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How Do You Organise Your Home?

Kumar Princetown

It’s been a long time since you bought your house; and over time, you have relaxed into it. To keep your house looking attractive, and to feed your tastes and interests, you have accumulated plenty of wall paintings, artefacts, antique items, lamps, tables and chairs, cupboards, nightstands, coffee tables, so on and so forth. And by now, you have managed to fill every nook and corner of your house with one thing or another. Sound familiar? If this description fits you, you probably think often about organising your home.

 

Organising things at home is a task easier than made out to be. In fact, so much is said about the ‘organising gene,’ which some people are proclaimed as carrying, and most others not. Organisation, however, can be made easier by following certain steps:

 

•           Group similar items together. This is perhaps the most basic maxim underlying all organisation. Similar items when grouped together are easier to find. The most common example of items that are difficult to find at home are stationery items. If scissors, staplers, pencils, pens, and so on can all be grouped together and placed in, say, a desk-drawer, cabinet or basket, never again will you hear, “I’m not finding the scissors. Where are they?!”

•           Invest in a bookshelf. Often, newspapers, books, and magazines are seen littered across the house. With a bookshelf, they can all lay in harmony in one place and can easily be searched for reading-time.

•           Use boxes/containers of appropriate sizes in the kitchen. ‘Appropriate size’ is important because many times a larger-than-required container is used for food staples, such as sugar and coffee. The extra size only occupies more space, and most times even compromises the look of the kitchen.

•           The small containers/boxes for items such as sugar and coffee are typically meant for temporary storage. However, what if many such items are bought in bulk for a long period of time? In such cases, it is essential to create a storage space, typically found towards the end of the house, in the basement, or in the attic. This ensures that you have no items floating around the house occupying precious space.

•           Create a media space. Although TVs and music systems are placed together in most houses, the space is not recognised, and hence organised, as a media space. From TVs and music systems to tablets and docks, the space can be reserved especially to accommodate all of them in one place and in a manner that doesn’t waste space.

•           Create a file cabinet. Despite a decreasing trend in the use of paper, it’s still ubiquitously used. Whether it is a list of important items to be bought in the future, or documents pertaining to work, a file cabinet is essential at home.

 

There are many more creative ways to tackle the problem of organisation, some of which you already know and some you will find out in the process, but to begin with these will ensure a great start to organisation. Good luck!

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Home Repair and Maintenance

House Repairs
Regular repair and maintenance at home is an important aspect of life. Every now and then something breaks down at home or at least necessitates an adjustment. A popular abbreviation, DIY, that on expansion stands for ‘Do It Yourself,’ indicates projects that can be undertaken at home by oneself to make, for instance, these repairs or conduct a maintenance.

To take care of the home involves setting aside money from the monthly budget, dedicated purely for repair and maintenance. Wouldn’t you much rather pay a small amount for regular check-up of the house than to pay hefty medical bills resulting from unsafe and unhealthy conditions? Common areas that may demand attention are: painting of the walls – interior and exterior, machines, like the Washing Machine and Refrigerator, wood works, like chair and table, so on and so forth. Focussing on such areas and possibly creating a checklist can make home repair and maintenance a relatively easy affair.

 

The advantages on offer by introducing regular check-ups are:

•        The house is more aesthetically appealing.

•        It prevents any damage from escalating.

•        Heavy expenditures are avoided.

•        The value of the property is maintained, which will turn out to be profitable in case the house is put up for sale in the future.

 

It is preferred if the homeowner pursues home repair and maintenance himself or herself. Some useful resources you can make use of are:

•        Every electrical or mechanical product comes with a manufacturer’s guide or manual that informs the customer on any safety precautions or possible risks, and sometimes also a means to minor repair.

•        Many web catalogues offer suggestions on methods of repair and maintenance.

•        Websites, like YouTube, host videos that show a step-by-step method of repair or service.

 

In conclusion, repair and maintenance at home is essential, as it helps you save your finances, keeps the ho

use safe and healthy, and allows you to maintain the value of your property.

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GO ONLINE FOR YOUR PROPERTY NEEDS

Classifieds

Do you remember the old days, when you had to wait for the newspaper ads in order to inform yourself on any new property that’s up for sale? Perhaps you remember the days, when you would go around different areas located far apart, in search of the dream house that perfectly meets your needs, but having to see all the irrelevant houses in the process? With the internet enabling easy access to information, the real estate sector did not stay behind. Online property portals are on the rise across the world wide web, making it smooth, easy and convenient to buy a property that meets your requirements, while you sit at one place in comfort.

