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Frequently Asked Questions

Thinking of retiring in New Zealand? Perhaps, if you’re already here, you’re looking for somewhere to retire nearby? The Vines at Bethlehem is a gold class lifestyle retirement village. To learn more about us, and the details regarding how we operate, read on to see our FAQs.

Why choose The Vines at Bethlehem?

You are in the very best hands. When Tauranga’s long-established, highly respected Mills Reef winemaking family decided to create a retirement village on their flagship Bethlehem site, they were determined to make it something special. So, a partnership was created between two well-established and successful New Zealand companies—Classic Group and Kauri Investments Limited—to create a lifestyle retirement village of impeccable quality.

For residents this means two trusted names, and two guarantees of quality.
Of course, the location is unbeatable too! Tauranga’s relaxed coastal lifestyle and warm, sunny climate are poorly-kept secrets among retirees, who move here and help the vibrant city grow and prosper. Since the forward-thinking Preston family created their winery on the 12-ha site in the early 1990’s,
Bethlehem’s orchards and farms have given way to a lovely, leafy, safe suburb, notable for its beautiful homes and strong community heart. The Vines at Bethlehem offers resort-style facilities in an idyllic location.

We know you will feel at home here.

What facilities will I find on site?

The moment you move to The Vines at Bethlehem, youmay enjoy the village’s current clubhouse facilities. Inside, a series of tastefully designed rooms with a pool table, library, dining area, kitchen and a lounge with an open fireplace. Those seeking more active pursuits will relish the pool and entertaining outdoor spaces.

As the village develops, the iconic Mills Reef Winery building will be transformed into a new, impressive community clubhouse, extended to encompass over 2ooom2 and forecast for completion in 2021. It will house relaxed living spaces, a resident workshop, a hairdressing and wellness space, and spacious lounge areas for resting and socialising with friends.

For quiet and contemplation, head to the theatre, the arts room, or the extensive library, with nooks that invite you to tuck up with a book. When the day – or the evening – calls for action, head to the community garden, play pool with friends, or enjoy the gymnasium and a heated indoor lap pool, or spa pool. A barbeque area, bowling green and croquet lawn will be connected via extensive walking tracks that feature benches for resting and conversing with friends.

There will also be allocated spaces for motorhome parking.

What will I find nearby?

Shopping and dining opportunities abound at the end of the street, be it boutique stores, fine dining, everyday grocery shopping, garden centres, or a treat shared at an outdoor cafe table. Should you need more, the downtown core is an easy five-minute drive.

Drive a little further minutes, and the resort town of Mount Maunganui awaits with the region’s famously white, sandy beaches.

What if I go on holiday? Who looks after my home?

Just let the Village Manager know you are going away, and we’ll ensure your home is secure and the garden maintained in your absence.

Are guests allowed to stay with me?

Absolutely! We expect friends and family may want to visit you in your home for a few days or perhaps even a week or two and they are welcome to use communal village facilities.

To discuss longer stays – more than 40 days – simply have a chat with the Village Manager.

Am I expected to participate in village activities?

We anticipate you will form strong friendships with like­minded neighbours – after all, you share the same taste in retirement villages. However, this is not a holiday camp, it’s your home.

As such, we respect your privacy and independence. Be as sociable or secluded as you like. We promise you security and care, assistance when you require it. 1here is absolutely no compulsion to join in anything you don’t love.

What about pets?

In particular circumstances, residents with a small dog or cat may be able to have them join them in the village.
As consideration is given on a case-by-case basis, please discuss this with the Village Manager.

How will you take care of my safety?

Residents’ homes are built with safety and security in mind. Each villa is fitted with several call buttons, to ensure help can be rendered within minutes.

Regular security patrols will be supplemented with closed­circuit television systems in essential areas such as entry gates.
A 24-hour emergency call system is also available, supported by modern monitoring and alarm systems.

What if my health or mobility declines?

The villas are designed to enable easy mobility and we will gladly work with you to ensure your home meets your needs for as long as possible. If required, we can make modifications to areas like the bathrooms. Just let the Village Manager know what you require, and we’ll discuss any additional costs.

Can I make variations to my villa?

There may become a time where you would like to make variations to your villa, for example adding an outside awning. If you wish to make any changes, we can work with you and outline any costs involved. Please ask the Village Manager to discuss specific details, and we’re more than happy to chat about the possibilities.

How will I receive information as a resident?

Our reputation is everything to us. It is therefore essential that we communicate clearly, courteously and well with our residents.

