Downsize Without Compromising on Space or Location

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With homes in Sydney among the most expensive in the developed world, baby boomers living in the city’s west do not need to compromise when looking to downsize into a smaller home.

Active Lifestyle Estates Stoney Creek in Marsden Park is an innovative senior’s lifestyle community offering affordable and flexible living options that appeal to many over 55s.

Brand new homes with three bedrooms are selling from $375,000, almost half the median house price in Blacktown.

Stoney Creek resident, Anne Fidler and her husband downsized earlier this year from a large two-storey, five bed, three bathroom home in western Sydney, only 15 minutes away from Stoney Creek.

“We just felt the family house was too big for the two of us and really wanted to downsize in the same area.

“We chose Active Lifestyle Estates Stoney Creek as the community is for our age group, and we didn’t have to pay stamp duty!

“Initially I choose a two bedroom home, but at the last minute I changed my mind and decided the three bedroom would be better; the Active Lifestyle Estates team were very accommodating with us.

“We now have a three bedroom home here and although we have downsized we still have plenty of room and it is just great. We are very happy with the size of our place,” Anne said.

Project Sales Manager Rachel Pullicino said enquires for the new three bedroom floor plan had increased substantially.

“The extra room provides the opportunity to downsize without compromising on space or location.

“Residents like that they are able to retain ownership of a home, while continuing to live in the same or nearby suburb, close to friends and support networks and have that extra space.

“They also love the resort-style feel and to complete that, residents are eagerly awaiting the new community clubhouse later this year with a brand new pool and gym, BBQ and alfresco dining on the deck,” Rachel said.

The new clubhouse, Stoney Creek Estates, will play an important role in bringing residents together to encourage connectedness in the community.

This was a major factor that drew Anne to the community as her husband is retired, while she works full time.

“Everyone is very friendly and there is already a great sense of community so most of us just socialise with each other and at each other’s places. I still work five days a week but my husband is retired and really enjoys socialising with the others during the week when I am at work,” Anne said.

Homes are selling from $259,000 and brand new from $295,000.

For more information contact Project Sales Manager, Rachel Pullicino on 0459 995 919.
Active Lifestyle Estates Stoney Creek, 140 Hollinsworth Road, Marsden Park NSW 2765 or visit www.liveinmarsdenpark.com.au

Stamp Duty Relief for Geelong’s Over 45s

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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

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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.

Connecting With Like-Minded Friends

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For the more social and active-focused seniors, Active Lifestyle Estates The Grange offers a tranquil yet social setting offering a perfect combination of natural beauty, convenience and comfort.

Long-time residents, Tom and Val Studley, moved to Active Lifestyle Estates The Grange in Morisset, NSW after searching for somewhere to live to connect with other young retirees.

“My wife and I were previously living in a retirement community where residents were much older than us, and nobody was interested in leaving their house. The atmosphere at Active Lifestyle Estates is completely different and we haven’t looked back since the day we stepped into our new home.

“There is an incredible community vibe here at The Grange, and all our neighbours are keen to attend social outings, and activities around the estate and we hold regular barbeques to catch up with everyone,” Mr Studley said.

“Everyone is always looking out for each other and living in a gated-community makes us all feel so much safer. There are shops, medical centres and public transport all within one kilometre of the estate, with the village bus available to take residents out regularly. We just couldn’t recommend living here enough.”

High demand for affordable and quality age appropriate accommodation in the region has been reflected in the demand at sister community, nearby Active Lifestyle Estates Lake Macquarie, where stage one has sold out and stage two well into strong sales mode.

Active Lifestyle Estates The Grange has brand new home designs with a new master plan and community clubhouse coming soon.

For more information about The Grange please contact Maria Wheate on 0448 148 838 or visit activelifestyleestates.com.au/the-grange

Pension Changes Are Coming – Will You Be Ready?

Article by Rachel Lane, over 55s lifestyle and finance expert. 

Did you know, from 1 January 2017, there are plans to change the age pension which could see your Centrelink payments decrease, or worse, you lose them altogether?

Over 55s lifestyle and finance expert, Rachel Lane, explains the changes that will affect the asset test calculations.

“From 1 January 2017, changes will apply to the pension asset test and are expected to affect the pension entitlement of 350,000 Australian pensioners.

“This is how the asset test works: currently a person or couple lose $1.50 per fortnight of age pension for every $1,000 of assets they have over the asset test limit.

