A Place to Grow

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When it comes to purchasing a new home, there are many different builders and property development firms to choose from. Most offer a choice of a few different house designs, upgrades to the interior finishings, and not a great deal more. However, one builder believes in not only creating aesthetic and functional homes, but in shaping entire communities where neighbours can connect with one another in a social atmosphere that is friendly, fun, and a great place to live and raise a family.

For over two decades, Villawood Properties has been developing some of the finest communities for Australian home buyers, and has grown into one of the nation’s premier development firms. Receiving numerous awards and critical acclaim for its projects, Villawood has created some of the finest new home developments throughout Melbourne, Bendigo and Moama, and is expanding into new markets in Queensland and New South Wales.

Since the company began operations in Bendigo, Victoria in 1989, it has set an excellent track record for producing projects from boutique to master-planned communities designed for living. Villawood continues to bring its vast knowledge of pre-commencement investigations, research, tender procurement, planning, construction, sales and marketing to every one of its communities. Focusing on much more than creating houses, Villawood strives to make all its new developments not only livable, but interactive communities with recreation and leisure centres, tennis and basketball courts, playgrounds, barbecue areas, even street parties. All these and other features allow new neighbours and their children to connect, establish friendships, and live in happy and healthy environments.

“People want to move into these new communities,” says Rory Costelloe, Executive Director of Villawood Properties. Along with joint director Tony Johnson and CEO Rob Taber, Mr Costelloe is dedicated to building superior residential communities for Australia’s growing housing market.

A Place to Meet, a Place to Play

“Our clients want to find a place they’re proud to call home, and particularly, they want to meet the neighbours, and make new friends,” says Mr Costelloe. “We go to quite a lot of effort to facilitate that, with great community facilities and great parks. We also go to a lot of effort to get people together for community functions where they can meet each other.”

For buyers, purchasing a new home created by Villawood Properties is about much more than picking a design, or choosing what style of kitchen or bathroom fixtures to install. The company maintains its vision for excellence every step of the way, fostering solid relationships with its customers, colleagues, and stakeholders in the property development industry. Buying a home from Villawood is more than a purchase: it is an investment in a better and healthier community-based lifestyle.

“We offer a full range of affordable homes for first-time buyers, but we consider ourselves more up-market,” says Mr Costelloe of Villawood’s projects, which often include access to facilities including gyms, cafes, function rooms, swimming pools, and community Internet. “Because of the quality of our community facilities and our parks, we attract a lot of second and third-home buyers. It is probably our primary market.”

Passionate about creating user-friendly communities with parks, playgrounds, urban art pieces, landscapes, gardens, wetlands and more, Villawood is dedicated to making its communities safe and secure places for children to play and grow, all set against state of the art technologies, improving sustainability, and green living.

Among Villawood’s many award-winning projects are Marriott Waters, Penzance Estate, Seasons Estate, Alamanda Point Cook, and Orchard Place. Some, like Marriott Waters, are the perfect combination of premium house and land packages in a master-planned community designed for growing families. In late October, there are plans to release a number of waterfront homesites. Ranging in size upwards of 620 square metres looking out across the Marriott Waters second wetland body, the new homesites provide buyers with a tremendous opportunity to own the house of their dreams.

By offering buyers a choice of lot sizes and prices to suit their individual needs, Villawood Properties is able to offer clients a wide variety of options. In many cases, such as Alamanda, new home buyers are able to live just 20 minutes from the central business district. At present, the company is working on a number of developments, including Alamanda in Point Cook, winner of the 2010 Urban Development Institute of Australia “‘Residential Development” award. With fewer than 200 lots remaining in the 1,500-lot community, the development’s recent stage – the Santorini Precinct, released in late August – is now available.

Like other projects undertaken by Villawood Properties, the lots at Alamanda are extremely well-connected to the community’s range of diverse parks, playgrounds, and wetlands. Residents are able to access the area’s exclusive Club Alamanda, where they can enjoy an active lifestyle in the development’s exclusive recreation and leisure centre. Among the many features are a gym, tennis courts, and the new Alamanda Café & Providore. A child care facility, Future Kids, is located at Alamanda, and it is just a short walk to a school and playground. There is a proposed Prep to Year 9 School, and all households will be equipped with optical fibre throughout, enabling ready access to high-speed Internet.

Sustainable Growth

Although home prices across Australia are increasing, Villawood is committed to keeping costs affordable, offering buyers a range of homesites in a variety of locations, particularly urban growth corridors, where they are able to present buyers with more affordable opportunities by supplying a wide variety of land sizes. Buyers can choose their block, and a lot size that fits their lifestyles. The Enviro Lot, with its 10m frontage, is compact, and perfectly suited to busy singles or couples desiring a low-maintenance home. The 12.5m Lifestyle Lot is perfect for homeowners who love to entertain, but don’t want a great deal of maintenance. At 14m, Villawood’s Eco remains one of the company’s most versatile homesites; it is ideal for a spacious home and large outdoor area, and is a very popular choice for young families. The company’s 16 and 18m lots offer abundant space for the needs of growing families, and suit a range of contemporary home options.

In keeping with Villawood’s approach to positive change, the company has implemented a number of initiatives that benefit new homeowners and the environment. Natural, green public spaces are planned long before the land transforms into a new community, and existing natural habitats are identified for preservation. In 2008, Villawood launched Positive Change, a three-tiered approach to improving the way it creates new communities. For every square metre of land purchased within a Villawood Properties estate, the company gives back the equal amount of land to the people of Victoria, to be added to the state forests. With every block of land sold, Villawood donates $100 towards the purchase of land for the Good Friday Appeal Charity House Auction. And the use of the enviroSTAR program encourages buyers to build environmentally-friendly homes using Villawood’s “My Wishlist,” an online checklist of sustainable items used to maximise energy efficiency and water conservation in the home. “We try to encourage our buyers to see how much energy and water costs they can save over one year, and how much water and carbon they save per annum,” says Mr Costelloe. “When you have water restrictions, people become acutely aware of climate change, and that it is a serious topic.”

By building homes and neighbourhoods with an eye toward the future needs of both its clients and the natural environment, Villawood is poised to take the lead in creating sustainable communities. In developing safe, healthy spaces where neighbours can truly connect with one another, Villawood is building a framework for future generations of Australians to make their own memories.

Home Automation

Call it ‘domotics,’ and you are likely to receive a blank stare, but refer to it as ‘smart home’ or ‘home automation,’ and you will get a nod of acknowledgement. For the past few years, consumers have heard the word ‘smart’ attached to countless products and services, from food and drink to snacks like popcorn and mobile phones, which no one seems to refer to as a ‘cellphone’ anymore. Yet what, exactly, constitutes ‘smart’?

July 14, 2020, 9:21 AM AEST