Lara Resident Can’t Shake The Travel Bug


Active senior Carmel Helman is one of the thousands of over 60s who has been firmly bitten by the travel bug, having just completed the gruelling Camino de Santiago, an 800km pilgrimage across Europe.

The Ingenia Lifestyle Lara resident, Carmel said the trip was very liberating, and the first time she was travelling part of the trip on her own, which fuelled a sense of excitement.

“It was certainly the most challenging trip I’ve done, walking every day from point A to point B on the Camino Trail is difficult but the beautiful scenery is worth it,” Carmel said.

“I found the Camino Trail very liberating and rewarding, I came home feeling calmer and with a great sense of achievement.

“I was nervous that my feet wouldn’t hold up at the beginning, but each night after a little rest you just felt fantastic and rearing to go again the next day.

Carmel is one of thousands of Australian’s aged 60 plus who are increasingly catching the travel bug compared to the younger population. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics people 60 years and over was the only group to show an increase in overseas departures at 17.2 per cent in 2015-16, a rise of 4.1 percent compared to the 2005-06 period.

“Coming from a different generation, travel was not as accessible in our 20s as it is for those today.  There were different expectations, so I can see why so many who are 60 plus are booking those trips away. It also helps that I don’t have a huge home to worry about while I am away – I can lock and leave and enjoy my trip.”

“Ingenia Lifestyle Lara is great for people who love to travel, you can lock up and leave knowing that there are plenty of people to check in on your home.”

Ingenia Lifestyle Lara Project Sales Manager Kerri Hughes said the flexibility that the lock and leave homes provide, allow residents to lead the life they want with the security knowing that their home is being looked after while they’re away.

“We encourage our residents to be adventurous and connect with like-minded friends and neighbours in a safe and secure community,” Ms Hughes said.

As Carmel increased her training, she walked the community grounds daily with her backpack and walking boots, making all the neighbours very curious as to what she was doing.

“The facilities at Lara were a real asset to Carmel’s training as she was able to use the gym to build her strength with some weight training and the pool for additional training,” Ms Hughes said.

Q&A With Ingenia Lifestyle Lara Residents


Andrew and Chris Matthews have lived at Ingenia Lifestyle Lara for 18 months and share their thoughts, experiences and what life is like now they live in a lifestyle community.

Why did you decided to make the move to Ingenia Lifestyle Lara? Where were you beforehand?
We have been living at Ingenia Lifestyle Lara for about 18 months. We used to live in Bell Park which is closer to Geelong but still only 15kms away. One day we heard about Ingenia Lifestyle Lara and decided to give them a go. The staff couldn’t have been more accommodating and we couldn’t have asked for nicer people to deal with during the transition, they were absolutely marvellous!

What’s life like after downsizing?
Before downsizing we were sort of in a rut without realising and needed a change. We were set on the idea of village life and thought it would be nice and about time we downsized. We didn’t realise what a great opportunity it would be. It is really good to clear everything out and you feel like you no longer have this great weight on your shoulders.

What’s your new home like?
We have a 2-bedroom house. Even though we have downsized there is still plenty of room and we have a really nice alfresco area that we enjoy using. We love the security that we feel in our home. Being a gated community, with extremely helpful staff that are always available and willing to help, it really makes you feel secure.

Why is Ingenia Lifestyle Lara a great place to live? What do you love about it?
It is just beautiful! We love everything about it.  We love the lake, the gardens, parks and the open spaces and we have always thought that the club house is really beautiful.

All the people in the village couldn’t be nicer or more helpful. Even when you don’t know someone too well they are always friendly and no one is too intrusive. We think it is just a great small community. We have made heaps of great friends since living at Ingenia Lifestyle Lara.

It is great that the village always looks so lovely with all of the front yards maintained by Ingenia Lifestyle. We think the location is great too. As we both still work, it is nice and convenient for both of us and we are only 45 minutes from Melbourne for a day out.

Does your family visit?
We have one grandson and he often comes and stays with us, he has his own room in the house. We have just had him this past weekend so that his parents could take the opportunity to have a weekend to themselves. Lots of our neighbours have their grandchildren come and stay which is really great too. Our daughter also lives in the township and we really wanted to be near her.

What’s your favourite things to do at Ingenia Lifestyle Lara?
We really like the gardens and the BBQ area. We love the clubhouse and we love, love, love the pool. Andrew is part of the Garden Group and we run and look after a community garden in the village growing vegetables that we then sell within the village. The profits from what we sell then go back into the garden and its expansion.

For more information please visit or call Kerri Hughes on 0491 229 257

Ingenia Lifestyle Lara celebrates Geelong Seniors Festival


Downsizers seeking an active lifestyle are invited to Ingenia Lifestyle Lara to celebrate the Geelong Seniors Festival this October and learn first-hand the benefits of community living at the five events scheduled at the community.

