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What women home buyers should look for

By 08/01/2019Posts

In India and in other parts of the world, the need for safe spaces for women to live and work has been discussed ad nauseam. In the meanwhile, women continue to storm the work place and many of them are choosing to live alone without the protection of a male relative. Women, numbering in the millions, are facing challenges that their mothers did not; that too in an environment which is changing at this very moment.

Women today are financially independent and are also fiercely individualistic. They would like to go out to a pub or restaurant at night or take in a late night movie or music show. In increasing numbers, the urban women are deciding to stay single and to live alone.

Women face harassment on the streets, in public transport, in public places such as theatres, parks, toilets and even at home. So when a single woman decides to buy a house for herself, which city in India would be the safest place to invest in, is a big question.

According to 2012 data from the National Crime Record Bureau, Mumbai emerged as the safest city for women in India. The other top five places which were deemed safe were Malapuram, Chennai, Coimbatore, Kannur and Surat. The cities which recorded the maximum number of crimes against women were Vijayawada followed by Kota, Kollam, Jaipur, Indore, Jodipur and Gwalior.

Investors will find that there is about 16% correction in prices in areas such as Parel, Lalbaug right up to Wadala, while Navi Mumbai, which has a large unsold inventory, has seen a marginal increase in prices. In some of the suburbs such as Thane, Dombivilli and Kalyan, the prices have gone up by 10 % to 12 %, market sources said. The prices seem to go up for second hand apartments and apartments in projects already completed, while there is decrease in rates for projects under construction. There are many discounts on offer which include waiver of floor charges or car parking charges, concessions such as free stamp duty and registration among others which works up to about 20 %.

Chennai is another good choice for a single woman to invest in. The only deterrent being the unholy weather in the city! The city is safe and the reason for this has been attributed to its proactive police force which has the highest number of women police personnel in the country. The city also boasts of the highest number of all women police stations in the country and the police force is equipped with a fleet of cars which patrol the city at night. The police are known to question people after mid night and also disperse groups, gathering anywhere on the road, with loudspeakers.

According to reports, the rates in micro markets such as the GST stretch, the areas along the OMR, areas towards Padi and so on are reasonable and apartments can be found in the price range of Rs. 3,500 and Rs 4,000 per sq ft. Second hand flats can be found in older residential areas such as Vepery, Kilpauk, Anna Nagar, and Besant Nagar though it might cost a bit more. The extra amount is worth it as the locality is already established with shops, parlours, gyms, banks and restaurants: it would be easier for a woman to manage on her own.

Coimbatore, one of the smaller metros in Tamil Nadu is also a good place for a woman to live alone. The city is safe with good shopping, excellent medical care and is also well connected by rail, road and air. In areas such as Saibaba Colony, Peelameedu and Saravanapati, the average prices for apartments are Rs 5600, Rs 4900 and Rs 3700 per sq ft respectively.

Bangalore, though not considered very safe, is a good city for a single woman to invest in an apartment. Micro markets on the city’s outskirts are affordable and are connected by road and in some places by metro.

However, there are other considerations a woman must take cognizance of. The first one being that no place is actually safe. So make an informed decision while you buy an apartment. These are some of the questions that you will need to ask before you take the plunge:

Is the neighborhood safe?

What is the after-hours activity in the area like?

Who are the other occupants of the apartment complex?

Are there medical facilities close by?

And finally a dose of common sense! Going out alone at night, even with a pepper spray, is dangerous in any city anywhere in the world. If you must go out, then you have to take all the precautions. Make sure that someone knows where you are and when you are expected. Make sure you call once you arrive at your destination. Peeping toms, stalkers and intruders are the other dangers that women face and each one has to be handled on a case by case basis.

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