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House hunting woes in Bangalore

So I’ve been looking for a place to buy. My mom thinks I should get “settled”. I think it’s a scary word and I have never quite understood why parents make it the purpose of their lives. If children are happy and content living their lives the way they want, why put so much pressure to conform to what they (the parents) think is the right way to live their lives?

Settling down in mom’s dictionary would mean having most (preferably all and more!) of the following – house, car, safe, secure job, money in bank, husband/wife, kids (not necessarily in the same order). While I don’t necessarily agree to this definition of being “settled in life” who’s going to do the explaining to my mom? Not me. I do want to live for a few more years 🙂

So anyways, I thought that buying a flat might create a false impression that I am. In the process of settling down or close to it. For some reason, my mom is also extremely disapproving of my travelling and wanderings and she thinks that I should “cut my wings” and sit at home, waiting for my old age to set upon me.

So once I put all my hard earned money in EMIs for a flat, I won’t have any money left : to travel! That, for some reason, fills her with an enormous amount of satisfaction. Mothers : I’ve stopped trying to understand them quite a while ago.

So anyway, back to my topic. In a bid to start the settling down process, I’ve been house hunting.

Did anyone know that you now need to pay upwards of Rs 3000 for one measly sq feet of space in this city? Whoever said that all you need is the ground you stand on and all that kind of philosophical blah? That itself is worth thousands today.

Unfortunately and shockingly, during the course of 2 months, I realised there’s little out there for a poor, single income, regular tax paying (saddled with numerous loans and outstanding credit card bills might I add) citizen like me!

Everywhere I go, the rates seem to be going through the roof. I’m wondering how hundreds of expensive flats in a single complex get sold just like that. The bored marketing guy (who can blame him, he has nothing to market!) of one complex on Ring Road informs me there’s absolutely nothing left. Zero. He shakes his head sadly.

Who are these people buying flats like apples and tomatoes? Who are these people shelling out 40+ lacs without batting an eyelid? I’d like to meet them and give them a piece of my mind!

I’ve gone to the far reaches of Banerghatta Road : far, far inside : I doubt that these places are actually in Bangalore. And they quote you some ridiculous rate with such a straight face that you come away feeling impoverished.

So I have 3 options before me:
1) Win the lottery
2) Find that rich uncle who was supposed to leave me his tea estate
3) Write a book and get rich

Hmm. The more I look at the three options, the more depressed I get by the minute. Did I say options?

I think I am going to be flatless and fancy free for a long long time. Though telling my mom that I’m not ready to settle down just yet is not going to be easy.

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62 Comments

  1. Kartik says

    That’s so true – Bangalore apartment prices have lost the link to reality a long time ago. My jaw has long since stopped dropping at the mention of apartment prices.

    The trick some years back was to buy an apartment when it had just started constructing – prices would presumably be lower then. The only problem was waiting for the two odd years it would take to get constructed. If you want to buy an apartment ready to move it, it will be astronomically priced.

    Better find that uncle instead!

  2. Your despair is reasonable…..I have had my share of agony hunting for a house this past summer when I was in Bangalore for 5 months and I believe the real estate scenario in Bangalore is comparable to San Francisco where you may have to spend a million dollars to buy just the H of House! It is not only ridiculous that even in a brand new apartment complex that has not even started construction the only apartment available would be in the 12 or the 13 floor, ask why and the marketing agent will tell you the rest have already been booked!!! I believe to some extent NRI’s are guilty for this maniacal investment in real estate but it is a scary thought that one day all these apartments are going to be filled with people and makes you wonder if Bangalore is equipped to handle it….definitely Bangalore is no Mumbai! Anyway, hang in there and you will find your home, now it may not be your dream home, but at least a place you can call your own. Oh and if your mom’s anything like mine, she won’t take the buying a home = settling down bait 😉 Cheers!

  3. Partha P T says

    Hey ! I just came across your Blog ! while I was looking for the site to pay for my Data card – the alphabets ‘bora’ – (the khar khuwa that we are – at least me) struck the high ‘e’ major note & clicked on it – I am impressed by your blog – itz kewl! ! !
    I don’t know who u r, as of the moment IT’S 0125 HRS AND I’m in Ghy – it’s getting clustrophopic here, actually I was used to the serene life of Shillong from 1971 to 1987 after which ……………. anyway – if U think I am worthy enough to barge into your blog – do get back to me – BYE ! LOG PAM BULI AKHA RAKHILU !

