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Downsizing

Different model, different practices – why Lifestyle Communities is not a retirement village

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Not a retirement village, Lifestyle Communities operates under a different model with different practices.

With the recent media attention on the retirement village sector, we’d like to explain exactly how we’re different and why Lifestyle Communities is a smart lifestyle choice for working, semi-retired and retired people aged over 50.

View our video below along with our simple breakdown of our model and practices.

Our model

  • Lifestyle Communities operates under a land lease model, not a retirement village model.
  • Under the land lease model, homeowners own their home while leasing the land. In a retirement village, you often only have a license right to occupy a home.

Our agreements

  • Our Home Purchase Agreement and Site Agreements are simple and written in plain English so that they are easy to understand. We meet with all of our customers to read through the contract in full before signing so that all agreements are clear and understood.
  • Our Home Purchase Agreement and Site Agreement have been in place for 14 years with little change, given they are so straight forward and well understood. The basic and most important terms and conditions have remained the same over this time.
  • For pensioners, our weekly site fee works out to be less than 25% of the Age Pension, which is affordable and sustainable.

Our agreements for couples

  • We have up-front discussions with couples in advance to work through the legal consequences of a partner passing away, a partner moving out or a new partner moving in. We have an open and flexible policy reflecting the homeowners’ right to privacy in their home.
  • We welcome same-sex couples and do not engage in any discriminatory practices due to sexual orientation, as required by law.

Deferred Management Fees

  • Our Deferred Management Fee (DMF) increases by 4% each year up to five years, when it’s then capped at 20%. We don’t ‘front-end load’ the agreements to get a higher DMF after shorter periods.
  • We offer a 12-month Smart Buy Guarantee. If for any reason you decide to leave in the first 12 months, you will not be charged the DMF.

Capital growth and resales  

  • Across all communities, our homes have experienced an average capital growth of 10% per annum. All completed communities have a waitlist of people wishing to move in.
  • Our homes are generally sold in the same amount of time as other homes in the real estate market.
  • Since you own your own home, you decide whether or not you refurbish your home when selling – we do not have any compulsory refurbishment terms.  In a retirement village, you may be required to refurbish the home at your expense, with little say in the scope, cost or choice of building contractors.
  • If you decide to sell your home, you have the choice to sell it privately through a real estate agent or engage us to help sell your home. In a retirement village, you can often only sell through the village. You also may have a limited say over the offer price.

Our homeowners

  • Lifestyle Communities attract a younger, active, independent homeowner who wants to downsize and enjoy a new phase of their life. The average age of a person moving into our communities is 67 years old.
  • Our homeowner surveys show that 95% of our homeowners are prepared to recommend Lifestyle Communities to friends and family. Also, 52% of all our new home sales are as a result of referral by satisfied existing homeowners.
  • Retirement villages generally cater for an older person requiring more support. The average age of people moving into a retirement village is 78 years old.

Read more about our homeowners and their views on Lifestyle Communities

Our values

  • When we started in 2003, our guiding principle was to create a ‘business for purpose’ rather than a ‘purpose for business’.
  • We created Lifestyle Communities with a mandate to be socially, morally and ethically responsible. We achieve that mandate by creating outstanding quality communities with resort-style facilities at an affordable price with sustainable site rental fees.
  • We were awarded the 2017 National Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) Award for Excellence in Affordable Development. The UDIA is the Australia’s peak representative body for all segments of the urban development industry.

We welcome your feedback, comments and questions about Lifestyle Communities. Call us on 1300 50 55 60, browse our website or drop into any one of our many communities across Victoria.

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