Tips to Refresh your Living Room

Just like the ever-changing seasons are a welcome variation, it’s nice to refresh the looks of your living room too. Styles keep changing and creating a fresh look keeps your living room a focus of interest. Contrary to popular opinion, revamping your living room doesn’t have to break the bank either, as there are numerous ways to create a fresh interest in your living room again.

The secret to adding new life to your living room doesn’t necessarily have to do with spending loads of money on outrageously pricey accessories or new furnishing. You can brighten up your living room and add fresh vibes to it in a very affordable way – more than you ever thought possible. Before you know it, your living will blow you away with its new and chic look.

And you don’t have to upgrade everything in a room either to give it a peppy look. Sometimes even just a little rearrangement of the furniture is enough to refresh your living room’s look and make it look interestingly different again. You can make numerous smart and savvy changes to the hum-drum look of your living room by just making minor but impactful changes to it. Making bigger changes could involve getting a whole new set of drapes or even changing your sofa set.

While revamping your living room can appear daunting – more so if you haven’t made any changes to it in a long while – here is a look at some creative tips to help get you started:

De-clutter

It’s normal for a much-used room to eventually get cluttered without your even realizing it. Take a photo of your living room and appraise it for visually-dense areas. Keeping in mind that less is always more, start reducing the clutter from all flat surfaces. In the process, you might even find things that belong to other rooms of the home!

Rearrange

Create fresh vibes in your living room by rearranging the furniture. This is one of the best ways to refresh your living room’s look without dipping into your pocket. It will unlock new flow of energy and add serenity into the room where the family hangs out.

Paint

Sometimes a fresh lick of paint can be used to revamp your living room and add a bright and fresh feel. And it isn’t too heavy on the pocket either. You could completely change the colors of your space, add an accent wall, get creative with paint textures, etc. Color your walls a brand new color, and your living room will become the topic of conversation at the next gathering!

Small Changes

Sometimes the addition of simple features like throw pillows on the sofa are enough to freshen up a room’s appeal. It can add new life to an otherwise dull-looking sofa. In case you already have throw pillows, you can reupholster them in bright contrasting colors that are in the same accent tone of other features in the room. Alternatively, you could reupholster your sofas for a completely new look!

Swap Items

A little thinking out-of-the-box and you could come up with another great way to freshen up your living room’s look – swap items from other parts of the house and relocate them into the living room. This idea works well with features such as wall art, lamps, potted plants, etc. You could even switch the drapes from one room to another – provided the colors blend in with the color palette.

Get Creative

There are so many ways you can get creative and fashion décor items from things available in your surroundings. You could create a unique vase arrangement with interesting-looking twigs, dry flowers and grasses. Or you could create a gallery wall and display a collage of old family photos or framed pictures of your favorite hobby… birds, butterflies, vintage cars, etc.

And if you have made the wise decision of buying an apartment or villa home by Vishraam builders in Thrissur, then you are in luck. Combined with the building experience of over two decades as well as the skills of innovative-minded architects, every Vishraam home is mindfully built keeping the natural environment in mind. These delightfully-designed homes afford you unlimited opportunities to revamp your home and keep you happy for a lifetime!

Tips to Reduce Plastic Waste in your Home

Since the commencement of commercial plastic production in the early 1950s, it has become a global success and its use is growing exponentially. Due to its easy malleability, it has become the ideal material for packaging and is being used in the production of almost everything these days! However, too much of a good thing and its misuse, have led to major plastic pollution crisis of the environment.

There are huge floating trash islands polluting the Caribbean and Pacific oceans comprising of an estimated 5 trillion plastic materials and weighing around 250,000 tons. Unless we take monumental steps to curb our plastic use and dependence on single-use plastic products, it’s been estimated that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fishes left in the oceans!

