Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

Locals have been strongly advised to start planning for their transition to retirement, with waiting lists now common at retirement homes. 

The advice was given as part of an information night run by The Professionals Armidale on Thursday night at the Armidale Golf Club. Around 50 people attended the free information night on  downsizing or upsizing to ‘find your perfect fit’. The evening brought together APJ Law. Roberts + Morrow, Armidale Home Loans, and retirement home operators Oaktree and Newling Gardens, along with The Professionals own expertise, and focused on the two opposite ends of home ownership: first home buyers, and those downsizing in retirement. 

Sue Nelson from Newling Gardens, a retirement village of 79 pet-friendly villas in Taylor Street Armidale run by Retire Australia, thanked The Professionals team for putting on the event.

“This is a great event to be able to give the community knowledge to make really good informed decisions,” Ms Nelson said. 

The easy-living of retirement villages as well as the care, support and security that is on offer were all noted as reasons to choose a retirement village, but better health is something to consider too. 

“20 per cent of people in retirement villages were not hospitalised after nine months of living in the village, because they are moving to a healthy life,” Ms Nelson said. 

However, because of the boom in demand for retirement living as the Baby Boomer generation starts to retire, there is now a waiting list for most retirement homes. 

“It used to be the case that if a villa came up, it would be used as a display for a while – not any more. 

“If there’s one bit of advice I can give you, it’s get on the waiting list.”

“We have people on the list for 4 years, 5 years, planning. They may not ever come in [to live in the retirement village], but they’ve got a plan,” she said.

“Please, go see The Professionals, get your house valued, get an appraisal done, and get yourself a plan.”

The evening’s speakers were very candid about costs, fees, and the nuts and bolts of how to make the best decisions when changing homes. Respected local mortgage broker Mark Harris explained that he has a panel of 40 lenders he can secure a home loan from, but all of them have the same criteria. 

“They all have two main considerations: you’ve got to have the income, and you’ve got to have the deposit.

Not all home loans are the same, however, and Mr Harris said it is now unusual to get a home loan from the bank you currently bank with. 

“Seventy percent of all home loans in Australia are done through a mortgage brokers,” Mr Harris said. 

“We can do all the work for you and you don’t even have to pay us. It makes things so much simpler.”

Kyle Garrahy from The Professionals wrapped up the night with information on the current market conditions, and encouraging people to upsize in a falling market, and downsize in a rising market. 

“Supply versus demand dictates the market,” he said. 

Mr Garrahy predicts that the market will stay high for some time, with high construction costs and lack of trades making it hard to get extra supply into the market in order to ease the current national vacancy rate of 0.7%

“All the factors point to no improvement in the housing shortage, which will keep the supply low and drive prices higher,” he said.

“Especially if interest rates drop off.

Ben Saxby, Director of The Professionals Armidale, said Thursday’s information night was just the first of a series of planned activities to give back to the community, building on the agency’s philosophy of ‘do more, be more, help more’.

Top image: Caroline from Oaktree presenting at the ‘Finding your perfect fit’ information night (Supplied: Ben Abbott)

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