Residents often leave behind a home they’ve lived in for over 30 years when they move into retirement villages Weary Dunlop and Nellie Melba.
Ray White Real Estate Area Manager Michelle Huang has worked in Wheelers Hill for over 15 years and says she’s “met so many future Ryman residents who have lived in their family home for three or four decades, never wanting to move from the area”.
“They all tell me one of the main reasons they chose to live in a Ryman village is the sense of community. They love the idea of enjoying retirement with some familiar faces and others of the same age.”
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Creating retirement villages in areas that people want to live in is at the heart of Ryman’s ‘It’s got to be good enough for Mum and Dad’ founding philosophy. Founders Kevin Hickman and John Ryder believed older members of the community shouldn’t have to leave their neighbourhood to access aged care.
In her role, Michelle helps locals sell their homes and move into the next chapter of their lives. Every day she sees the impact Ryman retirement villages have on the community and says it goes beyond providing aged care.
“As well as caring for our elderly, the villages also help free up local houses and land for younger generations," she said.
“Weary Dunlop and Nellie Melba are in desirable locations, which means residents get to stay close to their family, friends and social networks, and their former homes are always going to be attractive to local families and first-home buyers.
“Having well-located retirement villages benefits everyone in our community. It’s amazing to see houses getting a new lease of life and dream homes being built after a future Ryman resident decides it’s time to sell."
One thing that surprises Michelle is how few people start planning for the move early. She estimates it often takes two to three years to successfully transition to a retirement village.
“Moving from a home you’ve lived in your whole life can be daunting,” she said.
“I always recommend people start by getting a valuation with an experienced local real estate agent, so they know how much they can spend on their future and what they need to do to get there.”
Planning for the future can be a family affair and Michelle often works closely with the children of ageing parents.
“For a lot of people, it’s really important that their kids support their next move and are close enough to visit regularly. For the children, finding a village with a high quality of care is about having peace of mind," she said.
“That’s why we say start planning early – you’ve got to get the tick of approval from the whole gang!”
Although she works with a variety of local and new residents in Wheeler’s Hill, Michelle says she particularly enjoys helping people transition into a retirement village.
“I get to create relationships with people who have lived in this area for decades, learn about their lives and support them in making important decisions. I feel very lucky,” she said.