  4. I fell into that ‘Buy an appt’ rut and now thanks to the EMI, I’m forced to work in Bangalore. Otherwise, I would be doing photography full-time in some jungles somewhere. I’m really considering getting rid of it and getting a small place at Mysore.

  5. We had a tough time house-hunting in bangalore….ohh don’t u talk about the Mantri’s & the Sobha’s….my my…wat expensive apts.& even on BG road n JP nagar…don’t know wat phase..place seems to be far far away from the main city….rates like more than 3k/sq feet…every weekend we used to visit apts n brokers…..But Guess its THE time to invest in property n own a house….finally we got what we wanted on ORR….’Trinity Acres’….Do try to find out apts there…am telling you a worth it deal/rate…n worth staying place..Have House-Hunting!!!

    🙁 🙁 missing bangalore

  6. :), really true. The only way i see is marry a rich girl who already owns a house. Or may be winning a lottery will be easier 🙂

  7. M O H A N says

    Anitha,
    Have been a resident of bangalore from birth and have seen this crazy development take place from middle ninetiess….that was when the IT sector boomed and hordes of fresh engineers landed in bangalore. One of my friends from bombay looked at a flat and said just 12 lacks for a 3 bed room apartment – thats all? In bombay it costs nothing less than 50 lacs… Our local guys got the whiff and started stating 50 lacs…

    Now you see how people from outside came and got fooled. Its also a lesson of economics – demand vs supply here.

    Till the IT/BPO craze moves out of this city, which is the root cause – every single problem will exist and very importantly, it will be the people who earn “nomina” salary who have to bare the brunt and let go…

    cheers
    mohan!

  8. The property boom is all over the country ….to some extent its cuz of the IT/BPO thingie..but be it 2/3 tier cities…..rates r increasing everywhere…right from Jaipur to dehradun to bhopal to indore to madurai to places in the east….

  9. Ahh. It reminded me of the song- …sahar main, raat ho ya dophar main ashiyana dhudte.
    Property rate hiking like anything. Even in Delhi and Satellite town (more expensicve) it is difficult to own a property.

  10. Srikanth says

    Ya what U r telling is true to some extent. We like to enjoy a lot but there is a limit for every thing. I think up to some age we can enjoy but after that U need to be very carefull to settle in life..I think U understood what I mean…I know U r not a kid to know these but I want to share my views..

    bye,
    a friend

  11. Hi Anita
    I share similar woes. I had been in bangalore for 5 years. But couldn’t buy a property. Everytime I thought that the prices are unrealistic and every time I was shown a thumb by the property prices which had not looked back.

    There is a mad scramble specially among software guys to buy flats in bangalore which has in turn lead to urealistic prices being asked for.

    From Investment point of view I think tier -2 cities offer more value at current levels.

  12. how about a house in
    either
    timbaktoo
    or
    jhumri talaiya

    costs less
    and makes mom happy
    guaranteed!!!!!
    (lolzz)

  13. Hi,

    Have been a passive reader of your blog until now. Something that prompted me to write..the concept of getting settled. Having seen it all I can say for sure that only after marriage and children does the real ‘unsettling’ start.

    A very nice observation about ‘Mothers’. It is very difficult to understand them.

    -SriVidya

  14. You said it. Getting a job is easy in Bangalore, but buying your dream house/flat isn’t. I realised this during my hunt for a flat way back in 2003. The most important aspect is to zero-in on your preferred location and your budget. No point looking all over the city for a flat. Secondly, contact the marketing team of reputed property developers and brief them about your requirements. They will come up with some good choices. It clicked for many including me.

  15. Hii Anita. Sorry for commenting here…because this comment is actually meant for your indian blogs directory site.

    Could you please add my blog to your directory:

    digital-filmmaking.blogspot.com

  16. hey anitha

    am another lurker at your blog, must say enjoy being here. its just so crazy buying apartment in bangalore .. went through this and it left me with few extra grey hair. 40 lakhs is again no good amount these days and what do u get for 40, a bare house and you spend another 3-4 lakhs furnishing it, A couple of lakhs goes to our dear Electricity and water supply guys, and these apartment guys have their development fund and other fancy names to dig a hole in your pocket.

