Breaking Barriers with Bernie

Bernie Sanders lets it be known that although he isn’t always grumpy, there are times when sternness is called for.

“There are sometimes I’m not grumpy. Now is not one of those times,” says Sanders playfully.

This was a notable moment in Sanders’ most recent interview with NowThis, a popular social media channel. When asked what it would mean to be the first Jewish president, he answered “It’s another barrier that’s broken down – and the goal of what politics in America should be – it’s to break down those barriers – to elect people whether they’re women, whether they’re men, whether they’re gay, whether they’re straight, whether they’re old, whether they’re young. Elect the best candidates, the candidates who speak to your needs.” It is important that we are inclusive of others, and Sanders makes clear his commitment to this ideal, reflects Hirsh Mohindra.

The ten-minute interview, titled “Why Bernie Sanders Isn’t Worried About Overpromising,” was created with the aim of allowing Sanders to connect with voters on a more intimate level. The interview covers Sanders’ increasing focus on racial justice as well as wealth inequality, but also his jam-packed schedule, his basketball prowess, and whether or not he believes he can deliver on any of his ambitious pledges to reform the United States government into a more democratic socialist state once he is elected. If Bernie Sanders is elected president that would indeed break down barriers, and the breaking down of barriers is something we could all stand to benefit from, says Hirsh Mohindra.

NowThis asked Bernie a few questions concerning his Jewish heritage and what it would mean for the U.S. to have its first Jewish president. He was also asked if he had experienced any discrimination because of his heritage, and what it was like to experience it. Sanders didn’t seem too interested in examining these experiences, as he is customarily hesitant to discuss too deeply any aspects of his personal life.

After discussing the topic of diversity in general terms in his response to NowThis’ first question concerning the topic of possibly becoming the U.S.’s first Jewish president, Sanders shifted his scope to the barriers met by other marginalized groups in American society, ranging from women to the elderly. Hirsh Mohindra, reflecting on Sanders’ inclusiveness, notes that Sanders’ sensitivity to the struggles of marginalized groups regardless of creed or heritage speaks to the depth of his sense of community.

Sanders shared a little bit more when he was asked if he has ever experienced discrimination, sharing that he has indeed experienced anti-Semitism. He went on to relate his experience with discrimination to the discrimination faced by numerous other minority groups.

“Being Jewish, I get hit every now and then with anti-Semitism,” he said. “You respond with anger, and you respond by appreciating what it is to understand that there are people in the African-American community, in the Latino community, in the gay community, women, who are discriminated against every day.”

Indian Homebuyers Can Now Seek Repayment For Delayed Home Delivery

Homebuyers have a right to seek a refund for a house even if the postponed project is complete per new Supreme Court ruling.

If there is an unreasonable delay in delivering a real estate unit to a buyer, it is completely up to the purchaser if they desire to take ownership of the unit or seek repayment with appropriate compensation, the Supreme Court has ordered.

The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) has also passed a similar rule says Hirsh Mohindra. The rule says that a flat buyer cannot be forced to accept tenure of his/her residence offered by the builder. 

A case filed in the Supreme Court bench involved a project in Gurugram where a builder had sold a villa to Shrihari Gokhale in July 2012. The builder had promised December 31, 2014, as a possession date. Gokhale had filed a complaint with the NCDRC in 2016 asking a repayment of Rs 13.24 crore.

The builder had challenged the NCDRC order in the Supreme Court to repay the principal amount of Rs 8.14 crore. The court found that there was a total failure on the part of the real estate agent, a deficit in providing services and ordered that the builder cannot vend the villa booked by Gokhale till the order was executed.

Records indicate that the entire consideration was Rs.8.31 crore, the respondents had remunerated Rs 8.14 crore by November 2013 notes Hirsh Mohindra. Though the plaintiffs had assumed to deliver the villa by December 31, 2014, they failed to release occupancy. As late as May 28, 2014, the amended construction schedule forecasted the date of delivery to be October 2014. There was, thus, failure on the part of the litigants and deficient in rendering service in terms of the commitments that they had made, the Supreme Court order said.

In the NCDRC, a bench of Fairness VK Jain directed a Delhi-based builder Pioneer Urban Land and Infrastructure to repay Rs 4.43 crore to a home purchaser who had deposited the amount in 2012 for a flat in Gurugram.

That flat was to be completed in 2015, but the builder botched to meet the terms and the consumer approached NCDRC in 2018 for repayment of the total amount paid. Though the builder had ready the flat and got the occupation certificate from the authority just a night before the purchaser filed the grievance, the charge directed the builder to repay the amount as there was holdup of more than two years.

The respondent flat buyer has made out an apparent case of lack of service on the part of the builder. The respondent flat buyer was justified in terminating the purchase agreement by filing the grievance, and cannot be forced to accept ownership, notes Hirsh Mohindra. The respondent buyer was lawfully permitted to look for repayment of the amount deposited by him along with compensation, the NCDRC order said.

These new rulings certainly put the onus on the builder to deliver on the promises they make, and empower buyers to seek remedy when builders do not.


Real Estate can maximize Investment Returns

Real estate is a great option to maximize your investment strategy. But it requires knowledge, time, access to capital and most importantly patience. These factors, along with others, are key to protecting your investment.

