The number of people investing in land is increasing by the day. Rohan Ashley Vincent, in conversation with S Mohan, Managing Director, Wisdom Properties, finds that though there are many advantages in investing in land, buyers must also take a few precautions

What would you say is the best form of investment, when you consider real estate ?

I would say that in terms of appreciation, land is the best form of investment.If someone wants to purchase an apartment and live in it,then that is a good option too. Otherwise, as a form of investment, it is wiser to invest in land as land appreciates in full.

What are the benefits and advantages of investing in land, Compared to other forms of investment ?

Land has its advantages as it is maintenance free. Once you buy it, you just let it be. If you buy an apartment and do not live in it, then you will end up paying for maintenance and other charges on a regular basis. In addition,as I just mentioned, land appreciates in full.For example, if you buy a ground with an area of 2,400 sq ft, then the whole area will appreciate in future.On the other hand,when you buy an apartment, then appreciation is majorly attributed to the undivided share of land (UDS), which accounts for around 30 percent of the property.

What are the trends when it comes to investing in plots What sort of plots do people normally go in for ?

Buying a plot is basically dependent on the buyer's foresight and speculation. One needs to determine and judge which area will develop in the immediate future. Chennai is a city that is rapidly changing, in the sense that people from across the country are moving here. For example, many people are investing in Oragadam, which is in the outskirts of the city. Now the place is in high demand. Guduvanchery, which in my opinion, is the southern entrance of the city, is another place that is in demand. In the south, people are investing in land along GST Road, upto Chengalpattu. People who are investing in land are generally doing so in the city's outskirts. In fact,people are buying small plots in different places. This is because even if the overall development of one place is slow,there is still a good chance that the other places would develop relatively faster.

How does Wisdom Properties assist potential buyers in choosing and buying plots Where are these plots located ?

We provide free site inspections for buyers and all our plots are pre-approved by financial institutions. We have a tie-up with HDFC,and buyers can get loans easily. We purchase the plots from sellers and all the plots are registered in our name.This ensures that only genuine properties are sold to buyers. Our plots are located in places such as Guduvanchery, Singaperumal Koil, Oragadam, Sriperumbudur, Sunguvarchatram, Kanchipuram, etc. Our price range starts from 1.25 lakhs for 600 sq ft or 1/4 ground,and averages at around 6 to 8 lakhs for one ground.

What sort of precautions should people take when they plan on purchasing plots ?

Potential buyers should take two important steps before purchasing a plot. Firstly,they should check the documents of the land with the help of a trusted legal advocate. The patta of the land, which can be obtained from the Revenue Department,and all other documents,should be in order. Secondly, buyers must visit the site and see it in person. This will help in determining the seller's position proof, details like a fence, compound wall, sign board, etc.

Is it advisable to purchase plots without a patta ?

No, not at all. One should only purchase a plot that has a genuine valid patta,as only patta land will get approval. If a plot does not have a patta, then it automatically becomes a poramboke land.

How can one prevent instances of land grabbing and encroaching ?

It is not possible for someone to encroach on clear titled properties and patta land. Once the land has been purchased, clear marking stones with proper numbers on them must be used.