Real estate companies in Sharjah and around the world are on a roller-coaster ride of transformation driven by technology and automation. Almost every real estate agency is being impacted in one way or another by the trends defined below!
- Internet-of-Things (IoT)
Industry giants like Google and Amazon are already in the thick of integrating smart home technology in every unit. Another leap is likely to be taken this year with Internet-of-Things (IoT) in more than 60 percent homes in the US so far. The technology would allow you to read the weather report, book air travel or simply turn the lights ON/OFF with a gesture or voice command as you move across the home.
- Augmented & Virtual Reality (AR & VR)
In 2016, the coming of Pokémon Go was a radical move made possible through the Augmented Reality (AR) platform with New York Times and Google shipping millions of disposable VR headsets a year earlier. Though not much of a custom nowadays, property tours would be conducted virtually by typically state-of-the-art real estate companies in Sharjah!
Finest examples of virtual-based property tours are of YouVisit and Google’s Street View. Touring a street is now a game of simple cursor movement. Consumers in near future would prefer home tours the same way.
- Machine learning
Real estate industry driven by Artificial Intelligence (AI) defines today, tomorrow and future. A catalyst to this rising trend is machine learning that affects consumer buying behaviour through online recommended products based on historical searches and web-based transactions. Property niche would do its best to catch up with the search experiences in media and consumer product industries that’s however pretty cumbersome nowadays.
- Humanising the Big Data
For at least two years, Big Data has been a major debate in technological industry. It influences a business significantly by driving corporate decisions and creates a better consumer experience. Humanising Big Data would make it easier to comprehend, process and manage the technology for overall betterment of real estate industry.
Residential sector has already been using Big Data as a means to pull buyers for years now and in 2017 is likely to be more active. Realtors harnessing social media as a targeting tool are likely to have an edge on industries that simply avoids.
- Physical-digital collaboration
The physical and digital worlds have already merged to a much greater extent with ever advancing technology and Augmented Reality (AR) is the best example. It’s simple as placing an online order from your phone and going to the store to pick it up, thereby saving a lot of time and effort.
The dash buttons from Amazon are other super examples such as a physical console on the washing machine that would automatically ship the detergent to your door when running low.
The collaboration of digital and physical world would allow consumers to skim through a neighbourhood and look for their preferred real estate unit.
Like every other industry, real estate companies in Sharjah experienced radical shifts driven by advance technologies and the only way for long-term survival is adapting these for the betterment.
ULIP vs. ELSS vs. PPF – Which Tax-saving Investment Suits You the Most
If you are looking for tax-saving investments, some of the available options include unit-linked insurance plans (ULIPs), equity-linked savings scheme (ELSS), and Public Provident Fund (PPF).
ULIPs are life policies that combine insurance and investment returns in a single product. ELSS plans are mutual funds that invest in equities and offer tax benefits. PPF is a long-term investment option focusing on building a retirement corpus.
Choosing the right product from many options depends on your current earnings and future financial objectives. Here is these products offer:
These insurance policies utilize part of the premium towards market-linked funds such as debt or equity funds. They do not provide guaranteed returns, as the chosen investments are subject to market fluctuations. You can switch between the various investment options as per your financial goals.
ULIP tax benefits are available under Section 80C of the Income Tax (IT) Act, 1961. Additionally, maturity proceeds are eligible for tax deduction under Section 10(10D) of the Act.
Before you choose to invest in ULIPs, remember that there is a minimum five-year lock-in period. You can use an online ULIP plan calculator to know more about this investment option.
This is a good option if you want to invest in mutual funds and save tax. ELSS plans are diversified funds that invest in particular stocks based on their market capitalization. Almost 65% of the corpus is invested in equities, and therefore, the returns are dynamic and depend on the market performance.
By investing in ELSS, you can avail of a tax exemption of up to INR 1.5 lakh per annum under section 80C of the IT Act. Additionally, the return on investments from ELSS is taxable at 10% without any indexation benefits if the total earnings are more than INR 1 lakh during the financial year.
The lock-in duration for ELSS investments is three years.