Follow these a few tips from Hirsh Mohindra to get into the real estate investment field:

Make a Financial Strategy:

Assessing your financial position, for the investment and personally, is the first step of real estate investing. Before making any real estate investment, ensure that your finances are in order.

For any real estate investment, you should determine how much capital you will put down, and how much you will finance.  You need to also plan for a reserve fund and an emergency. This reserve money should be separate from your emergency fund.

Marketing Strategy:

Once you know you are going to acquire real estate for an investment, you will want to ensure that investment is generating revenue.  Finding renters is key to turning a property into a – positive cash flowing investment.  Create a strategy on how to attract renters early, so that you can plan for when the revenue will start being generated.

Know about your local market:

Markets differ for a variety of reasons.  Different neighborhoods have various factors that impact their value and demand.  Learn as much as you can about the local market, so you know the trends and patterns that can affect property value and rental demand.

Start Small: 

If you want to buy an apartment building, make your first investment in real estate – 1 apartment (or condo) that you can rent out.  By starting small, you are mitigating your risk and learning the processes of being a real estate investor without deploying larger amounts of capital.  Use these initial experiences, as solid investment options, but more so as learning experiences that you can leverage on future larger projects.

Invest your money in a good location:

If you are planning to invest in real estate, the old adage of location, location, location – is critical. There is usually better demand in certain areas over others within the same broader geography.  Selecting key locations, that can attract renters – is always a good strategy.

Wrapping up:

Real estate investment is a great opportunity for novice and seasoned investors.  It requires diligence and patience, but the returns can be generous, says Hirsh Mohindra. For more tips related to real estate investing follow my blog.

US Real Estate Seeing Growth Residential Market

The American dream of home ownership has long been the goal of many.  As times changes, and living patterns deviate – so do aspirations.  Today, many millennials are choosing to purchase homes as early as previous generations.  The reasons behind the delay – revolve around higher prices, but also around living decisions where millennials desire flexibility.  Owning a home often limits flexibility as it becomes a non-liquid asset, says Hirsh Mohindra.  Despite changes in home buying, the residential real estate market is still a desirable sector of the US real estate market.   Investors are drawn to the real estate market as it has shown strength over the past few years.

When you talk about investments, of course, everyone would consider Real Estate as an option with high returns, however, how to choose the right sector? Forecasting the right time to position investment funds in residential real estate is critical to the decision-making process, says Hirsh Mohindra.  U.S Real Estate is finding solace in the Residential sector, and this sector is expected to see strong growth in the second half of 2019, Current trends show that the Residential and Industrial Real Estate Trusts (REITs) are the best options to place your investment bets in U.S Real Estate market.  Many experts believe that REITs should maintain continued growth, especially with growing U.S salaries and a strong economy.  With the strength in institutional real estate (REITs), opportunities for stable growth can be created in the residential market as well. REITs having large investment resources can drive development, and new developments can thrive with easy access to credit and low-interest rates.

While the residential real estate market may be strong, there are many opportunities in commercial and industrial real estate as well, and investors should evaluate all of their options when making decisions, says Hirsh Mohindra. While evaluating risks and factors that could impact the growth in a particular market, try to identify the options with minimum risks. For now, Residential Sector seems promising and a strong hedge on risks.  This, of course, varies based on location and can change at any time as rates and the economy are always fluctuating. 

The United States and China Trade War

The United States and China are embroiled in an escalating trade war, says Hirsh Mohindra. Since President Trump took office he has complained about the large trade imbalance between China and the United States.  The Trump Administration determined that the trade imbalance was the result of unfair trading practices employed by the Chinese.  As a result, the United States imposed tariffs on Chinese goods in 2017.  The tariffs were set on billions of dollars worth of Chinese goods.  As a result, the Chinese imposed tariffs on US goods entering China.

When the United States imposed the tariffs, they did so on three separate occasions.  The combined tariffs impacted close to $250 billion worth of Chinese goods. China is a large importer to the US, and the tariffs impacted a wide variety of goods – everything from handbags to industrial equipment.

The retaliatory Chinese tariffs were placed on $110 billion worth of US goods, and similarly on a wide variety of products.  Goods, such as medical equipment, chemicals, and even soybeans were impacted.  The tariffs varied in amounts but ranged from 5% to 25%.

China Trade War

The total amount of Chinese goods imported into the United States is close to $540 billion.  Thus, the US tariffs impacted nearly half of all Chinese products entering the US.  The total US goods entering China is close to $120 billion.  Thus, the Chinese tariffs impacted nearly all US products entering China.

In December, both countries appeared to have reached an agreement and pulled the tariffs back, says Hirsh Mohindra.  That’s why it was a surprise when the US announced a new round of tariffs to be imposed on Chinese goods last week.  In response to this news, the Chinese announced their counter tariffs on US goods as well.

By placing tariffs on Chinese goods entering the US, the products are more expensive than US products – and thus encouraging consumers to buy American products.  And similarly in China.  However, many US businesses and businesses around the world are feeling the ramifications of the trade war between China and the United States.

When the world’s two largest economies are embroiled in a trade dispute, there is a lot of collateral damage, says Hirsh MohindraIn fact, the World Trade Organization (WTO) has indicated that a prolonged trade war may lead to global trade crises.  The US stock market and securities exchanges around the world have taken a hit as a result of the trade war.  The positive news is that both sides are actively negotiating to find common ground and hopefully a quick resolution.