Why Buying a Home Should Be a Priority for Newly Married Couples
Sarita finished her diploma in computer engineering by the time she was 22. She was a fairly good student but in the village of Bihar where her home was, and where she studied, the job market was dull. As such, she could not immediately get placed in a good company. She tried online and offline for a job and eventually landed one within two years of finishing her studies. Her online job search showed her lots of vacancies in big cities like Kolkata and Delhi, and one of the companies even interviewed her online and offered her a job.
However, she was reluctant to accept the job. As such, the salary, though good for a beginner with her qualification, was obviously not enough for her to manage alone in a big city. She knew that in big metro cities, the rent would be quite high even for small apartments. And then, there were the additional expenses involved in food, clothes, commuting, electricity, and all those daily spends. Further, she was not confident of managing in the unfamiliar ambience of a big city where she knew no one.
When she finally landed a job, it was in the city of Patna to which the commuting time was more than 2½ hours from her village. But the distance seemed quite reasonable, and the family had some distant relatives in the city. Everything worked out well. She liked her job and she managed to get accommodation at a hostel that was not too far away from her office. Her dream of having a house of her own started at that stage. Every time she returned to the hostel from the office, she felt how much better it would be if she had at least a small house to come back to. This yearning was fuelled by the fact that some of her father’s relatives in the city had apartments of their own. It was also fuelled by the fact that her parents did not have a house they could call their own as they had lived in rented accommodation all their lives.
It was a year after moving to Patna that she happened to meet Rakesh, her future husband. Rakesh was a young civil lawyer who had started his practice only three years ago. Meeting a lawyer was highly unlikely within the scope of her job but he had come to her workplace accompanying his younger sister who had to attend an interview there. She met him first at the front foyer of the office where he was making some inquiries with the receptionist.
Then, she again met him inside the lift and finally saw him leaving on a two-wheeler. As luck would have it, Rakesh’s sister managed to get the job and Sarita used roundabout methods to befriend her as that was the only way she could try to somehow connect with Rakesh. It was only later that she knew that Rakesh had also noticed her and was trying to connect with her.
Everything went smoothly. The families approved and within a year they got married. Rakesh lived with his parents and like the average Indian bride who is taught that after marriage, her husband’s family is the real family, Sarita accepted her in-laws fully. She merged with the family, helped her mother-in-law, and attended to the needs of the entire family. Everybody was happy.
But the dream of living in her own house never left her. In fact, the seed of that yearning grew within her and was slowly mushrooming into a tree. However nice her in-laws were towards her, there were issues of privacy when living in a joint family. Both she and Rakesh had to stick to very restrained behaviour and even a small word of endearment or an affectionate caress had to wait till they were in the privacy of their bedroom.
Further, Rakesh’s family home was constructed in the old style where toilets were not attached to bedrooms. They were at the back end of the house, which created safety issues in using the toilet at night. Another issue was that both Rakesh and Sarita were having friends of their own and they found it very difficult to entertain them at their parental home. They wanted some freedom in entertaining their guests.
Rakesh too wanted some freedom, but he was hesitant to broach the subject to his parents. He felt they would be upset at the idea of him wanting to move out with her. But Sarita said that she would manage to get consent from his parents. She told Rakesh that he should persuade his parents to look at a house from the investment angle. Even if they did not live in the new house immediately, they could rent it out and the rent would take care of at least part of the finances. The investment angle made sense to Rakesh because his parents were very keen on making proper investments.
Rakesh did not want a home or apartment that was too far away from that of his parent’s residence. He felt that it should be close enough to let them visit him whenever they felt. Nor did he want a house that was too far away from his workplace so that he would have to commute too much. Sarita agreed that they would search for a strategically located home that would meet all these requirements. Eventually, Rakesh agreed to the idea. After all, he too was fully conscious of the sense of security and pride that a couple felt in having their own home. Nevertheless, finances were still a problem. He was only a beginner in his profession and as of now, he earned less than Sarita. How were they to find enough money to finance a house?
But Sarita had done her homework well. She showed him the names of some real estate agents and also banks that offered home loans at affordable rates. She told him that if the husband and wife opted for a joint home loan, their eligibility would increase. Of course, she knew that a lot of paperwork had to be done to become eligible for a loan and also that their credit score should be good. But deciding to buy a house was the first step and she was happy that Rakesh was in full agreement with the idea.
Advantages of Jointly Owning a Property for Married Couples
For any young couple like Sarita and Rakesh looking to own a home, there are some good reasons to invest in a house right after marriage –
Makes Joint Home Loan Affordable
When a married couple applies for a joint home loan, their combined incomes make them easily eligible for home loans in metro cities, which would otherwise be difficult in the case of a sole earning member.
Reduced Stamp Duty Charges
The governments in many states of India offer a lower stamp duty rate in case a woman is a co-applicant and co-owner of a house. This is done to empower more women to invest in real estate and purchase properties.
Major Tax Benefits
Under Section 80C of the Income Tax, couples availing joint home loans can claim a tax benefit of INR 1.5 lacs each, and under Section 24, further tax deduction up to INR 2 lacs each on interest repayment can be availed. This means a couple can save up to a total of INR 7 lacs on home loan repayment.
Ease in Property Succession
Property transfer in terms of succession to next of kin can create lots of hassles. However, when a couple jointly owns the property, and in case of the demise of one member, the surviving co-owner becomes the sole property owner.