5 questions for home buyers to ask!

If answered accurately, they will help you take a more informed decision

Questions for home buyers to askNo loans to repay, modest aspirations and not a very ambitious retirement target. For Mumbai-based bank executive Alpesh Mehta and his schoolteacher wife Deepali, saving for their child’s education and marriage, as well as their own retirement, will be a breeze. But this could change if they go ahead with their plan to buy a house.In Mumbai, the minimum price of a 800-1,000 sq ft house is `1 crore. They will have to liquidate all their existing investments to raise about `20 lakh for the downpayment. The balance `80 lakh, if borrowed at 10% for 20 years, will mean an EMI of `77,200, which is roughly 60% of their combined monthly income of `1.3 lakh. Either the Mehtas will have to stop saving for their child’s goals or their retirement will have to be pushed back.The Mehtas are not the only ones entering this minefield. Across the country , a number of people are firming up plans to buy a new house. The New Home Index of Zyfin Research, an indicator of home buying plans of 3,000 households across 11 cities, has inched up in the past 12 months (see graphic).Though it is still in pessimistic territory, buyers are less pessimistic now than they were in May 2014. “The decline in pessimism has more to do with increased optimism about future income and job security than lower borrowing costs,“ says Debopam Chaudhuri, Chief Economist and VP-Research, ZyFin Research.

Despite the surge in buyer sentiment, real estate is still not a good investment in most parts of the country .Property price are still very high and despite the recent interest rate cuts, the cost of borrowing has not come down significantly. Before they take the plunge, potential borrowers need to ask themselves 10 questions. Your answers will tell you whether you should save more for a bigger down payment, buy a smaller house, invest in a cheaper city or not buy at all.


1. Can you afford the home loan EMI?

It might sound a no-brainer, but many home buyers get this wrong and bite off more than they can chew. The home loan EMI should be around 40% of your net household income. But that is if you don’t have other loans. A high EMI outgo can put your house-hold budget under pressure. If the home loan EMI accounts for more than 50% of the net household income, other goals will have to be downsized or junked altogether.Don’t be fooled into thinking that the recent cut in home loan rates have made property a viable investment. It will have a marginal im-pact on the total EMI. A 25 basis point cut will reduce the EMI of a `50 lakh loan for 20 years by `826.

It’s easy to get ambitious and go for a bigger loan if you are expecting generous increments in the coming years. Don’t make the mistake of leveraging on future income. While your income would certainly rise, but so would your expenses and financial commitments.


2. Have you factored in the other costs?

The advertised price is usually the base price of the property . The add-ons are usually kept hidden till you sit down with your cheque book. Many builders will slip in charges for facilities that you thought were free with the property. Others will keep certain charges hidden from the buyer by tucking them away in the fine print. These apart, there are other big-ticket add-ons such as the legal costs. The stamp duty and registration charges payable to the authorities add up a neat 7-8% to the overall price of the property. In all, these charges can push up the property price by 20-25%. Make sure you have factored in these additional costs.


3. Have you considered renting?

The high property prices means that renting is a better option in most cities.A 2-BHK house in Mumbai will cost close to `1.2 crore. If a buyer puts in `40 lakh as downpayment and takes a loan of `80 lakh, the EMI for 20 years comes to about `76,500. He also loses around `23,500 in interest that the `40 lakh downpayment could have potentially earned. The total cost per month comes to `1 lakh while he can easily get a similar house on rent in Mumbai for about `40,000-45,000 a month.

Don’t go by hypothetical examples.Instead, use an online rent-or-buy calculator to find which is is better for you.The one developed by Bigdecisions.com is a sophisticated online tool that takes into account several things, including the cost of the house, the amount of downpayment, the rate of interest of the home loan, the expected appreciation in the house price, the rent payable for a similar accommodation in the area and even the expected hike in the rent every year.


4. Will house value rise faster than the interest on loan?

In the early 2000s, when home loans were available at 6-7% and property prices were galloping at 20-25%, it made eminent sense to invest in an upcoming apartment project. Now, property prices are appreciating at a slower pace. In some markets, such as Noida and Greater Noida in the NCR, prices have even come down in the past 12-18 months.

