Wednesday January 23, 2019
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5 Reasons why a developer’s reputation matters while buying a home

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Signing document for new home.

By Arvind Jain, Managing Director – Pride Group

India’s economy is once again on a sure footing, and people across the country are now confident about buying homes. Purchasing a home is of course a huge investment, and therefore not something where there can be any margin for error – and yet, things can and often do go wrong. 11477985596_2e962658ae_o

One of the most common mistakes that many buyers of property commit is doing business with developers who lack established credentials. Dealing only with reputed real estate builders is the first line of defense against getting cheated out of one’s money, and being assured of buying a quality product.

How can one identify reputable, reliable developers from the huge number of builders constantly putting projects in the market? There are several defining factors:

  1. Legal Sanctity of the Project

Every residential and commercial building needs to get a variety of permissions from local and government bodies. Reputed developers will ensure that their projects have all the certificates and permissions required by the local authorities. Again, their reputation is at stake and they will not take such matters lightly.

All instances of illegal construction that one reads of in the papers today have one factor in common – these projects are by unscrupulous or inexperienced builders who either did not care to get their projects properly approved, or did not know of all the approvals and permissions that they need to obtain.

  1.  Timely Completion

In most cases, developers will offer their projects for sale before it has actually been completed. On purchasing a home in an under-construction project, the buyer is assured of a certain time-frame in which possession will be given.

Reputed developers will not push the possession timeline beyond a rational limit. Firstly, because they are adequately funded and secondly, because they will under no circumstances jeopardize their credibility on the market. Most of the instances of irrationally delayed project completions involve new, under-capitalized and often struggling builders. Reputed developers can and will always stick to the schedule.

  1. Zero-defect Homes

For reputed developers, credibility is the key to their brand recognition – it is their primary competitive advantage in the market. They will never offer a home that has construction defects like bad electrical fittings/wiring, faulty plumbing, water seepage, bad drainage, etc. Quality construction also includes the right size and shape of rooms that are in sync with the overall project design.

  1. Project’s Structural Integrity

Quality control is an important part of every building construction being undertaken by a reputable developer. Their engineers will check and monitor every aspect of the construction process, including soil compactness, proper cement/sand ration, slump testing, drainage engineering and earthquake resistance of the building.

This ensures that the project will not suffer from construction-related defects in the future. Choice-based re-modelling aside, buyers will not have to pay for structural repairs in the future.

  1. Adequate Amenities

Reputed developers know that it takes more than four walls to make a home, and will always strive to offer a good lifestyle to their customers. They will always provide facilities like proper parking spaces, adequate security, internal access roads, playgrounds, clubhouses and aesthetically landscaped open spaces in their projects.

Fly-by-night developers, on the other hand, will look to provide only the barest essentials in order to keep their prices as low as possible, since their main aim is to attract non-discerning, budget-strung buyers who do not look beyond their financial restrictions.

It goes without saying that a home by a reputable, credible developer will cost more than the threadbare offerings of anonymous local builders, but it is always worth it. If one chooses to patronize smaller, inexperienced developers, the only attraction will lie in the price – but the price one pays is actually much bigger than the one in the agreement.

Problems related to construction legality, lack of security and spurious engineering quality can result in massive future costs, and in the case of outright illegal buildings even a total financial loss. The additional amount paid to a reputable, trustworthy developer is an investment one makes into security, peace of mind and a high-quality environment for the family.

  • rv

    Mr arvind jain, Please look into your own projects before preaching to others. Your project Pride Springfields in Bangalore does not meet any of the standards that you so pompously claim to have knowledge. There is water leakage, quality of doors is substandard( your maintenance persons demand money to repair your fittings even though residents already paid, your possession dates are well behind schedule. Your project coordinations will say yes to everything and then stand and gossip on the project site.Shame on you. I urge prospective buyers to double check quality of pride before doing anything

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  • rv

    Mr arvind jain, Please look into your own projects before preaching to others. Your project Pride Springfields in Bangalore does not meet any of the standards that you so pompously claim to have knowledge. There is water leakage, quality of doors is substandard( your maintenance persons demand money to repair your fittings even though residents already paid, your possession dates are well behind schedule. Your project coordinations will say yes to everything and then stand and gossip on the project site.Shame on you. I urge prospective buyers to double check quality of pride before doing anything

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Technology Makes Home Items Smarter But Creepier

I'm a firm believer that simple is better. If you don't need to have these so-called enhancements, don't buy them

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Technology, home, Privacy
Yoon Lee, right, senior vice president, Samsung Electronics America, uses the Family Board on a refrigerator during a Samsung news conference at CES International in Las Vegas, Jan. 7, 2019. VOA

One day, finding an oven that just cooks food may be as tough as buying a TV that merely lets you change channels.

Internet-connected “smarts” are creeping into cars, refrigerators, thermostats, toys and just about everything else in your home. CES 2019, the gadget show opening Tuesday in Las Vegas, will showcase many of these products, including an oven that coordinates your recipes and a toilet that flushes with a voice command.

With every additional smart device in your home, companies are able to gather more details about your daily life. Some of that can be used to help advertisers target you — more precisely than they could with just the smartphone you carry.

“It’s decentralized surveillance,” said Jeff Chester, executive director for the Center for Digital Democracy, a Washington-based digital privacy advocate. “We’re living in a world where we’re tethered to some online service stealthily gathering our information.”

Yet consumers seem to be welcoming these devices. The research firm IDC projects that 1.3 billion smart devices will ship worldwide in 2022, twice as many as 2018.

