Investing in a property has traditionally been the preserve of men in India. It was largely because there weren’t as many career or business opportunities for women, as are available now. Traditional societal norms also had an unwritten, yet strong bias against property ownership by women. Up to the 1980s, a significant percentage of women stayed at home, shouldering the responsibility of a housewife. Since men were the sole breadwinner in most families, big decisions such as property investments were usually taken by them.
However, since the time economic liberalization was introduced in 1990s, a wide variety of employment and business opportunities have emerged for women in India. As married women actively pursue work opportunities, contribute to the household income and raise children, it has become necessary for them to think about savings, investments and other important decisions in life. In recent times, an increasing number of married women have chosen to invest in real estate, as it is among the safest and most profitable option. To better understand the trend, let’s take a look at 7 reasons for married women to invest in a property.
#1. An insurance against uncertainties of life:
The pace of human development has increased significantly over the decades, bringing about a host of social, cultural and economic changes. Relationships are under tremendous strain in today’s age of fast-paced lifestyles. Divorce rates are increasing in many parts of the world including India. There are economic risks as well such as the prospect of losing one’s job. A married woman’s life can also be deeply affected if the spouse faces financial problems, disability, etc. Investing in a property can act as an insurance against such uncertainties of life. It will allow married women to be financially independent and support the family in tough situations.
#2. Regular income through rentals:
Investing in a property is one of the safest ways to earn regular income through rentals. As families grow, they will need more funds for children’s education, college studies, marriage, etc. By renting out the property, married women can meet the rising expenses of the family. Rentals can be increased in the range of 5 to 10 percent every year, which should be enough to manage inflation-based price hikes for everyday goods and services. It is advisable that women take adequate precautions when choosing the tenant. The right tenant would be an individual who pays their rent in time and abides by the rules & regulations of the rent agreement and the society.
#3. To live and work independently:
Investing in a property provides financial security, which in turn allows the individual to live a free, independent life. A property also provides the assurance that no matter how tough the circumstances might be in the future, one would always have a roof over their head. By investing in a property, married women can play a more active role when it comes to important life decisions such as starting a family, shifting to another city or country for better job opportunities, etc. With financial security, a woman will have more bargaining power and more say in how they want to shape their future.
#4. Tax Benefits:
If the house is in the name of both wife and husband and if the property is self-occupied, tax deduction can be claimed on the interest paid on the home loan. Both wife and husband can claim a deduction of Rs 2 lakh under Section 24 if both have separate sources of income and file their tax returns separately. Tax deductions can also be claimed on payment towards principal amount, stamp duty, and registration charges. This would be hugely beneficial, as it will save a significant amount in taxes.
#5. Discount on registration and stamp duty:
Many states have launched special schemes for women property buyers, which allow a discounted rate on registration and stamp duty. This has been done to encourage women to invest in property. Buying a property is considered as an empowerment for women, which is why many states have introduced discounted rates for registration and stamp duty. There can be other schemes as well launched by specific state governments, which can be beneficial for women property buyers. One should make it a point to check for such schemes and utilize them if they are available.
#6. Reduced home loan interest rates:
Most housing finance companies and banks offer a lower rate of interest to women on home loan products. The rate of interest applicable for women property buyers is usually .05 percent lower than other people. The .05 percent gain may appear marginal, but when you consider the amount of loan and the term of 20 to 30 years, even a .05 percent reduction can result in significant savings. Another factor is that after dropping for several quarters, the interest rate on home loans has risen in the second quarter of FY 2018-19. As this trend might continue, women will gain more by investing in a property.
#7. Respect and admiration in society:
Owning a property is a matter of pride and it also helps gain the respect and admiration of the society. By becoming a property owner, women can boost their status in the family and among friends, and social & professional circles. Such respect and admiration would be beneficial for the entire family, as it would help create a positive image in the community. Studies have revealed that women make better property owners, as they are able to develop good relations with their neighbors and tenants.
When investing in a property, married women should be clear about their goals. For example, if the property is being purchased for own use, women need to make sure that the property is located in a good neighborhood and has a well-developed physical and social infrastructure. The project should also have all the amenities that one may desire. If the property is purely for investment purpose, it should be located in a high-growth area that can deliver optimal value appreciation and rental yield. Married women also need to check builder reputation, as it would help minimize the risks associated with project delays and other types of legal hassles.