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E-book: PDF- The Most Jugaadu 1 BHK

Moving to a new home can be stressful but at vouchercloud, we are on a mission to make it a lot more tolerable. The World’s Most Juugadu 1BHK is a look at our best recommendations for an easier and more efficient move.

With everything you need to know about packing and moving your home, this E-book includes tips for unpacking and settling into the new space. There's a lot to go over, so feel free to skip around.

Read the full E-Book below, or download the PDF here.

House


The Most Jugaadu 1 BHK Ever

A majority of India’s population, especially the urban youth, lives in small 1 bedroom apartments. This guide, aimed at this audience, is filled with hacks, DIY projects and nifty tips that help you move into your new home and maximize the utility of space. The book’s hacks, DIYs are extremely useful for students, singles, and couples moving into a new home.

Content


Hacking the Heck Out of a New House

If you’re twenty-something year old and thinking about moving out or upgrading your space, chances are you have already realized that your dream apartment doesn’t exist; Every flat you see is either too small, too far, or just plain ugly. Even if you do find that perfect space that ticks all the right boxes, you probably don’t have the money for it.

The fact is moving into your first apartment is grueling. You sort through listings, tossing out the letdowns - as if that 1 room shanty could ever be considered a 1 bedroom house- then make call after call scheduling appointments, all in the hope that you can find that perfect apartment.

Home Hacks:

We know just how hard moving is, that’s why we are passing on some handy Home Hacks; tried-and-true methods that we are sure will make your hunt for a great new place a whole lot easier and help you squeeze every drop of utility from your new, dare we say it?- Dream Home

Finding the Right Place

Let’s start with the basics, to make the most of your new space you’ll first need to find your ideal apartment.

Home Hacks 1 : List down your ‘wants’ and ‘needs’.

Before you start looking you should consider and list down any requirements or expectations that you have from your new pad.

Things to consider before you begin house hunting:

Budget:

The single most limiting factor in a house hunt is your budget so begin your hunt by creating a realistic budget. Decide what you can afford in rent, including monthly utilities. Needless to say, don’t waste your time looking at any apartments out of your price range.

In most cases real estate agencies require proof of monthly income to secure an apartment; additionally, higher-priced locations may only accept candidates who make over a certain income.

Locale:

The second step is to consider which locality suits your needs best. Take into account commute times, your lifestyle needs and local conveniences before you decide on a specific locality. Deciding on the neighborhood you want to live in, will save you a lot of time driving around to see prospective places only to realize you hate the area. The more focused you are the more time you can devote to finding the perfect place for you.

If you can’t settle for one particular locality, drive and walk around different parts of the city where you might like to live; this will help you make your final decision.

Structural Specifications:

Make a wish list of what you want your new home to be like. Do you want a balcony? Do you want an on-site pool? Do you want to live near bus or train stations? Figure it out and create your wish list. If you have furniture, take measurements of both the furniture and the rooms and doorways to ensure furniture fits on moving day.

Once you create this list you can easily keep a record of each apartment you visit. Note what features are extra or missing this will help you make a confident final decision.

Been through these basics? You are now ready to begin looking for a house.

House Hunting Checklist

Home Hacks 2 : Internet Listings Are Your Best Bet!

There was a time when the only place you could find apartment listings was the back of a newspaper. You're lucky enough to live in a world you can conduct apartment searches of all sorts online, and it’s almost always packed with additional photos, video, and information.

With so many apartment hunting apps, services, or tools to choose from, we’ve shortlisted our 5 favorite, here they are in no particular order:

Housing.com:

With the most number of posted listings, Housing.com is a treasure trove for house hunters. It has simple yet detailed filters that let you cut through the clutter and find what suits your needs most. Where Housing.com really earned our respect was the Maps like layout that they use to display results. His can be particularly useful if you are new to the area as it gives a great sense of just where the prospective property is located.

