Affordable Housing for the Middle Class

“What does affordable housing in Gurgaon, with its high-lifestyle, urbanization, and posh-societies look like?” You may think, given that Residential Flats varies in its meaning for different demographic profiles. Especially in the Indian real estate market, affordable housing has a connotation for housing for the lower income group (LIG), by which they too can enjoy a comfortable living and security. With the incumbent government’s focus on this section and more on the affordable housing, it seems like the real estate sector has been able to get the boost that it had been waiting for of late.

However, there is an important trend that needs to be taken note of before the government claims that its affordable housing project is a success. The term affordable housing, in different contexts, also has a local meaning. According to this, affordable housing includes housing options for a segment of population that can become potential home buyers in a city. If we take this definition into consideration, there is a sizeable population in every city, which although it will not identify with or fall under the LIG, is equally incapable of allotting a large budget for buying homes. It is not only sensitive and cost-wary but is looking forward to finding a house of a decent budget-size within the realms of the city. A typical example is of the residential flats in Gurgaon, which although are well-furnished, but do not still fall under the budget for the middle class.

When we take this population’s demands and needs a little more seriously, we find that there is a dearth of properties in good locations within the city, which buyers can afford. These buyers often have a budget of INR 30-40 lakhs, but more cities including Delhi NCR have a deficit in properties which match this budget range. Usually properties which are around INR 20 lakhs are still on the outskirts lacking good transportation and other facilities required by the urban middle class. This means that there is indeed a requirement for more housing under the affordable housing section, where different demographic profiles can find properties for themselves.

There is an urgent need for developers to come up with budget housing projects in the larger cities. As modern India moves towards development and rising aspirations, affordable housing and the security that comes with it, is increasing. This appears to be a very high opportunity for developers who can count on a boost in the real estate industry. More absorption of the housing projects in the urban cities is also a strong indicator of the socio-economic growth in the country, thereby projecting a positive image. While the demand is strong and only increasing, there are a lot of policy-level changes that need to be introduced.

Not only will the affordable housing for the middle class prove to be a sustainable business model for the future, it will also allow more cities to come up to ranks. More affordable housing projects will assure developers that they do not struggle with inflation or even setbacks in the economy. Another trend that one needs to channelize is that more real estate investors are now eyeing budget and affordable housing projects. Where luxury homes and premium homes find it hard to make it through a rough economy, affordable housing is still on the move. The healthy demand in addition with more money coming in steady from investors means a healthy micro-economy. It is now time for builders and the government to give this proposition a try, ensuring that the overall development of the country happens throughout.

Tips for New Residential Construction

The process to entitle lots can take more than five years and is expensive. The cost of parcel maps for five lots or less is $100,000. Tract maps for more than five lots can cost more than $500,000. The number of lots and the potential size are determined by biology, health-department regulations, slope, and the zoning and general plan. Included in the cost are engineering, processing, and regulatory fees and various reports and studies.

Reports and studies include conditions of approval costs, storm-water treatment, anthropology and archeology, soils, biology, noise, and traffic. When a map is approved and recorded, there are additional fees that include, but are not limited to the following:
• Potential greenhouse gas studies
• Retention and drainage basins
• On- and off-site mitigation land
• School fees
• Parks and recreation fees
• Physical secondary access
• Fire fees
• Annual bonding fees.

Politics comes into play when obtaining the required approvals from county boards, city councils, and planning commissions. The level of public opposition or support affects hearings completion. They can be completed in as little as four months, or take years and cost over a million dollars. Property owners have three courses of action to take into consideration.

1. Entitlement and sale of the property ‘as is’ – This option brings the lowest price, but costs the least and requires the shortest time for property disposal. Under rare circumstances, the land is worth more when it is unentitled.
2. Enter into a long-term agreement – The agreement is made with a home builder who incurs the expenses of processing a tract map. This option is the most utilized. The process could take up to five years. The buyer is required to release nonrefundable deposits periodically to the seller after approving their contingencies. Escrow closing typically occurs after tentative or final map approval.
3. The owner incurs the entitlement costs – Much of the process is like option two. The difference is the owner has full control of the mapping process and bears all expenses.

