Frequently asked questions
About retirement living
What are the benefits of living in a retirement village? Deciding to live in a retirement village is more than a real estate purchase. It’s a choice that’s about being part of a vibrant community, where people of similar ages and interests enjoy a fulfilling and diverse lifestyle. Residents experience independence and comfort, with lasting social connections all delivered around a range of facilities and services that have been designed with you and your needs in mind. Our community has a dedicated management team to support your needs via a range of services. Retirement communities are increasingly popular with people as they move into retirement. Today, according to the Property Council of Australia, more than 180,000 Australians enjoy living in a retirement village like The Orchards Templestowe.
Is a retirement village for me? The only requirement to live in a retirement village like The Orchards is that residents are over the age of 55. You don’t have to be retired; in fact, some residents continue to work part time, and in some cases, full time. While most retirement villages offer a range of activities and social events, you’re free to choose to participate as much or as little as you like. It’s important that you find a retirement village that’s the right fit for you.
Is there any government legislation to protect the rights of retirement village residents? Retirement villages in Victoria are sold and managed in accordance with the Retirement Villages Act 1986. This legislation provides security to all retirement village residents in Victoria ensuring their interests are fully protected. Key financial and facility information on retirement villages in Victoria is easily accessible and clearly detailed in a Factsheet that has been developed for operators by the Government to clearly outline the costs, processes, roles and obligations for all parties.
Where can I go for more helpful information on retirement villages?
Consumer Affairs Victoria
Seniors Online Victoria
Property Council of Australia – Retirement Living
Residents of Retirement Villages Victoria
About Baptcare’s The Orchards Templestowe
Who is Baptcare? Baptcare is a faith-based, not-for-profit organisation that cares for people of all ages, cultures, beliefs and circumstances. Its vision is for communities where every person is cherished. Baptcare was founded by a group of pioneering Baptist women; they raised funds to open Australia’s first Baptist nursing home in 1945. Today, Baptcare continues these values with a vision of providing caring communities for all, offering a broad range of services and programs from over 30 locations across Victoria and Tasmania, including over 1,469 aged care beds and 1700 home care packages. This makes it one of the largest providers of accommodation, care and community services in Victoria and Tasmania. To learn more about Baptcare, please visit baptcare.org.au
What has changed at the Orchards? The Orchards was opened in the 1980’s and has earned its standing as a quality choice for retirement living and as a welcoming and supportive community. More recently, Baptcare undertook a major expansion and transformation of this exceptional site to meet the expectations and future needs of families in the local community. In 2017, Baptcare was proud to open The Orchards Residential Aged Care facility, and now provides nursing-led, 24/7 aged care. This modern, purpose-built space is carefully designed to offer exceptional quality for residents in their later life. We are now launching the next stage of this redevelopment, with 33 stunning retirement living apartments available for discerning retirees. Residents will enjoy a brand new community centre and facilities including a restaurant and provedore, indoor pool and fully equipped gym, spacious club lounge, alfresco terrace and bar, beauty salon, consulting suites for visiting healthcare practitioners, and plenty of space for a range of activities.
How will I be charged for electricity? Electricity is charged on a usage basis only and monitored through individual meters. We are pleased to announce that Baptcare have established an Embedded Electricity Network (EEN) at The Orchards Templestowe. This means that through a bulk energy purchase arrangement with our chosen Embedded Network Service Provider, Momentum Energy, residents will have exclusive access to customised and competitive energy rates developed specifically for the community.
How do I set up my account? Please contact Momentum Energy on 1300 313 821 (Mon-Fri: 8am–6pm) to ensure your account is correctly set up.
What is an Embedded Electricity Network? An Embedded Electricity Network (EEN) is created by consolidating the energy supply of all of the occupants and common power into a single point of connection. This bulk supply arrangement allows supply of electricity at more competitive rates.
What is the ‘deferred payment’ or ‘departure fee’? The deferred payment or departure fee is calculated based on the purchase price of your apartment and applied on a pro rata basis when you leave. At The Orchards, the deferred payment or departure fee starts at 5% per annum during your first year of residence and is capped at 25% after your fifth year of residence. Unlike many other retirement communities, this is the only fee payable at the time of exit. The Orchards provides a 4 month guaranteed buyback to residents when they leave. Once the residence is vacated, The Orchards will pay your capital sum after four months, whether the apartment is sold or not.
