WISE Housing and Investment (Working to Implement Social Enhancement through Housing)

by Stina Kerans

This article is in addition to Stina’s presentation at the 2019 Wise Women Gathering, regarding WISE Housing.

An entirely new model of home ownership is now available in Australia that offers a secure, safe and ethical opportunity for investment in housing. This new replicable home-ownership model allows people to enter the housing market for as little as $10,000 with a 99-year lease. It also enables investors to secure their super or savings by entering the real estate market for as little as $50.000.

The first phase of the project in Queanbeyan, New South Wales is now full and there are places available in stages two and three.

Conceived by a group of idealistic mothers, and refined by experts and professionals from different fields, the SUN Villages Smart model of housing provides opportunities to participate in meaningful home-ownership and sustainable living. A unique mix of finance, architecture, engineering, legal, environmental and social sciences, the SUN Villages model has several benefits over the existing model, which stem from the fact that you don’t need to borrow money or go into debt because it uses investor finance.

The SUN Villages model: 

  • allows you to build equity at your own pace with as little as $10K down.
  • saves money otherwise spent on the cost of bank finance, developers’ margins, and real estate fees.
  • rewards you for putting more of your money in sooner.
  • allows you to upsize and downsize with no extra cost. 
  • includes design measures that reduce ongoing costs and enhance liveability.
  • provides greater cash-flow options than a mortgage.
  • combines all the security and power of home-ownership with all the freedom of month-to-month renting.
  • gives more creative design control to the residents.

There are not many places to ‘park’ or house’ money, especially in these financially troubled times: the share market (which has averaged a 2.5% return over the last 100 years – less than inflation); real estate (which has averaged around 10% over the last 100 years); and banks, bonds and debentures, all of which struggle to keep pace with inflation.

Investment in property, even though considered the safest place for super and spare money, still comes with costs and responsibilities. The Sun Villages model eliminates investor responsibilities because the residents have the same rights and responsibilities as owners. This makes for a secure, worry and responsibility-free investment option for people who wish to create an impact with their money. Once the development is finished there is a better than average Return On Investment (ROI) – which is capped at 6% net, indexed to the wages component of the Consumer Price Index (CIP), not the housing component of the CPI which increases at around 2.5% more than wages. It’s a win/win/win for residents/investors/planet.

Our aim is to make the model available across Australia. A company will be formed to repeat the model, and can be engaged to assist any syndicate of people wishing to do their own development. It’s housing for people funded by peers – a way of addressing both human suffering and planet degradation.

OUR SUPER FUNDS

Most people have a super fund and together the big fund managers control over $2 Trillion, of which a large amount is off-shore. Perhaps we should be asking: ‘why isn’t our super money in housing, working for the people of Australia? It’s not only more secure, but affordable housing is still a massive issue that this model solves.

After the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) when so many super funds halved in value, many people took charge of their own super. Property is favoured by Self Managed Super Funds (SMSFs), but only around 20% of SMSFs can afford property. The other 80% have been shut out, until now.

For those not wishing to take responsibility for their super, yet who wish to withdraw their support and funds from the big corporations, then it’s easy for four people to come together to create a SMSF with a minimum of $250,000 between them, and impact invest in sustainable development via the SUN Villages model.

SUN Villages stands for Synergistically United Numbers of Villages who together, with their combined financial power, can create sustainable change for the planet and our own common good. Like the SYNERGY of geese – by flying in ‘V’ formation the flock gains 70% more flying range – we too can achieve far more by acting together.

THE SUN VILLAGES COMMITTEE (5+), have a wealth of skills and experiences. Some have dedicated years to the development of the SUN Villages Model as we worked with top professionals in tax, law and finance, using permaculture principles. Remuneration is by way of shares that are only issued upon completion of this demonstration project, which adds yet another level of security for investors. Some get a fixed amount regardless of the years taken to develop the model, and some are commissioned at a set rate for work done. Some are future residents, and some are appropriately housed, but see this as a holistic, integrated way to make a contribution to the wealth, happiness, health and well-being of Australian people and the planet.

All profits from village businesses and spaces, such as food growing, the café, car pool, serviced apartments, work and storage areas, the village trading system (LETS – Local Energy Trading System), will not only provide activities/work for those on-site, but will also put all profit back into the village. This ‘feed-back-loop’ means that the more the residents (and the investors) use the services/facilities provided, the more profit is made, which in turn has the potential to reduce (or maybe eliminate) things like body co-op fees, and/or pay for improvements to the Village.

PROJECTS

The 1st prototype project is due to commence shortly. It’s 7mins from Canberra airport, right on the ACT border. Already constructed on this community title are 74 apartments and town houses (with far more environmental features than other developments – 8 star).

The second project is also 7mins from Canberra airport, but has a rural bush setting. It’s only available to those who’ve invested in the first project.

OFFER

We’re offering between 1% and 2% commission on investment monies raised for construction, paid in the form of shares upon completion of each development. That’s between $1,000 and $2,000 per every $100,000 raised.

INVITATION

You’re invited to become a brick in this construction of a more secure and sustainable future. Nothing in your life has to change if you are happy, just a decision to be responsible for what your super and your money are doing.

There are enough “Cultural Creatives’ (a term from Hugh Mackay’s ‘Reimagining Australia’) to make a significant difference if we organise ourselves. This model offers the opportunity to reweave our social fabric, and produce sustainable, affordable housing as a bi-product.

Ponder on how life could be if we, and our housing, were in a little more harmony with our beautiful Earth.

TO CHANGE SOMETHING; BUILD A NEW MODEL THAT MAKES THE EXISTING MODEL OBSOLETE”

– Buckminster Fuller

A book and new website will soon be released – www.sunvillages.com If you wish to invest or want further information please email Stina


Stina Kerans

Stina Kerans is an autodidact, a visionary and the primary driver of Sun Villages – a repeatable model of housing that is available to anyone who wishes for secure housing. She was an early embracer of the LETS (Local Exchange Trading System) in Australia, has formed her own housing company that enables women to get a foothold into real estate and with her husband Garry, developed several successful real estate ventures including the construction of 74 units. She has worked with teenagers in sustainable design, and has won numerous local, national and international awards (including the Sustainable Cities Award presented by the King of Sweden. Stina is guided by the principles of Social Sustainability and focuses on an ‘integrated’ approach to how we can house ourselves.

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