Coastal Lifestyle sees Homes Snapped up at South West Rocks


Active downsizers looking for a sea change are flocking to the NSW Mid North Coast as Ingenia Lifestyle South West Rocks release its final stage of homes at its upcoming Open Day on Saturday 21 October from 10am to 2pm.

Just 8 new homes will be made available for purchase in the final stage of the land lease community, with new two bedroom homes starting from $330,000.

Project Sales Manager Wendy Hobson said prospective buyers could register their interest as part of the First Choice Club and reserve their ideal home in the final release with a fully refundable $1,500 deposit.

“The community’s popularity among downsizers, from both the local region and those seeking a sea change is on the rise, and our First Choice Club has seen more than 60 percent of homes already reserved or contracted,” Ms Hobson said.

“Our community is perfect for active downsizers with the local Country Club, bowling greens and golf course all within close proximity for residents.

South West Rocks’ lifestyle-focused community offers residents the opportunity to live in a brand new home in a land lease community where you own the home and lease the land.

Ms Hobson said the land lease model was becoming a sought after option for downsizers looking for a change while maintaining their active lifestyle.

“South West Rocks features Ingenia’s innovative ownership model providing a more affordable price point for buyers where owners are not required to pay stamp duty, exit fees or council rates,” Ms Hobson said.

One couple who are eager to move into their new home are Brian and Doreen Clune who said they cannot wait for their new coastal lifestyle to begin.

“The price of the homes has helped our financial arrangements and the quality of them represents value, while the lifestyle that comes with it is just wonderful,” Mr Clune said

“Downsizing was always our plan, but to have that extra money left over after purchasing a new home in lifestyle focused community was what really won us over.

“The decision was to make the move now for our lifestyle and to plan ahead to make this our last move as we’re not going to move again.

“South West Rocks’ coastal lifestyle sold it for us. We are within walking distance to everything, we are surrounded by other active seniors and we can park our caravan at home so we can go travelling whenever we like.”

For more information call Wendy on 0448 714 021 or visit

Resident Talents Shine at Ingenia Lifestyle Bethania


With 15.2 per cent of Australia’s population aged over 65 years[1], there are decades of experience and skills on offer from older Australians in our communities.

This year’s International Day of the Older Person theme shines a light on how society can enable and strengthen the contributions of older people in their community and harness their invaluable knowledge and expertise.

First introduced by the United Nations in 1990, International Day of the Older Person honours the contribution and values older generations bring to society.

Seventy-five year old, Hurbet Van Hoof from Ingenia Lifestyle’s Bethania community in Queensland is embracing this year’s International Day of Older Persons theme – Stepping into the Future: Tapping the Talents, Contributions and Participation of Older Persons in Society – eagerly contributing his skills and sharing his many years of industry experience.

When Ingenia Lifestyle Bethania began designing the extension for its community clubhouse extension, it turned to veteran architect and resident Hubert Van Hoof.

Hubert, who has lived in the community for the past five years said he was more than happy to get involved and help design the clubhouse extension to best suit his fellow residents.

“My inspiration for becoming an architect stemmed from my two grandfathers, one was an artist and one was an architect. With a passion for both fields it was a blessing that becoming an architect actually combines both professions,” Mr Van Hoof said.

“In my career as an architect I have been fortunate to have a great deal of experience in designing facilities specifically for older people, including three senior citizen centres, an aged care hostel and units for the aged in country areas.

With more than four decades of experience in the architecture industry, Hubert offer’s invaluable insights into the new design and functionality of the extension.

“The clubhouse extension will help cater to our growing community with additional spaces for residents to relax and socialise.

“We have included additional event and private function spaces where residents are able to hold functions without impacting the use of the clubhouse by other residents.”


Over 55s Urged to Take Advantage of Home Price Rise

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As median house prices continue to rise across the country, now is an opportune time for many asset-rich, cash-poor seniors to downsize their large homes, boost their cash reserve and improve their lifestyle.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ latest residential property price index revealed median house prices rose across most capital cities in the 12 months to June 2017, with the highest growth in Melbourne and Sydney (13.8 per cent),  and Brisbane’s property prices increasing by three per cent[1].

