Healthy Homes: The Most Desirable Apartment Amenity In India
Imagine a home where oxygen level is self-regulated or automatic window vents which get stimulated when there is insufficient fresh air or smart window panes which also act as UV filters from harmful sun rays. This is a type of home where healthy lifestyle will not be a challenge because all the up-keeping will be maintained by professionals. You do not have to rush for electricity bill payments or maintenance work- everything will be done with a few clicks of fingertips without any extra charges! Fancy, isn't it?
This isn't the house of future. Smart solutions for a stress-free life are being served on a platter by housing developers as a premium service which seems, is going to interest many.
What is a 'healthy' home?
A 'healthy' home is a unit which is designed in a way that can promote well-being while giving minimal stress and optimum environment for a comfortable living to its residents.
A healthy home offers a green environment outside for adequate sunlight and natural ventilation, a well-connected location to reduce the long commutes, a community-like society for relaxation, entertainment and recreational purpose, concierge services for regular maintenance and upkeep and facility of accessing nearby grocery stores, food courts and other daily necessities.
Prominent developers such as Lodha Developers, R K Jatia Group, Tata Housing etc are already offering complete concierge services in their residential projects. Tata Housing's Thane project offers concierge services which facilitates everything- from personal errands to documents-related tasks. Similarly, R K Jatia's Worli Project which offers 26 exclusive apartments are managed by Four-Seasons Hotel which manages services like laundry, grocery, stocking and butler services.
“Given the mounting challenges of city life, such aspects will eventually become indispensable. Even today, a number of Indian developers are responding to the increasing demand for zero-stress homes - a model which will, by necessity, become the norm before too long,” says Yogesh Mehra, CEO& Co-founder - YOLO Homes.
Currently, such lifestyle is being offered to wealthy owners of plush projects in Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune and Gurgaon. However, looking at the demand from upper mid-segment, builders like Tata Housing is extending the services to semi-luxury projects. Hopefully, other developers will be picking up this trend soon enough to cater to the young working couples, senior citizens who want to pay extra for stress-free living or take a break from household chores.
'Healthy' is a premium tag
Call it a marketing gimmick or the determination to stand-out, developers are coming up with innovations to interest young buyers who look for comfortable living. Concierge services are complimentary in a few luxury projects while others charge on yearly basis. For mid-segment projects where majority of the buyers are government servants or private employees, the 'greenery' factor comes under maintenance fees which ranges from Rs 5-10 per sq ft while concierge services are chargeable depending upon the task. The cost of smart solutions installed in the unit is already included in the total cost of property of which after-sale service is taken care of by the developer for few years (if mentioned in agreement).
But keep in mind:-
Before you buy into such concepts, it is important to know whether you actually need it or will it force you to flush an enormous amount for no reason. Here is the checklist before buying a 'healthy' home:-
- Amount you are paying: Concierge services and maintenance of smart devices are chargeable. Assess your needs accordingly and undersign only if it is going to unburden you.
- Stay tenure: If you are buying a property for investment purpose, paying extra for 'health' services is not advisable. Even, if you are going to lease the property, your tenants might not need it. Hence, if you are not the end-user of that home, bargain with the developer for 'no-premium' contract.
- Retail Charges applicability: If you are not undersigning the complete package, do check out the cost per task.
- What is common area: Usually maintenance charges are collected for the upkeep of common area. Check with your Resident Welfare Association (RWA), what is considered as common area and who is in charge at the time of emergency.
- Maintenance of amenities: Gymnasium, swimming pool cleaning, garden area should be covered under maintenance cost while community gatherings may or may not be a part of this cost, confirm with the RWA.
With no spare time left for self-maintenance, the concept of zero stress projects can be a relief for working couples, families into business and even for bachelors. However, the premium it carries needs to be shelved if developers want it to be a bigger hit.