Goa is a small state with about 3,700 sq km area. Of these, green areas, beaches, etc. comprise about 80-85 percent, road/rail network covers about two percent, and public utility land or government buildings are another two to three percent.
About 8-10 percent of developable land remains, out of which about six to seven percent is already developed. Only two to three percent is available for further development or redevelopment. Then we have to factor in titles not being clear or the owners not being willing to sell/develop their plots. So hardly one percent is actually available, making clear title land or developed property in Goa a very scarce and valuable commodity in view of the demand by the 1.25 billion Indians as well as multitude of expats/foreigners who want to live or invest here.
There is no restriction on any Indian from purchasing property in Goa. PIOs or OCI card holders can invest in non-agriculture properties, even resident foreigners with long term resident/business visas are allowed to purchase non-agricultural property as long as the money is brought in legitimately after following RBI’s FEMA regulations.
One should engage a professional Realtor* in Goa as they have thorough knowledge about titles and permissions required and shall be best placed to help one with the growth areas.
The thing to remember is that even in the realty slump, the land prices in Goa did not go down, underlining that Goa is the best place to invest in India and as India is considered one of the best places to invest in the world currently, we can rightly say that Goa is the best place to invest in the world.
Goa offers land in all kinds of sizes and locations. Developers also offer plots and independent bungalows, but mostly one finds independent villas, row villas and apartments. Gated complexes seems to be the flavour of the day with amenities like swimming pools, gardens, play areas and parking being offered even in the mid-budget developments, with even lifts and top-end fittings as standard specifications. One can see a lot of these in the Kadamba Plateau, the suburbs of Panjim, around Margao and the beaches.
There are developments targeted towards the holiday crowd in the vicinity of beaches offering mostly studio apartments or 1BHK units with a few 2-3BHK units or row villas.
Then, there are the high-end developments with bungalows/villas/apartments either in the posh areas of Panjim or with a view – mostly the scenic ‘river views’ of the Mandovi or Zuari or few with ‘sea/beach view’. Another popular kind offers either a ‘field view’ or ‘valley view’; these kinds of developments command a premium and mostly have constructions with the best specifications, offer amazing amenities and are considered value for money. Many of these developments also offer inducements like high-end cars or yachts on sharing basis or even ownership basis to the buyers in addition to all the standard amenities like club houses, spa, gym, covered parking, 24×7 security, etc.
The hinterlands have also recently started to look like great investment opportunity with Dhargalim and Dodamarg emerging as hot destinations, being in close proximity to the upcoming Mopa Airport.
Traditionally, property has been one of the best ways of investment, beating even gold and the share market in the long term. Therefore, educated investment in properties is a very sensible decision. It is prudent to buy when the market is down or slow and the current financial scenario offers one a great window of opportunity for long term investment.
There are many opportunities available for investment in Goa, namely:
Miramar, Campal and Altinho (posh areas) Kadamba Plateau i.e. Ribandar, Baingunim The suburbs of Caranzalem, Taligaon, Donna Paula, Bambolim, and Ribandar
North Goa cities-
Mapusa and suburbs Ponda and suburbs
North Goa beach belt –
Candolim, Calangute, Baga, Anjuna, Vagator Arpora, Assagao, Siolim. The upcoming areas in the vicinity of the beaches of Morjim, Arambol.
New focus areas –
Ela or Old Goa and its surroundings especially Corlim and Karmali. Divar and Charao Islands The hinterlands of North Goa, notably Aldona, Moira, Dhargal and Dodamarg.
Margao town The suburbs and vicinity specially Fartoda, Gogol, Navalim, etc.
Vasco town The area between Dabolim Airport and Sancole, especially that overlooking the Zuari River
South Goa beach belt –
Between Utorda and Colva beaches Between Benaulim and Varca-Mobor beaches Area near Palolem Beach
WITH ITS HIGHS AND LOWS, KNOWING THE CURRENT AND FUTURE SCENARIO OF REAL ESTATE IN GOA WILL HELP YOU MAP YOUR INVESTMENTS BETTER: BY AMIT CHOPRA
Alas, there is but one…
GOA!The very word transfixes and transports one to a magical world.Goa has so much to offer; the World Heritage Sites of Old Goa and Fontainhas, some amazingly preserved Heritage Portuguese Houses, the churches & temples (many of them being more than 500 years old),beautiful beaches, stunning views, meandering rivers, charming islands, Bird & Wildlife sanctuaries, verdant fields, sweeping meadows of grasslands, wooded hinterlands, the amazing Sayadhari Mountain Ranges and a wondrous green cover.
