Tag Archives: Canadian Home Builders’ Association

Braestone Horseshoe Valley offers a new vision of elegant country living

Braestone Horseshoe Valley offers a new vision of elegant country living

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Braestone Horseshoe Valley offers a new vision of elegant country living

Imagine an idyllic community nestled between gently rolling hills and valleys. A place where you can reconnect with your roots. Where stately pines tower over winding trails and clear water ponds shelter turtles, frogs and migratory birds. A community that offers a casual yet refined style of living, that is down home, yet up country. Welcome to Braestone, a picture-perfect community located in the scenic Oro-Medonte region of southern Ontario, just minutes from the urban centres of Barrie and Orillia.

Braestone’s 275-acre nature preserve is crisscrossed by a comprehensive trail system that walkers, cyclists, cross country skiers and snowshoers can enjoy. This unspoiled countryside, while providing privacy, also offers a meaningful sense of community. Within the Braestone nature preserve, you’ll find century-old forests, wetlands, aquifer ponds and cold-water streams.

Phase 4 now open

These rolling hills, expansive vistas and winding streetscapes form the backdrop for the 100 families who have moved in over the last four years or so. Over the years, Braestone has expanded with more facilities and more families, and today, it’s into its successful fourth phase. Comprised of 20 homesites on a selection of valley and ridge lots ranging from approximately half an acre to more than one acre in size, this new phase offers families an escape from the hustle and bustle of city live with all of the conveniences they need close by.

Braestone’s homes are inspired by the quaint farmhouses and barns that dot the Oro-Medonte countryside and have an architectural style that is sophisticated, timeless and simple in detail. Traditional pitched rooflines and extra deep soffits, integrated with generous porches and lit by authentic gas-burning lanterns create truly charming elevations and inviting streetscapes.

Inspiring models and finishes

Six inspiring main models are available with various elevations – The Cumberland, The Clydesdale, The Morgan, The Belgian, The Thoroughbred and The Oldenburg – ranging in size up to 3,263 sq. ft. These bungalows and two-storey homes come with two-, three- and four-bedroom plans and offer optional lofts and optional finished coach houses.

The homes have been designed using a “continuation architecture” approach, with principal rooms at the home’s core, resulting in more majestic homes with wider, more expandable and more interesting layouts that better complement Braestone’s large acreage lots. Strict architectural guidelines for exteriors ensure a consistent look with the high level of quality that defines Braestone.

Premium interior finishes include vaulted ceilings in Great Rooms, stained treads and stair railing, modern farmhouse cabinetry with granite kitchen countertops, luxurious deep soaker tub in master bathroom, full glass showers, premium engineered hardwood on main floor, high-efficiency furnace, and lots more.

The Remarkables – extraordinary amenities

Braestone’s Remarkables are simple and timeless amenities that have grown naturally out of the community’s own unique and magnificent landscape. These amenities include horse paddocks, future Starfall park for star gazing, Nordic skiing, a maple sugar shack, orchard and berry picking and more. There are literally dozens of Remarkables that differentiate and define Braestone as a special community.

One of Braestone’s most popular Remarkables is the Sugaring Week, which happens every spring. The event draws Braestone residents out to the woods and to the charming Sugar Shack to enjoy the age-old practice of tapping maple trees and boiling the sap to make syrup. This sweet tradition takes place year after year – many tree farms across Ontario have been tapping the same sugar maple for more than 100 years.

Another extraordinary initiative is the neighbouring Braestone Farm, where on 108 acres of fertile land, pumpkins, berries, apples and more are grown. In this peaceful pastoral setting, families have an opportunity to access and experience first-hand a vanishing way of life in Ontario.

Though Braestone lies in the heart of the countryside, it’s just minutes from a wealth of urban amenities. The neighbouring historic community of Orillia is just 10 minutes away and offers small-town charm with modern day conveniences. Within a 10-minute drive from Braestone you’ll discover fabulous dining, hiking, boating, skiing, golfing, shopping and more to suit each and every lifestyle.

Nearby amenities include Horseshoe Valley Resort, Moonstone Ski Resort, Blue Mountain Village, Braestone Club, Settlers Ghost Golf Club, Copeland Forest, Hardwood Cross Country Ski and Bike. Ontario’s famed Muskoka and cottage country is less than an hour away. Lake Simcoe Regional Airport is just 15 minutes away and Toronto Pearson International Airport is just slightly more than an hour from Braestone.

