Saturday, August 23, 2014

Invest in Farm Land & Earn Profits

With real estate prices hovering around historical highs in most urban areas, traditional PROPERTY INVESTORS are looking at other viable options. One idea floating around these days is buying agricultural land, which experts say, may not weigh too heavy on your pocket. It could also be a source of tax-free income, they say. However, expert says that "Buying agricultural land is the most sensible thing to do, though there are many issues involved," says Anand Narayan, director -residential, Knight Frank.
To begin with, almost all state laws allow only farmers to buy agricultural land. "To protect agriculturists, legislations in each state in India have set out that agricultural land can be used for such purpose only. For acquiring such land, a common attempt is to bracket yourself as an 'agriculturist' even if you don't fall in that category," says Ashish Bhakta, partner at Advaya Legal says. Now, there are two ways to do it: one, you have to show that your father or grandfather was a farmer. Two, you have to show that you already own some agricultural land. It is almost impossible to change your father's and grandfather's occupation, if they are not farmers. That is why most people try the second route. "Many people have bought land that is totally uncultivable to get the status of a farmer. Thereafter, they buy good agricultural land for cultivation. This is very common," says A LAWYER who doesn't want to be named.

Location And Area
Needless to say, agricultural land (that too, vast tracts of land) is unlikely to be a small drive away from your home. As a rule, don't consider the distance from your home as the primary concern while scouting for agricultural land. "Distance from farm land is of no major consideration. Access from the main road, visibility from various roads, availability of or accessibility to electricity and water for the site should be kept in mind," says Manish Aggarwal, executive director, INVESTMENT SERVICES, Cushman & Wakefield, India.
The size of the plot you BUY is also important. Experts believe you should go for a large land parcel so that you can carry on agricultural activities in full swing. Narayan of Knight Frank says, "You need a large parcel of land of about 50-60 acres."

Article in ET Bureau

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Happy Women’s Day!

Today is a Women’s Day and over the past few days I have been watching hundreds of advertisements offering special discounts and offers for women. Marketers are trying their best to attract the biggest spenders and influencers. Newspapers and magazines have come out with special features on women. Television channels are airing programmes dedicated to women. Organisations and associations are conducting seminars. Everyone is celebrating women’s day in their own way and showing their love, respect and gratitude towards women who are god’s best creation.

Every woman is the most beautiful person in this world. She is a Daughter, Sister, Friend, Girlfriend, Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Companion and also a Career Woman. She does everything with poise, sacrifices all her needs for her loved ones and selflessly serve everyone. And we still expect more and more from her. Even after playing these roles, she is the most loveable, caring, understanding and powerful person. We have thousands of examples across the world where women have achieved highest success in every field including Politics, Sports, Business, Art, Technology, Services, Education and many more. All of them have achieved success in their respective professional careers without any effect on their personal lives. I personally know many of them. In our organisation, Disha Direct, women are driving the growth of our organisation. I feel blessed to work with these focused, talented and passionate women.

We talk about equality, but I think women are more powerful, intelligent and superior to men in every way. The King of Gods understood this well and he gave all his important ministry portfolios to women – Finance to Goddess Laxmi, Education to Saraswati and Defence to Goddess Durga. Women are ahead of men in everything. When we chant the name of God, we always say Laxminarayan, Seetaram and Radhyeshyam. This shows how much respect Gods have for women.

The world has no future without women. In fact, we would never exist without women.
On the special occasion of Women’s Day, I thank all these beautiful women from the bottom of my heart. I feel, we should celebrate every day as Women’s Day and show our love, respect and gratitude towards them.


Real estate industry is a very dynamic and unpredictable industry. Being in this industry for last ten years, we were able to create and establish one of the most trusted brand ‘ Disha Direct‘. The journey of these ten years was very exciting and we have fulfilled dreams of more than 10000 people. Most of these customers are middle and upper middle class families and we feel proud and blessed to get this opportunity with commitment to our vision ‘ A Home for Every Dream '.

