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Think green to future-proof your home in France

13th June 2011 Print

For most, buying a home abroad remains a significant, long-term commitment especially if mortgage finance is required, however how do you ensure that your dream property in France remains as wise a purchase in 20 years time as today? According to experts, the best way to future-proof your French home is to think green.

Consideration for the environment and our impact upon it has become almost unavoidable in the 21st century. The UK has signed up to a variety of green legislation including the Renewable Heat Incentive due to be met this year, Building a Greener Future which proposes that all new homes be constructed to a 'zero carbon' standard by 2016 and Green Deal which will provide energy makeovers to some 14 million homes by 2020. In addition the UK and other Members States including France are committed to the Europe 2020 strategy which requires 20% of all energy needs to be sourced from renewables.

Charlie Williams, Business Development Manager of France's leading eco-friendly leaseback property developer, Terresens, comments, "Thinking green has gone beyond small scale recycling and taking fewer long haul flights. Housing is one of the main contributors to CO2 emissions and we have a moral and legal responsibility to consider sustainable eco-friendly alternatives for the properties we own. With increasing levels of EU environmental legislation being passed, potential property buyers need to start planning now to ensure that their investments meet the criteria in years to come in order to avoid incurring heavy operating and possibly redevelopment costs later down the line.

"Indeed for those considering purchasing a leaseback property, where the value of the property is calculated on the income which the property is capable of producing, developments which lack high eco-ratings and sustainability features (and therefore have higher operating costs as a result) will start to trail behind with regards to rental growth and lead to adverse yield movements."

With energy costs, water management and waste disposal all becoming increasingly expensive, investors who buy sustainable eco-friendly properties, such as those provided by Terresens, will see lower CO2 production, lower operating costs and therefore higher income margin and increased property value.

Anwar Harland-Khan, CEO of Sustain Worldwide, a membership organisation of global developers and professionals whose mission is to raise awareness, share vital knowledge and catalyse business growth in sustainable development, architecture, design and living, said: "Undoubtedly, eco homes are the future of residential property worldwide. It stands to reason because the sustainable homes being built today are stylish, beautifully finished, warm and light spaces. Not only are they attractive, they are cheaper to run because they require less heating and cooling than a conventional house, they are better insulated and fitted out with 'hands off' energy saving applications. What's more they will appreciate in value faster because eco homes are more 'future proofed' than a traditionally built existing house."

With environmental impact at the very heart of Terresens, each luxurious development holds an ecological rating out of 150 enabling buyers to make an educated choice. The luxurious 4* apartments of La Chapelle in the traditional Alpine village of Ste Foy for examples boast a rating of 112 due to the use of natural building materials, water retrieval and sustainable management. Similarly the completed Les Mazets de Ventoux residences in Malaucene scored an eco rating of 89 due to use of only natural products and eco friendly building principles such as bio paint, renewable electricity and treatment of green areas.

One common objection against eco homes is the perception of a higher price point; whilst this might be correct in some cases, Terresens ensures that all properties are priced in line with the current market. Properties in Les Mazets de Ventoux for example are available from €141,000 with an attractive 4.1% guaranteed index-linked return plus 3% cashback and due to the superior eco credentials, resale appeal is expected to be higher than traditional homes in the area.

And so with time marching ever on, it is imperative that investors think green today to future-proof their homes in France. For more information about investing in sustainable, eco friendly leaseback developments in France, visit

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