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From the Rat Race to Financial Freedom... A common man's journey
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Happiness Unlimited...How to be happy..always !!
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Dream On...Every setback is a little nudge from HIM to Dream On
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The Autobiography Of A Stock
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Manoj Arora    About Me
Author Mission    My Mission
Credentials & Awards   Awards & Credentials

Corporate & Family Gifts   Corporate & Family Gifts [NEW]

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Thursday, December 31, 2015

The boy who taught us the Value of Values

This is a recent true story of a poor young boy who spellbound all of us with his strong value system.  It happened just a few days back, and impacted our lives for ever...
Yet again, we realised that it is our "Value System" that forms the base of who we are - and at absolutely NO cost, we should be compromising on this end.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Wilma Rudolph : A Dream On Story


At the 1960 Rome Olympics, Rudolph became "the fastest woman in the world" and the first American woman to win three gold medals in one Olympics. The fact that she was a premature baby to a maid mother and porter dad, and was polio impaired by the age 4, got us to to select this story as one of our "Dream On" stories...Read on...

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

11 Inspiring Life Lessons from the epic "Think & Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill

"Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill is a personal development and self-improvement book. Hill was inspired by Andrew Carnegie.
While the book's title implies that it deals with how to attain monetary wealth, Hill explains that the philosophy taught in the book can be used to help people succeed in all lines of work, to do and be almost anything we want.
I, hereby, list down the Top 11 of my learnings from this epic book. These learnings are worded and appended in a way that makes it easier for most of us to understand and absorb.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Life happens to us while we are planning for it

I am not sure if you have ever experienced it, but I am experiencing it more often nowadays. With all goals, dreams being chased - the next one being bigger and larger than the previous best - we seem to be ignoring one critical aspect of life...the 'Present'

Friday, December 04, 2015

National Pension Scheme (NPS)

NPS (National Pension System) is the much hyped, the much talked about pension system in India. Understand all its merits and demerits before taking a plunge...Read on..

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Senior Citizens Saving Scheme


Last Update : 18-Aug-2019
'Senior Citizens Saving Scheme (SCSS)' is offered by the Government of India and hence is one of the most safest investment option, especially for senior citizens who are looking for high returns with fair liquidity and tax benefits....Read On..

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

20 Tips to Focus Your Life - from the book "The One Thing" by Gary Keller & Jay Papasan

YOU WANT LESS. You want fewer distractions and less on your plate. The daily barrage of emails, texts, tweets, messages, and meetings distract you and stress you out. The simultaneous demands of work and family are taking a toll. 
AND YOU WANT MORE. You want more productivity from your work. More income for a better lifestyle. You want more satisfaction from life, and more time for yourself, your family, and your friends. NOW YOU CAN HAVE BOTH-LESS AND MORE....Read on..

Friday, November 13, 2015

Rupa : A Dream On Story

Survivors of acid attacks in India have become the face of a new clothing range designed by a woman who had acid thrown in her face, by her step-mom, while she was asleep. This is what the power of dreams are....Read on...Dream ON...

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Explore your FREE University on Financial Education

As a part of our ongoing efforts to serve you better, we have redesigned our online module 'Sharpen Your Financial Saw' to enable you to learn and continuously evolve and become better in handling your wealth. 
Learn how to access 150+ Financial Articles spread across 15 Financial Modules...Read on...

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Number 1 Globally Viewed Writer on Passive Income - Thank You

And as it turned out to be, 3 years of writing on a topic that I love so much, made yours truly the "Most Viewed Writer" across the Globe at one of the most popular Question & Answer website - Quora...Thank You readers from the bottom of my heart....Read on...

Sunday, November 01, 2015

7 Income Streams of most millionaires

How many streams of income are you aware of? Are you generating money using only one stream? Which and how many streams do the wealthy millionaires apply? Which is the best stream for you? There is much more to earning money than what you are probably aware of...Read on...