PPF is a popular investment option because it offers guaranteed returns as well as tax deductions under section 80C of the IT Act. In addition to the section 80C exemptions, similar to the ULIP tax benefits, the maturity proceeds from PPF are tax-free, which allows you to build a sizable retirement corpus.
The lock-in period for a PPF investment is 15 years. However, you can make partial withdrawals or avail of a loan after seven years. The interest rate is determined by the Government of India and is revised quarterly.
Here are some factors to consider while evaluating the three investment options:
- Risk profile
PPF is a risk-free investment option and is backed by the Government of India. In comparison, ELSS and ULIPs are risky, as these products invest the corpus in market-related investments. If you do not want to assume high risks, PPF can be a suitable investment option.
- Investment horizon
All these three avenues come with a minimum lock-in period. The shortest lock-in period is three years for ELSS investments and the longest is 15 years for PPF. If you are investing for long-term financial goals, such as children’s higher education or retirement, ULIP may be an excellent instrument. You can also use an online ULIP plan calculator to determine the amount you will need to meet future monetary objectives.
- Tax benefits
ULIPs and PPF are exempt-exempt-exempt (EEE) investments where the principal, interest, and maturity benefits are tax-free. On the other hand, if your earnings from ELSS exceed INR 1 lakh during a financial year, these are considered as long-term capital gains taxable at 10%.
Although several other tax-savings investment options are available, you need to consider the changes made to the tax regime in the Union Budget 2020. Moreover, these are relatively popular and safer tax-saving instruments. Before making your investment decision, understand the ULIP plan meaning, and research on PPF and ELSS, to ensure you choose an option that best suits your requirements.
Here’s why you still need Personal Health Insurance instead of relying on Corporate Insurance
Most corporate jobs, along with the salary, offer additional perks. One of the biggest attractions among these various benefits is corporate health insurance. However, these corporate plans are limited to the benefits they offer. At times, they prove to be as good as not having an insurance plan at the time of need. Due to the increased risk of lifestyle diseases and critical illnesses, these plans are insufficient to cater to all healthcare needs. Therefore, it is essential to have a personal health insurance plan covering your healthcare needs with an adequate sum insured. Here is a list of things to analyze about the insurance plan offered by your employer to get a clearer picture of why you need to invest personal health insurance policy:
● Not Customized:
The option of customizing the plan as per your needs is restricted as in corporate insurance. You can opt for personal medical insurance from Care Insurance Company or HDFC Ergo. They offer customized plans according to your preference and need of sum insured.
● No Consideration of Medical History:
There is no thought given about the individual family’s medical history. There are restrictions on things like types of diseases and critical illnesses covered, the inclusion of dependents, etc. On the other side, one can opt for individual health insurance plans, as per the medical history.
● No Coverage after Job Change:
You can get the benefits under corporate health insurance till you are on the job. Once you leave the job, you cannot file the claim. These plans cannot be extended or renewed like individual plans and solely depend upon the employer’s decision.
● No Additional Benefits:
Under these health insurance policies, you cannot get additional benefits such as no claim bonus, automatic recharge, lifelong renewability, etc. Whereas, in personal health insurance, you can avail such benefits to enhance the policy coverage.
● No Adequate Coverage for Family Members:
Coverage for family members is solely the discretion of the employer. It may be possible that you cannot cover your parents or children, or spouse in your corporate policy, or you need to pay a higher premium for the separate cover.
Therefore, if you are also facing the above issues in your current corporate health policy, opt for personal health insurance to assure your health and safety in the future.