If you are buying property as an investment with a loan, first assess whether its price will appreciate at a rate higher than what you are paying on the loan. “If you are payings 10% on the loan and the property price is expected to appreciate by 5-6%, then it is a bad buy,“ says Manish Shah, Cofounder and Chief Executive of Bigdecisions.com. Shah says the expected rate of appreciation is the single biggest determinant in their rent-or-buy calculator. “It makes the biggest difference in the decisions,“ he says.


5. Will this purchase force you to postpone other major goals?

Stagnant property prices and high EMIs are not the only problems that potential home buyers should be wary of. Their home buying plans can have serious implications on other financial goals, such as saving for their children’s education and marriage and their retirement. If the home loan EMI is too big, it will push other goals out of the financial plan. Worse, buyers like the Mehtas might have to liquidate existing investments to raise money for the downpayment. Though parents are unlikely to surrender child insurance plans and education related investments, retirement planning is easily sacrificed. “Younger people tend to think that retirement is an old age problem and defer the investment,“ says Shah of Bigdecisions.com. It is easy for investors to raid their retirement savings to fund their real estate dreams.You can take loans from the Provident Fund or the NPS for buying a house.Buy a house only if the purchase will not impact other goals. Otherwise, be ready for an asset-rich but cash poor retirement. Or not having enough money to send your child to a good college.

Best banks for home loan borrowers!

Favorite banks for Indian Home loan borrowers


                            In India, saving and investing money is the option which everyone looks for. Investing money in buying a home is in everyone’s to do list. So no wonder that they go for a detailed analysis about the home loan and the process involved in it to choose the best, the fastest and the safest home loan provider.

                            According to the recent analysis, here are the details of the favorite banks for Indian home loan borrowers.

  1. SBI  Home Loan capturing 25.5% market share.
  2. HDFC Ltd. with 24.13%
  3. LIC Housing with 15.83%
  4. ICICI Bank with 13.10%
  5. Axis Bank with 6.23%
  6. IDBI Home Loan with 4.67%
  7. PNB Home Loan with 4.22%
  8. Others with 6.32%

These are the points usually borrowers look at while applying for a home loan.

  • Interest rate – Fixed, floating, hybrid
  • Home loan processing speed and the fees involved.
  • Loan qualification
  • Repayment terms

Let us go deep into these topics.

  • Interest rate :

                                 

    Interest rate offered is the primary factor of comparison. It affects the EMI and total amount payable. For a home loan, it is advised to go for a loan with low interest rates. Also it is recommended to decide whether to go for a fixed or flexible or hybrid loan rate.

     

Interest rates of various banks are as follows :

  1. SBI                          –             9.50% – 10.00%

  2. HDFC Ltd.             –            9.50% – 10.40%

  3. LIC Housing          –           10.10%

  4. ICICI Bank             –           9.50% – 9.90%

  5. AXIS Bank              –          9.65% – 10.45%

  6. IDBI Bank               –          9.85% – 10.15%

  7. PNB                          –         9.85% – 10.50%


Here is the graph showing the trends of Home loan base interest rate over the five years :

Best banks for home loan

  • Home Loan processing speed and the fees involved :

                            

It is a bit difficult process to apply for the home loan. You have to submit a large set of income and property related documents. The timeline for the approval will differ from bank to bank. Some banks are comparatively slower than others in carrying out the procedures, while some banks will approve your loan in simple and less time-consuming way. 

 

                            You can choose your bank as per your convenience. If you can spend enough time to carry out the procedural work, then you can apply for the slower banks. 

