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Saturday, Feb 17, 2007

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Make the best of your living space

Living Spaces - 2007 the mega property fair organised by The Hindu-PropertyPlus will have major builders, flat promoters, finance institutions and home accessories under one roof. Some details by RANJANI GOVIND

A mind-boggling choice of property, rising income levels, tax break on housing loan repayments, easily available loans, wonderful land investment opportunities, golden returns on your brick and mortar structures... rarely have so many favourable factors co-existed for such a long period of time in the real estate market as they have done so in the last few years in the IT Capital, Bangalore.

Despite the steady rise in housing loan interest rates, EMIs still seem to be surprisingly affordable (to the IT and BPO pockets in particular) and the competition amongst banks and housing finance institutions has ensured that loans can be obtained with minimum fuss.

The healthy demand has pushed up property prices across the city and yet, prices are still within what we commonly refer to as `affordable' to the new wave salaries sweeping across the mushrooming software parks, the executive pay packets and of course to some of the many revised pay scales in other sectors too. With some haggling, bargaining and smart negotiations, one could manage a discount too on the price quoted by the flat promoter or persuade him to throw a few lollipops such as upgraded flooring, better sanitary ware or superior accessories.

"From an investment perspective as well, the last three years' reassuring temperament continues till date, and there is still scope for appreciation, what with ring roads spreading out their contours, Metro Rail looking up and Greater Bangalore trying to attain a shape," says Anurag Mathur of Cushman & Wakefield, the global real estate consultants.

Of course all this is subject to the general caveat of choosing the right property, the right promoter, buying it at the right price and making living in it an aesthetic and contemporary experience!

Home accessories

It is exactly in this backdrop that The Hindu-PropertyPlus is bringing to you Living Spaces - 2007 (in association with our prime sponsor, LIC Housing Finance, and Radio Partner, Radio City) a property-cum-home-exhibition at the Koramangala Indoor Stadium, Bangalore, from February 23 to 25. Participating in Living Spaces - 2007 are major builders and flat promoters of the city along with most major banks and housing finance institutions. Besides this, there will be scores of accessories' manufacturers who will put up their wares ranging from modular kitchens to furniture, home appliances, paints and even pest control in the nearly 80 stalls with around 60 participants occupying the Stadium.

Ideal platform

BUILDING YOUR DREAM: Redesign your drawing room to resemble this work of interior glamour or construct one to suit your taste.

Says Riaz Arif, Director, iCare Communication, Event Managers of Living Spaces - 2007, "With a construction boom of this magnitude and an ever-expanding city geography, a platform like this would be ideal for people to see a host of builders showcasing their projects and prices under one roof. The one-to-one interaction with promoters and builders is a communication proximity that one can look for in The Hindu-PropertyPlus fair."

The separate sections earmarked for banks, builders, construction material and accessories is another feature that would make going about easy for consumers, says Mr. Riaz. The exhibition could work out to be a live-in solution to many, as the builder-consumer-bank interface is primordial for taking the first step to entering a "new home." The second is the improvement that you could visualise for making the endeavour a dream venture where some of the accessory dealers could address to your needs, says Riaz. "Even builders will benefit as they can have their eyes and ears open to the latest accessories available in the market," adds Riaz.

Purse benefits

LIC Housing Finance has built in smart offers. Says P.R. Shankara Raju, Regional Manager, LIC Housing Finance, Bangalore, "We will give consumers an attractive floating loan offer with reduced processing fee too. On the spot project approvals would be easier for consumers at the Living Spaces - 2007, as our legal team would also be present there to accelerate the process."

Realising the dream

So, are you someone desperately in search of your own dream house? Or, are you someone who has finalised the project and still hunting for the best housing loan option? Or, are you looking for variety in accessories to make your dwelling a homely abode? Whichever category you belong to, you certainly cannot afford to miss Living Spaces - 2007, the maiden show at Bangalore from PropertyPlus, the real estate supplement of The Hindu, the Saturday Special that scans the world of brick and mortar, architecture and interior design.

(The exhibition will be on at Koramangala Indoor Stadium, February 23-25, 10-30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Call 22864240)

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