Saturday, 30 March 2013

It's all about being Eco-Cool !

One of the most important trends in bath space design today is about going green, besides the contemporary romance with minimalist ideas.

A good bathroom helps in starting the day better. No wonder the number of distress calls from people who do not like hotel bathrooms or guest bathrooms must be in millions, though there is no study to prove it. This 'back room' of our lives can give us great joy and cause great sorrow. And that is why designers and architects think of a bathroom seriously, spawning a whole list of trends and what a bathroom would like (or should be like) in the coming years, much like fashion. 

For instance, despite the great power of whatever is considered 'retro' in interior design, most modern bathrooms across the wall retain a minimal contemporary feel. This design element is almost undeniable and in the most classic-looking places, the subtext always seems to be modern, easy and minimal. That seems to be most enduring aesthetic presently, across modern homes and hotels in urban settings. 

With dual-income families, bathrooms are seeing some top-of-the-line additions. Bath spaces are increasingly being fitted with the latest technologies - from touch controlled shower systems, mist-flow technologies to color therapy showers. According to designer Suzanne Maviano people are really enjoying their homes these days even though they spend a lot of time at work. "It is all about walking home into an amazing place," she said. 

Today the spa experience is what many are seeking to bring back home with them, as the concept of 'alone time' is becoming even more crucial. The bathroom is becoming the perfect sanctuary for many professionals who are looking for that quick getaway from the pressures of life for a little while daily. Designers now have to think outside the box to give spalike touches, right from that exquisite tub to the highly ergonomic telephone showers. Comforts like warming drawers for towels, which were not popular just a decade back, are catching on around the globe, as Janet Blutter Shiff of Blutter/Shiff Design has observed. 

Many connoisseurs are opting for shower jet panels and even air baths, which give out tiny, effervescent bubbles, as new additions to the bathroom to complete the spa experience. It is about having custom showers that combine different shower-heads and body sprays mounted on the walls and ceiling of the bath space for a rain-forest like water experience. Those that are looking to really up the ante are even fixing mini-refrigerators into walls or cabinets of bathrooms! Chromotherapy shower systems like the Domotech from the house of Isenberg is another luxury addition that many gadget lovers are going in for. You can actually program the perfect bath with this technology even as you get bathed in light to suit a particular mood. 

The surface now goes deep as well. Homeowners are also choosing surfaces that enhance the overall look of the space. Natural stone and handcrafted tiles are being combined to create statement-making visuals. Glass is being used extensively in bath spaces to enhance the play of ambient light for counters and toilet enclosures, with the emphasis also being on designing a space that allows enough natural light in. 

Designers are using unusual combinations of stone and tile to get that unique textural quality in a bath space, so that it is as rich as other parts of a home and reflects the need of the individual. Designer Maviano even installed a flat screen TV on a bathroom wall, which looks like a regular mirror when off. 

As far as sanitary ware is concerned, sleek is the new black. The cleanest lines and exquisite craftsmanship are now replacing chunky moldings and sanitary ware. Faucets that echo the modern design sensibility of subtle, precise silhouettes are almost the norm now. The challenge is to find that one brilliant design that speaks to the world about an individual's taste quietly. Across the globe, faucets with nothing less than a flawless mirror finish will do. Besides that, a variety of other finishes (like bronze) along with simple engravings are also finding favor  especially in cases where the idea is to balance the quiet authority of the minimal and contemporary with a touch of opulence associated with the past. 

The trend is also veering towards our digitally-inspired era of science meeting design and luxury meeting convenience. For instance, joystick controlled faucets are a rage with those looking for that seamless experience of using a faucet. One look at a bathroom designed by professionals will tell you how heavily aesthetics of the virtual world are affecting real bath spaces, with what is not seen becoming as important as what is. The trend is all about doing a lot by appearing to do less, giving a very space-age look to bath spaces. 

Metallic colors are making a comeback with chrome turning out to be one of the most popular choices. Monochrome schemes like black and white for instance, that has penetrated the fashion scene, is also quite the trend in bathrooms today. 

The most important thing, however, even in the most luxurious bath space today is about being green considering that only three per cent of the Earth's water is fit for consumption. It is one trend that is unlikely to go out of favor  simply because it is life positive. High flow faucets are seen as irresponsible and bad for the planet. 

