Expert homebuying advice from Hamid Hakimi, CEO, Elite Developments


During ‘normal’ times, buying a new home is a major decision, likely one of the most significant of your life. These days, COVID-19 and its associated challenges has everyone carefully weighing location, housing type, amenities and inclusions. For guidance, we went to some of the industry’s top builders and developers for expert advice.


What key advice would you stress to prospective new-home buyers in these unprecedented times?

Take your time researching. Compare builders, pricing, quality and deposit structures. Don’t think of a home for your needs in the moment. Think of it as a long-term investment. Research the location of your home to see if it is sustainable for you and your family for now and future growth. Choose affordable locations close enough to education, convenient transportation, and desirable greenspaces with conservation areas. Select a home type that best accommodates the specific needs of your entire family. Ensure amenities are curated to give ample outdoor space focusing on health and wellness. Consider upgrades that will be well appreciated in the principal rooms such as the kitchen, dens, bathrooms and lower levels.


How might the pandemic affect the new home industry, that buyers should be aware of?

Location, space, and the overall importance of a home have changed. More people are working from home. Purchasers are buying and moving to southern Ontario where they have a higher quality of life, for a fraction of the cost with more space. We understand that the home now serves a multitude of uses. It is a sanctuary that makes you and your family feel safe. An oasis where you enjoy time with friends and family outdoors. A backyard featuring a garden, nourishing your family. An office housing your business and educational needs. Gourmet chef-kitchens become the social and activity hub of the home. Spacious ensuites provide a much-needed spa-inspired retreat. Caregiver options providing space to accommodate for senior living for blended families. A wellness space to workout, rejuvenate and rebalance. A home is so much more than a home now, due to the pandemic.


How is Elite addressing the affordability issue?

We diligently meet with city officials, planners and the public listening to and addressing their economic needs and requests. The most important factor to addressing affordability is selecting locations that are sustainable and affordable in the first place. We offer luxury homes at affordable price points, as most of our properties are located throughout southern Ontario, where the average price per sq. ft. ranges from $400 to $600.

The largest trend in home types right now is in townhomes, which provide more space/privacy than a condo, but are more affordable than single-detached homes. For single-detached homes, bungalows are currently the most popular and affordable style, maximizing space for young families and removing unwanted stairs for empty-nesters. Most of our developments are mixed use, featuring single-detached and townhomes that support affordability, lifestyle, space and are energy efficient.


What is it about Elite that differentiates it in the marketplace, or that you’d really want potential buyers to know about your company or projects?

We build everything as if we would live in it ourselves. Before developing any land, we become experts in that region to truly understand and deliver on the needs of our future homeowners.

We focus on the most current technologies, with health, wellness and leading innovative features throughout our developments ensuring we deliver a sustainable product. For example, smart-home technology, mechanical systems with integrated disinfection measures and hands-free controls in common areas.

We work with incredible award-winning teams. They design homes, where floorplans maximize every square inch of usable livable space, ensuring our homes are efficient, enjoyable and affordable. We build homes inspired by you, with innovative living for life.