"A Chance to Hit Rest"
Isn’t life funny? When we are young, starting out, we buy an apartment. Then we upgrade to a big family home that will accommodate the kids and then once the kids grow up and leave, the big house suddenly becomes a challenge.
At a time you want freedom, you’re stuck with hours of housework, mowing lawns, land tax, rates and maintenance and cleaning the leaves out of the gutters. You’ve put in the hard yards, worked all your life and made sacrifices so this is the time when you have the space and opportunity to think
about what kind of life you want to live.
This is the chance to press the reset button! Opting for lifestyle villages or resorts can give you the flexibility to doother things with your life. It provides you with freedom and comfort, companionship and friendship if you want it and solitude when you need it. Many people find that the greatest reward from downsizing
is the realisation that there isn’t as much work to do and they wish they did it years before.
You're in for a pleasant surprise!
You might be surprised at who moves into lifestyle villages or resorts. They are active people with forward thinking mindsets. People who would prefer to fly the coop and travel rather than be weighed down by cleaning the gutters and sweeping up carpets of leaves. They are people who are looking for security, friendship, peace of mind and a simple lifestyle to enjoy during their retirement years. They are people who make their nest and then come and go as they please.
Lifestyle villages or resorts have homes that are luxurious, desirable and full of light filled spaces. They have spacious foyers, glass atriums, beautiful outlooks and aspects and are flooded with natural light and gentle breezes. They have quality finishes with a premium look and feel, easy-care gardens and sunny courtyards and views over established gardens, natural bushland or lakes.
Upsize Quality of Life
Once the big house, the big garden, the swimming pool and all the maintenance problems have been offloaded, you’ll have time to upsize the quality of your life. Depending on the complex, there are many different styles of accommodation and on site amenities such as indoor swimming pools, spas, gyms, a library, billiards table, entertainment room and restaurants, hairdressing salons and doctors’ surgeries. There are plenty of places to kick a football around, to play cricket or to feed ducks on the lake with the grandkids. At lifestyle villages and resorts, you can be as relaxed or as active as you wish.
Most offer a range of activities on site such as bowls, tai chi, bridge, woodwork, art classes, billiards, choir and movie nights plus a range of other activities such as bush walks, theme nights, theatre outings and so on. But it’s up to you. You can opt in or out.
The Choice is Yours!
In terms of accommodation - it’s all about you and what you want. Often you don’t have to move out of the area that you love. Developers are realising that just because you have reached a certain age, it doesn’t mean you want to leave your friends, family, doctors and hairdresser. You can have as little or as much assistance as you like. There are villas, studios or one and two bedroom apartments. Services are there when and if you need them, weekly or daily. You decide. Call for help buttons are in every room and most villages have a 24-hour VitalCall system
and night staff on site.
If you Want to go Ahead
Once you’ve found the right place you have to pay a holding deposit which will hold your property for 60 days. With these properties, you are purchasing a 99- year lease and that’s what makes it so cost effective to live in a lifestyle village. Once you have placed your holding deposit, solicitors prepare the 99-year lease document which then gets sent to the client’s solicitor.
Within the 60 day timeframe, there will be cooling off period, an exchange and an agreed settlement date. Under the Retirement Villages Act, you are classified as an owner. Often you will not have to pay stamp duty on the purchase - you will only pay stamp duty on the stamping of the lease document itself. That can be a saving of thousands of dollars. In terms of ongoing fees, there are no council rates. Residents pay what’s called a weekly maintenance fee. That fee depends on the floor plan that you choose.
The fee covers council rates, water rates and water usage. Basically, the only bills residents pay are telephone, electricity, contents insurance and gas, if applicable.
Your Time Starts NOW!
Clearly, once you have put down a deposit, you then have to sell your housewithin 60 days. It can be a challenge to sell within 60 days but if you have preparedyour home before you start looking for the right property, are keen to moveand have a good real estate agent and lawyer; you’ll be set to start on the next chapter of your life.
When selling, it is important to make sure that your home has the wow factor when it does hit the market. If it looks great and people get excited when they see it first time in the paper or on the Internet, this will reduce the amount of time that your property is on the market. You want people to walk in and fall in love with the home so your agent can start talking to them about whether it’s the right property for them.