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

4 Sure Shot Tips to Remove Fear of Anything

If your child is afraid of anything at school or at home, if you are afraid of any situation in your personal life or at workplace, here are 4 sure shot tips that can reduce your fear instantly. Try it out and let me know how it worked for you. It is a true story and has worked for me just last week..yet again...Read on..

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Jyothi Reddy : A Dream On Story



We do surrender at those breaking points where there is hardly any chance to move ahead. Do we? Not everyone. Especially when someone realises that every setback is here to guide us, teach us and take us forward. This has been proved by Mrs. Jyothi Reddy with her amazing journey from a field laborer to the CEO of Key Software Solutions in the US. This is the story of Dream On...a spirit to take every negativity as a challenge......
Read on..

Friday, October 16, 2015

Tax Implications on PF Withdrawal before 5 years

A perfect retirement planning tool - Employee Provident Fund - can have serious tax implications which you may be unaware of. Get wiser by understanding the situations under which the EPF is taxed, and what all comes under the taxable EPF income....Read on..

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

20 Extraordinary Lessons from "The Small BIG" by Steve J Martin


It is often not big changes, but small ones, that spark big influence in our lives. If ever there were small things that you could potentially achieve you extraordinary results, you ought to read this book. This book has the potential to impact your daily life by bringing in the minimal changes and achieving remarkable outcomes...
Do you already follow some of them? 
Read on..

Monday, October 05, 2015

Change the way you Gift

Gifting is such a beautiful aspect of relationship building. When you gift something to your loved one, you are gifting a piece of your thinking. You show that you care, and that you value the relationship. However, with time, the art of gifting has become mundane - kitchenware, sweets, dry fruits, juices...
It is high time we change the way we gift...Gift something that elevate someone's life..Read on...

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Jack Ma of Alibaba : A Dream On Story

Jack Ma is a Chinese business magnate and philanthropist. He is the founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group. He is the first mainland Chinese entrepreneur to appear on the cover of Forbes. Did you know that this richest man in China, was rejected from 30 jobs, ridiculed, and termed as stupid...Yes, he had his share of setbacks, but every setback was a little nudge from the almighty, for him to Dream On.
This is a peculiar Dream On story where setbacks in his life showed him the way...Read on..

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

27 Key Lessons from the book : "Gems from Warren Buffet" by Mark Gavagan


This is my book No. 10 of the year 2015. 
"Gems from Warren Buffet" by Mark Gavagan has some of the most wittiest and also the most insightful thoughts culled from 34 years of Warren Buffet's letters to Berkshire stakeholders....
Read on...

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The new Gold Bond and Monetisation Scheme

If you want to buy gold for investment, or if you already have gold that is essentially an investment, the Government of India has two new deals for you. These deals are designed to let you get the core benefit of investing in gold, plus a little more...Read on...

Monday, September 14, 2015

Kim Phúc : A Dream On Story

Now in her 50s, Kim Phuc lives in Toronto and has created an organization to promote peace. She will speak on Feb. 19 at a conference of educators at the Fenn School in Concord.
This is the first Dream On story we are publishing in our blog. This is a story about the brave Kim Phúc who took the war setbacks as her stepping stone to change the world around her. But for the setbacks, we would never have had the kind of organisation she runs today....Read on...

Saturday, September 12, 2015

High Dividend Stocks as an Investment Strategy

Champion investors love dividend paying stocks. They love the feel of passive income and positive cash flow. What about you? Do you love the feeling of tax free dividend income making its way right into your bank account while your stocks continue to do well?
Investing in high dividend stocks is a great long term investment strategy, but it is always better to understand its pros and cons.
Ready to invest? Then find out what are the best high dividend stocks to invest in...
Read on..

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

DREAM ON Book - The Launch, Reviews, Target Readers

This is my most passionate attempt at elevating our society. This is about Dreams. This is about not only facing setbacks but embracing them, this is about LIFE. We were blessed by the presence of a Mount Everest Conqueror (Mr Ram Lal Sharma) and a Limca Book of Records Holder cyclist (Vamini Sethi) as a part of the launch event for our book DREAM ON.... Read on...

