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Real Estate options in India

Updated on December 24, 2015

Real Estate and India

Real estate Investment can be considered as one of the safest investment option in comparison to other options like Mutual Fund, Share Market etc that deals with heavy risk factors. Real estate offers multiple options for each category of investor depending on their budget and personal choice. A buyer can either opt for cheap and long term investment option by picking a vacant land in outskirts of the city or can opt for a rented property within the city that may be costly but will start offering monthly returns immediately after the purchase. Real estate industry is too vast to understand in a short span of time and need lot of research and experience to be an expert advisor or investor. But for a start, one can definitely initiate by investing in a small scale property of low budget. This is to note that property investment is very much unexpected and no one can conclude the returns of a particular property in a specific time. Decision has to be made after considering all factors related to the product that includes location, Features, Age of property, Finance options and legality.

If we talk about India, it is always the first choice of investors not only of the Indian citizens but also of NRIs. Indian Market offers Good returns even when the global real estate market is in the sinking position and becomes a rewarding proposition for NRIs due to its transparency and simpler tax provisions. In India, NRI enjoys equal privileges as that of an Indian citizen except for the permission to purchase agricultural/plantation property or farm house. Before entering into these investment options, knowledge of two important acts is quite essential – Foreign Exchange Management Act and Income Tax Act. A fair knowledge of these two acts will enable the Non Residential Indians to take a wise decision after considering all provisions of the law.


As per the FEMA, Any NRI has the permission to invest in India for the following activities with reference to acquisition and transfer of immovable property in India:-

  1. Can acquire immovable property by way of purchase other than agricultural land or farm House.
  2. Can acquire immovable property by way gift from an Indian citizen residing outside India or PIO except agricultural land or farm house
  3. Can acquire property by inheritance.
  4. Can transfer any immovable property other than agricultural land or farm house by way of sale to an Indian citizen.
  5. Can transfer agricultural Land or Farm House by way of gift or sale to an Indian Citizen.
  6. Can transfer residential or commercial property by way of gift to a person residing in India or to a person residing outside India who is a citizen of India or to a person of Indian Origin residing outside india.

Considering these two acts, one can easily opt for a property in India and can convert it into huge profit. While proceeding ahead for any investments, one should deeply understand the basics related it. An Indian is well aware of his nearby locations, investment options available, and other facts related to that investment. But for an NRI, it becomes quite difficult to opt for a property while sitting across the country. Whoever may be the investor, only smart decisions can bring one to the effective results and this smart decision involves lot of research.


Indian investment options can be divided into Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 cities in terms of location of the property. Each category of city offers with multiple options of property investment that vary according to the type of property, budget size, and returns expected.

Tier 1 cities include Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai and Kolkata. These cities are quite well developed and equipped with multinational national companies. Such cities may be costly in terms of property investment but offers good returns along with rental income. Due to multiple job options available and endless number of colleges, large number of population is regularly migrating to these cities. Hence need more and more space for residence and commercialisation. Investment in these cities can never go waste if done with well research and complete information.

Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities are in the next phase of development after Tier 1 cities. Due to over expensive property rates and cost of living in Tier 1 city, it has created a need for alternate options in nearby places. Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities are one the best options that offers developed localities with cheap residential options. After Tier 1 cities, these are the fastest developing areas and offers productive investment options. This is well known that investment always comes out with better returns in developing localities as compared to fully developed areas. Hence opting for options in cities like lucknow, Vadodara, Jaipur, Indore, Noida, Faridabad, Ludhiana, Nasik and many others, will be an intellectual decision.

Decision making should always be done keeping your own personal facts in mind rather blindly trusting any property broker. One’s own research plays a major role in avoiding the frauds and cheats. India is vast with multiple options in multiple cities according to the location and features.


Gathering information only about the country, its cities and government acts is not sufficient until you know the seller. Property seller in India can be anyone who gets a good deal on his/her property.

First and the most important Sellers are the Builders that can be either a big builder owning a huge township or a small builder building small row houses. While purchasing property from a builder, it’s quite important to know the background of the builder and the type of properties delivered by them in Past. In India it’s a common practise of delaying the project by one or more year causing a great setback to the investor. This is also important as most of the investors put their hard earned money in pre launch projects trusting the builder without even crosschecking the ownership of the land. For developing such group housing, builder is supposed to get sanctions of the property from the concerned authority including the environment clearance, construction permission and height clearance. One should definitely crosscheck the sale deed of the land in the name of builder and in case the builder refuses to present the document, it clearly shows that project is not well approved.

Another very important point to crosscheck is the penalty clauses in case of delay in delivery of the project and exact possession time. Most of the builders does not mention these points clearly in their builder buyer agreement or manipulate the language of the agreement in their own favour. Apart from the possession related, another issue of price escalation is also a matter of discussion. Once purchased, the property should be escalation free but this is not clearly mentioned in the agreements and many builders use this in their own favour.

Next types of sellers are the individual property owners selling the property due to some personal needs. Such types of sellers are mostly cheated by the property brokers as they are not well aware of the property market. Rather it would be better to say that these are actual sellers to purchase a property at good rate because you save lot of money of brokerage and also you bargain directly with the seller.

Another Category is of the investors, who owned the property long back either in prelaunch or at very low price due some or the other reason. Reason of selling the property by investors is only to gain huge profits on that particular property. Hence they can wait for better deal rather than selling at lower price in hurry. Such Sellers are difficult to bargain and try to sell their property slightly higher than the market price.

Brokers are also one the category of sellers that cannot be missed out of the list. In most of the cases brokers does not own the property, but deal as if the property belongs to them only to build the confidence in front of the buyer. Also their own motive is to earn maximum commission in between the seller and buyer.


  1. There is no proper regulatory body to keep an eye on the working style and policies of the builders. Due to this reason Builders has the monopoly of using their own rules and regulations which are used in their own favour at the time of any legal case.
  2. In many cases properties are sold and purchased without the proper documentation and required approvals from the concerned authorities creating legal issues and setback for the buyers.
  3. There is huge problem of delaying the completion of the property by builders creating enormous loss to the buyers. No penalty charges are offered to the customers and if offered they are very minimal
  4. Rate of interest charged from the customer is much higher as compared to the penalty given in case of delay in property.
  5. Most of the property brokers do not have registered offices or companies. Hence if the buyer is cheated, no one can chase the broker until and unless broker is a known person.
  6. Due to lack of documentation work, in some cases properties are sold to more than one customer causing litigation among the buyers. Hence it becomes quite necessary to check the original ownership deed of the property.
  7. There are endless unauthorised colonies in India where in sale of property is not possible due to no availability of sale deed option. Still the brokers and investors sale these properties using agreements and Power of Attorney. These documents cannot be challenged in court in case of any legal case.
  8. There is lack of transparency by the State development authorities against the properties within their zone. It becomes quite difficult for a buyer to crosscheck the ownership of the property from the authority. Bribe is a common issue in these authorities.

Instead of so many defaults, indian market is the first choice of investments for NRIs beacuse of high returns, multiple options and easy deals.


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