Author, seniors finance expert and government advisor Rachel Lane said senior homeowners could boost their cash reserves by downsizing their home, selling while prices are high and moving into more affordable accommodation.

“Lifestyle-focused land lease communities, for example, are one of the newest types of affordable housing catering to the over 50s 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 low weekly fees. 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.

In Queensland’s Logan City, the house prices in areas like Chambers Flat ($565,000[2]) are more than double (59 %) the $229,000 starting point for the nearby Ingenia Lifestyle Chambers Pines community.

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

“While housing affordability is generally considered a young person’s issue restricting entry to the market, it is also a major problem for those that do own a home but rely on a low weekly income,” Ms Lane said.

Ingenia Lifestyle Chambers Pines Project Sales Manager Lynda Ruddell said the unique land lease model was attracting more attention due to the flexible benefits that allow downsizers to pursue a financially stable lifestyle based on independence, health and wellbeing.

“The innovative design of the new homes allows buyers to reap the financial benefits of the land lease model, meaning residents retain their eligibility for government rental assistance on the weekly site fees,” Ms Ruddell said.

In Victoria, for the 12 months from March 2016 to March 2017, the overall medium house price in Victoria rose to $526,000[3], while in Lara, the medium house price is listed at $435,000[4], allowing some homeowners the opportunity to boost their cash reserves by tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars by selling while prices are high and moving into more affordable accommodation.

Ingenia Lifestyle Lara Regional Sales Manager, Zoe Ilich-Paul, said lifestyle-focused land lease communities are an innovative senior’s home ownership model where the entry price point is kept low since residents lease, rather than own, the land.

“Land lease communities also eliminate the need for residents to pay stamp duty, there are no exit fees and in some cases, residents are eligible for rent assistance on the weekly site fees.

“Our home designs are of an increasingly high quality while providing residents with more capital to fund their senior years,” Zoe said.

Ingenia Lifestyle Lara has a range of home designs starting from $219,000 for a one bedroom floor plan with open plan living and dining and a number of surprise features including covered decking, front landscaping, European stainless steel kitchen appliances and split system air conditioning.




[2] Residex Suburb Report – Chambers Flat 4133 QLD




It’s Apples and Oranges When Comparing Retirement Villages to Land Lease Communities


By Rachel Lane, author and seniors finance expert.

Downsizing can be an exciting time, but it pays to do your research and crunch the numbers. Rachel Lane compares the different financial arrangements and why it’s like comparing apples and oranges between retirement villages and land lease communities.  

There are so many different terms used by operators, from the more traditional “retirement village” or “over 55s community” to the more contemporary “gated community”, “lifestyle resort” and even “aged care”. While it may seem that there are too many different financial arrangements to compare, the reality is that most retirement communities are either a Retirement Village or a Land Lease Community, and the differences are important.

I find it easiest to break down the numbers into the Ingoing, the Ongoing and the Outgoing.

 Retirement villages operate under the Retirement Villages Act and you have a lease or ‘licence to occupy’. The ingoing is the price you pay for your right to occupy your home and use the common facilities.

Oranges: In a land lease community the price you pay upfront is to buy your own home and have a leasehold over the land. There are often no stamp duty fees to pay on the purchase of a new home in either model.


In both a retirement village and a land lease community residents need to pay a weekly or monthly fee to cover the running of the community, its facilities and the rates.

Apples: In a retirement village this maintenance fee is often called a “general service charge” or “recurrent charge”. In a retirement village, pensioners need to pay an amount below a certain threshold (currently $203,000) to be eligible for rent assistance.

Oranges: In a land lease community it is called site fees. Because of the unique ownership structure of land lease communities, most pensioners qualify for rent assistance on their site fees. It is not uncommon for the site fees in a land lease community to be higher than the general service charge of a retirement village.