Friday, August 28, 2015

7 Days for the launch of DREAM ON !!

'Dream On' is going to be my most passionate attempt ever. This is going to push you out of your comfort zones and lead a more meaningful life... Dream On is here...Just 7 days to go...Read some pre-launch excerpts from the book and what beta readers have been saying... Read on..

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Dividend Stripping Strategy

Do you know that Dividend stripping is an investing strategy that can potentially save you a lot of money? If you invest in Mutual Funds or Stocks, understanding this strategy can be quite a handful to get that extra advantage...Read on...

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Fine Art of 'Acceptance'

'Acceptance' is a word so often heard, that we tend to confuse it with being dormant or not being responsive to a situation. However, the fact is that Acceptance is an art. Understand this subtle art, and it can significantly elevate to your life...read on..

Thursday, July 30, 2015

5 Simple Techniques for a Relaxed Sleep

Not having a relaxed deep sleep at night? Usually, a hard days work should be enough to get you a sound sleep, unless your mind is working overtime. Here are five simple and practical tips that can help you get your perfect sleep instantly...read on...

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Definition of NRI


So often, we use the term NRI (Non Resident Indian), but not everything is as simplified when it comes to tax implications when you earn your money outside India. Let us understand the conditions in which you can be termed as an "NRI". This is fundamental to understanding what taxes are applicable for you, and where you can save or invest money...read on...

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Art of Learning from Mistakes

There is either success or learning. There is nothing called as failure. Many of us understand this by now, and most leaders and positive thinkers would say that they learn from every failure. But hold on, there is 'art' in learning too. It is not that simple to learn.
Learning can be revengeful, promising or self transforming. It all depends on why we want to learn...read on...

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Which Income Tax Return (ITR) form should you file ?



[Last Updated : 5-Jul-2017]
Its the same time of the year. Time to file your Income Tax Returns. Before you file, you got to be aware of which Form is relevant for you.
As an example, those who avail HRA, have availed LTA or had any other "exempted income" more than Rs. 5,000 in the entire year, need to be careful before choosing their form...Read on..

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Knowledge Vs Wisdom

While we strive to acquire more knowledge and our areas of expertise, wisdom is something that cannot be acquired by reading, listening or experiencing. You cannot 'acquire your way' to wisdom. You need to 'let go your way' to wisdom....read on...

Monday, July 06, 2015

3 corners of a fulfilling life

Three key ingredients that make a life worth living : Dreams, Freedom and Happiness. As we get set to launch the book "Dream On" on our 3rd pillar (Dreams), we will complete the circle that we started almost 4 years back - with only one intent - to elevate lives around us....
Want to know how to streamline and balance your life? read on...
Any balanced life which is truly worth living, will always have these 3 ingredients : 

(1) Dreams
Dreams are the key which help us script the story of our life. HE has given us unlimited powers, and the biggest of all the powers is the power to dream. We have all been created unique. How we script the journey of our life, which powers do we use, which of these powers go on to become our strengths and our passion, and how we convert our passion into a mission of our own life - is all in our hands. 
HE sent us here to fulfil that mission, and it will be a pity of we live our life small. We show you how and why to get going on your mission of life in the upcoming book "Dream On". It is a story of a boy who learns to dream.
We get set for the launch of this book in September this year. To keep yourself abreast of the latest developments around this, go ahead and 'Like' our Facebook page for Dream On.

(2) Freedom
Once your dreams are crystalised, you get into the mode of fierce action. Such intense action that you enter a "zone" where problems start presenting the solutions automatically. 
To be effective in this zone, the first lever that you would need in your hand is 'freedom' - freedom from the rut of earning money - aka Financial Freedom. This freedom will let you chase your passion and try and discover your purpose of existence, else your time will be majorly consumed in generating money, and your life is very likely to end in regret and frustration. 
"From the Rat Race to Financial Freedom" was the first book that we launched in this series (in May 2013) and it showcased a journey of a common man - on how anyone like you and me can plan and complete this journey, and get financially free. You can get more details on this subject by visiting our Freedom Portal