 

The online property portals came into existence, especially because of the tedious process alluded to before – that of physically going around different areas across the city in search of an apartment that suits your needs. The portals, however, give you a list of all the details that you, as an owner, may wish to know before checking out the apartment yourself. The photos of the house – of the interior as well as the surrounding – are uploaded, so you can even see the house despite its distance from you. That gives your home-search an excellent added advantage.

 

Yet another aspect, which the consumer would have had to exhaustingly deal with in the old times, is the lack of transparency in quotations offered by the property agents. There would be a number of agents, each quoting their own price for the same property. This lack of transparency can now be avoided by visiting the different websites, since they contain standard quotations – visible to all – for a particular property.

 

The real estate sector has been fighting difficult times over the past couple of years. The government support, as such, has been low, and the interest rates have shot up high. Vikas Malpani, co-founder of CommonFloor.com – a real estate portal dedicated to apartments and gated communities, said in a guest column submitted to constructionbiz360.com, “Even the Union Budget 2012-13 has largely been disappointing for the real estate sector. It has not addressed these acute problems and has left this sector wanting for more. The increase in the service tax by 2% and the application of TDS will further push realty prices upward.” He goes on to say that he doesn’t expect much of a change.

 

But even in spite of these turbulent times, the real estate sector has been thriving, the reason for which is widely attributed to the real estate online portals. It reduces the operational cost and keeps the customers coming, even without any external help. In this manner, it serves as an excellent means to an end for the business, as well as the customer.

 

Kumar Properties also has its website – www.princetown.in – precisely to make it easier for the customer to select his or her dream house. It lists the various attributes of the buildings that are either pre-existing or under-construction, and describes everything on offer to the consumer in detail. It is this information, which at most times is valuable and handy, that gives you an upper hand in making the right choice.

 

References: http://www.constructionbiz360.com/article/5/201205142012051420122918cd280601/Online-real-estate-market-witnessing-rapid-growth–Vikas-Malpani-CommonFloorcom.html

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THE NEED FOR SUSTAINABILITY

Sustainability

The migration of people from villages to cities in search of job opportunities has been a continuous phenomenon occurring in India for many decades now. However, the number of people leaving for towns and cities has grown year after year, leaving the real estate market much to provide in terms of sustainability.The aspects of climate change and environmental degradation have occupied much of the spotlight over the past decade. With fierce campaigns running against excessive carbon emissions and inefficient utilisation of electricity, the environmentalists have shed vital information on the dangerous phenomena occurring around the globe and the measures that can be adopted in order to prevent these phenomena from growing and turning into a catastrophe. Within this context, the domestic real estate has taken very warmly to the idea of green initiatives and creating sustainable environments. Real estate developers are now focussed on proper construction of all the necessary systems and maintenance of water and power supply, as well as providing measures to enable the process of efficient waste management. While many of these initiatives have arisen out of self-motivation, the government has been responsible in specifically asking developers to opt for more sustainable ways.

The Urban Development Ministry estimates, that by the year 2050, two-thirds of the population living in 23 cities in India with a population of over 1 million will be living in urban areas. If the estimates are to be believed, the cities will have to re-examine their development models and must begin by preparing for an overhaul. The need for design and construction of greener buildings and environments only amplifies after reading such reports.

J. M. Mauskar, Ministry of Environment and Forests, was direct and insightful in a press conference organised by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) in the month of March 2012, where he said that while India needed to design and construct green buildings for bridging the growing gap between energy demand and supply, as the migration of people from rural to urban areas was steadily sustained, the business houses were to simultaneously use technological innovations in a manner cordial to developmental goals and environmental protection.

He also expressed a strong need to protect the environment, while infrastructure development was steadily maintained. He said, “Rapid industrialisation and infrastructure development coupled with population growth and urbanisation have exerted tremendous pressure on the environment. Thus there is a great need of employing methods and techniques to prevent potential harm to environment.”

Mr. Naveen Raheja, chairman of ASSOCHAM real estate council, said green buildings can save upto 80% of energy requirements compared to conventional ones and the cost recovery is within one year.

Now, with the real estate developers being informed, educated and inspired by these ideas, a greener, safer, healthier and, most importantly, sustainable environment is not far beyond our reach.

