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After living in various locations around the state, it is clear that Ian and Carmel Morgan have happily settled in Lucas. “We’re really happy here,” Carmel says proudly. “It’s got everything we need.”

Ian and Carmel spent most of their adult life in the Wimmera town of Nhill, where Ian ran an air conditioning and refrigeration business and Carmel worked as a nurse. However, as they both approached semi-retirement, the couple embarked on a sea change and relocated to the coastal town of Apollo Bay. “Apollo Bay is absolutely beautiful,” Carmel says. “But like many people, we got caught in the trap of loving it as a holiday destination but it didn’t provide us with what we needed as permanent residents.”

They go on to explain that whilst Apollo Bay is a picturesque location with a fabulous community, it didn’t have the health services that they required or may require in the future. “We would have to drive to Geelong for some of our appointments,” Carmel says. “At our age, we want to be able to access health care quickly and easily, without having to drive a long way.”

They started looking towards Ballarat for their next move. “Ballarat was very familiar to us,” Ian says. “Coming from Nhill, it’s really common to make the journey to Ballarat for shopping and services etcetera, so it just made sense for us to move here.”

With the suburb of Lucas still just in the planning stages, Ian and Carmel’s potential new block was a speck in the middle of paddocks. But with the help of Integra Land Sales team member, Luke Armistead, they were able to identify the location of their new home. “It was pretty incredible actually,” Ian says, “It was all just paddocks but Luke was able to point out exactly where ‘our’ block would be.” The block Ian and Carmel settled on suited their needs of being north-facing and on a corner, allowing them to capture as much light as possible for their three-bedroom, contemporary, energy-efficient home.

Having now lived in Lucas for almost six years, Carmel says, “It’s a great place to live. We feel like we are part of a community here. People look out for one another. We’ve got a mix of older people and young families around us.” Ian adds that he is particularly impressed with the ongoing maintenance and upkeep of Lucas. “The trees are watered and looked after and the infrastructure like the footpaths and park areas is fantastic.”

Having recently purchased electric bikes, Ian and Carmel are also thrilled about being in such close proximity to the outer lying walking and riding tracks. “My son and I took a ride along the rail trail last week,” Ian exclaims. “We rode out to Haddon, had a coffee and back in again. It was marvellous.”

Ian and Carmel also appreciate how accessible other places are to them, from Lucas. “If we want to go to Melbourne, it’s not a long drive or we can jump on the train,” Carmel explains. “And you don’t have to go too far before you see the rolling hills of the Grampians or the Macedon Ranges,” Ian adds, happily.  

Proving that their inland move was the right choice for them, Ian and Carmel say Ballarat has a “big country-town feel” to it and living in Lucas allows them to walk to the chemist, supermarket, coffee shops, florist and medical facilities. “It’s easy to just pop over to the shops whenever we need,” Carmel says. “And I can get to a medical appointment within ten minutes.”