When the downturn hits you
There are ups and downs in life but sometimes they shatter you. I was looking for buying an apartment in Thane for sometime now. I could not find one of my likings within my budget. This was getting somewhat frustrating. Family members thought about it. There were suggestions of my being stingy, out of touch with reality when it came to real estate prices.
A real estate agent known to me called up to say that a certain builder of high repute had announced a short period scheme under which one could book an apartment at a fairly reduced price. This was the builder’s response to falling market demand they said. That the builders were charging till recently an exorbitantly high price was the perception of all, so I thought this was my opportunity to buy a good apartment.
The real estate agent took me to the site. The location was good, the layout of the apartment was also very good, imaginatively designed, and it reflected the builder’s long experience and knowledge of his clients’ needs. My wife wanted an apartment between 6th t 8th floor and that was also available. So everything was going well for us.
I took a day to decide, actually there was not much discussion required at home, and all agreed that we should take the apartment. The apartment was to be ready by next October and that suited me well. It allowed me just enough time to raise money. So we went to the office of the builder. The price and terms of payment were finalised. I handed over a cheque for Rs. 100,000. The balance amount was to be paid in instalments, but a major chunk would be paid by end of January 2009.
I rang up a friend and told him triumphantly about my new acquisition. He advised me not to book an apartment with the said builder. According to him, the builder had lost over Rs 7 Billion in the downturn and it was wise to wait and watch before buying an apartment. That created panic at home. I spoke to my agent who assured me that there was no problem. I issued a ‘stop payment’ instruction to the bank, and also informed the executive in the builder’s office. They responded by reassuring me that nothing was wrong and offered to arrange an appointment with their senior most managers. Perhaps they are right, nothing may be wrong, I will meet them but it may not change my decision now, fear is overriding everything, and it is propelling extreme caution.
It was a big swing from elation to depression. The good part is that no money is lost; the bad part is that the hopes are dashed.
A common man like me who feels downturn of economy in some indicators like food prices, crowd in the mall etc, has now felt it the hard way. Let us hope that things will improve quickly.
It is so natural for us to move from optimism to “if it is too good to be true, it is” mode. Risks that we would take normally suddenly look like steep cliffs.
The economic mood reminds me of a story about the man who rode into a town and ordered a diamond necklace, promising to return a month later to collect it..leading to a spending spree and a month later, someone informing them that the man who rode into town was in fact a mad man who had escaped from a mental asylum and had been caught last week.
The town realised that there was no one coming, but the mad man had changed the mood of the town and there was no looking back.
Now, we just wait for the mad man 🙂
Been bloghopping .. and landed up at yours.
जे काही होतं ते चांगल्यासाठी होतं……Maybe not today immediately, but one realizes this later on. I had a similar experience once. We get carried away by a good “deal” until someone brings us down to earth, by showing us another side. And one must consider onesself lucky then.
Maybe the future holds something even better ….
The market wavers. I tried the stock market, and every purchase was greeted with a fall in value. And then i stopped buying. The market is going up. And i wonder, if my simple clicks have larger macro economic results ! (How much more egomaniacal can one get !)
And i quote from Kahlil Gibran’s Prophet…
And he answered: Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
…. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven? And is not the lute that soothes your spirit the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”
But I say unto you, they are inseparable. Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed “
So much for the downturn !!!
Sir, at the end of the day when all is over, one needs to get a good night’s rest and sleep. Your intuition in calling your friend helped. Else,with one lakh gone, you would lost the ‘NIDHRA’,and nothing is really worth that.
Some of my friends who are commerce/economics teachers are saying that there will definitely be a real estate crash here in Mumbai as well (like in the US), so they are advising all of us to sit tight and purchase only after a year or two, when prices fall. I’m sure you have your own set of advisers. Hope your problem gets sorted out soon.
Like Ugich Konitari says, Whatever happens, happens for the best. Probably you got saved so that 6 months down the line you can buy your house cheaper. For more than 5-6 years Mumbai real estate prices have been on the rise. I feel the time for the downturn has come and it will be so for the next 1-2 years at least.
Thanks Comic project, Ugich Konitari, Sucharita, Kavi, Iyer, and Ganesh.
Hope to get one apartment soon, thanks for your good wishes,
Good that you have received your money back.
I have also canceled my booking , I was to buy flat for my son.
I was speaking to a retired civit servant who has interests in real estate now alongwith a builder of great repute and I recall him mentioning that the manner in which land bank valuations were allowed for real estate companies to list in the stock exchange are a thing of the past, as two weeks ago ( now three ) an amendment in the rule book has ensured soaring real estate company valuations become a thing of the past and with it the prices of flats. Am yet to confirm the veracity of this loaded comment but it came from a a very senior retired bureacrat and I see little reason for it being false.
In all I think your decision was absolutely correct!! I once put a stop payment on a confusing insurance mutual fund combo mixproject hard sold to me, and I dont regret it at all 🙂
A friend of mine had, 1 year back booked a flat in a prestigious complex just opposite ours. The price quoted to him was an 8 digit one. His idea of interiors was such that the price would have exactly doubled. I met him recently and enquired if he had shifted was quite surprised to learn that he had purchased a flat in our complex. And a flat in our complex as compared to the one he had proposed to purchase would be similar to the mill worker’s block in the middle of the sky scrapers in Parel!! Inflation works to deflate our dreams.
I endorse your decision.
I found you thru Kavi’s site…nice to meet you 🙂 I liked this post because it was realistic: these things effect everyone differently. From the big guy to the local farmer to everyone in between….it was a refreshing read, your honest and straightforward experience…
Your blog is really interesting… Keep posting…. Wishing you ” A Happy New Year”
Dear harekrishnaji, aditya, partha, braja and femine susan,
Thanks for your comments and encouraging remarks,