As demand grows for affordable seniors community living, Ingenia Lifestyle Lara only has a handful of homes remaining, with plans to launch its next new stage soon.

Land lease communities are a popular living trend for seniors where residents own a home but lease the land, creating a more affordable entry price point for those looking to downsize.

Ingenia Lifestyle Lara homes sell from $165,000, with no entry or exit fees, stamp duty, rates or deferred management fees providing the perfect opportunity for over 45s looking to downsize with the added bonus of stamp duty exemptions.

Resident, Jan Elevato is enjoying all that Ingenia Lifestyle Lara has to offer. Jan said that weekly classes in the pool were very popular and a great way to remain active.

“I love the social life! The people are great, neighbours are fantastic and I have made fantastic friends since being here. I love that there is always plenty to do and the social life of the village.

“There is always something going on at the clubhouse which is great, lots of different functions to participate in, which I think is why there is such a great sense of community,” Jan said.

Ingenia Lifestyle Lara boasts a $3.1 million state-of-the-art clubhouse with stage, dance floor, lounge, library, internet kiosk and fitness centre. The resort style facilities also include a tennis court, billiard & darts area, bowling green, indoor heated swimming pool with sauna and spa, multi-purpose room and commercial chef-standard kitchen, large function dining hall, BBQ and outdoor entertaining alfresco area.

Geelong Seniors Festival – Ingenia Lifestyle Lara activities:

  • Monday, 3 October, 10am – 12pm Morning tea and information session
  • Tuesday, 11 October 10am -12pm Morning tea and bingo
  • Friday, 21 October, 1pm – 3pm Afternoon tea and Don Fisher melodies
  • Saturday, 22 October, 10am – 12pm Health & Wellness Seminar presented by Niagara Therapy
  • Wednesday 26 October, 1.30pm – 3.30pm Afternoon tea and bowls

For more information, please call Dianna on 0476 839 644 or visit Ingenia Lifestyle Lara, 40 Watt St, Lara,

Ingenia Festival Tree Coming this National Tree Day


A Norfolk Island Pine, destined to be the expanding Lara town centre’s future festival tree, has been donated by Ingenia Communities village Active Lifestyle Estates Lara and will be planted as part of National Tree Day celebrations on Sunday 31 July.

Active Lifestyle Estates Business Development Manager Dianna McGrath said the tree – to be known as the Ingenia Festival Tree – would become a symbol of community for local residents, providing a meeting spot for locals and act as Lara’s official Christmas, commemoration and celebration tree.

“As big believers in the importance of community and friendship, Active Lifestyle Estates Lara is thrilled to sponsor the addition of this iconic tree to the Lara community,” Mrs McGrath said.

“The popular Norfolk Island Pine was chosen for not only its similarities to the traditional Christmas tree, but for its ability to thrive in Australia’s tropical climate.

“It’s also important to note that this year is National Tree Day’s 20th anniversary, with more than 22.3 million plants and trees planted as part of Australia’s largest nature care event.

“We are honoured to be able to contribute not only to this fantastic environmental cause, but also to give back to the community with a beautiful tree that will, in the coming years, become a significant landmark.

“The finishing touches are currently being made to the lighting around the base of the tree, which can be changed to different colours for different events – such as blue and white for Police Remembrance Day and pink for Breast Cancer.

“We hope the outcome is a tree the whole community can truly enjoy and that will bring locals together whether in moments of commemoration or celebration,” Mrs McGrath said.

Event Notice:

When                   Sunday, 31 July 2016, 11am

Where                 Austin Park, Waverley Road, Lara

Who                    Council representatives, Active Lifestyle Estates Lara residents and local community

Event Contact  Dianna McGrath (Business Development Manager) – 0476 839 644

Stamp Duty Relief for Geelong’s Over 45s


Stamp duty exemptions are no longer exclusive to Victorian pensioners and concessioners, with Active Lifestyle Estates Lara offering brand new homes to over 45s from just $155,000, without the added burden of stamp duty fees.

Active Lifestyle Estates Lara has been extremely popular with locals, with the first two stages sold out and the current third stage sitting at an 80 percent sold status.

Active Lifestyle Estates Lara Project Sales Manager Kerri Hughes said the incredibly low entry price, well below Lara’s current median house price of $381,000, made the homes popular with empty nesters looking to downsize.

“Victoria is the most expensive state in Australia for stamp duty fees, with downsizers under the age of 65 faced with fees of more than $16,000 on a median priced home in Lara,” Ms Hughes said.

“Many of our residents would have loved to downsize years ago, but were put off by the prospect of having to find a significant amount of money on top of the price of a new home.

“At Active Lifestyle Estates Lara not only can buyers avoid costly stamp duty fees, they can buy affordable new homes and also benefit from the range of communal facilities we offer, including our new $3.1 million clubhouse, tennis court, fitness centre and indoor heated swimming pool and spa.”

