Reality Check: Why B-town celebs prefer to rent it than buying it?

NEW DELHI: Their celebrity status notwithstanding, for many Bollywood actors and filmmakers are still struggling to find a place of their own in Mumbai. We find out why…

While it is known that Bollywood’s biggest stars have dream homes, the same can’t be said of many young celebrities in the industry.
It’s been three years since Nargis Fakhri debuted in Bollywood, but the 34-year-old actress continues to live in rented apartments

These actors and actresses are still carving a niche for themselves but when it comes to their living arrangements, they are perhaps not so different from the average professional who is paying a bomb for a relatively small place in Mumbai. While some of these young stars do own plush houses, many others stay on rent as they feel that it’s convenient to shift to a new place whenever a situation demands them to do so. hitlist throws light on some of the problems faced by these celebs and their outlook towards making a home in Mumbai…
Evelyn Sharma

Choosing films over flats
Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who has been staying in a Versova apartment for one and a half year now, says that buying a house is not his ultimate goal. `I want to do roles of my choice and be happy, rather than do films for money and buy a house. I am very comfortable in a rented apartment right now and I will buy a house when I feel I can afford it without making bad choices. I can’t forget that I came to Mumbai to do good work and not to buy a house.`
Sunny Leone

Moolah matters
Amit Sadh, who recently found himself homeless on account of forgetting to renew the lease of his flat, says that buying a flat in Mumbai is an expensive affair. `Owning a place or renting it has nothing to do with our celebrity status. When you go to rent a place, people tend to ask you questions like, ‘Will you invite girls over?’ and such. Thankfully, my landlords have been welcoming and as long as they let me play loud music and party every Saturday, I am fine with renting a flat. I have just rented a place in Bandra.` Evelyn Sharma agrees that it’s impossible for an actor buy a place in the city at the beginning of his / her career. `After a few years, you can try purchasing one as it is a good investment. But the question here is how long do you wait? It’s a drag to find a good house.`
Waiting for the right place
Actress Sunny Leone has been renting Celina Jaitley’s Yari Road penthouse for the last two years. The actress says, `We own several homes in the world, once we find something we love we will purchase a place in Mumbai as well.`

Not settling in the city
Director Onir has been staying in a rented apartment in Versova for over four years now. `I prefer rented apartments because I am a filmmaker and I want to work on the films I set out to make. In any case, I don’t plan to retire in Mumbai. I feel there is a certain sense of freedom in living in a rented apartment and I have been lucky when it comes to landlords,` he says.

Loan labyrinth
Actress Tapsee Pannu says, `I need to know the city well before I buy a house here. Also, with the prices here being sky high, I don’t know if the property value will appreciate any further. The other issue is actors don’t get loans easily because of our fluctuating incomes; that is a major hassle for us.` Elli Avram, who has stayed in Versova, Malad and now lives in Bandra, chimes in, `The process of taking a bank loan is riddled with obstacles and it’s time-consuming. Often finding a guarantor is not easy either, though I admit renting a place has its own problems like finding a good landlord and being accepted by the housing society, especially for us actors.`

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