As the Executive Vice President and Co-Founder of Empire Communities, Paul Golini Jr. is a trusted leader and recognized innovator in residential real estate. For more than 25 years, he has expertly navigated changes in the real estate market while successfully maintaining a strong focus on consumer value. Empire Communities works closely with R-LABS to share the latest best practices in development and bring innovation to the industry. In the article below, Paul discusses Empire Communities’ approach to affordable housing and how sustainable best practices offer long-term value to homeowners.
Since our inception 25 years ago, Empire Communities has seen significant changes in Southern Ontario’s residential housing market. For example, we were one of the first developers to recognize and adapt to the shift from low-rise single-family homes in the 90s to the rise of a high-rise condominium market. We’ve seen people become more comfortable with small-space living as lot sizes decrease and had a front-row seat to the evolution of the vibrant downtown that embraced work-play-live environments – an ideology that has spread from Toronto to its neighbouring urban centres. As these trends increase in popularity, it’s become clear that housing affordability influences many of the changes we’re seeing in today’s market. It’s changing the way we build, sell and buy homes.
Housing affordability is a multi-faceted issue that will require solutions from a wide range of sources. But at the end of the day, it’s about delivering better value in the residential real estate market. At Empire, our drive for innovation and affordability is to improve our internal processes and make life easier for the homeowner. We aspire to create living environments that are more comfortable, more sustainable, and more resilient. Whether it’s creating a denser form within the master-planned communities or getting more out of the existing urban communities in downtown areas, we want to give homebuyers more bang for their buck as the price of living goes up – and not just for the short-term outlook.
There is an implicit cost to buying a home, but there is also a cost to maintaining and living in a home – which is why it’s vital that we incorporate environmentally-friendly features that will support long-term affordability. In a market where we know hydroelectricity and gas will inevitably go up, an efficient home will help keep the operating costs down. Empire Communities was one of the first Energy Star Builders in Ontario to make Energy Star standard in all our homes. We are not only motivated by the environmental benefits, but we are also motivated by the fact that sustainability has a dual purpose.