We’ve spoken to two couples - one from NSW and the other from Queensland - who’ve sold their home in the current strong property market so they can move into an over 50s community.

Both couples have spoken about how they were able to easily sell their houses, along with pocket extra cash to help top-up their retirement funds, thanks to the current market.

Andre and Denise Helleman

For NSW Central Coast couple Andre and Denise Helleman, the current hot property market has been a welcome event which has helped them secure their retirement future.

It’s all part of 65-year-old Denise’s wellness journey to a healthier lifestyle.

Andre and Denise Helleman outside their now sold home 
at Tumbi Umbi on the NSW Central Coast

“Denise has been through a couple of heart operations and suffered two strokes with the last just over a month ago," says Andre, a retired IT consultant. 

“It was a case of enough is enough. Her doctors advised her against returning to work and so we started looking for a retirement village with the sort of facilities that would allow her to follow a new health regime.”

The Tumbi Umbi couple found a new home in Palm Lake Resort Tea Gardens - a development on the Mid North Coast of NSW - and then spent the next few weeks getting their own home ready for sale. 

Even before their first open house, they had three contracts issued.

“We expected a quick sale and that’s exactly what happened a fortnight ago,” says Andre, 68. 

“There were around 28 people walking through on that first open day.  Two days later we had six offers and accepted one of them, so we expect to be in Tea Gardens on April 30. “

The couple, who own the property outright, set the sale price for $1.2 million but in the end received an additional $60,000 on top of this.

“We did it the right way,” says Andre. “We sold at a high price and we’re moving to Tea Gardens at a lower price."

Along with her long service leave and other entitlements, the sale will allow Denise to retire early from her government job and now focus on lowering her stress levels.

The Helleman's luxurious ranch style property in Tumbi Umbi, which Andre helped to build himself,  has served their family well. 

They have four children and nine grandchildren with another one ``on the way in the next couple of weeks”. They officially became empty nesters three years ago.

“Although that’s not quite right,” says Andre, “we do have a couple of cats and they own the joint.”

While Denise’s health was the key motivation for downsizing along with no longer having to worry about the  upkeep on a big house, it was also about embracing a slower way of life.

“It’s all about a return to the country style of living because Tea Gardens is today what the Gosford area was in 1980 before it became a satellite suburb of Sydney,”  says Andre.

“We’re looking forward to the sense of community and knowing that everything we need is right at hand. Downsizing will give us a renewed sense of freedom.”

At Tea Gardens, the couple will enjoy facilities including a theatre and a bowling alley along with the tennis courts, swimming pools and more.

Penny and John Hill

Penny and John Hill had been thinking about downsizing and put their two-storey, four-bedroom home of 26 years in MacKenzie, a southern Brisbane suburb, onto the market earlier this year, asking for expressions of interest.

“We were among the first people to experience this housing boom. We had a queue of people down the road wanting to inspect the home, which is unprecedented,” Penny said.

“We had nine offers and the house was sold within five days.”

Later this year, after some travel, the couple will be moving into a newly-built home at Halcyon Greens in Pimpama on the northern Gold Coast. 

They liked the idea of community living, the ‘lock and go’ lifestyle and not having to worry about maintaining their large family home. The couple were also impressed with the facilities and the fact the homes have a front yard and garden.

The couple were able to achieve a sale result around $100,000 above what they expected.

This means they will be able to place some savings into their superannuation fund, using the Australian Government’s downsizer superannuation scheme.

Penny said she and her husband had been looking to move into a retirement community for around a year, and decided in January to take advantage of the strong property market.

Comment from our CEO

Downsizing.com.au CEO Amanda Graham said: “This is a great time to downsize - you can secure your financial future and attain a new home in a dream lifestyle location all at the same time, to better suit your new stage of life."

Find out more

Downsizing.com.au has Australia’s best range of retirement and downsizing-friendly property - start your search here

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