Winner of the Best New Home Community Award by Canadian Home Builders’ Association, Braestone offers families a refined upcountry lifestyle in harmony with nature. Phase 4 is now open, with homes from the mid $700,000s to low $1 millions.

GEORGIAN COMMUNITIES
Braestone

Visit the Discovery Centre, located at 3288 Line 9 North in Oro-Medonte. For further information visit the website.


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Georgian International

Georgian International offers remarkable communities in Barrie-Collingwood-Orillia area

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Georgian International offers remarkable communities in Barrie-Collingwood-Orillia area

Active families and retirees are heading in droves to the Barrie-Collingwood-Orillia region for its natural beauty and world-class attractions. Once here, they are delighted to discover that Georgian International, a visionary developer with strong roots in the neighbourhood offers exactly what they’re in search of; thoughtful communities that are an authentic reflection of small town Canada.

Braestone at Horseshoe Valley. Country Estate, rethought

Gas-fired lanterns. A pumpkin patch. A Christmas tree farm. A baseball diamond encircled by corn stalks à la Field of Dreams. These idyllic features complement the farmhouse-style homes that make up the Braestone estate community, one hour north of the GTA in Horseshoe Valley.

Braestone
Braestone

Developed by Georgian International, the 229 homes sit on 556 acres in the Oro-Medonte township. These ingredients, known as “remarkables,” truly capture the uniqueness of living here that appeals to prospective buyers.

Bringing a unique approach to Ontario real estate is a hallmark of the company. “What we’re doing is not what other developers are doing,” says Mike Parker, vice-president, sales and marketing for Georgian International’s Real Estate Division. “In the planning process, we came up with community features that will enhance people’s lives, that will be part of their active lifestyles.”

Bathroom at Braestone
Bathroom at Braestone

For example, a toboggan hill is a family-friendly add-on, and a sugar shack can teach residents about the age-old practice of tapping maple trees. “Braestone buyers are typically nature lovers and enjoy being outdoors,” Parker notes, “and that’s why we created remarkables like a skating pond, a berry patch.”

Parker adds that they regularly hold events for the community with the intention that the traditions will continue long after the development is built out. Summer corn roasts with live music, a pancake breakfast fundraiser, and family day horse drawn sleigh rides are just a few.

Livingroom at Braestone
Livingroom at Braestone

Besides successful sales, Braestone’s eye-catching offerings and impressive amenities are getting noticed by the industry. It was recognized as Best New Home Community of the Year in 2016 by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, and its Discovery Centre was named 2016 Best Lowrise Homes Sales Office in Canada by the CHBA. Most recently, the “Thoroughbred” model was awarded Best Two-Storey Design up to 2,500 sq. ft. by the Ontario Homes Builders Association.

Interior flourishes make the Braestone homes visually appealing, to say the least: Floors come complete with tongue-and-groove maple or oak, and porcelain tile is found in the bathrooms, foyers and mudrooms. Master bathrooms showcase an island-style soaker tub.

Windfall at Blue Mountain

Winner of the Simcoe County Home Builders Awards’ Project Of The Year 2017. Georgian International’s popular Windfall is a 609-home community at the base of Blue Mountain that attracts buyers looking for “comfort, character, culture and community with a relaxed way of life,” says Parker.

He notes that “it’s a place where nature and neighbourhood are in perfect balance… with community trails, Georgian Bay on one side, and the Niagara Escarpment on the other the beauty of the natural landscape is simply amazing.”

Windfall
Windfall

In the heart of the community will be The Shed, a barn-inspired gathering place that will form the hub for residents to network, socialize and relax. Cold- and hot-water outdoor pools are planned to further promote relaxed living.

“The semis and detached homes differ from the look of Braestone units with more mountain-like colours and shades,” Parker remarks. But both will feature a trademark flourish for Georgian International developments: Gas-powered lanterns.

“There’s a romantic feel, an ambiance, to lanterns that is special and not done by anyone else,” Parker says.

Buyers can select from well-appointed standard features or upgrade interior design packages that coordinate interior finishes, including flooring, cabinetry, countertops, lighting and other fixtures. started moving in this spring, beginning in May.

Bridge at Windfall
Bridge at Windfall

When fully completed, the 230-unit Mountain House will consist of two-, three, and four-storey buildings. The terrace suites boast a chalet-style and complemented by a community building, a bike repair station, a sauna and relaxation room, hot and cold pools and an idyllic setting. “Like all our projects, the standard features, such as full, glass-walled showers and exterior gas lanterns, go above and beyond expectations,” says Parker.

