Buying property in India if you are an NRI

As an NRI or Non-Resident Indian, you can buy property in India. Your current location does not matter. In addition, you do not need any specific permission to be able to buy property. Also, you can apply for a home loan if you need some financial assistance in purchasing property. Therefore, it is quite easy to buy property in India even if you are an NRI. Here, we will see some of the steps that need to be taken in order to buy property in India.

Reasons to buy property in India if you are an NRI 

Some NRI people prefer to reinvest in their home country, either for rental or retirement purposes. What makes this idea attractive is the fact that the RERA and the GST Acts have improved the level of transparency surrounding real estate purchases in the country. There are also tax benefits for those NRI people seeking to purchase property in India. Additionally, the rupee is mostly weak against the dollar. This makes it more attractive for NRIs in the U.S.

Things you should know before purchasing property in India 

Restrictions on purchase

As an NRI, you are free to purchase any land that does not fall under certain categories and there is no restriction on the total number of properties that you can purchase. You cannot purchase land that is farmland or used for plantations. The exception also includes farmhouses.

Trends in purchase 

In recent times from about 2017–2018, there appears to have been a shift in NRI expression of interest. This relates to NRIs preferring more commercial and luxury residential properties compared to preceding years. This shift can be attributed to a perceived higher rate of return on these investments. 

Tax benefits 

India offers non-resident Indians tax benefits. It is possible for you to claim an income tax deduction under the Income Tax Act. Selling a property within two years of purchase is not advisable since the gains from that may be taxed at a higher rate than if the sale had been much later. The tax benefits mentioned here are available to you if you file IT Returns in India. While a deduction in income tax can be claimed, it is to be noted that the rent from the property (if any) will also be considered as taxable income and a tax can be levied on the same. 

Employing the advice of property consultants 

It would be best to employ property consultants for real estate purchases, especially if you cannot spend a lot of time on this process. This would save you time that would otherwise be spent on research and money through negotiations. It would be best to employ a consultant who is registered under the auspices of RERA. These consultants can also help you choose good places to invest in, with future growth potential that can help improve return on investment. 

Loan conditions 

You can avail a loan in India as an NRI, but the loan amount disbursed will only be a maximum of 80% (subject to the gross monthly income of the applicant) of the cost of the property. Also, the loan amount will not be disbursed to the NRI account but instead to the account of either the seller or the developer. You can repay the loan amount using one of the many options available to you but ensure that this method of repayment has been approved by RBI. 

Documents required 

When it comes to the documents required, there are two parts to it. One part relates to the documents you require to be presented with as a purchaser and the other part relates to the documents you need to provide as support and proof. For the former, documents such as the title deed, tax receipts, approval for the plan, and so on are required. For the proof of identity process, your passport, proof of visa and PAN card will be required in addition to details about your account and what method of repayment you will be using. 

Conclusion 

As an NRI, you can buy property in India subject to certain conditions. Since India is one of the biggest real estate markets in the world owing to various factors, it can be considered a good idea to invest in India. The return on investment will vary depending on the type of property you invest in. Generally, it can be said that the returns are good for commercial and luxury properties. You need to take care while choosing a property consultant in order to avoid untoward incidents. Also, you can travel to visit the property before making the final decision.

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