Not to forget the deliciously celebrated variety of catholic and Hindu vegetarian and seafood offerings along with an eclectic array of restaurants that serve international cuisines of the likes that attracted Master Chef Sarah Todd; Goa is a real Foodies Heaven.
To Goans it is their home,the place of eternal succor; whileto others, a land of dreams and fun and parties.The culture and the people living the sussegado life is what makes Goa unique.
Goa is one of India’s most literate states with the highest per capita income. It’s home to some top colleges & institutions like Goa Medical College, BITS Pillani- Goa Campus, Goa College of Engineering, Goa Institute of Management Sciences, myriad Hotel Management Institutes, and of course, the-soon-to-be-opened IIT Goa.
No wonder this all makes Goa the cake, pieces of which are desired by all leading to the factor that governs Realty; ‘DEMAND’. Goa is a small state with over 80% of the land reserved for green areas. India is the world’s fastest growing economy with high population densityin the urban areas so everyone wants to take a break in paradise once in a while, and everyone who comes to Goa wants to live here forever. This is in turn leading to an ever increasing demand for homes of all varieties and massive investment opportunities.The demand for beds/rooms to fulfill the rise in the tourist footfalls has lead to construction of newer and better quality of Hotels/Resorts of all kinds be it Star, Boutique, Mid-Range, Budget, or even Backpacker. While earlier the focus was dominantly towards the Beaches, now the hinterlands are also becoming hot destinations with Eco-Tourism slowly becoming a very lucrative segment. Another segment that is gaining ground is Medical Tourism which is driven by Goa’s sunny moderate weather for those wanting to escape the biting cold. Moreover, with affordablemedical facilities in India, Goa is starting to develop as a base for Medical Tourism and for facilities like Holistic Health Centers and luxury Retirement Homes.
All these factors are however coupled with the fact that there is very little developable land on offer at any given point of time making Goa the best destination to invest in. The huge demand and sparse supply will ensure the stability of the market and fuel further growth.
If the market holds true, it is predicted that the boom can start as early as middle of next year with growth as seen in 2006-2008. One can choose to invest now when the overall rates are not very high or rue one’s foolhardiness when manifold increase in prices stares one in the face.
Goa offers something for everyone right from the lower end of the market to the ultra luxury segment. Good quality construction at affordable prices for the aspiring lower middle class, to unique and exclusive homes for upper middle classes, to ultra luxury products for the uber rich and celebrities are all available here. The locals, the ones wanting to live in Goa permanently, or the ones who want to make Goatheir second home; all should peek into this promising market.
A word of caution: Please engage the services of a reputed realtor whose expertise and local knowledge will help you secure your investment. Do too engage the services of a competent lawyer as it will make your life easier in the long run; the money spent today would pay off in the future by translating your investment into a lucrative, clear and marketable property.
Amit Chopra is the Director of Escala Realty India Private Limited, also the founder Chairman of the “GOA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS” and the Member of the Governing Body of the “NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS – INDIA”.
Housing Trends are constantly changing, generally based on upcoming localities and the income of people. The trend from about a few months ago was small or compact budget apartments within a secured complex. However, with the onset on the Corona Virus Pandemic, and the drastic changes in the lifestyle of many people, we see that the requirement of buyers is beginning to change.
The questions that buyers now ask are more toward the spaciousness of rooms and the health facilities being provided by complexes.
Some pointers to keep in mind about this post-pandemic housing trend:
Due to the lockdown effected to try and curb the spread of the Virus, and the fact that the children seem to be on an extended vacation, home buyers are now looking for properties that are spacious, so as to allow for the freedom to Work in a room without being disturbed.
Can one corner in a room be used as a virtual classroom seat, and a study table? Can this balcony be used as a small workshop? People are now looking to see how they can make use of every corner of their house. Especially since the parents’ work timing may coincide with the child’s classes or the home maker may want to keep an eye on the child as they are attending lectures.
Greater Number of Appliances
With the push for staying at home as much as possible, people are searching for things to do, or are going back to hobbies that they have neglected for so long. This can sometimes lead to multiple gadgets being used in the home at the same time. In small apartments, the number of electrical fittings are limited, and there are only so many extension boards you can use. Thus the requirement for more electrical fittings in the prospective property is one thing you must keep a check on.
Access to Health Facilities
Can an ambulance get through to the complex easily? Is there a proper first aid kit on hand in the complex for emergencies? Health benefits and proximity to medical facilities is another query that may come up.