Mountain House
Mountain House

Close to Windfall and Mountain House are the historic areas of Collingwood, Blue Mountain Resort and Wasaga Beach, as all three regions are “remarkables” onto themselves for Ontario residents. Nearby activities include boating on Georgian Bay, fishing, snowboarding, ATV trail tours, water parks, golfing, sleigh rides and guided snowshoe hikes.

Georgian International. At home in beautiful Simcoe County

Georgian International is not just carving its own path in the real estate business, which began in 1985. The diverse company’s divisions include Georgian Chevrolet Buick GMC and Air Georgian.

Georgian International has made it its mission to create communities of artfully designed architecture inspired by small town Canada, with amenities that improve peoples’ lives, giving people that sense of home ensconced among mountains, lakes, Christmas tree parks, and skating ponds.

And if that isn’t being Canadian at its most grassroots, we don’t know what is.

GEORGIAN INTERNATIONAL

For further information visit the Braestone, Windfall and Mountain House websites.


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Lucchetta Homes

Lucchetta Homes the only builder with five nominations and three wins at CHBA National Awards

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Lucchetta Homes the only builder with five nominations and three wins at CHBA National Awards

Davis Heights is one of Niagara’s finest new addresses. This luxury development, features a limited selection of bungalow/bungaloft luxury custom towns, backing onto the Niagara escarpment.

At Davis Heights, the Luxe Collection is custom curated by the renowned interior design firm Raphael Gomes Interiors. The Versailles model home features a vertical glass wine-cellar embedded in the staircase filled with local wines, an elegant paneled library, convenient and practical double, main floor masters with ensuites, each meticulously designed with individual masculine and feminine forward touches.

Relax in the sumptuous living room with 15-ft. vaulted ceiling, gourmet chef’s kitchen with two-tone cabinets, and oversized island perfect for entertaining. Lower level features a spacious guest suite, games room, wet-bar, Great Room with home theatre and your own personal gym. Homes are priced from the $700,000s with floorplans ranging from 1,530 to 2600 sq. ft. Occupancy is scheduled for fall of 2019 or early 2020. Stop in to see the award-winning models. Hurry in to own your luxurious piece of tranquility with private terraces overlooking a ravine.

Riverside

As part of Riverside‘s Grand Opening Special at Hunter’s Pointe, new-home buyers will receive $20,000 in designer upgrades upon the purchase of a single-detached home! Riverside features perfectly aligned bungalow homes with waterfront lots, single-detached lots and award-winning bungalow towns. Towns are available from $499,900, with occupancy in May 2020. Move-in-ready homes are available with 30-, 60- and 90-day closings.

The contemporary Lancaster, now open, is an award-winning NZR model home designed by Wendi Pelfrey. Everything is perfectly designed to address homeowners’ needs, and is conveniently within reach of natural elements in a serene, lush landscape.

The Lancaster was recently nominated for Best Production Home and Best Kitchen in Ontario and Canadian homebuilder association awards, and was recently named Best Kitchen by Niagara Home Builder’s Association. This is a premier, resort-style, Energy-Star certified adult community, with world-class amenities and convenient services right at your fingertips.

“Buying a home here is a fraction of the cost of comparable homes in the GTA,” says Kim Kopyl, director of sales and marketing for Lucchetta Homes. “And the quality of life is far superior.”

Well recognized

Ugo Lucchetta started Lucchetta Homes more than 60 years ago. Today, it is well-known for quality construction, craftsmanship and unparalleled customer service. Sons Robert and Ed carry on the traditions started by their father. Their hard work has paid off with ongoing appreciation, in addition to the loyalty and word-of mouth praise expressed by their customers.

Last year alone, Lucchetta Homes won or was nominated for more than 30 awards by all levels of builders’ associations – local, provincial and national. The company most recently won for Community of the Year in the CHBA Awards, and EnerQuality’s Energy Star Builder of the Year.

Lucchetta Homes was also the only builder in Ontario this year to have been selected as a finalist for the CHBA National Awards for Housing Excellence in five categories. From more than 700 entries, each entry was judged by more than 180 CHBA members from across Canada. On May 10th, 2019 in Niagara Falls, Lucchetta Homes achieved being one of the biggest winners of the evening, taking home three CHBA Awards!

  • Best Attached Home – Under 1,500 sq. ft.: Riverside, Hunters Pointe
  • Best Print Ad: Riverside Hunters Pointe
  • Best Brochure: Davis Heights

Lucchetta was also nominated in the coveted CHBA categories of Marketing Excellence and Design Excellence.

