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Thirty-three year olds Josh and Celine Patrick, relish life on the fast lane in Mumbai. However, these days, on the weekends, they also drive to Pune to relax at their plush apartment (that is equipped with an outdoor swimming pool and an indoor jacuzzi), just around the outskirts. It's a welcome break from the limitations imposed on them in their rented apartment in Mumbai. "Mumbai's real estate prices have gone through the roof. We believe that if we have to invest in a property; it should provide us with all luxury amenities. We ought to feel like a royal couple," they share.
Why Pune? Because of its proximity to Mumbai and the similar facilities that a big city provides. Josh soon set out with a broker for home-hunting. In no time, he zeroed in on a two BHK apartment for around Rs one crore.
It is hard to find data on first home-buying in the countryside but brokers and developers across the country, report a high uptick in sales for such purchases, especially at places, which are an easy drive from the metros.
Chetan D Narain, president and CEO of Narains Corp, a property consultant and realtor based in Mumbai says that the purchase decision should eventually complement one's lifestyle. "Affordability decides location, not necessity."
While a lot of them cannot enjoy the comforts of their own homes in the cities, they get a sense of home-ownership in perhaps a nearby beautiful location, says Narain. Experts feel that home-buying in the nearby towns works like a risk pad in times of crisis.
Lalit Kumar Jain, chairman and managing director of Kumar Urban Development, says, "People with an aspiration for quality living always make intelligent choices. What is called distant today becomes a city centre tomorrow." A majority fails to make enough savings to be able to shell out adequate money for the down payment for houses in metros.
"The rental homes today, cost four-five percent of the capital value. Bank loans cost 9.75 percent. Yet, we cherish ownership," Narain adds. However, some experts feel that the return on investment depends on the ticket size of the property. "If I would also have to invest, I would opt for a far-off location," says Prakash Thawani, head of retail business development, Arvind Brands.
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