Every Indian wants to own his or her home. Today Total demand in India is 30 million homes. We have found out that more than 80 % of demand is in the price range of 10 lacs to 30 lacs. Past few years everyone is discussing about affordable housing sector but it’s impossible to build these homes within city limits. We need to develop these homes in outskirts of city at emerging destinations. This is a responsibility of all stake holders of real estate industry, Government and local bodies, developers, financial institutions and technical institutes to build affordable homes. Government  should develop good infrastructure like roads , water and power supply for these destinations. The approval process should be simple and quick which would help developers to enter this sector. Financial sector should provide finance to developers and buyers at cheaper rates. Developers should enter in this emerging sector as this is the sector with high volumes and lower margins. New technologies should be used to build these affordable homes which would help to reduce the cost of these homes.

Understanding the demand and future in affordable housing, Disha Direct is launching ‘ MY HOME  ‘ with a mission of ‘ Big Dreams in Small Budget ‘. We will launch projects at various emerging and futuristic destinations in the price band of 10 to 30 lacs. With easy accessibility from Cities, MY HOME is an ideal first home residence where children can grow in the lap of nature and seniors can age in peaceful surroundings, where schools & colleges, markets, hospitals and  banks are nearby. MY HOME is a perfect weekend home for people looking at a quick getaway from the city without having to spend long travelling hours, surrounded by hills, with beautiful weather & no pollution. MY HOME is a great investment option for those looking for risk free investments with good appreciation.

The first Project of My Home was launched at Shahapur. Shahpur is a very popular destination on Mumbai Nashik Highway. A town synonymous with nature has witnessed tremendous development over the last few years. Shahpur has easy proximity from both Mumbai ( 65 Kms ) & Thane ( 45 Kms ) by road and rail. The city has recently developed into an industrial & residential hub and is fast emerging as one of the most sought after destinations for first homes and investment. The launch price of My Home, Shahapur is 2099/= per square feet and starts at 12.75 lacs only.

The second My Home project would be launched on 9th March at Alibaug, the city of sun, sand & growth. Well – connected by road on Mumbai – Goa highway ( 90 Kms ) & by water transport ( Gateway of India to Mandawa Jetty ), Alibaug is a major tourist attraction with beautiful beaches, temples, forts and historical places. It’s a preferred destination for second homes of Mumbaikars  with several industrialists and celebrities own their second homes in Alibaug. With lot of development happening, Alibaug is emerging as a global lifestyle destination and a suburb of Mumbai. These make Alibaug a preferred choice for investment.

The launch price of My Home, Alibaug is Rs. 2999/- per square feet and starts at 18.75 lakh.
Disha Direct’s MY HOME stands for affordability, quality construction, modern amenities and best recreational facilities which will fulfill dreams of millions of Indians. And every Indian will proudly say it’s MY HOME….

For more information log on to 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Palazzo is Ready

PALAZZO, the sophisticatedly designed row houses in Alibaug, was the first of its kind to be launched in Alibaug by DISHA DIRECT. A total of 10 row houses, exquisitely planned with stylish interiors and plush amenities and state of the art features, is now ready in all its grandeur and the proud owners have started taking possession of these row houses.

One of the highlights of these row houses is its sloping roof giving it a distinctive look. This ensures that there is no collection of rain water on the roof. The houses are designed as per Vaastu Shastra norms spreading the positive vibes and peace and tranquility for the residents. Every row house also comes with its individual private garden.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Disha Direct has launched its newest project NULIFE, an exclusive residential project, keeping in mind the specific special needs of seniors.

Located at Kamshet, 13 Kms from Lonavala, NULIFE project is set in the midst of lush greenery and surrounded on three sides by hills. The serene surrounding ensures tranquility and peace for the residents.

Each individual apartment has been designed meticulously, keeping in mind the special needs of seniors, ensuring that no step entries, larger doorways and wider corridors in common areas, larger kitchens, larger toilets and showers installed with grabs / support bars and anti skid floor tiles are incorporated into the design of the apartments.

The amenities and facilities within the complex includes a 1 lakh sq ft recreation and community building with indoor and outdoor games, coffee shop, library, auditorium, beauty salon and spa, just to mention a few.

To ensure you lead a good healthy life, we have tied up with Oyster & Pearl Hospital. They will have a 20 bed hospital within the complex with a 4 bed ICU unit as well. Besides, there would be routine check up facility, Physiotherapy sessions and trained staff in all departments to ensure you lead a healthy life.