“Simply to be nominated amongst the very best in the industry in Canada is a tremendous achievement, and testament to our entire team,” says Kopyl. “Winning these coveted awards truly validates the caliber of excellence that Lucchetta Homes is consistently providing to the real estate industry on a national level.”

“Being a boutique builder, we are proud to have been considered as finalists and honoured to have won such prestigious national awards,” says Robert and Ed Lucchetta, principals of Lucchetta Homes. “We build every home as if we would live in it ourselves, and these achievements further authenticate our focus on homeowner satisfaction.”

Such recognition has inspired the company to keep raising the bar. “Legendary luxury is something everyone at Lucchetta Homes strives to provide – where we not only build homes, but foundations to live your best life.”

Niagara at its finest

There are many perks and benefits to living in this area, which include lower living costs, award-winning restaurants, world-class wineries, organic farmers’ markets, beaches, designer outlet shopping, casinos, the Shaw Festival and a plethora of other attractions and amenities. GO Transit rail service is well on its way to Niagara. And, for those who love to travel, you can easily access the Buffalo and Niagara airports. With an abundance of greenspace, outdoor activities include hiking, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, boating, fishing, paddle boarding, cycling, horseback riding, golfing and tennis.

LUCCHETTA HOMES
Niagara

  • Ryans Grove and Davis Heights, Fonthill
  • Hunters Pointe, Welland
  • Lusso, St. Catharines

905.732.2658

lucchettahomes.com

sales@lucchettahomes.com


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Bob Finnigan

CHBA names Bob Finnigan Member of the Year

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CHBA names Bob Finnigan Member of the Year

Bob Finnigan
Bob Finnigan

The Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) has named Bob Finnigan, partner at Herity (Heathwood Homes), CHBA Past President, member of BILD GTA and long-time building industry executive, as its Member of the Year.

CHBA presented the award, one of its annual Association Leadership Awards, during its 76th National Conference in Niagara Falls on May 10. The prestigious awards showcase the contributions, qualities and accomplishments of leaders within the association.

Association Leadership Awards

  • Member of the Year, Bob Finnigan, recognized for his many years of dedication and leadership at the national level of CHBA.
  • Home Builders’ Association of the Year, Saskatoon & Region HBA for its record of membership development and services, internal leadership and governance, and the effectiveness of its government advocacy and communication activities.
  • Executive Officer of the Year, Guy Huntingford from BILD Calgary Region, for exemplary leadership during his time at the association.
  • Community Service Award, CHBA Edmonton Region, for new and ongoing charitable activities and positive impact on the community.

 

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CHBA Connects - Book Smarts

Book smarts – An exclusive sneak peek inside the CHBA’s new renovators’ manual – Apr/May2019

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Book smarts – An exclusive sneak peek inside the CHBA’s new renovators’ manual – Apr/May2019

As you know from previous columns, CHBA has a Renovators’ Manual in the works. Similar to CHBA’s best-selling Builders’ Manual, the Renovators’ version applies building science to renovations. Existing buildings are going to be important as Canada takes steps to limit climate change. This month we offer a small sample of what readers can expect from the new book, when it is released to the public.

Canada has more than 14 million existing houses. Over half of these were built before 1980. That’s important because these older homes were not built to be anywhere near as energy efficient as houses being constructed today. In fact, a house built today is 47% better in terms of energy efficiency than a house built in 1985.

Building Codes are addressing the energy efficiency of new houses. Current plans are for new houses to reach Net Zero Ready levels of energy efficiency by about 2030. Currently, builders are constructing approximately 200,000 housing units per year. This number has been quite consistent in recent years, although it is expected to slowly drop in the face of an aging population. Some simple math shows us that over the next 10 years, building at the anticipated rate, we can expect between 1.8 and 2 million more houses to be created. While these will be far more efficient than the houses we have now, there is no scenario for reducing the total amount of energy used by homes without addressing the existing housing stock.

The Renovators’ Manual will help with those renovations as renovators are asked to significantly improve the energy efficiency of existing houses. Looking a little deeper, this means that renovators will be asked to “apply” the building science they know to existing houses. This is not as easy as it might seem, since applying building science to the materials and systems that are already installed is quite different than starting with a clean slate when designing a new build. The process also involves combining new materials with the existing structure they are renovating.