Here is the list of some major banks processing fees :

Bank Processing Fees
ICICI Bank 0.50% – 1.00% of the loan amount or Rs. 1500/- (Rs. 2000/- for Mumbai, Delhi & Bangalore), whichever is higher + applicable Service Tax & Surcharge
HDFC Ltd 0.5% or 10,000+service tax (12.36%), whichever is higher
SBI Home Loan Up to 25 lacs : 0.25% of loan amount minimum Rs.1000/-25-75 lacs : Rs. 6500/-75 & above : Rs. 10,000/-
Axis Bank Up-to 1% of the loan amount subject to minimum of Rs.10,000/-
LIC Housing 0.50% of the loan amount
IDBI Home Loan Nil
PNB Home Loans 0.50% of the loan amount
  • Loan Qualification :

                            Each bank, internally, has its own rules to grant the loan.  The different aspects usually lenders look into are the age, the source of income, credit history, employment stability, etc. Hence, each individual chooses the lender according to one’s own preferences.

  • Repayment terms : 

                            Housing finance regulator, National HOusing Bank (NHB), has already barred home finance companies from charging any prepayment penalty. Among banks, State Bank of India was the  first to do away with the pre payment fee on both fixed and floating rate loans. Following this, nearly 20 banks withdrew the penalty on floating rate loans. however, most lenders continue to charge the penalty on premature closure of fixed rate loans. Hence, it is another aspect a borrower looks at while taking a loan.

                            Different lenders use different yardsticks for measuring the borrower’s eligibility. Why shouldn’t borrowers consider doing research and compare several competitive features of home loans offered by different lenders? It is better to have the policies, facts, terms and conditions clarified well in advance before locking in a seemingly ideal home loan with any lender.

Understand fixed vs flexible interest rates with examples!

Fixed vs flexible interest rates

The toughest decision to make while going for a home loan is deciding on which interest rate to prefer. As we know, Fixed rate has a constant interest rate during the whole loan period or fixed for certain number of years where as Flexible rate changes periodically with respect to the market. But there are pros and cons for both of them.


Fixed Rate :

Pros:

  • It is usually preferred when an individual doesn’t want to face any kind of financial risk.
  • It varies very little from lender to lender.
  • It is easy to understand.

Cons:

  • The interest rate would be higher when the market is on a higher trend, then.. 
  • the qualifying will be tough,
  • they will be less affordable, and 
  • the same higher rate remains, for the whole loan period, even when the market is on down trend or stable.

For example : Akshay bought a home for 50 lakhs. Out of 10 lakhs was payed as a down payment and 40 lakhs by a home loan. He took a home loan when the market is on the down trend and so, the interest rate is also lower, which is at 9%, ten years ago. Now the market is on the up trend, and the rates are higher. Akshay is saved from this financial risk of  increase in the interest rates.


 On the other hand, Abhinav bought a home for 50 lakhs. Out of which 10 lakhs was payed as down payment and 40 lakhs by a home loan. He took a home loan when the market is on higher trend and so,the interest rate is also higher, which is at 11%, interest ten years ago.  Now the market trend is stable and little on the lower trend, so the interest rate is 9%. But since the interest rate is fixed, Abhinav is paying 2% extra. 


So, when opting for a fixed rate as interest rate, take a wiser decision by knowing the trends of the market. This effects the number of years you are paying the home loan. Clever decision might increase to a decade or even reduce to half a decade. 


Note : Even fixed rates undergo changes after a certain time interval. It varies according to the individual lender.


Flexible or Adjustable Rate : 
Pros :

  • Flexible rate, initially is set a little lower than that of the fixed rate.
  • Depends on repo rate.When RBI increases the repo rate the interest rate would also be increasing. Moreover, this interest rate hike will not be for the entire tenure of the loan. Say you took a loan for 15 years. Over such a long time frame, interest rates are bound to fall.
  • Ceiling, i.e., this is the highest interest rate that the adjustable rate is permitted to become during the life of the loan.  

Cons :

  • It is complicated.
  • The monthly payment may change frequently over the period of the loan. Usually it is for every quarter, but it depends on the individual lender. For e.g., ICICI bank reviews it for every quarter.
  • With the change in the interest rate, you either have to change the monthly payment or change your tenure. i.e., if the monthly payment is constant then the tenure increases and vice versa.

Have to make a note of the review date.

