There certainly is a lot to be said for living in the metropolitan suburbs of Melbourne, but I’m sure we’ve all watched Escape To The Country at one time or another and dreamed of a more relaxed lifestyle, so lets have a look at the pros and cons, both financially and lifestyle, of city versus country.
Many people living in Melbourne find the prospect of relocating to Country Victoria rather daunting, to say the least. Speaking as a person who has lived both in Melbourne and in the country, I can tell you that a country lifestyle wins hand down over city living every time.
Land is considerably cheaper to buy and, depending on how far from Melbourne you buy, prices per square metre can vary quite significantly For example, land in Footscray, for example, will set you back around $1,000 per square metre, with no dwelling on it, whereas, vacant land located 2 hours plus from Melbourne in a Township Zone can be snapped up from around $77 per square metre, complete with planning permit for a 2 bedroom dwelling and only around an hours’ drive from Lorne or Apollo Bay on the Great Ocean Rd
Below is a list of residential land priced per square metere in Melbourne and various locations around Victoria.
Truganina: $837 sqm
Armstrong Creek: $435 sqm
Winchelsea: $158 sqm
Colac: $100 sqm
Gellibrand: $77 sqm
Wollert: $399 sqm
Beveridge: $147 sqm
Wallan: $627 sqm
Bacchus Marsh: $331 sqm
Bannockburn: $436 sqm
Kyneton: $439 sqm
As a rule of thumb, construction of a new home is around $10,000 to $12,000 per square, depending on the level of fitout. You can realistically add up to 10 percent on that if you decide to build in rural Victoria, due to material transport costs and labor travel costs, depending on how far from Melbourne you decide to build.
The lifestyle in the country, let me tell you, is to die for. The streets are wider, the pace of everyday life is more relaxed, there is no traffic congestion or parking problems and there is plenty of open space to enjoy.
If you buy into a rural community such as Gellibrand or Bannockburn, the government provides school buses to collect and drop students off at the door.
I know of some communities where the local general store/cafe leaves the tables and chairs outside over night with no fear of theft or vandalism, due to the lack of crime in that community. Try doing that in Chapel St, South Yarra.
The shopping facilities and entertainment venues are certainly on a parr with Melbourne. You won’t find complexes such as Highpoint, Watergardens or Chadsstone, but you will be able to buy what you want.
Supermarkets are usually open until 10.00 pm every day, and you won’t have to walk a mile to get to them. Coles will be opening their brand new store in Colac towards the end of September 2017, which includes specialty shops and carpark. Safeway have had a complex there for the last 35 years.
Wallan has a Coles Complex as well as a fairly substantial shopping plazza, and Kyneton has a huge Woolworths store and a Coles complex is planned for Diggers Rest.
Places like Colac and Kyneton have state of the art hospitals, medical consulting rooms and dentist services.
Relocating to regional Victoria is made easy if you operate a home based business or are able to work remotely from your employers office. More and more employers are happy to have thier employees work remotely from home, as this save them office space, the cost of equipment and infrastructure and some will even pay for the internet connection and usage.
The blocks also tend to be bigger, giving room for a veggie patch or fruit trees. towards the end of 2016, a block of land in Gellibrand of just over an acre sold for around $137,000. Add to that a build cost of around $170,000 plus another $30,000 for infrastructure and you start to see just how much more bang you can get for your buck in rural Victoria, compared to the outer Western and Northern Suburbs.
At the end of the day, it all boils down to lifestyle choices, employment choices and budget constraints. this exercise is merely to demonstrate the pro’s and con’s of city versus country living, and you should certainly do your homework before making any decisions. If you are considering the move to the country, you may want to review the Due Diligence Ckecklist