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Tata Building $7,800 Apartments in Mumbai

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the piece-of-the-rock dept.

Businesses 242

theodp writes "What do you do for an encore after you've shown the world it's possible to build a $2,000 car? Ratan Tata, head of India's giant Tata conglomerate, now plans to build, 30 miles outside of Mumbai, 1,200 tiny apartments that will sell for $7,800 to $13,400 each. Sure, they're small (floor plans), but keep in mind that you can pay a quarter of a million bucks for a 250-sq.-ft. studio in the East Village. Time reports that Tata has had to beef up security to handle the rush of buyers who want to plunk down their $200 deposits (yes, that's two hundred dollars!). Who would've thought you could make IKEA homes look pricey?" The Businessweek.com article says that the apartments are aimed at someone making $6,000 to $10,000 per year (Time says $5,000). In Mumbai, a call center operator with 10 to 20 years of experience barely qualifies at $6,400 annually. 70% of the country's 1.2 billion people live on 1/20 as much.

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242 comments

very cheap + little material =unsafe (2, Insightful)

meow27 (1526173) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890085)

Tata cars have proven themselves to be unsafe for driving (no protection, and the car frame is too thin)

i wouldn't be surprised if these buildings couldn't survive 45 mph winds

Re:very cheap + little material =unsafe (4, Funny)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890103)

Don't worry, though; you should be OK in one. It's India, so you're much more likely to hit a pedestrian than another car.

Re:very cheap + little material =unsafe (0, Offtopic)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890145)

Extreme feminine beauty is always disturbing. -- Spock, "The Cloud Minders", stardate 5818.4

=Smidge=

Re:very cheap + little material =unsafe (4, Informative)

Ian Alexander (997430) | more than 5 years ago | (#27891371)

Dude, have you ever been to India? You're likely to hit ANYTHING in a city. Cars, people on foot, people bicycles, rickshaws (human-powered and automotive),and Shiva forbid a cow wanders into the road at the wrong moment.

Indian traffic is a good example of anarchy in practice.

Re:very cheap + little material =unsafe (5, Insightful)

jadavis (473492) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890111)

unsafe

As safe or safer than a motorcycle or bicycle. The word "unsafe" is thrown around all the time without regard for alternatives and real-life trade-offs.

Re:very cheap + little material =unsafe (1, Funny)

laejoh (648921) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890163)

Oh come on, as a slashdotter it(s my only chance of getting fucked!

Re:very cheap + little material =unsafe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27890639)

You can always install Linux. Once you spend hours getting your wifi and video card working, then realise there are absolutely no good applications that work on it you'll be pretty well fucked.

Re:very cheap + little material =unsafe (1)

smooth123 (893548) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890703)

Stacking multiple apartments built with low quality material can turn into a much larger casualty, than a motorcycle or cycle accident. Dont trivialize safety.

Re:very cheap + little material =unsafe (3, Interesting)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890853)

Have you seen how they build the average home? A normal priced home in my area is around $300k and if you see how they build them I don't see how these cheap structures could be much worse and remain standing.

You get a bunch of idiots with little understanding of physics haphazardly building from poorly conceived plans using the cheapest building materials they can find. If something isn't right then band-aid it so it'll pass inspection and don't worry that two months later it'll go to hell. So long as these cheap apartments follow international building code at least as well as the local schmucks then I doubt it could be any worse.

I'd think a micro apartment could be great for people that commute. A local place to take a nap or shower or stay over in bad weather. I'd consider buying one if they had them locally. A plac

Re:very cheap + little material =unsafe (2, Interesting)

atamido (1020905) | more than 5 years ago | (#27891007)

So long as these cheap apartments follow international building code

I had no idea, but there apparently is an international building code. Granted, it's not law in many places, but it is interesting still.

Re:very cheap + little material =unsafe (3, Insightful)

slashkitty (21637) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890115)

You mean unsafe for crashing. Just like every motorbike out there.