Housing.com india search

Our "requirements" were still far too extreme

Common Floor:

Just like our previous mention, common floor is a portal exclusively used for property listings. Once again an array of filters ensures you’re not wasting time scouring unnecessary listings. We did notice fewer listings on Common Floor than on housing.com though.

Magic Bricks:

Magic Bricks has all makings of a great property portal, a particularly nifty feature is the ‘Advice’ tab that allows you to gain a very detailed understanding of specific by aggregating all relevant information very well.

OLX:

OLX is a massive online market place, though they list just about everything on their portal, we were pleasantly surprised by how well they had curated property listings than came complete with filters for localities, budgets, square footage, and a whole lot more. OLX had probably the largest number of listing we had come across.

Quikr:

With a lot of listings to choose from Quikr is a good bet. Make the best out of this portal by scanning as many searches and tags as possible.

Note - upon making enquiries we found a majority of the listings were actually posted on these portals by real estate agents, hence we highly recommend also asking a real estate agent in the vicinity if you are looking for flats in only a particular locality. That really can’t do anything but improve the odds of you getting that house you want.

Home Hacks 3 : Check Your Cell Phone When House Hunting

Before you commit to leasing or buying a place, make sure you get a signal on your cell phone, or you'll end up having to break your contract and going with another provider.

It maybe trivial to think but it is the reason of sorrow for many unhappy tenants the world over.


Preparing to Move

The Lease

You’ve finally found that one place you are happy to call your own, there just a few a tedious tasks that stand in your way.

Home Hack 4 : Sign the Lease Agreement only after consultation

When Kshitij Nadekar finalised the house he wanted to rent in Pune a year ago, he thought he would stay there for 2-3 years till he bought his own house. He had agreed to pay a monthly rent of Rs 5,000 and furnished Rs 50,000 as deposit money. However, six months later, the landlord wanted to increase the rent by Rs 500 as the rentals in the area had gone up. "My landlord told me that such an increase was the norm, and since nothing was mentioned in the lease agreement, I had little option but to pay the additional money" reported Nadekar to local The Times of India.

Mr. Nadekar could have avoided this hassle if he had scrutinised the rent agreement carefully or better yet checked with a realtor or lawyer and made changes that could have served his interests better. However, most tenants are not even aware of the points that should be included in the rent agreement.

We highly encourage asking a real estate agent to help you through the process of signing the rent agreement. His or her fee for will be a justified fraction of the entire transaction.

Things you should check while sifting through the contract -

Is the lessor the actual owner?

Before you sign the agreement, be sure that the person you are transacting with is the actual owner of the property. Often, NRIs or investors hand over their property to caretakers, who may lease it to a third party without the knowledge of the owner.

So, you should verify the title documents, such as the sale deed and share certificate, besides obtaining a noobjection certificate (NOC) from the housing society where you want to lease the property.

If the apartment is mortgaged, the original sale deed will be in the custody of the bank. In such a case, an NOC should be obtained from the bank. This will mention the rightful owner's name.

As a tenant you should be wary of arbitrary eviction clauses while dealing with an unsolicited party. A case of trespassing can be filed against such a tenant if he refuses to vacate within a given time frame. The tenant cannot challenge eviction in this case.

What does the rent agreement contain?

A rent agreement includes the terms and conditions under which the property is given on rent.

It specifies the rent value and the tenure for which the agreement is made, as well as the security amount that needs to be deposited with the landlord by the tenant.

The agreement should also clearly mention the day before which the rent is expected to be paid. If the tenant fails to pay the rent before the predetermined period, the penal charges that he would be liable to pay should also be defined in the agreement.

The rent agreement could also mention the facilities, such as parking space or the usage of society's gym, included with the property. There could also be additional monthly charges, such as the society maintenance charge and club fee. It's best if the additional charges for using such facilities are clearly spelt out, along with the person who is supposed to bear them.

