Going green wasn’t an optional extra for the Nieuwenhuis’, it was an integral element of their property investment strategy. ‘I’ve always had a passion to live more green,’ says Dee. ‘I have faith in the fact that we will have to go that way eventually – so the sooner the better. I thought that green property was a clever way to go, not just out of my personal enthusiasm, but also as a timely investment. People are more ready for it now than they ever have been.’
Dee admits that Henry, while interested in green issues, saves most of his enthusiasm for good investments. This has actually been an asset – she has to show him that her green initiatives will pay for themselves financially. ‘I’m working on going as green as I can within the realms of affordability,’ says Dee. ‘I have to understand it and prove it to him.’
Smartline Adviser, Cathy Anderson, has been involved with the Nieuwenhuis’ investment portfolio since the early days when she met them via their daughter, who Cathy had already helped to buy her home. ‘I had studied property investment and come up with a framework to follow,’ says Dee. ‘I had in mind what I wanted to achieve, but needed someone to advise us on what to do. Cathy gathered our thoughts, put them on paper and clarified the situation.’
Cathy’s involvement has continued as the Nieuwenhuis’ portfolio has grown from one to three properties.
While Dee takes care of the properties and their green credentials, she trusts Cathy to find the right finances.‘Cathy has been fantastic, very supportive. She feels like a lifelong friend already!’ says Dee. ‘It would be too much to handle everything. I like to concentrate on building and sustainability, so it’s great that we’ve got that faith in Cathy to look after the financial side. She understands where we want to head and how we can get there.’