Do I own my own home and the land in a retirement community?

What is the difference between a retirement village and a retirement community? While planning for retirement, many questions will inevitably arise, including, “will I own my own home and the land upon which it is situated?”

In the case of a retirement village, the answer is, there is no easy answer. There are a range of different legal structures and financial arrangements governing retirement villages. So in some cases, you might be able to own a bricks-and-mortar home outright. In other words, when you buy a dwelling in a retirement village, you would own it in the same way you would if you bought a standard house.

In other scenarios, you might hold a long-term lease, which means you don’t own the building or the land but have the right to live in the unit or villa for the term of your lease. In another arrangement, you might be required to make regular rental payments on your lease structure.

Just like in a game of chess where each piece has its own rules, each State and Territory has its own legislation around retirement villages!


Own The House, Rent The Land

Also referred to as lend lease communities, under the land lease model, you own the house in the retirement community, but the community operator maintains ownership of the land.

So while you’re living within a residential lend lease community, you’ll be asked to pay weekly site fees to effectively ‘lease’ or ‘rent’ the land your dwelling sits on. In effect, a lease agreement is being made over the land, rather than a building.

Because of this ‘leasing’ structure, residents who receive the pension are eligible for Federal Government rent assistance for retirement to reduce the weekly site fee. A retirement community also allows for more affordable entry into the market because purchasers only have to buy the house upfront, not the land.

Read more on eligibilty for Federal Government Rent Assistance through another article we recently published. 


INCREASING Growth and Demand

Before we dive further into the details of a retirement community structure, let’s explore why there is increasing demand for this type of living option.

A lend lease retirement community model offers over 55s who are asset rich but cash poor the chance to sell their home, leverage their home equity and have an independent lifestyle in their preferred location.

Willow Cobram is an example of a well-considered land lease retirement community. Our Resort was created as a way to cater to a huge section of the over 50s keen to downsize and upgrade their lifestyle.

The township of Cobram was chosen as a popular tourist destination on the Murray River, and for its accessibility to Melbourne and other regional centres.


Land Leasing: a unique ownership model

Let’s take a closer look at the way a residential land lease community is set up. As mentioned, you own your own home and lease your land in this retirement community.

While retirement villages typically have convoluted and complicated structures, land lease scenarios have a transparent fee structure, offer reduced land lease fees with government assistance, and your house can be sold without the cost and complications associated with retirement villages.

At Willow Cobram Resort, we offer a long-term 50-year secure lease on the land on which your (relocatable) home is situated.  As a homeowner at Willow, you are also protected under the Residential Tenancies Act. The secure lease gives you an exclusive right to occupy the land and to use all of the Resort’s luxury facilities.

In line with other land lease retirement community models, there are no stamp duty or conveyancing fees required when buying a home at Willow. There are also no council rates or owner’s corporation fees payable at the Willow Cobram Resort.

Based on these reasons and more, residential land lease communities are fast becoming a popular and affordable retirement option. 

Willow Cobram Resort offers vibrant resort-style living in a gated retirement community. You can’t go past Willow for a premium location, affordability and security. To get more information about our Residential Resort, contact us now.

Am I eligible for Federal Government Rent Assistance?

What does your dream retirement look like, and how will you maintain the lifestyle you want as you enter the next chapter of your journey?

These are just some of the big questions Australians aged 50 and over are facing. Within a generation, a third of all Australians will be over 55. At the same time, many retirees don’t necessarily have the superannuation they’ll need for a comfortable retirement lifestyle.

According to a 2019 Federal Government report, about 77% of Australians over the age of 65 receive income support of some kind.


According to a 2019 Federal Government report, about 77% of Australians over the age of 65 receive income support of some kind.

Searching for the cheapest place on the market to retire is not ideal for anyone. If you’re over 50 and have spent time crunching your numbers, you may already know that you’ll require government assistance for retirees support. This may come in the form of a pension, part pension or rent assistance.

Willow Cobram Resort offers an alternative for those seeking premium resort-style living while accessing rent assistance for retirement.

A Great Alternative Solution for over 50s

Willow Cobram Resort’s vision is to fulfil the lifestyle dreams of over 50s across Victoria and Southern NSW by offering a next generation business model that’s innovative, accessible and sustainable. As a premium land lease community, residents own their own house while leasing the land that the house is situated on from Willow.

Due to the ‘leasing’ element, residents who receive the pension are eligible for Federal Government rental assistance for retirement to reduce the weekly site fee.

With a low cost entry into the market, these alternative retirement communities allows people to make a dramatic lifestyle change, while maintaining their living standards into retirement. Under this model, residents enjoy all the community facilities available within the residential resort, which are maintained by management.


Assistance with Site Fees

Willow’s site fees, allows residents to live on the site upon which their house is situated. These fees are also used to cover the Resort expenses such as maintenance and running costs, full use of the facilities and council charges – among others.