Net Zero Ready houses are typically being constructed with R-65 ceilings, R-40 walls, triple-glazed windows, R-35 basement walls, and R-10 under the basement floor slab. They will also have air tightness of less than 1.0 air change per hour at 50 Pa of depressurization (ACH50). Even the most ambitious renovation of an older home would find these performance characteristics difficult to match, but renovators will want to know how close they can come, and how to avoid technical problems in doing so.

The challenge will come from the correct “application” of the building science. The houses that need the most work are expected to be the older ones. Many of these have little to no insulation. Even if these houses have been renovated previously, it is unlikely that the renovation will have added a significant amount of insulation. It will be useful to review the most likely starting condition of the house, for example;

  • 2×4 wood frame or masonry structural exterior walls
  • Little or no insulation in the walls
  • Little insulation in the ceiling
  • Little or no insulation on basement walls or under the basement floor
  • Poor airtightness characteristics (i.e. drafty)
  • Large humidity swings – low in winter and high in summer
  • Large furnace and/or air conditioner
  • No heat recovery ventilator – bathroom fans or windows for ventilation
  • May have a wood-burning fireplace
  • Poor drainage around foundation
  • Double-glazed windows

Other important considerations are the climate where the house is located, and the characteristics of the occupants of the house. A maritime climate has different characteristics than a prairie climate. A house with two seniors has different operational characteristics than a house with young children. As renovators, we can’t change the occupants, so we need to provide a home that suits their specific lifestyle and needs.

In the case of the house described above, lets look at what has been happening over the years since it was built.

  • The house has had little insulation so large amounts of energy has been flowing though the building envelope.
  • The house has numerous holes and air leaks that result in large heat losses, however the benefit of such high air exchange rate is better, if uncontrolled, indoor air quality. If there is a wood-burning fireplace, these typically allow large amounts of house air to exhaust through the open chimney. Even with “tight-fitting doors or flue dampers, the fireplace chimney is generally a huge energy (and air) loss source for the building.
  • Relative humidity in the house is expected to have been low in the winter, due to the high air exchange rate and high in the summer, for the same reason. This would lead to the house being hard to heat and cool, but also uncomfortable.
  • Windows, in particular in the “wet” rooms such as the bathrooms and the kitchen, were likely subject to condensation on the glass in the winter and the shoulder seasons.

When looking at such a typical existing house the first step is to examine the decisions that need to be made. In this case, let’s pick a traditional war-time, Victory Home which are common in many cities across the country.

Blown opportunity: most older homes have little to no insulation in the wall cavities, an obvious first step to improving energy efficiency.
Blown opportunity: most older homes have little to no insulation in the wall cavities, an obvious first step to improving energy efficiency.

General

The renovator will need to decide on the building science features which need to be addressed.

  • If the drainage is poor, this needs to be fixed, regardless of what the house is made of.
  • The basement floor is uninsulated. This will not be a comfortable floor without insulation. It is unlikely that removing the basement floor, adding insulation, and then re-installing a concrete floor makes sense unless the existing floor is in poor condition. Therefore, insulation can only be added to the top of the floor. This will be limited by the basement ceiling height.
  • New triple-glazed windows will be needed to improve the envelope.
  • The wall thickness will need to be increased to accommodate the increased insulation.
  • The key building science features needed:
    • Weather barrier
    • Rain screen
    • Thermal barrier
    • Air barrier
    • Vapour barrier
Historic victory: across the country, many WWII-era victory homes, originally built as temporary housing for industrial workers, are still standing as permanent but inefficient homes.
Historic victory: across the country, many WWII-era victory homes, originally built as temporary housing for industrial workers, are still standing as permanent but inefficient homes.

Victory Home

This house will be wood-frame. It is unlikely that the exterior of the house is historically significant, and therefore the renovator has options. The insulation can be added to the interior or the exterior of the building. While working on the inside of the home is easier, the Victory Home is a modest size and the owners may be reluctant to reduce their floor area. To accommodate this, the decision may be made to add thickness to the exterior. The method of increasing the thickness of the wall studs will be the most problematic decision. This can be done in a number of ways and an architect should be consulted for a suitable solution. Typically, the frame of the existing house is structurally sufficient enough to allow the extensions to be “hung” from the existing walls. If that decision is made, then several items fall into place.

The weather barrier is the exterior cladding. Unless an air space is incorporated into the cladding by the nature of the cladding itself, it needs to be installed on strapping to provide an air space.

The rain screen is the air space between the cladding and the house wrap or the insulation installed over top of the studs.

