When you downsize in retirement, it can be a challenge to find a new home that fits your budget, lifestyle and changing needs. Which is why more retirees are choosing to build a new home rather than purchase an existing one.
When you build, you can choose a design that suits and hand-pick the colours, finishes and features you love to make it uniquely yours. Plus, you’ll have a brand-new home that needs nothing done and is ready to move in to and enjoy!
At Village Lifestyle Park, you can choose to buy an existing residence (when available) or build a new home. If you’re considering building, read on to discover the step-by-step guide to building your new lifestyle village home.
Step 1. Select the Perfect Land
The first step is to find your ideal patch of land, so organise a time that suits to come to the Village for a tour and see the available lots. Once your home is built, your allotment will be fully fenced, giving you a private backyard and room for a garden. And because none of our homes are attached, you’ll enjoy independent living in your own space.
Like other retirement communities, residents at the Village pay rent on the land their home is situated on. This means, instead of purchasing the land upfront, you pay a weekly fee to rent the land ($135.50 per week at the time of writing). However, unlike other retirement villages, we don’t charge municipal rates which saves you a significant amount of money each year.
Step 2. Choose Your Design
Once you’ve chosen your land, it’s time to meet with the builder to find the right design. To make the building process as stress-free as possible, we’ve partnered with leading Gippsland builder Anchor Homes. They offer a wide range of modern designs and have built many beautiful homes for our residents over the years. If you have another builder in mind, you are welcome to discuss this with our managers.
Depending on your needs, you can build a 1, 2, or 3-bedroom home on your lot. There’s a selection of stylish and affordable homes that have been designed by Anchor for specific lots, including the Hazelwood ($220,500 at the time of writing) and Rawson ($225,500 at the time of writing). You can also work with Anchor to customise these designs or create your own dream home from the ground up.
Step 3. Pre-Construction Stage
Once you’ve settled on your design, a detailed cost estimate will be provided for approval. If you’re happy and ready to go ahead, a deposit of approximately $1500 (at the time of writing) is paid now to secure your land and move forward with the pre-construction stage. The builder will then draft up the working drawings and organise any reports that are required such as soil reports, and energy and BAL ratings.
Because of the work involved to complete this step, your deposit is non-refundable. However, once you’ve paid the deposit, your block will be held for you while you organise the sale of your existing home or finance through a lender.
Step 4. Choose Your Colours and Specifications
You’ll now meet with the colour consultant at Anchor to select your colours and finishes. Some of the things you’ll choose include your interior and exterior colours, flooring, benchtops, cabinetry, tapware, cladding and more.
It’s a good idea to come prepared with a few ideas, however, the colour consultant will walk you through each selection to ensure it all looks great and suits your tastes. There’s a large range of options within the standard range, however, you can choose to include specific features and upgrades if you wish. While upgrades do incur an additional cost, when chosen wisely they can add value, style and a touch of luxury to your home.
Step 5. The Construction Stage
Once the building permit is received, construction begins! Anchor uses modular building methods so your home is built to 95% completion off-site at their Stratford facility. Construction is completed faster as days are not lost due to bad weather or site delays. This means your new home will be ready to deliver to your lot in as little as 8-10 weeks!
During construction, you’ll receive regular updates on the progress of your home. You’re also welcome to visit the Stratford facility to see how your new home is coming together for yourself.
Step 6. Site Work
During last two weeks of construction, the site team will arrive to prepare the footings and land for installation. The overlap of site work with construction is another reason modular homes are completed faster than site-built houses.
Your home is delivered by truck and installed onto the footings by the on-site team. Your services are connected, and the finishes touches are added. This stage generally takes around four weeks.
Step 7. Final Inspection and Handover
Once your home is complete, a cleaner comes through to make it spotless. We then inspect the house with you to make sure everything is exactly as it should be. Once you’re 100% happy, the building surveyor conducts a final inspection. Your occupancy permit is received, we handover the keys and your new home is all yours! For peace of mind, there is also 3-month building maintenance period after handover.
Ready to Build? Here’s What You Need to Know First
If you’re downsizing in retirement, building a new home in a lifestyle village can be a great choice – just be sure you understand all the legal and financial obligations before you commit. The fees and contracts vary from village to village, which can make it quite confusing, so it’s always a good idea to seek expert advice.
At Village Lifestyle Park, our residents own their home and rent the land it is situated on. Once you’ve purchased your home, as mentioned above, a weekly rental of $135.50 per week (at the time of writing) is payable. Unlike most retirement villages, our residents do not pay municipal rates or a maintenance fee. In addition, we do not charge deferred management fees (also known as exit fees). So if you decide to sell your home down the track, you keep 100% of the profits of the sale.
So, if you’re ready to downsize and like the idea of building, visit us for a tour and to gather all the information. If building seems a good fit, seek legal and financial advice – and start planning your brand-new dream home!
Over to You
If you have any questions about the building process or moving to the Village, we’d love to help. Simply post a comment below or contact our managers for more information.
Want to know more about deferred management fees and other traps related to lifestyle villages? Download our FREE guide, 20 Questions You Must Ask BEFORE Choosing a Village.