Qualifying for rent assistance for retirement

With the cost of living rising every day, every bit of financial help counts.

Let’s take a look at scenarios where Federal Government rent assistance for retirees is available – and how that can help you achieve the lifestyle of your choice, in a location of your choice.

Weekly site fees vary for singles and couples. For a single, the fee is $165 per week (subject to annual adjustment under terms of lease). The maximum Centrelink rebate is $66.50 per week.

In the case of a couple, the fee is $185 per week (subject to annual adjustment under terms of lease). In this instance, the maximum Centrelink rebate per week is $62.70 per week.

Depending on your financial circumstances, you may be eligible for Federal Government rent assistance for retirees to reduce Willow’s weekly site fee. To get more details on your entitlements, check the website or you can visit or call your nearest Centrelink for information.


Willow Cobram Resort offers vibrant resort-style living in a gated community. You can’t go past Willow for a premium location, community and security. To discover more about the benefits of our Resort, read some of our Frequently Asked Questions.

Retirement living options (including retirement village alternatives)

Baby boomers are ‘booming’. In fact, it’s estimated 6 million Australians aged over 55 are currently transitioning to retirement. Assessing the right retirement living options for you starts here.

If you’re looking for retirement village alternatives –  or if you’re aged 55 and over and simply wanting to downsize – chances are location, lifestyle and affordability are high on your list of priorities.


We’ve compiled four main retirement accommodation options to explore:

Residential Land Lease Community (RLLC)

Residential land lease communities are a relatively new but fast-growing affordable living solution for retirees and over 50s with many benefits. Without the complications and costs of Retirement Villages, the RLLC is a more transparent and affordable retirement village alternative.

In short, Australians who opt for this retirement living option lease the land from the resort operator and own the house that is on the land. Because of this ‘lease’ component, and if they are on any sort of pension, it makes them eligible for Federal Government rental assistance of up to $66.50 per week.

With a low cost entry into the market, these alternative retirement communities allows people to make a dramatic lifestyle change, while maintaining their living standards into retirement. Under this model, residents enjoy all the community facilities available within the residential resort, which are maintained by management.

Independent Living Unit or Villa

As the name suggests, this option allows you to maintain a self-sufficient lifestyle in a retirement village environment. Typically, you can choose from one, two or three bedroom self-contained units or villas. This is a good choice if you enjoy an active way of life and can independently look after yourself.

With all the community gardening and maintenance taken care of, independent living as a retirement living option is about freeing you up so you can spend more time with family, friends and doing your favourite activities.

For maximum peace of mind, additional care and health support services are available.


Serviced Apartments

Available to singles or couples, serviced care apartments offer the ultimate in convenience, privacy and freedom.

This retirement living option includes daily assisted living with things such as meal preparation, cleaning and laundry while you independently live outside of an aged care facility.

Transitioning to retirement couldn’t feel more seamless as you enjoy life from the comfort of your own home. With all the key chores taken care of, there’s ample time to exercise, catch up with friends and family, or go out on a day trip.

Access to health professionals and other support can easily be arranged if needed.


Rental Unit in a Retirement Village

Next on our retirement living options list is a retirement village rental unit. Here, you’ll enjoy the privacy and lifestyle of independent living, but in a village setting.

Unlike other aged care options, you can live here as a couple and choose your level of care. Living in a retirement village is a popular option for people seeking the support of a like-minded community. Also offering benefits of on-site facilities and services.

These may include access to swimming pools, organised social outings and various activities.


To recap, the Residential Land Lease Community can be a much better alternative for those on any sort of pension seeking an affordable retirement living option.

Willow Cobram Resort is next generation resort-style living for the over 50s in Cobram, an idyllic town about three hours from Melbourne.

What is a Residential Land Lease Community (RLLC)?

Are you looking to downsize from your current home and upgrade to a dream resort-style lifestyle you can afford?

If so, residential land lease communities are an innovative new option for over 50s and those seeking an affordable retirement option. So what exactly are residential land lease communities?

Also known as a manufactured home park, lifestyle estate or residential village, residential land lease community can be defined as communities where residents own the house while leasing the land from the estate.

A socially sustainable business model, developers of land lease communities tend to focus on ‘greenfield’ sites in popular holiday and retirement destinations.

One of the things that makes residential land lease communities affordable is that because of the ‘lease’ component, some residents may be eligible for Federal Government benefits, including the pension and rental assistance.


Willow Cobram: A land lease model in action

Let’s take a closer look at how residential land lease communities Victoria-based work. The first thing to note is that, these communities aren’t operated in the same way as a traditional retirement village. In other words, you don’t have to be retired, only over 50!

Unlike other senior living options where you never own your home, at Willow Cobram Resort, you own your home and live independently. You don’t have to pay stamp duty or conveyancing fees at the purchase point.

For additional peace of mind, Willow homeowners are protected under the Residential Tenancies Act. Having a 50-year secure lease gives you an exclusive right to occupy the land and to use all of the Resort’s luxury facilities.

