Could a tree-change work for you?

City living is not called the rat-race for nothing. While many thrive in the big smoke, many are opting out, choosing to raise their families in the country instead.

Cleaner air, less traffic, open spaces, lower cost of living… did we mention less traffic?

There are any number of reasons to consider a tree change, but if you’re serious, better do your homework first.

Housing affordability

Buying or renting a home is more affordable in the country. In rural Wodonga you can rent a 4-bedroom, modern family home for around $390 per week. A similar home in Glen Waverley would rent for around $610. You could buy a similar home in Orange for just over $500,000, where in Hornsby, it could cost over $1 million.

While property is generally cheaper to rent or buy in the country, you’ll need to consider other factors. Some rural municipalities cover large areas. Higher maintenance costs and fewer residents can mean council and water rates are more expensive. Another point to think about is bushfire zoning. If you’re in a high-risk area, insurance premiums can be higher. Building in a bushfire-prone area may require more expensive modifications to meet the fire rating.

Make sure you do your sums. Talk to local councils about rates and levies.

If buying land, read your Section 32 carefully and be aware of all zoning requirements.


Government incentives encourage industries and businesses to move to regional areas. As employment opportunities in regional areas grows, so too does the economic well-being of its towns. All of this activity provides a wide range of employment.

It’s a good idea to check the job-market in the area, and if possible, have a job lined up before you make any final decisions.

Could you make it work?

Holidaying and living are two separate things. Try not to make the mistake of assuming an idyllic getaway will be your perfect permanent tree-change. On holiday you’re relaxed; you’re not a taxi for your kids’ weekend activities, you’re not harried by housework, school and work pressures.

If you’re serious about moving to the country and you’ve a location in mind, do your due diligence. Include researching:

  • Schools
  • Medical facilities
  • Community infrastructure and activities.

If you’re dreaming of a tree change, do your research and draw up a plan to make it reality.


This article is of a general nature only and are not to be taken as recommendations as they might be unsuited to your specific circumstances. The contents herein do not take into account the investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any person and should not be used as the basis for making any financial or other decisions. Your Lifespan adviser or other professional advisers should be consulted prior to acting on this information. This disclaimer is intended to exclude any liability for loss as a result of acting on the information or opinions expressed.


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