Proximity to Retail and Essential Services
During a lockdown sometimes the main issue is the procurement of resources to run a house, be it groceries, stationery or even mini electrical appliances. Thus the shift of housing trend towards properties within the vicinity of retail shops, and other facilities is apparent.
The Corona Virus Pandemic has had a massive impact on the economy of the world, but the real estate industry has managed to stay afloat, by shifting to virtual tours of properties, and by keeping most of the interaction and transaction online.
We, at Escala Realty India, have a Sales Team who have always prioritised the client and delivered. Even during this pandemic, to ensure that you do not face any risk, we give you the offer of checking the property virtually, and wherever required site visits are done maintaining social distancing and proper sanitation. No matter the real estate trend, we are always ready to provide options based on what you need and what you want. Escala Realty India will help you find your best match in properties, and will help you right up to the final stage.
Rr Amit Chopra speaks on all things related to the real estate business in Goa
In conversation with ANNA FERNANDES
A self-taught professional in the fields of real estate consultancy and construction, Amit Chopra’s career as a realtor traces back to the year 1993. Starting out as a real-estate “broker” in Delhi, he slowly branched out to working as a project consultant for real estate developers, providing them much-needed inputs to initialise projects and land acquisition. In January 2006, he moved to Goa and started his own firm Escala Realty Pvt Ltd. He was the founder-chairman of the Goa Association of Realtors in 2015 and became a member of the Governing Body of the National Association of Realtors – India (NAR-India) in 2016. Recently appointed as president of the Goa Association of Realtors (GAR), he speaks to Business Goa about his new role, the association, and the industry in Goa.
Walk us through your journey in the real estate world.
I initially ventured into the industry as a freelancer. Back then, the market was very different and totally unorganised. The real estate sector was not recognised as a legitimate trade, nor was it considered a very respectable profession. Even my father, a colonel in the army, had a big issue about his son dropping out of engineering and becoming a “broker”. “Broker”, was often used as a derogatory term. But I knew I had found a profession that I liked and wanted to pursue. So, I began reading up extensively on the industry and made myself familiar with all the governing rules, bye-laws and regulations of the trade.
I was based in Delhi then, and with time, I made a mark for myself. My mother is a Goan, and I always wanted to come back to Goa. In 2006, I made a sudden decision to move to Goa. I knew nobody in the real estate market here. I had to literally start from scratch.
In Goa, I was an ‘outsider’ – my name conveys that. But, over a period of time, we were able to successfully build a very good name and trust within the Goan market. From a guy who nobody knew here, to the founder-chairman of the Goa Association of Realtors, and now the president of the association! It has been a very interesting journey.
TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR FIRM ESCALA PVT LTD.
The company, originally, started off being known as “The Consultants” back in Delhi in 1993 when I initially ventured into the real estate industry. Establishing the firm in Goa, in 2006, that name was too generic, so we had to change it. The term “Escala” actually stems from the Portuguese word meaning “scale”. The most important unit in real estate is the scale. So, the name seemed apt. Today, Escala is one of Goa’s top realty firms that specialises in providing a wide range of realty-based services to clients. We are well known in the market as real estate consultants, property legal advisors, builders, developers and project consultants offering complete turnkey execution of projects including design, decor, construction, architectural, structural, plumbing, electrical, interior design and other related consultancies. Services that we specialise in include building construction consultancy services, renovation services, architectural services, property sourcing, locale identification and project viability studies and complete real estate consultancy. Our main focus is on providing fair deals to all our clients. To provide the best services to our clients, we have a competent team of professionals comprising of qualified legal advisors, architects and other associates. Some of the projects that we have worked on include Casa de Reis, Perto de Goa and Goa Greens.
As president of GAR, what is your immediate course of action?
My immediate course of action is to work towards improving the standards of conducting business here. Secondly, I intend to increase the repute of our association and its founders – the trust that our association members will carry by virtue of being members of GAR. As realtors, it is our duty to showcase our knowledge, competence, and efficiency. Realtors are problem solvers and solution providers. Our goal at GAR is to set the highest and most ethical standards and practices in the field of real estate consulting. With an over 40-member strong base and growing, GAR seeks to bring diverse professionals in the real estate industry on a common platform to create a vibrant real estate market. Further, the association hopes to foster professionalism and integrity among our members. Established in 2015, GAR has been instrumental in turning competitors into collaborators. By working together, one can actually achieve more. We, therefore, strive to increase the number of our association members. By joining GAR, one gets the benefit of automatically becoming a member of NAR India and gets recognition in all state associations. Business for members also develops on a wider scale. Every member is bound by and has to strictly adhere to the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.