Note - The tenure of a rent agreement is usually 11 months, unless otherwise specified in the contract. If it's for more than a year, it's mandatory for the owner to get the document registered. The agreement should also specify the notice period and penalty for cancelling the agreement without completing the specified period. Typically, a two month notice is served in case of high rental properties, while one month's notice is sufficient for low rental ones.

Important Specifics

You should verify whether the owner has included a rent escalation clause in the lease agreement, which could be used to increase the rent after a couple of months. The best way to safeguard yourself is to ensure that the agreement specifies the dates on which the rent escalation will be applicable and the percentage of increase.

You should also make sure that there is a clause on the sale of the house. If the owner decides to sell the house during the term of the rent agreement, you should know how many months you get to search for another accommodation.

It's also important to check that all the appliances and the connections in the house are working properly before you sign the agreement. Usually, minor repair work for installed electrical appliances is the responsibility of the tenant and he has to pay for them. However , if the property is damaged because of negligence on your part, the landlord can rightfully use the security money deposited with him for carrying out the necessary renovation.

You also have the right to see the documents that prove all previous bills related to the house have been paid, especially the electricity, water and gas bills. While you are at it, make sure to peruse the papers that state the property tax has been paid by the landlord.

For Students, Singles and Non Vegetarians

Sometimes owners impose certain restrictions on a person renting his flat — like no pets, no non-vegetarian food, no bachelors or no sharing the flat.

Fact is there is no such provision in Indian law allowing owners to do so. This is matter of personal choice; owners may decide whom to lease and whom not to hence an owners decision is final.

There are no rules as to a maximum number of people that can stay in the rented flat and if the housing society has not passed any resolution than bachelors can stay in rented flats. But again the owner of the flat does have the authority to decide as per his/her discretion.

And if the owner says it’s a “Pure Vegetarian” household then all resident carnivores should ready themselves to eat-out a lot.

Home Hacks 5 : Hire a mover, it’s always worth it*

Hiring professional movers in India is cheap. Various agency are available for movers and packers, you need to choose wisely because many are inexperienced and doing the job just because they have a truck and some rope. Some companies may provide only local relocation services while other provides packers and movers services in metro cities.

Generally, it’s better to go with the registered or experienced player for the sake of safety. Rather pay a bit more compared to losing your belongings while relocating. Packers and movers understand how a particular item is packed and shifted. Their experienced employees will take care for your goods while shifting.

Do a little bit of research work to get and find the best service provider within your budget.

Though may you have to take care of few things, hiring an agency means you don’t need to worry about your heavier, bulkier belongings. It lowers your stress and helps you with a smooth relocation.

*Unless of course you have such few belongings, you could do it by yourself.

Home Hacks 6 : Choose a mover who offers insurance, but don’t take the insurance

It’s quite ironic but according to the past records, moving companies that provide insurance coverage are more reliable. Thus, it is advisable for you to always select a packers and movers who offer insurance coverage for moving goods. However, it is also not necessary to hire their insurance coverage from your moving company.

In a long distance move though, a suitable amount of insurance coverage can make your relocation risk-free. You will get compensation for any loss or damage or delay according to the hired insurance coverage policy.

Home Hacks 7 : Identify your unloading zone in advance

Take note of the parking place nearest to the door of the delivery address. If a spot is not available in the near the gate of your apartment, then the movers who are involved are liable to add up some additional handling charges. If the shift location is of multiple floors then get ready to pay additional flight charges to the movers as most residential buildings do not facilitate goods (in this case your precious everything!) in the elevator.


