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'Green Condos' Helping Investors Beat the Odds

February 20, 2013 - Updated: February 20, 2013

Research shows that more than 80% of Canadians prefer companies that offer green services and products.

In a time where going “green” only continues to gain more momentum, it is hard to say that this statistic is surprising at all. Given two similar condos, it is safe to say that the average consumer would opt for the condo with energy efficiencies to help mitigate the ever-rising energy and heating costs.

The rise in interest for green living

There is no doubt that people who are looking to buy are looking for green living alternatives. Canadians collectively are more concerned about the environment and are looking to invest in more energy efficient properties. They want to not only reduce their carbon footprint; they also want to lower their overall cost of living through green technologies.

Since we have seen a shift in focus to green living, there has been a major increase in the number of publications, news stories, and advertisements about green buildings. They tend to focus on not only new green living developments, but also how older condos are being renovated and equipped with the newest green technologies to meet the demand in the market.

A point of caution for investors

While energy efficiency and environmental conservation is the focal point for much of the real estate related literature that is being published, not all of it is reliable nor can be trusted.

Investors need to be weary of green washing. What is it? Green washing is a term that is used in real estate to describe a company that is more concerned about investing and selling people on the idea that they are a green living focus development.

In most cases, these companies spend more money on marketing themselves as “green” rather than actually investing time, money, and resources into making the necessary changes to their developments to lower their overall impact on the environment.

Obviously, this is a major point of concern for condo investors. Who are you supposed to believe? And, more importantly, how are you supposed to verify the claims made by green building owners?

This is why it is important to not always believe what you read and why investors need to put in the time to find out if the claims being made by organizations are accurate.

The benefits of going green

Going green is a good investment if the numbers add up. This is why it is so important for investors to understand the numbers. While the initial investment for green developments is usually greater than with more traditional building projects, the long term payoff resulting from green technologies and energy efficiencies will more than recover the difference.

The benefits speak volumes:

  • Increased energy efficiency
  • Monthly savings tend to be greater than loan payments
  • After the loans are paid off, all the savings are accumulated by the owner.
  • Owners are insulated from energy price rises
  • Higher occupancy rates for green condos
  • owners can charge a premium rental amount
  • Green buildings have higher resale value

With more and more cities passing green building standards that provide incentives and rebates to developers, and with an increased demand for green developments by consumers, companies that engage in green washing should decrease. It makes more sense for them to actually invest in green building practices.

We also cannot forget that green condos are also a major win for the Canadian environment. The more buildings that are developed in an eco-friendly manner, the better it will be overall for the environment now and into the future.

Tagged with: investors greenwashing green living green technologies energy efficiencies green buildings article
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