 

 

References: http://www.assocham.org/prels/shownews-archive.php?id=3405

http://www.constructionbiz360.com/article/6/2012051120120511085849296da29c715/Sustainable-real-estate-is-the-need-of-the-day.html?pageno=1

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GUIDE TO BUYING PROPERTY

My home my Castle

The process of buying property in India, and elsewhere, is a challenging prospect. It can result in significant emotional, physical and financial stress. It is crucial to do your homework well before committing to a certain piece of property. Listed below are certain basic steps which can serve as a

guide to buying property:

 

  • Identification of the place/property

There are certain areas or localities that you may prefer, in which to have your property. Identify those places. Making a list of pros and cons particular to you and your family can help narrow down a set of areas. You may want to spend some time in the neighbourhood in order to see what catches your attention and what you’d rather avoid. If in case you’re taking a loan, you may want to check with the bank if it agrees to sanction loan to a property in a particular area of your choice. Not all lenders are willing to lend in all areas. That’s because some areas may impose risk or may simply be unauthorised.

  • Legal aspects

There are several legal aspects that one must understand in order to make sense of the basic framework governing the process of buying property. There are two types of properties that you can buy: a pre-existing property, or one that is still in construction. In either case, you must ensure that the seller owns the property and has the right to sell it to you. The ownership rights and its transfer must be clear and transparent. In case of a pre-existing property, you may want to check the legal documents and go over the terms and conditions regarding the property. However, in case of a property still under construction, the most important aspect is whether the property has been sanctioned and that the work is being carried out in accordance with the laws.

  • Understanding the payment plan

There are a few available modes of making the payment. In case of buying a pre-existing property, you may, most likely, have to make the entire payment in one go, if not over a short interval of time. If you are considering a property under construction, the likelihood of enjoying a certain flexibility over paying the amount is considerable.

  • Property fees and taxes

Broadly, there are kinds of fees – stamp duty, registration fee and estate consultant/agents fee. The stamp duty varies in India from one location to another, but generally ranges between 4% and 10%. The registration fee may cost upto 2% of the total property price. The agent/consultant will also charge his fees, which is typically in the range of 5-10% of the total property price.

  • Loan aspects

After speaking with the existing property owner, you may want to decide if you want to go in for a loan. If yes, the best option would be to quickly get on with the process, since you may not be able to acquire the property if you don’t have the required funding when necessary. The lender will require income and tax status, as well as property-related documents.

  • Sale agreement and allotment letter

If you are buying a pre-existing property, the seller will sign a sale agreement with you after agreeing on the terms of sale. However, booking in an under-construction property first involves receiving an allotment letter from the builder. This letter includes all the details regarding the flat, the payment options, and any extra charges that you may have to pay in case of maintenance or additional facilities. You must discuss any preferences, such as choice of floor or view, of yours at this point, before receiving the allotment letter; as otherwise, the options become limited. In case you’ve bought an under-construction property, you will receive the sale agreement in the coming months, signifying that the sale is made to you, and describing the details of your purchase.

  • Registration

You must now have the property transferred by registering it in your name in the local municipal records. This establishes the legal transfer of ownership. You will also have to pay a stamp duty, which is a government tax levied on property transactions.

 

Although the process may seem tedious, the prospect of living in your own home will hopefully have you smilingly brightly through it.

 

Sources:

http://in.finance.yahoo.com/news/Home-buying-process-Critical-itrust-2684534936.html

http://www.houseinthesun.com/page-property-buying-guide-for-india-79.html

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WHY NOT LIVE IN AN INTEGRATED TOWNSHIP?

Integrated township

Integrated townships have seen an explosive growth in the country over the past decade. The potential has been bright even during the rough times of the economic slowdown. The growth has been fueled almost extensively by the growing demands in key metros – Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, New Delhi, Mumbai and Pune. Down south, Bangalore and Hyderabad’s generous welcoming of the IT/Software has ensured continuous development of such townships.

An integrated township is often known as a city within a city. It encompasses all aspects of a modern day living. Neha Dewan of the Economic Times attempts at defining integrated townships by saying, “Integrated townships, as the name suggests, is a self-sustained township having a number of real estate developments, including residential, commercial, retail and institutional, as well as industrial areas in some case.” Such a township provides an excellent urban residential solution to people who wish, most importantly, to stay in a sustainable and environment-friendly living space.

 

Integrated townships are often characterised by certain elements. They are:

  • Schools
  • Healthcare facilities
  • Sports/play areas, basketball courts, and so on
  • Club house or a community hall

 

These various facilities are well connected by road, and are a result of meticulous planning aimed at creating ease of networking. The management of water and electricity supply is equally well coordinated. The water is made available round the clock. The electricity, too, is available round the clock, except when there is a wide-scale power failure. In such cases, alternative power options are most often ready as backup.

