Thinking of returning to India – A house should be your first priority
There comes a day in the lives of mid-40 year old NRIs when they realizes that their parents are getting old and can no longer fend for themselves. To many this comes as a rude shock when during one of their trips to India, they see that their parents have significantly aged since their last visit. At this time, two primary options come to mind.
Option 1: Take the parents back with them. In many cases, when it is a single parent, this is a viable option, especially when the other parent has just passed on. This helps the surviving parent to be with close family during a time of grief and the change in scene may also in some ways ease the pain. The flip side is of course is that the parent may feel uprooted from familiar surroundings and friends and rebuilding a life half way around the world can be quite challenging. Additionally issues with insurance and medical coverage etc will need to be worked out.
Option 2: The NRIs return to India to stay with the parents. This would mean that the NRIs will have to give up the life they have build in the foreign country and restart from scratch in India. Again a lot of challenges involved. Of these one big challenge is getting a house in India.
In earlier times, if you were to sell a house in the US or gulf and come back to India, you would have enough money to buy a same sized house here with lots of money to spare. Those days are long gone. Now a house in an Indian city costs much more than a house in most other parts of the world! However, with some foresight and planning, a decent house or apartment could become a reality for you.
a. Start looking for a house now. Everyday, the real estate prices are going up, so the sooner you begin the better.
b. Look for options outside the city with proximity to industrial zones and hospitals. Options outside the city limits are often much cheaper than those inside the city, especially when you book your apartment at the beginning of the project (when rates are at the best).
c. Check out bank loan options. Every bank in India provides NRIs with attractive home loan options.
d. Many gated communities are coming up with schools and hospitals within the complex. These could be ideal for your children and your ageing parents.
If your parents are not too old yet and you have not reached the mid-40s yet, now would be a good time to buy the house. That way, a good home will be available when you decide to come back to India.