Influence of Repo rate on flexible rate : 
Repo rate is the rate at which the RBI lends money to the financial institutions. So when there is a change in the repo rate, there will be a change in the interest rate. If there is an increase in the repo rate, i.e., the banks have to pay more interest, then they charge more from the customers, which increases the interest rate.


For example : Akash took a home loan of 50 lakhs with flexible interest rate of 9% when the fixed rate was 10.5%. Now there is a review of the rates every quarter. The revised rates are sent to Akash. It says, december – 9%, march – 9.05%, july – 9.15%, october – 9.01%, So, we observe a frequent change in the interest rate. This is depended on the market trend and the repo rate. But the flexible rate did not reach the fixed rate. Infact, it is very rare that the flexible rate would have drastic changes.


 As observed, there are pinholes in both the cases and also true advantages. Hence, regardless of the type of the loan that we select, we have to chose carefully to avoid costly mistakes.

Learn the home loan terms definitions in an interesting way!

Home loan terms definitions

Buying a new home with the help of a home loan is now very common. Since, there are n number of financial institutions to provide loan, there is a huge competition. So, it is very usual that this competition forces them to make the proceedings a little easier and a little convenient.


Recently, there is  a discussion among our friends about home loan, the process and the terms involved. The discussion started as Ajay wants to buy a new home with the help of a home loan. Aarav is already in a home loan, which helped Ajay to discuss all the basic terms about the same. The discussion goes on like this…


Ajay : Saw a house. All of our family members liked it. But it costs me a fortune. So, planning to go for a home loan.


Aarav : Ohh! Is it! So how much are you planning to pay as down payment


Ajay :  (New to all these terms) Down payment?!


Aarav : ( already in a home loan)  It is very important to know everything about home loan before you go for it. So, Down payment is the payment made in the form of cash as the initial payment, when you buy a home. The percent may vary from 5% to 25%, with respect to the seller. For the rest of the amount, you can arrange for a home loan. So, you should know how much cash you can pay before applying for a home loan.


Ajay : Hmm, So, what are the other things that I should know…


Aarav : OK… For the rest 85% say, you are going for a home loan from a financial institute. You know that, the financial institutes approve the loan after verifying your personal details and the property’s details. Now, before you apply, you should decide about the  interest rate for your loan. There are two rates which are depended on the RBI’s repo rate. They are, fixed and floating or adjustable.


Ajay : Oh, fixed interest rate is the rate which stays constant for the entire term, and floating is the rate which will change periodically with the market.


Aarav : Very true Ajay. This needs some research. So do before you decide.


Ajay : And next is the tenure.


Aarav : Is it just the number of years I take the home loan?


Ajay : Yes, ofcourse but, it is not just..there is a lot in it. Tenure depends on the EMI (Equated Monthly Installments) you can pay. Usually, EMI and tenure are inversely proportional. The more you opt to pay in a month, the lesser the years you will pay the loan. Tenure also depends on your age and length of the career. This is another aspect you should know about.


Aarav : Is there anything more to know and to check before I go for a home loan.


Ajay : Yes, the financial institutions charge processing fees. To get our work done, institutions do some ground work which involves documentation process, underwriting process, legal charges, etc. It usually varies from 0.25% t0 0.5%. Due to huge competition, there are some institutions which do not charge the fees.


Aarav : That’s interesting. Though minimal, we should try to reduce the cost in all means.

Ok, it is now my piece of cake to make a wise decision.

How to use home loan EMI calculator for calculating the EMI?

How to use home loan EMI calculator for calculating the EMI?

What is EMI?

Equated Monthly Installment – EMI for short – is the amount payable every month to the bank or any other financial institution until the loan amount is fully paid off. It consists of the interest on loan as well as part of the principal amount to be repaid. The sum of principal amount and interest is divided by the tenure, i.e., number of months, in which the loan has to be repaid. This amount has to be paid monthly. The interest component of the EMI would be larger during the initial months and gradually reduce with each payment. The exact percentage allocated towards payment of the principal depends on the interest rate. Even though your monthly EMI payment won’t change, the proportion of principal and interest components will change with time. With each successive payment, you’ll pay more towards the principal and less in interest.