 

The maintenance and security is impeccable. The roads, parks, play areas, community centres, and so on, are all subject to routine maintenance. Security officers are placed at strategic places inside, as well as beyond the township. In fact, security counts as a big plus point for potential buyers.

 

As a part of the central idea of integration, the township boasts of numerous shopping and entertainment options. There are theatres and multiplexes, along with other games and entertainment parlours and clubs placed at certain locations within the area. All your domestic shopping needs, like grocery, can be met with utmost ease. If you wish to buy a brand new shirt, or the latest iPhone, you may not have to travel beyond the precincts.

 

It can be seen that integrated townships provide an excellent urban solution to prevailing menaces, such as bad road-networks, traffic congestions, poor maintenance and security systems, inadequate and non-uniform power and water supply. If a good and healthy environment, along with luxurious living and convenient access to facilities is your priority, you may want to opt into booking your place in an integrated township.

 

References: http://www.constructionbiz360.com/article/5/200911302009113019465127536ef94b6/Integrated-townships-The-answer-to-urban-India’s-problems.html

http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2009-12-13/news/28474757_1_townships-industrial-areas-affordable-housing

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HOW TO CREATE AN INVITING LIVING ROOM

The living room is a place of rejuvenation. It is here that you refresh yourself and entertain your guests. It is the center of attention, and typically occupies the central position in the house. It is often the most well-decorated room in the house, since the guests are entertained there. Family and friends feel most comfortable being in the living room.

 

The design of the living room reflects the personality of the homeowner. It is essential, then, that the living room is well designed. The decoration must create a positive atmosphere for you or for the guests that visit your house. Given below are some of the pointers that may enable you to create that inviting living room.

 

ñ  The colour of the paint on your walls can be warm and friendly. The colour must be more neutral, since extreme colours could create a distraction. Bright colours are preferable.

ñ  The type and nature of the furniture in the living room makes a big difference in creating an atmosphere. Ensure that the furniture and the space are proportional in size. Installing large furnitures in a small space may leave very little space to move around. Similarly, installing tiny furnitures in a large space may create numerous vacant spaces. Creating a balance gives the living room a balanced atmosphere.

ñ  The lighting in the living room is an aspect of great importance. Having the room well-lit keeps it alive. Whereas, dim lights may create a dim atmosphere. Instead of installing just two or three lighting sources, it is preferable to set up numerous lighting sources overhead. A table lamp is a great addition to the living room. In fact, placing more than one in strategic places in the room can further lighten up the room.

ñ  Predictability can be avoided by adding articles of different shapes and sizes. A couple of chairs of an odd-shape or a non-rectangular sofa can raise curiosity and interest.

ñ  Paintings are a tried and tested form of decoration. Beautiful paintings or works of art can provide a certain depth that a living room truly deserves. You can choose to present those works of art that hold a special meaning in your life. Alternatively, photos of the family can be framed into large pictures and put up on the wall. The resulting environment will promote the feeling of togetherness and invite the family to stay close even in difficult times, leading to greater peace and harmony.

 

The pointers listed above will definitely enable you to create your dream living room. It is important that you plan the space beforehand, preventing any unnecessary expenditure due to frequently changing moods and feelings. Creating a dream living room is a pleasure. Hope you engage in it with all your heart.

 

Further Sources: http://homedesignlover.com/living-room-designs/living-room-tips/

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THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING A STUDY AT HOME

Reading Room

Among the many important considerations that go into selecting a house, having a study doesn’t necessarily feature high on the list. However, the trend has been gradually shifting towards incorporating a study of the right size in the house.

A study is a room in a house used either for work or reading. Work may include writing/typing, filing and storing documents, and reading can vary from being a recreational activity to a matter of research work. Historically, the study was intended to be a private office or reading room of the head of the family. Only he would occupy the room for his purposes of work or reading. However, today, a study is used either as a private home-office or as a means by which a home-business is carried out. More and more houses are also seeing the study being open to the entire family.

 

The concept of study was developed at the time of renaissance, during which period the palaces of early modern europe and the domestic architecture would typically hold one or more rooms serving as a study or retreat. The cabinet would contain books of art, history and philosophy, and works of art from the renaissance and pre-renaissance eras. Men would sit in silence and contemplate, or read and comprehend great works from the historic and contemporary eras. It is this tradition of the cabinet, and the later English closet, that is now evolved into today’s study.

