In our new feature ‘This is my park’ Janice Edstein of Sea Winds Village shares her experiences of park living.
What keeps you busy throughout the week?
Up until the end of June 2015 when I retired from Port Stephens Park Residents Association I spent most of my time either at meetings, forums or Tribunal hearings, as well as attending to the various Secretary/Treasurer matters needing attention. A lot has happened regarding residential parks during this time, including the Residential Parks Act 1998 and the review in 2006.
I was honoured to be associated with both, along with Jim Clark, Darrell Dawson and others. Jim Clark and I also worked together on two Education Programs across NSW in 1999-2000 and 2002-2003 under APRA (Affiliated Park Residents’ Associations of NSW). I was the Secretary/Treasurer of both the APRA and ARPRA (Affiliated Residential Park Residents Association) at one time.
Why did you decide to live in a park?
My husband John had to retire in his 50s because of heart problems and as we were previously renting we only had a limited amount of money to spend on buying a house. We moved into Sea Winds 22 years ago. We considered village life was the most affordable way to go. I can’t say the same for affordability now.
Can you tell us about Sea Winds?
Sea Winds is situated on the corner of Nelson Bay Road and Frost Road in Anna Bay, about 8kms from Nelson Bay, Port Stephens. It is a beautiful part of NSW.
What made you pick Sea Winds?
Of all the parks in the Port Stephens area, we liked Sea Winds because of its rural position, but only 3kms from shopping centre and beaches. Sea Winds had about 10 homes when we bought into the village, but now it has 148 homes and 227 residents. Over the years the village has developed a great social atmosphere.
What changes have you seen at Sea Winds?
There has been no change at Sea Winds. In fact the village has gone backwards maintenance and service wise over recent years. I feel that when villages are full the owners think they don’t have to impress buyers anymore so nothing gets done until it breaks down, and then things get a band-aid fix. I believe this applies to most villages.
What is the best thing about living in Sea winds?
The best thing about living in our village is the great social life and the caring manner of the residents.
If you could change anything, what would you change about your park?
I would encourage management to inform residents regarding water and electricity stoppages and to improve their accounting systems.
If you could say one thing to people who might be interested in living in a park what would it be?
If there was a way to get the knowledge out to people buying into residential parks before they approached the management I feel this would be a great achievement. If buyers were savvy with their rights, the Act, inflated rent increases and rules before they approached the village it would be harder for management to tell them things that weren’t true, for example non-acceptance of assignments.
Who would you want to get stuck in an elevator with?
If I were stuck in an elevator I would want to be in there with Ricky Martin.
What question would you ask the next featured resident?
How do you think the Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act is going to impact on your village life?
*Sea Winds Village was purchased by a new owner in December 2014.