Causes of Pollution

It’s been projected that Americans alone throw away 30 million tons of plastic waste every year, with only 8% of this waste actually getting recycled. The remaining goes into landfills or into the waterways from where it eventually ends up in the oceans (according to the Plastic Pollution Coalition). Interestingly, around 80% of this marine plastic litter is generated on land, mainly from improperly disposed household waste. Plastics take hundreds of years to decompose and continue to leak microplastics into the environment and creating havoc on soil and water organisms. Around 700 marine animals and bird species have been affected by this plastic pollution as they unknowingly ingest them or get entangled up in them, leading to a slow, cruel death. Humans are also consuming these microplastics as it has been found in table salt, foods, beverages and human waste. Cancer is postulated to be one of the main results.

Pandemic

The ongoing pandemic hasn’t helped much either as it has led to a further increase in the use of single-use plastics in the form of pre-packaged foods, take-away parcels as well as a huge rise in medical waste in the form of gloves, disposables, PPE kits, etc.

The fight against plastic wastes can start with a single individual. Here is a look at ways you too can contribute from your home to the ongoing war against plastics:

Avoid Plastic Bottles

Avoid buying and drinking water from single-use plastic water bottles. Around 20,000 plastic water bottles are sold every second on a global scale (according to Euromonitor International), with 480 billion bottles having been sold in 2016 alone. Astoundingly, according to the 2019 Plastic Atlas compiled by the Heinrich Boel Foundation, people drinking water from plastic water bottles also end up consuming around 130,000 microplastic plastics annually as compared to just around 4000 microplastic particles in those who drink tap water.

Disposable Plastic Utensils

Though it’s very convenient to use disposable plates, glasses, cutlery and straws, they are proving to be very dangerous to marine life. If the US alone switched to using reusable cutlery, there would be around 100 million less cutlery pieces entering the oceans annually. According to a beach cleanup data in 2018, there are around 7.5 billion plastic straws littering American beaches.

Bulk Shopping

Just by switching from buying smaller pre-packaged foods, to shopping for larger quantities from the bulk bins in your supermarkets, cuts down markedly on plastic packing material usage. Aside from the fact that it also brings down your shopping bill, buying individually packed grocery products is another way of generating excessive single-use plastic waste.

Biodegradable Packaging

Responsible businesses are becoming increasingly aware of their carbon footprint and investing in R&D to change to using innovative biodegradable materials. Several companies have now started packaging their food products such as coffee, tea and chocolates in biodegradable materials – opt for such food products to reduce dependence on plastics.

You should take a pledge as an individual and as a community to adopt anti-plastic policies and reduce your carbon footprint. Take a pledge to Refuse the usage of disposable plastics, Reduce plastic dependence, Reuse single-use plastics and Recycle whatever is possible.

Brilliant builders of apartments and villas like Vishraam Developers in Thrissur are also very aware of reducing their carbon footprint. Likewise, every home built by Vishraam builders isn’t just an architectural wonder, but is also built responsibly, without harming Mother Nature.

Interesting Facts about Vadakkumnathan Temple

Thrissur lies in the heart of the verdant state of Kerala and is well-known for its culture and spiritual heritage. It holds the unique distinction of being home to the country’s first church and mosque buildings. Aside from this, Thrissur is also home to the famous Vadakkumnathan temple, with its being one of the most outstanding features of this city. The temple is also referred to as Thenkailasam or Vrishabhachalam.

Location

Located atop a hillock in the center of a massive 9-acre round-about, this ancient Shiva temple stands tall and proud. The round-about is known as the Swaraj Round with all major roads in the city eventually linking up with it. Interestingly Thrissur also gets its name from this temple; Thrissur is a short form of the word ‘Thrissivaperur’ which means ‘the town having the name of Lord Shiva’.

Temple Complex

This beautifully-architected temple is said to be over a 1000 years old and reflects Kerala’s true values, culture and traditions. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this grand temple never fails to grab attention of its visitors. It is believed to be the first Shiva temple built by Lord Purasurama (an incarnation of Lord Vishnu). The temple has three main shrines devoted to Lord Shiva (Sri Vadakkumnathan), Lord Rama and Lord Shankara Narayana, respectively. There is a shrine for Goddess Parvati too. Outside the main temple, there are two smaller temples dedicated to Thiruvambadi and Paramekkavu Devi also.