 

How would a study look? The study need not be a large room. It must, however, be spacious; and must invite sufficient light into the room. The amount of light one wants to let into the room is a matter of choice. The study must typically incorporate a desk, chair(s), desk lamp, computer/laptop and bookshelves, depending on one’s requirement. The colour of the walls can be soothing and subtle. It helps one to focus. Any distracting elements, like television, should not be a part of the study. Placing of plants in the study will increase the oxygen in the room, hence revitalising and rejuvenating you while you work. The bookshelves can be of a design that suit your style. It is important to make sure it is in tune with the room. They can hold all kinds of books ranging from novels to research papers. The house may not have a room designated as the study, but a spare room can serve the purpose.

 

Since such a room is a temple of reading and contemplation, you may wish to keep it minimalistic. However, it is a matter of choice, and hence some may prefer to have all their requirements, urgent and needed or not, and other articles satisfying aesthetic requirements be placed across different areas in the room. The room can also serve as an inspirational tool. If the study is decorated according to one’s inspirational needs, it can tremendously enhance productivity in all areas of life. Motivational artwork and framed pictures keep you going at all times.

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IDEAS FOR YOUR BEDROOM

Bedroom Ideas

 

 

A bedroom is a true sanctuary of rest and relaxation. It is a private room where one wishes to go after a tiring day. It provides retreat from the rest of the world, and also serves as a sanctuary for romance. However, it takes some effort to create this perfect sanctuary, based on style and interests.

The french style is very popular, and may not be all that hard to imitate. If its rich elegance is something you dream of, ehow suggests indulging in “opulent, tufted velvet bed trimmed with gilt, and … a crystal-laden chandelier overhead.” Give the bed or its coverlet a silky touch, along with placing fluffy cushions on it. The widows could be designed in the french style, commonly known as “the french windows.”

The bedroom can have elegant, luxurious furniture placed in its various corners. Even the regular armchair is a great addition to the bedroom, as it can be used to take that relaxing afternoon nap or to read that beautiful book of your choice. The bedside table is a necessity in a bedroom. You may choose to decide the size of the table depending on the overall size of the room and as per your requirement of the number of drawers and storage facilities. A beautiful lamp placed atop the bedside table can add to the elegant look.

If you wish to create a serene atmosphere in the bedroom, you may want to paint the walls white. Alternatively, you could paint it aqua blue to create the depth of the sea. Such a style may involve being minimalistic and open. The bedroom should incorporate more natural colours, like green and blue. A bedroom of this nature can provide great peace and calmness.

More and more houses these days are opting for the sophisticated look. A house of such style may prefer darker colours. The sheets or the couch may find themselves wearing an elegant black or a dark red. The bedroom may have a wide range of antique placed in various areas in the room. Even the regular necessities, like the dressing table, may be made of unique kinds of wood, and finished in a classy, old-school fashion.

Irrespective of the style you opt for, it would do justice to opt for one that most resonates with you. A bedroom, just like the entire house, speaks volumes about who you are as a person. Hence, you may want to style it according to your personality. And it becomes all the more important when you consider the bedroom to be your go-to place for peace, rest and romance.

Reference: http://www.ehow.com/list_6385434_bedroom-inspiration-ideas.html#page=0

 

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ENERGY-EFFICIENT HOMES

Smart Home technologies

The ever increasing need for new and improved technologies has inevitably extended to the energy sector. The resulting impact has continued on to strike every aspect of human life. And since people reside in homes, it is most natural to see people making an effort to choose greener alternatives at every stage of selecting and designing their homes.

The extraction and use of energy creates a ripple in every nook and corner of the planet. The climate change crisis was unearthed in very serious measure over a decade ago. The level of awareness on the climate change crisis, and the resulting global warming, along with the staggering amount of energy consumption in various countries, like India, The United States of America, China, so on and so forth, exploded into the global scene. With visionaries like Al Gore coming out in the open and educating masses of people in different nations, a desperate drive to conserve energy was born. It was in this explosion of knowledge that the concept of building green or energy-efficient homes arose.

Energy conservation can help improve environmental quality and provide pure, sustainable energy, which in direct and indirect ways, can increase financial capital, national security and unending natural resources. Within this context, energy efficient homes play a vital role. And, as citizens, it is our responsibility to opt for greener measures.