(3) Happiness
While freedom will enable us to move in the direction of our dreams, we must never forget that whatever happens in our lives, whether we achieve our dreams or not, Happiness is something that is inherent and guaranteed, as long as we learn to enjoy the journey rather than the result. The 'pursuit' of a mission is self rewarding. 
We are full of love and happiness as long as we learn to prevent leakage of happiness to external objects, situations and people. We have an unlimited source of happiness inside us, and once understood and practised, this can enable us to experience what we term as "Happiness Unlimited" in the book by the same title, which was the 2nd book we launched in August 2014. You can visit the Happiness Portal for more details on this subject.

That is it. There is nothing else which a fulfilled life would need if it can experience freedom, unlimited happiness and is in the pursuit of its mission. These are the 3 corners of a fulfilling life. Everything else is operational in nature, and a subset of these 3 corners. These 3 corners form an integral part of our mission to elevate the world around us. Therefore, we continue to offer free coaching, consulting, QA sessions on any of the above 3 topics of life that you may be keen on.

We feel grossly fulfilling today to have announced the launch date for "Dream On" and complete this circle of life comprising of Dreams.Freedom.Happiness, which will further help us in elevating lives all around us. 

Thank you each one of you, the readers, fans, supporters, friends, family, critics and every single person who gave us the wisdom to shape this journey, the way it is today.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Stocks vs Mutual Funds

Most of us feel that investing in direct company stocks is risky. Of course, it is. But so is investing in mutual funds, for the simple reason that mutual funds also invest in company stocks. You may feel that mutual funds is still safer because of the expertise that the fund house has as regards fund management and detailed analytical reports, but then remember that rewards are always in proportion to the risk. Let us do a pointwise analysis of Mutual Funds and Stocks...read on...

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Creating Positive Chains - A Social Service Sitting at Home.

Over the last few years, during my interaction with thousands of my book readers and fans, I realised that there are so many of them who want to contribute to the society and the world around them, but are unable to do so for lack of time.
So, for all of you, who want to be a part of this change and impact our society positively, here is a simple way which my daughter recently learnt....

"Happiness is not only in feeling happy but also sharing your happiness around you. It is simple. When was the last time you felt good?" I asked my daughter.

"When I was appreciated by my school teacher in front of all the children." She responded without any hesitation.

"Right, and what has been the best incident or the most positive incident in your life till date?"

"When I worked hard and got Rank 1 in the class."

"And when you learnt that you got Rank 1, what was your first thought that was making you happy?"

"Well, I was happy thinking about the fact that I will come and share this wonderful news with all of you at home."

"Right, and how were you feeling all the way from school to home?"

"Very excited to share the news with all of you."

"Exactly, that's the point - It is not only the incident that triggered happy thoughts, but also the fact that you get to share your happiness with your close friends, family and relatives which triggers further happiness."

"Right Dad."

"And then what happened when you shared those positive thoughts with your family?"

"Well, they also felt happy about it, and of course I was appreciated and felt good."

"Great, and then what do you think would have happened to them?"

"I assume that they would have felt the same happiness sharing this news with their friend circle."

"You are right baby, and the chain continues in an exponential form."

"So, what are we trying to say Dad?"

"Here is what I am trying to say. Sharing positivity around you keeps you happy and excited. But the chain does not stop there. This excitement and positive energy spreads positivity to the people with whom you share the news. The chain continues further and makes the world a better place to live. Unfortunately, it is exactly the same with the negative news."

"So, what can we really do about it?"

"We can bring a very big social change if we truly understand and appreciate this concept."

"Social change?"

"Yes. We don't need to open NGOs, we don't need to bring in any kind of other revolutions. We can bring a massive social change and make this world a much better place to live in, just by making sure that we make efforts to share positivity all around us. It is that simple, but it needs a change in our fundamental habit of pressing the 'share' button on positive things and avoiding the 'share' button when we encounter negative situations or incidents."

"I am getting it somewhat."