Re:very cheap + little material =unsafe (3, Insightful)

MouseR (3264) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890175)

Actually you have more chance to survice a motorcycle crash than being rolled up in a tin can.

That aside, security standards aren't the same around the world and there are far less chance fo these tin cars to smash against a big SUV in india.

As for the apartments, they beat the slums by a long shot.

Re:very cheap + little material =unsafe (1)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 5 years ago | (#27891151)

Actually you have more chance to survice a motorcycle crash than being rolled up in a tin can.

That aside, security standards aren't the same around the world and there are far less chance fo these tin cars to smash against a big SUV in india.

As for the apartments, they beat the slums by a long shot.

Eh? Have you driven in India? Forget the SUVs, its the trucks and buses you need to worry about...
I'd stick with the car any day.

You're right about the appartments, tho.

not compared to the replacement (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890223)

Tata Nanos are meant to be affordable upgrades for families that try to haul mom and dad and the kids and the groceries all on some little scooter. I doubt that is safer than the Nano.

Re:not compared to the replacement (4, Insightful)

Grimbleton (1034446) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890453)

I must admit, I'd buy and drive a Nano here in the US for in-town commuting.

But I'd totally shove a Hayabusa engine in it.

Re:not compared to the replacement (4, Funny)

arcsimm (1084173) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890823)

What are you doing on Slashdot? I know that we love car analogies, but Nanobusas and Fisker Karma double-entendres require a degree of car-guy knowledge not usually found in computer geeks.

Then again, I'm here too.

Re:very cheap + little material =unsafe (1)

n00btastic (1489741) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890233)

You have to remember the context. People are riding with three men, a woman and her baby all on a single motorcycle.

And tell me how this is worse than when they cram 7-8 people in a single 'took took'? Those things are like three wheel baby golf carts!

Re:very cheap + little material =unsafe (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890429)

You have to remember the context. People are riding with three men, a woman and her baby all on a single motorcycle.

And tell me how this is worse than when they cram 7-8 people in a single 'took took'? Those things are like three wheel baby golf carts!

The Tata is an improvement on that, it is a four wheel golfcart.

Re:very cheap + little material =unsafe (2, Informative)

TrisexualPuppy (976893) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890475)

Most golfcarts HAVE four wheels you moron

Re:very cheap + little material =unsafe (1)

siloko (1133863) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890369)

i wouldn't be surprised if these buildings couldn't survive 45 mph winds

Luckily you don't get weather in India so these should be fine. Building regs on the other hand . . .

Re:very cheap + little material =unsafe (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890415)

Tata cars have proven themselves to be unsafe for driving (no protection, and the car frame is too thin)

i wouldn't be surprised if these buildings couldn't survive 45 mph winds

Never mind the call center workers who also provide the same abysmally low service.

Re:very cheap + little material =unsafe (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27890583)

safe is the biggest marketing scam in western society. SUVs were born to market safe vehicles for hockey moms, desire for safety got Bush re-elected.

Re:very cheap + little material =unsafe (1)

omeomi (675045) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890585)

And Mumbai just proved itself a less desirable place to live than the East Village. No big surprise there...

Re:very cheap + little material =unsafe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27891223)

fear not, you are far from India. Hey India has not developed the laws for these extra protection. Somehow even a tiny frame tiny golf cart country has less accidents than America does. probably because those golf carts arent pulling higher than 30 mph and higher.

Don't subvert the architect's vision (4, Funny)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890135)

We don't want another Cortlandt Homes incident.

Re:Don't subvert the architect's vision (4, Informative)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890487)

Good thing that the Cortland Homes incident never actually happened.

(For those who do not know, it was a quasi-plausible scenario followed by non-plausible reactions from an Ayn Rand book.)

Darnit, I got excited (2, Funny)

scubamage (727538) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890171)

For a second I read that as Dubai and was trying to fish out my credit card. Mumbai I could care less about.

Re:Darnit, I got excited (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27891415)

For a second I read that as Dubai and was trying to fish out my credit card. Mumbai I could care less about.

