from maddening crowds and the jarring sounds of car honks is quickly picking up in India. Most of us love the idea of owning a house on the beach or a hill station. However, buying a holiday home is certainly not something a person with an average salary would do. Neither someone looking for his first home will buy a holiday home as his first house.

 Mostly people who are interested in buying holiday homes are people with surplus investments after buying 1-2 houses in major cities of India. This segment of people is definitely expanding. Points to remember before buying a holiday home:

 Take a well-thought decision:

 Buy a holiday home, only if you have cash to spare! In case, you are planning to buy a house since your family is growing or your kids need a garden to play in, go for a bigger house and not a holiday home in a remote location. If more than living, monetizing your holiday home is on your mind, then maybe you are on the right track. The purpose of buying a holiday home should be absolutely clear in your mind before you take the buying decision. After all you don’t want your dream holiday home to burn a hole in your pocket with you realizing it too late that you took the wrong decision of purchasing it!

 Choose the right location:

 Even though you want to buy a holiday home away from the hustle bustle of the city, you should ensure that you don’t buy your home in a very remote location. Your holiday home should be close to essential facilities such as markets, hospitals and eating joints etc. Moreover, in case the holiday home is your second home ensure its not very far away from your current home so that you can easily visit and keep a check on the new house. Ensure you buy a property only in areas which have high growth potential.

 Return on Investment:

 Every investment needs to generate good returns to make it worthwhile! If you buy a holiday home in a good location, the appreciation will be higher, which will make it lucrative if you are looking towards reselling it or renting it. The best deal you can crack and earn some good returns is by renting the property whenever you are not staying in it. The additional income will help you in maintaining the second property and will also help you avoid situations wherein your holiday home is vacant for a very long period of time.

Cost of Taxation:

Your holiday home is not going to be tax free. Make sure you are all set to pay taxes on your second property. In case, you sell your holiday home within a period of 3 years of purchasing it any capital gains arising from the sale of property will be taxable.


Maintenance of a home away from home is definitely not easy. Maintaining a holiday home on a regular basis needs quite a bit of extra cash since you need to hire the right set of people to take care of the same. Moreover, reselling sometimes becomes a problem since not everyone requires a holiday home so the number of buyers comes down. Security is also a problem in holiday homes situated in interior or remote locations.

In case, you have analyzed all the above pointers and are quite sure that you want to buy a holiday home, what’s stopping you? Go ahead and buy one for yourself and enjoy your vacation in your very own holiday home!

Highly affordable car launches in 2015 India

Datsun Go+The Indian automobile industry witnessed a series of car launched in the year 2014. Now the manufacturers in India are all pepped up to launch the next set of cars with futuristic technology, modern features and improved styling. The list mentioned below is a list of upcoming affordable and highly comfortable cars in the range from 4 lakh – 15 lakhs:

Tata Bolt

Tata Bolt is expected to be launched on January 20, 2015. The expected price of the car is estimated at 4.2 lakhs onwards. Tata Motors has already opened the online bookings and is charging a minimum booking amount of Rs. 11,000. Tata Bolt may help reinstate the position of Tata Motors to enter the market of passenger cars.

Datsun Go Plus

 After the success of its Go, hatchback car, Datsun India is now ready to launch its MPV model Datsun Go Plus. Expected to be launched on January 20, 2015, the price of the car is estimated to be around 3.8 – 5 lakh onwards. The smart styling and designing is expected to give a car a very expensive look even though the price range is low. The spacing is expected to be highly comfortable and the interiors will be similar to Go. However, it will be available only in a petrol variant.

 Renault Lodgy MPV

 After the success of its SUV model, Renault Duster, the auto manufacturers are now expecting to receive the same kind of appreciation for its upcoming MPV – Renault Lodgy. Expected to be launched somewhere in mid-2015, the estimated price of car should be around 10 lakh – 15 lakh rupees. The car is expected to have the similar interiors to Renault Duster and is expected to be available in both diesel and petrol variants. It may become a direct competitor for Nissan Evalia, Mahindra Xylo and Toyota Innova.