The thermal barrier could be selected to do “double-duty” by selecting foam insulation which also has air barrier properties.

The selection of the vapour barrier is required. Keep in mind that vapour diffusion is a relatively weak process for moving moisture and is dependent on the surface area covered. If 90% of the surface is covered, then 90% of the vapour diffusion is prevented. Moving air is the primary transport mechanism for moving moisture. If the air barrier feature is being handled by another material, the vapour barrier can be a vapour retardant paint (if the interior drywall was not removed, the vapour barrier may already be in place with the existing, multiple coats of paint). If the walls were opened, there is an opportunity to install a sheet-type vapour barrier. This can be polyethylene, or it can be one of the materials where the vapour permeance changes with humidity. This will allow any moisture which happens to get into the wall due to poor flashing details or poor window installation to dry.

The ceiling can be sealed by removing the existing ceiling insulation and applying two or three inches of spray foam insulation to provide the air barrier properties. The desired amount of insulation can then be blown in on top of this to provide the thermal barrier function.

The basement walls and rim joist space decisions will generally be based on the type of foundation present. The most likely options are concrete block or poured concrete. Poured concrete is considered an air barrier, while concrete block is not. If poured concrete, spray foam insulation may be the best solution for connecting the air barrier in the walls, the rim joists, and the basement wall. If concrete block was used, an alternative such as airtight drywall, a vapour permeable, air barrier sheet material or spray foam insulation against the concrete block wall. Typically, drainage is poor in these older houses so a mechanism to allow these walls to dry to the inside is preferred. A provision must be made to ensure that the air barrier is connected to the concrete floor as well. How to do this detail will depend on the method chosen to provide the air barrier for the basement wall.

Now, with the house better insulated, with better windows and more airtight, the air conditioning and heating systems will be over-sized. If left as-is, oversizing will lead to short cycling and this may lead to inadequate distribution of heat and cooling in the house. Also be aware that with the improved air tightness, mechanical ventilation will be required to eliminate cooking odours and to control humidity levels. Therefore, the renovation should include an upgrade to the heating and cooling equipment as well as adding a heat recovery ventilator.

Hopefully this example highlights some of the challenges that renovators might expect and demonstrates the role the new CHBA Renovators’ Manual will play in helping renovators with the decisions they will be making to improve the energy efficiency of housing across the country.

Gary Sharp, CHBA

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Lucchetta Homes

Lucchetta Homes has the finest new home locations in the Niagara region

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Lucchetta Homes has the finest new home locations in the Niagara region

If you’re looking for a new lowrise home in the Niagara Region, Lucchetta Homes has something for you. Be it a bungalow townhome or a single-detached home, this award-winning builder has offerings at some of the finest locations in the Niagara region.

Davis Heights

Davis Heights is one of Niagara’s finest new addresses. This luxury development by Lucchetta Homes will feature a limited selection of bungalow/bungaloft towns, backing onto a Carolinian forest and the Niagara escarpment.

Out of respect for some rare chestnut trees in the area, Lucchetta will be building around the trees to preserve them. This type of care is also evident in the attention to detail that the company invests in each and every home.

At Davis Heights, the Luxe Collection is custom-curated by the renowned interior design firm, Raphael Gomes Interiors. The Versailles model home features a vertical glass wine cellar embedded in the staircase, filled with local wines.

Double masters with ensuite, paneled elegant library, sumptuous living room with 15-ft. vaulted ceiling, gourmet chef’s kitchen with two-tone cabinets, and an oversized island perfect for entertaining are just some of the highlights. The lower level features a spacious guest suite, games room, wet bar, Great Room with home theatre, and your own personal gym. Every detail has been meticulously thought out. Homes are priced from the $699,900s for floorplans that range from 1,600 to 3,000 sq. ft. Occupancy is fall 2019-20. Stop in to see the award-winning models available for viewing Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Davis Heights is currently 60 per cent sold. Hurry in to own your luxurious piece of tranquility.

Riverside, Hunters Pointe

As part of Riverside‘s Grand Opening Special at Hunters Pointe, new-home buyers will receive $25,000 off the purchase of luxury, single-detached, custom bungalow homes. Premium, walkout waterfront lots, single-detached lots and award-winning bungalow towns are available from $499,900, with occupancy in April 2020.

There are also move-in ready homes available with 30-, 60- and 90-day closings. The contemporary Lancaster NZR model home, designed by Wendi Pelfrey, is now open. Everything is conveniently within reach, and perfectly designed, addressing residents’ every need, and the home is surrounded by natural elements in a serene and lush landscape. The Lancaster was recently nominated as Best Home in Ontario by the Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA), and Best Home in Canada by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA).