The changes coming into effect in January will increase the threshold and increase the ‘taper rate’ so that for every $1,000 of assets over the new threshold $3.00
of age pension will be lost,” Rachel explains.

People with assets above the current threshold ($205,500 for singles and $291,500 for couples) but below the new one ($250,000 for singles and $375,000 for couples) can get more pension, while people with assets above the new threshold are likely to see their pension reduce and those whose assets exceed the new cut-off limits (singles pension cut off will be reduced from $783,500 to $547,000, and couples reduced from $1,163,000 to $823,000) will lose their pension entirely.

It is important to understand the impact this will have post 1 January. People who downsize to an over 55s community often pay less for their new home than they get for their old one – banking the proceeds.

This strategy can enable pensioners to free up capital to buy a caravan to travel around Australia or earn a bit more income to fund their lifestyle.

Let’s look at an example for a single person:

Hazel is a pensioner who is considering moving from her family home to a lifestyle community. Her home is worth $550,000 and the home she would like to buy in the lifestyle community is $400,000. Hazel also has $65,000 in the bank, and $30,000 worth of personal effects including her car. While she lives at home Hazel is not eligible for rent assistance, but receives $874pfn of age pension.

If Hazel moved to the lifestyle community today her pension entitlement would reduce to $815pfn (a reduction of $59pfn) but she could receive up to $130pfn of rent assistance that she never qualified for before, hence a total pension of $945pfn.

Additionally, she can earn interest on the extra $150,000 in her bank account, at 2% this money will provide her with an extra $115pfn of income. Hazel would then receive an increase of combined income at $1,060 per fortnight.

After 1 January, Hazel’s pension would increase to $835pfn and she would still be eligible for up to $130pfn of rent assistance, giving her a new combined income of $1,080 per fortnight.

As we can see the pension changes may actually mean that downsizers are better off. Understanding what the pension changes will mean for you is vital in your decision making – seek advice from a financial adviser who specialises in helping over 55s make the right choices.

Let’s now look at a couple.

Jack and Sarah have a house worth $650,000, $120,000 in the bank and $50,000 worth of personal effects including their cars. While Jack and Sarah remain at home they receive $659pfn each of pension entitlement and are not eligible for rent assistance.

They want to move to a lifestyle community and purchase a brand new home for $450,000. Using $60,000 from the proceeds of the sale of their home they buy a caravan and join their friends on the Grey Nomad trail during the cooler months.

Now that Jack and Sarah moved to the lifestyle community their pension entitlement reduced to $600pfn BUT they are earning interest on the extra $140,000 in their bank account, at 2% this money will provide them with $108pfn (replacing their lost pension).

PLUS they will receive up to $123pfn of rent assistance that they never qualified for before.

After 1 January, Jack and Sarah’s pension will increase to $659pfn each and they would still be eligible for up to $123pfn of rent assistance.

Lifestyle Communities Offering New Lease on Life

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Lifestyle-focused land lease communities for the over 55s are one of the newest senior living trends available to the downsizing market, allowing residents to own a home but lease the land.

While the industry is in the early stages of growth, land lease communities are emerging as a strong sector setting new benchmarks for affordable seniors accommodation.

This rise in popularity relates to a key finding from the Productivity Commission’s report, Housing Decisions of Older Australians, which found one in five older Australians have sold their property and purchased a less expensive home since turning 50, and an increasing portion are choosing to move into age-specific housing, such as a land lease community.

Residents from Active Lifestyle Estates Hunter Valley, Peter and Anne Holmes, moved into their new home in the beginning of May.

“We wanted to downsize and live in a lifestyle community as we wanted to own the home.

“Owning the home was important to us as we can, to a degree, do our own modifications – for example add a shed to the backyard and if there’s ever a reason to leave, we keep whatever it sells for.

“We don’t mind leasing the land as it includes the upkeep of the village and use of community facilities.

Owner and operators of Active Lifestyle Estates, Ingenia Communities Chief Operating Officer, Nikki Fisher said home ownership is vital to providing security, independence and improving wellbeing.

“Land lease communities are specifically tailored to the needs of active seniors and have an important role to play in the provision of affordable housing for over 55s.

“All land lease communities are covered by the relevant state-based Residential Land Lease Communities legislation which governs our industry and seeks to promote fair trading practices in the operation of residential communities.

