Why Green Real Estate Investing Is Your Best Strategy For Increased Profits

Real estate investors are finally opening their eyes to the enormous opportunity green real estate investing offers. If you’ve ever read the book, “The Purple Cow”, by Seth Godin then you know the value and necessity of NOT being a brown cow, but PURPLE!

Well guess what, Green real estate investing is the new purple when it comes to differentiating yourself amongst the endless supply of sellers in this current market and green investing is your golden ticket to higher ROIs, easier marketability, and a healthier end product which all lead towards your profits increasing.

As an Architect specializing in sustainable green building, eco-design, and renewable energies, coupled with my passion for real estate and development it is my mission to help you, the curious “green” investor to discover how you can profit from the many benefits green investors (your competition) have already discovered and advancing in each day.

What I wanted to do is just discuss a few of the reasons green real estate investing and green minded investors can make more money by choosing the eco-smart application. After all, you’re an investor, not a tree-hugger. However, it’s time to marry the age old adage, what is good for the environment is truly good for business.

Green real estate investing in the midst of this turmoil economy, if you choose to believe so, has been at somewhat of a standstill, until now. Green value is surfacing as opposed to green theory and ideas; beginning to see actual profits and implementation from the green building / investing community we are seeing investors take action on technologies, materials and rebates to off-set upfront costs and produce an overall product which is superior to its counterpart. The good news though, it’s the home buyers who are really seeing the perceived increase in value.

As green products become easier, cheaper, more cost effective and healthier, resulting in greater demand from buyers, investors are beginning to take notice. Coupled with the ability to gain greater forecasts on the tangible numbers (and I know how we all love the REAL numbers of a property investment) investors are able to calculate efficiency ratings which are beginning to make their way to the balance sheet thus proving a positive financial outcome when compared to traditional investments.

Green Real estate investing is only getting bigger as governments, states and local authorities, combined with home buyer perception increases. At this time you have two choices – blend in with the brown cows or set yourself apart and blow your competition out of the water with the ever increasing, profitable, and worldly just strategy of the new decade!

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Why Are Reallionaires Chasing Green Real Estate Assets?

Real estate investors who have been battered by the 2007 financial crisis and subsequent recession have become increasingly frustrated with buying traditional property assets. Yet they remain in no man’s land when making attempts to revive their fortune. To the contrary, investors who have successfully survived the financial crisis, knows that in times of economic turmoil, they must jump ship to stay afloat. As traditional property assets lose their appeal, it is time to look elsewhere. Generally, the average investors typically tend to sit back and wait for the next big booming economic wave. Whereas, savvy property investors spend time creating that new wave in a safe boat.

During the rubble (or collapsed economic cycle 2007-2012), reallionaires have been switching to new property sectors, in particular, green real estate, whilst novices are still buying traditional assets. This newly emerging property sector, green real estate (GRE) may be defined as a convergence between green technology and the reinvention of ageing property assets, such as, car parks reinvented into solar car parks or EV recharging stations. The green property sector consists of property assets, such as, solar farms, agro-fuel estates, landfill gas sites, energy from waste facilities, solar car parks and bio-fuel plantations to name just a few. An astonishing US$211 billion was invested in this asset class in 2010, up by US$51b on its 2009 figures. As a result, green property is the most highly sort after property asset among reallionaires and there are some lucrative reasons why.

For starters, reallionaires are putting their money into the green real estate sector because it has pulling power when it comes to attracting capital. Not only are the World Bank and Sovereign wealth funds lending millions to developers and owners of green property projects, but many financial institutions and private equity firms are also throwing cash at developers of such property assets. As reported in various UK’s Newspapers, property tycoon, Vincent Tchenquiz through his acquisition vehicle, Consensus Group, raised over £71 million from sovereign wealth funds and institutional investors to acquire and develop solar farms, wind farms and bio-fuel refineries in South Africa. Likewise, in 2010, Vattenfall secure £150m from the European Investment Bank to develop a wind farm in Thurness Point, Kent UK.

Another reason why reallionaires are adding GRE assets to their property portfolio is due to the knowledge that it attracts near zero taxes and other types of investment incentives. It is now common knowledge, that the acquisition of green real estate is largely a tax free investment. Under Governments’ legislation in the UK and Europe, investors operating in the GRE sector pay less taxes, in comparison to their counterparts investing in mainstream commercial property. Additionally, capital gains tax is waived on most green property assets, such as, recycling centres. Further, other benefits reallionaires accrue from buying GRE, include, tax rebate, tax credit, carbon credit, Government loan guarantees, grants and feed-in-tariffs. Such incentives and promotional policies helped in making this sector recession proof over the last five years.