Huzy Hundekari, Executive VP of Isenberg South Asia, believes that it is crucial to have faucet systems that actually save water without compromising on performance and feel. "A good faucet is one that gives you the feel of a natural stream even as it saves water by fixing air bubbles in every drop. Our faucets rely on cutting-edge technology to bring that special experience one seeks from a bath system, even as 35 to 40 per cent water is saved in every drop. That to me is true responsible luxury”. 

Bathroom trends in India are now mirroring the world, though the bulk buyer is still the king. Hundekari concludes, "I am of the opinion that it is better to go in for better technology and design because at the end of the day it is about you and your relationship with the world. After all, water is as precious and as your experience of it.” 


Bath spaces are increasingly being fitted with the latest technologies - from touch controlled shower systems, mist flow technologies to Chromotherapy  showers many connoisseurs are opting for shower jet panels and even air baths, which give out tiny, effervescent bubbles, as new additions to the bathroom to complete the spa experience

Monday, 25 March 2013

Five real estate traps to avoid

Since a home buyer apportions the bulk of his savings and income to a single investment, he wants to save as much as possible. Property developers exploit this penny-pinching penchant by offering various innovative schemes that are laden with freebies. At face value, most of these options appear tempting, but when you scrub off the gloss, you'll discover that they are riddled with traps. We take a look at five of the most popular schemes, the truth behind them, and how you can still benefit from them.

1) Pre-EMI sharing schemes

What it means 

When you take a home loan, it is usually disbursed according to the stages of construction, so you don't need to start paying the EMI till the construction is complete and you get the possession of the property. However, you do have to pay the interest on the loan from the first disbursement. This is called pre-EMI and a lot of builders agree to pay this amount for a specific period, usually 24 months.

What's the catch? 

This scheme is helpful if you are renting a house since paying the pre-EMI and the rent can strain your finances. However, before opting for it, you should make sure that the builder hasn't padded up the cost. He may not offer any discounts or throw in any freebies in the deal. So, you should bargain first to lower the price of the house and then opt for the scheme. Another risk is that if the construction of the property is delayed, your pre-EMI payment period may stretch for more than two years, and you will have to make the balance payments yourself. This will negate any benefit that you may have derived on the payments made by the builder. "Try to bargain with the builder to extend the tenure of the scheme till possession and not restrict it to a specific time period. This keeps the pressure on the builder to hasten completion and give possession since he is paying the interest till then," says Samantak Das, director, research & advisory services, Knight FrankIndia. Another thing you need to check with the builder is if he will pay the interest at a pre-determined rate. If this is the case and the home loan is on a floating rate, the liability for any increase in rate would be on you. You should also inquire if the builder will pay a penalty for delay in construction/possession.

2) Freebies and gifts

What's on offer 

Builders often offer free gifts when you book a house. These can include cars, gold coins, club membership, parking space, even a fully paid holiday for your family. Since a car park usually costs Rs 1-10 lakh, most customers are eager to take up this offer. Some property developers have begun offering to pay the stamp duty and registration charges, which range from 5-12.5% of the value of the property.

What's the catch? 

According to a Supreme Court ruling of 2010, builders cannot charge for parking space, yet most of them continue to do so. To comply with the apex court's ruling, some developers offer parking lots for 'free', but actually add this to the cost of the house by increasing the price of the super built-up area. The same is true for the other freebies that they offer. So, in reality, you don't get any real benefit. "A good way to determine whether these freebies are added to the cost of the house is by comparing the price of the property to similar ones in the vicinity. If there isn't much of a difference, opting for the builder to pay the stamp duty and registration costs can be to your benefit. In case of other things, insist on a cash discount rather than the freebies," advises Pankaj Kapoor, managing director, Liases Foras.

3) Sample flats

What it is 

It is difficult for buyers to understand the blueprints, so developers construct a house temporarily and display it for prospective clients. This helps them see how their flat will look like after construction.

What's the catch? 