Yea, such a shame that it's low-income housing.

I'm sure you'll find that quaint little project your credit card can finance next time, chief.

I'm sure Tata Corp would have LOVED your generosity.

THIS IS NOT NEWS FOR NERDS!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27890189)

Somebody please stop kdawson from posting offtopic crap on slashdot.

It's clear he thinks this is his own personal blog. It's not.

This story has no bearing on tech, is not relevant to "nerd news" in any way, shape or form. What does relevance is this real estate news to this site's readers? none.

kdawson sucks, he needs to be fired.

Re:THIS IS NOT NEWS FOR NERDS!!! (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890215)

Anonymous Coward: kdawson sucks, he needs to be fired.
kdawson: I don't care!
Anonymous Coward: from a canon, into the sun.
kdawson: (gulp!)

Die In A Fire, KDAWSON!!!! (1)

KDAWSON sucks (1165799) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890555)

AGREED.

Re:THIS IS NOT NEWS FOR NERDS!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27890245)

Mod this up, it's not offtopic, its a meta comment that deserves to be seen and read.

Really, this story couldn't even be defined in any of slashdot's main topics, so its "news". Well, i just took a massive shit this morning, is kdawson going to post a front page story on that also?

I'm also wondering what kdawson's thoughts are on the housing bubble in the US, and where he thinks mortgage rates are heading in the future.

Re:THIS IS NOT NEWS FOR NERDS!!! (1)

KDAWSON sucks (1165799) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890907)

Mod this up, it's not offtopic, its a meta comment that deserves to be seen and read.

Really, this story couldn't even be defined in any of slashdot's main topics, so its "news". Well, i just took a massive shit this morning, is kdawson going to post a front page story on that also?

I'm also wondering what kdawson's thoughts are on the housing bubble in the US, and where he thinks mortgage rates are heading in the future.

So am I. Lynch KDAWSON.

Re:THIS IS NOT NEWS FOR NERDS!!! (3, Insightful)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890289)

I dunno. The ability to build mass housing for cheap is rather interesting. Why not take the plans, modify them slightly, and then have low-cost housing in North America? Habitats for Humanity would probably do quite well in this situation. There's more than just tech nerds out there, remember. There's also social sciences nerds.

Re:THIS IS NOT NEWS FOR NERDS!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27890381)

the real question here is: what about the basments?

Re:THIS IS NOT NEWS FOR NERDS!!! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27890837)

Just make them 2 floors, 2nd floor is the main floor (stairs up to it) and the 1st floor has no windows.

Fake basements FTW

Re:THIS IS NOT NEWS FOR NERDS!!! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27890367)

It is, its for our basement dwelling brothers. Lets them know they can own their own place for roughly a months worth of mountain dew and hotpockets. Afterall, seriously, what difference would it make to them where on the planet they're located? So long as they have good connectivity and drop shipments of food they could be happy in gitmo.

You can get a house for that (4, Interesting)

Kohath (38547) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890201)

The median price of a house in Detroit is $7500 [walletpop.com] . Floorplans vary, but they are larger than these apartments. Home prices are relative.

I'm sure people are happy to buy a nice place in Mumbai, so the market supports higher prices. No one wants to live in a corrupt one-party third-world conflict zone like Detroit.

Re:You can get a house for that (4, Funny)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890253)

if the houses there all look like the one in the picture then i'd rather take a tata flat.

Re:You can get a house for that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27890377)

Flat tatas sound so nasty.

Re:You can get a house for that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27891187)

Mmm, delicious caek...

Re:You can get a house for that (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890315)

I sometimes wonder if it would be cheaper to buy a house in Detroit and just have it moved to somewhere else. I know doing that is crazy expensive, but come on, a house for 7500$?

Re:You can get a house for that (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890333)

... just not the crap house shown in the page you linked to.

Bleh!

Re:You can get a house for that (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890353)

It's the median price. That means half of the houses are cheaper than $7500 and the other half are more expensive. There will be plenty of variety.