Honda Jazz

Expected to launch in mid-2015, Honda has priced its Jazz hatchback economically in range starting from Rs. 4.5 lakh – 7 lakh. It is a spacious car and available in both petrol and diesel variants. The earlier Jazz hatchback did not do very well in India due to being overpriced and available only in a petrol variant.

Renault Duster Facelift

Renault India witnessed a high level of success in India with their SUV Duster. The company has now decided to give the SUV a facelift. The SUV is expected to carry quite a few cosmetic changes and will be available in both petrol and diesel variants. Expected to be launched in the first quarter of 2015, the estimated price of the SUV is expected to be somewhere around Rs. 8 – 12.28 lakhs.

Maruti YBA SUV

Maruti is now all set to launch a rival for Ford EcoSport in 2015. Expected to be launched in the second quarter of 2015, the price of the SUV is estimated to be around Rs.7.5 – Rs. 10 lakhs. Maruti YBA will be packing in quite a few equipment to take on EcoSport in the market. The exteriors will be muscular and heavily stylized.

Hyundai ix25

Hyundai aspiring to compete in the SUV drive currently sweeping away the country will be launching their compact SUV in mid-2015. The car will be similar to Renault Duster in size and will be a direct competitor for Renault Duster and Nissan Terrano. The estimated price of car will be about 10 lakhs and will be available in both petrol and diesel variants.

We have mentioned some of the most affordable, economical and comfortable cars above. 2015 is expected to be a great year for auto makers in terms of sales so you can expect some great SUVs and MPVs in the coming year!

Govind Jaiswal – Son of rickshaw puller holds an IAS position today

Govind Jaiswal - IAS

Govind Jaiswal – IAS

Govind Jaiswal, son of a rickshaw puller at the age of 11 knew he had to become an IAS officer. The insults and the taunts he received for being poor and rickshaw puller’s son motivated him to study harder. Govind spent most of his time studying with cotton jammed in his ears to avoid the disturbing sounds of printing machines and generators in his neighbourhood.

He studied in a government school and a government college. After his graduation, his father sent him to Delhi with Rs.40, 000, which he received after selling his only piece of land. Govind studied 18 hours a day to ensure his father’s efforts made on him are not wasted. At times he used to miss a meal or two to save money and kept on practicing and studying rigorously.

In 2006, Govind ranked 48 among 474 successful candidates in Civil Services Exam. That was one of the proudest moments in Govind’s and his family’s lives.

Govind Jaiswal presently is a renowned IAS officer and his story motivates and inspires the youth especially the students coming from economically weaker sections of the society. Govind is an idealist and one of the honest IAS officers. His struggles and hardships have made him what he is today.

Like Rabindranath Tagore once said – “You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water”. Govind Jaiswal is a true example of someone who fulfilled his dreams irrespective of all odds and hardships faced by him.

Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai most lucrative property investment destinations in 2015

Property Investment

Property Investment

As per a report published by PwC, the ranking of Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai as a lucrative property investment destination has improved in comparison to last 2 years. Bangalore has climbed up to the 17th position, whereas Delhi and Mumbai have climbed up to 14th and 11th position respectively. In 2014, Bengaluru stood at 20th position with Delhi and Mumbai stood on 21st and 23rd position respectively. The improvement in the ranking of the three major cities mentioned above clearly indicates the improved investor sentiments in India.

The interest in commercial space is likely to increase in 2015. The surge in interest of investors can be a direct implication of – a) real estate global funds focused on India especially on residential projects, b) rise in the number of foreign institutional players, c) creation of smart cities focusing mainly on large-scale manufacturing, d) e-commerce picking up at a very quick pace leading to a high demand for large scale logistics and warehousing space.

In Mumbai, currently the occupancy rate is nearly 80%. The rentals and the property rates are expected to increase especially for posh and high-quality areas. In New Delhi, post the 2014 elections, the rates of commercial properties are now showing an upward trend. Bengaluru on is now witnessing increasing rents of business park facilities at a steady rate.

This year property investment in these three major cities may help you earn moolah but don’t expect too many new projects coming up since the focus this year will be on completing the ongoing projects rather than new project launches.

