The word "luxury" has often been misused by developers in India as projects that offer mere amenities being termed as "luxury" in the marketing brochures.
The definition of luxury is different from person to person. Some may prefer to live in a small apartment but still call themselves residents of an upscale locality, while some staying in suburbs could enjoy Jacuzzi to rooftop swimming pools to concierge services that show the luxury factor.
But is someone staying in an old and small one-bedroom apartment, but in a posh locality means "luxury living?
Luxury living, according to JLL, a real estate consultancy, involves "generous living spaces", which means a one bedroom cannot qualify as "luxury".
In south Mumbai, one often finds people staying in old towers, which has been passed over generations. They can fetch a high premium on their units as the towers are located in the most upscale localities, but the living experience does not connote to "luxury" living.
Whether one is purchasing a "luxury" property for investment purposes or self-use, they need to study the factors listed below which somehow express "luxury" real estate and "luxury" living.
Undoubtedly, it is the most important factor with projects in central location qualifying for the luxury tag. But locations that are often plagued by traffic issues do not provide luxurious living experience. Residents must also have ready access to markets, schools, colleges, hospitals and their offices.
It is another important factor to assess the project's "luxury" value. If the floor-to-ceiling height is less than 12 feet, JLL says, the luxury feel is severely compromised.
Though there are no guidelines to define this, but it is generally understood that a one acre development must not house over 60 families, offering exclusivity. Anything more means the project does not qualify as "luxury" because the available amenities are shared by too many people.
In luxury towers, the number of available car parking spaces must equal the number of bedrooms. A four-bedroom apartment therefore will have four parking spaces within the project.
A branded elevators is not enough to define luxury. The tower must have service elevators with separate entries to ensure that domestic helps and suppliers do not populate the elevators and lobby being used by residents.
Residents of a luxury tower are not expectedto install security grilles outside their doors or windows. They have to be provided with 24/7 security including electronic surveillance and safety measures in place.
Though the marketing collaterals from developers do publicize the "luxury" aspects of their projects, but it is up to the buyer, who will be spending a fortune, to look into the finer details and assess whether the project meets all his/her requirements of luxury offering as well as living.