Live Global, Invest Local

As the adage goes, home is where the heart is!

With reverse brain drain at an all-time high and the fluctuating rupee value, Indian realty has seen a two-fold increase in NRI investment from $5 billion in 2014 to $10.2 billion in 2018. The cities that see maximum property purchase from NRIs are Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Gurugram and Chennai. With the introduction of RERA, property investment has become more efficient and transparent, and it is anticipated that foreign investment will increase by 15% in the upcoming financial year.

Here are a few things NRIs should keep in mind before investing in India.


Any individual that holds an active Indian passport and residing outside the country needs no special permission to invest in real estate. People of Indian origin residing in other countries, with the exception of Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, Iran and Bhutan fall under the general category.

Terms of home loan

An NRI is eligible to secure a loan up to 80% of the property amount, and the rest should be raised by the individual or group of individuals themselves. The repayment of the loan should be done only in rupees to the bank.

Types of property

For an individual looking to invest in India, there are a plethora of options. An NRI can purchase any type residential or commercial property. For example, you can check out new projects in Chennai to take a look at some upcoming properties. However, a non-resident cannot buy any agricultural land, unless it has been gifted to them.

Tax benefits

Any property holder is liable to pay tax, stamp duty, and registration charges in accordance with the Indian tariffs. The property tax will depend on the type and location of the property. Since India has double taxation agreements with over 90 countries, an NRI can claim tax credit on the taxes they may pay on their assets. There are several tax deductions that can be availed to help reduce financial burden.

Power of Attorney

Since the NRI is not always available for day-to-day transactions, it is important to appoint someone with a Power Of Attorney, that can execute these tasks on their behalf. The person appointed can carry out all the requirements of the bank, lease or rent the property, manage or settle disputes arising over the property, or enter into agreements on behalf of the investor. Therefore, the investor must be wise in picking their most trusted associates as their POA.In the current global economic climate, it is anticipated that real estate investments will rise in the coming years. If you are an NRI investor looking to buy property in India, here are a few worthy builders in Chennai for your consideration.

Archana Chandhoke’s Penthouse Paradise

We recently spoke to one of our dear homeowners, Archana Chandhoke, of Tamil television fame. This relationship is as special to us, as it is to her. Here is what Archana, who lives in Appaswamy’s Cerus in Saligramam, had to say.

Could you introduce yourself for the readers?

Hi, I’m Archana. This is my husband, Commander Vineet, and we have a beautiful daughter called Zaara.

Could you tell us about the relationship you share with Appaswamy and what it means to you?

Our relationship with Appaswamy is a decade old. It is almost as long, as our daughter is old. We bought the first home of our lives as a couple, in January 2008, the year our daughter was born. Your first home always holds a special place in your life, and that’s just the kind of home Appaswamy gave us…a very special one, at Triumph, Arumbakkam.

Later, as you grow in life, you reach a juncture where you are ready to take a plunge into the kind of life you have always dreamt about. We were ready for our dream home. I wanted a spacious house in the heart of the city that was also affordable, and loan friendly. Vineet and I saw a couple of places only to be disappointed. Who would even think of a penthouse in the middle of the city?

We then heard of Appaswamy Cerus. We were just blown over when we saw the apartment. The moment we saw the home, my daughter looked around and said, “Can this be my birthday gift?” There was no second question then. Daddy said yes, mummy said yes. And that’s how it happened!

Appaswamy went out of their way to accommodate all our requirements. In about 3 and a half months, from what was just all bricks, we had our own dream home.

Could you tell us about some of the requirements that you had for your dream home? How was the handover process?

We bought this home on the 19th of January, 2018, and moved in on the 6th of May, which also happens to be our wedding anniversary. People wouldn’t believe it that it had only been three and a half months. For a builder to be able to do the interiors, the woodwork, the tiling of the house, and false ceiling, in that time frame is commendable. We also had the entire plumbing, lighting, and electrical lines changed. Practically everything happened as we asked.

Appaswamy has become more of a family now. The handing over was like an older family member blessing you with a happy home, you know.

How do you use the space outside your apartment? How do you like the amenities at Cerus?

Vineet :

Any community living requires a good social infrastructure to thrive. We have a lovely gymnasium and squash court, which not many apartments in the city can boast of, as space is always a problem. We have a swimming pool, a small children’s park, a community hall, yoga deck, 2 party halls, and a mini theatre where we watch the IPL matches. I should say we are blessed. There is also a temple here, which was passed on from people who were here before us. Overall, it is a very blessed community.

Archana :

Appaswamy has a knack for making nature work for them. You can see the apartment is well ventilated and breezy. The property is also bang on the main road, so commuting is not a problem. Everything from schools, hospitals, and shopping malls are accessible within 500 m to 1 km.

