Urban Tree Homes: Affordable Housing without Compromising on Quality

The famous adage “veetai katti paaru, kalyanathai panni paaru” (Get a house built and get a marriage done) explains the challenge of owning a dream home as we embark on getting an apartment of our own.  To many of us,  a home is our dream we nourish and cherish and is no more a roof of our own as it was known earlier.  Individual houses had its own pitfalls and ask the owners and the list of issues and problems in getting it built will continue to prolong.  With the advent of apartment culture, the onus of building a house and delivering it to us has moved to the builders. Our understanding is that the builders are know it all and will deliver our dream home as we envisage it.  But unfortunately, it has not been a smooth and happy journey for many and the focus is on getting the right builder to buy the apartment.  It is no easy task and when we were invited to be a part of #UrbanTreeJourney of Urban Tree Homes to have a look at their ongoing projects, we were curious to know what the builder has for us, the consumers.

Before we began our journey, we had the opportunity to talk to Mr. Abhishek Mehta, Director of Urban Tree Homes. Above all, we were impressed by the honesty in his speech and the intention to reflect it in his homes. Eco friendly homes, the term so misused and used as a reason to hike up per sq feet price is offered in a transparent manner in the ongoing projects of Urban Tree homes. Truly affordable given the quality of the homes assured with eco friendly aspects, the amenities offered were mind blowing too. The strong undercurrent in the developers’ proposal is Affordable housing and transparency in the deal. To be honest, we have never come across a builder who gives us a nett cost of an apartment till now, Urban Tree Homes did it and we experienced it at every property we visited reflecting that it is not only a marketing pitch but an implemented one.

In the situation where we get to meet every odd person from the builder’s company when we are deciding on the apartment and never after it, Urban Tree Homes’ compulsory practice of holding a customer meet in the site every quarter is impressive. The meet happens whether or not the project is on time and has the directors and responsible staff addressing the customers and answering questions and queries. There is also a monthly newsletter UrbanLife to keep the customers updated. Probably, this is one of the foremost reasons for the developer having a 30% apartment sale by reference. It is big positive to note that the projects have had the maximum of 5 to 8 months delay due to Chennai Floods which very much seems acceptable going by 2 years delay we have heard of in recent times.

The next question in our mind was the strategy in pricing eco-friendly homes affordable when we know for sure, the rules and regulations and the inventory required to build green homes.  Understanding our thought process, we had that aspect covered too. Urban Tree Homes manages cost by having its own EPC team (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) which many builders outsource and keep control of inspection to assure quality.  Having own EPC team has its own advantages – Cost control, Quality control and power to introduce and implement tested innovations to bring better innovative infrastructure. Urban Tree Homes has just done that in the form of water management, solar power implementation, waste management and the list goes on.  The second point is having own manufacturing units for major construction materials – Urban Tree Homes group manufacturers uPVC windows and Fly Ash based solid blocks through their two companies – Urban Tree Concreting Solutions and Urban Tree Commo Trade.

It is nothing surprising that this company has won many awards and hearts of their customers too, evident by the fact that all their past projects – Oakwood, Atrium, Trinity Garden and Infinity are fully occupied except for two that the directors have fondly retained. Going by the directors’ passion, we could understand that this is not a business relationship but an association the company creates with their customers.

Now that we know what goes behind the projects, we will see what the developer offers us in the three projects – WoW at Medavakkam, Oxygen at Perumbakkam and Fantastic at Vanagaram which we personally visited with few other bloggers to understand the offer from Ground Zero.

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WOW, Medavakkam – A happening place from the time OMR became an IT Hub, WOW is under construction.  Just few minutes from Medavakkam main road, amidst a thriving community, WOW comes with Green building certificate, varying sq feet offers and a host of amenities. We could see construction in progress, a model apartment in place and a miniature of the property. We have 2 BHK, 3 bed room compact and 3 bedroom options.  The 935 sq feet to 1063 sq feet (2 bed room options) come with open and covered car park and the 3 bed room options come with stilt car parking.  The project comes with a rooftop swimming pool, BBQ. Broadband and wi-fi facility, security intercom, CCTV surveillance, All – in –one DTH and centralized power backup. As already discussed, each property comes with water, waste treatment and management systems.

The model apartment shown here is of 1134 sq feet categorized as a 3 BHK compact apartment. The planning of the apartment was an instant hit with us optimized well to prevent exorbitant use of walking space quite prevalent in higher square feet apartments. Curious about the technology used in effective use of light and heat, we were surprised to know the walls come with 1” gypsum plastering to provide heat insulation. On the other hand, we could see large French windows and it will be coated to provide light and reduce heat during day time.  We see quality in the tiles and the thinking to make it replaceable if it is broken by providing space for easy removal.  Faucet, Sanitary ware, Showers, Bath Fittings, and Kitchen Taps are premium fittings from Jaguar and Kohler.  Each and every point scored and spells quality with care. This model apartment comes at Rs.68, 00,000/- Nett now at Rs. 4800/- per sq feet. This is confirming the fact that we did get the final price we pay for the apartment from the developer.

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Oxygen, Perumbakkam – Entering Perumbakkam, we were appalled at the growth of this area and Oxygen is the first green township with over 600 apartments, in a sprawling acreage, a state-of-the art clubhouse, commercial buildings et al. The most interesting part is the township has close to about 1, 00,000 plants and saplings and Oxygen is the right name indeed.  Good news is phase 1 of Oxygen is ready in November 2016 and the phase 2 in January 2017 and phase 3 scheduled later. We saw completed apartments and owners getting their apartments ready for moving in. The property has stilt car parking, and all the facilities regarding water, waste similar to WOW and few new features that caught our eyes are senior citizens corner, cricket practice pitch, badminton court, skating rink, joggers track, and  guest rooms. Per sq feet rates change as per the phase and the current phase is Rs. 3799. A 1400+ sq feet apartment comes at Rs.72, 00,000 Nett in Phase 1. There are much more in offer at Oxygen and do check it out.

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Fantastic, Vanagaram located in between Anna nagar and Thirumazhisai is expected to break ground in March 2017, delivery scheduled for June 2018. Close to Maduravoyal, this property scores big time for its proximity to few of the medical and engineering institutions. For Parents with children expect to be studying in the Poonthamalee belt (Saveetha Medical & Dental, Sri Ramachandra medical, Pani malar, Jeppiar and many more will find this property ideal saving us immeasurable time on travel. The property itself is beautifully planned with 1 BHK, 2 BHK and 3 BHK with greenery all around.  In fact, this is one of the objectives of the builder to give something back to Mother Nature in form of green buildings, greenery, energy and water and garbage management.  Right now we can book the apartment at Rs.4099 (4th floor, price varies across different floors) and an apartment of 1112 sq feet in 4th floor costs Rs. 56,00,000/- Nett.

Our general opinion is we could see sincerity in the approach and absolute value for money in the projects.  If you are looking for an apartment, check Urban Tree Homes first. It really is worth it.

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Posted on September 26, 2016, in home, lifestyle, Stay and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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