Living a More Impressive Lifestyle at Lara

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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 www.liveinlara.com.au.

Housing Affordability Not Just a Young Person’s Issue

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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

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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 www.liveinlara.com.au