Re:You can get a house for that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27890329)

If you work it out in Indian currency it comes to Rs 3,44,749.00 (using the traditional system which goes 1000s, 100,000s, 100,00,000s etc.). I understand this is cheap now (When I left India (2000) that 3,00,000 was an annual salary MBAs and other in demand workers were getting, and it made our heads spin). But the poster is right. Where are these boxes er. flats and how far are they from employment centers? And more importantly, what is this doing on slashdot?

Re:You can get a house for that (2, Interesting)

Unordained (262962) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890373)

The median price of a home sold in Detroit in December [2008] was $7,500, according to Realcomp, a listing service.

Their site doesn't make data public (some spreadsheets are available to registered agents,) so I can't tell if that was a really odd month (very few sales?) Checking Century 21 listings under $25k for Detroit shows very few entries for under $10k, making the likelihood of a median of $7500 rather low, even under their less-than-stellar market conditions. Maybe the county records can clarify, but I'm done fact-checking. I'll agree their housing is cheap though; and I'm in Oklahoma, so that's saying something.

Re:You can get a house for that (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890485)

That there are homes under $10k listed at all makes a bit of a statement. Another factor, I would think that very few foreclosure homes (Or any $10K homes for that matter) would attract much realtor attention.

But that's not ALL! (4, Funny)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890411)

We'll throw in the crackhouse on the left ABSOLUTELY FREE!

That's the exception, not the rule. (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890467)

I'm sure people are happy to buy a nice place in Mumbai, so the market supports higher prices. No one wants to live in a corrupt one-party third-world conflict zone like Detroit.

Perhaps the corruption favors them over there, and it favors you over where you are.

Mumbai by comparison, makes Detroit look clean.

Outside of Detroit, things are more in tune with reality with respect to prices.

Re:You can get a house for that (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890537)

Yeah but how long would you actually survive in Detroit? I think I'd rather take my chances in Mumbai. At least there frozen corpses [detnews.com] aren't left for weeks. Hell, Detroit would have to do some serious urban renewal to make it up to hellhole!

Re:You can get a house for that (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 5 years ago | (#27891131)

That's a relative exception compared to Mumbai.

If given a choice to live in either city, I'd take Detroit over that Third World city any day.

Re:You can get a house for that (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890543)

I'm wondering if this isn't more about real estate / land prices than the cost of building.

Re:You can get a house for that (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27891323)

Gee... I wonder why the houses in Detroit are only worth $7,500...

Do you think it could have anything to do with the PEOPLE who live there? i.e. the BLACKS who have DESTROYED Detroit?
What ELSE changed about Detroit, apart from the people.

THIRD WORLD PEOPLE = THIRD WORLD COUNTRY.

Soon there will be nowhere left to run, stupid white liberals...

Tata's riding a wave... (5, Insightful)

n00btastic (1489741) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890213)

This is one the the wisest investments Tata has ever made, and will fill an important niche in Indian urban living.

The economic difference between the rich and the poor is so vast, that if you are making 10k+ a year you are very rich by a normal villager's perspective...the problem is unless you are living in a rural area, there are not many places for you to live unless you want to live other than the slums or in a wealthy neighborhood.

Of course this is just a generalization, but if you ever go to India, and truly experience it outside of the MNC bubble, you will see why something like this is needed.

-n00b

Re:Tata's riding a wave... (4, Interesting)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890617)

The funny thing is, it seems like there's not really a comparable alternative in some Western countries.

Tata is pitching their homes at about 1.5 times their target market's annual income. Relatively speaking, it looks like that would place these at about £35,000 in the UK. In comparison, the Ikea homes were placed at a minimum of three times the income of the target market, and more like 5 or 6 times in many cases.

Let him ride it . . . (2)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890793)

. . . Ratan Tata will soon be known as the William Levitt of India: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Levitt [wikipedia.org] . Maybe he thought up that idea during his Harvard days.

He is making money for himself, but he seems to be doing a lot of good for people, as well.

The world could do with a couple more of him.

