Ten things to consider before moving to a regional area

In a recent survey, half of home-movers told us that being in lockdown has changed what they’re looking for in their next home. And one noticeable change is that almost one third (30%) of buyers would now consider moving to a rural area.

There are obvious benefits to living in the countryside: The space, contact with nature, fresh and unpolluted air, and the peace and quiet. And you may get a lot more for your money depending on the location you choose.

But if you’re thinking of taking that leap and joining the countryfolk, there are several things you should think about – especially if you’ve never lived in a small town or rural area before. So, we’ve compiled a list of things to consider before making your move.

1. Think carefully about where you want to live

Spending a holiday somewhere is very different than living there. You’ll find that there are details of day-to-day life that may not matter when holidaying but are important to a resident.

We recommend people spend time getting to know as many areas as possible, during summer and winter, on weekends and weekdays. Things like traffic and travel times can be quite seasonal. A trip that takes half an hour in spring, could take an hour in summer.

The feel of each town and local community can vary hugely from place to place and from season to season, you’ll want to settle in a spot that suits you and your family life style.

2. Get ready to drive

Transport links vary from place to place, but it’s safe to assume you won’t be able to count on public transport a lot of the time. It is imperative to consider that you may need more than one car for convenience and mobility. You will have to get used to planning and to make the most of each trip, it will become second nature.

This is one of the main things we hear from people who have moved from cities. That they’ve had to get used to driving several kilometres to get anywhere, running out of milk in the evening could be an issue – especially if you’ve had a glass of wine!”

3. Local amenities

Think about some of the things you enjoy that you do regularly. Gym? Shopping? Theatre? Nightclubs, are they important or just fancies?

These options can be limited in rural areas, so you may need to compromise. But with a bit of luck, thorough research, and the willingness to drive, you might find a sweet spot. It’s also worth finding out what the local taxi and delivery services are like.

4. Schools and childcare

If you are a family with children, one of your top priorities will be looking for good schools and childcare options in the area. It’s worth checking each school’s admissions’ policy. You might think you’re in the catchment area, but you need to be sure.

Schools in rural areas are often very good and are typically able to offer a greater variety of extracurricular activities and sports facilities. But as will often be the case, you may need to prepare to drive further than you’re used to. A 30-40-minute drive for school runs is not unusual.”

5. Airports and flights

For those of you who travel abroad regularly, this could be a key point. Trips to international airports may be much longer and involve interconnecting flights or overnight stays in hotels near international airports.

This is often something that is overlooked as it doesn’t seem like a big deal at first but realising that you’ll have to drive 3-4 hours whenever you have a flight to catch, or when you need to pick someone up, will take some serious getting used to!”

6. Ease your way into the community

Rural areas are often known for enjoying a stronger community and more welcoming spirit. This is a definite benefit, and something you might find will become important to you and especially children further down the line.

7. Broadband

This is getting better and better every year, but there are still a few spots in rural areas that it’s not great, so make sure you investigate and check for NBN connectivity.

8. Weather needs to be considered

You will become obsessed with the weather, especially as you could find yourself bushor riding hours away from home, so you’ll need to be well prepared and plan.

9. The property

If you want to add rooms or facilities or work needs to be done to it or, ask if there is decent choice of good and affordable local tradesmen and builder suppliers in the area?

And do some research to find out if your target property is a good investment. Check sold prices to see how much properties have sold for in the area over time.

Don’t be surprised if you become the new weekend hub for family and friends!

10. The Council

Call in to the local Council and tourism offices, as well as checking local websites and pickup information about the area’s you are considering and make a time to chat with the planning officer and as many locals as you can to get a handle on what is and what maybe happening in the region.

Ready to find your rural retreat? Check out our properties.