Real Estate in India
Last updated on Feb 02, 2023
Summary: An expat looking to buy a home in India should begin by researching the local real estate market and familiarizing themselves with the different types of properties available. They should also consider their budget and the type of amenities they are looking for in a home. When searching for a home to buy in India, expats should look for properties that are in good condition and have all the necessary amenities. These amenities typically include a kitchen, bathroom, living room, bedrooms, and a balcony or terrace. Expats should also consider the location of the property and the surrounding neighborhood. Foreigners are allowed to purchase property in India, but there are certain restrictions in place. For example, foreign nationals are not allowed to purchase agricultural land, plantation land, or farmhouses. Additionally, foreign nationals are not allowed to purchase more than two residential properties in India.
How do I find a place to live in India?
We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:
"We live in Powai; I chose the area by finding the middle spot on the map between my husband's office commute and my kids' school bus ride," said one person in Mumbai.
"We have lived in Vasant Vihar in SW of the city. We have followed other expatriate colleagues. We have also looked around to see differences between diff zones first," said one expat who made the move to New Delhi.
Answer Question & View More Answers
What is a typical expat home or apartment like in India?
"Expat homes or apartments in India often have a modern design and come equipped with the latest amenities. They typically come with impressive views and generous terraces, balconies, or gardens. Expat residences are also often air conditioned and come with high-speed Wi-Fi, which is a great advantage. Expat homes and apartments usually offer luxury living with desirable amenities such as gourmet kitchen spaces, swimming pools, gym facilities, and concierge services. Furthermore, these dwellings usually provide extensive security measures to ensure the safety of their tenants," remarked one foreigner who made the move to India.
"We live in 2000 sq ft, flat; 4 bedroom that 3 bedrooms have 2 floor to ceiling wall closets; 5 bathrooms as the smallest is for the maid; 3 patios with 2 small patios attached to 2 bedrooms. The kitchen is small with one sink and a built in stove and a patio for the washing machine. I had to buy the refrigerator. I have a storage room with shelves. I have wall sliding glass doors in 2 bedrooms and the living room, and large window in the dining area, giving the place lots of light, and unfortunately, heat. We have an AC unit in each bedroom and living room. It is smaller than most expats' homes. They tend to live in much larger flats," explained one person living in Mumbai, India.
Answer Question & View More Answers
What is the average cost of housing in India?
If you are thinking about moving to India, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:
"Higher. In my country, for something comparable, maybe we would pay apron 1000 - 1500 eur," explained one expat living in New Delhi, India.
"Property rental here is expensive, we pay nearly $2,000 a month for our 3 bed, 3 bath apartment. Undoubtedly, expats pay more than locals and rental amounts are increasing quite quickly due to an influx of expats. Agents tell us that suitable properties are increasingly hard to find," said one person in Pune.
Answer Question & View More Answers
Should I buy or rent a home in India?
If you have not spent a lot of time in India, you should rent before even thinking about buying. We asked expats there about the buy vs. rent decision:
"Buying a home in India can be a great investment, as properties tend to appreciate quite quickly. However, it is important to consider several factors before making the decision, including your budget, the length of time you plan to stay in India, and the type of neighborhood you would like to live in. It may be more cost-efficient to rent a home in India if you are only looking for a temporary residence with low overhead costs. However, if you intend to make India your permanent residence, investing in a home may be the better option. Ultimately, the best decision will depend on your particular situation and needs," explained one expat living in India.
What do I need to know when buying property in India?
When we asked expats what advice they would give a foreigner before buying a property in India, they said:
"Before purchasing property in India, it is important to understand the legal regulations related to the purchase of real estate in the country. Investigate the title deed, registration documents and any other legal encumbrances to ensure there are no problems with the property. Conduct due diligence and ensure that you have all the necessary papers from the seller. It is also essential to be aware of the local laws and regulations in the area, as well as applicable taxes. Additionally, it may be worth investing in legal and tax advice for when making a purchase," explained one foreigner living in India.
Are foreigners allowed to own property in India?
When we asked expats what advice they would give a foreigner before buying a property in India, they said...
"Yes, foreigners are allowed to own property in India, but there are certain restrictions to be aware of. Non-citizens must obtain specific permission from the Reserve Bank of India and take additional steps to register for a Permanent Account Number (PAN) if they want to buy property in India. Property ownership by foreigners may also be limited in certain locations and development zones. Additionally, foreigners may be subject to taxes when buying and selling property, as well as other restrictions related to Indian citizenship," said one expat in India.
What appliances are typically included in a rental?
We asked foreigners in India what appliances are typically included in a rental, and, if there is anything else included or not included that a newcomer would not expect. Replies included:
"In India, rental properties typically come with standard appliances like a refrigerator, stove, and microwave. Washing machines are also often included, while air conditioners and water heaters may be provided depending on the property. Additionally, amenities like ironing boards and cable/internet connections may be available in some units," said one foreigner living in India.
Additional Information about Searching for a Home in India:
We asked foreigners in India what appliances are typically included in a rental, and, if there is anything else included or not included that a newcomer would not expect. Replies included...
"Expatriates typically search for homes in India using websites and search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, or Bing. They can also use real estate websites that specialize in finding rental properties and residential accommodations in India. Additionally, there are numerous expat-specific websites, such as Internations and Expat Exchange, that provide guidance and advice on finding a new home in India. Other methods of searching for a new home include using classified ads in newspapers and magazines, as well as tapping into local networks, asking friends and colleagues who are already in India for advice," explained one person living in India.
About the Author
Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.
Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.
- What do I need to know before moving to India?
- How do I find a place to live in India?
- What is a typical expat home or apartment like in India?
- What is the average cost of housing in India?
- Should I buy or rent a home in India?
- What should I pack when moving to India?
- What cultural faux pas should I try to avoid making in India?
- Why do people move to India?
- How are healthcare services India?
- What are medical services in India like?
- What are typical rents in India?
- What appliances are typically included in a rental?