So we decided to rent it and we looked for a tenant. Typically we wanted more rent than the market. We argued that the interiors were worth it. We also got choosy with the type of tenants or the tenants were choosy! Some wanted ideal vaastu! I remember an incident where a prospective tenant came with his wife. She had seen the aptmt. earlier and had liked it. He did not even say hello! As I stood surprised at his attitude, he walked to the main door, took a small compass from his pocket, checked the direction of the main door, muttered no vaastu and started walking out! Tara tried to engage him in a conversation, but no luck. I later learnt that our broker had expressed our reluctance to rent the aptmt. to self-employed business men! No wonder he was upset, as he was one of them! The only sentence he spoke to me was 'I am a builder for Jains!'. That probably was to prove his credit worthiness! In short, the apartment continued to be vacant. Finally it dawned on us, with a little bit of nudging from our daughter and friends, that it made sense to sell!
I quote from earlier blog to explain the dilemma one faces while looking to buy ( or sell!) an apartment:
'But I was getting restless and bored and Tara said she was ready to move .... but would prefer to stay in a place closer to Kumara Park! We looked at some other bubbles which had all the facilities and liked them. But the apartments on offer were all second sales and owners wanted money in two colors in spite of all noise made by Anna Hazare. He of course was targeting corrupt politicians and officials, not enterprising investors. (Hopefully their time too shall come!). Desperate, I even wished that there was an ATM type of machine, govt approved, which changed color of the money, for a reasonable fee!'
With this experience, once the decision was made to sell, I was more worried. We needed a buyer who was comfortable with only a single color of money. My accountant friend asked me 'Do you know that you are liable to pay short term capital gains!' Honestly I did not! The only way to avoid paying short term capital gains tax is to wait for three years or find ways! That is when temptation rears its head!
There are many strange laws on income. If you own two houses, you pay the exchequer a tax on the notional income from the second house. But there is no offset for the interest lost when your house/aptmt. is under construction. Even if there is a delay, there is no relief. It is deemed a business risk. Some builders do offer a pittance for delays which will probably allow you, if you are really hard pressed, to rent out a room in the nearby basti which you probably will see from your bed room once the apartment is ready.
Anyway, we had by then asked an estate agent, who understood our inhibitions, to look for buyers. She called one day and said 'I found a buyer who matches your needs. He is the son of a retired IAS officer, and his father wants to pay only through cheques!' There was a moment of confusion in me. Do we tell her that we have changed our colors or go with the deal. This is when your default setting comes into play. We agreed!
I make no special claims for probity here! The gain was not too high to tilt the scale and tempt me. For some reason the south Bangalore has lost its sheen for an investor! Now that I am veteran at the sub-registrar's office, I can say that it does take time to register! Probably it is in-built into the system to discourge direct walk-in buyers or sellers. The secret is to appoint a lawyer and he will ensure that the system works like a well oiled machine. Well most of the times. Sometimes, you do get delayed, if your lawyer is not as savvy as the other. I have also heard of successful stories where a lawyer was not hired!
I have heard many arguments why so many honest people try to beat the system and cheat the governament of their dues. The strongest argument is that it will be mis-used and it is too high! Some have no alternative, the only buyer they find after a long wait, wants to pay in two colors and you have no choice as you have committments to meet. I have seen this happen. I do not know about the other types, but I hear there is a lot of the other money sitting idle and buying apartments is one way to make it work for them.
In our case, we both, the buyer and seller hoped that somehow the extra money we have passed on to the exchequer will find its way to a good cause and we gain merit in the eyes of the almighty.
Now that my dream bubble was sold, we looked around and have booked one in the north of Bangalore. It is called Paradiso. I am eagerly awaiting for it to get ready. I guess it is better to be in Paradise on earth. As paradise above is a non-verifiable belief. Even if it exists, I am not really sure I will qualify and stay there before I am asked to move on to the next birth, whatever and wherever!
While I may not miss the sports activities, I will sorely miss the view from our sold apartment. Having been boxed in and looking at walls, I would have enjoyed this part of the apartment.
|Hope the coconut trees survive.|
|There is a hope that the lake will be cleaned up!|