Brian and Lyn admit that their move into Murray Halberg Retirement Village in Lynfield was very convenient.
“Our address basically changed from 10 Commodore Drive to 11,” laughs Brian.
The timing worked out very well too.
“Health issues were starting to get the better of us. Then we heard that the farm across the road had been sold to Ryman Healthcare, so we came over, saw Taryn the Sales Advisor, and we bought on the spot!” says Lyn.
While there was some anticipation about what to expect having bought the apartment off the plans, the couple says they adapted immediately.
“We wondered how we would feel moving out of our home into new digs. But the day after, we drove past the old house – and that’s what it was – the old house,” says Brian.
“This was home,” agrees Lyn.
Brian says it also solved the problem of what to do with his rather large model railroad, which ran through a good portion of the downstairs section of the old house.
The couple were in the fortunate position to be able to keep the house and rent out the top floor while maintaining access to the downstairs.
“The railroad was too large to move, and it was set to stay there for life,” says Brian.
The space has also become a display area for his latest passion – Lego!
Brian has spent countless hours building some of Lego’s biggest sets, including the Millennium Falcon, Taj Mahal and his latest project, the Titanic.
“Peter Pan is alive and well,” he quips.
His Lego models have now become a bit of a regular feature in the reception area and one corner of the village lounge too, with visiting grandchildren getting a kick out guessing what Brian will come up with next.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that the couple spend all their time indoors building Lego.
“It’s great. We have regular weekly meetings and happy hour, or sometimes we arrange our own with some neighbours in our block or the block next door.
“The positives of living here, along with the feeling of security, is you’ve got the company of all the residents. You’re never alone,” says Lyn.
“We used to live on the corner of a busy road, and we didn’t really know our neighbours. Here, you have got the whole village.”
Brian adds: “We can be as sociable as we like. We’re on the ground floor and we get a lot of passing foot traffic, so we certainly don’t feel alone and that’s helped us to get to know probably half the villagers.”
“It’s a great place to be,” says Lyn.
The other benefits they enjoy about the village lifestyle include no more home maintenance, a lovely garden which they don’t have to look after and being just as close to all the familiar places they’ve known for the past 30 or so years.
Their advice to others thinking about it?
“Do your homework,” says Lyn. “Look at other villages and what they offer, and you will find Ryman comes out on top.”
Brian nods in agreement: “Do it sooner rather than later. We probably should have moved three years earlier when our health was a bit better – so don’t leave it too late.”
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