The project is conceived, conceptualized and marketed by Disha Direct, a name synonymous with excellence in providing a home for every dream.

The project is developed by Gagan group, who have been the stalwarts in the construction and real estate ventures since the last 12 years.

Perkins Eastman, the international giants in planning, design and consultancy from the US are the chief architects and designers of the project.

Grain Collective, a New York based landscape architecture and urban design firm has been entrusted with the landscape designing of the project.

For more info visit our website:

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Authored article on Second Homes as an ideal Investment Option...!!!

Santosh Naik
Managing Director - Disha Direct

Some things are too good to be true, they say. I am told that you can either be married or be happy! Likewise you can either have a second home or an investment!  The latter is as true as the former - depends on ones point of view I guess. But I say, if possible, why not?  Why is it too much to ask for to have the cake and eat it too?

As business can be mixed with pleasure, buying a second home can make investment sense if certain basic tenets of investing are followed and tailored to suit second homes. The basics of investment tell us that an investment should have the potential to grow in value. This potential emanates out of the future prospects of the investment and its ability to change hands by attracting buyers at future prices or future valuations. It must hold the promise of growing in value over a period of time and be liquid enough to be able to convert to cash when one desires to do so. To make this happen, a second home property must fit the following criteria;

  • The area where a second home is located should show promise of development in the near future
  • There should be good development in the second home scheme itself
  • The property should be very well maintained in order for it to be able to attract attention of prospective future buyers
  • The project should have good amenities and conveniences, which can attract the interest of the buyer and make the investment worthwhile. Special emphasis is laid on recreational amenities, health related amenities and lifestyle.
  • An attraction like a popular restaurant, spa, picnic spot, resort etc being part of the project is an ideal scenario. These attractions ensure foot falls in the project from outsiders, make businesses in the project viable and ensures that a resale market is created as there will be demand for properties for sure.
  • The presence of such attractions also ensures that the second home project is well maintained, kept clean and attractive.
  • This ensures that a resale market is created which ensures liquidity which makes the investment very lucrative and dynamic in ones portfolio.

Despite the fluctuating economic conditions, the second home market continues to be surprisingly strong. The demand for second homes is increasing at the rate of 15 to 20 % per year. Fluctuating financial markets and other factors have made investment in real estate an extremely attractive alternative, propelling consumers toward the possibility of a second home purchase sooner in their lives. Earlier, weekend homes would be considered a luxury only for the super-rich who could afford bungalows and farmhouses in quiet niches. However, now, Weekend homes are no longer limited to the upper class; today even the upper middle class of the society is investing in weekend homes to get away from the stressful, bustling life of the city and spend some quality time with their families or nurture some hobby – all of which is becoming increasingly difficult in the fast-paced lifestyle of cities.

In addition, second home buyers no longer want just a beautiful getaway place to retreat to - they also want their second home to be good real estate investment. The value addition in typical second home projects is very high, hence an investment made in very early stages of a second home project can have a phenomenal appreciation by the time the project comes to the end; and later on, as the attractions start kicking in, the appreciation in investment improves manifold. Several places like Talegaon, Neral, Karjat, Lonavla etc. whereby property would be available for as little as Rs. 100 per sq.ft. few years back; now, with the increase in infrastructural development and facilities like schools, hospitals etc. have seen an increase in rates of almost 8 times till date!

Today, when a decent flat in suburbs like Borivali cost a minimum of Rs. 75 lakhs, home-buyers are left with little option than to scout for homes beyond that limit. The search for a decent home with good amenities, facilities and infrastructural developments within budget takes them to destinations like Shahapur, Karjat, Kasara etc which conventionally were second home locales but are now fast turning into first-home ones.
To add to it, with many companies and organizations shifting their factories/units/offices to offbeat areas like Thane and Vashi etc., more and more people are finding employment and that too, close to their homes. If at all they need to travel afar, infrastructural developments being made in the form of expressways and flyovers as well as rail connectivity being enhanced fabulously to incorporate far-out places like Panvel and Boisar, is making their commute far simpler; thus also making the previously second-home destinations an ideal choice for having a first home.

