Do property investment and green strategies really mix?

Property markets around the world have changed significantly over the last 20 or 30 years with a growing emphasis upon green strategies and environmentally friendly materials. While from the outside looking in this can often mean an increase in costs if you look at the overall picture from a distance there are benefits to all involved.

Sometimes it is very easy to get green strategies mixed up with controversial and often expensive environmental policies. Many of these policies are introduced by politicians as a means of currying favour with a selection of voters ahead of general elections. How many of them actually come to fruition is another matter!

Environmentally friendly materials

When you consider that simple materials such as wood, to mention but one, have been used since the dawn of time what better place to start? Many investors might not appreciate the qualities which simple materials such as wood, thatched roofs and even glass offer to the modern day environmentally friendly home. Sometimes we are in such a hurry to build a new property, get income streams in place as soon as we can that it is possible to lose sight of the long-term benefits from an array of environmentally friendly materials.

Cost savings

There are many environmentally friendly homes out there which are effectively self-supporting with regards to heating and energy costs. In years gone by these types of self-supporting environmentally friendly homes were seen as something of a “niche market” for those with money to spend on their beliefs and ideals. However, the situation has changed dramatically over the years with the introduction of solar power and self-supporting heating systems to name but two areas which have seen significant progress.

Planning permission

While many of the environmentally friendly/green homes of today are situated out-of-town many of them would not have received planning permission if they had used the traditional home design. This is yet another area which is often misunderstood, the fact that local planning officers are often supportive of environmentally friendly homes, if only for the fact they can bring with them positive publicity. As many of these homes are built “out of town” the general cost of the land and the initial property are significantly lower than their in town counterparts.

A growing market

In some ways the environmentally friendly housing market has not received any favours from the mass media which tends to highlight expensive green properties which many people would never be able to afford. As technology has developed, the cost of equipment such as solar panels has fallen and demand for environmentally friendly products has increased so has this previous “niche market”. While for many people money will always talk, and some environmentally friendly homes are perhaps out of the reach of a number of property buyers, there are more people today willing to do their bit for the environment.

There may be increased initial costs to incorporate energy-saving and highly efficient environmentally friendly systems and designs into your property but there can be huge potential long-term savings.

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