What are some of the past initiatives undertaken by GAR?
We have undertaken a number of CSR initiatives in the past. We recently launched a donation collection drive as part of our CSR initiative to collect funds for Kerala flood victims. Through the individual contribution of our committee members, we were able to raise about ₹2,34,000. We want to do similar things in the future. We have also undertaken blood donation drives, borne the expense of two cataract surgeries, sponsored water coolers to Rosary High School, Dona Paula, among others. Our term has just started, so we are still in the process of formulating a lot of initiatives.
We strive to provide a platform for dissemination of information and exchange of ideas on matters related to the real estate industry. In collaboration with CREDAI and GCCI, we have successfully hosted and organised multiple seminars on RERA, implication of GST and TDS, and so on. We have also conducted education and training sessions on taxation, marketing and sales, Vastu consultancy, and other topics with regard to the Real Estate sector. We have also successfully brought in uniformity in the charges for the service rendered by realtors. Further, we aim to establish a harmonious means of communications to facilitate a better interface between the real estate community. We have worked with CREDAI, Indian Institute of Architects – Goa Chapter, GCCI, and other trade organisations.
Finally, we strive to deliver sustainable development in the real estate sector. At GAR, we believe in sustainable development that preserves the charm of Goa.
What are some of the challenges faced by the real estate market today?
The real estate sector is still quite unorganised. There are many issues we, as realtors face, such as legal permissions, title clearances, standardisation of fees – all of which we hope to ease through GAR. In Goa, old property records are not in order, the archives are in a mess. It is very difficult for a layman to search for properties in the archives. Digitising all the property records will make a huge difference. If the government can do something to streamline online records of properties, it would be beneficial to both realtors and consumers.
What does the future of real estate in Goa look like?
The future of real estate in Goa looks good. In the coming 15 years, we will continue to see a good demand for real estate in Goa. It will probably not be the speculative kind of demand that we experienced in the early years, instead, it will be a good and steady demand. There are quite a few developers who are doing really good work in Goa, in both possessing a good project and providing good amenities to their consumers.
Real estate is the biggest investment one can make. They say, in life, there are three things that are most important – roti, kapda, makkan. These are the three essential entities that you require in life. In clothes and food, you keep investing minimum amounts of money – you may invest in gold, you may invest in shares, but you won’t invest as much as you would in a house. The largest investment one tends to make is in a roof over one’s head. One tends to put his entire life savings into it. So, as realtors, we are entrusted with the responsibility of being honest and transparent when dealing with our clients
So, you’ve finally decided to move into a more accommodating space? And you’ve come here for tips on how to get your current space in and out of the real estate market? Great! I’m glad we can help you. Research into all of our dealings, served and unserved, have led us to the conclusion that there are three main points to keep in mind when selling or leasing out your property.
PRESENTATION – FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT
Ask yourself, would you buy a residence where it looks like others are already living there? Or would you feel like you’re intruding on another person’s, another family’s space? Our recommendation is to not be living there at all when showing it to prospective buyers. The next best recommendation is to keep your space neat, tidy, and as neutral as possible. This can be done by shifting all personal items into storage. Most owners work with real estate agencies for the very reason that they do not need to go through any hassle during the middle of the day. Real Estate agencies along with handling buyer verification, can also handle the presentation of your space. Presentation also applies to plots. An overgrown plot can hide the unique selling points of the property. Trees and flowering shrubs are always a plus, but no one likes trekking through a plot to see its view.
PRICE – IT SHOULD ALWAYS BE RIGHT
Would you pay the same amount for a well-maintained apartment in a rundown building and an apartment in a new building? No. Would you expect the rate of a Villa to be the same in the main city, its satellite city, and the surrounding village? No. Would the rate of a plot in the middle of the city be the same as a plot in the outskirts of the city? Probably not. The Price of any property depends on several factors – Location, Age, Amenities, Maintenance, Society, USP, and most importantly, Demand. Consulting with a Registered Property Agent for the right price is always a good idea since they have knowledge of the market trends and will be able to guide you better.
PATIENCE – IMPOSSIBLE IN NOTHING
No matter in what direction the real estate market is flowing, no property goes off in a matter of days. For a Real Estate Agency, the time that’s taken for a thorough site inspection, checking of property documents, photo, and video shoots, marketing, multiple site visits, all for your property, with buyer verification, and finally token reception, takes around six months. If you choose to use the DIY method, just marketing, buyer verification and negotiations will take you about six months. If even after six months nothing seems to be moving, we re-work our strategy. To recap – The three points to remember when marketing your property are: 1. Presentation 2. Price and 3. Patience I hope you have found this post helpful, or if you think we missed something let us know in the comments.
