It was love at first sight for Virginia and Brian when they visited Drayton Villas Retirement Village. Looking for a tree change, the couple visited the Toowoomba retirement village from their Melbourne home. From the moment they drove through the gates and were warmly welcomed by the village team, the couple knew they had found their forever home.
“We arrived at Drayton to be met by Debbie at the front of the Homestead with open arms. We met the team, Michael, Michelle and Brett who made us feel as though we had known them for years!” says Virginia.
“We had hoped to look at a few villas here at Drayton on a Tuesday morning, but Debbie had sold all but one unit. Debbie showed us around two different plans, that were already under contract, and we knew immediately that this is where we wanted to live. Needless to say, we grabbed the last remaining villa. We then flew back to Melbourne to sell our home.” - Virginia.
A place to call home
The look and feel of Drayton Villas was a major attraction for Brian and Virginia, they love that the residents take pride and take part in their community.
“When we came in here, it was so clean, and the gardens are so nice. People appreciate the gardens and look after them,” says Virginia.
The couple were used to living in a community, having moved from a lifestyle community in Melbourne, and had some idea about what they wanted from life at Drayton Villas.
“We knew what we were stepping into, as we’d been in a semi-retirement, they didn’t actually call it retirement living, it was a lifestyle village. It had the swimming pool, the tennis court, the bocce court, everything that could open and shut,” says Brian. “But the first thing that struck us when we came here was the gardens and we thought ‘this place is just so lovely’.”
It wasn’t just the outside that sold the Victorian couple, the units themselves were a draw card.
“The units are fabulous! The drawers and the finish on the kitchen and the bathroom are all superb. I tell everyone how good it is and I invite people to come and have a look! I don’t mind if they come so they can see what it’s like for themselves.” - Virginia.
Many people believe that a lifestyle village is the same thing as a retirement village, but as Brian and Virginia discovered there are some differences, including having the Retirement Villages Act, which gives residents peace of mind and outlines some important rights. The couple were also looking longer term and thinking about what would happen as they aged and would require more care and support, which is something Dratyon Villas can offer.
A family affair
Toowoomba is a long way from Melbourne, so it wasn’t a move the Brian and Virginia made lightly. Sick of long rainy winters and after being locked down during Melbourne’s strict COVID regulations, the couple decided it was time to consider an interstate move. It was with a little encouragement from their family, that brought them to look at the sunshine state and make the move north.
“Virginia’s sister lives out at Emu Creek [north of Toowoomba] and she’s been at us to move up here for years,” says Brian.
“She kept saying: ‘the weather is fantastic, not hot in summer and when it is hot, it’s not like Melbourne’. The winter is also fine, in fact it’s brilliant,” says Virginia. “We had such a horrible two years with COVID and being locked down, as much as we liked Melbourne, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
“We’d just had enough of Melbourne, it was cold and rainy,” Virginia continues. “I hate the heat, so when my sister said it’s lovely up here on top the plateau, it’s breezy and doesn’t get humid like Brisbane, we came to have a look.”
Virginia’s grandchildren also live in Brisbane and being able to brave the humidity and go down the range to babysit, isn’t something that was planned but is something they now love to do.
“We go down and take the children to school and pick them up in the afternoon, by the time we come home we can’t walk for two days,” says Virginia laughing.
A real community
As with most things in life, it’s the people that make something special and that’s no different at Drayton Villas.
“The people are so friendly! We don’t take part in all the events and happy hours because we are busy with our grandchildren, but that’s OK,” says Brian. “We come to the major things and everyone makes us feel welcome.”
It’s not just the other residents that make Drayton Villas a warm and welcoming community – the village team also play an important role. They ensure that the village runs well and are key to building the community.
“Brett, the village maintenance person, is a gorgeous man and would do anything for anyone. The village manager Michael is a special man, there’s not many people like Michael, he’s a treasure. He’s very good with everything and he made us so welcome. We feel well looked after.” - Virginia.
Word of mouth
In the past 12 or so months the couple have been in the village, they make sure they tell everyone what a great place it is to live.
“I tell everyone to come and have a look. I couldn’t recommend it more highly. It’s safe, it’s quiet and we like the people, what more could you ask for?!” asks Virginia.
Find a community you can call home
Find a community you can call home