This weekly rental fee also covers council rates, and sewer and water charges, making weekly budgeting simple. There are no other fees charged by Willow. You simply cover your own utilities such as electricity and telephone, typical of any normal residential lease.

When it comes to residential land lease communities, Willow Cobram offers fantastic conditions.

Not only do houses retain their value, they can often be sold quickly, without the costs and complications associated with retirement villages. For example, retirement villages typically charge high exit fees (Deferred Management Fees) as high as 45% when houses are sold, while at Willow, no exit fees are charged.

An active and enjoyable lifestyle

Australians are becoming healthier, living longer and spending more time in retirement. It’s become more relevant than ever to have the lifestyle we prefer, in a location we love, once we reach our 50s.

Willow Cobram Resort is all about vibrant and healthy living. As one of Victoria’s quality resort-style residential land lease communities, we offer the following facilities to promote social connection, and mental and physical wellbeing:

The Resort’s luxury 5-star facilities include:

  • A luxury Clubhouse with free internet and Foxtel
  • Comfortable dining, lounge and function rooms
  • Outdoor entertainment areas
  • Relaxed and friendly bar and games rooms
  • A state-of-the-art theatre room
  • A snooker and pool room
  • A library and computer room
  • A swimming pool with adjoining café and BBQ area
  • A fully equipped gym and sauna
  • A bowling green

A fabulous location

As one of Victoria’s sought-after residential land lease communities, Willow is beautifully situated near the iconic Murray River, just a three hour drive north of Melbourne. Cobram itself is fast becoming a popular family holiday destination with plenty for everyone to do.

The region has been popular with retirees for years.

A major town of the Moira Shire, Cobram is close to key regional centres such as Shepparton, Wangaratta, Echuca-Moama and Albury-Wodonga. The area has no shortage of amazing attractions to keep you and your visitors entertained. In fact, we welcome guests and pets!

Our resort is close to shopping facilities and recreational facilities such as bush trails and numerous golf clubs. You’ll also enjoy easy access to the town’s public hospital and community health centre.

Want to find out more? Click here for more information regarding residential land lease communities (or residential parks). Alternatively, you can contact us now.

Do I have to be retired to live at Willow Cobram Resort?

Short Answer - No

They say the 50s are the new 30s, thanks to better health, exercise and self-care.

So if you’re feeling energised and ready for the next chapter of your life, a traditional retirement community may not be on your radar. At the same time, you’d like to start laying the foundation for your elder years – but on your terms.

Willow Cobram Resort is an example of resort-style living for the over 50s that you may not have previously thought about. While we offer gated security, quality next-generation homes and a great community with plenty of premium facilities, you don’t have to be retired to live here!

Unlike retirement communities Victoria wide, Willow is designed for soon-to-be-retirees who are looking to downsize and move to an affordable, modern and relaxed place they can call home for the long term.


Over 55 Living at Willow Cobram Resort

We created Willow as an innovative way to provide inexpensive housing options for people transitioning into retirement.

Our vision was to be part of the affordable retirement solution. Through a host of fabulous on-site facilities such as a Clubhouse, wellness centre, bowling green, gym and swimming pool, Willow is a unique blend of resort-style living and a residential retirement community for the over 50s.

Situated in Cobram, a Victorian town perched on the gorgeous Murray River three hours drive north of Melbourne, our Resort is an invitation to upgrade to the lifestyle you’ve dreamed of before you reach retirement.

By moving to Willow, you’ll make a network of friends and become part of the vibrant Cobram community.

Planning Ahead for Over 55 Living

It’s never too early to start planning for your golden years. Researching retirement communities Victoria wide, talking to your financial planner and taking stock of how much you have in super and your asset portfolio are just some of the important steps you can take.

If you will need government income support after you stop work, Willow Cobram Resort is designed to provide a low cost entry into the over 55 gated communities market.

Not only that, our Resort’s operating structure is known as a ‘land lease community‘. Under this model, residents who receive the pension will be able to qualify for Federal Government rent assistance to cover some of their weekly land lease fees.

Ideally, our residential retirement community is for people seeking a popular lifestyle change and want to enjoy quality living standards into retirement. Even if you’re not retired yet, Willow Cobram is your invitation to downsize and relocate to the heart of a thriving maintenance-free community.


Retirement Living in an Ideal Location

Willow Cobram Resort is in a popular holiday and retirement destination easily accessible from Melbourne.

The township is well established, and the Resort is conveniently located close to a public hospital, health and community services, shopping centres and recreational facilities – everything you need for a great lifestyle.

Another irresistible drawcard is the fact the area boasts over 300 days of sunshine every year!

With its natural beauty and plentiful attractions, Cobram is the ideal location for contemporary over 55 resort-style living.

Read some more Frequently Asked Questions. Alternatively, you can contact us now.