    Somehow you manage everything (bank loan +BDA + legal formalities) and its time for you to breath some fresh air at your own apartment…you get this huge maintenance bills…2.50 rs per sq feet….Imagine u are paying hefty EMI and then u pay 5000+ bucks a month as maintenance…Its soo crazy. World is not fare at all

    S

  17. Anita,

    be quick..
    read a news article today where it says 7crores for an acre in Devanahalli… a rise from 1crore in just 4-5yrs time…

    gud 2 knw ur also forced 2 settle down!!

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  19. Shilpa says

    hi anita
    i loved this post.. if u do finally find these people who buy flats for 40+ lakh like apples and tomatoes.. let me know. wud love to give them a piece of my mind too.. i live in mumbai and buying a house here is a nightmare!

  20. Khabri says

    Don’t worry, be patient and continue to do what you do. I have seen these rates in 1996 and quarter of todays rates in 2001 and …. life goes on. Ask your mom or dad, they say BUY low. And don’t chase the market, be patient, RBI has finally woken and they will have no choice but to cool the overheated real estate market first to make the environment conducive for business again.

  21. Write a book and get rich? In India? You must be kidding. Unless of course your name is Vikram Chandra.

  22. Rajan Arora says

    Just happened to hit your emotional article while doing some property search for Bangalore. Very well written. From my expriences of going through similar turmoil in Delhi region, I’ve just one thing to advise – Accept the reality and conclude on your actions in life as there is huge cost of indecision too, in general!! 🙂
    Happy hunting and good luck…Rajan.

  23. @ karthik: i’m trying hard to find that uncle, but no luck with him either 🙂

    @ deepa: thanks for that 🙂 you’re right. mom is definitely not going to take the bait, but maybe it’ll keep her happy for a while!

    @ partha: thanks for dropping by! i was in shillong too between 71 and 87 so that’s quite a coincidence!

    @ kalyan: nice to know you’re in the same situation 😉 mysore seems to be a good option these days though property prices are also going up there.

    @ mehak: thanks! i think i’ve heard of the place. have looked at some places on ORR!

    @ divs: thanks for that!

    @ paavani: the situation is the same for all the metros i guess… but in delhi you can still get something affordable i hear.

    @ srikant: thanks for sharing!

  24. @ rajesh: mad scramble would be the right word! thanks for sharing…

    @ tejbir: i will probably have to start looking there soon!!

    @ thanks for leaving your thoughts SriVidya!

    @ thanks kishore! will keep your suggestions in mind!

    @ sarthak: sorry, but i no longer update that directory…

    @ s: you’re right. it’s not a fair world at all!

    @ kris: that is quite unbelievable! hardly settled i would say 🙂

    @ shilpa: thanks! things are the same in mumbai…

    @ khabri: thanks!

    @ suman: yeah, that’s why i said it wasn’t an option after all 🙂

    @ perry: really? 🙂

    @ rajan: thanks a lot for your encouragement!

  25. Have been a infrequent visitor here..i can relate to what your are going through.I myself have gone through the house hunting 4 times now,in a gap of 6 months each…

    Every time i get in,spend a couple of weeks..go to ever expanding boundaries of the city,to hear that it costs 40+ lacs.Foutunately and unfortunately,common sense kicks in and i come out of the mad scramble out there and have stopped my house hunting…

    Sure the builders are taking the buyers for a ride…

  26. Anitha

    I guess searchin for houses on net led me to ur blog
    Am gonna bookmark it (hope thats fine)
    I have been searchin like crazy for aptmts for more than a yr and its been dissappointing
    I am hoping that some1 would leave behind a clue of some aptmt and I could use that.
    As far as settling down is concerned, I have no clue as I am in the same phase as of now.
    you take care

  27. sachin says

    guys, i liked the blog Anita has started and really it is beyond understanding why real estate prices are so high everywhere and also who are the ppl buying these flats for 50+ lacs. I am a married and didn’t think about “getting settled” part of Anita’s worry 🙂 .. I tell you each one of us need emotional support even if you can handle anything and everything in life on your own and that suggests you need spouse!!
    (parents won’t be there always as per nature’s law and siblings shall have their own life) ..