“This is a premier, resort-style, adult community, with world-class amenities and convenient services right at your fingertips,” says Kim Kopyl, director of sales and marketing for Lucchetta Homes. “Buying a home here is a fraction of the cost of comparable homes in the GTA. And the quality of life is far superior.”

Lucchetta Homes

Ugo Lucchetta started the company more than 60 years ago. Today it is well known for its quality construction, craftsmanship and unparalleled customer service.

Sons Robert and Ed carry on the traditions started by their father. Their hard work has paid off with ongoing appreciation, in addition to the loyalty and word-of-mouth praise from their customers.

In 2018 alone, Lucchetta Homes won or was nominated for more than 30 awards by all levels of builders’ associations – local, provincial and national. Most recently it won Community of the Year by CHBA, and the EQ Energy Star Builder of the Year, by EnerQuality. Lucchetta Homes was the only builder in Ontario this year to have been selected as a finalist for the Canadian Home Builders Association (CHBA) National Awards for Housing Excellence in five categories:

  • Best Detached Home – One-Story Bungalow: Riverside, Hunters Pointe
  • Best Attached Home – Under 1,500 sq. ft.: Riverside, Hunters Pointe
  • Best Print Ad – Riverside, Hunters Pointe
  • Best Attached Home – 1,500-plus sq. ft.: Davis Heights

“Simply to be nominated amongst the very best in the industry in Canada is a tremendous achievement, and a testament to our entire team,” says Kopyl.

“Being a boutique builder, we are proud to have been considered for such prestigious national awards,” says Robert and Ed Lucchetta. “We build every home as if we would live in it ourselves, and this achievement further validates our focus on homeowner satisfaction.”

LUCCHETTA HOMES

Go online for more information on any of Lucchetta Homes’ communities.


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GTA waterfront homes

Budget 2019 comes up short

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Budget 2019 comes up short

GTA waterfront homes

The federal government released the much-anticipated Budget 2019 this week, with homebuyers, builders and others awaiting measures to address housing issues.

And in short, it comes up, well… a little short.

First-time homebuyer help

Much of the housing focus in Budget 2019 was on addressing the needs of first-timers, namely with a new First-Time Home Buyer Incentive.

  • The Incentive would allow eligible first-time homebuyers who have the minimum down payment for an insured mortgage to apply to finance a portion of their home purchase through a shared equity mortgage with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC).
  • About 100,000 first-time buyers would benefit from the Incentive over the next three years.
  • Since no ongoing payments would be required with the Incentive, Canadian families would have lower monthly mortgage payments. For example, if a borrower purchases a new $400,000 home with a five-per-cent down payment and a 10-per-cent CMHC shared equity mortgage ($40,000), the borrower’s total mortgage size would be reduced from $380,000 to $340,000, reducing the borrower’s monthly mortgage costs by as much as $228 per month.
  • CMHC to offer qualified first-time homebuyers a 10-per-cent shared equity mortgage for a newly constructed home or a five-per-cent shared equity mortgage for an existing home. This larger shared equity mortgage for newly constructed homes could help encourage the home construction needed to address some of the housing supply shortages in Canada, particularly in the largest cities.
  • The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive would include eligibility criteria to ensure that the program helps those with legitimate needs, while ensuring that participants are able to afford the homes they purchase. The Incentive would be available to first-time buyers with household incomes of less than $120,000 per year.
  • Budget 2019 also proposes to increase the Home Buyers’ Plan withdrawal limit from $25,000 to $35,000, providing first-time buyers with greater access to their Registered Retirement Savings Plan savings to buy a home.

Noticeably absent from the housing measures was any adjustment to the stress test, which a number of experts say is necessary.

Industry reaction

“The Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) agrees with (Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s) comments that there aren’t enough homes for people to buy or apartments for people to rent,” says Dave Wilkes, president and CEO.

“BILD feels the policies presented in (the) budget are a step in the right direction to help first-time homebuyers. We will continue to advocate for a review of the stress test so that first-time homebuyers can realize the dream of homeownership. Supply challenges still exist and are at the centre of the current unbalanced market, and we call for action on these by the provincial and municipal government.”

Supply challenges in the Greater Golden Horseshoe are serious, and Budget 19 fails to address them.