The most expensive investment any individual makes in his/her lifetime is undoubtedly the “Roof above the head” i.e. the home. While, we take a a legal advice before filing a case, consult a doctor before jumping to any medication, when it comes to the biggest investment of the life most home buyers neglect taking a professional advice.
Nowadays, there are many legal complications involved in purchasing a property. The detailed knowledge about the legal permissions, complexities of the titles, knowledge about the market price for better investment, likely demand in future for similar properties and whether to invest or not in the property is possessed by a professional who is into the sector.
When home buyers look out for the advice of experts in the real estate sector, they often look up to the developers to get the right advice. But, how many times a buyer is able to meet the developer of the project? They most often end up dealing with the sales and marketing advisors. To get the right advice property buyers should seek the realtors. The certified realtors primary business is real estate brokerage or consultancy.
But, one needs to be cautious of the fly by night operators or part-timers who are into the business and promise to get the best deal in discounted price. Availing the services of a certified professional eases the process of financial and legal transactions. Also, a certified realtor belonging to a professional body can give the buyer a platform of recourse and redressal if required.
A realtor as a certified real estate broker/agent/consultant is a member of NAR-India (National Association of Realtors) and its state or city chapter. The members within six months of joining undergo a stringent test designed and conducted by Indian Institute of Real Estate to test all aspects of the person’s knowledge and proficiency in real estate.
THE TRADITIONAL MINDSET
The sum that a buyer spends as the fees of a realtor is only a small part of the savings that one can make by getting the best property at the best deal with an additional benefit of having peace of mind in future. We pay a doctor or a lawyer in advance, even a mechanic or technician is paid for his visit but a realtor is paid only on the completion of the deal and that too many a times in installments.
A person forgets that a realtor has to make many expenses while making a deal. The expenses are in form of maintaining the office and staff, promotion and advertisements and showcasing the property to the buyers. Moreover, he has to use his knowledge to the best of his ability to complete the deal in a competitive price.
We need to understand the amount of effort that realtors push in and ensure the timely payment for the same. The realtors a too need to educate themselves on the need to enter into a binding a contract with whosoever they represent to ensure that they are not cheated for all the hard work they put in.
“El Dorado” of the east “Goa”, is not just a dream holiday destination. It has the highest per capita income in India, and employs huge numbers in the tourism sector, medical tourism, and pharmaceutical industries. Goa is a small state with only around 3700 sq Kms of land, there are the beautiful sayadhari ranges having reserves/sanctuaries, then there are rivers, khazans, mangroves ,marshes, paddy fields, beautiful verdant spice plantations, the cashew orchards altogether in figures most of Goa is green areas approximately 80%. And out of the remaining about 5-7% is the beaches, barren fields, rocky ,No Development slopes or CRZ areas, etc, the road/rail network etc cover another 2%. Then there is Land for Public Utility or Govt buildings another 2-3% only about 8-10% is developable land i.e. Settlement Zone Land and of this land about 5-6% is already developed, approximately 2-3% is available for development or redevelopment, then we have to take in the factors of titles not being clear or the owners not being willing to sell or develop the Land so hardly 1% is actually available making clear title land or developed property in Goa a very scarce commodity which is in Great demand.
IF WHERE TO INVEST :
The city of Panjim offers one of the charm and beauty of the old world, with the modern comforts of a vibrant city. If one loves the party scene then Candolim-Calangute – Baga- Vagator offer the best opportunities, the pristine beaches of the extreme North and South Goa offer one serenity and beauty. Kadamba Plateau and the suburbs of Panjim & Margao offer one a chance of living near a city and its amenities in a secure gated complex.
