Luxury Projects: Luxury by what standards?

A recent and amusing trend in Indian realty is how every other project is touted as a ‘Luxury’ or ‘High-end’ project. While one can appreciate the marketing hyperbole, as a home buyer, it’s important to know what really qualifies as a Luxury project. Experts in the Realty business provide a few pointers:

  • Location: The project should be located in an upscale neighborhood with excellent connectivity, wide roads, be free of any slum, have a low crime profile, and luxury-bhkreasonably good public and social infrastructure.
  • Space: The project should have abundant open spaces, and a low floor-area-ratio. A general thumb rule is that there should not be more than 100 or 150 units in an acre of land.
  • Number of Units: Irrespective of the above thumb rule, the lesser number of units in the project, the better, as this implies less crowding, less demand on and hence better availability of common amenities.
  • Amenities & Facilities: While every project has a gym and clubhouse today, it’s the additional, new and innovative features that distinguish a luxury project from an average one.
  • Interiors: The quality of fittings and fixtures used; the materials and finishes used for floors, walls, ceilings etc, make a huge difference and qualifies a project as a luxury one. Also, the floor-to-ceiling height should be 12 feet and above for that classy and imperial look.
  • Security: How sophisticated, high-tech, and prepared is the security staff, is a big differentiator. Feeling ‘extremely secure’ should be the minimum requirement in a luxury project. 

Other factors like builder’s experience with luxury projects also make a difference. As a buyer, do your due diligence and be the real judge of what is or is not ‘luxury’, before investing in such a project.

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Integrated Townships or Independent Projects?

The concept of townships is as old as industrialization in India. Large corporate houses like Tatas, Birlas, Ambanis and JIndals built self-sustained colonies or townships around their plants.

In more recent times, Realty houses are promoting ‘integrated townships’ in a big way. townshipThese self-sustaining localities or satellite towns come with all the necessary amenities required for a good quality life. The Indian Government is also incentivizing Realty houses who would like to create townships, making it the most prominent trend in the years to come.

But what does it mean to an average home-buyer? Is buying a home in an integrated township a better option vis-à-vis an independent apartment / villa / villament / plotted development project?

Benefits of living in an Integrated Township

  1. Much better infrastructure like roads, power, water, and sewerage connections compared to the parent city.
  2. More standardization in construction, and hence better overall ambience in the township.
  3. Reduced need for transit to the parent city, as these townships are replete with schools, colleges, shopping and entertainment destinations.
  4. More cost-effective, as these townships are built on the peripheries of cities, where land-parcels are purchased in bulk, and development undertaken by a few builders only to keep costs low.
  5. Less crowding, and hence less traffic or pollution related issues

Downside to buying a home in a township

  1. Plot owners are bound by architectural restrictions while building their homes here
  2. Maintenance can be an expensive affair if the township’s Management maintains amenities like sewerage and street lights.
  3. Construction cycles are longer

Townships offer distinct advantages and are the ideal solution for India’s overcrowding and massive urban migration issues. As a buyer, one must choose the desired township after doing due diligence, if one must enjoy the dividends from investing in a township, for a long time.