“This was a re-election budget that didn’t move the dial for new-home buyers in the GTA,” Richard Lyall, president of the Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON) told HOMES Publishing. “While increasing RRSP borrowing for first-time homebuyers is helpful, creating The First-Time Homebuyer Incentive at a maximum of $500,000 doesn’t help many Torontonians or GTA residents.”

The Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) had been recommending a shared appreciation mortgage approach for some time, as a tool to help those who can’t get into homeownership but have the means to pay rent.

The modification to the RRSP Home Buyers’ Plan will help get Canadians into their first home, but will also act as a burden because the loan has to be repaid within 15 years, including a minimum of 1/15th per year.

“This means that, in the years following their home purchase, a homeowner has the additional financial responsibility of repaying their RRSP,” says James Laird, co-founder of Ratehub Inc. and president of CanWise Financial.

Important details of the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive program have yet to be released. For example, says Laird, it remains unclear whether the government would take an equity position in homes, or whether the assistance would act as an interest-free loan.

“This is an important distinction because if the government is taking an equity stake in a home, the amount the homeowner would have to pay back would grow as the value of the home increases,” he says.

The very launch of the program is surprising, Laird says, given that the BC Government implemented a similar measure a couple years ago, with unsuccessful results, and it was terminated in 2018. First-time home buyers found it difficult to understand and unappealing to have the government co-own their home.

Let’s do the math

Under existing qualifying criteria, including the stress test, homebuyers can qualify for a house that is 4.5 to 4.7 times their household income.

Under the new First-Time Home Buyer Incentive, however, the government has set a purchase limit of four times household income for the mortgage, plus the amount provided by the government, according to Ratehub.

By participating in this program, first-time homebuyers effectively reduce the amount they can qualify for by about 15 per cent, and their monthly mortgage payment naturally decreases in lockstep.

A household with $100,000 of income, putting a minimum down payment of five per cent, can currently qualify for a home valued at $479,888 with a $2,265.75 monthly mortgage payment.

Affordability calculations

The maximum purchase price for the same household, if they participate in the first-time homebuyer incentive, drops to $404,858.29 with a five-per-cent minimum down payment. The total mortgage amount would then be $400,000 (or four times their household income).

Mortgage payment calculations

If the household took a five-per-cent incentive from the government (for resales), their mortgage amount goes to $378,947.37, and monthly payment is now $1,810.90.

If the household took a 10-per-cent incentive, (for new homes) their mortgage amount goes to $357,894.73, and  monthly payment is now $1,710.29.

Stress test modifications

The CHBA is among the industry groups that is pushing for modifications to the existing mortgage stress test, which has served to lock out too many well-qualified Canadians due to the market and interest rate changes of the past year.

“The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive, if coupled with immediate adjustments to the stress test, has the potential for getting the housing continuum functioning again,” says CHBA CEO Kevin Lee. “It is essential that these changes come quickly, though. Current restrictions on mortgage access mean that many millennials and new Canadians are seeing homeownership slipping away, and in many markets the economic impacts are substantial.”

Looking ahead to the 2019 federal election, CHBA will be encouraging all federal parties to address housing affordability in very meaningful ways in their respective platform documents.

Budget 2019 housing measures

Budget 2019

 

 

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CHBA’s Building Excellence

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CHBA’s Building Excellence

Fans of Renovation Contractor should also enjoy Building Excellence, the new official members’ magazine of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, which is edited and designed by the same team. Here’s an item we put together about the new magazine’s logo.

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Building Excellence

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Ride on Eric

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Ride on Eric

Outgoing Canadian Home Builders’ Association President Eric Den Ouden covered a lot of ground during his 2017, literally. Between June 26th and August 31st Eric joined 135 other riders as part of Sea to Sea, a nine week and nearly 7,000 kilometres cycling expedition aimed at finding solutions to end local and global poverty.

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Den Ouden, president of Hilden Homes in Belleville, Ont., and a member of the Quinte Home Builders’ Association said of his project, “I feel strongly that living in one of the best countries in the world with all kinds of freedom and opportunity we are responsible to assist others, which is one of the reasons I have decided to ride.”

To participate in Sea to Sea, Eric had to commit to raising a minimum of $12,000 to be used to effect change in the lives of those living in poverty via Partners Worldwide and World Renew. Through the incredible support he received from CHBA colleagues across the country, and from trades and fellow builders in Belleville, Den Ouden was able to raise $100,802, a new record for this event.

For more stories about #CdnBuilt stories, follow the hashtag on social media or visit the CHBA Giving Back page.

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