Companies like Disha Direct believe in making second homes a lucrative investment option by:-

  • Choosing destinations that hold promise in the near future
  • Projects that are very well developed
  • Products are reasonably priced at all times to ensure that the investor benefits in the medium to long run.
  • Development of attractions like Resort, Club & Spa are popularized, professionally run and attract a lot of foot fall in the project
  • This ensures that the project is not dead, always alive and bustling
  • Project is well maintained in the interest of the attractions and the surplus from the attractions in addition to the maintenance charges are well spent to further a common goal.  

Case in point being Talegaon, here the value of land and constructed property showed a 400% increase in merely 4 years (i.e. between 2004-2008). Disha Direct’s foresight which promoted Talegaon as an ideal second home destination paid off for the investors. Likewise opportunities at Kasara, Wada, Karjat and other such destinations have returned more than 300% returns over the years.

Mr. Sameer Dange an investor at Talegaon regrets that he should have increased his value for investment as the phenomenal returns that he has enjoyed was unbelievable. Likewise Mrs. Shinde an investor in Wada has seen her investment grow from Rs.100/- per sq.ft. of land to Rs.350/- per sq.ft. over 3 years. Both these investors have an opportunity to for resale thus giving them the chance to cash their investments. 
Even beyond the boundaries of Maharashtra, one can easily see the handsome returns on investment that investors in Noida and Gurgaon have earned in recent years. What were earlier just bare tracts of farmland have grown into some of the most valuable and prime pieces of property in the present day.

Be it in any corner of the world, increasing urbanization and migration creates pressure on a city’s infrastructure. When this stage reaches a saturation point, smaller towns/sub-urban centres start springing up in and around these cities. This exact phenomenon has led to several second home destinations fast being converted into first home destinations. Case in point being areas like Noida and Gurgaon around Delhi and closer home, Virar, Kasara, Panvel etc around Mumbai.

From the home-seeker’s point of view, those looking for 1st homes and planning to take loans for the same, are sandwiched between high loan rates and the resultant scaling-down of budget. For e.g., if at the loan rates prevalent 2 years back on could get a loan of Rs. 50 lakhs, today that quantum has scaled down to Rs. 35 lakhs, thus leaving people at a paucity of money; with their problems being further compounded with rising property rates especially in the 1st home sphere. In this scenario, the 2nd home market becomes a prudent option which also has great value for money vis-a-vis being an investment option. Since the last two years, some progressive developers have identified the demand and scope for growth in this segment and have been exploring more & more locations for building 2nd home townships close to Mumbai/Pune.

To give an example of 2nd home becoming 1st home, Talegaon, which a decade back was simply a laidback hub preferred as a retirement destination, was developed by Disha Direct to become a proper 2nd home destination. Today these second homes in Talegaon have become very preferred 1st homes due to Talegaon’s proximity to Pune and Hinjewadi (IT hub) as well as Chakan which has become a major industrial and automobile hub. Palghar, Boisar, Karjat, Shahapur, Alibaug etc are also fast developing on the similar lines. Companies like ‘Nirman Group’, ‘Havre Group’, and ‘Tata Housing’ are developing great projects in areas like Neral, Palghar and Boisar respectively.

Yes, the infrastructure still needs to improve much more to complete this process to the T, and this can happen only when government & developers join hands and work towards it imminently but things are definitely moving ahead for sure. The presence of large highways like Mumbai-Nasik, Mumbai-Pune, Mumbai-Ahmadabad highways make commute to & fro these places and major cities quite smooth. When the road, rail and water transport facilities will be put in place, as is envisioned to happen in next 3-4 years, the 2nd home destinations are bound to become the most preferred 1st home destinations due to being value-for-money; plus having fabulous amenities; good infrastructure; larger FSI; larger space in the houses; and great eco-cover. Almost all these townships are getting extremely talented architects from the world over to lend their expertise to the way these townships and homes therein are being built.

According to the first quarter review by the internationally renowned property consulting company ‘Knight Frank’, prospective home-buyers are now fast shifting their focus from the earlier preferred South Mumbai to the suburban fast-developing destinations towards its north. While almost 75% of the land in these areas remains to be developed, it is expected that by the end of 2011 almost 50 lakh sq.ft. area will be developed with a range of property options from MIG to HIG to choose from to suit every taste and budget.

