Tired of traffic, noise and long commutes? Or perhaps you’re craving wide-open spaces and fresh air?
Whatever your reasons, you’re not alone if you’ve recently been considering a tree or sea change. The COVID crisis and rise of remote working has led to many Australians contemplating a lifestyle change.
But is the grass really greener in the country? While there are some definite advantages to leaving the big smoke for a life in the country, there are some downsides you need to consider too. It’s a huge decision you shouldn’t take lightly.
To help, we’ve summarised some of the pros and cons below:
The pros of moving from the city to the country
Everyone who makes the decision to move from the city to the country will have their own reasons for doing it. In the “pros” column are some of these more popular reasons.
Depending on what and where you want to buy, house prices are typically cheaper in the country.
For example, according to CoreLogic, the median house price in Sydney in September 2020 was just shy of $1 million. Make the move to regional NSW, and this drops by half to a more affordable $490,842.
Buying a home in the country can mean borrowing less on your home loan. This can help you pay off your mortgage faster than if you’d stayed in the city.
Change of pace
Some people love the hustle and bustle of the city. Others may prefer a quieter, more relaxed pace – where you swap the crowds and traffic for bird song and country walks. If that’s you, moving to the country may give you the lifestyle you’ve been dreaming of.
Then there’s the real sense of community that living in small towns often brings. You can get to know all your neighbours, volunteer at the local school and enjoy being part of a close-knit community.
The cons of moving from the city to the country
There can be limited employment opportunities in smaller towns – though remote working may make this less of a disadvantage than it once was. That said, moving to the countryside without an existing job, or having one lined up, can be risky – especially if you’re in a niche industry.
Healthcare, education and transport
Limited public services are another common drawback of country towns. There’ll be less choice when it comes to educating your kids, no 24/7 medical services and you may need to depend entirely on your car to get around.
If you love the buzz of busy restaurants and bars, then you might find living in the country hard. There are generally fewer places to go out at night, so you might have to travel back to the city to get your fix.
What you should know before you move to the country
Everyone who moves to a new home will experience a pretty big change in their lives. Moving to the country from the city tends to create an even bigger change. Our lists above explore the pros and cons, however once you’ve made the decision to head to the regional areas of Australia, there are some things that you should be aware of.
It takes time to adjust
Like any move, it’s going to take some time for your new home to start to feel like home. You may find yourself a little lost and that’s ok. Once the excitement of the move has worn off, give yourself some time to settle in. It might take a few weeks for you to get used to being in a new place. New habits will need to be made as you adjust to a whole new routine!
Get used to driving around
Life in the country comes with challenges that city living doesn’t have and one of those is public transport. Regional areas tend to have limited public transport options compared to cities and as such you’ll need to plan for that. Most likely, you will need a car. Being able to drive will make life a lot easier as you will have to walk some pretty big distances if you don’t drive!
What to do about housing?
While the change to country living can sound like a good one, housing can be different than what city living is. Depending on budgets of course, most people are able to purchase a larger home in the country compared to the city. For some people, keeping their city home and renting it out while they purchase a country home to live in gives them the best of both worlds. This popular option, called rentvesting could allow you to potentially have the best of both worlds!
Hedge your bets
For some city dwellers, relocating to the countryside ends up as one of the best decisions they ever made. However, others regret the decision and soon return to the city.
So you might want to hedge your bets by renting for the first year in the country – if you love it, you can sell your city home; if you hate it, you can move back.
Thinking about buying a property or refinancing an existing loan? Contact Well Money on 1300 899 724 for more information or click here to start the refinancing process and get your personalised borrowing scenario in less than 2 minutes!