Homes with a ‘dream garage’: how grey nomads are transforming retirement communities

Credit: Downsizing
Homes with a ‘dream garage’: how grey nomads are transforming retirement communities
Written by: Ron Reed
on

23 April 2019

From time to time, Ryan Williams observes that potential buyers have an unexpected reaction when he shows them through a display home at his Queensland retirement community.

Williams says he is surprised that the buyers don’t show much interest in the home itself, despite the fact it contains features such as spacious living areas, ducted air-conditioning, an eight-star energy rating and luxury finishes.

However, when Williams takes the buyers from the home and into the less salubrious garage space, he notices that ‘their eyes light up’ in excitement.

The reaction is perhaps understandable - these are no ordinary garages.

Williams is walking the buyers through garages which are typically 16m long and 6m wide. This makes the garages 50 per cent larger than squash courts and able to hold two 4WDs and two caravans.

The garages also contain LED lighting, a professional standard epoxy-covered floor and 15 AMP power.

Williams is the development manager at Hervey Bay’s Latitude25, which opened mid-last year and touts itself as a dedicated ‘recreational vehicle (RV) lifestyle community’.

Williams says the garages are popular not only for the ‘grey nomads’ which want to travel around Australia in their RVs, but also for people to park their boats or to carry out their hobbies, such as practising arts and crafts or building and racing model cars.

“When you downsize from a larger property, that doesn’t necessarily mean you want to sacrifice your activities and hobbies,” Williams says.

“Now is the period of your life that you are able to go exploring and be a traveller and to get into your hobbies and get into your boating.

“We can help facilitate those goals that our residents have.”

Since opening last year, 13 homes have been constructed at Latitude25, with another 11 still under construction. Eventually (in about five years) the community will hold 281 homes, with a new clubhouse to be completed in September this year.

The homes range in price from $450,000 to $580,000, with an average price of $490,000.

Williams says the typical resident is aged in the mid-60s and, if a ‘grey nomad’, travels for three months of the year.

Other land lease community developers offering RV parking options

The homes at Latitude25 are part of an increasing industry trend to deliver supersized personal garages in land lease communities.

In March this year, Ingenia announced it was fast-tracking the rollout of its The Boulevard collection of homes at its Ingenia Lifestyle Bethania village south of Brisbane. A selection of these Boulevard homes offer RV and caravan spaces with the garage.

Ingenia Lifestyle Bethania project sales manager Wendy Hobson said The Boulevard collection was perfect for those looking to travel and had multiple features to support a lock-up-and-leave lifestyle.

“The homes require very little maintenance and there is always someone to keep an eye on the property – our residents can just pack a bag and go – without having to worry about their home,” Ms Hobson said.

Meanwhile, Halcyon says its new RV Home Designs have been very popular since being unveiled at Halcyon Lakeside (on the Sunshine Coast) late last year.

Halcyon Lakeside project director Chris Carley said the new home designs were introduced after Halcyon identified that more than a third of home owners at the $140 million community owned a caravan or motorhome.

“There’s already a dedicated caravan and motorhome storage area at Halcyon Lakeside, but we realised there are home owners who want to keep their recreational vehicle even closer to home,” Mr Carley said.

“This innovative home design gives them the option of living under the same roof as their recreational vehicle, allowing easier access and greater convenience.”

Among the purchasers drawn to the traveller-friendly home and lifestyle were Geoff and Lynn Ellis who have been caravaning for more than 20 years.

“We have a 22-foot caravan which has become very important to both of us, but my husband in particular,” Mrs Ellis said.

“Being such a prized possession we’ve always had it garaged out of the weather and to have that extra sense of security knowing it’s under the same roof also gives us peace of mind.

“It’s also great to know that when we take our trips and go away, we can close the door and enjoy ourselves knowing the community is gated and our home will be safe.”

The RV Homes are part of Halcyon Lakeside’s Elevation range and are sized from 185sqm to over 300sqm, offering the largest homes Halcyon has delivered to date.

Priced from $598,000, each home at Halcyon Lakeside comes standard with high-end luxury finishes, quality AEG appliances, solar panels and ducted air-conditioning throughout.

New RV Home offering at Halcyon Lakeside
 

By Mark Skelsey, News Editor at Downsizing.com.au, contact Mark at news@downsizing.com.au

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