Is a COVID-19 ‘Tree Change’ Right for You?

Lifestyle farms for sale for a COVID-19 tree change

The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic this year has encouraged many to consider a ‘Tree Change’. People are thinking about leaving densely populated and expensive cities to live on acreage in the beautiful Australian countryside. It’s not just retirees heading to regional Australia, either. A CoreLogic survey tells us that even before the pandemic, nearly 80% of people moving from urban to regional areas were under 50.

If you, too, are dreaming of an escape to the country and looking at lifestyle farms for sale, GoRegional is a great place to start your journey – and as of September 2020, all of regional Australia is open for real estate inspections. Before you embark on your own life-changing tree change, here are a few tips to help you find the perfect lifestyle farms for sale…

Start with a whiteboard

It doesn't need to be a whiteboard, a piece of paper will do. But it does need to be visible and serve as a constant reminder to maintain focus. Sit down with those you love and list the pros and cons of any potential move. Add a third column with the non-negotiables — the things you won’t compromise on. For instance, can you really survive without a high-speed internet connection?

Do your research

Now that you have established the ‘why’ of your move, focus on the ‘where’. There are lots of variables depending on your stage of life. Proximity to schools, hospitals, shopping, sports clubs, airports and other services are important considerations. Moreover, with the current pandemic, you will want to consider current border closures and government restrictions in choosing where you want to move. If your preference is a favorite holiday haunt, try to visit the location in the off season if possible. Considering the annual climate, including rainfall, flooding and bushfires is also a must. Many local governments provide excellent support and information, with the NSW government particularly proactive. If you are looking for a lifestyle farm for sale in this region, these two websites provide an excellent starting point.

Income and employment

If retirement isn’t your main reason for relocating, then you must consider your ongoing source of income. Whether you’re looking for full-time or part-time work, starting a new business or relocating an existing one, you must have a strategy. If your plan is more adventurous and you’re considering a small farm or farmlet, then you need to do even more due diligence. Many a tree change has been doomed before it started when either a job couldn’t be found or a family member had to work away from the new home soon after the move. Remember, the change is about lessening stress and enjoying a better lifestyle, so complications from a lack of income or time away from your family due to poor planning isn’t an ideal start.

Tree change contingency plan

Despite the best planning and preparation, sometimes a lifestyle change of this nature just doesn't work out. Capital growth in major cities has historically outperformed regional areas. If you sell a property in a metropolitan area and want to return later, you could be priced out of the market and may never get back in. If you own a city dwelling, and you can afford to keep it, do so. A safe alternative is to rent in your new area. This gives you the opportunity to be certain the switch is right before you make the final commitment to buy.