Ample living space and privacy, in an established community with a convenient location. Quality facilities, friendly neighbours and support that’s easily available if you need it later in life. These are the lifestyle must-haves of any retirement community – and 60-pluses are finding them at The Orchards Templestowe.
The Orchards, located in the well-established Melbourne suburb of Doncaster East, is one of those rare retirement living communities that really does tick all the boxes. In fact, it’s so good that even over-60s who insisted they’d never consider a retirement community have moved in!
When Peter, 68, and Lyn Lobo, 66, decided to downsize from their family home, they focused their search on smaller properties in the residential property market. But after a friend moved into a retirement community and had a good experience, the Lobos widened their search to include retirement living communities.
And from the moment they set foot in one of The Orchards’ new-build apartments, Peter and Lyn knew they had found the perfect home for the next stage of their lives.
“The furnishings, the fixtures, the facilities, the staff – there was nothing about The Orchards that didn’t tick the box for us,” Peter says.
Peter and Lyn are now knee-deep in the downsizing process, ahead of the move into their new home in a few months. But the opportunity to join them in a retirement living community with everything to offer is limited – only a few apartments, ready to move into today, are still available so you should act fast.
The Orchards is also building 52 beautiful new villas that are available off-the-plan, but with 25 per cent already sold in two months, you’ll also need to get in quick or miss out on one of Victoria’s most sought-after retirement communities!
The Orchards offers an outstanding retirement lifestyle in the heart of East Melbourne, surrounded by major parks and bushland with walking trails, as well as extensive retail offerings, essential services and entertainment. And that’s before you step inside the community itself!
What greets you at the entrance is nothing short of fabulous. A leafy, relaxed and peaceful place to call home, no detail has been spared at The Orchards to ensure a high-end experience, from its polished community facilities to the finishing touches on individual dwellings.
“Once we decided on retirement living, we looked at quite a few communities and made a lot of enquiries, but after our first interaction with The Orchards’ sales manager, Petroula Paraskevas, we were impressed,” Lyn says. “She took us to view a three-bedroom apartment and we just walked in and it was like, wow, this is beautiful, we just fell in love.”
“We just knew we were home,” Peter agrees.
Peter was particularly sold on the size and layout of the apartment, having viewed apartments at other retirement living communities that were nicely finished but too small. And he was happy to compromise on his desire for a small garden – particularly when he saw the chance to still have a study in his new home.
“We did want three bedrooms, and the main reason for that was I still read a lot and I still have a study, even though I’ve given away all my textbooks,” he says. “I thought having a small garden and keeping it up-to-date and nice would’ve been a big plus but having said that, after we saw the apartment and the opportunities, I thought, I can have a few pot plants on the balcony and I’ll be happy just watering it.”
Peter and Lyn’s home is a stylish, modern and very spacious apartment with quality finishes and European appliances throughout. Family-house staples such as a walk-in wardrobe in the main bedroom, a separate laundry, plenty of built-in storage space and sliding doors to the balcony add to the feeling of it being a real home.
“We also wanted a room where our children and our grandchildren could visit us and this gives us ample space for that,” Peter adds.
This, coupled with recent upgrades to The Orchards’ community facilities, which includes a classy club lounge, hair salon, residents’ bar, restaurant, state-of-the-art indoor swimming pool and gym, make it easy to see why Peter and Lyn have chosen to call The Orchards home.
“I’ve always had a gym room in my house and now I’ve given all the gym equipment away ahead of our move, so I’ll definitely use the gym, the pool and, of course, the library,” Peter says.
Lyn says that even though she and Peter are younger than some residents already living at The Orchards, she believes they’ve made the right decision for their future.
“COVID-19 forced us to re-evaluate our living situation and we realised that we just couldn’t manage our big house and garden anymore,” she says. “We knew we wanted to continue living our normal everyday lifestyle, but with added security, new people to meet and plenty of things to do.”
With a lively social calendar already in place (cinema nights and happy hours are just some of the get togethers residents can take advantage of), plus organised activities ranging from mindful meditation sessions to aerobics for beginners, and outdoor areas designed for family barbecues, there’s certainly no shortage of things to do at The Orchards!
Peter admits Lyn is the social butterfly of their pair, while he’s a quieter type, but one that’s always ready to give back to a community. And the fact that they’re moving into a community filled with people who’ve made similar lifestyle decisions means there’s a feeling of ‘fitting in’ even before moving in, he points out.
“We’re basically all kindred souls because at this stage of life, everyone at The Orchards has made a decision not to have a four-car garage and a huge house because it just doesn’t make any sense anymore,” Peter explains. “If we are like-minded people, I think we’ll have no problems meeting people and making friends.
What also convinced Peter and Lyn to purchase their apartment was the care and professionalism displayed by The Orchards’ team.
“Other communities took a long time to respond to our enquiry, some we still haven’t heard back from!” Peter says. “But from the start Petroula was so accommodating and welcoming, and her communication was excellent. We instantly felt like we were part of the community.”
The Orchards’ on-site residential aged care facility was another big drawcard for Peter and Lyn. Although aged care isn’t part of their immediate future – they’re thinking more about the fun of a lock-up-and-leave lifestyle right now – the couple knew that planning ahead was important.
“If one of us got sick or needed more support, The Orchards’ staff will ensure we’re looked after within our own apartment for as long as possible, but then eventually when we need to go into aged care, we can do that without having to move away from the village,” Peter says. “It’s a huge relief to know that Lyn and I will always be cared for.”
The Orchards is owned and operated by Baptcare, a not-for-profit organisation that’s one of Victoria’s most trusted retirement living and aged care providers.
The Orchards’ independent-living villas and apartments even come with the security of a 24-hour emergency call system, plus the options of having nutritious meals delivered and domestic services such as cleaning and laundry done. And the community facilities provide rooms for healthcare practitioners who visit The Orchards regularly and are available for consultations.
Peter says the boutique size of The Orchards added to the sense of security and community support. “It’s a community we could go into and probably get to know most people around us,” he says, comparing The Orchards to the higher-density retirement communities the couple viewed.
With their move to The Orchards coming up, the Lobos are remarkably calm about leaving their family home in a nearby suburb; they’ve given their large pieces of furniture to their adult children and appreciate the way sales manager Petroula and her colleagues have eased the moving process for them, by providing secure storage space ahead of the moving date and ensuring the couple have exclusive use of one of the building’s elevators on the day itself.
“They’ve made it really easy for us by telling us what we can do ahead of time“, Peter says. “Again, that just shows the way they run the place, and that’s really important to me.”
If bespoke service, beautiful dwellings and a vibrant community – as well as the peace of mind offered by on-site residential aged care – are important to you, as they are to the Lobos, make sure you go to The Orchards’ website and book an appointment to inspect a property as soon as possible. Because with testimonials like that of Peter and Lyn’s, those new villas won’t be on the market for long!
A small number of beautiful retirement apartments are available to move into now, with villas under construction and available off the plan selling fast. Book your appointment today.