Outgrown your home? How to figure out your next move.


Article by Ying Chan

The unmet desire for space is often a deal breaker for those feeling as though they have outgrown their homes. However, wanting to move further from difficult neighbours or relatives, and live nearer to popular schools and communities are also prevalent reasons to move.

While the number of people wanting a tree or sea change has climbed steadily over the years, the pandemic has accelerated this growth – with the latest ABS statistics showing a net loss of 11,200 people from the nation’s capital cities from July to September last year. In fact, the exodus from Melbourne increased by a factor of eight compared to the pre-lockdown period.  

No matter what your intentions, here are 7 things to consider when deciding on your next move.

1. Your motivation

Dig deep to find WHY you want to move. Sometimes, there are additional reasons that are brushed aside as unimportant but may not be so. Could you be looking for prestige and networking opportunities or could it be for personal security and tranquillity? Be honest with yourself because your motivation is critical in finding the perfect home for you.

2. Your Budget

Be realistic and work within what you can afford. Find out the sweet spot of affordability by talking to your mortgage broker or bank and seek advice from your financial planner or accountant. Research sold prices for the type of property you want to buy in the locations you want to buy in. Research what your current home is worth or what deposit you will require if you’re moving into your first home. Also factor in any potential changes in income as a result of the move.


3. Your services and amenities

Write down your needs and wants. Prioritise them and keep refining the list. Don’t try to cover too many bases and don’t think too far ahead. For example, worrying about school zones if you haven’t started a family yet is not necessary, as school zones evolve and consistently get redrawn.

4. Your lifestyle

Be clear on how you want to use your spaces, both for work and leisure. What are the shared areas and what are the individual areas? List the needs of every family member including pets.

5. Your tree change or sea change

Lockdowns and border closures have prompted thousands to abandon the city for country centres and coastal towns. However, 1 in 5 return to the city within 5 years according to the Australian Coastal Councils Association. So, before you take the plunge, consider renting for 12 months to confirm that your country or coastal fantasy is not just that.

6. Your commute

Don’t just Google it! Do a practice run in real time – by car and public transport. Not just once, but several times, at different times of the day and across the week, particularly during peak times.

7. Your distractions

Friends and loved ones are well known for “giving advice.” While well intentioned, it does add a lot of noise and can make you feel confused as to what you really want. Cut the noise by seeking qualified opinions. Consult with a few experts and choose someone you feel comfortable to work with because you must trust this person to successfully guide you to your goal.


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