"And in today's web enabled technology, sharing is perhaps the easiest thing to do. Remember that all this was not easily feasible just a decade back. But today, it is. So, the next time something makes you feel happy - a video, a book, a blog, a true story - don't just stop there and smile or take pride in it. Do not just learn yourself. Take responsibility, share it among your friends, and a chain will get started."

"Right"

"And if you see a murder, a political blame game, or a natural disaster, try and calm yourself down and desist from sharing it, unless it has the potential to save someone's life."

"Super. I get it."

"Start as many 'positive chains' as you can. Get busy creating these 'positive chains'. Create so many of these positive chains that it explodes into an ocean of positivity. You may not realise this immediately, but you are definitely positively impacting someone's day or life with your sharing. Not only that, by the law of karma and the laws of attraction, what you give is what is going to come back to you. So, get set to receive great things in life as well."

"And Dad, what do we do with the negatives that come to us?"

"Just forget the negative chains. Stop the negativity right at you. Completely ignore them. Because as soon you ignore it, the chain dies off at you, and cannot grow any further. If most of us can do that, soon their will be a time when the positive chains will completely outnumber the negative chains. It is like a nuclear reaction. It just becomes uncontrollable after some time."

"Got it. I have to go Dad, and meet some of my friends urgently. Thank you for your wonderful advice."

"No problems darling, But why are you in such a hurry? Is everything fine?"

"No, everything is fine Dad. Your concept of creating 'positive chains' - this itself is worth sharing and talking to my friends...bye."

I saw her race past through the lane and mingle among her group of friends. She was in the center of the group and others were listening, as she was trying to convey a message. As I saw her create her own 'positive chain', I was just thinking that our moral responsibility as a citizen of the country, as a responsible member of this society and as a global citizen does not end by just keeping ourselves away from the negatives, and surrounding ourselves with the positive. If only we learn, the chain has stopped at us. We also have the onus to take this forward and spread more positivity around. The positive chains have to move on.

Sharing of positive information deserves much more attention than it is getting now a days. What becomes the headline today is not if someone saved somebody's life. Rather the breaking news is if someone took someone's life. We need to change that, and the change starts with each one of us, with me, with you.

Let us get going right now, and with every click, let's initiate our 'positive chains'.

The book Happiness Unlimited shows you many such lessons to lead a happier, contented life.

Cheers


Sunday, June 21, 2015

13 Mutual Fund Myths Busted

The moment we talk about Mutual Funds, what are the first thoughts that come to your mind? If it is risk, market, stocks, unsafe, low growth or anything that does not generate a positive momentum, then probably you are one of the billions who would love to burst some of your mutual fund myths...read on...

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Our opinion about ourselves is all that matters

Our opinion about ourselves is all that matters. Really? 
Arushi found out about this niche life skill when she appeared for, perhaps, the toughest exam of her student life till now.

She was preparing day and night for the All India Phase Test at FIIT JEE. She just enrolled this year. It was going to be another big challenge for her. She had been a top performer in her school till 7th standard, but this was different, very different. This was highly competitive at all India level, new concepts and a vastly different pattern of studying. 


A day before her actual exam, I was ready with my sample test. It took me more than 2 hours to prepare this sample test, and I tried and made this as close as possible to the real Phase Test situation that she was likely to face the next day.

Both, Arushi and I, had gone through a tough week of understanding  the fundamental concepts of physics, chemistry and mathematics, attempting tons of practise questions, using unlimited formulae, and hundreds of real life applications of these concepts. Google had of course been a great help.

She wanted to hit the bulls eye in the practice test. She worked and prepared herself accordingly, and she did appear for this practise test with all earnest. She was now hoping for the best score.

It was my turn to check and mark the practise answer sheet.  I could not find any issue with the first 34 questions of the 40 questions. I had to give her 100%. Then came a series of 3 questions where she goofed up.

And she was upset, and sad for she had really worked hard for it.

"Why are you sad, Arushi?"

"You know it, Dad." and she was on the verge of crying. She knew she had given it her best shot.

"But I thought you should be happy about it."

"Happy about getting these 3 questions wrong? What are you saying Dad?"