The temple has 4 magnificent Gopurams (gateways), facing in all 4 cardinal directions and is home to some mesmerizing murals depicting realistic scenes from the Mahabharata. The temple complex also features a museum which is a treasure trove for history lovers. It houses a number of ancient paintings and intricate woodcarvings among other works of ancient art forms.

Built in the typical Kerala style architecture, Vadakkumnathan temple complex also includes a temple theater (Koothambalam). Highly-embellished with rich wooden carvings, it witnesses stage performances of ritualistic art forms such as Koodiyattam, Koothu and Nangyar Koothu.

Thrissur Pooram

The entire temple grounds are surrounded by a stone wall. It is also the ground within which the festival of all festivals – the all-famous ‘Thrissur Pooram’ festival takes place. This 36-hour long festival is witnessed by lakhs of visitors each year and is famous for its highly-decorated parade of elephants, cultural displays and fireworks. Though the Thrissur Pooram is conducted within the temple compound, the Vadakkumnathan doesn’t partake in the festivities.

Temple Festivals

While the Vadakkumnathan temple doesn’t have any specific festival of its own, Mahashivaratri is celebrated very lavishly here. One lakh lamps, known as ‘lakshadeepam’ are lit in the temple, giving it an ethereal look and the day is celebrated with musical and cultural programs.

With the prevailing love for elephants in Thrissur, it is not surprising that another annual festival celebrated here is the ‘Annayoottu’, or feeding of the elephants. Believers come here to worship and feed the elephants.

Miracles

One of the interesting features in this temple is the Shiva lingam itself. The ghee offered over the lingam never melts, with the result that the lingam is encrusted with ghee poured on it over the centuries. It is seen that even the scorching summer heat doesn’t make the ghee melt! There is even a belief that the day the ghee melts, there will be major disasters and catastrophes in the world.

Dress Code

When visiting the temple, you will need to respect the temple’s traditions and follow the strict dress code in place. Men and women are expected to wear traditional Indian attires when visiting the temple.

Getting there

For believers, this is one temple that should be on your ‘must-visit’ list. Getting to Vadakkumnathan temple is very convenient as Thrissur has excellent highway and railway connectivity. The nearest airport is in Cochin, which is a bare 55km away.

Better still, why not settle down in Thrissur and worship at the Vadakkumnathan temple at your will! Vishraam Developers offer numerous apartment and villa projects in Thrissur located in niche areas to suit every taste. These responsibly architected homes come fully loaded with the best in fittings, finishings and amenities to keep you inspired for a lifetime.

Come visit Thrissur’s cultural heritage and fall in love with it!

How to Buy your First Home?

Buying your first home is a major milestone in life and brings with it incomparable feelings of pride and joy. Owning a home is also a big commitment as it involves a large sum of money paid out over a couple of decades or more. You need to think over it carefully and first ensure that you are financially stable, have enough for a down payment as well as a lump sum set aside for emergencies.

Don’t let anyone pressurize you into buying a home till you are financially ready to do so. Buying a home in a hurry, without proper planning, could end up hurting you financially and that would lead to a lot of grief. Here is a look at the various steps involved in buying your first home:

Home Ownership-Ready

You first need to determine if you are ready to buy a home. Aside from job stability, stable income and a decision to settle down in one place, you should understand that buying your first home is more expensive than renting a home. You will not only have to dole out monthly EMIs, but also pay property taxes, home insurance, utility costs, repair costs, etc. Ensure you are debt-free and financially stable before taking the plunge into becoming a homeowner.

Down Payment

When buying a home, you will have to pay at least 20% of the actual cost of the property – whether it’s a villa or an apartment home. So you will need to have this down payment saved first, which is a neat sum in itself. Take your time to save this sum in a systematic, monthly saving scheme and invest it wisely to make it multiply.

Budget

The first property you buy need not be your final property; keeping this in mind, plan your home budget. After paying the monthly EMI and other home-associated expenditures, your expenses shouldn’t be more than 25-30% of your total income. After all, you need to consider your daily expenses too – aside from saving for retirement.

