investment-guides

Time to go bush?

By Jessica Darnbrough

Making a sea or tree change might be a smart move that could save you thousands in the long term.

 

As the cost of living continues to soar, an increasing number of Australians are packing up their lives and relocating to regional areas within Australia.

There are many benefits for those who are game enough to take the plunge, with easier access to the great outdoors and a slower pace of life just two of them.

But none is more enticing than the potential savings in the cost of housing.

If like many Australians you are feeling the strain of having to service a hefty mortgage, selling up and securing a home in a smaller city or town could be a great way to rid yourself of a burdening debt.

This might just be a smart strategy that could save you thousands of dollars.

RP Data/Rismark figures for the June 2011 quarter show metro markets across NSW recorded a median house price of $585,000, while in the state’s regional markets during the same period, the median house price was just $330,000.

This is a saving of $255,000, which could shave tens of thousands of dollars off the mortgage for many home buyers. And this is just one example; the same applies across Australia.

By reducing your debt obligations for your principal place of residence, you’ll be spending less of your hard earned cash on interest repayments.

In most regional markets, you’ll also get much more for your money.

If you own a comfortable-but-could-be-bigger Melbourne terrace, you could easily trade that for a four bedroom, double garage home with a big backyard in a regional Victorian location for under $400,000.

However, there are a few things you should consider before making the move.

You may well have to take a pay cut (hence the need to consider a move to the country very carefully) but the cost of living should be substantially less.

Chances are you’ll be able to drive to work in as little as 10 minutes, saving on petrol and tolls. School fees will also be lower, while eating out will be much cheaper.

Renting in the area for a few months prior to purchasing a home could be an effective way to test out the location and to ensure you are comfortable making the switch.

Be sure to check out hospitals, schools, traffic conditions and even internet access to make sure you get the sunny new start you deserve at a price you know you can afford.

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4.
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