As a part of his sales strategy, the developer adds a lot of amenities that will probably not be part of the actual property. These can include high quality tiles, wooden flooring, superior quality paints and imported sanitary and electrical fittings. Another trick, especially for small-sized flats, is to scale down the size of the furniture and add lots of bright lighting in the sample flat to make the property look bigger and more spacious than it actually is. "When you visit a sample flat, carry a pen, paper and measuring tape with you to note down all the amenities that are installed in the property. Then cross-check with the builder whether the exact things will be provided to you or not. You should also scrutinise the agreement documents carefully to ensure that you will get what the developer has promised you verbally," says Das.

4) Buy-back schemes

What it means 

To assure the home buyer that the price of the property will escalate, the developer offers to buy back the flat after a fixed period at an appreciated price. Such properties usually have a lock-in period of 3-5 years. At the end of the lock-in period, the home owner can retain the property or sell it to the builder at the predetermined rate.

What's the catch? 

The scheme is a good option for investors as you can be sure of the amount you will get for the house after the lock-in period. Of course, if the prevailing market price at the time is much higher than that promised by the developer, you could sell the house in the open market. The biggest risk in this scheme is whether the developer will keep his word. The lack of a centralized regulatory body in real estate lets most developers slip through watertight agreements that leave home owners helpless. Even if the builder is trustworthy, the lock-in period may become a problem if you face a financial crunch and need to sell the property as the developer may be the only person who could buy it from you, and he may do so at the same price at which he had sold it to you.

5) Guaranteed rentals

What it means 

This offer is primarily aimed at investors who want to earn a regular income from the property. When the buyer signs the contract, the developer guarantees an annual rental income that ranges from 6-12% of the value of the property, and may even issue a few quarterly post-dated cheques to assure the buyer of the authenticity of the scheme. During the tenure of the contract, the possession of the property remains with the builder, who, in turn, leases it to his regular clients like corporates, financial institutions, banks, etc. The scheme also includes free maintenance of the flat.

What's the catch? 

Such schemes are usually launched by developers who are facing a cash crunch. So it's possible that if they are unable to generate enough cash flow, the post-dated cheques may start bouncing. "It doesn't seem feasible for a developer to offer rental returns as high as 12% because he has to bear the maintenance costs. So, you must ensure that no hidden costs are included in the purchase agreement. A rent that is 4-5% of the value of the property is more credible and a good return," says Kapoor. The guaranteed return is based on which amount? Some developers offer these only on the initial booking amount, while others will pay up only after you have made the entire payment for the property. In most cases, the realtor sells only 25% of the project under this scheme, so if you have a problem later on, you will have just a handful of investors to support you.

We do care for our investors and buyers.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Advantages of buying property through bank auctions

 Under The Securitization and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act ( SARFAESI Act), lenders like banks and financial institutions are empowered to recover mortgaged properties, without intervention of court, in case of default by the borrower. The properties so recovered are subsequently sold by the bank through Auction to recover their dues. The excess of sales proceeds, if any, are handed over to the defaulter (original property owner). 

How it works 

An auction is one of the common methods adopted by banks to dispose-off such properties. The bank will appoint an authorised officer to conduct the auction. A public notice of auction will be given in the newspaper and on the bank's website. 

The notice will contain information like the details of the property, reserve price (minimum price at which bidding will start), 
Earnest Money Deposit (EMD), date of inspection, time and place of auction, time and place for collecting the 'tender form', last date for submission of tender form, etc. 

The auction will be conducted in the conventional way, usually at the bank's premises. However, nowadays, online auctions (e-auctions ) are also gaining popularity. 

How to participate in the auction 

Any person desirous of buying acquired property from the bank can participate in the auction. The following are the various steps involved. Get information about properties being auctioned from the notice given in the newspaper or the bank's website. 

Identify the property you would like to bid for and inspect the same in the notice. 

Submit your bid form (tender) by the time given in the notice along with the EMD which is usually 10% of the reserve price. Participate in the auction at the time given in the notice and bid for the property. 

If you are the highest bidder, the property will be allotted to you. 

You will have to deposit 25% of the property price (less EMD) the same day. The balance money will have to be deposited within 15 to 
30 days as specified in the notice. Thereafter, you can register the property in your name. 

If you fail to deposit the balance money within the prescribed time, you will not be entitled to get the property and the money deposited earlier will be forfeited. 

If you are not the highest bidder, the EMD will be refunded to you (usually immediately after the auction). 