Location

Once you are done with the finances, you need to settle on the location of your new home. It should be a little away from the city center to avoid higher costs as well as the hustle-bustle associated with it. This way, you will be able to buy more space too. The location you choose will also have an impact on your home’s resale value down the years, so treat it like an investment.

Loan

Since home buying involves a huge sum of money, it is traditional to avail of a home loan to pay for it. Most banks approve home loans of up to 80% of the sale value. The remaining you have to pay from your pocket right at the onset.

Before approving a loan, your loaner bank will check your eligibility for repaying it back. For this, some of the details you will need to furnish include your age, average income, any existing loans, etc. Before applying for a home loan, clear off any other existing loans and debts so that you can have a good CIBIL score of over 750 points or more. This will influence the interest rates chargeable on your home loan and the repayment EMIs.

Additional Expenses

You need to be prepared for some additional expenses too. The most important ones include Stamp Duty and Registration fees. Depending on your city, this could add up to almost 10% of the cost of your home. Aside from this, you have home insurance to think of, the interior décor, new furniture as well as moving home and other miscellaneous expenses too.

If you are planning on buying a home in Thrissur, then you will be spoiled for choices as there are so many luxurious villa and apartment projects in Thrissur to choose from. Realty developers like Vishraam builders have a number of delightful villa and apartment projects located in niche parts of the city.

With over 21 years of experience in building quality homes responsibly without harming the environment, every Vishraam home exists in tune with Mother Nature. What’s more, Vishraam builders have also been awarded several prestigious awards for their dedicated efforts. The beautifully-architected apartment and villa projects come fully-loaded with delightful amenities and luxurious facilities, making them perfect for your dream home!

Why is Thrissur the Best Place to Live in Kerala?

Setting up home is a major decision with many factors having to be kept in mind; the main factor however is location. If you are looking to settle in Kerala, then Thrissur is one of the best locations to settle down in. It is rich with cultural diversity, natural beauty, friendly people and an interesting history taking it back to 1000 BCE to 500 CE.

The city nestles around a 65-acre hillock known as the Thekkinkadu Maidaanam, which is the seat of the famous Vadakkunnathan temple. It is also the location of the famous 36-hour long Pooram festival which sees the city all decked up and flooded with thousands of domestic and international tourists pouring in to witness this grand annual affair.

History

Thrissur rose to prominence when Maharaja Sakthan Thampuran became the king (1769-1805) and made Thrissur the capital of the Kingdom of Cochin. He invited Brahmins and Syrian Christians from adjoining areas to set up their trade in Thrissur and ensured it became a major commercial and financial hub in south India. Thrissur was also the point of contact for the Persian, Greeks, Romans, Portuguese, Assyrians, Dutch, Arab and the English.

Cultural Hub

With Thrissur having been the melting pot of so many cultures and religions over the centuries, it has a rich heritage of cultural diversity today and welcomes visitors with open arms. It is also home to numerous academies that support the traditional art practices of Kerala. Thrissur is also the venue of the Pooram festival, the most spectacular and colorful temple festival of Kerala which takes place in the month of April or May.

Religious Diversity

Though Thrissur is historically a Hindu-dominated district, it is also home to other world religions including Christianity, Judaism and Islam; these religions are said to have gained entrance into the country through Thrissur district and its surroundings. As per local belief, apostle St. Thomas, came to India through Muziris in 52 AD and set up the first church in the country in Palayur, Thrissur. It’s known as St. Thomas Major Archiepiscopal Church.

The first mosque to be built in India is also located in Thrissur and is called the Cheraman Juma Masjid which was constructed around 629 CE. The initial structure was similar to Hindu temple architecture, but has evolved over the centuries. Thrissur is well-known for its famous temples as well, including the Vadakkunnathan temple, Thiruvambadi Sri Krishna temple and of course the most-venerated and much-visited Guruvayur temple.

Financial Hub

Thrissur has traditionally been home to numerous finance houses and is said to have been the headquarters of 58 banks in the 1930’s – according to RBI. Still known as the business hub of Kerala, many banks and about 2000 Chit companies have their headquarters here. It is home to a thriving tile-producing industry, jewelry-making industry, Ayurveda medicines manufacturing hub as well as being famous for its textile showrooms.

