Alan & Sue

Moving from the hustle and bustle of Sydney, the move to The Arbour was all about taking time to enjoy life! As regular travellers, they love that they can lock up and leave and know their home will be taken care of. 

 

‘GOOD WALLS MAKE GOOD NEIGHBOURS’

As featured in The Sun Herald Retire In Style Liftout October 2011

Chooks and vegie patches are just two things about The Arbour Berry that appeal to energetic retirees Sue and Alan Selden.  The couple retired three years ago and moved from Castle Hill to the over-55s development. “The thought of getting away from Sydney’s traffic, in particular, was one of the reasons that attracted us to Berry,” Sue Selden says.

When they aren’t tending Alan’s tomatoes and broad beans, feeding the seven chooks, attending aqua aerobics and gym classes or walking 20 minutes into the heart of Berry for their daily coffee and paper, they are somewhat further afield.

“We’ve got three trips booked for next year,” Selden, 67, says. First is a visit to South Africa on the Queen Mary 2, where Alan will celebrate his 70th birthday. There’s a European river cruise in April and May and a Mediterranean cruise in August.

The Seldens bought a freestanding home off the plan. Their property has two bedrooms and a study and Sue says she loves the design, which has a bedroom at either end of the house, each with access to separate bathrooms and the courtyard. Guests who stay “can still sleep in and enjoy the comfort of their own self-contained room”, she says.

The move to Berry came after the Seldens decided the stairs in their two-level townhouse could pose some challenges as the couple aged. On a whim they took a drive to the southern highlands to have a look at The Arbour after seeing it in The
Sun-Herald. “We liked the whole philosophy of the architecture, it was very modern,” says Selden, who worked as a manager of executive education programs at the Macquarie Graduate School of Management before her retirement.

She often returns to Sydney. “We’ve still got the railway station 20 minutes’ walk away,’’ she says. ‘‘You can hop on the train and, in just under three hours, you’re in Central Station and you can do the big smoke without the hassle. “I go up regularly. In fact, I’m going up next week to have coffee with a girlfriend and I can also combine that with a dental appointment or whatever is going on.”

She confesses her “whatever” can often include department store sales.

The Seldens particularly like that none of The Arbour’s residences have communal walls. “We’re all self-standing buildings, which means you don’t have the neighbour-knocking-on-your-wall sort of thing,’’ Selden says. ‘‘It’s very private.

“We’ve got quite a young-thinking group of residents and even some of the older ones participate in all the activities, so we don’t feel as if the next step is going to be the nursing home.”

The garden and chooks help the community to bond. “The vegie patch in particular is quite a meeting spot for people,” she says.

The asking price for a new two bedroom, two-bathroom home with a study and landscaped courtyard is about $595,000. The development has a pool, gym and cinema.

This year, Mbark won the NSW Regions and ACT Best Development prize for The Arbour Berry in the Urban Development Institute of Australia NSW Awards for Excellence.

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The Arbour

‘TRAVELLERS HAPPY THAT BERRY IS ON THEIR MAP’

As featured in the Sunday Telegraph – Sunday Property Over 55’s Living liftout on 4 December 2011

Alan and Sue Selden love the secure, village atmosphere at The Arbour in Berry.

Three years after farewelling work and the big family home at Castle Hill, Alan and Sue Selden believe they’ve hit on the perfect mix for retirement happiness—buying into the luxury over-55s The Arbour Berry estate and having the freedom to travel the world.

‘‘The beauty of being a village resident means we can simply lock up the house and head off knowing that our near neighbours will keep an eye on our place,’’ said Mrs Selden, a former executive manager at the Macquarie Graduate School of Management.

‘‘Our friends said that when we retired we would wonder what to do with our time. Now we wonder where the time goes, there’s so much to do.’’

In the past year alone the couple have taken a cherry blossom cruise to Japan, a 32-day cruise from Rome to Istanbul, tripped around Cairns and far north Queensland and joined a surprise wedding anniversary for friends in Canada.

The pair’s 2012 diary is already ticked off for further globetrotting, with a trip to South Africa on the Queen Mary 2, another European river cruise in April/May and a Mediterranean cruise in August.

In between roaming, the pair enjoy the lifestyle of being part of The Arbour community.

‘‘Alan (a former banker) is a keen gardener and has a plot in the vegie garden, so he’s always keen to see new plantings ready to pick by the time we get back home.

‘‘There are plenty of fellow gardeners who keep an eye on each other’s patch, and it’s also a gathering spot to catch up on what’s happening around the place.’’

Alan also loves chook duty, looking after his rostered chicken, Priscilla, as well the six others residing at Cluckingham Palace, and they both appreciate the fresh eggs and produce from his efforts.

What the Seldens don’t miss is the daily battle with city traffic, enjoying instead the comfort of Sydney still being so accessible by rail. ‘‘With the train station 20 minutes walk away, in just under three hours you’re in Central Station and you can do the big smoke without the hassle,’’ Mrs Selden said.

On living at The Arbour, she noted: ‘‘We have quite a young-thinking group of residents  and even some of the older people join in the activities . . . so we don’t feel as if the next step is going to be the nursing home.’’