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MFAA Prosper : Mortgage and Finance Brief 06
Retiree haven Broker: Anne Commerford Company: Westlawn Based: Yamba, NSW Named “The Best Town in Australia” last year by Australian Traveller, Yamba is now attracting a lot more than holidaymakers, becoming a favourite destination for Australia’s retiring baby boomers. With about 9,000 residents, it’s estimated that retirees now ma ke up 25% of the population. Sea changing families, also attracted to the warm climate and relaxed coastal lifestyle, make up a fair percentage of the population, too. For Anne Commerford the main challenge operating out of Yamba is that it can feel a little like “no man’s land” because it’s located between two major centres of Coffs Harbour and Ballina/ Byron Bay. “We also have the ongoing hurdles of meeting lender volume expectations in a small community,” says Commerford. “The place does not have the high volume of movement in propert y ownership of metro areas, while there’s also the issue of lender postcode restriction on small towns,” she says. However, as a Yamba resident of more than 32 years, she sees many benefits of being able to live and work in a coastal resort town. “We’ve raised our children here – two still live in Yamba with their children – and have always been involved in local fundraising and community events,” she says. “Living in a town for so long means I’m often providing serv ices for friends and people I know. That can present its own challenges because you want good outcomes, not just for business reasons but also because they are your friends.” Like many regional brokers, she agrees that your business reputation is vital when you operate out of a smaller community. “I think we need to work that extra bit harder because we have a bigger profile in the community and rely on word of mouth and referrals,” she says. Photograph:GTurnerTourismNSW 32 | Mor tgage & Finance brief InDepth
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Mortgage and Finance Brief 07