A spacious and light-filled apartment - with a view into the treetops - has helped deliver the perfect retirement lifestyle for Joy and Greg Newling.
Eighteen months ago, Joy and Greg made the decision to downsize into a newly-built retirement village apartment at Uniting Bowden Brae.
Apart from freeing up some capital for retirement, the couple also wanted to continue to live within northern Sydney and be able to entertain friends on a large balcony.
The Uniting Bowden Brae project at Normanhurst caught their eye.
They were shown through a three bedroom plus two bathroom apartment with generous ceiling heights and large living spaces.
The couple particularly loved the view through the huge windows into the treetops of the project’s green space.
Soon after, Joy and Greg, who are in their 70s, moved in.
“The move out of our old home in Wahroonga also meant we could sell the lawn mower for good, which I loved,” Greg said. “And the best thing is that we still have our independence, while enjoying strong community connections and support here.”
Additional homes under construction at Uniting Bowden Brae
Joy and Greg bought into the first stage of Uniting Bowden Brae. All 39 apartments in this stage have already been built, with only two remaining for sale.
In addition, expressions of interest are now open for a further 101 apartments, which feature either two, two plus study or three bedrooms. These apartments, along with the project’s community facilities, are expected to be complete by mid-2021.
Like the apartment purchased by the Newlings, these stage two apartments seek to provide generous living spaces, a flowing layout and high-quality finishes and appliances, including stone benchtops and a ceramic cooktop.
Full-height glazed doors and windows are designed to bathe the homes in natural light, while the open plan living area and apartment courtyards and balconies will make it easy to entertain.
Importantly, the apartments and the Uniting Bowden Brae project also include a range of features which will allow future residents to age-in-place.
The apartments themselves will be constructed to be easily accessible by people with mobility limitations. For instance, the bathrooms will include zero-threshold shower recesses and a towel rack which doubles as a strong grab rail.
A range of Uniting assisted living and home care services will be available to residents, including personal care, cleaning, gardening, transport and meal preparation.
Uniting will also be able to help manage any clinical services residents may need, including nursing and allied health support.
Finally, the new retirement village apartments will be located alongside an existing Uniting residential aged care facility, allowing apartment residents to move into this facility if their care needs change.
Extensive community facilities allow residents to enjoy the great outdoors
Meanwhile, the project’s extensive community facilities have been planned to encourage friendly interaction and healthy living.
These facilities will include a café, gymnasium, indoor pool, library, consulting rooms, clubroom and communal dining and lounge areas.
Residents will also be able to enjoy the project’s ‘Village Green’, a large landscaped area designed to link the apartments and community facilities and encourage community connection.
Across the 1.38 hectare site, landscaped gardens will blend well-established trees with new plantings to provide a leafy canopy of shade. Residents can take full advantage of these shared spaces, without needing to maintain them.
Two major hospitals are a stone’s throw from Uniting Bowden Brae, and there’s a large major supermarket just a 10 minute drive in either direction. Buses pass the village, and the railway station is less than a 10 minute walk away.
The nearby suburb of Wahroonga boasts coffee shops and eateries, and all the essential services, such as banks, a post office and a railway station.
Newlings look forward to more neighbours
Joy and Greg Newling say they are looking forward to welcoming more residents into the Uniting Bowden Brae family.
“We’ve met some fantastic neighbours here who share similar interests of ours, it’s really expanded our friendship circle in life moving here,” Greg says.
The couple have always been active members of their local community, sitting on numerous committees over the years, and have already gained many friends at Uniting Bowden Brae.
Joy didn’t hesitate to put up her hand to host a thank you party when she stepped down as President of her local Rotary Club last year.
More than 20 friends gathered in the living room of her new apartment to celebrate the occasion.
“We opened up the big glass sliding doors onto the balcony so our friends could spill into our outdoor space,” Joy said. “We had people standing around here with drinks and finger food, it was great.”
Making their own lifestyle decisions was important to the couple.
Once they moved in, their son and daughter agreed that Joy and Greg had done the hard yards by taking matters into their own hands.
“In some ways we felt too young for retirement living, but we also knew the time was right,” Greg said.
“We had to make all the decisions on living arrangements for three of our parents, which wasn’t easy. The experience made us determined to make our own decisions that worked for us, and save our family from having to make those decisions.”
Not one to rush their decision, they compared Uniting Bowden Brae with other properties on the market, including attending open homes, reading brochures and visiting other independent living villages.
However, nothing compared to Uniting Bowden Brae, so they signed on the dotted line.
The fact that the complex was run by Uniting sealed the deal. “We liked the attitude and knowledge of the sales staff that we met,” Greg said.
Joy and Greg also take comfort in the fact that there’s a residential aged care facility on-site should they need it down the track.
“Accessing this will be far easier from here than a private residence should the day come that we need it,” Greg said.
With 100 years of experience providing accommodation and care for older Australians, you’re in expert hands with Uniting. For more information about the Uniting Bowden Brae, including to book a tour of our display apartment, please click here.
(Please note that a departure fee will apply when you leave the village)