The ramifications of each choice should be weighed carefully before making a decision. Owners, who have chosen not to seek advice, have made the decision to process a map and found out later the number of lots was not financially feasible. A competent engineer can determine the optimal number of lots that can be obtained and approved. Smart growth design principals call for buildings with a variety of materials, texture, and color and individuality; well-defined open space; a building and street relationship; mixed uses; and high-density development. Contractors, who specialize in residential subdivisions, can give realistic cost estimations.

The process of entitling residential property to higher densities is costly, complex, and cumbersome. Many factors must be taken into consideration. The leading concerns that communities have about increased density are the quality of life and increased costs.

There is a need for new affordable housing to reduce recent overpayment and overcrowding. There is also a need for high-density housing that supports economic recovery, accommodates new workers and their loved ones, and economizes the costs of infrastructure. It is quite a balancing act. Open spaces need to be conserved and the distance between new jobs and new homes reduced.

6 Steps To More, And Better Real Estate Listings

Since a real estate agent, must sell, and/ or list houses, in order to generate commissions, and make a living, it might be a good idea, to review and examine, some sort of system, to potentially, get more and better listings. This article will, therefore, attempt to, briefly discuss, one approach or system, to achieve these objectives, successfully and consistently. I refer to this process as the RICH IDEAS 6 Steps to More, and Better Listings.

1. Get the appointment: What will you do, in order to assure, you are able, to get in the door, to, at least, present, why, a homeowner, considering selling their house, should choose you, as their agent and representative? How much time, effort and attention, will you focus and commit, in order, to gain additional personal exposure, demonstrate your unique assets/ approaches, and why you should be chosen? How will you get more appointments? Do you have a personal marketing and branding approach/ system, which will positively distinguish you, and attract others, to you? Will you perfect, the techniques, and methods, which properly prepare you, to convincingly, address and answer any and all concerns and objections?

2. Listen before you speak: One must be careful, to make the presentation about the needs, concerns, priorities and goals, of the homeowner, rather than the tendency, to make it, all about you! Will you ask the right questions, and consistently focus, on what, might, best impact, the homeowner? Never assume you know, or have, all the answers, but, rather, be willing to listen effectively and thoroughly, before you speak!

3. Relevant presentation: When you present your listing presentation, how will you know, you are articulating, a relevant, meaningful, effective message? Will you merely discuss features, etc, or will you effectively communicate and articulate, in a benefits – based manner?

4. Make your presentation about them, not you!: How will you know, if you are addressing, the issues and concerns, which are most important, to a specific homeowner? Will you listen far more than you speak? Do you understand, for most people, their favorite sound, is the sound, of their own voice? You have two ears, and only one mouth, for a reason, so take advantage of this, and listen, at least, twice as often, as you speak. Explain thoroughly, slowly and completely, until you are convinced, and they acknowledge, they understand and agree!

5. Answer their questions and concerns, but don’t open up a Pandora’s Box!: Never assume you know what might concern someone, and never answer an issue, you perceive, as a concern, until it is asked! When you presume a concern, which doesn’t exist, you might create, problems which don’t exist! Always answer every question/ concern, however, thoroughly, completely, and to their satisfaction!

6. Close, and get the listing: Never fear discussing the commission, you feel you deserve, but, rather, emphasize, why you are worth it, and how you will best, provide meaningful, relevant, meaningful service! Realize, if you want the listing, you must take the time, and close, the deal, effectively. Provide the quality of service, which makes you distinct, real, and better!

Become a more successful real estate agent, by using these 6 steps, to more and better listings. Never abandon your commitment to absolute integrity, and focus on how you will best serve your clients!