Crucial Tips for NRIs Investing in Indian Real Estate


2017-03-10
Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) hold the same property ownership rights in India as any Indian resident, under FEMA rules. Land can be owned as residential and commercial units, although not agricultural or forest land. However, NRIs often fall prey to quacks and fraudulent property dealings which are increasingly making them wary of investing in property in India. Buying property in India or anywhere else in the world requires a lot of due diligence by the investor, and this is especially true for NRIs. These are few questions that NRIs must ask themselves before putting their money in a property in India.
 
Why do you want to invest in India?
Are you looking at yielding returns from your property investment in India? In that case, it is advisable to invest in an already developed area and renting it out. The other option might be to buy equity shares of listed developers. Many NRIs also look at investing in property in India keeping in mind their future plans of settling down here. In this case, investing in a developing area would make sense.
 
Do you really “know” the builder?
This can’t be emphasized enough, as this is a highly fragmented market with a lot of fraudulent players in the market who promise the moon and the stars but end up delivering nothing. Do a thorough investigation of the builder/ developer you’ve chosen, go through his past records in terms of implementation, and compliance with laws. Speak to an existing or past customer of the said builder to get an honest feedback.
 
Where is the property located?
It is important to do a thorough check on the demographics of the property you’re looking at and ensure it is surrounded by good infrastructure. In India, where there is no guarantee of infrastructure development, where your property is located is of prime importance.
 
Have you done a thorough homework on the government policies?
Real estate policies in India are subject to constant change. Investing is forest or agricultural land is not an option for NRIs. One must do a thorough read-up on other policies related to property ownership and try to get an understanding of future government plans in order to take an informed decision.
 
Have you understood the taxation system?
For NRIs investing in property in India, it is imperative to hire a good tax attorney to understand the tax implications including TDS, rental tax, property tax, etc.
 
Bearing all this in mind, it is always advisable to hire a good property manager or broker to help you with all the paperwork in India, as you would be away most of the time. Plan your investment well, including a sound exit strategy to ensure a stress-free investment experience in India.

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