‘In 2022, should you purchase or rent a home?’

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By Chetan Patel, Director, Gurukrupa Group

It’s the million dollar question: “should I buy or rent a home?”

There are a number of factors that influence both decisions. Chief among them are: your age, salary, lifestyle and future plans. The covid pandemic brought with it so much uncertainty that people are still not sure what the foreseeable, leave alone the distant, future holds for them. The real estate sector was one of the major casualties of the pandemic. People simply stopped moving out; as a result, developers and property owners could not find takers for their spaces. But all that is changing. The market has begun to open up. This sentiment is likely to continue throughout the year.

The real estate industry is dynamic, moving with the times and catering to the needs of several segments. Renting a home makes sense when you need to be situated close to your workplace. You are young, with no definite plans of settling down, earn well and want to live the good life. You may be looking for space that is luxurious but not too large.

There are a number of homeowners, especially in the metros, who have invested in a second home which they put out on rent. These are well-kept, good quality homes with good surrounding ambience. They may very well fit your bill. And you will be spared the bother of having to worry about maintenance and infrastructure.

This is the perfect option if your view is restricted to the present; the space that you rent may very well be the perfect home for your current needs. But that’s where it ends — your current needs. Eventually you will want to think long-term, and a whole new set of factors will weigh in on your decision. The present time is ideal to consider buying your own home, either to move into right away, or even to be future-ready.

If you are well-settled career or businesswise, finance should not be a problem. Banks have customer-friendly housing loan schemes with easy payback options. A bank loan also benefits you tax-wise. Interest rates are not too high. And real estate is a sound investment option. Property prices are only expected to rise over the long-term.

Today’s developers are in tune with the pulse of the market. They create living spaces that vary from the simple to the super-luxurious. The points that you need to consider when buying a home, besides the quantum of space that you require, are: how long you would like to remain in that city or locality; the needs of your spouse; the kind of school that you would like to send your kids to; the nearby amenities such as playgrounds, restaurants, entertainment hubs, institutions, and hangouts; the availability of parking space; and the kind of neighbourhood.

A real estate agent can show you a wide choice of homes that match your requirements. Availing of a housing loan from a bank may give you an added sense of security since the bank may check out the authenticity of the project before sanctioning the loan. It is also a matter of pride when a bank sanctions a loan, because it establishes your credibility. Owning your own home gives you a feeling of stability and security.

Once you secure ownership of your own home, you have the freedom to furnish and decorate it as you like. Your family feels a sense of community, and your neighbours become part of your extended family. You have a sense of being rooted. You have clear proof of address through your pan and Aadhar cards.

The post-pandemic phase is the best time to consider buying your new home, because while demand is going up, the price can still put a smile on your face. The buying mood was never more bullish.