I looked at the floor plans, and thought that it would be a great place to buy for vacations.

But, alas, the 3-D animation was slashdotted. So other Slashdotters seem to be thinking the same thing. And I certainly do not want to be living next to Slashdotters. All that noise from "vi or emacs" arguments next door, and the Slashdot residents would be permantly wigged out at living above ground, as opposed to in their parents' basements.

apartments or condos? (1)

MoFoQ (584566) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890221)

if it's for purchase with no monthly rent (excluding HOA fees), then it's a condo.

but yea, considering the various disasters that have happened in India in regards to shotty construction and buildings collapsing... I'm afraid that those would live in them might as well as say "Ta ta" to life.

Re:apartments or condos? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27890343)

That's a US perspective... condominium is a legal term that arose mainly because of special rules under the law of real property (land law) of many US states where multiple people's homes were going to be on the same piece of land.

In places where the legal issues didn't apply the word condo is rarely heard.

Re:apartments or condos? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27890391)

Except in France. OK they have a different word, but it means the same.

Re:apartments or condos? (1)

MoFoQ (584566) | more than 5 years ago | (#27891207)

thought they used their own words in France.

Is this actually cheap? (4, Informative)

calc (1463) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890251)

These apartments are extremely tiny at only 283 - 465 sq ft and for $7,800 - $13,400 that isn't really that cheap as it is around $28-29 per sq ft. The condo I own in Houston only cost me $43 per sq ft and they are now going for much cheaper than that after the economy meltdown.

Re:Is this actually cheap? (0)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890371)

LOL, you can't even rent a decent apartment for a year for $43 a square foot in New York.

Prices for mediocre condo buildings start around $600-$800 a square foot, and a nice/new building is going to be $1000-$1500 a square foot or more. And that's after the economic meltdown.

Re:Is this actually cheap? (3, Insightful)

calc (1463) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890423)

Yes... but 100km outside of Mumbai isn't Manhattan.

Re:Is this actually cheap? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890539)

Apparently he has never heard the first 3 rules of real estate.

Middle Class in India (4, Insightful)

mbone (558574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890271)

70% of the country's 1.2 billion people live on 1/20 as much.

True, but not relevant.

This is aimed at the middle class in India, which numbers 50 - 100 million now and is expected to grow rapidly [4hoteliers.com] :

India's middle class is expected to swell almost 12-fold from its size of 50 million people to over 583 million - some 41% of the population.

Let's see, 10 million homes for $ 10K each is $ 100 billion USD - a market worth going after.

Re:Middle Class in India (1, Insightful)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890481)

Basically, the first tier of folks who took American jobs.

Re:Middle Class in India (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27890607)

That's right a country with 1.2 billion has no domestic consumption/economy. They were all American jobs.

Why oil will be $150+ on average. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27890611)

Now, you and everyone else will know why oil will average $150+ a barrel in ten years or so. You gotta keep 'em cool, heated, lighted, etc....

Coal? Yeah, baby! More CO2!

Nuclear or Solar? We can only hope.

Another option for cheap housing (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890287)

Shipping containers [treehugger.com]

Re:Another option for cheap housing (2, Insightful)

confused one (671304) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890441)

Ever lived in a shipping container? I've worked out of one, converted into a temporary work space. They're hotter than hell in the summer (think solar heated oven) and bad in the winter too.

Note that I'm intentionally ignoring the pretty pictures in the linked to page

Four syllable word, starts with I ends N (2, Insightful)

modecx (130548) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890591)

Insulation

Re:Another option for cheap housing (1)

Duncan3 (10537) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890785)

White high-reflectivity paint.

Re:Another option for cheap housing (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 5 years ago | (#27891381)

Were painted with silver roof paint. Still sucked.

Deflation at it's best or worst (sadly) (1)

moon3 (1530265) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890295)

If you think that prices going this low are gonna help anybody then you should reconsider. I mean employed workers in the West.

