The following is report by Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd
In India, the monsoons stand for a lot of things. Indoors, they set the ambience for pakodas and hot coffee while watching the rains freshen the air and trees. Outdoors, we navigate puddles, slippery roads and traffic jams. However, the monsoons also present the perfect time to scout for a new home.
There are good reasons for why the rainy season is the optimal time for house hunting. In the first place, overall demand tends to be subdued, since a majority of potential home seekers are averse to do site visits and home inspections while rains lash the city. Savvy buyers, on the other hand, are able to strike good deals with sellers on account of the muted demand.
The best time to negotiate
Time is money for everyone selling real estate, so developers and investors are more willing to consider reasonable counter-offers on their asking prices when demand is more muted than usual. Also, the first fortnight of the monsoon season coincides with pitru paksh, which traditional Indians consider an inauspicious time to make major investments in. The festival season that follows in the month of October is the usually the period which such people will focus on to make property investments.
For this reason, many developers offer attractive discounts during the monsoon period in order to boost their sales, which obviously presents a very good opportunity for buyers. Apart from real estate developers, investors who are holding residential units will also generally offer to sell their properties at lower rates during the monsoon period. These discounts can range from anything to 5-15 per cent, depending on the city and location.
These advantages to buyers that the monsoon period presents them with are further compounded by the fact that residential sales have been slow over the past 3-4 quarters. During the lull period which comes in the monsoon season this year, sellers are therefore more willing than ever before to accommodate serious buyers looking for bargain rates.
Seasonal special rates on home loans
It is not only discounted property rates which present buyers with an advantage during the monsoons. Even banks and other lending institutions generally come out with special offers on home loans in this season. Even if no formal offers are announced, banks will tend to be more willing than usual to negotiate on their charges and interest rates on home loans.
No better time to determine product quality
For buyers who have had their eyes on certain shortlisted properties but have not taken the plunge so far, the monsoon period is the perfect time to make final inspections and close the deal. The overall construction quality of a property is best determined during this period; while developers are less challenged to maintain their offerings in good, saleable condition during the other seasons, a few heavy downpours will reveal construction flaws such as seepages and leaks which can only be avoided by perfect waterproofing, flawless plumbing and high-quality window fittings.
In other words, the monsoons are the ideal time to judge the potential investment value of a new property, as well as investments on repairs that would need to be made in resale units. If leaks and seepage are discovered before closing the deal on the property, the buyer can insist that the required waterproofing and other related repairs be carried out by the seller before signing on the dotted line.
The monsoons also reveal how traffic in the neighbourhood behaves when it has to slow down because of wet roads. In fact, some low-lying areas are prone to flooding, leading to immense traffic jams – this is a factor which can only be established during the monsoons. This kind of knowledge is very important to intending buyers who are unfamiliar with the locality.
In short, the monsoon period is probably the best of times to make one’s property investment in India. This is a little-known fact, but it can actually help buyers to get the best value for their property investment.
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