WHAT TO BUY :
If one is looking for land there are many realtors in Goa and for developed properties there are many builders and projects. Among these the more known and reputed are developers like Gera, Models, Kamat’s, Heritage, Milrock, Landscape, Nanu’s, Acron Highland and Rivera. Also there are projects like Aldei de Goa, Terra Nova etc… Land parcels are also available in in all kinds of sizes and locations and there are even a few developers offering developed plots and independent bungalows on individual plots, but mostly one finds independent villas or row villa or apartments, mixed developments are also available. Gated complex’s seems to be the flavor of the day with amenities like swimming pools, gardens, play areas and parking being offered in the mid-budget developments and even some offering lifts and top end fittings as standard specifications. One can see a lot of these in the Kadamba Plateau, the suburbs of Panjim & around Margao. Then there are those targeted towards the holiday crowd in the vicinity of beaches offering mostly studio’s or one BHK’s with a few 2/3 BHK’s or row villas and lastly there are the high end developments with bungalows/villa’s/ apartments either in the posh areas of Panjim or with a view – mostly the scenic ‘river views’ of the Mandovi or Zuari or in few ‘sea view’. Another popular kind offers either a ‘field view’ or ‘valley view’, these kinds of developments command a premium and mostly have constructions to the best specifications, offer amazing amenities and are considered value for money, many of these developments also offer inducements like high-end cars or yachts on sharing basis or even ownership basis to the buyers in addition to all the standard amenities like club houses, spa, gym, covered parking, 24×7 security, etc.
WHO CAN INVEST AND HOW:
Currently there is no restriction on any Indian from purchasing property in Goa, PIO’s or OCI card holders can invest freely in non-agriculture properties, even foreigners with long term visas are allowed to purchase non-agricultural property as long as the money is brought in legitimately after following the RBI’s FEMA regulations. One should list properties that suit one’s budget or requirements, personally visit the sites, and then negotiate foe a better deal. It can work out better to engage a knowledgeable realtor to guide one through the process and get the title checked from a reputed lawyer, also get the sale deed/agreement to sell drafted or verted by them to safeguard one’s interest and investment
A LAST WORD:
The thing to remember is that even in the slump or recession the land prices Goa did not go down, underling what have been saying that Goa is the best place to invest in India and as India is considered one of the best places to invest in currently in the world we can rightly say that Goa is the best place to invest in the world. It ids always prudent to buy when the market ids down or slow and the current financial scenario offers one a great window of opportunity for long term investment, so go for it or regret in leisure on missing the investment opportunity in Goa. Property traditionally has been one of the best ways of investment beating even the gold or the share market in the long term, therefore educated investment in properties is a very sensible decision, there are many opportunities available for investment in Goa, broadly the main areas are:
– Panjim – The posh areas of Miramar, Dona Paula, Altinho. – The suburbs of Caranzalem, Talegaon, Bambolim. – The North Goa Beach Belt – Candolim, Calangute, Baga – The vicinity of Anjuna, Vagator and Arpora, Siolim. – The upcoming areas in the vicinity of the beache of Morjim, Arambol. – Kadamba Plateau i.e.; Ribandar, Baigunim, specially the area overlooking the mandovi River. – The new focus areas – Ela or Old Goa and its surroundings. – Divar & Charao Islands – Aldona, Moira and Surroundings.
– The suburbs and vicinity of Margao city. – The area between Dabolim Airport and sancole, specially that overlooking the Zuari River. The South Goa beach belt – a. Between uttorda to colva beaches. b. Between Benaulim to varca beaches. c. Area near palolem Beach
The subject of title verification is very important for anybody buying a property, particularly in Goa due to the Portuguese legacy, left property issues and property inheritance laws, which make the process lengthy and not easy, leaving a lot of space for unscrupulous dealers.In many cases you have to dive deep into the local archives, checking for any claim/challenge possible on your chosen property in the future. It is not merely examining the title record, but also tracing of the genuineness of the documents, identification of the property and notification in a newspaper. The title ideally has to be checked until 30 years before its date in order for it to be indisputable. If during this period, the ownership was changed and any questions/doubts towards the title remain, a further 30 years from the transfer date should be reviewed and so on until one obtains the desired result. If there is still a doubt in the title ownership of the desired estate, it is better not to rush into the deal as your property rights can be called back in the future, which may result in monetary and time loss, while the property is under arrest. It is obligatory to take guidance from a reliable lawyer in the title verification process. Nevertheless, you should also know the logics of title clearance yourself, to make sure that you follow the process and understand what your lawyer does. The simple fundamentals outlined below should help you out:
IF THE PROPERTY IS OWNED BY AN INDIVIDUAL
Define the document/s sanctifying the title
It can be a POA (Power of Attorney), or MOU, or Agreement to Sell, or Deed of Sale, or it can also be a family inherited property. It’s important to know if the property is transferred in the Land and Revenue Department in the names of the owners or not i.e if the mutation has been carried out or not, and if any POA was taken from the previous owners for transfer of ownership/rights, mutation, development or any other reasons. The POA should be carefully examined by your lawyer to see if the principal who has executed the power is indeed the property owner. Another thing to be careful while examining a POA is that the purpose for which it is given, can or has been carried out in its validity. It remains valid as long as it is not revoked or until the person giving the power of attorney is living. Otherwise it ceases to exist.