Re:Deflation at it's best or worst (sadly) (4, Insightful)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890437)

Unfortunately, employed workers in the West (the US at least) have been creating shoddy, overpriced products that no one wants for some time now:

Giant cars that get horrid gas mileage; doctors and prescription drugs that routinely cause more harm than good; tiny, uninsulated, overcrowded apartments that cost more than houses; buggy, barely-functional software; industries that are less energy-efficient than those in developing countries; financial services that border on fraud.

And that's not even including any of the horrid government "services" which employ nearly half of everyone and no one has any say in even purchasing: prisons for substance abusers; welfare for immigrants; jack-booted thugs who murder Americans; spooks who spy on us; soldiers who waste trillions of dollars making us less secure; and of course generous hand-outs for banks and wealthy corporations.

Mod parent down (1, Troll)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890681)

Hardly insightful.

To tear away your arguments:

industries that are less energy-efficient than those in developing countries

That's the wrong way around. The smoke, soot, toxins and such lead to Third World countries.

overcrowded apartments that cost more than houses;

Again, the wrong way around. That's what you'll find in developing countries, w/ the requisite Third World/Far East shortcuts.

doctors and prescription drugs that routinely cause more harm than good

This is another one completely on India and such, the home of various knockoff drugs.

Giant cars that get horrid gas mileage

That's just a preference for not going "Al Gore" and not being left wanting at the gas pedal. Taking those cars from the masses is an issue of overly powered environmental activists. That is, the types who buy offsets to fly into the mecca of lifestyle environmentalism- Aspen, Colorado, USA.

Re:Deflation at it's best or worst (sadly) (1)

ChrisMaple (607946) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890997)

overpriced products that no one wants for some time now: Giant cars that get horrid gas mileage

Lets see, nobody wants those cars so zero have been sold, year after year. That must be why they keep producing them.

Re:Deflation at it's best or worst (sadly) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27891199)

benjamindees, you're a good troll. You made me angry. Please mods, do not confuse loudness with correctness.

Re:Deflation at it's best or worst (sadly) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27891359)

If you knew me, you would know that I don't speak loudly. I just carry a big stick.

ever been to india? (5, Interesting)

panthroman (1415081) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890327)

Sorry to sound snooty, but that's my gut reaction to the "this is unsafe!" comments. Unsafe by American/European standards, probably. Unsafe compared to Indian options? Ha.

Some photos of life in Delhi (a bit less "European" than Mumbai), including the inside of a couple homes, here [blogspot.com] . (Disclosure: that's a link to my old travel blog.)

We should praise improvement, not demand perfection.

Re:ever been to india? (5, Interesting)

uglyduckling (103926) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890361)

Two friends of mine spent their first year of marriage in a student apartment in London. This apartment was even smaller - the dining area was raised by about 60cm, and the double bed was stored underneath the dining area on rollers. The end of the bed stuck out into the living area and formed a sofa. In the evening you pulled on the 'sofa' and the whole bed, linen and pillows etc., rolled out into the living area to sleep in.

re:ever been to India? (0, Flamebait)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890573)

If you dont mind the building being built entirely of "safety shortcuts" and existing two steps from collapse, fine.

We should praise improvement,

Not if said "improvement" comes at the cost of the developed world, with no thought of transition.

Fact != Flamebait. (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890911)

re:ever been to India? (Score:-1, Flamebait)

If you dont mind the building being built entirely of "safety shortcuts" and existing two steps from collapse, fine.

Not if said "improvement" comes at the cost of the developed world, with no thought of transition.

Nothing bad there. Building codes exist for a reason, and that the Third World is hardly a place you'll find them.

Where to put my giant LCD TV? (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890365)

Hey, I can still mount my 62-inch LCD TV on the ceiling above the bed, right? Turn it off and it doubles as a mirror, eh?

How do you buy an apartment? (2)

maillemaker (924053) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890375)

I'm confused by the terminology. Around here (southern USA) an apartment is something you rent. A Condominium is like an apartment in that it is on managed grounds but you can "buy" them. I say "buy" in quotes because the concept of buying half of a building attached to someone else's half does not sound like anything I would want to buy.

