Making a Seachange

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

Summer holidays are a great time for lifestyle inspiration – and for many people, that means fun on the water. For those of us who spend our working weeks in the inner-urban jungle of city life, the lure of living by the coast is enticing.

Making a seachange can be a positive move at any age – whether you plan to see out your retirement in seaside style, or you want to take the plunge with a young family to enjoy a quieter, more relaxed and healthy outdoor life.

When so many Australian families make the annual pilgrimage towards the coast each summer holiday, it doesn’t take long before spare moments are spent gazing longingly at real estate display windows in sleepy beachside towns, with dreams of a different life driving them to make a change.

The reality, though, is that many sea (and tree)-changers who sell up and make the big move realise, often within the first year, that they have made a mistake.

The important lesson? Making a seachange is something that needs to be well-planned and thought through.

To help potential sea-changers make an educated decision, it’s important to approach the sea change in two main stages.

Step 1 is to think about whether the move is good for you in the long-term and the second step is to make sure you make a smart real estate decision. And if you think you understand the market, think again. The rules of urban real estate growth do not apply in regional areas. Before you settle on a place to call your own and apply for a mortgage to fund your seachange, visit the area in different seasons, throughout the year ahead, so you can get a clear understanding of what life would really be like full-time – not just when the sun is shining. You might have plans to uproot your small business or look for employment but if population numbers fall during colder months, it may be hard to sustain either option, depending on the industry you work in. 

4 Top Tips for Successful Seachange

  1. Plan your move. If you’re planning your retirement, ask yourself how you will feel if your adult children return to the city and leave you alone in your coastal town.
  2. Live like a local. Before you buy, make sure you visit the non-tourist areas of the town to see what life is like as a local.
  3. Research the local property market. The fact that houses for sale probably languish on real estate boards for lengthy times, could help you get a bargain but think about what it will be like at the other end, if you plan to sell your seachange home one day. Who will buy it? Will you get the price you need? What will you do if you can’t sell it easily?
  4. Consider renting first. It makes sense to try before you buy so before you make the move permanent and buy a seaside property, try renting first to make sure you are happy with the culture of the town – and your place within it.

Living the seachange dream can be an amazing move but research is always key. By making a smart move, you’ll enjoy a seachange lifestyle with less regrets – with visions of a fantastic life in the slow lane stretching out ahead of you.

If you have any questions about your finances, either personal or business, please do not hesitate to contact Loans Actually on (03) 8805-1850 or email glenn@loansactually.com.au.


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