Energy efficiency simply means using lesser energy to accomplish the same result. Using lesser energy causes you to spend lesser and protect the environment. There are two ways to accomplish this:

n  Design of the building and other supporting structure

n  Way of living

The building must be designed using environment-friendly materials. The building must also be positioned in a manner that allows you to take advantage of the winter sun and minimise summer heat, saving on heating and cooling costs. The building or reconstruction/renovation of a house provides the perfect opportunity to install a range of energy-efficient appliances. You may also want to ensure that the building is close to the facilities you need and close to public transport. This helps minimise fuel costs and travel time.

Even if the building is energy-efficient, the way of life of the residents makes a big difference in cutting costs and being eco-friendly. It is crucial to ponder over how energy is typically used. Simplest of changes, like turning off the lights and fan when not required, can go a long way in cutting down expenditure.

Building green and efficient homes lays ahead a path of great success for both you and the society. It is an opportunity to live healthier and happier and, at the same time, to make a difference in the society.

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A Garden for Your Apartment

garden on balconyWho wouldn’t love to be surrounded by green plants and beautiful flowers all the time? Back in the old days, everybody had a yard in the front or back of their house to plant their favourite flowering plants or a kitchen garden that could produce some fruits and veggies. With land becoming a really scarce resource in the cities we live in today, those of us who live in an apartment or a flat do not have that luxury to have a conventional garden. We live in a small area of the ground, the space on which is vertically shared by different individuals who may not even know each other. This calls for innovative strategies to find new ways to grow plants in a small space.

 

There are a few questions that are extremely worthwhile to ask before you undertake the interesting task of choosing the plants and designing your garden.

 

Would you like plants that serve mostly decorative purposes or are you more interested in plants the meet your practical needs? There are a number of flowering plants you can grow indoors including orchids, common plants like hibiscus or exotic ones like African violets.

 

On the other hand you could also grow different types of herbal plants including Tulsi, which is considered to be a very auspicious plant to have in one’s home. You could even grow certain fruits and many vegetables in your home garden. Imagine harvesting pesticide-free tomatoes, lady’s fingers, gentlemen’s toes, green chilly which were all grown in your own balcony with a little care and effort and using them in the kitchen.

 

Most of the vegetable plants will require a fair amount of sunlight. So, for most people, the location where it can be planted narrows down to just the balcony. But other kinds of plants that love shade could be planted even in areas of an apartment where there’s little or no natural light.

 

Gardening could be a wonderful hobby that allows you to use a lot of creativity. Taking care of the plants by watering them, pruning when necessary, making sure the soil has enough nutrients can all be wonderful activities that bring you happiness. Designing a garden, no matter how small it might be, choosing the plants, the type of pots and how they should be arranged and visualizing how the garden would manifest when the plants grow to their maturity can all be great ways to fulfil your creative cravings.

 

On the other hand, if you happen to be the busy city dweller who doesn’t have the time to tend to plants every day, there are still many options available today to maintain a garden. You could install a small drip irrigation system that can automatically irrigate all the plants when you just turn the tap on. Or you could design your own system to irrigate the plants using waste materials you have like paint cans or containers and a set of tubes that would carry water to different pots.

 

Your balcony can be an excellent location to host a kitchen garden or an array of beautiful flowering plants. You can also consider window sills, stairways railings, the space below stairways, etc. to keep plants in pots or containers.

 

Vertical Gardens

Vertical gardens are still quite rare, but they’re undoubtedly becoming more popular. While they may require a little bit more effort and investment, they open whole new avenue of possibilities to a gardener who is frustrated by space constraints. How cool is it if you can grow a garden straight up your wall? A vertical garden is made possible by adding a fibrous layer that can hold moisture and let plants take root on it. Nourished mainly by water and sunlight, vertical gardens are innovative and eye-catching.

 

More info on this topic is available on these links:

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/Vertical+limit/1/5702.html

http://www.greengrowerindia.com/services/green-wall.php

 

Aside from its sheer visual appeal, a vertical garden or a green wall is said to significantly cool concrete surfaces. It’s also a means to reuse grey water i.e. waste water from laundry, showers, etc. can be used to nourish the plants.

 

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A Guide to Help You Choose Right Flooring for Your Apartment

Right Flooring for your Apartment

Choosing the right kind of flooring for your apartment is an important choice. You have to think of not only aesthetics but also the utility and durability of the type of flooring you choose. Few builders and developers give you a choice of flooring and some have a standard template. Most of the times, when you are buying an apartment, you will be able to strike a deal with the builders regarding the kind of customization you are looking for as far as flooring is concerned.