Ingenia Communities Chief Operating Officer Nikki Fisher said the community’s sales results were a clear reflection on the impact rising house prices and stamp duty costs were having on Victoria’s senior population.

“The Active Lifestyle Estates model is unique in that buyers purchase a new, architecturally-designed manufactured home and lease, rather than own, the land which eliminates the need to pay stamp duty,” Ms Fisher said.

“For seniors looking to capitalise on recent house price increases, the ability to downsize without having to pay stamp duty costs is a welcome relief.”

“It is well-documented that this is a particular issue affecting asset-rich, cash-poor seniors, who are subsequently staying in a large family home to avoid paying tens of thousands of dollars in stamp duty in order to downsize.”

Brand new homes at Active Lifestyle Estates Lara are available from just $155,000 (with exit fee), or alternatively, from $165,000 (with no exit fee), less than half of Lara’s current median house price of $381,000 and well below Geelong’s current median house price of $613,000.

The Actuaries Institute has released a green paper Unlocking Housing Wealth which made a number of policy-based recommendations to help Australians improve their retirement standards, including stamp duty relief for retirees, to address the financial disincentive of this tax and encourage more to downsize.

Creating Adventure with the Ingenia Gold Card


Creating a bucket list allows you to prioritise your dreams and ambitions, make the most of your senior life and plan your next exciting adventure.

For the majority of retirees, travelling around Australia is the number one goal. And why not? We have everything here.

On your way around the country you can snorkel the Barrier Reef, go ballooning over the Barossa, walk one of the trails in the Blue Mountains, cruise the
Kimberleys, visit Wineglass Bay or go to a show at the Sydney Opera House.

Peter and Tanya Hocking, moved in to their over 45s lifestyle community at Active Lifestyle Estates Lara, 20 minutes from Geelong, three years ago after deciding to downsize in order to spend more time closer to family and for health reasons.

They also wanted to free up time to travel to a variety of places up the East Coast of Australia in their caravan and were really attracted to the gated security and lock and leave concept the Lara community offered.

“Downsizing appealed to us because we can lock up and not have to worry about security, as the village manager is onsite to look after everything and it’s a gated community.

With Active Lifestyle Estates Lara owned by Ingenia Communities, they have access to the Gold Card which offers a 25% discount at all Active Holiday Parks.

Peter and Tanya have recently returned from a holiday travelling to Canberra, through to Lake Conjola and Shell Harbour and then to Albury for a quick stop before heading back home.

“We love the Ingenia Gold Card discounts! It’s refreshing to know you’re getting great value. We are talking about our next trip in a few months time as we want to go further up the East Coast,” Peter said.

Peter and Tanya were excited to know Ingenia has a brand new acquisition at South West Rocks on the NSW Central Coast and they also have a holiday park in Noosa.

“We love the coast and the beach, it gives us a sense of adventure. You get to find out about new places which is part of the adventure!”

Peter said. Being active, exploring the world and learning new skills are incredibly life enriching, so take out a pen and paper and start writing your bucket list today!

Brand new homes now selling from $155,000 For more information about Lara please call Kerri Hughes on 0491 229 257.

Living a More Impressive Lifestyle at Lara


Geelong over-45s looking to capitalise on house price increases and downsize to more affordable accommodation had the opportunity to preview an exciting new design suite of homes which launched at Active Lifestyle Estates Lara on Saturday 14 May.

The lifestyle community responds to a significant undersupply of affordable and quality accommodation in the region, an issue currently hindering many homeowners looking to downsize and unlock their home equity.

Active Lifestyle Estates Lara residents Peter and Tanya Hocking moved in three years ago after deciding to downsize in order to spend more time travelling.

“Downsizing appealed to us because we can lock up and not have to worry about security, as the village manager is onsite to look after everything and it’s a gated community,” Mr Hocking said.

“I still work full-time, so we wanted to live somewhere that would allow us to be social in the little free time we have. We like that there is an onsite social club that caters to younger seniors wanting to stay active, and have attended a number of planned activities since moving here.

“We’ve made so many friends, many of whom are travellers like us, and it’s great to be able to go away and still have a thriving social life when you get home.”

The community open day welcomed over 100 guests and showcased Ingenia Communities’ signature quality and lifestyle focus for over 45s.

Active Lifestyle Estates Lara Project Sales Manager, Kerri Hughes, said guests were impressed with the new home designs with their modern open plan living areas, entertainer’s decks and well-thought out spacious floor plans.

“Guests were also astounded and relieved at the simplicity of Active Lifestyle Estates Lara purchasing model where residents keep 100% of the capital gains made on the home, plus the option to choose no exit fees, which is a massive positive when comparing us to the competitors.