Tourism

Thrissur witnesses the highest domestic tourist footfalls in Kerala and is famous for its stunning Athirappilly Waterfalls, Peechi dam, elephant sanctuary, trekking in the Western Ghats and of course the Vadakkunnathan and Guruvayur temples. This has led to a thriving hospitality industry here as well.

Aside from all these, Thrissur is also home to some of the best medical colleges and prestigious educational institutions of Kerala. Excellent infrastructure, low crime rates and easy availability of jobs and business prospects make Thrissur the best place to live in Kerala. What’s more, Thrissur enjoys excellent connectivity to the rest of Kerala as well as the country via an efficient railway network and highways. The nearest airports are at Kochi (58km away), Kozhikode (80km away) and Coimbatore (115km away).

With Thrissur still being a growing city, the real estate industry is thriving and more and more people are opting to buy homes and settle down here. Many elite builders have apartment and villa projects in this city, including Vishraam Builders. With over 21 years of excellent experience in building quality homes and numerous awards, Vishraam Builders are known for their beautifully-architected apartment and villa projects in niche areas of the city and its surroundings.

They provide living spaces that merge with Mother Nature and appreciated by those with discerning tastes. Fully-loaded with delightful amenities and luxurious facilities, every Vishraam home is built responsibly without harming the environment.

7 Ways to Save Space in Your Apartment

As cities run out of space, real estate is getting increasingly expensive. Homes are getting smaller even when budgets are getting larger. But having said that, living in the city up close to where all the facilities and amenities are easily available, is the best way to go, and apartments here make the most convenient homes.

Though they might be smaller on space, with a little bit of careful planning, you can still manage to fit in all your essentials. Thinking out of the box and going for smart furnishing will ensure that your home doesn’t appear cluttered and cramped up – you can still have space to move around in comfort without bumping into something first!

Here is a look at some innovative ways to create the illusion of space and actually save up on more space in your apartment:

Smart Storage

One of the most creative ways to make space in your apartment is with hidden storage areas. You can have neat boxes that slide under your bed to store your out of season clothes or extra towels and beddings, shoes, etc. Even the coffee table or ottoman can have hidden drawers to store books, magazines or other smaller items. You could even create storage spaces beneath sofas, chairs and window seats!

Dual-function Furniture

There are niche shops where you can buy multi-purpose furniture. The futuristic Murphy bed is a shining example. This wall bed is hinged at one end and folds away vertically into the wall when not in use. By closing the bed, you could be opening up a stylish sofa, a table or innovative storage spaces in the form of wall cabinets and shelves, on the exposed side. The extent of creativity is limitless with multifunctional furniture. And you end up saving on so much space!

Shelves

Why use up precious floor space for storage when you have so much vertical space available. Use the walls to hang readymade shelving units or customized shelves and cabinets to store or display things up the wall. Beautiful art pieces, books and even cookware can be put up on walls. This way, you not only save up on floor space but create the illusion of more space, by making the eye move up the walls.

Convenience in the Kitchen

The kitchen is the busiest part of your home, a place that the entire family frequents. It shouldn’t be cluttered and cramped, but appear inviting. Use vertical storage in the form of shelves, cabinets or wall hooks to hang your frequently used pots and pans. You could also use drawer organizers to further maximize space usage under the countertops, in a systematic way.

Corners

Don’t underestimate corners as useless spaces. You can actually use them to create study nooks or home office corners. And if that doesn’t work out, you could always install or buy corner shelves and use this nook for displaying your books, photos or art décor.

Lighting

Instead of taking up essential space with standing lamps or table lamps, why not go with pendant lamps. Aside from looking cool and stylish, they are also highly functional and work great for diffuse lighting or spot lighting. With hundreds of attractive designs to choose from, you can only compliment your décor style further by adding pendant lighting instead.

Scale Down

When moving into a smaller home, consider scaling down your furnishing and appliances. This way you can free up more space and still have all the things necessary for a functional home. By investing in a smaller dining table or sofa set, your home will appear more spacious. A smaller fridge in the kitchen would have the same effect too.