Perceptions regarding bank auctioned properties 

One of the main attractions of buying a bank auctioned property is that there is a possibility of getting it at a substantial discount to the prevailing market price. This is because the banks are interested in selling of the property at the earliest and are primarily concerned with recovery of their dues which is usually lower that the value of the property. While on paper this may look attractive, in reality it may not be so. This is because, while the reserve price may be low, there could be many bidders competing at the auction (especially in case of e-auctions ) and the highest bid could be close to the market price. 

Secondly, the original owner of the property (defaulter) is entitled to get the surplus from the sales proceeds after the settlement of bank dues. Hence, it is in his interest that the property is sold at higher price. An aggrieved defaulter has the right to approach the Debt Tribunal, challenging the action taken by the bank.

In such a case, the matter could get stuck in long legal dispute which can go right up to 
Supreme Court. If the action taken by the bank is found to be wrong, the sale may also be cancelled. The bank needs to keep the original owner (defaulter's ) interest in mind while auctioning the property. 

Another myth regarding bank auctioned properties is that since one is buying the property directly from the bank, the title would be absolutely clear. It should be noted that the properties are sold in auction on 'As is where is basis' and 'As is what is basis'. Hence, such properties are not different from the other properties being financed by the bank and the buyer will get the same title as the original owner (defaulter). 

There is generally a perception that participation in an auction is a cumbersome process and only people with expertise and deep pockets can participate. 

This is not true, especially now, with online auction, even a common man can bid for such properties. Also the ticket size for properties could be as low as ten lakh or even less. 

Another point to be kept in mind is that many times due to financial constraints, the property may not have been properly maintained by the defaulter. Hence the buyer may have to incur substantial expense on repairs and restoration of such property.. 

Why such auctions are not very popular with property buyers 

There are some of the other reasons why there is not much participation in such auctions by home buyers. ' 

There is limited awareness among retail home buyers. 

Also, through current means of notice in the newspaper (and now on websites) banks are not able to reach out a larger target audience. 

Generally it is seen that there are more of commercial properties/industrial properties and land being auctioned. 

Due to legal and other hassles involved, many banks are reluctant to give loan for purchase of such auctioned properties. 

Bank auctions could be a good avenue for acquiring a property relatively safely and at a good price. However, one needs to put in efforts in thoroughly studying and investigating the various points discussed above and take a well informed decision. 

Quick Byte 

One of the main attractions of buying a bank auctioned property is getting it at a substantial discount to the prevailing market price remember that there are cases were, due to financial constraints, the property may not have been property maintained by the defaulter, so the buyer might incur substantial expense on repairs and restoration.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Greater Noida becomes one of the fastest developing sub-cities

Greater Noida is on the fast track of progress. With abundant availability of lease space, low pricing, improving infrastructure and fast connectivity, realty players are already coming back with assured-return projects.
Considering the forthcoming worldclass infrastructural projects in the vicinity like the DMIC (Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor), Night Safari, Gautam Buddha University, etc., Greater Noida is now home to a number of blue-chip Indian firms and MNCs.
The residential and commercial policies of the Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA) have led to remarkable development of infrastructure in this area. This, coupled with other top-notch infrastructural facilities, has prompted realty watchers to peg it very high among the real estate destinations in the NCR.
Greater Noida has today become one of the fastest developing sub-cities in the NCR and is an attractive destination for commercial and residential real estate. As the city is close to central Delhi and Noida, it provides a good residential solution to working people. Besides, as a number of corporate houses have chalked out plans to start offices here, it will provide good employment opportunities to residents.
To meet the basic needs of the residents, the GNIDA is planning to set up its own power plant to provide 24-hour power supply. A 315MW power sub-station is going to be commissioned in March, while construction of a pipeline from Dehra to Greater Noida via the Upper Ganga Canal has almost been done; this is expected to boost the water supply to the area. Greater Noida will get 85 cusecs of water through this pipeline.
The GNIDA has allocated more space for commercial activities in the city and has already allotted land to several institutional and commercial players.

One of the most attractive architecture Sikka Kaamna Greens not just elevates your lifestyle but also protects your life by being a state-of-the-art earthquake resistant residential project complying with Earthquake Zone IV regulations.

