Sea change success: slow down before you leave the rat race.

I was invited to chat on the ABC radio nightlife program about how to best prepare for tree or sea change success. This is always such an enticing thought, particularly over the summer holiday period when we take a breather from our often frenetic lives. The program had a talk-back segment and many people called in to tell of their experiences (mostly positive) and give excellent advice.

Over a 4 year period, I roved around Australia with Bryce Holdaway filming Location Location Location Australia and helping many people to realise their dreams of moving to the country or coast. It was an incredible experience and at times I was also tempted to take the plunge. To make a change of pace work, there is a lot to be taken into consideration, especially if you are planning on selling out of the big smoke. I have written about this before and it’s easy to see the difference between a sea change success and one that ends up being a source of greater stress.

How to make a seachange work: slow down before you leave the ratrace. Click To Tweet

Callers to the Nightlife show added some other insights. One that I thought was really powerful was that it takes time to find your place in a new community. Getting a job will help you meet new people and you will also need to proactively join groups. Choose a sport, find a book club… You need to give it time but you also need to recognize that the type of community varies in different towns, so if you don’t fit in somewhere you needn’t run back to the city – perhaps you just haven’t found the right town.

Another suggestion from those who have experienced sea change success was to stay within an easy commute to a metropolis. The safest bet is within a 2 hour drive and ideally buy into a town with a train station. Proximity to a major city or regional centre will give options for employment, visits to and from old friends, make it easier for your kids to commute as they get older, and for you to get access to health care as you get older. You can hear more voices of experience by listening to the podcast.

And another thing – buying a coastal property now for your retirement is not necessarily a wise thing to do. Things change and future lifestyle choices may never come off. Instead, if you have some spare money, you could buy an investment property now in a high capital growth area. Down the track when you are ready for your tree or sea change, you will have options at your disposal that you would not have had if you choose your location now. The capital growth in regional areas simply won’t keep up with Sydney.

Just remember not to rush the buying/selling process. Slow down, because the regional property market moves at a slower pace than city markets, so you won’t lose out. It’s OK to rent for a while to make sure it’s the right place for you. Much better to do this to ensure sea change success before you burn your bridges to the city.

Hear the 702 Nightlife podcast here.

Further reading:

The key to capital growth in real estate

Is it worth getting a buyers agent? Yes, if you get one who knows more than you do.

Do you have these property questions on your mind?

Published: 9 January, 2016
Updated: 26 December, 2018 & 21 December, 2020.

DISCLAIMER: Good Deeds buyers tips are intended to be of a general nature. Please contact us for advice that is specific to your individual circumstances. You may also need to get advice from other professionals such as an accountant, mortgage broker, financial planner or solicitor.

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