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