6 tips for making the tree change

Yesterday I posed the question “Would you or have you moved rural, for a small or no mortgage?” on Facebook and twitter. (You can read the Facebook comments here.) it was prompted by a recent article I read about cheaper cities to live in Australia, although calling the areas cities is a bit of a stretch in some instances. Either way, it got me thinking and I was surprised by how many people feel the same and have either moved or plan to.

I thought I would share a few of the tips from Facebook, as well as some of the things I learned when moving interstate before.

1.)  Rent: If you are worried you won’t like the new area, you can always rent out your home and rent in the new area. Then if you like it sell your home and buy in the new location. If you don’t like it, you still have your home.

2.)  Research: You will need to know how far things are from where you will be living, e.g. dr’s, hospitals, schools, work as well as what things there are to do for entertainment, cost of housing etc.

3.)  Do it! Too often we stay where we are because we think we have no other options. But once we start looking and making plans to live our dreams, it can be amazing what happens to make your dreams come true.

4.)  Label well: When we moved I was not always the best packer and labeling boxes was not done so well. I can’t remember where I heard about it, but it was suggested you number boxes as you pack. Have a card system with each card being numbered. On those cards write exactly what is in each box. This makes it easier to find things without rummaging through a bunch of boxes,

5.)  Backloads: Many removalist’s offer a backload option where if you don’t have much stuff, your items can be stacked in with someone else’s or if they do not have anyone booked on the return trip from a certain location and it happens to be where you live, you can sometimes get a discount.

6.)  Be ruthless: For me, this time, anything which has not been used since I moved to Sydney is going. Too often we keep things because we think we will use it someday. It is not worth moving this stuff with you if you are moving interstate.

I live in Sydney, which at the time of writing this is classed as the 11th most expensive city in the world to live (according to this article and this one, just to name two). I decided to have a bit of a look around different areas to see what the price difference would be.

One particular area I am heavily interested in would see my mortgage drop drastically, but I would have my virtual dream house. So I decided to look into it more.

I had always assumed I could not move because my daughter has speech therapy here, I have therapy here and I was unsure if our specific needs would be met in the areas I wanted to live. In fact, I know some of the areas I wanted to live could not cater for us. So I thought I was stuck here.

Last night, spurred on by the talk on Facebook and twitter I decided to look into it further. I checked out the schools, therapists for my daughter and I, how far things are, a bit on jobs and homes. I found a school that specifically caters for what my daughters needs and it would be way better than where she currently goes.

I found our therapy bills would be less than half what we currently pay. I found that the wait list for services we need was half the length of time that we have here and if I wanted, they would put my name down now, even though I have not yet moved into the area.

In a nutshell, the benefits for us were not just financial. Moving away from Sydney to this area would be the best thing I could do for my daughters as well. I could have my dream lifestyle, well almost. I would love to live on the beach. To live near the beach in Sydney will cost at least $1,000,000. I don’t like Sydney so would not pay $1,000,000 to live here.

So the next step, now that I know our needs will be met, is to finish and sell my house.

Have you made the sea/tree change or plan to? Any advice? Where did you move to and from?