The greatest confusion between retirement villages and land lease communities comes from the exit fees, also called deferred management fees (DMF). Generally, when selling your home in either a retirement village or land lease community you’re likely to incur some costs – typically agent’s fees and marketing expenses, it may also include the cost of repairs or improvements to your home to prepare it for sale.

Apples: In a retirement village exit fees are standard. The exit fee is likely to be a percentage of either you purchase price or re-sale price, anything between 25% and 40% is common. The exit fee may also include a sharing of capital gain with the operator.

Oranges: Where you are likely to find the biggest difference between the two is that most land lease communities don’t charge exit fees. You own your own home, and it is a willable asset, so the home owner keeps 100% of any capital gains made on the property if or when they decide to sell their home.


Let’s have a look at how a house in an Ingenia Lifestyle community compares with a similar home in a retirement village when you exit after 10 years. In this case study the Ingenia Lifestyle resident receives $589,643 on exit, where as a retirement village resident receives only $377, 262 after the exit fees.

Ingenia Lifestyle Retirement Village
$450,000 $450,000
Site Fees $180p.w General Service Charge $130p.w
*Rent Assistance $62p.w** Rent Assistance $0

Assumed Capital Growth @3%p.a

Value in 10 years time



Value in 10 years time


Assumed Selling costs @ 2.5%


What you get back:

$589,643 (no exit fees) $377,262 (after exit fees)

*For people who are eligible to receive an Australian Income Support Payment.

**Figure based on a couple

Where do I sit on the Downsizing Timeline?

For many homeowners, downsizing their home can be the start of a new chapter but the process can take some time and consideration with a downsize taking anywhere from a few months to around 12 months.

Twelve months before
• Have a conversation about downsizing with your partner, friends, or anyone else you trust. Use the conversation to discuss why you would like to downsize
• Decide on a location or two that you’d like to live in. Once you know your favourites it will help narrow down the search list of places to live
• Consider the range of lifestyles to choose from – sea change or tree change? Stay in the area you know? Live closer to amenities or families?
• If it’s still not clear on where you want to live, create a list of pros and cons and score them to see which option wins.

Nine months before
• Start to clear your clutter, pull out all the unwanted items in your wardrobes, cupboards and garage to give away to charity or sell online or in a garage sale. One of the benefits to downsizing your home is the ability to reduce excessive furniture, electronics, appliances, trinkets and items that may not be used anymore or do not serve a purpose
• Action, finish and file away your important paperwork (Wills, POAs, etc) – make copies and send to your solicitor or someone you trust
• Review your finances and do the numbers on what you can afford to spend on a new home.

Six months before
• Put your best foot forward and commence those last DIY jobs around the house to prepare it for sale ensuring it’s well-presented for the type of buyer for such a home
• Neaten up your landscaping and tidy the garden
• Start to interview real estate agents and plan your sale strategy. If you’re expecting a 90 or 120 day settlement, now is the time to commit to this
• Start making enquiries into where you want to live. Take tours of their display homes, review the floor plans, enquire about prices and what’s currently available or coming up
• Now that you’re on your way to finalising the sale of your family home you should be in a good position to secure your brand new home – attend open homes, visit communities and start a conversation with your local sales manager to work out what’s the best solution
• In some instances you can place a small deposit to secure your new home while you finalise the sale of your family home
• Once you have paid a deposit and feel comfortable with your decision, and pending house sale, the next step is to sign a contract on your new home in which the sales manager should step you through.

4 weeks before
• Book removalists and commence conversations with utilities providers to arrange connections for electricity, gas and water
• Pay a final settlement balance on your new home
• Start packing up, taking your downsized essentials with you… or this is the time to now go shopping for new furnishing and homewares
• Collect your keys, move in and relax… enjoy your brand new home and downsized lifestyle.

Putting Women First as we Celebrate Women’s Health Week


During the 4th to the 8th September, Ingenia Lifestyle Lara celebrated Women’s Health Week with a series of  fun, pampering and educational events.

Business Development Manager, Dianna McGrath said the residents did all of the work to pull together the week’s schedule of events with massive support form Ingenia Lifestyle Lara.

