5 Reasons why a land lease community could be perfect for you | MHIA Insurance
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5 Reasons why a land lease community could be perfect for you

Thinking of downsizing your home and upsizing your lifestyle? Here are 5 reasons why a land lease community might be the best solution to suit your budget and your quality of life.

4 minute read

Thinking of moving into a land lease community? We look at everything from finances to lifestyle to help you decide if it’s right for you.

Are you one of the 55 percent of older (aged 55+) Australians who’ve either downsized or are considering downsizing? Then you already know there’s more to think about than how you’re going to fit all your belongings into your new abode. For many, the decision is about lifestyle and remaining a social part of your local community. For others, downsizing is more about freeing up capital to fund their retirement.

Whatever your reasons, a land lease community could be a perfect match.

What’s a land lease community?

Land lease communities are an increasingly popular choice for older Australians looking to downsize in retirement. The NSW Fair Trading website tells us a land lease community is when:

‘you own the home but lease the land where the home sits from the community operator. You pay rent for the right to occupy the site with a manufactured home or a moveable dwelling. Even when a community has a rule that residents must be over a certain age to live there, it is not a retirement village.’

With approximately 34,000 people in NSW calling the 500 or so land lease communities home, they must be doing something right.

Why do older Australians downsize?

In February, 2020, The Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) released a report, Effective downsizing options for older Australians, examining ‘the extent to which downsizing forms part of older Australians’ housing preferences, as well as the availability of downsize housing options.’ They found:

‘Older Australians who had downsized did so to achieve a particular lifestyle (27%); for financial outcomes (27%); because their garden or property required too much maintenance (18%); or because they were forced to do so (15%).

Perceived benefits of downsizing for those who had not yet downsized included a reduction in property maintenance and household running costs.’

The report also notes the mobility of downsizers, with only 22 percent remaining in their original neighbourhood.

Considering that, here’s five reasons a land lease community could be the perfect place for you to retire.

1. Connection

As we age, it’s easy to become disconnected from those around us. Kids grow up, move out of home and begin their own lives. Your work situation changes and you start to lose contact with work colleagues. Friends and neighbours relocate (or downsize themselves) and, despite our best intentions, some connections are lost.

When you move into a development built specifically with a certain segment of the community in mind, socialising, connections and friendship will soon follow.

2. An affordable living option

It’s no secret housing affordability is a major issue in Australia right now. Gone are the days when most people owned their own home by the time they were 55 and well before retirement. Not to mention, as Gen Xer’s head towards retirement age, only a little over half (55 percent) actually expect to be able to retire. If you don’t own your home outright by the time you’re ready to retire, you may find yourself in a financial pickle.

Rather than live in a big home with spare bedrooms, why not consider downsizing? You have the opportunity to own your home and can use any extra money to fund a more comfortable retirement than you might have otherwise been expecting.

3. Fees, charges and costs

Speaking of extra funds, when you buy into a land lease community, you won’t be burdened with the following costs:

Entrance and exit fees – most land lease communities won’t charge and entrance or exit fee (unlike retirement villages).

Stamp duty - every home buyers cringes at the memory of hefty stamp duty changes so, you’ll be pleased to know buying a home in a land lease community.

Council rates - you don’t own the land so you don’t have to pay council rates.

4. Less maintenance

Keeping up the maintenance of a big home and yard becomes more difficult as we get older. Even for the most house proud or green-thumbed among us, all those little jobs we once enjoyed may suddenly feel like a burden. Moving into a small home cuts down the household chores, leaving more time to relax and enjoy life.

5. Lifestyle

Imagine living in a community where an active social calendar was just part of your new day to day reality. Walking groups, reading groups, craft groups. Perhaps a clubhouse and swimming pool, for Sunday afternoon drinks. And what pool is complete without a BBQ area?

Or perhaps you just want to kick back and read your favourite novels (again). Or laze around in the sunshine, doing not-very-much-at-all after a lifetime of work.

You can choose to be as active and involved or as laid back as you wish.

Whatever your reasons for choosing to move into a land lease community, MHIA have got the perfect insurance package for you. With 30 years’ experience, we know a thing or two about insurance, giving you the peace of mind to enjoy your vibrant lifestyle.

For more information on our policies, contact us by phone, email or Facebook.