Tiled Flooring: Tiles are one of the most popular flooring solutions used today. Present day tiles are definitely an improvement over the mosaic tiles of the past that was harder to clean and maintain. Ceramic tiles are one option you have and the advantage of this type of tiles is its easy maintenance, availability in different colors and shapes, and of course, good looks. These tiles must however, be fixed and sealed well. When you are buying a house, the last thing you want is unprofessionally done flooring that could compromise its durability. Vitrified tiles that are made in higher temperatures absorb less moisture when compared to ceramic tiles and are more rigid and scratch resistant. However, vitrified tiles tend to be slippery. There are anti-skid varieties of tiles currently in the market that can be used for kitchen, bathrooms and utility areas.

Marble Flooring: Marble flooring is more premium, than tiled flooring and of course is better aesthetically. However, they might need regular polishing and can crack easily if you are not careful. There are several varieties of marbles to choose from.

Granite Flooring: Granite flooring is more expensive than marble and is often used only for kitchen slabs and the like and less for flooring. They are extremely durable and easy to maintain.

Hardwood & wooden laminates: Hardwood floors are made from a mixture of special and domestic wood. They make your apartment very attractive but at the same time, it retains moisture and would attract termites. Wooden laminates on the other hand, are easy to fix, resists moisture and are easy to clean. They can even be fixed over your existing flooring.

Vinyl Flooring: Less popular in India, vinyl flooring is an inexpensive option but also wouldn’t last very long. The other side is that you could change whenever you desire a change. They are easy to clean and fix.

While buying an apartment, you have to consider your budget for flooring, the durability of the options available, color, and above it all, the comfort and ease of use it would provide. Also bear in mind that the ideal flooring might not be one single type of flooring in all your rooms. Think of different combinations that are more suited for specific areas and rooms of your apartments. Talk to the builders and developers about the options they can provide and at what price. Top builders and developers usually have more options to choose from. The correct flooring will make your home the perfect place to live.

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Looking for an Apartment in Bangalore?

Princetown Residential complex Bangalore

Bangalore has grown exponentially in recent years. What was once considered outskirts are now busy streets, IT Parks and high-rise apartments. As the city expands, this is the right time to consider buying an apartment. It would be an investment you would never regret. Even if you are not planning to live in the apartment, renting it out is a great option. Investing in the right location is the key to gain more appreciation and rental income.

In recent years, north Bangalore has witnessed more growth in real estate thanks to the new airport in Devanahalli and bigger projects lined up in places like Jalahalli, Yelahanka etc. Localities such as such as Jalahalli offer many advantages. It is comparatively closer to the airport, Yeshwanthpur railway station, and Peenya Industrial estate. A host of malls and hotels are coming up in this high-growth potential area, which will be connected by the Metro Rail project and KSRTC Satellite Bus Terminal. With the outer ring road close by, getting to Hebbal and IT parks such as Manyata Embassy Business Park is easy. Accessibility to the international airport, railway stations, bus stations, IT parks, schools and shopping malls are the major factors that one should look for when buying a house in Bangalore.

Many builders and developers in Bangalore now give away many amenities to their customers. It ranges from the basics such as car parking to swimming pools, gyms, clubhouses and tennis courts. One can safely say that the real estate landscape is being redefined. The Karnataka Chapter of the Consortium of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI) estimates that the real estate industry in Bangalore will grow at 25 percent in the coming year. Real estate business is getting all the more professional and transparent with each day and more developers are entering the market with never heard before investment plans thus expanding the customer’s options. Bangalore also has the reputation among some analysts as the safest place for real estate investments in the world as prices are more or less stable and do not undergo much fluctuations.

Another important development that makes a huge difference in the real estate sector in Bangalore is the ambitious Namma Metro project. Once complete, it will link the length and breadth of the big city and travelling from one end of the city to the other will not be a matter of concern anymore.

If you are considering investing in a flat with an intention of renting it out, you have reason to rejoice too. Rent rates in the city have increased in 2011 substantially compared to 2010.  So, you can be sure to earn a good monthly income from your investment in case you don’t plan to stay in your apartment at present.

Demand for office spaces in Bangalore is also on the rise. Bangalore topped the market for commercial space in the country in 2011 and more than 80 percent came from the IT/ITES sector. With this growth, you can be rest assured that your decision to invest in a house in Bangalore is a wise one.