Check until you are able to establish undisputed title for at least 30 years
Once it is clear if it is an ancestral property or a self-acquired property, review all the previous deals (possession, inheritance, settlement, will, sale, mortgage, release, gift, etc) until finally the root title (initial title holder) is established, or at least until you get 30 years of unchallenged possession in favour of a set of owner/s and establish that the transfer further from them was legal. Finally, gather the information regarding the present owner/s: his/their identity, how the property was acquired, what title deeds and supporting documents are held. Remember that in Goa though sale deed is an adequate conveyance of title, mutation is a legal necessity. Therefore, the person in whose name the mutation stands is considered the owner and his title will be investigated as well as his right to sell being established, only then any subsequent document can have validity.
Pay attention to legal heirs of the present owners
Especially if the/any owner/s is deceased or married and/or a spouse is living or deceased. If they are majors, their presence while executing the deed of conveyance must be insured, or proper legal documents/POA may be drawn to allow exemption of presence or their representation. If they are minors, the seller has to get permission from the court before executing the deed. Ask your lawyer to request the vendor for the inventory proceedings or succession certificate and obtain the family genealogical tree. If necessary, ask for the family ration card for further clarification along with a declaration.
Make sure you get the list of the possible tenants or caretakers or houses of/on the property – they are your liability
The survey plans and I and XIV Form (Handwritten from either panchayat or talathi) should clarify this, or a certificate from mamlatdar can be obtained in case of doubt. If there have been any tenant/s or mundkar/s (caretakers as per Goan law), they are your liability unless cleared legally before execution of conveyance. If the owners claim that they have been settled/cleared, then establish the legality of that claim as someone could claim rights on the land unless proper documentation /deeds is maintained, and in case of tenancy, court permission or orders are provided.
If the property owner has passed away without a will, request for the inventory documents
This is the norm to establish ownership unless a succession deed is drawn up.
Check for Inscription and Description
Your lawyer will check for inscription and description documents (land describing records), which can be obtained from the archives as far as possible, unless records are non-traceable or not compiled for the area by the Revenue Department.
Ask your lawyer to check old matriz number and conferment of title, if applicable
These documents and the ones above are left to us from Portuguese times and describe a given piece of land with reference to its location, boundaries and ownership. They can be ignored if the Revenue Department declares that records are unavailable or not compiled for that area. Deed of conferment might be available if the property was originally a grant or lease given by the Portuguese. Old title deeds may be applicable if the title has changed hands a number of times.
Find out if your future property is/was a part of a larger property
Get to know the borders of the site on the larger plot by reviewing partition documents. Unless a separate survey/sub-division number has been allotted to the property and a plan can be obtained from the Land and Survey Department. Also remember that new land regulations do not allow division of land into sections of less than 200 sq mtrs, though there are some old properties smaller than these, which are legal. Sometimes court orders have allowed partition and mostly these are considered adequate.
Make sure that there are no dues on your chosen property
Check the house tax receipt or the house number, no dues certificate from excise, panchayat, electricity and water departments as well as payment of taxes such as infrastructure, construction fees and conversion fees. Check access to and from the property It is necessary to establish the access to and from the property as sometimes there might be legal issues.
IF THE PROPERTY IS OWNED BY AN COMPANY
Opt for checking the history and lawful ownership rights of a seller-company, so there is no possibility of future claims on your purchased real estate site. Check if the company’s owner has Indian citizenship. If it is a company owned by a foreign national, then check for the proper company’s registration process, following all the rules, including if any notice under FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act)/FERA (Foreign Exchange Regulation Act) violations was served to the company, and if all relevant permissions to sell the holding before the sale deed are taken. If there is any document missing, the company or foreign direct investment is not properly registered, your rights on the property are potentially under threat of being stopped and reviewed, which could take a while.
Documents to study
Articles of Association and Memorandum. · Permissions sought, if foreign investment route was taken.
· Clearance to sell the holding (in case of any non-Indian co-owner).
· Clearance from RBI and, if applicable, if RBI clearance was also acquired when buying the property.
· Resolution of company authorising the sale of the property. If applicable, also check if this procedure was followed by the current seller, while buying the property.
If the property is built up or to be built
Check the permissions granted to the seller to construct the project and adherence to the norms while building it. Ensure that the building has not been served with a demolition notice.