Individual residents are welcome to discuss village operations or raise any concerns with our very approachable manager, who will also meet regularly with our residents’ committee. We will keep residents up to date on essential matters through regular newsletters and a communal noticeboard. For urgent matters, we can send an email or drop a note in your letterbox.

We pride ourselves on solving any small problems well before they become large ones.

Who owns my home in the village?

In order to live in a villa or duplex at 1he Vines, you will purchase an Occupation Right Agreement (ORA). 1his is different from a title. Instead, it’s a very specific kind of residents’ licence that is governed by the Retirement Villages Act 2003 and is common to almost every retirement village in New Zealand. It’s also regulated by the Registrar of Retirement Villages and the industry Code of Practice 2008. 1he title to the land and buildings remains with 1he Vines at Bethlehem.

Do I have any further legal responsibilities?

As you would expect, there are some sensible rules that govern living in the village. These are designed to protect the rights and lifestyle of residents and are provided with the document pack for new residents. We are happy to provide you with a copy at any time.

Who is responsible for insurance?

The Vines at Bethlehem insures all buildings, including your home, which is covered in your weekly fee. You are responsible for insuring your personal belongings and house contents, as well as your private motor vehicle. Should you or a guest damage the dwelling or community buildings, you would be responsible for the excess on any resulting insurance claim.

What happens when I leave?

When you permanently leave your villa or duplex, your ORA will terminate. It is then our responsibility to re-sell the ORA on your home and there is no additional charge for sales, marketing, administration and refurbishment (providing there is only normal wear and tear). You will receive payment once the new, incoming resident has completed their purchase. The sale process is governed by the Retirement Act 2003 and Code of Practice 2008.

If there is a time lag between your departure and the new ORA sale, you will need to cover the weekly fee (we still have to pay rates and insurance etc.). However, if the sale takes any longer than six months, the fee drops to 50%. We are happy to provide a copy of our disclosure statement.

What if the market drops?

We all know the housing market is prone to fluctuation and this can affect retirement villages, too. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about capital loss. Even if we have to resell your 0 RA for less than you paid, you’ll still receive your entry payment minus the pre-agreed village amenities contribution.

What happens if I change my mind about purchasing?

If you change your mind within 15 working days of signing the ORA, we will cancel the agreement and refund your deposit in full.

We’re confident you will love living in the village and we want to ensure you are happy with your decision. So, should you wish to leave the village, we provide you with a money-back guarantee for a period of six months following the date of occupation. We will resell your home and refund your entry payment (terms and conditions apply).

How are my rights protected?

The Retirement Villages Act 2003 requires the appointment of a Statutory Supervisor – in our case, it’s Covenent Trustees Services Ltd – who represents the interests of residents.

The statutory supervisor will deal with all financial transactions that relate to O RAs, review the village’s annual accounts, and act on behalf of residents where appropriate.

What’s more, the same legislation covers specific disclosure and reporting obligations to residents. We are required to submit a comprehensive financial report at the residents’ Annual General Meeting. This report includes profit and loss accounts and forecasts.

These accounts are audited and are reviewed by the Statutory Supervisor.

The Vines at Bethlehem is registered with the Retirement Villages Association.

What is the Code of Practice?

The Retirement Villages Act 2003 requires a village to observe the Code of Practice which sets out minimum standards for operating a retirement village.

These include:
Staffing of the village
Safety and personal security of residents Fire protection and emergency management Transfer of residents within a village Meetings
Complaints facility
Accounts

What if I need more details?

We are happy to provide you and your solicitor with copies of any of the documents mentioned including the ORA, code of practice, and disclosure statement.

More information about the Retirement Villages Act 2003 can be found on the Commission for Financial Capability website at www.cffc.org.nz

I want to move in, now what?

Prospective residents are asked to complete an application for the home of their choice and pay a deposit to the Statutory Supervisor, Covenant Trustees Services Ltd. No other payment is due until final settlement.

Applications may be subject to the sale of your existing house or other mutually agreed conditions.

We will provide you with all the necessary documents -which we advise you to discuss with your solicitor. We are legally and morally obligated to ensure you are very comfortable with your decision to join us at The Vines at Bethlehem. Once you have completed your application, paid your deposit and signed the ORA in your solicitor’s presence, you can relax and await the completion of the sale agreement.

When both you and your new home are ready, the balance of the ORA payment is paid to the statutory supervisor and you’ll be able to take possession and move in. Once the Statutory Supervisor is satisfied the ORA has been correctly issued, your funds will be released to The Vines at Bethlehem.

We look forward to having you join us.

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