Solve this riddle: What is it?
It will always be "the" topic for social events and holiday gatherings. Sometimes it is up and sometimes down. Sometimes all wish they were involved. Sometimes those same people are grateful they did not participate.
Sometimes, everyone you know is happy about their place in it all; sometimes those same friends are feeling as if the agony of their involvement will never end. Sometimes you feel like you missed the boat; sometimes you feel you are glad you never boarded the boat. Your grandmother did well in it, but these days, your friends and family have been losing money in it.
In just three years, it can produce millionaires or paupers, both of whom started with the same initial funds invested. And the clincher: No one, not even the people who run the industry, really know where it is all heading over the next three to six years. And a color change can alter its direction and stabilize millions invested in it.
What is it?
We are of course speaking of the real estate market. What a time the past three years were! Subprime mortgage markets are disintegrating because of those in the industry who were granting loans without discretion. All involved were pushing to close record numbers of transactions, feeling this was a gift after so much hard work in a normal market. Flooding the market at warp speed were masses of investors, many of whom would go to any lengths to buy a property, leaving analysts and economists baffled. Why is this? We're all feeling this was too good to be true. Guess what? It was.
The color that can put it back on a forward course for all is the new arena of "green."
That is because today's consumers are smarter than ever before. They see utility bills rising to new highs with no end in sight. Homeowners want to define their carbon footprint, and leave more than just money as a legacy. Global climate issues are important to them. The new world of "green" offers new opportunity to the entrepreneur spirit.
In addition, the savvy buyer today is demanding their real estate investment also be an environmentally responsible investment. Concerns over indoor air quality are coming up more and more. Children are in schools with recycling programs, and bring these ideas home to their parents. Worries about escalating utility bills, and excitement about renewable energy, are becoming normal topics of discussion around the dinner table.
According to EnergyPulse.org, 78% of the consumers who bought a property last year say no one talked to them about energy efficiency. But whether one owns or wants to own, people are looking for ways to become more energy efficient. It should be real estate professionals who guide people to local resources, helping them navigate tax benefits and green mortgages, find energy auditors and renewable energy installers, and connect with contractors who care.
Everyone has different motivations for "going green." Some feel we are funding our own terrorism by purchasing foreign oil. There are those who have a concern for utility bills that most feel could double in 20 years. Some want to use the clean natural resources that are so plentiful in their parts of the country. North Dakota and South Dakota have enough wind to power the electricity for the entire United States. Look at the solar advantages in Florida. Take note of the amount of rain Oregon gets every year. And how much parts of Georgia could use that rain.
Think green and join the new industrial revolution.
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 2009. 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.
Enter your city or zip code to get your local temperature and air quality and find local green food and recycling resources near you.