3 things to think about before making a Sea Change

The Sea Change is in, and city living is losing it's appeal. So we look at some of the key things to consider before taking the plunge.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has seen an exodus from Sydney’s CBD with an increasing number of people making a Sea Change.

Research shows that since the pandemic, one in five Australian women have either moved or are thinking about it, according to Finder.

Factors such as low interest rates, falling rent prices and a desire for more space could all play into this decision.

If you’re looking to take the relocation plunge, here are a few things to think about before making the move.

Local property prices
Living in a major city, particularly Sydney or Melbourne, you’ve probably acquired a bit of a warped sense of what “good” property prices are (cue Melbourne’s $645,000 garage).

If you are looking to make a Sea Change or even a Tree Change, this is why it is important to research the area thoroughly before diving in.

While a 3-bedroom house for $800,000 might seem like a steal in the heart of Sydney, you’d be paying around $160,000 over the median if you were to buy a similar property in the coastal town of Nelson Bay.

If there is an area you’re interested in, use a website like Domain or to look into the suburb profile.

This will contain information such as the median house price, median rent, demographics and amenities to give you a better sense of how to value the
properties you’re interested in.

Employment prospects
Depending on how much of a Sea Change you are looking to make, a change of office or even a career change may be on the cards.

If your sea change means you will now be working from home, you’ll want to factor this into your property plans. For instance, you may need an extra room for a home office, a new desk or office equipment, and maybe a faster Internet plan to accommodate your remote working requirements.

Alternatively, if you’re planning on a career change to accompany your new lifestyle, be sure to check the opportunities available in your suburbs of interest.

A quick search on sites like Seek or Indeed will give you an idea of what jobs are available in that area in your field.

Lifestyle needs
For those looking to make the move solo or those whose kids have left the nest, you can be a little selfish when choosing what amenities you’ll need in your new community as things like daycare and school catchments won’t influence your choice.

This allows you to be a little more flexible with your sea change and focus on the social aspects of your new locale.

However, if you’re a young family or a couple with kids in your future, you’ll need to plan a bit further ahead. Although the responsibility of child rearing is relevant to both genders, there is often an imbalance between men and women.

According to the Financy Women’s Index women tend to spend significantly more time on unpaid care work than men.

In saying this, you’ll want to be sure you’ve done your research when it comes to factors like schools, daycare and extracurricular activities available to the kids to allow yourself to balance your paid and unpaid responsibilities.

A Sea Change is both enticing and a little daunting, so it’s important to prepare yourself before rushing into anything. By putting in the work early, you can make a change that offers a much-needed rejuvenating change to your lifestyle.

Bessie Hassan is a money expert at Finder, Australia’s most visited comparison site.

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