6 September 2016

DOWNSIZING. It's a big step, but well worth the journey

“The change has revitalised us as we approach our retirement,” is how Tony and Ryann Michaels describe their experience downsizing from a large family home into an apartment.

Making the decision, however, took months of consideration, weighing up the pros and cons, and searching for a suitable property to carry them into their next phase of life.

Tony and Ryann Michaels

Tony and Ryann Michaels

“I was not convinced initially,” said Tony, a former executive in the import-export business who currently works part time as a general assistant at Shore Preparatory School. “I liked the garden and the space that we had at our Cremorne home, but the maintenance was becoming an issue.

“Security and ease of being able to lock-up-and-leave to travel were foremost in our minds when we made the decision to downsize. The next question was location.

“We like the Lower North Shore lifestyle and I’d long admired the architecture of the apartment block, Esque, in Glover Street, Mosman*. When we heard that the same developer, HELM, was building Laurier nearby we became interested.

“Laurier was the ideal location, enabling us to remain in the suburb we love and be close to family and friends. The design was appealing and our investigations revealed that the reputation of HELM was impeccable and that they were leaders in their field of high-end apartments for owner-occupiers.”

The Michaels met with HELM and were escorted by General Manager Mark Monk on an inspection of a penthouse at Esque.

“We were extremely impressed,” said Ryann, a retired school teacher, “and after pouring over all the information in the Laurier brochure and looking long and hard at the detailed architectural drawings we were ready to commit.

“We followed the construction of Laurier with regular visits to the site and we’ve seen from the very beginning the quality of materials, workmanship, fit-out and finish which has exceeded our expectations.”

The Michaels describe the communication with HELM throughout the construction process as “constant and reassuring”.

“Our move-in was a stress free process, as was the assistance offered from site managers and the entire HELM team,” said Ryann.

“We feel confident in our decision to relocate to Laurier, and with the benefit of a north facing outlook and exceptional security within the development we are more than satisfied.”

The Michaels are thankful that Laurier doesn’t have any expensive communal facilities, which helps to minimise strata levies.

“We know people who live in developments with a swimming pool, a spa, a gym and a tennis court who tell us they have seldom, if ever, used any of these facilities,” said Tony.

“We’ve made a prudent investment in a new lifestyle that we couldn’t be happier with, and our positive experience with Laurier is encouraging our friends to think seriously about downsizing.”

Laurier, Cremorne

Laurier, Cremorne

The Michaels’ penthouse apartment brims with the finest Miele appliances, including a builtin coffee machine and a Vintec wine fridge. “HELM hasn’t skimped on anything,” said Ryann. “Everything is top of the line.

HELM could have opted for less expensive models but chose quality and style over profit.”

Balconies to the north and south allow the Michaels to follow the sun for much of the day, while skylights and large windows create light- filled interiors.

“We’ve owned four houses but we’ve never had so much access to sun and natural light as we have now,” said Ryann.

The apartment’s copious storage capacity has also surprised and delighted the Michaels, who have been able to find ‘homes’ for their collection of 500 books. “There is heaps of storage, and the walk-in robes in our master bedroom are also very generous,” said Ryann.

“The apartment is very quiet, and the attention to detail has made our decision to move even more appealing.

“Living here is absolute bliss.”

*Esque won the 2015 UDIA Award for the finest medium - density development in Australia.