Packing Hacks

Now that the formalities are through with let’s get down to the fun stuff - The Packing Hacks. These jugaads should make packing your valuable belongings an absolute cinch.

packing hacks

Packing

Hack Attack - Packing Your Bags and Boxes

  • Duffel bag or suitcase? Use suitcases for your heaviest items. The handles and wheels will make for easy transportation.
  • To maximize the space in your luggage, roll your clothes instead of folding them. You'll be surprised by how much more you can fit this way.
  • Protect breakables such as glass fragrance bottles by slipping them into socks before packing them.
  • Slide clothes on hangers, blazers and jackets directly into large plastic bags. Unpacking will be a breeze.
  • Use an old shower cap to cover the bottoms of your bathroom slippers.
  • Avoid messy explosions by covering all bottles of liquid (shampoo, cleaning supplies, and food) with plastic wrap before putting the top back on.

Look no spills gif

Hack Attack - Packing Dishes Like a Pro

  • Always pack up the kitchen first. Books and clothes only seem as if they take up a lot of time and space. The kitchen is actually the most complicated room to pack, especially with all of those oddly shaped mixers and cooking spatulas and food processors.
  • Wrap breakable dishware in your shirts. Not only are you saving on bubble wrap, but you're also packing multiple items at once.
  • Wrap all of your delicate belongings such as dishware, glass, and more in clothing instead of bubble wrap.

If you’re using boxes

  • Pack your plates vertically to avoid damage or breaking.
  • Ensure you set up the boxes properly and tape the bottoms correctly. Use only strong, wide packing tape and not masking or duct tape
  • Stack plates with thermocol sheets in between one another. It's an easy and cheap way to make sure your plates don't break.

Hack Attack - You Must Do This When Moving In and Out

  • You must take photos of your residence when you first move in and when you move out. This way, you can dispute any unfair charges when you're moving out and won't be liable for any damages caused by the previous tenant.
  • Defrost your fridge a day before moving out. Avoid all kinds of leaks and nasty smells by doing this at least a day ahead of time.
  • Keep track of your moving expenses; some of them are tax-deductible. Move now, save money later
  • Before you leave, fill nail holes with toothpaste. It's the quick and cheap way to cover up all of those holes. Check out the video tutorial below.

Setting Up

You have found you dream home, signed the lease and moved in. You’re now ready to unpack and settle in to your new address.

Regardless of where you live, here is our list of apartment essentials that need to be tackled before you may call your space “Home sweet home”.

Hack Attack - Setting Up The Bedroom

Once everything is moved into the new house, unpack the bedroom first. Sleep takes first priority. After that? The kitchen.

  • You don’t need fancy sheets. It’s easy to be seduced by high thread counts and splashy patterns, but save yourself the remorse once you’ve spilled stuff all over them. Chances are, your first apartment isn’t very big, which means friends may be hanging out in your room and on your bed quite a bit.
  • You don’t need to spend your life savings on a mattress, but don’t buy the cheapest one, either. A cheap mattress is literally money down the drain. You’re better off getting a name brand mattress in a mid-range price, which should last you a good 10 years. If you want to care for your mattress, make sure you also buy the correct box spring and foundation that comes with it — mixing and matching stuff that isn’t made for a specific mattress can cause it to wear out faster.

bedsheets

Hack Attack- Setting Up The Kitchen

Dealing with a small kitchen can be tough, but you shouldn't have to compromise its style or usability! These simple DIYs can turn the unused space above your kitchen into a useful and stylish space.

Kitchen Storage

We were super impressed when One Kings Lane showed us how to turn the unused space above your cabinets into useful and stylish storage.

Keep reading to see how they did it.

Here's what you'll need:

  • 4 small storage racks
  • 1 board -1 inch by 12 inches, cut to length
  • 1 quart of paint (Choose colour depending on your shelf)

The main dilemma in any 1-BHK kitchen is the need for more storage and the most obvious place to add it is above the upper cabinets.

Add a simple wooden shelf, using four modular storage racks stacked on top of the existing cabinets as supports. To unify the new shelving with the existing cabinetry, we painted it the same white as the other cabinets.

This easy addition will nearly double your shelf space along that kitchen wall.

Source: One Kings Lane

Store Lids With A Curtain Rod

  • Store Pots and Pans Lids. A very simple solution that helps you organize your pot lids from.

