Lesson 9: Property – A must for investors

As of this writing India is populated with 1533701675 individuals. Though India is quite a big country, the surging population will render the real estate costs on the higher side year after year. One often hears that a plot (site) purchased a few years back for say 65000 is now selling at 2.5 Lakhs and so on. In most cases property appreciation is in the order of 40-100%. That is enormous considering the fact that the very risky stock markets also cannot give such returns on a regular basis. The risk involved is very less as a carefully chosen property will rarely give negative returns. They can give additional income like rentals. They are a good hedge against inflation as rarely you will find a property costing less than what it was. Pride is attached with ownership of a property (especially in India).

Then why not everyone drop the idea of investing elsewhere and go for property alone. The chief blocking point is that investments in property are way too costly. You cannot go and invest a few thousands in it. Unless you have a few lakhs of disposable cash, you cannot think of investing in property. (Of course with the advent of real estate funds, this could be solved).  Also you have to be extra careful as there are many bogus operators and you could be easily cheated and the money involved is quite high as well. The liquidity part is also alarming as to dispose a house and book the profit, it might take anywhere between a few months to a year.

Having said all this, there are other advantages that outshine. You can opt for a home loan where-by you can avail of tax benefits (Principal in the 1 Lakh limit and the interest part of upto 1.5 Lakhs  can be exempt from tax). If a home is purchased for self-residential purpose then you have your own house to live in (no more rents) and the joy of which only people living in rental houses can realize. You can decorate it as you like, nail anywhere any number of times, and most important of them all, you need not change you address with a dozen people (banks, electricity board, telephone etc) as you will not be changing you house any more.

But if you insist on the property being only for an investment, then buy plots (sites) rather than houses as the appreciation in plots (sites) are far better than built houses. Of course there are exceptions here too, as for example in Bangalore there is not much difference between any type of real estate investments (sites, apartments, individual houses) as there are crazy beggers here who will happily buy an apartment (for resale) for Rs 38 Lakhs, which is located on block E in the 16th floor of some ‘Stupid Nests’ built by KirukuPaya Developers Pvt. Ltd.

An Anatomy of Love

A TV anchor meets a couple and the first question she asks is “Was yours a love marriage?” and the couple somehow feel bad saying that theirs was arranged. It doesn’t sound nice. And you should see the pride in the couple that say the other answer.

For many the fundamental problem in life is ‘Should I marry the girl my parent choose’ or ‘should I love someone and marry him/her’.  Somehow pride is attached with love, especially during the college days. A Boy feels proud to say that a girl is in love with him and the same holds true to most of the girls as well. And those who are not in love are looked upon as incapable or even impotent.  The fact is that you cannot just go and start loving someone or wait and pray that you would be loved.

Well then what do we do. Do we marry a girl who we haven’t even heard about and just because our parents assure that she is the best match for us. After all they claim that they have done a lot for us from childhood and know what is good for us. NO.. IMPOSSIBLE.. It doesn’t work all that well and for many it turns out to be the worst mistake of their life. In the best case it has a 50-50 chance for success. Something similar to tossing a coin and calling for heads. Great if you get heads, but WAIT it is a decision that is going to affect the better part of your life. Should you leave it to chance? Have you heard that  “A known DEVIL is far better than an unknown ANGEL”.

I have seen people doing a great research before buying their bike. They want a classy, fuel efficient, powerful one that is also cheap. When they don’t get all they want, they just do some compromise on the ‘not-so-important’ features but make sure that their priority features are met. And they are proud to have the vehicle. Now when you take so much care for a vehicle which is not going to bother you (It doesnt even talk to you or go against your wishes) and you can sell it later if you don’t like it or when a newer model arrives, then to have someone as your better-half, who can make or mar your life, you need to be atleast a little more cautious that just tossing a coin and hoping for heads.

Now where does that leave us? I can summarize three options

   1. Marry the one your parents choose and you don’t have the slightest idea about the person  –  A STRONG NO except when you are way too old (30+)
   2. Love a person and marry him/her – MORE ON THIS BELOW
   3. Choose your life partner –  MORE ON THIS BELOW

Well the next option is to “Fall in love”, and you will literally fall. We have heard some facts like love should be spontaneous and that you should be careful to avoid infatuation. Bull Shit!! It is almost impossible to find true love and much more difficult to hold on to one. The first requirement is that you should be lucky enough and the next one is that you should be bold, brave and if need be fight with all your might to end up in marriage. Pretty tough considering that you need to  prosper in your career at around the same time. But should you find one and go to to marry him/her, you can rest in peace. Believe me, there is nothing like having a wonderful friend at home who also happens to be your spouse. But it doesn’t end up in bliss for many and as I have pointed out, you need to be LUCKY.

So the best option is to ‘CHOOSE Your Life Partner’. And it is ‘risk-free’, ‘returns-guaranteed’ way of approaching the entire problem. This is very simple and is synonymous with dating. Make friends of the prospective persons and date with them. Stay in the yellow line, be more than a friend, but just don’t yet commit to the relationship. You will in the course of time get to know a lot about the person and even if it doesn’t work out (She says NO one fine day or you find that she is incompatible or worse still, inpalatable) you need not sprout beard or spend your money on drinks to show your dissappointment. Just move on to another person. But again you need to make some compromises and keep your PRIORITIES right (like $%%^!@(#, personality, character etc) or else you will spend most of your life searching. I know it is not all that easy to understand a person a lot by this way, but you can give it a try and you will get better results that just sitting in a corner and tossing a coin.