The project has been conceptualized by leading architect and planner, C.P. Kukreja associates, who are ranked amongst the top 100 architects in the world. They have been selected by CNBC as the best architect in India in designing Group Housing Projects. Sikka Kaamna Greens will surely be a unique marvel which will add so much more glamour and glitz to home that you’ll live in.

Fast developing sectors
Knowledge Park is one of the well-planned destinations in the NCR region, especially KP1,KP2,KP3 and KP5,which have been developed to cater to educational, institutional, commercial, and IT & ITeS sectors. Some of the educational institutes and IT units here are Sharda Medical College and Hospital, Galgotia Institute of Management and Technology, Birla Institute of Management Technology, NIIT, GNIT, ITS, SG Micro Software, etc.
Sectors like KP3, KP5 and Tech Zone have established industrial set-ups in the vicinity, near the India Expo Mart, and well connected to Yamuna Expressway. The proposed Metro extension of the Dwarka-Noida City Center Metro line to Pari Chowk will directly connect the city with Delhi and its surrounding areas.
Assured return projects
Developers and promoters like Omaxe Group, Era Landmarks, Sikka Group, Earth Infrastructures, Vardhman, Bhasin Group, Cosmic Group, etc., have launched assured-return commercial cum residential projects here. Fully equipped with smart technology, round-the-clock management services, video conferencing facilities, multi-access IT support, service apartments, multiplexes, shopping and entertainment outlets, the launched projects give 12% assured return with bank guarantee.
Assured return projects, IT and office space
The GNIDA had allotted a number of IT plots with 50% space reserved for IT units,15% each for commercial and residential units, and 20% for others activities, during the period of the IT boom in 2005-2006.The developers had then bought land at a low price, compared to today’s rocketing prices, in the developed sectors of Greater Noida.
Era Landmarks launched IT Square on 15 acres of land at Knowledge Park 3, Greater Noida. Equipped with an exotic lounge, a club with a swimming pool, IT Square is dedicated to commercial and IT spaces with retail, fully-furnished service apartments and a proposed institution. Era Landmarks has already sold 1,05,000 sq ft area to Investors Clinic for the development of residential (service apartments) units.
Sumit Bharana, director of Era Landmarks Ltd, says: “Greater Noida has a great scope for commercial market compared to Gurgaon. This can be determined based on three important parameters: price, connectivity and space. The rates of commercial space in Greater Noida are a third of the Gurgaon rates.”
“Growth in Noida is backed by planned infrastructure, better civic amenities and increased supply, compare to the Gurgaon commercial market. Greater Noida has better connectivity with wider roads and lesser traffic owing to the number of infrastructural developments in the region. Also, the availability and supply of the number of units in Noida is more compared to Gurgaon. Therefore, the Noida – Greater Noida belt has the potential to eclipse Gurgaon in the coming years,”Bharana said.
Service apartments
In projects like Era Landmarks’ IT Square, the G+7 structure has been carefully structured to have support facilities in the ground and the first floors while the second floor to the seventh floor will cover office space. Retail amenities will include ATM’s, banks, food courts, QSRs (Quick Service Restaurant), fast food counters, fine dining and multi-cuisine restaurants along with convenient shopping centres.
Earth Infrastructures has launched Earth Alpha Tech, Earth Beta Tech, Earth Gamma Tech, Earth Express One and Earth Studio on 15 acres of land at Tech Zone opposite the Gautam Buddha University in Greater Noida.
Vikas Gupta, joint managing director of Earth Infrastructures, says: “Our on going projects like Earth Tech, Earth Express One and Earth Studio are based on the concept of plug n play; they are ready-to-move-in fully furnished studio apartments replete with all the facilities and one need not invest extra money or time in doing them up.”
Assured return projects, commercial space
Omaxe Group is developing Omaxe Connaught Place at Sector Beta 2, Greater Noida, with a built-up area of 1.9 million sq ft. This will offer hyper market, five-screen multiplex, a family entertainment zone, a five-star hotel, and a modern office complex.
Rohtas Goyal, CMD of Omaxe Group, says: “Once completed, Omaxe Connaught Place will be a popular business, commercial and entertainment centre in north India. We have promised investors of 13% assured returns right from the first year of the project’s operation. We further assure that in eight years, investors will not only benefit from price escalation but get an assured return that works out to more than the initial investment.”
Bhasin Group is developing a shopping-cum-entertainment mall, Grand Venezia, in Greater Noida; this, too, is an assured-return commercial project.
Sikka Group is coming up with their new project DownTown.
More details coming soon....