“In recent years, reviews of legislation have resulted in more substantial levels of consumer protection and security of tenure for residents in these style of residential communities.

“The Act is also there to encourage the continued growth and viability of land lease communities and it is Ingenia Communities intention to grow and continue to invest in our projects,” Nikki said.

Momentum Indicates Fastest Growing Over 55’s Lifestyle Solution

Active Lifestyle Estates’ key projects have exceeded 2016 financial year targets demonstrating an ongoing momentum in the fastest growing housing solution for over 55s.

Lifestyle communities, also known as land lease communities, are an innovative and sustainable way for downsizers to finance affordable housing and improve their wellbeing.

The popularity of Active Lifestyle Estates opens up an array of new opportunities for over 55s to make the most out of life by moving to a more manageable home which generally provides the chance to unlock their equity, freeing up both capital and time.

Due to the shortage in age-appropriate accommodation, and forecasted demand from the Baby Boomer generation looking to more suitable living options, Active Lifestyle Estates is looking forward to launching four new land lease projects later this year. Updates from our current projects are below.

Active Lifestyle Estates Lara, VIC
Located 20 minutes north of Geelong, Lara has been a popular choice with local over 45s looking to downsize and capitalise on house price increases. Since launching to the market, more than sixty homes have sold in the community’s first two stages while the third stage is 80% sold. Brand new homes selling from $155,000 have fast tracked the development of the fourth and fifth stages, and will be released later this year. Visit website

Active Lifestyle Estates Chambers Pines, QLD
Selling from $210,000, an incredible 80% of homes have now sold at Chambers Pines and there is limited opportunity to secure one of the final homes in the community’s current stage. New stages to the Chambers Pines project will launch later this year in response to the undersupply of quality, affordable accommodation in Logan. Visit Website

Active Lifestyle Estates Bethania, QLD
Bethania sets a new benchmark in quality affordable seniors accommodation with beautiful, modern home designs selling from $299,000. Strong sales have been recorded with a significant amount of interest from South East Queensland seniors looking to downsize. Visit Website

Active Lifestyle Estates Stoney Creek, NSW
Demand for affordable over 55s accommodation west of Sydney has never been higher with a record breaking amount of sales made in stage one – making way for the second stage to commence earlier than anticipated – with sales now sitting at 50%. Brand new homes are selling from an incredibly low $285,000 which is half of Blacktown’s medium house price. Visit Website

Active Lifestyle Estates Hunter Valley, NSW
Hunter Valley locals have registered an exceptional level of interest in the over 55s lifestyle community with large numbers of people wanting more information about the innovative purchasing model, where you lease rather than own the land. Sales figures for the new range of homes shows the three bedroom design the most popular and for a limited time only, brand new three-bedroom homes are selling from just $295,000. Visit Website 

Active Lifestyle Estates The Grange at Morisset, NSW
Set within a tranquil lakefront setting, The Grange has a strong community vibe and a wide variety of social activities for residents to choose from. Conveniently located close to the Morisset township, local amenities and train station, there is now high anticipation for the suite of brand new home designs, master plan and community clubhouse, coming soon. Visit Website

Active Lifestyle Estates Albury, NSW
Tucked away amongst NSW bushland, Active Lifestyle Estates is one of Albury’s best kept secrets. Earlier this year the community welcomed guests and residents to the official opening of its brand new club house which now plays an integral role in bringing residents together and encouraging connectedness in the community. Brand new homes are selling from just $195,000. Visit Website

Active Lifestyle Estates Mudgee, NSW
Located only a short drive from the Mudgee CBD and its many restaurants, coffee shops and medical facilities our over 55s lifestyle community is well-connected with convenient public transport services. Brand new affordable homes with open plan, modern features and generous alfresco areas start from just $235,000. Visit Website

Active Lifestyle Estates South West Rocks, NSW
The most recent project to join Active Lifestyle Estates portfolio, South West Rocks will have the first of its new floor plans released later in July. Your sea change awaits with brand new homes selling from just $239,000. Visit Website

 

Bethania’s New Home Designs On Display

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Over 50s looking to capitalise on Active Lifestyle Estates Bethania’s unique housing model, saving seniors upwards of $5,000 in stamp duty fees, are invited to see what all the excitement is about with a tour of the brand new display homes.