Third, but not last, reallionaies are in love with green property assets because, unlike other assets, it offers property investors three to four sources of income. Generally most property assets give investors a rental income (depending on the type of owner structure used). Nevertheless, in addition to rental income, GRE provides investors with carbon credit income and feed in tariff income. Reallionaires become mega rich by acquiring high performing assets that provide them with multiple streams of income. To this end, it is abundantly clear why reallionaires and other super rich investors are chasing green real estate assets.

To date, most of the world’s richest property investors have bought into to the green real estate phenomenon. Reallionaires, such as, Samuel Zell, Vincent Tchenquiz, The Duke of Westmister and John Whittaker and more, have all invested millions in this fast growing lucrative sector. In addition to reallionaires, there are a number of super rich entrepreneurs who have also jump on the green property bandwagon, including, Michael Dell, Warren Buffet and the Google founders.

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Green Real Estate and Education Go Hand and Hand and the Timing Couldn’t Be Better

What a better time to think of value in residential real estate than in the present challenging times. Most are still wondering if the projections of a turn around in the current marketplace are just fiction or truth. Five steps forward and two back, then three forward and three back. So what is really going to drive value for the buyer to buy again? What does a buyer consider in today’s economic climate for the decision to buy a home? Do they think of a home for their family in terms of how their parents looked at the purchase? Do they still think a home is the American Dream where investment returns will be offered in the 6-8% in annual growth patterns as in the past?

The current climate offers a new sales technique for mortgage and real estate companies in moving property. The “short sale” market is of value to the investor, but counter productive for future community values. So, if you want to sell a home in this market, what are your options? The appraiser will always look at recent sales, and there have been several homes foreclosed and resold as short sales in your neighborhood. The bad thing is the family that wants to move across town into a nicer home, but the short sales will affect the value of their home dramatically. Appraisers will look at the most recent sales using the cost approach to determine value. This gives you only one real option to take less for your home, and hopefully buy a short sale across town if any are available. I mean why should we take such a loose; we were always on time with our mortgage and taxes, why are we being so affected by others hard times.

So you don’t sell, because you do not want to take such a loss and there are no foreclosures in the area you want to go. What do you do to build value for the future? What do you honestly think will help your home stand out in front of the others? What do you think a buyer is thinking about today? Low utility bills? Are they considering looking into solar or energy savings? Are they curious about green building and green renovation products? Here is an idea. Put $15,000 in energy efficient upgrades in your existing home, taking advantage of the tax incentives and rebates. Now, depending on the upgrades you have chosen, the property stands out in this development. With offering up to 65% lower energy bills alone a buyer desiring your neighborhood may lean towards your home even if there is a short sale for less money. The timing couldn’t be better as most are curious on how to renovate to lower utility bills. Green renovations, can make a difference in real estate values. Using healthy materials and installing more high efficiency systems will making a difference in quality of life. While economic times are challenging those involved in the energy sector hold promise for growth. Our company, Green Real Estate Education is educating all sectors in the real estate industry to bring these points to those is there markets. Our educational programs are in demand even in these economic times.

Energy Efficient Homes and proper marketing especially if they offer the added benefit of being green certified properties are some of the most sought after residences and gaining strength daily. The entire building industry is changing towards sustainable and green techniques; it’s about time we embrace the new green revolution.

It is our opinion that a home seller should separate their property from the short sales and get green products and systems into their home as soon as possible. Some may not be thinking of selling right now, maybe in the future. But all renovations need to have energy conservation and the concepts of offering healthier indoor air quality in all they do in the future. . To investigate the best and most affordable way is to do a green renovation that will produce future value, is to hire a one of the 5,000 Green Real Estate Education has trained. A GCMP-GL is a Green Certified Mortgage Professional with a Level One Green Leadership Certification and a GCREP-GL is a Green Certified Real Estate Professional with a Green Leadership Certification. These professionals will offer options many do not even realize exist. Preparing your home for your future and the future of others will be a key to a successful sale. As a buyer, using these professionals will bring you additional information for becoming more aware of what your investment can bring in the future. This can and will support value while separating your home from others.

Kerry Mitchell is the founder and course developer of Green Real Estate Education, which is on target to educate more than 20,000 real estate professionals in going green by 2010. Mitchell established the recognized certification for the real estate industry, the GCREP.GL. She worked for 14 years as a licensed real estate broker in Maryland and Florida, where she now resides

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