“The focus was about putting women first and inviting our residents and guests in to attend free events that were arranged by our wonderful group of residents, headed up by Heather Swain.

“We started each day with a 10am walk through the community followed by a coffee and tea and biscuits. This was followed by some pampering by Dorothy and in the afternoon Hair Care by Julie.

“We had some fun events with craft morning teas, line dancing, yoga/pilates, table tennis and some belly dancing, it was lots of fun and we had lots of laughs.

“We also had some wonderful guest speakers from the Corio Community Nurse, a Myotherapist to discuss pain management, Osteoporosis talk by Vital Health Chiropractic Lara and a McGrath Breast Care Nurse providing a lot of great educational information,” Dianna said.

Thanks to all who came along and those who were involved in setting up the events, including Heather who has had such amazing feedback from her fellow residents about the week’s events.

Resident, Heather Swain, main organiser of Women’s Health Week.

Downsizers Maximising their Finances with Road Map to Retirement Events

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Downsizers looking to understand their retirement living options, the legal implications of contracts and how the recent pension changes may have affected them have flocked to our most recent Road Map to Retirement seminar Port Stephens Nelson Bay Golf Club.

Author, finance expert and government advisor Rachel Lane guided guests through the tips to downsizing and unlocking equity.

Attendees also heard from Martin Checketts, partner at Mills Oakley law firm. As an experienced advisor on the legal implications of contracts with retirement villages and aged care providers, Mr Checketts provided guests with a comprehensive overview of their legal rights on their downsizing journey.

High tea and refreshments were provided for guests who then had the opportunity to see first-hand the benefits of downsizing to maximise a more active lifestyle.

If you’re in Victoria, and can make your way to our next seminar on Wednesday 11th October, click here for the event details.

The Road Map to Retirement seminar will explore:

  • Different ownership models in retirement and lifestyle communities
  • Impacts on pension entitlement and eligibility for rent assistance
  • Legal implications and contractual differences
  • Benefits of freeing up equity from within your home

Over 55s finance expert and author Rachel Lane said now is an opportune time for seniors to re-evaluate their finances and think about what lifestyle changes could better prepare them for the future.

With home ownership viewed as an investment for the future, for some pensioners, downsizing the family home could be a crucial factor to free up much needed funds and retain financial independence.

“A lot of people look at downsizing to either a land lease community or retirement village, however, they are distinctively different and can be hard to compare,” Ms Lane said.

The seminar will also be an opportunity for guests to find out about Ingenia Lifestyle Lara, an innovative over 55s lifestyle-focused land lease community, just 20 minutes from Geelong. Call Zoe Ilich-Paul on 0436 653 793 to book your spot – places are limited!

Land Lease Communities and your Rights, Responsibilities and Respect

When you’re downsizing and facing a number of decisions for the next stage of your life, there’s one seniors living option which is a more simple, transparent and affordable choice that just makes sense. 

The land lease ownership model allows you to own your own home and lease the land, which is supported via government regulations and legislation with strong levels of protection for both home owner and operator, fostering confidence and respect within the community.

General Counsel for the NSW Land Lease Living Industry Association, Bob Browne, is a solicitor with extensive experience in strata and community scheme developments and the land lease industry, helping to deliver the next level in lifestyle living.

The work Bob and his team has carried out has had a major influence in the reform of the legislation and regulation for land lease communities, responsible for leading the public debate and the management of the Parliamentary process and implementation of the laws dating from 1986 through to the most recent Residential Land Lease Communities Act of 2013.

“The most important government recommendation we made was to have land lease living recognised as something different to the traditional land lord and tenant relationship.

“We wanted to make sure there was recognition of the financial contribution by the operator, but also a significant financial contribution by the home owner, who will lease the land.

“That relationship makes sure that the legislation protects the rights and obligations of both the operator (they operate now and into the future with a successful land lease community) and from the home owner’s point of view (the recognition that they pay for the right to be there and are also protected by security of tenure).

