Over the past ten years, urban living has witnessed a great transformation. The work we do today is more innovative. Technology plays an important role and has improved work life. In urban areas and peripheries, the number of professionals is growing. The IT/ITeS sector has been growing too. But has life itself become easier?
Today’s working professionals make huge compromises in the way they live. The quality of living has taken a backseat when it comes to owning a home in the city. Home ownership is now a game of numbers, with people settling for the cheapest house, even if that means lower levels of comfort and convenience. The economy is growing and is healthier than before. But most homebuyers are making major compromises.
Infrastructure in most large Indian cities is highly stressed, and in many areas, it is crumbling. Earlier, reaching office on time was not hard, with less traffic on road. Now, there are better cars available in the market. Yet, reaching office on time is a struggle. This is true for schools, colleges, and hospitals.
The reason why suburbs and satellite cities are becoming more popular is that people are not quite willing to make compromises to live in the city. If they want to own property, the obvious choice would be an apartment in the suburbs. Property prices are higher in cities, and this makes it less affordable. People also prefer suburbs to avoid traffic, pollution, chaos, hustle and bustle of city life.
Developers build flats for nuclear families, and this, of course, has the space limitations and are far from everything – work place, hospitals, schools, and colleges. It is now, in recent times, that many good schools and hospitals have started opening in suburbs to give a better social life to homebuyers and owners.
There are other reasons. Reserved parking is reduced to a hyper-expensive gray market feature in most urban housing projects. Domestic helps are expensive and hard to find. Project and unit-level maintenance expenses have gone up astronomically.
This is not what owing a house was supposed to be all about. There is no doubt that real estate developers are trying as best as then can to offer a better lifestyle to their customers or buyers. The concept of ‘smart homes’ is all about a comfortable and secured life for homebuyers and owners. But, such homes have been firmly relegated to the ‘luxury homes’ category, automatically bypassing all but the upper crust.
Can young working couples and professionals get these benefits at a reasonable cost?
Real estate developers are struggling to build houses that offer comfort and other conveniences to homebuyers. So, the focus is on entirely new concepts in housing. Developers try to offer convenience in today’s urban situation. Things like fully furnished ‘plug-and-play’ units, workplace-oriented locations, centrally managed facilities, and concierge services are being delivered at a fraction of the cost of luxury-grade managed homes.
Specialist companies tie up with leading developers to build such homes from the ground up. The concept mainly involves building specialised housing projects in well-connected localities, and this is typically pretty expensive. But, if intelligent minds of developers and the planning agency work together, this would be worth spending your money on.