25 October, 2023
Unlock the doors to real estate success
Read time: 5 minutes

In today's edition:

  • In the news: Fractional ownership, NRI challenges, and life after death
  • My thoughts on: Building budget homes
  • Q&A: Hollow blocks

Handpicked stories from my weekly digest

Here are the 5 stories that you need to be aware of from this past week:

  • Bits and pieces: Fractional ownership is making waves in India's real estate scene. It's a neat way for investors to own a slice of larger properties, and it seems people are loving it. The market value has soared to a whopping ₹4,000 crore and is expected to grow by 25-30% yearly over the next few years. Read more
  • View from abroad: A recent survey revealed that 24% of NRIs face challenges managing rental properties in India. While 8% from the UK and 7% from Australia deal directly with tenants, 7% from Canada delegate this via power of attorney to family/friends. Despite the growing appeal of the Indian real estate market, managing rentals from afar isn't a cakewalk. Read more
  • A second attempt: PropShare Capital is at it again, launching its second fund to dive into the rent-generating commercial real estate scene in India's tech hubs. They've set their sights on a cool ₹500 crore target, with an option to raise ₹200 crore more. It's a bold move, especially after their previous fund didn't hit the mark. Read more
  • The ultimate case study: Over the last several decades, Microsoft has navigated wave after wave of disruption rather successfully. They've made parallel bets to not just neutralize the existential threat of a new competitor, but power remarkable growth. Be sure to go through this detailed walkthrough of their strategic evolution through the years. Read more
  • Life after death: The journey of our body's microbes after we pass away is fascinating. It turns out, death isn't the end for them; they get busy breaking down our bodies from the inside, helping in decomposition. When buried, these microbes mingle with the soil's own microbial life, boosting the soil's nutrient content, especially its nitrogen cycle. This process plays a crucial role in nurturing new life in the ecosystem. Even in death, there's a part of us contributing to the circle of life. Read more

The Budget Builder's Blueprint (Checklist)


Image credits: Freedom Capital

The dream of crafting a personal home often clashes with the reality of skyrocketing prices in the Indian real estate market. Yet, the heart yearns for a cozy corner that doesn’t echo with the clinks of emptied pockets. Don’t worry though. A snug, aesthetically pleasing home is achievable without breaking the bank. Here's how you can dance around the money crunch and still lay the bricks of your dream dwelling.

Listen to your wallet: Before the first brick is laid, cozy up with a cup of chai and have a heart-to-heart with your wallet. What’s the real picture? Draft a budget and guard it like your grandma guards her secret pickle recipe.

Art of smart choices: Ever noticed how our Desi meals focus on the essentials first? Dal, chawal, roti, and sabzi. The pickles, papads, and sweets come later. Apply the same logic to your home-building venture. Essentials like sturdy construction, good plumbing, and safe electrical setups are non-negotiable. The Italian marble countertops and the crystal chandeliers can wait.

Cost-Savvy Designs: Design strategies can either be your wallet's friend or foe. Here are some friendly ones:

  • Open Floor Plans: They not only make your space look larger but also ensure better ventilation and natural lighting.
  • Optimized Storage: Custom built-ins or multi-functional furniture can save space and money.
  • Energy Efficiency: Designing for natural light and ventilation can reduce energy bills in the long run.

Utilising local materials: Every region in India is a treasure trove of unique materials and craftsmanship. Embracing local materials like Kota stone, terracotta tiles, or bamboo not only cuts costs but also adds a distinct regional charm to your home.

Innovative solutions: The world of construction and design is continually evolving with new cost-effective technologies. Prefabricated construction, for instance, is not only time-saving but also much lighter on the budget as compared to traditional construction methods. The government has also rolled out several initiatives to promote affordable housing, which can be leveraged to mitigate financial constraints.

It may seem like a daunting task to keep track of what’s important while building your house within a budget. Fret not, here’s a nifty checklist for you:

  • Budget Planning:

    • Assess finances
    • Draft a realistic budget
    • Keep a buffer for unforeseen expenses

  • Designing Smartly:

    • Opt for open floor plans
    • Ensure natural lighting and ventilation
    • Plan for future expansions to avoid costly remodels

  • Material Selection:

    • Explore local materials
    • Compare prices and durability
    • Consider recycled or upcycled materials

  • Construction:

    • Get multiple quotations
    • Monitor the construction process to avoid wastage
    • Explore modern, cost-effective construction techniques like prefab or modular construction

  • Professional Guidance:

    • Consult with an architect for budget-friendly designs
    • Explore government schemes or grants for affordable housing

Building a charming home within a budget in India isn’t a far-fetched dream. It’s all about making smart choices, embracing innovation, and a little guidance from the pros. So, as you step onto the threshold of creating your dream home, remember, a tight budget is not a shackle but a challenge to the creative mind.


Should I use concrete hollow blocks or regular bricks for building my house?
- Lakshya

Hi Lakshya,

Concrete hollow blocks are lightweight and cheaper compared to bricks. They also provide insulation against heat and noise and save space. Bricks, on the other hand, provide better thermal insulation and are load bearing. While construction costs may be cheaper when using concrete hollow blocks, maintenance costs may increase over the years as the porous nature of these blocks may lead to water seepage. It’s always advisable to keep the local conditions and the budget in mind before deciding.

Have a question? Reply to this email - if it's relevant to the broader Open House community, I'll feature it here!



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Disclaimer: This newsletter is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. Please conduct your own due diligence prior to making any decisions.

By Ashwinder R. Singh
Step up your real estate game with exclusive access to tribal knowledge accumulated over decades.
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