Sanctions/Plans and NOC’s to check (as applicable):
Town and Country Planning / PDA · PWD · Electricity · Health/Pollution · Panchayat/Municipality · CRZ · Land and Survey Department · Survey Plan
NA i.e.; valid conversion to non-agriculture (also called sanad in Goa) land and construction license (during and after construction to establish if it is legal). The completion certificate (from architect/charted engineer) and occupancy certificate from the panchayat or municipal body, after construction and possession has been granted.
Check for Encumbrance
One should verify if the property is free of debt. If a loan has been raised over the property and is not discharged, it is an encumbrance. Apply to the sub-registrar for an encumbrance certificate to find out if a property is under any liability. A nil encumbrance certificate is issued in case of a zero liability transaction, though it is prudent to remember that people sometimes do not register such liabilities and sometimes there may be agreements/MOUs/leases/grants/allowances,etc. Therefore it is incumbent upon the buyer to thoroughly investigate.
Recommendations to readers
1. Obtain title certificate from a competent lawyer, valuer or other authority. Be patient or you may pay hard for it in the future.
2. Normally, if the property has approval for a loan from a reputed bank, the title is considered to be verified and clear, but to purchase such property which has outstanding or paid up loan, a no dues/objection certificate should be obtained from the bank, unless the loan approval is for you to purchase the property.
3. Save all the original/certified copies of the reviewed documents. It will be a tremendous help in case you want to sell your property in the future.
4. It is recommended to publish a notice in a leading English or local daily, although it is not obligatory. Even after studying all the documents, the lawyer may not be able to find out if the property is truly free from any claim. A notification in the newspaper might elicit a response from a genuine claimant. Therefore, it is one of the best ways to avoid legal problems for the buyer and it is better to incur small expenses today, than to lose your hard earned money in the future.
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Covid-19 has ravaged the entire world, and killed several economies almost overnight. And although its rampage is not nearly over, we are now living in what is being called ‘the new normal’. It is nothing short of a post-apocalyptic scenario which requires almost everything to start from scratch. The economic crisis has hit a number of sectors, caused mass layoffs, job losses and pay cuts. Therefore, while the previous institutional measures have largely been focused on saving lives, it now must be directed towards saving livelihoods. Among the sectors that have taken the hardest hits is real estate, and it is now trying to find its footing in the new world. But to do so, it must evolve and adapt to the needs of people in the new normal.
A New Hope For Real Estate
This crisis has given the world an opportunity to fix old problems and rebuild the system with significant improvements in place. Like all other sectors, real estate needs major restructuring and incorporating better processes, to make the most of the new opportunities and cushion against the possible new threats. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is to be ready for uncertainty. This applies to both real estate companies and home owners.
Increased Demand In Residential Real Estate
The safest places in this pandemic is probably one’s home, where they can make the safety rules and implement their own standards of sanitation, thereby somewhat ensuring health and sanity for all. Therefore, a large section of the population, previously living as tenants, are now wanting to turn homeowners, which presents a brilliant opportunity, and holds promise to stabilise the sector.
Promising Investment Option
The global market has weathered an unprecedented blow, with everything from the share market to FOREX crashing and stock prices of even the biggest companies hitting rock bottom. Therefore, in a bid to secure assets better, the investment savvy urban population or NRIs with a big disposable sum are slowly turning to real estate as a better alternative. This could lead to a surge in demands, further making things better for the sector.
With travelling off-limits and social distancing an unsettling reality, a larger fraction of the urban population is slowly taking to the idea of buying a ‘getaway home’ away from the city, to break the monotony of routine and seek temporary refuge. The demand for villa style homes with resort like feels might spike in the coming days.
Adjustments Needed To Be Made
The new world has given way to new needs among homeowners, and real estate must evolve to accommodate those.
Since ‘Work from Home’ has become a norm, living spaces need to be designed more ergonomically, allowing for a better working experience. In most cases, there now have to be provisions for home offices.
Commercial and office spaces need to be larger with a lay out that allows for team work but while maintaining social distance, privacy and safety. Their area will need to be significantly larger, as a result.
Since this crisis has led to widespread unemployment and pay cuts, there need to be better financial measures in place, so people can buy houses at reduced interests, possibly with a longer payment window.
Real estate was formerly completely dependent on migrant labourers. However, in light of the recent migrant labour crisis, the sector needs to employ automation functions, to curb the said dependence. Additionally, the selling model also needs to change and be taken digital, so buyers not only view, but experience homes online. Augmented reality and online platforms need to be made more widespread and accessible for all.