Here’s the formula to calculate EMI:

where

E is EMI

P is Principal Loan Amount

r is rate of interest calculated on monthly basis. (i.e., r = Rate of Annual interest/12/100. If rate of interest is 10.5% per annum, then r = 10.5/12/100=0.00875)

n is loan term / tenure / duration in number of months

For example, if you borrow ₹10,00,000 from the bank at 10.5% annual interest for a period of 10 years (i.e., 120 months), then EMI = ₹10,00,000 * 0.00875 * (1 + 0.00875)120 / ((1 + 0.00875)120 – 1) = ₹13,493. i.e., you will have to pay ₹13,493 for 120 months to repay the entire loan amount. The total amount payable will be ₹13,493 * 120 = ₹16,19,220 that includes ₹6,19,220 as interest toward the loan.

Computing EMI for different combinations of principal loan amount, interest rates and loan term using the above EMI formula by hand is time consuming, complex and error prone. Our EMI calculator automates this calculation for you and gives you the result in a split second along with visual charts displaying payment schedule and the break-up of total payment.

How to use LoanYantra.com Home Loan EMI Calculator?

With colourful charts and instant results, our EMI calculator is easy to use, intuitive to understand and is quick to perform. You can calculate EMI for home loan and personal loan, education loan or any other fully amortizing loan using this calculator.

Enter the following information in the home loan EMI calculator:

  • Principal loan amount you wish to avail (rupees)
  • Loan term (months or years)
  • Rate of interest (percentage)
  • EMI in advance OR EMI in arrears (for car loan only)

Use the slider to adjust the values in the EMI calculator form. If you need to enter more precise values, you can type the values directly in the relevant boxes provided above. As soon as the values are changed using the slider (or hit the ‘tab’ key after entering the values directly in the input fields), EMI calculator will re-calculate your monthly payment (EMI) amount.

A pie chart depicting the break-up of total payment (i.e., total principal vs. total interest payable) is also displayed. It displays the percentage of total interest versus principal amount in the sum total of all payments made against the loan. The payment schedule table showing payments made every month / year for the entire loan duration is displayed along with a chart showing interest and principal components paid each year. A portion of each payment is for the interest while the remaining amount is applied towards the principal balance. During initial loan period, a large portion of each payment is devoted to interest. With passage of time, larger portions pay down the principal. The payment schedule also shows the intermediate outstanding balance for each year which will be carried over to the next year.

Floating Rate EMI Calculation

We suggest that you calculate floating / variable rate EMI by taking into consideration two opposite scenarios, i.e., optimistic (deflationary) and pessimistic (inflationary) scenario. Loan amount and loan tenure, two components required to calculate the EMI are under your control; i.e., you are going to decide how much loan you have to borrow and how long your loan tenure should be. But interest rate is decided by the banks & HFCs based on rates and policies set by RBI. As a borrower, you should consider the two extreme possibilities of increase and decrease in the rate of interest and calculate how much would be your EMI under these two conditions. Such calculation will help you decide how much EMI is affordable, how long your loan tenure should be and how much you should borrow.

Optimistic (deflationary) scenario: Assume that the rate of interest comes down by 1% – 3% from the present rate. Consider this situation and calculate your EMI. In this situation, your EMI will come down or you may opt to shorten the loan tenure. Ex: If you avail home loan to purchase a house as an investment, then optimistic scenario enables you to compare this with other investment opportunities.

Pessimistic (inflationary) scenario: In the same way, assume that the rate of interest is hiked by 1% – 3%. Is it possible for you to continue to pay the EMI without much struggle? Even a 2% increase in rate of interest can result in significant rise in your monthly payment for the entire loan tenure.

Such calculation helps you to plan for such future possibilities. When you take a loan, you are making a financial commitment for next few months, years or decades. So consider the best as well as worst cases…and be ready for both. In short, hope for the best but be prepared for the worst!