What personal security does The Orchards offer? The Orchards is not a gated community as we believe that it is important to strike the right balance between active and passive security. Passive security is provided by the community itself, the fact that you are part of a community where neighbours, family and friends come and go—so there is a sense of a ‘neighbourhood watch’ at all times. Active security is provided by secure under-ground parking with direct lift access to your apartment floor and the 24-hour emergency call system within your home and shared spaces. Key entry points to the apartment building are also monitored via CCTV.
Purchasing your new apartment at The Orchards
What is involved in purchasing my apartment? The process of buying a new home can at times seem overwhelming. At The Orchards our aim is to help you at every step along the way. Our fully trained sales consultants are experts in their field and will work with you to ensure that the process of moving into your new apartment is one that is simple and worry-free. The five steps to becoming part of the community at The Orchards are:
- Visit The Orchards. It is important to visit the community, not only to inspect the apartment display suite, but also to get a feel of the village community. Our friendly sales consultants are happy to discuss the available apartments and can assist you in selecting one that is best suited to your lifestyle in terms of size, aspect and price. The Retirement Villages Act Disclosure Regulations require all operators to provide a ‘Factsheet’ containing prescribed general information about the retirement village to a prospective resident or their representative at the time the operator provides promotional material to that person and make certain documents available for inspection by a prospective resident or their representative within seven days of a request being made.
- Reserve your apartment. An initial fully refundable $5,000 reservation fee is payable to secure your preferred apartment. There is then a 21-day period to review the two contractual agreements you will be given under the Retirement Village Act 1986. The two documents are the Agreement to Lease, which confirms your intent to proceed at the time occupancy is available; and a Lease Agreement, which governs the terms of the lease and confirms your rights and entitlements. If you do not choose to proceed after this period, your reservation fee is fully refunded within 10 days. Provide a new form of Disclosure Statement to a resident at least 21-days before the resident enters into a resident contract. The 21-day cooling off period before contracts can be signed starts on the day you received these documents which is in accordance with the Retirement Villages Act, 1986.
- Seek advice on your decision. We encourage you to seek independent advice from your advisors (which may include your solicitor and/or accountant) before formalising the purchase of your apartment. It is important that you feel comfortable about the arrangements. It is a good idea to discuss your decision with friends and family, as well as your professional advisors.
- Execute the agreements. Sign and complete the Agreement to Lease and the Lease Agreement. You will also need to pay a 5% deposit of the purchase price of your apartment, from which your $5,000 reservation fee is deducted. There is a three day cooling off period at this point and your deposit will be refunded in full and agreements terminated if you decide not to proceed during this time.
- Move in. We will keep you up-to-date on the progress of your apartment during construction so that you can select the right time to sell your current home. The agreement will be settled when your apartment is ready for you to move in. The balance of the agreed sale price is payable on settlement, after which you can begin life in your new home and enjoy the lifestyle The Orchards has to offer.
Living at The Orchards
What shared spaces are available to enjoy? The residents at The Orchards community will enjoy a new community centre which is to be located on the ground and lower ground levels of the apartment building. The community centre boasts the following:
- Swimming pool
- Private dining room
- Hair salon
- Club lounge and bar
- Alfresco area
- Multipurpose room
- Consulting rooms
What activities are run for the residents? Whether it’s the regular get-togethers at the Community Centre or exercise classes in our wellness centre, there is something for everyone at The Orchards. From organised activities such as movie nights, concerts and regular guest speakers, to the informal get-togethers in the community spaces, you can choose to be as busy or free as you like. Our resident’s committee provide valuable input into all our organised activities. For those residents who want to enjoy the area that surrounds The Orchards, the community bus makes regular outings to shopping areas, restaurants or other destinations suggested by residents.