Pot lid storage

Magazine Holder Becomes a Kitchen Organizer

  • Store some of your kitchen supplies in an upright magazine holder to save space.

Keep Your Sponge Dry and Mildew Free

  • Once you’ve cleaned your dirty counter, sink and stains on the floor, it might be tempting to just run your sponge under some water and set it at the edge of your sink. Doing so, however, sets the stage for mold and mildew to build up. Thankfully, you can keep your sponge from becoming gross and unusable with a simple clip. Just place the sponge upright which will prevent it from sitting in water as well as help it air dry fast.

Enlist the insides of your cabinets.

kitchen cupboard storage

kitchen cupboards

  • Even if you only have one or two little cabinets, you can still stick a corkboard or a magnetic board in there

Or

  • Keep ‘em organized with a coat of black ‘chalkboard’ paint.

Even a narrow rolling cart can serve as extra storage. Stick it in a small, narrow space that wouldn’t serve any use anyway.


The Décor

wall art

Perfect ( and cheap! ) wall art!

  • Take a photo to your nearest print store and have them print it out as a 36-by-48-inch Engineering Print (Rs. 25).
  • Buy and use two 20-by-30-inch foam boards from any stationery (Rs. 10 each) to figured out where you want to "split" your photo.
  • Cut your photo into two photos, with a one-inch border to fold around the foam boards as seen below.

wall art fixings

  • Angle the corners and wrapped the photos around the boards. Use double-sided tape to secure the photos onto the foam boards.
  • Voila, modern looking split frame wall art!

Source: House by Hoff

Above-the-Door Storage

  • Install a shelf above your bathroom door, so your supplies will be within reach anytime you need them.

Setting up the Electronics

  • Getting your electrical appliances and electronics can be arduous, but these hacks will make them a breeze.

Sort Out Your Wires

  • Use bulldog clips and place them at the back of your desk, then string your cables through them to better organize your wires.

wire storage

  • -Use Bread Tags to Distinguish Wires. Tell your wires apart with labelled bread tags.

Don’t go 50-50 with your roommate on shared-use things like TVs or couches.

  • Sure, it may feel like a great deal if you’re each only paying half the money for a sweet TV. But when the time comes to split up (and it will), dividing up the stuff will get awkward. It’s better to own things outright and be clear about which things belong to you.

Get a Phone Dock, Not a Sound System

  • For your sound system, you don’t need much. And this is the perfect one for you, for right now.

What better way to start the morning than knowing exactly where your phone is, having it be fully charged and on an alarm clock that isn’t on your phone? We think this would be a great alternative to buying an expensive music system. The fact that this music system also doubles up as an alarm clock should also help you make a final decision.

Improve Wi-Fi signal in your new with just a beverage can.

improve wifi with a tin can


Miscellaneous Hacks

Get friends to help you move in and give them incentives.

  • Treat them to pizza and beer. Make it such a fun experience that they’re willing to come back the 6th, 7th, and 8th time you move.

Painted Keys

  • Paint your keys with nail polish, so you remember which one opens what door in your new house.

coloured keys

As you unpack, create a ‘donate’ pile.

  • Don’t waste time with planning a garage sale; this becomes yet another thing on the to-do list. Just donate it, release, and let go.

Throw a housewarming party as soon as you feasibly can

  • It’s the only thing that will motivate you to get those last, little, niggling tasks done–like finally get the donations to Goodwill or finding the right bracket to hang that heavy picture.

The Bottom Line on Moving

The unease and anxiety that come with moving is a temporary state–and if you choose for it to be more exciting than anxious, it might even feel like a fun adventure as you get to experience life without the same familiar comforts. Who are you, in this new place? This is what is waiting to be discovered.

We hope that this E-book guide was a useful tool in helping you make a house your new home.


Bibliography

A special thanks to all the contributors and resources that made this E-book Possible.

house skyline