Marriage – A necessary evil

In the words of Meander ‘Marriage is evil, but a necessary evil’. I sat to write this after reading the opinion of Gavri in his blog on marriage

Well the fact is he has confused living-together and marriage. Everyone wants to be loved. No doubt about that. And there is something within us that makes us love someone else for whatever reason. That lands us in a situation that we are better off living in the same place sharing our love better. As far as I am concerned, Marriage is bull-shit. Two people who love each other can well live together, have kids and be happy. In fact if they do find incompatible, they can say goodbye and move on (If that is the case do so before having kids. I mean kids not ‘sex’. This is important as we don’t want any left out kids).

I have always found it highly unacceptable that this society approves sex between two strangers just because they were married on the same day, but finds it hard to accept a sex bwtween a loving and caring couple who aren’t married. What the fuck!?! What the heck is this marriage then – As gavri put it, a license for sex. Go to hell you people who defined it that way.

The necessary evil – But then why did I get married or waited till then to have sex with my girl friend. The whole point was, they wouldn’t even allow me to see her till then and they made my life very miserable by making a fuss of our love. The only way I could shut them all up was by getting married. We don’t give a damn about our marriage. It was for others, for this stupid society to know that we can hold hands and it was none of their business to complain thereafter. But the government approval does bring some benefits with that. After marriage we were respected more, my useful opinions were headed to by some senior members of the family. We were given a house for rent immediately. I enjoyed the status that came along with it. My kid will find it extremely easy to get admission in a school since we are married. Even the tax department is happy. Marriage gives you a recognition in this society PERIOD

It doesn’t take a lot of your time or your money (if you insist) to get married and so it shouldn’t be a problem for you. So go ahead, get married and enjoy the recognition. It would be stupid of you, if you were trying to prove your point and wasting a lot of your time, effort and enerygy (money too) by just standing against it.

So Get Married – It is evil, but a necessary one.

This is Bangalore

I totally agree that we have come to Bangalore looking to earn more and certainly it wouldn’t have been possible in my wildest dreams to earn this back at Pondicherry. But I am forced to complain about this garden city just because of a the morons who reside here.

One thing that everyone will agree instantaneously is the pathetic state of the roads and flyovers. I should call them as semi-flyovers as there are very few actually completed. There is one near BTM Layout (Jayadeva hospital) and I remember my friend Arun saying to me that it would be over before I join Honeywell, when I had come to the interview on Dec 2003. I joined Honeywell on Jan 2004 and after an year and half left it and joined Broadcom and they are still constructing it. Wow!! And there is this famous Bannerghatta Road that was in shambles for years to-gether and when they decided to set it right in Mar 2004, we were just overjoyed. I heard someone say that in Karnataka, roads are laid differently. Unlike those in Tamilnadu, where once the road is laid, the BSNL people will dig and when that is covered will come the Electricity people to dig and so on, in Karnataka, he said everyone sits together and decide before the road is laid and this helps as no one needs to dig it once it is done. So as per that the BSNL people, BESCOM (electricity) and many others were called and they sat for a discussion. They are yet to decide.. The road is yet to come to shape as of this writing on July 2005. What makes this worse is the fact that the said road plan was for just 4 Kms and it was a joint venture between BDA (Bangalore Development Authority) and Mantri Developers (a private player). It only reminds me of the joke about a math problem where the teacher would ask that if 1 person can do a work in 10 days how long will 2 take to do the same and we would say to ourselves twice longer as they would start chatting with each other.

Now comes the most dreaded aspect of Bangalore – Traffic. Ask  anyone in Bangalore and he will be prompt to show his finger at the BDA for poor roads as the reason for traffic levels. Ask me and I will tell you the truth. 25% of the traffic can be attributed to the roads, but the remaining 75% goes to the diots who drive on them. If you stop someone and ask him “Do you have any idea what a traffic rule is?” and he will promptly say “Gothilla” (Means I don’t know in Kannada) as he wouldn’t even have heard about it. No one stops on the line. They probably have colour blindness as they keep moving after the RED light is signalled. And they don’t know any numbers either as even before the signal count down reaches 10 they would start to move on. They overtake on the left, move very lethargically on the right and what not. The best part I like is when there is a Traffic Jam they would do their best to make it worst. Everyone will attempt his/her best to block others. Knowing very well they can’t move out, still they will adjust themselves so that the person from the right/left road does not move out either. And another notable and unique feature is the agility with which they move within the traffic. Don’t be surprised if they walk straight on your head to move in front. In short no one cares about anything else.

The very nature of people here surprises me. They are not only selfish to the core, but they don’t even have the slighest common sense or social responsibility. The man who lived next to us would keep his TV volume at 30 and you can hear it as you turn to our street. Whenever he gets a call in his cell, he used to take it and come close to our window and then would engage in the most dramatic conversations. We were so fed up and we started enjoying his stupidity rather than getting frustrated. Whenever we used to get water shortage he would calmly get a bucket, go to the terrace and fill his tank from ours. Once I caught him and all he did was to smile saying “There is no water in our tank”. What the hell!?! I started at him and he stopped his water robbing act.

Having said all this the fact is majority of those living in bangalore are from outside Bangaore. Well, I know that people will be ready to tell me that if I don’t like the city then I can better leave. But well I can’t do that either. But I can certainly put my thoughts in my blog, Right!!