Greater numbers of city dwellers are considering moving to the country to enjoy a more idyllic lifestyle. But does the reality of rural life live up to the expectations?
With over 18 years practising as a certified conveyancer in Taree, I've helped thousands of people sell their city property and buy a home in regional Australia. Before making the move to the bush, it's wise to do your research, develop a checklist and look at the pros and cons of country living to determine whether it's right for you.
The appeal of a rural lifestyle
Research indicates that three out of four city dwellers actively consider moving to the country. The rolling green hills and uncrowded beaches promise a life of serenity. With fresh air, ample space and stunning scenery, country living offers a real sense of freedom and escape.
Along with retirees, there are now many young people moving to the country, particularly to regional centres in NSW, where it's possible to buy a home for a quarter of the price of a dwelling in Sydney.
For those Australians who are happy to live in a small town and make regular business trips to the city, working remotely is both productive and convenient, making it easier to achieve a work-life balance.
Consider the costs associated with moving to the country
With statistics indicating that one in five people find themselves being unable to make the rural transition and returning to the city to live, it's imperative that you understand what a move to the country entails before you commit.
I often alert those who plan moving to the country to the unexpected costs of such a move. These can include land service rates, water access fees and electricity connections. There are also tree protection orders, bush preservation orders and wildlife corridors that you need to consider.
A rural lifestyle can also bring you closer to dangers such as snakes and to natural disasters like floods, bushfires and droughts. And it's important to note the difference in services, including limited public transport, dirt roads, lack of street lights and longer distances to schools and hospitals.
Create a checklist of the things you'll miss about the city
Before committing to the country life, it's a good idea to create a list of things you are likely to miss, such as restaurants, cinemas, mobile coverage and urban convenience.
You can then weigh up whether the benefits of moving to the country outweigh your favourite aspects of city life.
Get to know the region before you make the move
Before moving to the country, spend some time in the region first. Scout around, talk to locals and go over your checklist as part of your due diligence.
This will help you make an informed decision about whether a country lifestyle is the right move for you.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.