Both of us are huge party animals, and we love to host people at home. Twice a month, we have about 25 to 30 people over the weekends. Our guests always look at us and say, “You live in such a fabulous community.”

Being in the media industry, how do you feel about the privacy and security here?

Security is supreme. In fact, security is so tight that if I had a haircut and came back, they wouldn’t let me in. The security staff know all the owners, residents, and tenants, and each block has specific access cards, doubling up on security.

I think, for me and Zaara, media is just another profession. You need privacy, regardless of your profession. We are so lucky to be blessed with that.

What is the one thing you would like to tell people who are considering Appaswamy?

My first and only response to people would be, “If you are considering a home, then you should be at Appaswamy.”

I have seen many flats in Chennai. And for a property to be bang on the main road, to be easily accessible, cost friendly , competitive, to have these kind of amenities, and beyond all of that, to provide all of this on platter, isn’t all that common. Appaswamy just has it all.

They have 7 supremely prime properties just on Arcot road. Ours is the 6th. You will never see them throwing up prices, only to later say it’s slashed for you, or anything like that. There is a standard that you have about Appaswamy.

If you are looking for properties in Chennai, look no further. Anyone seeking a home, a dream home of any size, or budget, I think Appaswamy would definitely be able to cater to it.

Just 2 and a half years ago, every time I crossed Cerus on my way to a shoot, I would think to myself that one day I have to own a house in a place like this. And then when it happens, you are just so happy for everything!

Archana lives in Appswamy’s Cerus with her husband, daughter, mother and sister.

What do the new GST rates mean for you?

When the Goods and Services Tax was implemented in early 2017, industries across the country were impacted, and real estate was no exception. However, there is a reason to rejoice – the 33rd GST Council has announced a significant drop in the tax bracket of affordable and residential real estate.

The residential housing segment has seen a drop from 12% with input credit, to 5% without input credit. The affordable housing segment has been reduced from 8% with input credit, to 1% without input credit. If you are still on the fence about buying properties in Chennai, we are here to break down this change for you!

What does this mean?

For a property to qualify as affordable housing under the GST, the total carpet area should be below 60 square meters in metropolitan* areas and 90 square meters in non-metropolitan areas. The property value should not exceed a total of INR 45 lakh, in both metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas, and anything above this falls under residential housing category. *Metropolitan areas include Delhi, Noida, Greater Noida, Gurgaon, Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata.

Benefits for builders

Under this new tax regime, it is anticipated that there will be better compliance with GST laws. Additionally, builders get a one-time option to choose between the old tax regime and the new one for upcoming projects. While there is a little uncertainty about input credit accumulated by builders due to long term purchases, the GST Council is expected to come up with an answer soon.

Benefit for buyers

Real estate is the second biggest contributor to the nation’s GDP, after the IT sector. This tax relief will reduce the prices of residential and affordable housing, a welcome respite for buyers. If you are in the market for flats in Chennai, this is the perfect market for your real estate purchase.While there are still some questions left unanswered, this is fantastic news for the real estate segment. Schedule a tour of our upcoming apartments for sale in Chennai to know more.

Kumaravelu, a self-made sales champion

The thrill of a busy day, ‘with constantly swinging office doors and a steady stream of customers excited to see their future homes’, is how Kumaravelu, a promising Sales Manager at Appaswamy, describes his ideal workday. His popularity among customers and his cheerful presence make it plain to see that he adores his job. With a background in aviation, Kumaravelu’s journey into the real estate world was anything but typical.

An entirely self-made man, Kumaravelu began his journey in real estate as a freelancer, when he buckled down and taught himself about the industry, on-the-job. The growing market for premium apartments in Chennai piqued his interest, and a big break from Appaswamy in 2014 set the ball rolling on his real estate career in luxury apartments. He is currently the sales manager for Trellis, a series of high-end flats for sale in Vadapalani, and shares that he is proud to be involved in Appaswamy’s awe-inspiring projects.

Perhaps what surprised Kumaravelu most, at the beginning of his real estate career, was how his aviation training would translate so well to the world of real estate. He speaks fondly of the day he was interviewed at Appaswamy when he was chosen specifically for his experience in aviation, and not despite it.

Today, he spends his time wearing many hats and plays a part in everything from customer relations, operations, and sales, to overseeing apartment maintenance. He commends the organisation for this role since it has given him diverse experience and comprehensive knowledge to handle customers better. Every day as a Sales Manager is eventful, and he shares how he meets a multitude of people including aspiring college students, sneaky competitors, spellbound prospects, and of course, loyal returning customers.

Despite working with the company for five years, Kumaravelu says the allure of the luxury real estate world will always remain, and he foresees many more happy years with Appaswamy, doing what he loves.