A Location to peaceful life

How does it to feel?
To be, without a home!
Like a complete unknown?
Like a rolling stone? Looking for an apartment can seem like a daunting task. People look for different features in an apartment and have varying tastes. From determining a budget and understanding renter's insurance to deciding if you need a guarantor and what paperwork to expect, there's a lot to read up on before embarking on that search for the perfect rental. SIKKA GROUP comes to you as a life saver.
 We are giving you a chance to experience life close to Mother Nature. In today’s competitive world people get to select from a galore of choice. In such a situation, we are here at your service to hold your hands and help you make the right choice in building your dream house.
The choice of our location and the facilities that we provide are such that there is no option left for our customers but to grab the deals in first chance.  Our apartments are surrounded by green lush trees and landscape which are given shape keeping in mind your requirements.
You do not have to think long and hard for your dream house now.
Your home plays a part in the quality of your life. Where you live, what you live in and how you feel in your home, all play a role. Home is where the heart is. Have you always dreamt of having a luxurious house at a prime location? Sitting in your home with a cup of coffee and enjoying the scenic beauty of your locality. We at SIKKA GROUP give our full effort in shaping your dream house. Keeping this in mind that service is our business, we have kept high standards for our clients. We provide our customers with a ‘one stop property shop’ to fulfill all their requirements. Here we see to it that you don’t pour your money down the drain. You can set your mind at rest while we will take care of your worries.
We work from the client’s outlook. Our customers are a big cheese for us and we believe in working hard to earn their spurs. And hence take time to analyze the client’s need and then give silhouette to their ideas. SIKKA GROUP has been working up a sweat over the decades to build classic homes to luxurious domicile for our customers.  We don’t build up your house with just bricks and cement. Instead we build your house with care and commitments keeping in mind your requirements.
Now owning a house wouldn’t be a pipe dream. From bachelors to couples, we have been serving our clients since a decade now and helping your select you dream house with our best housing solutions with burning holes in your pocket.
SIKKA group is surely unique in its way of making for home beautiful.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

The Abode of your Dreams

Despite the global economic slowdown, real estate is one sector which has not been affected. The demand for residential property has increased with time, despite the increase in property rates. People dream of owning a house. They save pennies to pursue their dream. Here at SIKKA GROUP, we understand the value of your every penny. You are here at the right place to make your dreams come true.

Since 1986, SIKKA GROUP has been the leading real estate company and we are spreading our wings in other areas as well. Our boundaries expand from real estate developments to automobiles, hospitality, and advertising. Old days have gone when people believed in verbal publicity. We provide you with modern techniques of advertising.  We treat our guest as god providing them with remarkable hospitality services ever.
Working diligently towards constructing a quality structure and happy home to live, started by providing our patrons a happy environment. We initially started with Real Estate Development by participating in open auctions with different govt. bodies by purchasing Commercial, Group Housing, Residential, Industrial and Institutional lands, metamorphosing them into quality & luxurious structures.

A kind acknowledgment to our customers…. that we have completed a lot of projects which includes Commercial, Group Housing, Residential, Industrial, and Institutional in and outside Delhi.
Noida, Express way is becoming the hot bed of real estate with some of the very good infrastructure and lifestyle projects coming up here. We have emerged over the past few decades as a landscape transformer into luxurious residential place.

Transformation is what people want and we are doing it at our best. We know that people make the largest investment of their life in building their house, it is where you live, and it is where you spend most of your time. It has to be homely where one feels safe and sound. We are here to give shape to your dream. Your worries are now our worries.

With the encouragement of our customers and clients, we are expanding our projects to SIKKA KARMIC GREENS, SIKKA KARNAM GREENS, SIKKA CLASSIC HOMES and SIKKA PLAZA.  From classic homes to luxurious apartments, you name it and we shape it as per your requirements. We believe in “A better tomorrow, a better life”. Hence we are working consistently to give you a better life with our services.

We meet up with amenities to provide you the abode of your dreams.

A better tomorrow, a better life...