Building a house of one’s own is probably the biggest dream of every ordinary Malayali. While some might use their savings or sell their gold jewellery to find the required amount for construction, others may have to partially or completely rely on home loans. However, later the home loans may become a headache for the family members who try to make ends meet. Moreover, the fluctuating interest and insurance rates too wouldn’t help.
Once a man who had been living in his old ancestral home decided to build a brand new house with modern amenities. He didn’t have any savings; so, he sold some gold jewellery and availed a home loan too. He had decided on a budget of Rs 40 lakh, which was affordable for him. However, once the construction began, opinions and options poured in that he should build a more elaborate house as people build only one house in their lifetime. So the man's plan changed and the area of the house increased. The minimalistic interiors gave way to designer false ceilings, panelling works and lighting. An additional truss roof too made its way in the last moment. So, the budget rose from Rs 40 lakh to Rs 60 lakh.
The construction progressed rapidly as he got the home loan at the right time. However, when the payment of the monthly instalment began, he realised that he had bitten more than he could chew. Half of his salary went towards the repayment of his home loan. He began experiencing a financial crunch even as early as the first half of a month. An unexpected hospital emergency or a family function would topple his family budget. He then obtained a credit card which made things worse. Now, his life has become an act of trapeze where he frantically rolls money to keep the ‘boat’ afloat.
Even though he is happy that he has a house of his own, he loses sleep whenever he thinks about the financial burden. He often gets worried about the rising living costs, educational expenses of his children and the thoughts about future.
Most middle-class Keralites who are in the age group of 30 – 50 go through similar experiences. House is definitely a requirement and is a dream for many. The most important thing is to take a firm decision about the kind of house that the family needs and then sticking on to it. It is not wise to move away from the fixed budget. It is alright to avail a home loan. But, it is also important to understand that it is a life long burden.