What else is there to do around The Orchards? As any of the locals will tell you, living in Melbourne’s well-established eastern suburbs offers the best of both worlds – it’s leafy, relaxed and peaceful, yet everything you need is within easy reach, and the city centre is just 20 minutes away. Part of settling happily into a new home is having access to familiar things that make life convenient and enjoyable. That’s why the location of The Orchards is so perfect. For shopping it’s handy to know that the vast Westfield Doncaster is close enough to be called ‘your local shops’. While The Pines shopping centre is only a short walk away too. You’ll also find the conveniently located bus service connecting to the greater Melbourne public transport network extremely handy.
Will Foxtel and internet services be available? Yes, all apartments are pre-wired and ready for Pay TV with broadband internet connections in the bedrooms and living rooms. Simply arrange for a new package or have your current package and contract transferred. The apartments have also been fitted for connection to a fibre linked network to ensure super fast broadband services. Additionally, The community centre offers ultra-fast wireless broadband internet, so you can stay connected whist enjoying the shared spaces. When is the village café open? The café is open to residents and guests on select days each week.
Can I have visitors, such as my grandchildren come and stay? Your apartment is your home and it is your choice who you invite to stay. You are welcome to bring your visitors to enjoy the all of the facilities. For longer term stays however, The Orchards does have restrictions to preserve the integrity of village life. Residents are encouraged to discuss their options with the Village Manager.
Support and care options at The Orchards
Is there an emergency call system? Yes. A trusted specialist service provider will be available to respond to calls from the emergency call system located in the apartments and throughout the community centre to ensure a positive outcome is achieved.
Can I get support and care if I need it? A range of services, such as assistance with showering and dressing, personal care, medication supervision, apartment cleaning and food preparation are available for a modest fee. If you would like any of these services, specialist Baptcare staff members are available to discuss your needs.
If in the future I need nursing care, can I be assured of a room in the onsite residential aged care? The Orchards offers the care and support you need often without you having to move from your apartment and community through home care packages. However, should you need higher levels of care we are able to assist in your transition from your apartment to our co-located aged care facility, on the proviso there are vacant suites available at that time.
Management at The Orchards
How is the village managed? The Orchards is managed in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Retirement Villages Act 1986. The Act prescribes the conditions of purchase and protects the rights of residents. Your on-site Community Manager is available weekdays at select times and is responsible for overall operations and day-to-day business matters. Specialist service providers and staff provide cleaning, maintenance, day-to-day operation of the gym, provedore, private dining, lounges, restaurant, hair salon and medical and allied health services.
What happens if I have issues with management? The Orchards has a complaints management policy, but most importantly, we have a complaint resolution process, which is intended to resolve any issues fairly. Residents are also fully protected by the complaints handling provisions of the Retirement Villages Act 1986. Residents are encouraged to communicate matters of concern with the Community Manager. Regular resident forums and an active Residents Committee are also avenues where you can raise any matters.
Who insures the village? Your apartment is fully protected under a comprehensive master insurance policy. This cost is included in the general service fee. Residents are encouraged to insure their personal contents under individual policies.
Fees and costs at The Orchards
Do I have to pay stamp duty when I purchase my new apartment? No. You will occupy your new home under a loan-license tenure, which means that there is no stamp duty on your new home. This could save you between $37,670 and $58,575 when you purchase at The Orchards when compared to making a conventional residential purchase.
What are the ongoing service fees and what do they include? There is a monthly service fee at Baptcare’s The Orchards that provides and maintains the wide range of facilities and services for residents to enjoy. The service fee is calculated based on the size of your home, please refer to our Facts Sheet. Your sales consultant is happy to provide you with the exact fee for the apartment you are interested in. The service fee covers the following services:
- Cleaning and maintenance of communal areas and facilities, including communal lawns and gardens
- Management and administration services
- Payment of all rates, taxes and charges for the communal areas and village facilities including for gas, water and electricity.
- Property and public liability insurance (excluding the contents of your apartment)
- Operation of 24-hour emergency call system
- Changing of residents’ light globes when needed
- Annual auditing of village accounts
- Employment of village management
- Washing of outside apartment windows annually
How are the service fees determined? Management determines the monthly service fee in consultation with the residents and in accordance with the Retirement Village Act 1986. Management is required by the Act to provide an audited statement of the current prescribed year’s expenses and a detailed budget of the forthcoming financial year, which is submitted at the AGM and to the residents for approval.