Unraveling the Reality of Steal Deals in Realty

Steal Deals In Realty?

Chadha ji was introduced to me by a close friend based in Gurgaon, who called and put him on speaker with a request to meet him as he is visiting Mukteshwar, and I am based there. 

Chadha ji was bubbling with excitement on this intro call, telling me – “Tiger, you may be advising on land and home acquisition in that region, but tell you what – I have a steal of a deal for a plot of land to build my cottage in a reputed gated community near Nainital. I am coming over to close this weekend before it slips away – and even you will be surprised at my negotiation skills, the astute businessman I am” he squealed with delight, almost visualizing Chadha ji running his hands with a smirk on his lips.

My friend requested me to meet Chadha ji during his visit that weekend, to which I somehow couldn’t say no. Not only because I enjoy meeting people but also due to the inquisitive antenna of a “risk professional” in me, having been activated by his “steal deal” (knowing well what ‘steal deals in realty’ truly mean).

On our drive from Mukteshwar to a reputed gated community en route to Nainital, Chadha ji filled me on the details of his “steal deal”:

An individual had bought this pair of adjacent plots in a reputed gated community, in resale from two separate owners a few years back and registered them in his and his spouse’s name, with an intent to construct his mountain villa on them.

He was now in desperate need of money as Covid had also downsized his business, as it had done with many others.

Chadha ji met him through a common connection on his last visit to the hill town when he was staying in a villa in this community.

During this visit, Chadha ji saw the pair of plots with this individual and liked them immensely because of their location, view, and dimensions, not to mention the elite neighborhood of the community.

Chadha ji found out through his connection and a few people living in the community the current rate the original developer of the gated community was selling available plots at.

On returning back to Gurgaon, Chadha ji met the individual, who also is from Delhi, at the latter’s residence to check the registered sale deed of the two adjacent plots.

He also planned to register each plot measuring 300 sq. Yards each (1.25 nalli’s each, which is the permissible limit in Uttarakhand for land registry and transfer to Non-Uttarakhand residents) in the name of his two sons.

Chadha ji, as per him, very shrewdly expressed disinterest for an immediate decision during this meeting, stating he has budget constraints and other priorities at the moment.

The individual, who was earlier quoting the same rate as the original developer’s going rate in the community, after a couple of discussions, came down to half the going rate, citing his critical need for funds to salvage his business and also that he was still making a profit over his buying price a few years back.

This visit was where Chadha ji wanted to take a final look at the plots, having asked the individual to get the boundaries marked, and then pay the token amount and take the receipt for the same.

The buying price for both these plots was nearing a hundred lakhs.

We stopped for lunch on the way, and I casually asked Chadha ji if I could see the copies of the property papers, which he did.

I saw the papers, which were sale deeds from the original developer to the first owners and then to this individual.

We had reached the site (gated community) by this time.

The individual was there, who met Chadha ji with open arms and a hug. I was introduced to him as a friend, and we exchanged greetings cordially.

We were taken through a tour of the complex – the clubhouse, the viewpoints, etc. by the individual and then finally reached the site of these two adjacent plots; there were two/three laborers drawing boundary lines with chalk.

The individual told Chadha ji that this would be completed by the time we had tea in the club and then Chadha ji could see HIS plots and also if wanting to, can verify the measurements through these laborers.

All well – with our Chadha ji nodding in agreement!

While tea was being served in the clubhouse, I excused myself to make a personal call and joined back in 15 minutes, in time to visit the plots with “boundaries marked.”

On reaching the plots with now white chalk borders, Chadha ji took a round, nodded in satisfaction, and requested the overall measurements from the laborers, who obliged, with the individual joining them.

The measurements were 600 sq. Yards in total for both combined.

We started walking back to the club where Chadha ji planned to pay the advance token and take a receipt.

On reaching the club, I requested Chadha Ji for a discussion with the individual to clarify a few points, to which he agreed (I believe out of regard for my friend who had introduced us).

I asked the individual the following questions:

We would want the land mutation certified copy (kathauni) as that holds as the title validity and legality in Uttarakhand. That I was told was not available handily (surprised).

During the demarcation of boundaries by chalk, the two adjacent plots were shown as side by side (top to bottom), while in the registered sale deed the two adjacent plots were “one below the other” and hence not two side open as being projected but each had an entry from the top road and below road respectively.

 Also, the dimensions in this case were totally different on paper than on the ground, of individual plots, while the combined dimensions on the 600 sq yards were matching. This not only is a serious issue of misrepresentation but also takes down the value of the land substantially along with the resale prospects (no wonder the desperate sale). 

Moreover, this would certainly be a probable cause of disagreement between the two brothers while constructing the approach to their cottages later – due to serious design limitations.

I asked Chadha ji to also get the boundaries certified by the original developer, viz. his master layout, and reconfirmed by the local patwari, as Patwari certification will be critical, to later ensure smooth mutation of the sale deed and property, something which should be aligned now to avoid surprises post-registry and payment.

Lastly, I questioned this individual on the validity of registration in his and his wife’s names of the two plots, as that, by Uttarakhand law, is not legal and though a prevalent practice by gullible outsiders to buy more land at what appears to be “steal deals,” it can be revoked anytime by the authorities, leading to a total loss.

Conclusion: My advice to Chadha ji was to be cognizant of the above facts, do the complete due diligence as suggested, be aware of the value & ROI of the land he is buying and decide if it still is a “Steal Deal” at all, before paying the token.

No wonder we saw a shocked but extremely humble Chadha ji on our drive back to Mukteshwar, with his money still intact in his pocket. 

This I believe I owed to him not only because of my close friend’s introduction but primarily the reason I started “RealEye” – to ensure gullible Chadha Ji’s interests are protected 🙂

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Steal Deals in Realty

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