Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Kerala Real Estate Investment Checklist

Kerala Real Estate Investment Checklist

Last few years - Kerala, the beautiful south western state of india is going through a real estate boom. Kerala is one among the third worlds longest-lived, healthiest, gender equitable literate region. Its human development index and standard of living are best in the nation. The hardworking, educated skilled people migrated to different part of the world just for work is adding over 20% of SDP through their remittance. Lion share of this amount is invested in the real estate business and it has resulted in a total revival of the economy. This investment goes mainly on construction of houses and few spend it as a long term investment. Nowadays real estate investment is the most profitable with stability and security. As I mentioned people buys properties for building houses, business, for agriculture and as an investment. In any case the following check list must be a matter of consideration while buying properties. They add value and comfort to you and your property when years pass by.

A) Accessibility
Access to the property is critically important. In kerala it is common that to find an affordable property with no direct road access. Quite often the only access may be through other properties. The access to the property may be permitted by the adjoining holders. But this may invite problems in the future, which will eat most of your time, peace of mind and money. There are different types of access from public road to pavements and it is common in villages having foot path to the property not segregated with fence or walls. Before buying the properties you have to make sure that it has deeded access to the property. If there are no properties between yours and the public road the fewer problems will arise. Without a deeded access you can expect this investment making good margins in the future. Also you may find difficulty in selling off when you are in need of money.

B) Water availability
Kerala has 44 rivers and a network of inter connected canals, lakes, ponds and other small streams. We depend on water for granted and more than 50% of keralites rely on wells for drinking and irrigation water. Though kerala gets good rainfall through out the year it faces acute water scarcity in the summer season. In towns the piped water also available along with the wells. In villages only very few properties are hooked with piped or treated water supply. Depending on your investment plan you may need to make sure that the property will have continuous and adequate water supply. If the property has a well you may need to test the quantity, quality and availability of water. The quality of the water must be checked before you buy the property. This is particularly important when you are planning to stay in a congested place, since in villages the sewage disposal is through the septic system which in most cases may not be properly cemented. If there is no proven water supply you may need to consider digging well or bore well which costs thousands of rupees. It is better to have a study or consult and expert to know about the ground water availability and check the ground water levels in the adjoining plots through the year. This is very important if you are planning to live in that property.

C) Power and Communication Connectivity
Nowadays we cannot imagine a life without power and communication connectivity’s like landlines or mobile phones. In kerala, scores of places still doesn’t have power and communication connectivity. While buying the property you may not foresee a need in the near future, but still I suggest that it is better to have a research on the cost to get it connected before you buy the property. It is not uncommon that the property owners claim that the electricity lines and phone lines are available in the nearest properties and you may get it through their plots. But remember we have hundreds of petitions in the court on this issue and may be you never get permission to take the lines through their property even if you are ready to bear the costs. Again it is costly if the connectivity is far from the property.

D) Sewage Disposal
Malayalees usually gives less attention to sewage disposal when buying a property, though they face different health hazards. Kerala is going through many deadly epidemics like chikungunya, dengue, cholera and other seasonal epidemics which took many lives. As we all like to live and brought up our kids in a hygienic environment it is necessary to give necessary attention on this issue. In Almost all places sewage disposal is through the septic tank system. Most cases the sewage is absorbed in the ground. It is a health hazard and may contaminate yours and your neighbor’s water supply. If wells are around, it is always better to have a test done. This is not a joke; since there was a report recently which claims that most of the wells in kerala are contaminated. You can have a visual inspection of the site for obvious leaks and have a test done on your well water.

E) Boundaries and deeded access to other properties.
In kerala, you can see many of those property advertisements specifies areas like between 10-12 cents, more than 20 cents etc. Most of the properties are not properly surveyed. And if you ask them on the corners they may say like it may be some where here or there. There are no fences to identify the borders. These types of issues have lead to fierce battle among the neighbors. So it is better to confirm the boundaries and corners of your land before you purchase the property. Also you may need to check issues like deeded access to other properties through the specified property which may split this property in to two.

F) Natural hazards and pollution
Kerala have good rainy season with a moderate summer season. In some of the areas both goes to extreme and on worst it affects many peoples daily life. Geographically kerala can be categorized into three like highlands, midlands and lowland. The highlands have gorges and deep cut valleys resulted in many mudslides in the past and have lost many lives. Relatively flat costal belt is frequently facing floods in the rainy seasons. Because of mining and draught of the Bharathapuzha River its basin seems to be little prone to seismic activity, and it is reported to have few tremors in the last decade. Since kerala lies in the center of indian tectonic place most of the state less prone to seismic and volcanic activity. Also a lot of unnatural phenomena’s are reported from many part of kerala recently like sliding wells down to the earth, changing color and smell of the water in the well, colored rains etc... Its cities are much polluted because there are only few measures to check the pollution level from the vehicles and industries. Though in most cases these issues may not be directly affecting your property value but still there are chances.

G) Others
Soil test: - If you are planning to use the property for agriculture you should do the soil test before you buy the property. Also you must verify the continuous water supply through the year as I mentioned earlier. Enquire on the neighbors, since they are the ones who contribute value to your property in the future.


Muhammed Najmi Thayyil
Proprietor of Kerala Real Estate property advertisement, List FREE- House, Flats, Villa, Shops, New Apartment-Builders, Land, Plot for sale and rent.(Kerala-re.com offers free real estate listings for sale and rent in kerala.)

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