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Choosing the right apartment

Amenities at Residential Complex

Buying an apartment is an important decision in your life. It’s very natural that you feel a bit stressed and confused about it. Start by understanding what you need, and what you want. List the things that are most important to you in terms of space, ambiance, location, amenities etc. When you have this clear, you can begin looking at options and shortlisting them. Here are a few heads of items you can consider as you make your list.

Accessibility

  • Should your apartment be close to major highways?
  • Should your apartment be close to bus stops and railway stations? How far is acceptable?
  • Amount of traffic that you can tolerate around the place
  • Should the apartment be near places of worship?
  • Distance from your place of work/kid’s schools etc.

Your Apartment

  • Which floor is acceptable to you?
  • Should your apartment be near/far from parking lots?
  • Near/far from common areas and lifts

Size

  • How big should your apartment be in size? (Square footage)
  • Number of bedrooms
  • Number of bathrooms
  • Balconies
  • Storage Space
  • Size of each room to your preference

Amenities

What kind of amenities are you looking for in your apartment/building? Some common amenities provided include

  • Children Play area
  • Swimming Pool
  • Gym
  • Library
  • Tennis Court
  • Power backup
  • Rainwater harvesting
  • Clubhouse
  • Joggers track
  • Store; etc.

Security

  • Onsite security
  • Security call options
  • Alarm systems

Rentability

  • Are you planning to rent out the apartment?
  • If yes, how much rent do you expect to earn. Do this analysis considering the size of apartment and the locality you have chosen.

Once you know what your preferences are, you can start looking at options and visiting sites. Ask as many questions as you can and keep notes as you visit different apartments. You will also need to make an assessment of your budget and financing requirements. Most builders now partner with leading banks to offer hassle free financing solutions. You should have made a plan as to how much finance you would need and how much you are prepared to shell out monthly towards the mortgage. Another thing you would have to keep in mind is the after –possession expenses you would incur on you apartment such as woodwork, furniture, kitchen work etc.

Another often overlooked aspect is to do a bit of research about the builders you are considering. Look for reviews on the net, and if possible visit completed projects and talk to current owners of apartments to have a clear idea of how reliable and trustworthy the builder is. The last thing you want is to get stuck with a unreliable builder when you are spending a fortune on your dream home.

The key is not to jump into a decision. Take your time and gather more understanding about the subtler things in the deal. Have a qualified lawyer check the documents. Going in a step wise manner will give you enough data points to freeze in on the best option. Your final decision should be right mix of logic and intuition.

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All About Apartment Size

Kumar Princetown Luxury Apartments

When people start looking out to buy apartments, they are often not sure about how big a house they need. They would have only a vague idea about the minimum requirements. There are certain things you will have to consider to you have a clear idea of what size you will need.

How big is your family is one of the first questions to ask. Do you get a lot of guests often? Do you have a lot of stuff already that would limit your options of getting a smaller apartment? Do you need more spaces in your living room vs. your bedrooms? Once you start thinking of every room in your dream home, you will have an idea of what is the right size for you. Of course you would start with a bigger size but mostly your budget will start limiting how bigger it can get. But soon, you will arrive at a safe range (of square footage) within which you can target you search. Depending upon your budget, you might have to move away from central areas of the city if you need a bigger apartment.

Many builders and developers offer different types and varieties of floor plans that will suit your needs. Look at as many floor plans as possible and shortlist those in which the dimensions of each room are acceptable to your needs and taste. Good imagination will help you to visualize your home when looking at a floor plan. Few developers build a model flat in case the actual construction is not complete. Do not compare floor plans just by counting the number of rooms and balconies. Check out the dimensions to see which one is better than the other. In order to do this, you will have to understand how the square footage of an apartment is calculated.

Understanding Square footage:

When you start looking at apartments to buy, you will be comparing apartments according to their square footage. Square footage as you would already know, is length multiplied by breadth of a room. So if the living room is 12 feet wide and 15 feet long, you have a living room of 180 square feet. But the sum of all the square footage of rooms in an apartment might not add up to the total square footage that the builder/developer is quoting. If an apartment is of 1200 sq.ft, you might not get all of that inside your house. Depending on how the builder did the calculations, the mentioned sq.ft might also include common areas such as foyers lobbies and common garden areas, shafts through which electrical and plumbing lines pass through (for the apartment) and walls. Since the actual area in your apartment will vary from 70 to 80 percent of the quoted figure, Understanding this will save you from making wrong comparisons. This has to be kept in mind especially when you are looking at a floor plan that is yet to be constructed. You should clearly understand the way the square footage has been calculated.

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