Anyway, what are they talking about?

Re:How do you buy an apartment? (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890669)

I'm not disagreeing with you, and only skimmed the article so far.. but just as another example, duplexes are another example of something you buy that's attached to another home. That is, actual houses, that have a shared wall. That's definitely different from a condo.

Re:How do you buy an apartment? (4, Informative)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890831)

Should have put this in my first reply. I know that I have seen 'apartment' used as something you buy in NY-based sitcoms (e.g. "Seinfeld").

Also, the first paragraph on Wikipedia's entry says that it can be either (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apartment):
An apartment is a self-contained housing unit that occupies only part of a building. Apartments may be owned (by an owner/occupier) or rented (by tenants).

Re:How do you buy an apartment? (3, Informative)

doktor-hladnjak (650513) | more than 5 years ago | (#27891051)

From Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] :

A condominium, or condo, is the form of housing tenure and other real property where a specified part of a piece of real estate (usually of an apartment house) is individually owned while use of and access to common facilities in the piece such as hallways, heating system, elevators, exterior areas is executed under legal rights associated with the individual ownership and controlled by the association of owners that jointly represent ownership of the whole piece. Colloquially, the term is often used to refer to the unit itself in place of the word "apartment". A condominium may be simply defined as an "apartment" that the tenant "owns" as opposed to rents.

The difference between a condominium and an apartment is purely legal: there is no way to know a condo from an apartment simply by looking at or visiting the building. What defines a condominium is the form of ownership. The same building developed as a condominium (and sold as individual units to different owners) could actually be built someplace else as an apartment building (the developers would retain onwnership and rent individual units to different tenants).

"Condo" really refers to the legal arrangement, although it has taken on a meaning of "apartment that you own" in recent years. Condominium laws didn't even come into effect in the US until the 60s really. In cities with older dense urban housing stock, older apartment buildings are still often owned through a cooperative [wikipedia.org] instead.

Growing Pains (1)

segedunum (883035) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890425)

It's symptomatic of the growing pains in an economy like India. Everyone flocks there and Indian companies do well from their cheap labour, but in order to maintain that labour the standard of living, and the cost, needs to rise.

Re:Growing Pains (1)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 5 years ago | (#27891149)

As the standard of living rises and takes labor costs with it, India will start losing jobs to the next contestant in the race to the bottom.

A Tata car hits a Tata building. Which one wins? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27890501)

That'd be the polar opposite of the unstoppable force vs. the immovable object.

Re:A Tata car hits a Tata building. Which one wins (2, Funny)

stillnotelf (1476907) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890597)

The car passes cleanly through the building with no damage to either!

Answer: (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 5 years ago | (#27890789)

A collapsed building with a crushed car and its occupants inside.

Re:Answer: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27891209)

It's better than living in a gas guzzling trailer.

200 sqft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27890637)

In the mid 70s, I lived in a 200sf studio with a murphy bed. The toilet was in one small closet and the shower in another. The only sink was in the enameled steel kitchen unit. It was minimalist living, but I lived well there. Still, smaller than a lot of Hotel rooms at 16 x 12 for the combined kitchen, eating area, living area, bedroom. It would not have worked without the 'murphy'....

whatever next ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27890757)

Louis Vuitton bags for $20? Apple stuff for less than an arm and a leg ? what *is* the world coming to ? sigh.

 

Color me unimpressed (1)

AnotherBlackHat (265897) | more than 5 years ago | (#27891161)

Wow, only a little smaller than a shipping container, and just 6 times the price!

Seriously, at $30 a square foot, while these apartments might be a good deal, they're hardly newsworthy.

Re:Color me unimpressed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27891263)

Well, it is newsworthy considering the fact that real estate is more affordable in the United States than in India.

Tiny? (3, Funny)

lixee (863589) | more than 5 years ago | (#27891301)

Tiny? They're bigger than my place, you insensitive clod! Ah...the joys of grad school...
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