Source: Business Today 

Bidding adieu technology trends in 2014

Technology Trends

Technology Trends

The year of 2014 saw some remarkable technology trends. Quite a few became very popular and quite a few lived a good life but then slowly faded away. The list below includes some of the technology products that slowly died away in 2014:


Orkut, a 10-year old social networking site launched by Google was shut down this year on September 10. Launched in 2004, the year Facebook was also launched, Orkut was unable to place Google on top of the list namely, “popular web businesses”. Facebook slowly killed Orkut and became the leader in social networking sites with grabbing about 1.28 billion users.

Microsoft Windows:

Windows XP, the 13-year old PC Operating System, once the most popular and sought after Windows edition bid farewell this year in April. Numerous companies were using Windows XP. Majority of the ATMs were also using Windows XP. However, Microsoft decided to stop support for the Windows XP.

MSN Messenger:

MSN Messenger, a 15-year old global instant messaging client finally bid adieu to the world of internet in 2014. Microsoft has now merged MSN messenger with Skype making the former completely obsolete. MSN was one of the best, easy to use and a reliable IM clients and had become an instant hit once it was launched in the market.

iPod Classic:

iPod Classic with a capacity to hold more than 40,000 songs was not updated by Apple since 2009. The product obviously was on the verge of getting scrapped. However, with the smartphones emerging apple iPods really couldn’t justify much of their use to the users. The iPhone ate away the iPod Classic with offering numerous features in comparison to iPod Classic making it only a memory for i-users.

Technology is constantly evolving. One fading technology paves way for the emerging technology to impact people’s lives and fulfill their needs even more. This era of instant gratification and a constant need for improved technologies is reducing the life-span of existing technologies furthermore.

Bengaluru to grab maximum office space in 2015

Office Space

Office Space

With the growing population in India and a significant number of youth now engaged in the IT/ITes sector, BFSI, pharma sectors, the number of offices in India is increasing rapidly. Not only the prospective employees are looking for jobs but the prospective employers are looking frantically for a space for them to employ people and provide them with a decent work space.

As per a recent report published by Cushman & Wakefield (C&W), a globally renowned real estate consultancy firm; Bengaluru, the IT capital of India is expected to absorb the maximum office space in comparison to other major cities in India.

Overall, India is expected to absorb approximately 36.8 million square feet (msf) office space in 2015. The  demand for office space in India will be mainly driven by growth in the corporate activities undertaken by both domestic and global companies.

Bengaluru is expected to grab the maximum office space of nearly 11.1 msf with NCR following the same with grabbing about 6.8 msf office space.

The report reveals that the figures above show considerable improvement in comparison to 2013 and 2014, implying remarked improvement in overall macro-economic scenario, political stability and business sentiment.

This trend of absorbing more office space is expected to pick up in second half of 2015 and continue in 2016. Major cities in India are expected to have a robust supply pipeline of office space in 2015 except Hyderabad wherein the demand is expected to be more than supply.

The demand for office space is mainly driven by sectors such as BFSI, manufacturing and pharmaceutical sector, banking and majorly by IT-ITeS. The overall increase in supply of office space is expected offer options to tenants to choose and negotiate till they firm up on the best option for themselves both in space and the rent they pay.

Source: Economic Times 

Nice to Have Gadgets for this New Year!

Smart Gadgets

Smart Gadgets

With the new year just around the corner, the number of smart gadgets being launched is absolutely maddening! The last week of December is always a time to relax and splurge some of your savings on things that you always wanted but were always avoiding to buy thinking it’s an extravagance and you had other priorities to deal with! Most of the tech-savvy people already must be having the gadgets we are going to mention below, but all the others out there, if you worked hard the entire year, it’s time to treat yourself with some of the “nice-to-have” gadgets mentioned below:


A smartphone is a must have for everyone and anyone these days. Smart phone is something that helps you becomes smart these days. You can check your “email on the go” and never be late in responding to mails; log into your social media accounts (Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter) and not miss out any fun posts; use the GPS navigation and never get lost anymore in finding your friend’s new house in an unknown area; take high resolution photographs, shoot HD videos, get world wide web on your finger tip; swipe your credit cards through mobile apps and much more. If you don’t have a smart phone till now, make sure you get it this new year or maybe before!