    Coming back to the topic, I came across this blog while comparing appts versus house buying sort of a thing. I’ll tell you there are people in bangalore who don’t understand what to look for in a house (home!!). They just pay mad amounts and repent later. I feel govt should do something about it and should not allow builders to suck blood of highly educated, talented and honest ppl who can afford to buy these appts.

  28. SHAMS says

    I feel now isnt the time to buy, wait for a while let the bubble burst. I have been trying to buy a flat in bangalore since 2003, but realized that it was cheaper to rent.
    I have deposited 50,000 pounds in sbi bond which earns me 5 % gross thats 2500 pounds which gives me 2,15 lakhs a year interest(@86 rupees to a pound)and have rented a 2 bed flat in fraser town for which i pay 12250 rupees a month, so my interest well covers the rent for the year.(12250*12=1.47lakhs)
    I countinue to be Settled in London and come to bangalore every 6 mnths.With the stock market falling 500 points today and with mr.finance minister struggling with inflation and interest rates round the corner to go up, my dream of owning a flat in bangalore will finally materialise….btw i am a landlord in london….and ye, i can pay 40-50 lakhs, but dont see the reason why i should when i can wait.

  29. Mahendra says

    I think there is no cause to worry . The Interest rates are increasing so are the cement/steel prices. On top of all this is inflation.

    Save as much as you can now . When the time comes ( costs come down to reasonable levels)..Make as much down payment as possible ( Just to neutralize the effect of high interests rates)

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  32. anand says

    well folks ,
    iam trying hard to sell a house while u folks seem to find it difficult to buy one
    Hi
    we have a house at kundalahalli built on a 30 x 40
    site.
    the house fetches rent of 7k .

    owner :
    self
    location :
    kundanahalli
    about 4 km from ITPl
    and 1.4 km from Marathalli outer bridge

    400 mtr from GOplan enterprises and CMRIT college
    of engineering

    price :
    26.4 lkhs (negotiable)

    if interested email me at rahu4444@gmail.com
    or call me at 41398745

    best regards
    Anand
    hope this helps as i need money urgently

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  34. Sudhir says

    Hi, I’m looking for a place in Bangalore & stumbled upon this site. Anyone has any info on the current market situation? TIA

  35. I am moving to Bangalore in end Oct and working in Whitefield. Looking for a 3 or 4 bed house or apartment to buy between Marthahalli and Whitefield. Including sarjapur outer ring roads.

    Also looking for some good schools.
    Any advice?

  36. Check out Forest Hills in Whitefield. A 3 bedroom is available for 32.67lacs. The completion date of this project is May 2009.

    Bon chance!

  37. Guys,

    Property prices are going down. Check with Shriram Samruddhi and Goplan Granduer. Shriram Samruddhi will quote 2700/sft but will come down to 2000/sft and Goplan Granduer will quote 2600/sft but will come down to 2450/sft. Be careful when you deal with the Developers and the property agents. Negotiate with them and do not commit anything till you are convinced 🙂

    Thanks,
    Deb

  38. Sudha Aoskan says

    Hi,
    I am planning to buy a flat in sriram samruddhi. If there is anybody who owns a flat in sriram samruddhi can you tell me if all the 9 floors are approved. Are you facing any issues with rgards to construction or any other hassels.

    I am taking a 2 bhk and they have quoted close to 3000 per sq feet. I negotiated a lot but these guys are not coming below this price.

    Thanks
    Sudha Asokan

  39. Vaidy says

    I read the writeup and was in agreement with one gentleman’s views. That of waiting it out when rentals are “comparatively” cheaper. I live in ulsoor and pay the same rent as the london based gentleman SHAMS. I am a returned indian, and don’t believe by any long shot that these prices offer value. Has anyone seen flats/houses/apts/villas in any developed nation?