"Happy about two things:
First, doing them wrong while still in a practise test. If you were not doing this practise test, you would have been doing this wrong in the actual test tomorrow. 
Second, there is no wrong or failure - there is only learning. You should be happy that now you would get something new to learn."

"That is fine Dad, but everyone everywhere measures you by the result, and not by your knowledge or effort you put in."

"May be. But who are others to judge you? And what is the guarantee that they would continue to judge you well? More important is how does a person judge himself or herself? How do you judge yourself?"

"Means?"

"Means, no one knows you better than you, yourself. Let us say that you have the required knowledge in a subject but you get less marks than what you deserve, probably because of some silly mistakes, then would your judgement about yourself be that you do not know the subject?"

"No."

"But that's not how people outside will judge you."

"Right."

"And who would be correct?"

"Of course me. But hold on, in the end - for everything, what matters is the result, isn't it? How does my opinion about myself matter."

"No, What only matters is our opinion about yourself, and nothing else."

"How do you say that, Dad?"

"Following the expectations of others will only limit our experiences in life. Do you know that a palliative care nurse by the name of Bronnie Ware polled a number of elderly people while on their deathbeds. She asked them about their deepest regrets in life.
The following took the number-one position by a landslide:
“I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

"Ah, I see..."

"And remember that results are anyways, never in your hands. What you have in hand is your effort. So, go on, do your best effort, and enjoy the result - for the result is always what it should have been - just designed for you - by none other than HIM. HE has a plan for you, and he is working it out. Enjoy this beautiful journey as HE takes you forward, while you continue to make your best effort."

"I get it, Dad. I think I am all set for tomorrow's exam."

"Good for you, Arushi."

The exam day arrived. She seemed relaxed. She came back smiling after the exam, and as she met me outside the gate of the examination center, said
"God did have a plan, Dad."

Pleasantly surprised, I looked at her , and asked 
"And what was that plan?"

"I got the same question in the actual exam that I did wrong in the practise test yesterday at home, and this time I did it right."

"Awesome. What next?"

"Thats it Dad, I enjoyed appearing for the exam for the first time in my life."

"Great, and when is the result for this coming out?"

"Who cares Dad !! Who is bothered about the result. I enjoyed putting in my best effort. And I am ready for the next journey - and make it as beautiful and enjoyable as possible."

"Phew...your life skills implementation is awesome"

As we walked away to McDonald's to celebrate our great effort, we were happily aware that:

  • It is the journey and the effort that needs celebration, rather than the results.
  • We have given in our best effort, and nothing else was in our control. 
  • We only know that we have put in our best effort, and no one else in the world does. Our opinion about ourselves is all that matters - truly !!

The book Happiness Unlimited shows you many such lessons to lead a happier, contented life.

Cheers


Monday, June 15, 2015

Home Loans Vs Land Loans


While home loans are easily available for salaried employees, what about a loan to buy a residential plot? Plot loans are also available without too much difficulty and, in most cases, at the same rates as a home loan. But other terms and conditions could be different. It definitely requires some planning. Let us understand more on Land Loans...

Basic Difference
The basic difference between the Home Loan and the Land Loan is in the end-use. The plot loan is for purchase of a piece of land for a residential purpose, unlike a home loan which is for the purchase or construction of a house.

Property Location and Type
Unlike home loans which are available on all properties irrespective of their location or type, you may get a land loan only for a residential plot. Also, the property should be located within municipal or corporation limits. Consequently, you cannot obtain funding for buying an agricultural land, or for buying a piece of land in a village. 

Lower Loan to Value (LTV)
The Loan to Value (LTV) for a plot loan could be lower than in a home loan. LTV is the ratio of the loan to the value of the property, in this case the residential plot. In a home loan for buying or construction of property, lenders offer up to 85 per cent of the property value. In a loan for a plot, the LTV could be lower, at 60-75 per cent. This essentially means that you have to cough up more money from your pocket to get the loan cleared.
Maximum Loan Amount
The restriction is not only in the LTV, but also on the maximum loan amount. Most banks keep a maximum upper limit on land loans. As an example, Punjab National Bank stipulate maximum loan availability of Rs 50 lakh for purchase of land. Check with your bank on the upper limit on loan amount before you shortlist your lender, as this can considerably affect your finances if you are looking for a big ticket loan for investing.

