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guide the authorities away from the principles and guidelines of green building and, through no fault of the agencies, a delay can be expected in terms of permissions and approvals.iv However, currently in the English speaking Caribbean there are over 20 LEED certified professionals, from architects and landscape architects to interior designers, engineers and project managers, who through accreditation with the US Green Building Council can facilitate the design and certification process as part of a developers team with the ultimate goal as being a recognised “Green” development.


Today, standards for ‘Green’ development are a rapidly changing concept with new standards and technologies being introduced annually. As developers, one must always strive for excellence and be ahead of


the proverbial pack while


keeping the product fresh and attractive. Looking into the future of green building, the ultimate goal is to design and construct projects that are beyond ‘green’. This concept has been termed ‘regenerative’ developments. These developments will not only generate their own energy and water to suffice their own needs but will replenish natural resources for others to benefit. Developers, with the combined expertise of the consultant team, need to reiterate the importance of designing and developing projects that will put less of a strain on our natural resources and leave little to no impact on our environment so as to preserve the lands for future generations to follow.


Andre Kelshall Dip. LARC. LEED Green Associate Principal Talma Mill Studio


i MAKING A SUSTAINABLE CITY HAPPEN THE TORONTO GREEN DEVELOPMENT STANDARD 2006/1987 report of The World Commission on Environment and Development titled “Our Common Future” (also called the ‘Bruntland Commission Report) ii http://www.usgbc.org - What is LEED iii Source: McGraw Hill Construction (2010). Green Outlook 2011: Green Trends Driving Growth/http:// www.usgbc.org iv Removing Market Barriers to Green Development: Principles and Action Projects to Promote Widespread Adoption of Green Development Practices Author: Christopher Choi


Talma Mill Studios is a leading Caribbean landscape architectural firm. Since 1991 the firm has been at the forefront of developing Caribbean landscape architecture with a global relevance.


Cash-rich? Why It’s Still A Good Idea To Finance Your Real Estate Purchase


Having decided to buy property, the question that is frequently posed by our Private Clients is how they should pay for it- should they finance or use cash? Over the economic recession, many High Net Worth clients have built up significant cash (or near-cash) reserves due to the fact that there have been few other attractive investment options and also because most people have simply become more risk-averse. As a result, cash is increasingly a viable option for purchasing that second home.


In answering this question, I find myself torn between two mindsets. My family upbringing wants to blurt out that cash is king and that you should never borrow if you don’t need to, but the banker in me is almost legally bound to say “Why finance, of course. How much do you need?” Here’s why my banker alter-ego is actually right this time around.


Strategically it’s a great time to borrow, and all the more so if you don’t need to. The fact is, strategic debt differs from traditional lending in that it’s about using debt opportunistically as a tool to achieve your financial goals. Debt is often thought of in a negative light, but when used intelligently, it can provide enormous benefits. Not only are borrowing costs today much lower than we’ve seen in some time, but this is especially true for affluent clients who can often borrow at a lower cost than the average person.


Using debt to finance your real estate purchase puts you in a position to magnify your personal returns


(and losses) through leverage. If property bought in 2012 increases in value by 3% in 2013, then the cash buyer makes a 3% return, whereas the buyer who financed 70% of the purchase, makes a 10% return on their 30% equity stake.


Debt can also reduce your overall cost of ownership. In many instances, the use of near-cash instruments (e.g. marketable securities) means liquidating a portfolio and possibly generating capital gains that may be taxable. Avoiding this through financing can be a cost-effective strategy. In addition, the interest costs of borrowing are often tax-deductible in themselves.


In addition, debt is useful for lessening risk. Instead of using that cash on one large purchase, financing a portion of the purchase frees up the remainder of your cash to invest in other geographies or types of investments. By diversifying how your cash is deployed, you naturally reduce the risk and impact of any one investment. The other way borrowing can reduce your risk is that by leaving a significant portion of your cash reserves untouched, you can achieve peace of mind that if you need cash urgently for a rainy day or a new investment opportunity, it will be there.


In the end, if you are still not sure which way to go in the long-term, bear in mind that borrowing is easier to reverse than not borrowing. Simply put, reversing debt is like floating downstream in that you can always ask your banker to structure the loan so that you can prepay in advance without


penalty. On the flip side, reversing a cash purchase through an equity take-out loan can be a little like swimming against the tide. It’s a harder loan to get approved, especially for offshore investors, so it’s best to be sure you won’t need that cash back once you put it in.


In the end, each buyer will make the right individual decision for his or her own circumstances but hopefully this provides some food for thought. In addition to gloating about being right, my inner Banker wants me to remind you that Scotia Private Client Group is always happy to help if the need arises. Happy hunting!


Maya A. Johnston Centre Director, Caribbean East Scotia Private Client Group


Maya manages the full suite of client services offered under the Scotia Private Client Group umbrella. She is a Barbados National Scholar, holds dual Bachelor of Science degrees summa cum laude in Economics and Engineering


from the University of


Pennsylvania, and an MBA degree from Harvard Business School.


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