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Turning 2 BHK into luxury condominium

Having a small apartment can be a drag when it comes to implementing the desired interior design ideas.

HappyKeys asked Vikram Kapoor, experienced interior decorator and director projects, Innovations India, to suggest ways to make a simple 2 BHK apartment into giving the feel of a luxury condominium. Here are his recommendations:

Luxury places look spacious, have a lot of access to natural light and are fitted with lifestyle features that often cost a lot. Thus, to achieve this, you need to suitably budget for it and use some tricks strategically.
One trick is to get involved at the time of construction itself to achieve a rich spacious interior. Also, buy a 2BHK in a large project, even though you can afford a 3BHK with a mid-level builder.

These two factors will ensure you get access to luxury amenities and as you are involved earlier in the project, you can have a greater choice of apartments.

This way, you have the option of ensuring to choose an apartment with a good view in a quieter corner of the project.

Also, as you have chosen below your budget, you have more money in hand to make the interiors luxurious.

At the time of the construction, ask for larger windows and choose better quality tiles and classy woodwork.

The actual plan
The average home plan features a hallway, two rooms (left and right), a kitchen and a bathroom. Take advantage of every single corner of the house and put them to good use with storage nooks. However, give a white veneer to those you want to blend. In contrast, the areas where you want the woodwork to provide a rich luxurious look, use expensive teak with classy handles. For flooring, use high-end Italian marble. This will impart the apartment a classy look. Use split ACs across the house. It helps maintain temperature control and reduces dust.

Use high-end glass as much as possible for dining tables, doors and windows and powder quote the window frames to match the walls.

The living room
Make the hallway welcoming with a lot of light, use all light colours like off-white but also have some integrated furniture elements such as a small table and an armchair to give a sense of comfortable elegance. Large airy curtains, double with classy glass curtains and a thicker fabric – the side with lighter shade inside — with give the windows depth and an impression of more space.

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The bedrooms
Essentially, the bedroom is the one room you should not skimp on.

It is alright to have the bed take the centre stage. Think of all the hotels you have visited — the bedroom is always well-designed with matching bedding, pillows and curtains. So do that. Start with a supportive mattress and then layer it in the luxury of plump down pillows, Egyptian cotton sheets (buy the highest thread count that you can afford), and a down comforter.

The bed should be fit for a king/queen and outfitted with a plush headboard of leatherite or quality fabric that you can lay your head against.

Invest in classy rich side tables and side lamps, a desk, a couple of cozy chairs with a quaint table, a gorgeous armoire for clothing, and a LED television that is well-hidden inside a beautiful armoire or cabinet. Use under-bed storages extensively instead of making the wardrobe run from floor to ceiling.

Buy only good, branded fixtures here and that too in off-white shades. Aspects like use of concealed light for the shower area, a large mirror over a counter-top washbasin (the counter needn’t be of marble or granite; acrylic counter tops are classy). Also, continue the Italian marble flooring to the bathrooms. To add to the classiness, install a shower cubicle. The glass, coupled with the flooring and the fixtures, will give you bathroom sophistication.

(As told to Kanchana Dwarakanath)


Ghaziabad: Get more for less

Ghaziabad is known for its swift connectivity to all NCR locations and is a preferred residential destination among IT professionals working in Greater Noida and Noida. Shivani Mehrotra, who working with an IT company in Sector 62, Noida, says, “I preferred to buy a 3BHK home in Raj Nagar Extension, Ghaziabad, due to ease of connectivity and for my growing family. Ghaziabad is an affordable option as compared to the neighbouring Noida.

Ghaziabad offers 3BHK units within a budget of Rs 20 lakh to Rs 2 crore. The sizes of such apartments vary from 1,200 to 3,000 square feet. Ghaziabad offers freehold properties with basic to luxury amenities.

The prices have not swung much in the last one year.

The average property price for Ghaziabad for July 2015 was Rs 3,370 per square feet. The two times prices shot up was in October 2014 and January 2015. After January, the real estate prices in Ghaziabad have seen a continuous drop.

Kaushambi, Vaishali, Indirapuram and Raj Nagar Extension are the four most flourishing property markets of this region. These localities also started as the affordable ones but as the demand increased, so did the prices. These are quite developed and the residential projects have already become active. This is why developers are also coming up with premium projects targeted at the HNI customers.

Localities where the prices have not undergone much change over the last one year are Vaishali, Vasundhara and Raj Nagar Extension. Prices in Indirapuram fell during the end of 2014 but picked up from May this year and have remained the same ever since. Like the average Property price in Ghaziabad, prices in Crossing Republic locality came down at the beginning of 2015.