So if one is looking for a second home as an investment option , look for names of repute who are developing the project, ensure that the project will be professionally maintained once its completed, an attraction which will draw people to it regularly is a must as it creates liquidity for future sale and lastly the area in which the project is located should hold the promise of development in the near future or should be ideally located for the specific attraction which otherwise cannot be located elsewhere. Second Homes can certainly be looked at as an option to diversify ones investment portfolio. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Interview of Mr Santosh Naik, MD &CEO, Disha Direct on Growing Trend of Second Homes and Investment Potential of Second Homes.

Why people going in for a second home become a trend today?

Second Home segment is growing at more than 100 % per year though the real estate market is at stagnant stage in most of the cities. More and more people are buying second homes today and with our last ten years experiences in this segment we have found following reasons why people buy second homes. The topmost reason is the aspiration to buy second homes. Every Individual would like to own second home as this is the symbol of his or her success. The second reason is they would like to spend quality time with their family on weekend and vacations. Investment is one of the important reasons for buying second homes as second homes give good appreciation to buyers. Some people buy second homes to nurture their hobbies like gardening, farming, tracking etc. also people buy second homes as their retirement homes. In last few years many good developers have entered in second home segment and offering quality products at various price bands. These homes are affordable for today’s middle class buyers as the finance options are available to buy these homes. This is one of the major reasons for second homes growth. The second homes prices are very rational where people find value for money for their investment. With growing economy and rising income of Indian customers I see 3 digit growths in second homes market in next few years.

Which are the second home destinations that have shown the strongest demand?

There are two types do destinations for second homes. The first type of destinations are Khandala, Lonavala, Alibaug where people are buying second homes for last few decades. Here the pricing are in the range of 1 crore to 5 crore due to high land costs and only rich people could afford these homes. In last few years we have seen few emerging destinations like Talegaon, Wada, Manor, Murbad, Shahapur where the pricing of second homes are very reasonable. Weat Disha Direct recognized the potential of these destinations long back and developed name projects in these areas. The response at these locations from middle and upper middle class segment is tremendous. In next couple of years we see good demand at destinations like Pali, Roha and Alibaug on Mumbai - Goa highway and Kamshet on Mumbai Pune road.

What is the price bandwidth of these second homes, across various segments?

There are various options available for all types of second homes and across customer segments. NA plots are available in the price band of 2 to 10 lacs depending on size and locations, Apartments are in the price segment of 12 ton 40 lacs, bungalows between 40 to 80 lacs and luxury Villas at 2 to 10 crores. So there is second home available whatever customer's budget and requirement is. These prices depend on destination, location, size of the units, amenities provided and developer’s reputation.

Which are the most important and the most essential amenities that must be provided to any buyer who is looking to book a second home for himself?

In last ten years of our existence in second homes segment we have realized more than 10000 dreams of buying second home. The customer look for developers reliability and his past record, basic infrastructure available like approach roads, water, electricity , entertain and recreationfacilities like Clubhouse, swimming pool, resort. There is a good demand for theme bases second homes project. We have got very good response theme base projects developed by us. Few of them are Mango Village (village house with mango trees), Nirvana Farms (Community Farming), Wellness City (based on wellness theme), ResoVilla (villa project built with luxury resort).

What are the rules/due diligences that a second home buyer should look for, while going for one? People should check following before buying second homes.

A. Type of land on which the project is being developers. NA / Agri / Green.
B. Title of property.
C. Approvals & permissions. NA / layout sanctions by authority / construction approval.
D. Infrastructure at site (approach road / water/ power)
E. Developers reputation and past record.
F. Recreation Facilities.
G. Proximity to market, medical facilities.
H. Investment prospect of destination.

Do second homes destinations have the future potential to become first home destinations?

The cities are expanding vertically and horizontally. But with city homes becoming unaffordable day by day the horizontal growth is much faster and all s second homes destinations will eventually become first homes destinations. Talegaon is a classic example of this. We started promoting Talegaon as best second home destination and today it is the first home destinations with large developers developing township projects there. This has happened due to close proximityto Pune, Hinjewadi and Chakan which is fast becoming automobile hub of India. The real estateprices in Talegaon have increase by more than 7 to 10 times in last 5 to 7 years. Destinations like Shahapur, Murbad, Karjat and Alibaug will soon become first home destination and will give high returns on investments.