“This was the most important part, so home owners can be sure that if they’re going to make that investment, they do have a long term security of tenure,” Bob explains.

At the start of the process to enter a community you purchase of a home and a disclosure statement is provided for signing which sets out what the details are of the community, the facilities, the site, what utilities are provided and the financial arrangements in paying the site fees and use of utilities.

“If you choose to move ahead, you enter into a site agreement which is a reflection of key terms in the disclosure statement and sets out the rights and obligations between the operator and home owner and the role within your community.

“The agreement can’t be terminated as a matter of course or just at a whim of the operator. You have the protection legislation that ensures your ongoing right to tenure as prescribed by the relevant land lease community legislation.

“There is a provision in the law which allows the operator to develop it for some other purpose than a land lease community. However, if a developer did want to change the use of the land for some other purpose, as an example, to develop units, it is a fairly significant, lengthy and costly process to go through satisfying council requirements, obtaining development consent, providing every home owner at least 12 months’ notice, assisting with re-accommodating them to another location, covering all the costs for relocating the homes and utilities services, transportation, reconnecting and landscaping, providing a detailed and fair framework regarding compensation.

“It’s a fairly rigid process that is designed to make sure the home owners are protected and one would think if a developer has invested a few million dollars today they’ve committed themselves into a long term commitment as a residential land lease community,” Bob assures.

There is an easy process to exit with the opportunity for the home owner to sell up, get the capital gain out of the sale of the home and move on to some other living arrangements with no exit fees to pay.

For more independent advice, you can read more about land lease living by visiting

Lara’s Lifestyle Living In High Demand


Ingenia Lifestyle Lara is emerging as a sought after location for Victorians looking to downsize as Stage Three nears sell out and the first allotment in Stage Four launched this week.

Project Sales Manager, Kerri Hughes said, purchasers were more at ease knowing they didn’t have to pay stamp duty or other hidden fees.

“Downsizing to a lifestyle community where you own the home and lease the land means there are no government charges, no entry or exit fees and no refurbishment fees.

“You own 100% of the capital growth and after downsizing we see many of our residents now able to enjoy a new lifestyle, spending more time doing what they want to do, like locking up to leave and travel,” Kerri said.

The brand new display village is now open for all to inspect with a variety of home designs to choose from ranging from 1 bed, 1 bath floor plans for singles or grey nomads, all the way up to 2 bed + study, 1.5 bath floor plans for those seeking a little more space for entertaining guest.

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

New Major Sponsorship with South West Rocks Bowls Club


South West Rocks Bowling Club has received a major boost following a successful year of competitions, with the Club securing Major Supporting Partner – Ingenia Lifestyle South West Rocks.

Ingenia Lifestyle was excited to announce its 12 month partnership with the Club which will see a number of opportunities and benefits delivered to the South West Rocks community.

The bowls club celebrated its new sponsorship in style, hosting a community open bowls session with Club President Barry Horsfall and Ingenia Lifestyle South West Rocks Sales Manager Wendy Hobson.

Residents, players and club officials were joined on the Club’s green by local South West Rocks seniors all vying for the win.

Ms Hobson said Ingenia looks forward to actively supporting the South West Rocks Bowling Club and engaging with local community through the popular sport.

“The South West Rocks Country Club is a major asset to our local community, especially to over 55s in the area,” Ms Hobson said.

“The lifestyle, health and wellbeing of not only our residents, but other local seniors, is extremely important to us and we see this sponsorship as a contribution to the development of the community.

“The new partnership will contribute in a multitude of ways to the local community – providing free learn to bowl days and additional bare foot bowls sessions for all to enjoy.

“Many of our residents love to socialise around a game of lawn bowls and can’t wait for the upcoming Ingenia Lifestyle Tournaments in July and September.

“Local South West Rocks residents will be welcome to join our upcoming tournaments as well and enjoy a perfect day on the green.

“We also hope to see our relationship with the South West Rocks Country Club continue to strengthen long into the future, as it’s a popular social spot that many of our residents take advantage of.”