“They also liked the fact it was over 45’s as some buyers still want to work, but free up their lifestyle, as the kids have left home and they’d like to travel,” Kerri explains.

The new home designs have homely features to them ensuring they are a good floor plan that allows flexibility with its space.

“Home owners have more options to interior style their homes and mix and move furniture around to their liking.

“There is also a good range of one bedroom floor plans, suitable for a small downsizer, or we have a number of two bedroom designs, some with a study, for those requiring a little more space.

“Our brand new community clubhouse, entertainment areas and communal facilities, as well as the sense of comradery amongst our residents, were also impressive to our visitors,” Kerri said.

Brand new homes are available from just $175,000 (with exit fee), or alternatively, from $189,000 (with no exit fee), less than half of Lara’s current median house price of $378,000 and well below Geelong’s current median house price of $632,000.

Located at 40 Watt Street, Lara, 20 minutes north of Geelong, Active Lifestyle Estates Lara boasts a $3.1 million state-of-the-art clubhouse, tennis court, bowling green, fitness centre, indoor heated swimming pool and spa, library, multi-purpose room and commercial kitchen with large function dining hall.

For more information regarding the open day, please contact Kerri or Dianna on (03) 5282 6859 or visit

Housing Affordability Not Just a Young Person’s Issue


Housing affordability is generally considered a young person’s issue, where they face many restrictions entering the market, but it is also a major problem for those living on a low weekly income paying off an existing home.

The recent Productivity Commission report, Housing Decisions of Older Australians, recommends seniors unlock the equity tied up in their homes and use it to fund the next stage of their life and improve their well-being.

Senior living finance expert and author Rachel Lane said senior homeowners could move into more affordable accommodation and boost their cash reserves by tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars just by selling their home while prices are high.

“Households aged 65 to 74 years had on average $480,000 in home equity, which compared to the cost of a more affordable home in the vicinity of $200,000-$300,000, represents a significant gap of potential cash reserve.

“I would urge seniors to pay close attention to median house prices in their area and affordable housing price points to get a better sense of the type of cash reserves they might be able to access,” Ms Lane said.

According to Ms Lane, there is another great confusion amongst many people about the types of affordable housing available.

“Senior homeowners looking to downsize should not need to be competing in the private market against homeowners and investors, which is a common fear, as there are a variety of traditional and new home options to suit.

“Lifestyle-focused manufactured home estates, for example, are one of the newest catering to this specific market.

“While the homes on offer are of an increasingly high quality, the entry price point is kept low since residents lease, rather than own the land, with weekly fees in the $120-$160 range. This pricing model eliminates the need to pay stamp duty, entry and exit fees and in some cases, the resident is then eligible for rent assistance.

“One such operator – Active Lifestyle Estates – has 21 communities across New South Wales and Queensland and most recently expanded into Victoria,” Ms Lane said.

Owner and operator of Active Lifestyle Estates, Ingenia Communities, Chief Operating Officer Nikki Fisher said the new Victorian community comes at a time when many Australian seniors are grappling with the issue of housing affordability, as the majority of their wealth is tied up in their family home.

“Our new community in Lara, 20 minutes north of Geelong, is an innovative seniors lifestyle community offering affordable and flexible living options that appeals to many over 45s.

“There are brand new homes selling from just $175,000, which are priced at half of Lara’s median house price of $378,000 ,” Ms Fisher said.

Active Lifestyle Estates Lara boasts a state-of-the-art clubhouse that recently underwent $3.1 million worth of refurbishments, tennis court, fitness centre, spa, indoor heated swimming pool and bowling green.

The community is also in preparation for 160 affordable new homes, due to be built over a number of stages with the first of the new homes arriving mid-2016.

Demand Grows For Over 45s Affordable Homes in Victoria


Early interest in Active Lifestyle Estates Lara, has signalled growing demand from locals looking to capitalise on increased median house prices in the area and downsize to a more affordable option.

A number of deposits were made on brand new homes at the recent open day weekend in February.

Project Sales Manager, Dianna McGrath, said the majority of open day attendees were Geelong locals looking for more than just a new home.

“The feedback from our open day was that locals were not only looking to downsize but to also improve their overall lifestyle.”

“With more than sixty homes already sold in the community’s first two stages, we have fielded exceptional levels of enquiries ahead of our next stages and coming display village.

“Visitors were impressed by our newly refurbished community facilities, such as our clubhouse and entertainment areas, as well as the sense of comradery our current residents exude,” Dianna said.

From mid-2016, a range of new home designs and floor plans will be introduced, with 160 new homes due to be built over a number of stages.

Brand new homes are available from just $175,000 (with exit fee), or alternatively, from $189,000 (with no exit fee). These homes are less than half of Lara’s current median house price of $378,000 and well below Geelong’s current median house price of $632,000.
To book a tour and inspect please call Dianna or Kerrie on 03 5282 6859 or visit