With Linda Wilson (Karaka Lifestyle Estate)

linda-wilson-karaka-lifestyle-estate-1aConstruction on new retirement village, Karaka Lifestyle Estate on 10.5 hectares of rural land in southern Auckland is in full swing. We asked Linda Wilson about this new upmarket development which has a significant point of difference from many similar resort style properties.

Tell us about the vision for Karaka Lifestyle Estate

Our vision is to create an environment of relaxed liveability, with spacious homes where residents’ concerns are looked after for them. Financially they’ll be better off with our “Next Generation Village” system. Our aim is to provide them with more time and financial freedom, the latter through providing choices regarding the level of return and fees.

In addition, residents receive any capital gain from the sale of their units. If a unit goes up in value then the resident, not the village operator, reaps the benefit. When it comes to freedom of time, the team at Karaka Lifestyle Estate focuses on removing problems of home ownership leaving its residents time to enjoy life, take part in the community groups and activities and use the great facilities on offer.

Residents will purchase a ‘licence to occupy’ but Karaka Lifestyle Estate also offers a considerable financial advantage to residents – can you explain that to us?

Our residents will have an Occupation Right Agreement or “ORA”. What is different about our system is that our residents are able to choose from three options, the level of fees and whether they want to pay this when they move in or when they sell. They also receive any capital gain from the sale of their unit. This is one of the biggest differences we have from other villages.
Are there any other points of difference?

A key point of difference is that the village enjoys a lovely waterside location with a beautiful old-world Country Club which oozes character and a luxurious feel. We pride ourselves on providing a supportive, warm and welcoming environment for our residents. We offer a supportive but fun environment, and our onsite manager will ensure there are regular events and activities for everyone. Because we are building these homes now, new residents can choose where they want to be living within the village (subject to availability).

What type of accommodation will the estate offer – apartments, units, villas, individual rooms?

We have a great range of two and three-bedroom apartments, duplex & stand-alone homes from which to choose. We are currently selling homes within Stage 1 where a limited number of each of these types of units are still available. Designs and plans for each of these can be viewed on our website, and in the sales office, which is where I’m based Monday to Friday and on weekends by appointment. Appointments can be made by calling me directly, through email, our website or on our Karaka Lifestyle Estate Facebook page.

People often work well beyond the accepted retirement age of 65 – will that be possible for residents at Karaka Lifestyle Estate?

Yes, of course. Our residents can work for as long as they like or they can retire early if they so wish. They are fully independent when living here, so we want them to be able to make their own life choices.

At what age will people be able to buy a unit at the estate?

Our village is for people 65 years and over, however, we know that in some cases there may be couples where one spouse isn’t yet 65. In this case, we are happy to make an exception. But at any age, visitors are welcome to come in and discuss their ideal plans for future retirement and learn more about what we offer. We want to be able to fit in with residents to ensure retirement life at Karaka Lifestyle Estate is enjoyable every day.

linda-wilson-karaka-lifestyle-estate-3aWhat type of communal facilities will the new complex have?

Initially, we have our stunning clubhouse and an in-ground swimming pool. Our first residents, who will move in from December 2019, will be able to enjoy refreshments in the clubhouse, outdoor dining overlooking the estuary, pétanque, a TV and games room, mobile hair and beauty services, a library and the new coastal walkway being developed as part of the Auranga site. I will also host Christmas lunch at the clubhouse for residents who have moved in or will be moving in. Further into the development, the village and clubhouse will expand significantly. We plan to have a bowling green, heated indoor pool and spa, a gymnasium, full restaurant with commercial kitchen and bar, billiards room, a wellness centre, a salon for hair, beauty & massage treatments, hobby and activity rooms and a theatre.

Will you have a hospital unit?

Through the planning stages we identified an opportunity for a hospital and aged care facility within the immediate vicinity of the village. We have a section of land which has been earmarked for the aged care facility which will be owned and managed by a professional company specialising in this sector. We are unsure as to who the provider will be at present, but we’re in the process of having discussions about this to ensure there will be options available for residents i.e. rest home and a private hospital with government funded assistance if our residents qualify. In terms of when this will be available, we think approximately 2-4 years, but residents and potential residents will be kept well informed as the village progresses.

Will the estate offer a programme of activities? If so, what do you envisage this will include?

Initially, many internal activities will be determined by residents as they get to know each other and what appeals to them. It may be card games, craft days, walking groups, aquarobics or yoga. But as the village grows, so will the demand and this will allow us to determine which activities are most popular and which days to run them.

What about social life outside the village – will you organise outings?

Yes, absolutely! We are lucky enough that Franklin district has several locations for a range of activities and many events to offer. Living locally, makes it a lot easier for me to be able to plan events, activities and outings which will be enjoyable for our residents, and will support local businesses. Of course, events will vary according to demand, so at first outings will most likely consist of the lunches at local restaurants, interaction with local clubs such as golf, food and wine, bridge, theatre clubs, Franklin Club & Franklin RSA. But, once our residency numbers increase, then we will look to provide trips to malls, botanical gardens, concerts and shows etc. I’d also like to see local schools and entertainers come to the village to entertain our residents from time to time; that’s enjoyable for everyone involved.

Will residents be able to live independent lives with the liberty to come and go as they please?

Our residents have the right to absolutely live independently in their homes. The only thing we ask, is if a resident is going away for a period of time, that the manager is notified to ensure we can monitor their home during that time.

When do you expect Karaka Lifestyle Estate to be fully completed?

It’s not always easy to give an exact answer when dealing with such a project but as a guide, we aim to have Stage 1 complete by the end of 2020, Stage 2 around 2022 and Stage 3, in 2025. At completion, we will have 310 homes in our village and a number of additional facilities. For me personally, I’m excited to be here to see everything from the start and to share this journey with residents. Karaka Lifestyle Estate is a village which will ensure residents enjoy a relaxed and comfortable lifestyle with beautiful surroundings in a place they can feel safe and cared for every day.