    There are several negatives to buying properties the way they are being quoted at the moment.
    a. Most of these properties even after construction are not “livable”. They usually don’t have the basic necessities like schooling,healthcare etc. etc that a residence needs. Notice that I don’t even talk of roads :).
    b. Increase in interest rates are hitting all those who bought them at lower rates hard and many of the tenures have been extended. Liabilities galore.
    c. paperwork in properties are 90% suspect. approvals and such.I don’t wish to get my 50L property demolished. Risk galore.
    d. Nobody seems to be talking of opportunity cost. I can invest my earnings surplus for greater than 15% ( very very safe investments), unlike realty which has increased by just 4% over last year ( on an average). Try selling your illiquid property. I know my dad took three years to finally sell an apartment in a good locality in Chennai several years ago when the market was bearish. Has anyone seen a bear market.
    e. I am waiting for a surplus to be created in the market. Portions of bangalore are witnessing this as we speak. Builders are bundling in all sorts of goodies except a “wife” in case someone is planning to settle down. Market pressure indeed :).
    f. All in all, I’ll be ready with my corpus when there is an immense crash and depression. I have promised my well-wishers that I will buy entire bangalore when that happens ( he he he :).
    Oh how I like investing when I am pitted against 99% fools :). Investors haven indeed :)….

  40. Vaidy says

    Vaidy Says:
    December 3rd, 2007 at 8:33 pm
    I read the writeup and was in agreement with one gentleman’s views. That of waiting it out when rentals are “comparatively” cheaper. I live in ulsoor and pay the same rent as the london based gentleman SHAMS. I am a returned indian, and don’t believe by any long shot that these prices offer value.

  41. Marshneil says

    This blog of yours is totally heartwarming at the moment – wait – u’re thinking what’s so heartwarming about not being able to afford an appartment? The fact that I am totally crestfallen after several weekends of househunting and getting absolutely absolutely nowhere! Newpapers and everyone worth their IT salary salts proclaim that rates will fall and – lo and behold – the land that cost Rs 2700 per sq feet a yr and half ago are now coasting along merrily at Rs 3500 per sq feet! People still sing that prices will fall because IT salaries are falling or not climbing as fast as they used to climb. People also sing the other song that most of the appartments are unsold and unoccupied… I am waiting bleary eyed for the day when I can get my hands on a house w/o bankrupting myself and my family! I am in utter dispair… God only knows what the world is coming too – especially Bangalore! Sheesh!

  42. Murthy says

    I see lot of potential buyers here. How can the rates go down when u have so many potential buyers ? . . . i can smell that demand is still being more then supply.

  43. Suhan says

    Hi,

    Initially it was Bangalore now all Indian cities are following same path.

    Here are the clue:

    They want to sell only 20 to 30% of the total apartments from that they will recover the Break Even Point.

    It is true that getting those BAKRA (in India and outside) is quite easy for Builders and Devlopers.

    Now next they want to make huge profit and for that they have to sell all appartment.

    So now they have to convinced the price to the rest of the world (Other than those BAKRA) so price will be downwards for completed ready properties.

    And I can’t agree with Murthy as he claims demand is more than supply.

    The actual figure only 10 to 30% booked with all existing & old and new project accross India.

    What Builders and devlopers claiming 100 % sold or booked is just to convinced existing & new BAKRA.

    This is the real fact.

  44. hi.it”s a good blog.
    in simple terms. TIMES OF INDIA and CNBC IS SELLING MY COUNTRY in bits and pieces in name of development.straight sense of these people acquiring land in high quantities and create a scarce ,black marketing kind of situation as happened at the time of emergency in case of food items and oil.
    1.The prices in bangalore is actually artificially imflamated by TIMES OF INDIA,
    in association with brokers and some so called developers.Toi creates the hype and they will never let it come down.actually first times of india in assoctiation with builders take land and then slowly keeps on createing hypes till they get the price they want .it is a nexus between these newspapers and some economic news channels.
    see my reserch.first they created the hype for bangalore
    mysore was next
    belgaum then
    mangalore now
    goa
    pune
    (i wish there can be some cbi enquiry.HEY but who will ??????they will even blackmail government.)
    2.we can also see the affect of all these hype in arrogant developers behaviours when they dictate that we have to buy the house with furniture etc and some even go ahead and say we have to buy their flat with some tv fridge etc of their choice and throw our own elecronics out ,so what if we just bought it 10 days back.

    and Thanks to NRIS and IT professionals in further helping these arrogent developers.
    Isn”t it funny that government knows all these and doing nothing .so we all know*********