But if you are moving into a home by Vishraam Builders, you wouldn’t have to struggle so hard with space issues. Vishraam builders are known for crafting beautifully-architected homes that are smartly designed to maximize on space usage, giving homebuyers a luxurious treat for life.

What’s more, all Vishraam projects are located in niche areas of Thrissur and come fully-loaded with delightful amenities and luxurious facilities. Twenty one years of building homes responsibly without harming Mother Nature has also ensured numerous awards of excellence for Vishraam Builders, putting them in an elite class of their own. Come buy a Vishraam home today!

Interesting Facts about Guruvayur Temple

The southern state of Kerala is well-known for many things, including being home to a plethora of magnificent temples. While some became famous for their architectural beauty, others became popular for their richness and intriguing history.

The famous Guruvayur temple located in the culture-rich Thrissur district is one such temple that is famous for its historical significance. Also referred to as the ‘Dwaraka (birth place of Lord Krishna) of the South’, there are a number of interesting legends associated with this temple too. Here is a look at some interesting facts about the Guruvayur temple:

1. You cannot talk about Kerala’s history without mentioning this temple too. Also known as Guruvayur Sree Krishna Temple, it is dedicated to the worship of Lord Vishnu and the young form of Lord Krishna. Amongst the many myths and documented historical events is the famous myth related to Lord Krishna. He is believed to have set his charioteer, Udhava, on a mission to save the idol of Lord Vishnu worshipped by him in Dwaraka. Udhava took the help of the ‘Guru’ of Gods and ‘Vayu’, the Lord of Winds and took the idol to far-away Kerala and installed it there. The place has since been known as ‘Guru-Vayu-ur’. It is also believed to have been known as the temple of the savior of mankind during troubled times.

2. Various art forms are celebrated in this temple. This includes the Sanskrit drama Krishnanttam. It is unique to this temple and depicts the life of Lord Krishna in eight episodes. It’s a combination of traditional music and pantomime with masked demons and other characters with painted faces. It’s a true representation of the region’s cultural heritage.

3. The Guruvayur temple is famous for its temple elephant festival when large crowds gather including foreign and domestic tourists. The elephants are dressed magnificently and paraded for various performances by their mahouts. The Guruvayur temple is famous for being home to a large population of captive male Asian elephants. These pachyderms live at the Punnathur Kotta elephant sanctuary which includes around 56 elephants. This sanctuary is located just around a couple of kilometers away from the most revered Guruvayur temple in Thrissur district. Tourists regularly flock to this sanctuary to visit the captive elephants. Some of these elephants have their own interesting legends attached to them!

4. Interestingly, even though the Guruvayur temple is one of the most-visited temples in Kerala and an important pilgrimage spot for Hindus, it wasn’t open to the lower caste Hindus till the early 1930’s. Even the streets around the temple were considered sacred with the lower caste Hindus not allowed anywhere near them! It took a Satyagraha (inspired by Gandhiji’s movement) when political greats took to leadership to fight for the rights of the lower caste Hindus. In spite of various compromises reached, it was only after independence that Guruvayur temple finally opened its doors to all classes of Hindus.

5. Every great event in history has been recorded extensively in writing or in storytelling. According to ancient texts, the main shrine of Guruvayur temple was rebuilt in 1630s after having been repeatedly plundered by the Dutch and Tipu Sultan. All this changed when the temple came under the administration of the Zamorin of Calicut in 1298. Since then, the temple has been flourishing with many well-known devotees writing extensively in Malayalam about the many miracles that have taken place here. Manaveda, the Zamorin of Calicut even authored a drama in Sanskrit to bring devotees closer to their God.

If you are intrigued and want to visit the Guruvayur temple, plan on spending the whole day. Getting here is easy as there are many trains plying to-and-fro from Guruvayur to Thrissur and further onwards. The closest airport is in Kochi.

Premium realtors like Vishraam builders have a number of delightful apartment projects in and around the temple town of Guruvayur. Fully-loaded with delightful amenities, these apartments enjoy the added benefit of being located in a safe neighborhood with easy access to important infrastructure and pollution-free living.

