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BW Businessworld

Book Review: Get A Dream Home

While the book has several illustrations of people and couples who made choices and what worked or did not work for them, one would have also liked Kurup to highlight some common short cuts that builders or developers resort to in order to lure unsuspecting buyers, writes Suresh Rajagopal

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Anyone who has gone through the process of buying a house in India knows how harrowing it is. In addition to ticking off various items on the checklist, one is plagued by several self doubts. Buy or rent? Apartment or plot of land? Ready possession or under construction? Wait for property prices to correct or buy right away?

Once these questions are answered, then other variables such as choice of location, resale value, rental yield, checking documents and title deeds, etc., come into play. To make matters worse, though the Internet is a great source of information on most of these issues, data is scattered and not available in one place.

It is here that Jayashree Kurup’s book How to Buy a House comes in handy. Kurup addresses all these issues and more in her crisply written short book with several practical and no nonsense tips for the home buyer. As head of content and research at Magicbricks.com, one of India’s leading property websites, and as someone from a business journalism background covering real estate and infrastructure, Kurup has first hand experience of dealing with these issues.

Common queries have been addressed with useful nuggets. For example, the author says that if you are paying Rs 100 per month as rent and if you find a house that fits your requirements for which your loan EMI would be 25 per cent more than your monthly rental outgo, then it would be worth your while to buy. Salary increases would take care of the 25 per cent extra outgo every month.

A chapter is also devoted to the topic of whether real estate is a good investment avenue. Here, the reader or a potential property buyer is appropriately alerted to the usual pitfalls of unrealistic return expectations, not doing enough homework before buying and making wrong choices based on the assumption that an upcoming location would be ‘hot’’ in years to come.

While the book has several illustrations of people and couples who made choices and what worked or did not work for them, one would have also liked Kurup to highlight some common short cuts that builders or developers resort to in order to lure unsuspecting buyers. This is a minor crib in what is otherwise a handy book.

(This story was published in BW | Businessworld Issue Dated 25-01-2016)