Dos and don’ts for NRIs investing in Indian realty: Besides exercising necessary due diligence, NRIs also need to adhere to certain specific laws and regulations, while buying, selling, or renting out real estate in India
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22 February 2019 - 14:00, by , in NRI, No comments

The real estate in India has always seen considerable interest from the Indian diaspora, as an investment avenue. With developers continually attempting to woo NRIs, they can choose from a diversity of options, in the residential & commercial segments.

The real estate is in the midst of a slowdown, and this is the right time to invest. Developers are giving good deals and benefits such as easy payment plans, subsidy schemes, etc. Although demand still survives at the local level, clients are playing a wait-and-watch game. NRIs must take maximum advantage of this situation.

Selling and Buying

A non-resident Indian can either come to the country and buy or sell a property or give a POA to a relative and get the deal done, without coming to India. NRIs can also avail of house loans in India. The documents for the loan may alter, according to the country in which the non-resident Indian is settled. Usually, the term of the loan will be 10-15 years, while the amount that the NRI is available for, will vary based on age, income, education, etc. To support the property’s purchase, it is advisable to use an NRE account, as this will help the NRI to take back the money invested in the property when they resale the property.

Investing for the coming time

For NRIs who are on the edge of retiring and mapping to settle in India, this is the right time to spend. Social infrastructure in most of the vast Indian cities has developed a lot while civic infrastructure is also occurring ramped up. As more hospitals, schools and shopping malls come up, and linking improves, it will give rise to better standards of living. This will immediately enrich the quality of life after separation.

Once the primary residence is secured, NRIs can also use surplus funds, to buy in another apartment and use it to produce rental income. However, they must be conscious of all the bye-laws and regulations that apply to NRI investors, especially concerning taxes, as rental income is taxable in India. It is also payable in other nations, except in cases where a treaty exists between the two involved countries, with regards to double taxation, he points out.

Non-resident Indian investors should avoid projects by unknown developers. Several buyers have fallen into crisis, by putting their funds in projects that lacked mandatory clearances and fell brief of even the minimum standards of quality. Unless an NRI plans to visit India and evaluate projects, s/he should opt only for reputed developers. In all cases, NRIs should strictly verify points, such as the track record and brand visibility of the developer, the social and civic infrastructure available in the location, the amenities in the project and the timelines for possession, in the case of under-construction projects.

A project that is targeted towards non-resident Indians is no different from other offerings in the market. A property should be evaluated, purely by its location and facilities on offer, the legal validity of its title and the developer’s brand perception.

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