What’s more, every Vishraam home is constructed responsibly, without harming the environment. Do have a look at them.

A Home Loan: 4 Things to Consider

It’s a dream come true to own the home you have always wanted. As a prospective home buyer, you think about two things: a pretty home and a not-so-pretty, usually inevitable home loan. Qualifying for a mortgage is most important. A lender must assess your ability to repay the loan, which is determined primarily on the basis of your earnings, expenses, savings, work profile, financial capability, and repayment history of any loans and other debt. Here are 4 important tips to check before you go for a home loan:

1. Check Your Credit Score: Your credit score helps determine how easy it will be to get a home loan. The score you receive depends on how frequently you pay your EMIs and credit card dues. In simple terms, your credit report (CIR), which contains your credit score, is the history of your borrowings from various institutions, such as banks or non-bank financial companies (NBFCs) or housing finance companies (HFCs). A trusted credit bureau prepares and maintains your credit records and shares it with the banks/lenders whenever an enquiry is made by the loan provider. The higher the credit score, the higher the chances of the loan getting approved. And also once can expect the best rate of interest on the home loan as a bonus. Ensure you check your credit score at least six months, preferably 12 months, before you plan to buy a home.

2. You need to determine your budget for buying a home, how much money you can use for a down payment, and how much of a home loan you will need. As a rule, you can get 80% of the value of the property as a home loan if your income is sufficient. You must identify the EMI range that you are comfortable with in order to decide on the loan tenure. You can play around with various options in helping you here using online EMI calculators. You can consider adding your parents or spouse as co-borrowers if your income isn’t sufficient.

3. Home Loan Document Requirements: Before you proceed with a home loan application, it is necessary to know the documentation that is required and ensure that it is in place before you approach a bank or housing finance company. You will need the following documents:

• Income Tax Returns or Form 16 for past 2-3 years make sure all taxes are filed
• PAN Card – Verifying the validity of the PAN will be done by the lender
• Aadhar Card – the bank would also do an Aadhaar verification to verify your identity
• Bank Statements for past 6-12 months for a bank account where your income and expenses reflect. Make sure you maintain a reasonable balance in this account over past 6 months.
• Last 3 Months Salary Slips if you are salaried
• Application Form with Photograph Duly Signed

4. Choose the right banks and lenders: Avoid applying to many lenders at the same time, as many credit inquiries can negatively impact your credit score. Select the banks or housing finance companies where you have good relations and the most important thing is to be in touch with the institution who already approved the property you intend to buy. Understand the eligibility criteria of such lenders in terms of the cutoff for credit score and the loan scheme (processing fees, the rate of interest etc.). Considering all of the above factors will help you prepare for your home loan and increase your chances of receiving a swift approval. If you’re considering co-borrowers, make sure you tell them to verify their credit score and maintain their documentation.

Basics on Property Tax

Property is a massive phrase that encompasses real estate, such as buildings and the land that surrounds them, as well as stores, flats, and other structures. This tax is distinct from the tax that falls under the purview of the Income Tax Act. The income earned from such owned property is only taxed under the Income Tax Act, not the property itself. Let’s not get mixed up about two taxes because they are completely different.

Property tax is a yearly sum paid by the property/land owner to the local governing body or Municipal Corporation. The following are examples of ‘property’ that may be subject to property tax liability:

• Residential House – Self-Occupied/Let Out
• Office or factory building
• Warehouses
Flats/Apartments
• Commercial establishments/shops

In India, who is responsible for collecting Property Tax?

As previously said, the Municipality of any given region is the one who is entitled to assess, impose, and collect the property tax on an annual or semi-annual basis.

What is the foundation for property tax calculation?

Property taxes in India are calculated on the basis of ‘Annual Value.’ After determining the area, construction, property size, kind of building, and other relevant parameters, this annual value is estimated. As a result, the value varies from property to property. Lighting, drainage, and water taxes are all included in the property tax. Let out property and self-occupied property are the two primary categories under which it is calculated.

