“Planning to move to Goa? Count your banknotes and decide a budget. List your priorities. Pick a reputed/recommended property consultant/agent. Ask questions. Ask more questions. Pay heed to property documents. Get them checked, verified, vetted by a lawyer. North and South are as different as chalk and cheese. Pick one. Then, narrow down neighbourhood - each comes with its own USP. If the property is under construction, enquire about RERA registration. If you are renting, read the lease agreement carefully, especially the clause about maintenance payment”.
Sandeep Naik, Managing Partner, Homes and Estates Consultancy Service (www.homesgoa.com) begins with the basics of moving to Goa. He understands the lay of the land, he knows the how-to by rote. Naik has been in the business for 28 years and Homes and Estates is a one-stop-shop for buying/selling/renting property in Goa.
Naik makes a clear distinction between the luxury villa/house and the apartment segment - he calls them ‘different markets’. Each one has a different reason to move and Goa offers myriad choices, both in terms of budget as well as facilities.
Buying in luxury ‘happening’ neighbourhoods: Of late, there has been an exponential spike in demand for luxury homes - a 5/6 BHK villa built in Indo-Portuguese design with servant quarters and swimming pool has a price tag of Rs 8-10 crore; a 3/4BHK will cost roughly R 4-5 crore. The greatest demand for such villas (North Goa) is in Parra, Nerul, Calangute, Sangolda, Assagao. In Anjuna, fully-furnished villas are priced at R 4 crore upwards. In South Goa, the hip neighbourhoods are Colva and Madgaon.
According to Krishna Kumar Thakur, Owner, Propstar Exclusive Realty (www.propstarexclusiverealty.com), because land is cheaper in South Goa, a luxury villa is comparatively cheaper in South Goa, the comparative price difference could be as low as 15 percent and as high as 40 percent.
Buying apartments: In North Goa, the expensive apartment areas are Miramar and Carnazalem - a 100 sq metre 2BHK in Miramar would cost around Rs 2.5 crore, while in Carnazalem, the price tag would be Rs 1.2 crore. In Dona Paula, the per square metre rate is between Rs 1 and 1.5 lakh. Porvorim is more of a mixed bag, the apartments choices ranging upwards of Rs 60 lakh; Siolim is slightly more expensive than Porvorim, with a 100 sq metre 2BHK priced between Rs 80 lakh and Rs 1 crore.
In South Goa, Colva, Benaulim, Majorda are high-end neighbourhoods, Madgaon is a mixed bag of expensive and affordable units while in Nuvem and Verna, one can get a 2BHk for Rs 60-80 lakh.
Renting villas/apartments: According to Thakur, rentals vary largely according to neighbourhood and furnishings. On average, rent for an unfurnished 2BHK could start at Rs 15,000 while a villa rent could be between Rs 70-80,000 depending on the area and facilities. A 3/4BHK villa with private swimming pool would fetch much more rental than the one with same specifications without a pool. Examples: an old Portuguese house in Pilerne was rented for Rs 40,000/month; a villa in Saligoa for Rs 75,000/month; penthouse in Porvorim for Rs 38,000/month; a flat in Kadamba Plateau for Rs 25,000 a month (Source: www.homesgoa.com).
Single women: Though Goa is considered very safe, Naik still has a word of advice for single women wanting to move to Goa - opt for gated communities that have 24-hour security, CCTV and supermarkets. A few gated residential complexes also have salon, ATM, cafe. For single women, he recommends neighbourhoods like Caranzalem, Bambolim, Candolim, Kadamba Plateau.
Another property consultant who prefers anonymity said that though Mapusa has a few gated communities suitable for single women, the neighbourhood is slightly conservative. He highly recommends Porvorim which is safe, affordable and has all necessary facilities within easy reach. In South, Madgaon is a safe bet while Vasco is a big no-no for single women.
Retirement homes: Built by Naik’s Homes & Estates in 2016, Bougainvillea Hermitage (Nachinola) was Goa’s first retirement village. The 70-unit village has Studio, 1BHK and 2BHK, with the original price of Rs 18 lakh for a studio and Rs 26 lakh for 2BHK. On resale, the 2BHK is now roughly Rs 50 lakh. Bougainvillea Hermitage was followed by a Golden Homes (Bambolim) by another builder. Since then, the retirement homes’ market has hit a standstill. No new projects are in the offing.
Check documents: Getting the documents checked professionally is an absolute must, specially if you are buying an independent property. The official land registration certificates (Inscription and Description) during the Portuguese regime fell under two categories: Registo Do Agrimensor and Auto De Demarcasao. Naik has an in-house team of lawyers to check land records. Or, you can hire a trained lawyer for the said purpose. Ensure that the lawyer is proficient in Portuguese language. The approximate lawyer fee for scrutiny of documents/along with title report is Rs 30,000.
Property Agent/Dealer’s Commission: Though there’s no legal stipulation for commission of property agent dealer for sale/buy of any property, the standard commission, according to Thakur, is 2 percent of the actual amount from both parties. The actual amount comprises both the black and white payment component.
For a rental deal, the usual commission is one month’s rent from both parties. Unlike other states, in Goa, usually there is no brokerage fee if the rent is renewed after the expiry of the original lease. Think of it as a one-time commission for the same rental property. Remember, the usual residential lease period in Goa is 11 months, 3 years or 5 years.
Black vs White: No one openly talks about it but the white/black component ratio varies from 70:30 to 80:20. However, a few builders/sellers are opting for full cheque payment. Before demonetisation, the ratio was a standard 50:50. However, the black component is not applicable if the seller is selling one property to buy another bigger, more expensive property.
No stamp duty discount for female owners: Several state governments in North India offer a partial fee waiver on stamp duty for female owners or joint owners. For example, in Delhi and Punjab, the stamp duty rate is 4 percent for women, compared to 6 percent for men. Similarly, these states offer discounts on annual property tax. However, no such discounts are available to female property owners in Goa.
Check phone/wi-fi connectivity: Several areas in Goa are like black holes where either signals are notoriously cranky or phones go completely dead. If you are opting for Broadband, choices might be very limited in a few neighbourhoods. Check these, especially if you are moving to work from home.
Good to know:
(Sources: Sandeep Naik (www.homesgoa.com); Krishna Kumar Thakur (www.propstarexclusiverealty.com)
(All prices mentioned here are rough approximates; the actual price depends on various factors)
(All photos courtesy: Sandeep Naik, Managing Partner, Homes and Estates Consultancy Service)