Top Health Insurance Companies offer Best Health Insurance Policy in India
|Health Insurance Company||Network Hospitals||Claim Settlement Ratio|
|Care Health Insurance||8350+||92.3%|
|Max Bupa Health Insurance||4500+||83.92%|
|Star Health||8800+||78. 15%|
Benefits of Personal Health Insurance
Look at the below benefits that individual health policy has over corporate health insurance and why it is the best health insurance policy:
- Offer cashless hospitalization facility during a medical emergency and planned hospitalization in the network hospitals
- Provide coverage for in-patient hospitalization, pre and post hospitalization, domiciliary hospitalization, and AYUSH (Ayurveda, Unani, Sidha, Homeopathy) treatment
- Coverage for diabetes, hypertension, thyroid, and other pre-existing diseases
- Provide coverage for on-going treatment, medication, and therapies
- Offer coverage for advanced treatment, daycare treatment, and alternate treatments
- Annual health check-ups help
- Offer tax benefit under section 80D of the Income Tax Act of India 1961
Thus, corporate health insurance offers minimal coverage. But, if you really want to secure yourself and your family against medical emergencies, then opting for personal health insurance is crucial.
Personal Loan or Bike Loan – Which One Would Be More Helpful For Buying a Bike?
If you’re planning to buy a bike, it is essential for you to know the difference between a personal loan and a two wheeler loan. Knowing the ways in which both loans differ from each other will help you make a more informed decision. If you’re wondering which one among these two would be more helpful in your journey to make your dream of owning a two wheeler come true, continue reading to find out.
What is a personal loan?
A personal loan is essentially a loan credit facility offered by a financial institution. One of the main highlights of this loan is that you’re not required to put up any collaterals for availing the credit facility. This essentially makes a personal loan an unsecured loan. And, a personal loan has no restrictions with respect to the usage of the disbursed loan amount. This effectively means that you can use a personal loan for funding almost any expenses such as for traveling, medical expenditures, and even for purchasing a two wheeler.
What is a two wheeler loan?
A two wheeler loan is a loan credit facility offered by a financial institution for the purchase of a two wheeler such as a motorcycle or a scooter. Unlike a personal loan, a two wheeler loan can be used only for the purchase of a two wheeler and not for satisfying any other expenses. Also, since a two wheeler loan is secured, you’re required to put up collateral, which is almost always the two wheeler that you purchase.
Which loan facility would be more helpful when it comes to purchasing a two wheeler?
To answer this question, let’s first compare both of these loans side-by-side.
|Particulars||Two wheeler loan||Personal loan|
|Usage of the loan amount||Restricted to the purchase of two wheelers alone.||Completely unrestricted. Can be used to purchase anything including two wheelers.|
|Maximum amount of loan that can be availed||The price of the two wheeler.||Depends on the individual. Can be anywhere between Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 20 lakhs and above.|
|Loan down payment||Required to pay a down payment of around 10 to 20% of the two wheeler’s cost.||No need to pay any down payment.|
|Interest rates||Since the loan is secured against the two wheeler, the interest rates generally tend to be lower than that of personal loans.||Since the loan is unsecured, the interest rates on personal loans are much higher.|
|Maximum tenure of the loan||Can be extended till 7 to 10 years.||Restricted to a maximum of 5 years.|
|Eligibility criteria||Since the loan has the two wheeler as a collateral, the eligibility criteria is generally more relaxed.||Is dependent on the lender.|
|Documentation||Requires you to submit some documents.||Requires minimal documentation.|
|Ownership of the two wheeler||The two wheeler is hypothecated to the financial institution till the repayment of the loan is complete.||Remains with the owner.|
|Lenders||Banks and financial institutions like NBFCs offer two wheeler loans.||Banks, financial institutions like NBFCs, and even online lenders offer personal loans.|
Although the above table does quite a good job of giving you an objective comparison between the two types of loans, the choice is ultimately dependent on you and your needs and requirements.
If you’re a person who prefers to not make any down payments, then a personal loan may just be the right choice for you. In addition to that, you also don’t have to put your two wheeler up as a collateral for the loan.
On the other hand, a two wheeler loan also has its own advantages. Firstly, the interest rates are far lower and secondly the tenure can be extended till 7 to 10 years, giving you ample time to settle the loan.
Therefore, as you’ve already seen above, choosing between either of these two options completely depends on the individual and their preferences. That said, if you’re ever in the market for a two wheeler loan, always make sure that you take a look at the bike loan eligibility criteria and use a two wheeler calculator before applying for one.
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