Tablets offer much better user-experience than older laptops. They make great e-readers and reading books on a tablet is so much better! Using modern apps and playing games on a tablet is much more fun than a 2-year old laptop. They are great for sharing one-on-one presentations and photos. You can use them while traveling and tablets just don’t crash. All they need is a restart. The best part is tablets are cheaper than laptops and so much more cooler to use but only if you don’t have to do a lot of typing on it.


Ever thought of a smart TV? Chromecast is one gadget that transforms your regular TV to a very smart television. This HDMI dongle enables you to stream YouTube videos directly from web to the TV. Chromecast can be connected with your smartphone or your laptop. You can now watch high resolution videos, stream songs and movies and any other other content you are accessing on your smartphone or PC. In short, whatever you can do on your smartphone can now be done on the TV instead. It’s an interesting gadget to have especially if you like doing everything “larger than life”.


Smartwatch is typically for people who are fond of buying and wearing watches. But essentially it is really for people who want their watches to really do more than just telling time. Gone are the days when people used to look at their watches for seeing time. Smartphones are more than enough to work as a watch. People need smartwatches to now tell them what’s up? They need notifications on their watches since they don’t want to spend too much time on their phones and laptops. A smartwatch allows people to stay connected without looking distracted and interrupting their ongoing daily lives. It also offers you the advantage of pairing it with smart phone apps.

The above mentioned gadgets may not be a necessity but are definitely nice to have since these gadgets not only make your life easier but also help you stay smartly connected to what’s happening in your home, office and the world. This new year you should definitely look at owning at least one of the above gadgets and get more tech-savvy. 

Car prices to be hiked next year, buy one before the New Year!

hyundaiPlanning to buy a new car next year? Get ready to shell out some extra cash from your kitty since most of the automobile manufacturers are all set to hike prices starting January 2015. Most of them are stating the reason of rising costs for the price rise. This price rise is taking place after a lean sales period during which car prices could not be raised. However, the auto manufacturers are now claiming the prices need to be hiked as the heavy discounts and increasing expenses given during the lean periods have badly affected the profitability.

Expected price hike by auto manufacturers for the next year:

  • Maruti Suzuki – Maruti Suzuki will now hike prices after a period of 1. 2 years. A sharp 2-3% increase in the entire Maruti Suzuki range with Ciaz going up to Rs. 20,000.
  • Hyundai India – The last hike was conducted in September 2014 from Rs. 8,000 to Rs. 18,000. Hyundai India is expected to marginally increase prices from Rs. 5,000 – Rs. 20,000.
  • Mahindra & Mahindra – Mahindra & Mahindra increased prices in November 2014. The hike on Mahindra Cars on XUV Range, Scorpio and Xylo maybe between Rs. 6,000 – Rs. 10,000.
  • Nissan – Prices for Sunny and Terrano can go up to Rs. 12,000 – Rs. 18,000. Prices for Nissan Micra can increase up to Rs. 7000-8,000. Datsun Go price can be further hiked by Rs. 10,000.
  • Toyota Kirloskar – The auto manufacturer is expected to raise prices from 2-3% based on model variants.
  • Honda Siel – Even though Honda has raised prices three times already in 2014. The manufacturer is expected to increase costs again in January.
  • Ford India – Prices of Fiesta and Ford EcoSport is expected to increase by Rs. 10,000 – Rs. 12,000 in January 2015.
  • BMW India – BMW India may increase car prices by at least 5 % and can increase the cost of BMW 7 Series by almost Rs. 5 lakh.
  • Other car manufacturers – With the market leaders such as Toyota, Honda and Hyundai and Maruti all set to increase prices, the others too are bound to follow and hike prices in the coming months. Tata Motors, Mercedes Benz, Audi, Chevrolet India and Volkswagen may increase their price in 2% – 5% range.

Most of the auto manufacturers are all set for the hike prices to offset the rising cost of raw material and impact of strong dollar rate against rupee. So, in case, you are planning to buy a new car next year and want to save some extra cash, book your car now with the year-end bumper discounts being offered by almost all auto manufacturers.