The area along NH24 has been a popular locality. The coming of an elevated road and FNG Corridor has improved its connectivity with Noida and Greater Noida. Along with housing societies, several commercial projects are coming up in the area. Projects such as Aditya Urban Homes, Aditya City Residences and Aditya High Street offer affordable projects in varied sizes and specifications that suit the budget of middle income buyers.


Planning to buy a house in Noida-Greater Noida? Now is the right time

The Noida and Greater Noida (West) region is one of fastest-growing areas in north India, driven primarily by infrastructural development. And affordability and growth potential are the key factors about this region.

Connectivity scenario

Greater Noida runs parallel to several Noida sectors and is well-connected to Noida City Centre by a 130 meter-wide six-lane road. It is also well-connected to NH-24 and Ghaziabad. Approved metro connectivity is the other point that continues to work in favour of these areas. The metro is expected to connect almost all parts of Greater Noida with Noida. Additionally, Greater Noida West is close to the upcoming FNG Expressway.

Current geography

Currently, Noida and Greater Noida’s property market, according to local industry experts, can be divided into three pockets:

  • Sectors 120, 119 and 74-78: One factor that always favoured these areas was connectivity. They are all located close to metro stations and hence the surroundings areas have several projects at various stages of construction. The property prices in this pocket are between Rs 4,000 and Rs 5,000 per square feet.
  • Noida Expressway: This is the next distinct pocket with property rates varying between Rs 5,500 and 7,500 per square feet. Connectivity-wise, the area has a six-lane expressway which ensures a smooth commute to Delhi. And this vital factor has witnessed the mushrooming of several high-end projects here.

Aimed more at the lifestyle-minded buyer, offerings here often include swanky club houses, pools and other high-end amenities.

  • The third pocket is Greater Noida (West): And it is this area that is fast gaining importance. The land under development here was mired in legal controversies. But a Supreme Court’s decision in favour of the UP government in May 2015 has given the area a much-needed fillip.

With properties priced between Rs 2,700 and Rs 3,700 per square feet, according to local players, the area has drawn the maximum number of new projects.

“What Noida and Greater Noida always had was seamless connectivity. But prospective buyers were hesitant primarily due to the petitions by farmers. This judgment did lay to rest all legal unrest, creating a positive sentiment and triggering a demand for houses,” says Vikrant Juneja, proprietor, Salvo Realtors, a real estate advisor in Noida for the past 10 years.

“The area is becoming popular with the middle class, especially first-time home buyers in the age segment of 28-34 years,” says Rahul Agarwal, a property consultant in the area.

Given the government’s plan to develop Greater Noida (West) as a self-sufficient region with a budget allocation already set in, industry watchers feel the area will become a great investment location in the coming years.

“We need to keep in mind that compared to areas like Gurgaon, prices here are attractive and the area provides good lifestyle amenities within driving distance,” says Juneja.

A cautionary approach

Given the potential the area has and the varied options available here, HappyKey recommends a prudent approach when it comes to buying.

“It is always good to have a reliable real estate consultant,” says SN Roy, a senior advocate who specialises in real estate transactions. “Granted you need to pay him/her a percentage as commission but it is still worth the expenditure as these professionals can line up a healthy list of options as per your requirements. A reliable agent will be able to help with registration, reducing the hassle for a novice.”  More>> Noida Property

5 Key Things to Remember When Buying Property

Property Buying Tips1. Don’t jump to any conclusion once you see a property launch. Always check the legal holding and sale deeds. In Noida Extension, for instance, the court order came at a time the buyers had paid substantial money to the builders.

2. Ensure that the identified property clearly matches your present and future needs and goals. Some home buyers purchase apartments for their families; some buy for capital appreciation through long-term investment; some buy to enjoy living in a new township and some buy for living closer to their workplace.

3. Get the total math right. First-time homebuyers think they can afford the EMI payments and can own a house. There are always other monthly overflows. Property insurance, property taxes, homeowner association dues, maintenance charge, and electric and water bills are some of the outflows. And some of these tend to increase every year. So, calculate things properly before owning a home. Factor in hidden conditions that matter the most.

4. Do not assume you can go through the process all by yourself. You are a novice even if you own property in some other locality. Rules and regulations and procedure for registering change from state to state and sometimes even region to region. There are professionals out there who offer total solution as a service package which include even the cash transactions asked. The process of finding a suitable option, getting a loan et al can be stressful enough. So lack of knowledge and experience can result in big mistakes which are best avoided.

5. Generally, buyers focus on factors such as the price, location, number of rooms, location, possession date and amenities, etc. Legal clearances, finances of the builder for the said project, track record with records to project completion and obtained approval for the number of floors are some of the other aspects that prospective buyers need to track as well.