Construction Start Date
For a land loan, the construction must start within a stipulated time period stipulated by the local authority or as specified by the bank. If construction does not start within the defined stipulated period (Earlier of the two dates), bank may recall the loan or increase the rate of interest. For example, SBI requires that construction begin within two years of availing the loan.

Tenure
Loan Tenure could also be lower than home loanFor instance, in a home loan, lenders are willing to give loans even up to 30 years. For plot loans, this tenure is somewhere between five and 15 years.

Floating / Fixed Rate
As with home loans, both floating rate and fixed rate options are available for plot loans. Lenders such as ICICI Bank, State Bank of India (SBI), Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) and PNB Housing offer plot loans at the same rates as home loans. Some lenders charge a higher rate on plot loans but this is case and profile dependent.

Tax exemption
Unlike a housing loan, which is eligible for income tax deduction for payment of both interest as well as the principal amount, 'pure' land loans do not offer any such benefit. You can avail tax deductions only if you are constructing a house in the plot. If you construct a house on the same plot, you will be able to claim tax benefits in respect of the loan from plot as well as from construction of house. 
The deduction in that case is applicable only for the loan amount taken against construction, and only after completion of the construction activity. Once the construction is completed, remember to submit copies of the completion certificate or occupation certificate to the bank so that the plot loan can be converted into regular home loan and borrower can avail income tax benefit.

Land Loan and NRIs
Non Resident Indians are a potential segment of property buyers in India. If you are a Non Resident Indian and seeking to purchase a plot through a land loan, an extensive search is required. Majority of banks do not offer land loans to Non Resident Indians. Even if offered, they may come at a higher interest rate. 

Prepayment or foreclosure
Floating rate home loans are exempt from prepayment charges by the Reserve Bank of India and National Housing Bank. However, some banks and housing finance companies have taken a view that plot loans are not included in this definition of a home loan and they may apply foreclosure charges in such cases. Customers must take a written clarification from the bank/housing finance company on this matter while availing the loan.

Eligibility conditions
As with a regular home loan, lenders will check borrowers' repayment capacity, which is based on monthly income, savings history, number of dependents in the family and spouse's income, if any.
In addition, while applying for a plot loan, borrowers need to present documents such as the copies of the allotment letter, approved drawings of proposed purchase, agreement for sale/sale deed from architect/engineer for the property to be purchased, and title deeds, including the previous chain of the property documents in resale cases.
For converted properties (change of land use, etc), banks check whether conversion charges and development charges have been paid. Non-availability of these may result in your application being rejected, despite your being eligible with regard to income and repayment criteria.

Due diligence
Unlike a built property, due diligence in case of a plot is more complex because land records are not digitised and buyers will have to refer to manual records. Buyers must check if the land ownership is single or joint or if family-owned. If so, does the seller have the right to sell or can any other family member claim the land?
A safer option is to buy a developed plot - residential ones with infrastructure like water, sewer, electricity and loans. Buyers can buy these from developers and construct their own houses.

Where and Who?
Buying a residential plot might not be possible in metro cities, where land prices are very high. But in towns like Nagpur, Aurangabad, Kanpur, Mangaluru, Bhopal, Vizag, Vijayawada, etc, developed plots are as easily available as residential flats. Some developers who offer developed plots are DLF, Unitech, BPTP, Vipul, Raheja, Aditya and Sobha.
In smaller cities, land is relatively less expensive. So, many buyers prefer to buy plots and construct their own houses. But buying a standalone plot is riskier. Not only because of the due-diligence, but because you might also have to protect it from encroachment. Guarding it, especially if it is another town, can be difficult and stressful at times.

Cheers

Manoj Arora
Freedom can buy you.... what money cannot !!

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