For the past 18 years Nita and I lived in a lovely home at Avoca Beach. As the years passed by, we found that the grandchildren became so involved in their sport and school activities, coming up and down the M1 became more of a challenge for all the family. We also found that although our lovely home at Avoca had served us well, the large garden became more of a challenge for us, so we realised it was time to start a search for a home closer to the family. They were very keen for us to do that, so we spent six months searching without success for a place we could call “home”.
One day our son Michael heard Alan Jones extolling the virtues of Cranbrook Residences on the radio. Our other two children quickly visited Cranbrook and they were sure that this was the place where Nita and I would like to live back in Sydney. We came and looked through the facilities and Apartments, met Julie, and once we experienced the peaceful surroundings of the Castle Hill Country Club Golf Course, which the Apartments look onto from spacious verandah’s and beautiful living areas, we were convinced that Cranbrook would be a wonderful home for us. The beauty of having a smaller community with only 50 Apartments spread over 5 buildings, is quite unique. Then came the challenge of selling, downsizing and moving.
We found Cranbrook so accommodating in terms of reserving an Apartment until our house sold. We were confident to move ahead with the sale of our home and the day we settled on our Avoca home we also settled on the Apartment at Cranbrook. We have found the community of residents so friendly, the staff so helpful, and the quality of the Apartment and facilities more than one could expect. In fact, everyone who visits loves the place, and we often have to say “once you are over 55 you can come here also”! But hurry!
It has been difficult to adapt to a smaller living area, having to part with all our “large” furniture – but Nita has delighted in being able to buy all the new furniture that fits so well! Leaving our friends of 18 years on the Central Coast has also been difficult, but we are so thankful for new friendship’s we are enjoying with the Cranbrook Family. We are so happy now to have such a wonderful place to call home, with beautiful gardens and facilities second to none we saw during our search. With no need to do any maintenance, and nearness to the family has made the decision to move back to Sydney the right one and Cranbrook the right place.
Each February I vowed I would look seriously for a place to spend my senior years in comfort: no sloping lawns to mow, no extensive timber decks to oil and less maintenance on a lovely home that was now too large for me. I searched for three months and at 75 decided to join an over-55s community. No stamp duty was an immediate bonus and then I factored in no council rates, no water bills and no maintenance costs in the 60-year lease.
At Cranbrook I found the outlook I had been seeking – rolling lawns and eucalypts courtesy of the Castle Hill Country Club, beautifully landscaped gardens and balconies large enough for my big citrus pots and herb garden. Cranbrook Residences’ central hub is the icing on the cake: a café with tea and coffee permanently on tap, a beautifully appointed library (with a fire in winter), small gym, theatrette and activity rooms for art, yoga, mah-jong, scrabble and flower arrangement classes – whatever residents wish to initiate or join. And I haven’t mentioned the Friday night monthly group barbecue or the weekly Friday night drinks (BYO).
For me, the discreet co-location within our gardens of the Bella Vista Nursing Home is re-assuring. Having helped my lovely mother through various levels of hostel and nursing home care in her final decade, I hope my family will be able to take up the offers of home and nursing care in situ for me when and as I need them. Downsizing and moving were a challenge but after three months in residence I am delighted to call Cranbrook home.
I was a Director of Sales Tax with the Australian Tax Office, Parramatta and Kaye had her own recruitment agency, also in Parramatta. We longed for retirement but apart from active involvement in the lives of our children and grandchildren, we hadn’t made firm plans on how to fill our days, apart from spending more time in our holiday house on the Central Coast.
A few years ago, some of our similarly aged friends began to downsize and explore suitable alternatives to rattling around in large spaces, once their adult children had moved on. We decided we no longer wanted to be responsible for lawns, maintenance and associated costs with remaining in a large, mostly unused accommodation and visited local retirement villages with a critical eye. When a couple of friends put deposits on Cranbrook, we made a visit and had an immediate change of heart, as Cranbrook was such an awesome surprise to us both.
The house was sold and we moved into a large apartment in Cranbrook Residences, overlooking Castle Hill Golf Club. The location, size, layout and view is impressive but, knowing this would be our last home Kaye wanted to put our stamp on it. We wanted our apartment to resonate with the rest of Cranbrook Residences, the cafe, library, movie cinema, gym, craft and games areas and become one with the gorgeous gardens throughout the village. We decided to sell or donate to family most of our furniture and decorate in a fashion taking into account both ambiance and practicality. With three bedrooms, a full laundry, two bathrooms and kitchen/living area, our apartment has provided us with the opportunity to showcase our style.
Our journey to Cranbrook Residences has expanded our life experiences. We thought we would enjoy more leisure time, but instead have made new friends and have added mah-jong and pilates to our other hobbies.
I am a retired Chartered Accountant and have been lucky enough to have travelled quite extensively in my various roles on National and International Committees. Sadly I lost my wife to cancer in 2007, after 38 years of happy marriage. Since then I have resided on my own in a very comfortable four bedroom home which although very low, maintenance is still too large for one person.
Some long term friends of mine invited me to join them when visiting a friend in a newly constructed retirement village. This proved to be the catalyst that prompted me finally to start thinking of retirement living and to start looking at the various options. My close friend Ross Hogan accompanied me to a few places before we visited Cranbrook. Ross and his wife Ros were very impressed with Cranbrook and decided that they would like to live there. They then called me and informed me that they put their names down for one unit and had also put mine down for another. “The decision I made without making a decision”.
Cranbrook appealed to me because of its location with a view of the golf course and, being not too distant from my current location, I can maintain close contact with my family and existing group of friends. My unit has quality inclusions, plenty of light and fresh air making it a cheerful and happy home. Knowing that in due course, I will have access to quality aged care was also a major consideration.
Living in a brand new home with good friends close by is why I like living here. As I enjoy travelling, I also like the fact that I can lock up and go at a moment’s notice without having to worry about gardens, security etc.
I first looked into retirement living when I searched the internet for design-conscious style and independent living as I’d just turned 55 and I had some health issues and wanted to secure my future. My criteria were: stylish design (for longevity in the future – my background is the creative arts field), proximity to hospitals (for my health), green walks and parks (for my dog), close to coffee shops & restaurants, shopping centres with a department store (Castle Towers is 10 mins drive away), the city, trains and buses, (Norwest Train Station opens soon and will take you to Martin Place in 45 mins), and topping the list was something with a view!
Cranbrook Residences fulfills all this, and more! A stylish cinema, a resort-style ‘Wellness Centre’ (with access to a GP, Physio, Podiatrist’, beauty salon, and Hairdresser), a gym (with state of the art equipment), an Art Room, (for my art practicing), and a sumptuous Library with reverse cycle air-conditioning with an open fireplace for cosy Winter reading – all of these things have exceeded my expectations!
I highly recommend Cranbrook Residences for an Independent Lifestyle. My future is sorted and in great style! It’s like living in a 6-star resort, 365 days of the year! There’s a very narrow market for stylish independent living apartments, and I am so glad I bought-in early, and now have a beautiful view of the Golf Course!
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