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What to look for in a luxury lifestyle property

By Tim Marsh

The big city life isn’t for everyone. The noise, bright lights, long traffic queues and almost endless commutes in metropolitan areas can certainly make you dream of living a quiet country life. But your search for a quieter lifestyle doesn’t have to just begin in the suburbs – you might end up looking in more regional parts of Australia.

Outside of big metropolitan areas and busy regional cities, you’ll find larger lots of land and luxurious residential real estate to suit. The tricky part can be picking the best property for your own individual needs.

What is a lifestyle property?

Lifestyle properties come in all shapes and sizes. From small hobby farms like vineyards or orchards to countryside villas, there are many options to help you fulfil the lifestyle you’ve always wanted.

These could be located on the edge of outer suburbs in larger towns or in more remote parts of the country.

Just remember the country joke that goes something like this: “if you want a lifestyle, don’t buy a lifestyle property.”

Having personally moved from Melbourne to the Byron area to a 10 acre hobby farm, I can personally attest that there are so many things to be mindful of when looking at a lifestyle property. And they’re things you wouldn’t generally think of, like:

  • Fence posts: what are their condition, and how many need to be repaired?
  • How is the fencing generally? How are the gates and strainer posts? These can all be very expensive and time consuming to replace.
  • How is the condition of any shedding. Pay particular attention to any old steel for rust.
  • How is the soil condition?
  • Are there any fruit trees established? Growing your own fruit like mangos and avocados is amazing, but if you have to establish trees, you can expect to wait 2-8 years for fruit. Likewise, if they’re all old, you’ll need to replace them or plant new ones in parallel to ensure continuity of supply.
  • What is the weed load like?
  • Have any snakes (browns and tigers in particular) established nests on your property near the home?
  • Is there internet? Many regional areas rely on patchy 3G wireless internet for phone towers, or worse, satellite. The NBN will go a long way to ameliorating these issues though.
  • Is there a hospital nearby?
  • Is the property prone to flooding, or fire?
  • Is there risk of industrialisation (like what is happening in the Northern Rivers with CSG)?
  • Is solar power installed, or can it be (does the house face reasonably close to north?)
  • What is the water supply like (can you cope with a prolonged dry spell).

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Photo Credit: lucasfoxbcn via Compfightcc

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