Allowable Deductions while estimating Property Tax

Deductions allowed for calculating property taxes Interest on a loan used to build, purchase, or repair the property

For repairs and upkeep of the property, a deduction of up to 30% is allowed.

The maximum interest payable is Rs.1,50,000 (if the loan is obtained on or after April 1, 1999) and Rs.30,000 (if the loan is taken before April 1, 1999). (if loan taken is after 1st April,1999)

Exemptions from Property Tax

The following properties are not subject to the Indian Property Tax: –

• The Central Government owns a number of properties.
• Vacant property of a certain type, such as a building or a block of land;
• Religious places of worship, philanthropic institutions, educational institutions,   historical monuments, cremation grounds/graveyards, trade union offices, free   recreational buildings, and so on.
• Unauthorized structures that are not registered with the municipality.

6 Vastu Tips for your Home

Buying a home is a major investment that requires a lot of dedicated research and financial input. It is a venture where you want to ensure that everything goes just right and you go all out to achieve it.

The principles of Vastu Shastra is an important feature that you will want to include into your new home. Even the younger generation understands the importance of this discipline and its significance in maintaining peace, positivity and prosperity in a home. For some, inculcating Vastu is a matter of traditional beliefs, while for others it’s a mandatory practice.

What is Vastu Shastra?

Vastu Shastra is an ancient traditional Indian system of architecture that deals with the basic principles of design, measurements and space arrangements. Contrary to popular opinion, this science of architectural principles has nothing to do with religion or mythology, but has more to do with creating a positive ‘Way of Living’.

Even if you find that your home is unaligned to the guidelines of Vastu, you can easily remodel the faults with minor alterations and alignments. By incorporating different geometric patterns, Vastu provides a collection of positive layouts for creating more suitable habitats. Vastu guidelines can not only be applied to homes, but also to offices, places of learning as well as of worship. Here are some Vastu tips for homes:

Main Entrance

In accordance with Vastu, the main entrance to your home is the point from which positive energy gains entry. The main door should ideally be facing the north-eastern side. The front door should always open in a clockwise manner. There should be no bathrooms located on this side of the house either. Ensure that there are no structures like wall corners that could obstruct the flow of positive energy into your home.

Living Room

This is the most important room as it is meant for activity and mingling. It should provide ample seating and be kept clutter-free. All large pieces of furniture should be placed along the south-western direction. All reflective items should find a home on the northern wall. Your living room is also the ideal place to display your Vastu-compliant plants and promote positivity in the room.

Kitchen

This all-important room is where your food is prepared. To ensure it is free of negativity, your kitchen should be in the south-eastern direction. Your cooking stove and ovens should also be placed in this direction. For prosperity, your food and grains should always be stored in the south-western part of the kitchen.

Prayer Room

This is another important part of your home where you commune spiritually with your maker. Your prayer room should ideally be in the north-eastern part of your home and painted in pale yellow or light blue colors.

Master Bedroom

You retire to your bedroom for rest and rejuvenation. Avoid adding elements into this room that would distract from this purpose. The bedroom should ideally be located in the south-western direction and so should the bed. Use light, neutral shades of wall color in this room along with gentle mood lighting, to create a restful atmosphere. For those who like to keep a TV in the bedroom, do not place it opposite the bed. Same goes for mirrors.

Kids’ Room

To create a child-friendly room that’s ideal for their upbringing and physical and mental growth, ensure that the study table is in the north-eastern direction. Their room should be bright and airy with cross-ventilation and plenty of sunlight. According to Vastu, the color of your child’s room should be green as it’s a soothing color that inspires the thinking ability of your child. You should also ensure that the room is free of bulky furnishing, pillars and beams. If the room has an attached bathroom, the bed shouldn’t be placed directly opposite the bathroom door. This is because bathrooms are believed to suck away positive energy from the child’s room.

If you are looking for Vastu-compliant homes, then go with Vishraam builders who have over 20 years of experience building premium villas and apartments in Thrissur area. What’s more, every Vishraam home is constructed responsibly without harming Mother Nature. Do check them out!