Project Sales Manager Sharon Manson said since buyers lease rather than own the land, there has been strong levels of sales and enquiry from local seniors interested in the popular model.

“Brand-new manufactured homes are currently selling off-the-plan from just $299,000 and there are no costly stamp duty fees, no rates and taxes and no deferred or exit fees payable. Additionally, if residents are eligible, they receive rent assistance on the lease of the land.

“This has generated a significant amount of interest from seniors looking to downsize,” Ms Manson said.

Visitors to the community have the opportunity to view the variety of brand new homes that are move-in ready, or alternatively prospective buyers can pick their favourite site and have their new home ready to build in a time frame that suits their needs.

“Current Active Lifestyle Estates Bethania residents are thrilled with the facilities and improvements including the construction of a resort-style clubhouse, swimming pool and lawn bowls green.

“Our community sets a new benchmark of quality affordable seniors accommodation with the estate’s modern home designs, internal landscaping and community facilities. Our residents tell us how proud they are when friends or family come to visit or stay,” Ms Manson said.

Active Lifestyle Estates Bethania is located at 41 Radke Road, Bethania. More information is available at www.liveinbethania.com.au

New display homes are now open for inspection. Book a tour with Sharon Manson. Call 0448 165 524

South West Rocks Preparing for Launch of New Homes

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Active Lifestyle Estates will deliver more than 50 brand new homes at South West Rocks, a popular tourist destination on the mid-north coast of New South Wales.

Located on 9.5 hectares of waterfront land, the high quality mixed use community is in a prime coastal location, one hour’s drive from Port Macquarie.

Project Sales Manager, Wendy Hobson, said Active Lifestyle Estates South West Rocks is a relaxing and private lifestyle community, appealing to people who wish to enjoy living in a community, whilst retaining their individuality.

“The unique land lease purchasing model has proven popular amongst our sister communities in the Central Coast region with seniors seeking an affordable and relaxing lifestyle.

“These communities have been extremely popular with local buyers and downsizers from Sydney and Newcastle, with the location perfect for those seeking a sea change yet still be close to services.

“Residents purchase a new manufactured home and lease, rather than own the land, eliminating the need to pay stamp duty and entry fees – freeing up money to spend on the important things in life.

“There are also no exit fees, no council rates, and eligible pensioners can also apply for government rent assistance,” Wendy said.

South West Rocks brand new homes are selling from $239,000 with the first of the brand new floor plans to be released later this month.

Active Lifestyle Estates South West Rocks is located at Gordon Young Drive, South West Rocks NSW. Call Wendy Hobson, Project Sales Manager on 0448 714 021 or visit www.liveinsouthwestrocks.com.au

Downsize And Avoid Stamp Duty Fees

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Queensland seniors have shown they are more than willing to downsize to a more affordable home option if they can avoid costly stamp duty fees.

More than 80 percent of homes have sold at Active Lifestyle Estates Chambers Pines, with seniors like Raelene Baillie able to move closer to their families without paying stamp duty fees on their new homes.

“When I decided to make the move from Western Australia to be closer to my daughter, I considered a wide variety of housing options, including private rental, seniors’ communities and even a granny flat,” Ms Baillie said.

“In the end, nothing else provided me the security, lifestyle and independence that Active Lifestyle Estates Chambers Pines offers, and not paying stamp duty fees saved me a considerable amount of money.

“I have plans to travel more now I’m retired, and downsizing has not only freed up equity to allow me to do so, living in a gated community gives me the security to know my home and belongings are safe while I’m away.”

Ingenia Communities Chief Operating Officer Nikki Fisher said demand for more affordable homes had been high due to the affordability and stamp duty savings.

“At Active Lifestyle Estates, over 50s purchase a new, architecturally-designed manufactured home and lease, rather than own the land,” Ms Fisher said.

“This eliminates the requirement to pay stamp duty, ensuring a much more affordable entry price point and freeing up a substantial amount of equity raised in the sale of their previous home.”

Brand new homes at Active Lifestyle Estates Chambers Pines are priced from just $210,000 and there is limited opportunity to secure one of the final homes in the current stage, with new stages to launch later this year.

Active Lifestyle Estates Chambers Pines is located in the south east growth corridor in Logan at 2 Koplick Road, Chambers Flats. For more information, contact Project Sales Manager Sharon Manson on 0448 165 524.