Pune’s residential real estate market has come a long way – especially in formats. From huts to ‘wadas’, and from there on from individual, owner-built units to modern apartments, the landscape has been changing constantly. Today, tall, modern apartment buildings reach for the skies all over Pune, jostling for space with commercial developments and older, smaller buildings.
However, none of the residential formats available now and in the past have had such enduring appeal as bungalows. There are good reasons for this. To begin with, Pune is a city with a unique blend of individualism and solidarity. This is evidenced by the properties being maintained by the city’s more prominent families – private and beautiful, they provide a safe haven for the inhabiting families within while sending out a clear message of their social status.
Secondly, a bungalow is the only residential format which offers complete and unequivocal ownership – no part of it is part of anyone else’s property. As such, a bungalow owner is a true ‘lord of the manor’. There are no society rules to crimp one’s lifestyle, and every part of a bungalow is a firm possession. This factor was aptly brought out by a renowned spiritual master from Coimbatore who held a discourse in Pune several years ago.
A man who had grown up in and among the highly individualistic homes that defined many South Indian cities back then, he had been invited to dwell in the home of one of his disciples in the city. This, he recalled, was his first encounter with the modern ‘flat system’. He quizzed his disciple about the flat format, and was perplexed to discover that no part of the flat was really wholly owned. The walls were common to other flats, the ceiling was somebody else’s floor and the floor was somebody else’s ceiling.
Simplistic though it may seem, this evaluation is actually quite accurate. A bungalow is the only format of built residential real estate that is an owned asset in the truest sense.
Thirdly, a bungalow offers the ultimate work-life balance option for those who have made it in life. The bungalows of most of Pune’s elite function as homes as well as workplaces for their owners. With enough space to separate work from family life without overlap, bungalows offer the highest form of luxury and convenience to business owners.
Fourthly, the security of a bungalow is matchless if it is part of a modern township in Pune. While isolated bungalows on the outskirts definitely face security threats, bungalows in avant-garde townships such as Bloomfield – a luxury residential project based on the Singapore theme – have the advantage of the highly efficient, yet non-intrusive security of the project. This unique blend of security, privacy and autonomy in bungalows is the result of Pune’s rapid progress towards Western living concepts.
Finally, a bungalow offers the ultimate bridge between generations, allowing large families with members of all ages to cohabit is a perfect harmony of space, privacy and safety.
Despite their unique characteristics, bungalows are becoming very scarce in a city that treasures individuality as a tradition and a life value. Because of the economy of scale that residential developers in Pune must pursue as a business model, most available plots are now being used for the development of apartment buildings. However, Pune still offers a limited number of exclusive bungalows to those who will not compromise on the right to privacy, total ownership and a lifestyle above and beyond the common denominators.
Authored By: Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.
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