In Conversation With… Rob and Ed Lucchetta, Lucchetta Homes
It’s no secret more and more homebuyers are heading out of the GTA to points west, including the Niagara Region, set to become one of the hottest markets in Ontario this year. For Lucchetta Homes in Welland, Ont., the appeal of this area is nothing new. In fact, the homebuilder has focused on delivering top-quality construction, design, value and exceptional customer service for more than 60 years. Second generation principals Rob and Ed Lucchetta discuss proudly carrying on the tradition of their father, Ugo.
HOMES Magazine: How’s business at Lucchetta Homes these days? How are you building differently now than you were, say, 10 or 20 years ago?
Rob Lucchetta: As a boutique builder in Niagara, we have always tried to stay true to our roots by giving our customers a white glove experience when putting together the endless combinations available in a home. Building a home can be very stressful, and our team of designers and concierges work hard to make the experience an exceptional one.
We have become more environmentally conscious. Leaving a smaller carbon footprint is important. We are doing our part through building science. We have always tried to stay ahead of the building code and home science technology. All our homes are built and certified to Energy Star levels and higher. We offer Net Zero and Net Zero-ready performance for those who want tomorrow’s technology today. We waste less material through a program to consciously use all materials wisely.
We also have systems in place to streamline the process. We are in the process of implementing a customer portal that will allow for almost endless choices when we build their home. It provides a point of communication with the customer and the staff, so everyone is on the same page.
Making our customers’ experience exceptional doesn’t end once they purchase. It continues when they move into their home, from educating them on the systems and addressing any issues in a timely manner. We focus on excellent customer service as part of our success story, since there’s no better referral than a satisfied customer.
HOMES: Lucchetta Homes has been building in the Niagara Region for more than 60 years… an area which is seeing increasing interest, as buyers move westward out of the GTA in search of affordability and value. ReMax, in fact, projects Niagara will be one of the top markets in Ontario in terms of home price growth this year…
Ed Lucchetta: Our father, Ugo Lucchetta, was trained by European craftsmen as a furniture maker. In the late 1950s, dad emigrated from northern Italy to the Niagara Region to join in a small homebuilding company of a relative. Over the years, after going on his own, he gained a reputation as a builder of quality homes, building one home at a time. My brother and I joined the firm in the late 1980s following dad’s retirement. We began investing in unique and special enclaves to build our own sites. Working with a great team of consultants and staff, we’ve had some very successful projects. We have also teamed up with reputable developers for larger communities.
Our key focus has always been the empty nester. We began building bungalows principally since the early 2000s, focusing on the empty nesters here, and then the trickle from the GTA began and has become a larger segment of the market.
HOMES: And how you do foresee this market performing over the next few years?
Ed Lucchetta: The influx of homebuyers from the GTA has meant a big change to the region. The area has a lot to offer – wineries, casinos, excellent shopping close to the border – it’s all here, minus the traffic and congestion. For empty nesters, Niagara offers great value. Our Hunters Pointe site, for example, has 1,400-sq.-ft. townhomes starting in the low $500,000s, and singles in the low $600,000s. This is excellent value. We see strong sales continuing, as long as the price gap between the GTA and Niagara continues.
HOMES: What about the Niagara Region and Lucchetta Homes would you want prospective new-home buyers to know?
Ed Lucchetta: Niagara is the perfect place to call home. We have easy access to great shopping, fun events, it’s close to Toronto and has easy access to Buffalo. We have more than 130 wineries and more than 30 golf courses in the area. There’s less traffic, so as you come here, you feel the stress just slip away.
Lucchetta Homes is the premier award-winning boutique builder of the Niagara Region. We offer a quality and experience like no other. Our team of sales specialists, architectural designers, interior design specialists and purchasers all work together to help buyers customize their home just the way they want it.
We offer great locations with different lifestyles. Hunter’s Pointe, our active adult lifestyle community, offers a full community centre complete with an indoor swimming pool and library, banquet facilities and a fitness centre. All this with singles and towns, all bungalow style. It has won a number of provincial and local awards and has been named Canada’s Community of the Year by Canadian Home Builders’ Association.
Our flagship site, national and provincial award-winning Davis Heights in Fonthill, features opulent finishes with soaring 10-ft. ceilings, metal and copper roofs and stone stucco fronts, linear fireplaces, engineered hardwood floors and spa-like ensuites with a large tiled shower. The quality and standards are exceptional.
HOMES: New home supply and affordability, due to land availability and approval processes, have been a hot topic over the last few years in the GTA. How are things on that front in the Niagara Region?
Rob Lucchetta: The Niagara region is open for business. The influx of GTA homebuyers who were driven out of the GTA by rising or unreachable home prices have flocked here and found better value and quality of life. With expanding GO train service and a new hospital planned for southern Niagara Falls, this area will have even more to offer.
As a unique and environmentally sensitive area, with large Greenbelt areas and fruit lands, Niagara’s regional government and local municipalities have a lot to contend with. We also have a two-tiered system in Niagara, so developers have to deal with both the regional government and the local municipality. However, there truly is a cultural change occurring here. The region wants to see growth and intensification, and some municipalities have opened their doors to help streamline the process. Land is available, and it’s less expensive than the GTA.
HOMES: You’ve had some success in home science, in terms of building Net Zero homes. How readily available, on a production basis, is such new home technology… without adding too much to the purchase price of these homes?
Rob Lucchetta: Lucchetta Homes is one of the leaders of advanced technology for the Canadian homebuilding industry. We are a certified builder of Net Zero, R2000 and Energy Star homes.
We built the first Net Zero-ready home for the Canadian Home Builders’ Association pilot program in 2017. To get there, we teamed with Enbridge Utilities and its “savings by design” program to help create and implement a higher standard for all of our homes – while adding only a few thousand dollars to the cost and achieving 20-per-cent increase in energy efficiency.
We build Net Zero housing on a made-to-order basis. In many cases, customers will opt out of the full certification but get the better triple-pane windows or air source heat pumps to boost their home’s efficiency. As our energy costs continue to rise and better methods and products come to the market, Net Zero-ready homes will become the norm.
AND ON A PERSONAL NOTE…
Our greatest inspiration in this business is: Our father came to Canada in the late 1950s with a borrowed suitcase, and worked hard for many years to create the foundation of our company. He was an avid sportsman, but his family was always his first priority and brought him the most joy.
When we’re not at the office or on a job site, we: Spending time with family and friends. We enjoy golfing and cycling and a little hockey and curling during the winter months.
The Ride to Conquer Cancer is an important cause to you because: We love how it unites so many touched by this terrible disease. We do it for our father, since cancer cut his life short a few years ago.
- Davis Heights – Fonthill – Now open
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- Ryan’s Grove – Fonthill – Now open