Technology, Home
Dave VanderWaal of LG Electronics USA shows off ProActive Customer Care, an AI-powered customer service tool for home appliances during 2019 International CES in Las Vegas, Jan. 7, 2019. VOA

 

Companies say they are building these products not for snooping but for convenience, although Amazon, Google and other partners enabling the intelligence can use the details they collect to customize their services and ads.

‘Smart’ features

Whirlpool, for instance, is testing an oven whose window doubles as a display. You’ll still be able to see what’s roasting inside, but the glass can now display animation pointing to where to place the turkey for optimal cooking.

The oven can sync with your digital calendar and recommend recipes based on how much time you have. It can help coordinate multiple recipes, so that you’re not undercooking the side dishes in focusing too much on the entree. A camera inside lets you zoom in to see if the cheese on the lasagna has browned enough, without opening the oven door.

As for that smart toilet, Kohler’s Numi will respond to voice commands to raise or lower the lid — or to flush. You can do it from an app, too. The company says it’s all about offering hands-free options in a setting that’s very personal for people. The toilet is also heated and can play music and the news through its speakers.

Kohler also has a tub that adjusts water temperature to your liking and a kitchen faucet that dispenses just the right amount of water for a recipe.

For the most part, consumers aren’t asking for these specific features. After all, before cars were invented, people might have known only to ask for faster horses. “We try to be innovative in ways that customers don’t realize they need,” Samsung spokesman Louis Masses said.

Whirlpool said insights can come from something as simple as watching consumers open the oven door several times to check on the meal, losing heat in the process.

“They do not say to us, ‘Please tell me where to put [food] on the rack, or do algorithm-based cooking,”‘ said Doug Searles, general manager for Whirlpool’s research arm, WLabs. “They tell us the results that are most important to them.”

Samsung has several voice-enabled products, including a fridge that comes with an app that lets you check on its contents while you’re grocery shopping. New this year: Samsung’s washing machines can send alerts to its TVs — smart TVs, of course — so you know your laundry is ready while watching Netflix.

Samsung, Home
Arvin Baalu, vice president of product management at Harman International, talks about the Samsung Digital Cockpit during a Samsung news conference at the 2019 CES in Las Vegas, Jan. 7, 2019. VOA

Other connected items at CES include:

* a fishing rod that tracks your location to build an online map of where you’ve made the most catches;

* a toothbrush that recommends where to brush more;

* a fragrance diffuser that lets you control how your home smells from a smartphone app.

These are poised to join internet-connected security cameras, door locks and thermostats that are already on the market. The latter can work with sensors to turn the heat down automatically when you leave home.

‘Being spied on’

Chester said consumers feel the need to keep up with their neighbors when they buy appliances with the smartest smarts. He said all the conveniences can be “a powerful drug to help people forget the fact that they are also being spied on.”

Gadgets with voice controls typically aren’t transmitting any data back to company servers until you activate them with a trigger word, such as “Alexa” or “OK Google.” But devices have sometimes misheard innocuous words as legitimate commands to record and send private conversations.

Even when devices work properly, commands are usually stored indefinitely. Companies can use the data to personalize experiences — including ads. Beyond that, background conversations may be stored with the voice recordings and can resurface with hacking or as part of lawsuits or investigations.

Knowing what you cook or stock in your fridge might seem innocuous. But if insurers get hold of the data, they might charge you more for unhealthy diets, warned Paul Stephens, director of policy and advocacy at the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse in San Diego. He also said it might be possible to infer ethnicity based on food consumed.

Toyota, home
Gill Pratt, CEO of the Toyota Research Institute, unveils Toyota’s latest autonomous-driving test vehicle for the Toyota Research Institute, called P4, based on the new-generation Lexus LS500h hybrid luxury sedan, with a roof-mounted assembly with cameras and sensors, and sensors added onto the front fenders, at the Toyota news conference at CES International in Las Vegas, Jan. 7, 2019. VOA

Manufacturers are instead emphasizing the benefits: Data collection from the smart faucet, for instance, allows Kohler’s app to display how much water is dispensed. (Water bills typically show water use for the whole home, not individual taps.)

The market for smart devices is small, but growing. Kohler estimates that in a few years, smart appliances will make up 10 percent of its revenue. Though the features are initially limited to premium models — such as the $7,000 toilet — they should eventually appear in entry-level products, too, as costs come down.

Ditching the ‘dumb’

Consider the TV. “Dumb” TVs are rare these days, as the vast majority of TVs ship with internet connections and apps, like it or not.

“It becomes a check-box item for the TV manufacturer,” said Paul Gagnon, an analyst with IHS Markit. For a dumb one, he said, you have to search for an off-brand, entry-level model with smaller screens — or go to places in the world where streaming services aren’t common.

“Dumb” cars are also headed to the scrapyard. The research firm BI Intelligence estimates that by 2020, three out of every four cars sold worldwide will be models with connectivity. No serious incidents have occurred in the United States, Europe and Japan, but a red flag has already been raised in China, where automakers have been sharing location details of connected cars with the government.

Also Read: Thousand Of Rohingya Refugees Get Clean Drinking Water, Thanks To Green Technology

As for TVs, Consumer Reports says many TV makers collect and share users’ viewing habits. Vizio agreed to $2.5 million in penalties in 2017 to settle cases with the Federal Trade Commission and New Jersey officials.

Consumers can decide not to enable these connections. They can also vote with their wallets, Stephens said.

“I’m a firm believer that simple is better. If you don’t need to have these so-called enhancements, don’t buy them,” he said. “Does one really need a refrigerator that keeps track of everything in it and tells you are running out of milk?” (VOA)