Ice Man saves Ladakh from water crisis!

Ice Man of India

Ice Man of India

Innovations don’t always happen in laboratories, it happens whenever and wherever the need arises. In fact, innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower in crucial times. This holds true for 79-year old Chewang Norphel , a retired civil engineer who has created artificial glaciers for supplying water to the dry mountainous and cold regions of Ladakh.

Today, Chewang is known as the “Ice Man of India”. Due to his valuable contribution, people in Ladakh are now somewhat relieved from water scarcity problem. Chewang had to take an early retirement due to his bad health. However, staying at home was not his cup of tea and the acute shortage of water in Ladakh pushed him to use his engineering skills for the betterment of people.

The average rainfall in Ladakh is about 50 mm annually, which is very less for about 80% population engaged in farming. The main source of water for irrigation came from melting of glaciers. Receding of glaciers quickly due to global warming created an inadequacy of water supply for farmers in the summers. On the contrary, quite a lot of water was wasted in winters due to farmers inability to grow any crops in the winter season.

It struck Chewang that if he could somehow conserve the water melting from glaciers in summers and autumn for forming a glacier in winter, the artificial glacier would be melting in spring season and supply water to the villagers just when they would need it for irrigation. Moreover, these artificial glaciers were built at a lower altitude than the original ones, which meant that they would start melting sooner and provide the villagers water for farming. He used all his expertise, innovation and hard work in building 10 such artificial glaciers. 

The largest glacier he has built in Phutse is about 2 km long and the smallest one in Umla is about 500 feet long. Chewang’s efforts has led to a significant increase in the agricultural produce, which has in turn led to an increase in the income of villagers.

Chewang has once again reaffirmed the belief of people in the saying – “ Where there is a will, there is a way”.

Is controlling domestic help rates in apartments becoming essential?

domestic-helpDomestic help/maids have now become a necessity for almost all households in India. Presently, with both men and women working in the 9-5 shift or more, the basic household chores need to be taken care of by the maids, cooks, nannies, drivers etc. It becomes essential that you hire the right person for all these activities that affect your day-to-day lives.

 Some of the cities such as Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai and Hyderabad have several high-rise apartments with 700+ people residing in the same. The amount of domestic help available in such apartments should also be abundant? But this is not the case and the simple rule of economics that demand generates supply fails here. Finding domestic help is not as easy as earlier irrespective of where you stay or how much you can pay. Sooner or later you do go through the pain of finding the right domestic help and retaining the same.

 Essentially, the story remains the same whether you reside in a big apartment or small. The residents of an apartment always complain that how maids, cooks and drivers in general force residents to increase their salary. A lot of household help quit frequently to join new employers who pay them higher or just become very adamant and demand for immediate pay hikes/bonuses forcing their employers to reconsider their compensation.

 Almost all apartment associations have discussed these issues and attempt to come up with regulations to control the rates of maids in an apartment such as below:

  • Prepare a rate card for all the household activities and ask residents to pay only that much.

  • Every maid needs to carry a No-objection-certificate from her previous employer so that the prospective employer ensures she/he is not switching jobs for money.

  • Residents are requested not to deviate from the rate card.

  • Any domestic help asking for more than the agreed rates is penalized.

 The question that arises from the above pointers is that how easy is it to apply these rules to housing societies. A lot of residents were happy with the above mentioned resolutions, however some disagreed to the resolutions claiming that they were quite capitalist in nature and if doctors/engineers can demand their price, why can’t the domestic help do the same? The whole demand and supply economics lies in the scenario that if you can afford a maid for Rs. 8,000 and can very well afford it, it doesn’t matter to you if others in the apartment are paying Rs. 3,000. The others sooner or later will have to succumb to the so called “market rate” pressure and increase the salary bars.

 The resolutions mentioned above can only work if people living in an apartment work as a team with their associations and come to a common resolution wherein neither the domestic help is exploited nor are the employers blackmailed for sudden pay hikes.

 Until then people with maids/drivers working with you for more than an year, good luck in maintaining them. For people searching for a good domestic help, best of luck for your quest to find the right domestic help!