  45. Sangeeta,
    I Agree with you, Times of India has become more like an Agent right Now, and some times the reports published lack sense, But the reality is BANGALORE PROPERTY PRICES HAVE COME DOWN!, yes, it is true, look at any adds in TOI (For Which it is charging heavily to advertisers and i am one of them) they are appearing for more then a year, I am a Realtor, but I don’t have any Nexus with TOI, and I accept the reality as it is, the worst hit are Apartment Builders, even Big names are in Trouble, as they are unable to sell the apartments, So some people instead of Decreasing the Prices, have started offering Cars, TV, Furniture etc, to add value to their offerings, But the same can not be applied to properties in Prime Locations of Bangalore, like MG Road, Jaynagar, Koramangala, Malleshwaram, here the properties are selling at unimaginable Prices no matter what kind of property it is,
    Ehsan

  46. I can feel the desperation but look at the other part of such hype. Its more into demand supply and wholly because of global-isation, IT/BPO. I remember when I was in NY, one of my local buddy was telling that Manhattan was owned by an italian business man and it was just sold for 800$ by an native american. And now look, how Manhattan is? So its everywhere, the property/real estate market is booming. The best way to accommodate with such environment lies purely on proper planning and saving.

  47. Murthy says

    The whole country agressively reacts to a rupee rise in petrol/cooking gas. However nobody bothers at over 100% rise in property.

    Roti, Kapada, Makan was a dream of every indian . . . its a nightmare now !

  48. Good Blog!!!! Prices might stablize a bit but unlikely to come down. There are many apartment projects in Bangalore where prices are below 2000rs per sq ft, however quality is compromised.

    Best is to invest in land and later think of building a house.

  49. Hans says

    Can sortof understand these prices in a city like Bangalore – with the skyrocketing IT salaries there…what I dont understand is why an apartment in Trivandrum, with salary levels several times lower than Bangalore, costs pretty much the same 🙂

  50. Halo to all!!!
    I can probably help you people in buying a house or apartment in bangalore. I am a property consultant. Incase you are looking at buying or renting any place, please mail me with all the details. Will surely help you
    Mail me @ priyanka.erappa@homebay.co.in

  51. Wow!!! the truth of any young generation entry this world out of college. Though the blog is 2 years old it holds good for everyone out there ” Forced to settle down”. Me looking for a flat from from past 4 years, Still searching have not found one, the reason everytime i push my limits higher the prices have jumped that much higher.That the sad story!!!. It will go on & on till there is a break down. looks like one is fast coming. me sitting in US can feel it. So all the prospective single income guys wanting to buy should have hopes like me. There could be light at the end of the tunnel

  52. Ravindranatha says

    He Guys/Gals Just wait for a Year or so you will see property prices will decline which are most likely to in the year 1999 :).if you need any help contact me on anravindranatha@yahoo.com

  53. Well, I came across this blog. Look interesting. I also feel that TOI is an agent of developers and big builders. May be they are get paid to write in Propert Pages “Suburs hold the key to growth”, “North corridor is the best investment avenue” “See boom in Realty market after new government”… Even in the times of deep recession when markets worldwide were at rock bottom, and builders were running around to get their loans rolled over, TOI had been writing about the boom in the Realty. I dont read property pages on TOI for this reason. It is a white lie. I think it needs an enquiry to find out the nexus between TOI, builders and underworld (I believe realty is the black money to white money changing avenue for the underworld).

  54. markson says

    Hi Anita,

    Nice blog about the house hunting woes.

    Let me also put my observations over the decades as a Bangalorean.

    I have seen people approaching me(and my friends) to purchase a 30X40 plot near Nagarbhavi in 1996-99, anything between 200-300 Rs/Sqft. Now a days asking price is more than 3200 (and some guys quote even 3900) for the same plot. This kind of all rise is happening because of:
    a) Brokers usually look for anxiety in buyers and inflate the price
    b) Buyers are always worried about price hike and will be in a state to purchase even for higher price thus pushing demand.

    Markson

  55. I have been thinking of buying a house in Mangalore or Bangalore. But in both the places the prices are so, so high that, I have started doubting whether I will actualy buy a house. And another reason is builders ask the money in black and the market value will be very less than what they charge and that is a problem to apply for loans.

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