Choose the lifestyle that suits you
And it’s a dream that plenty of Kiwis turn into reality. REINZ figures show sales of lifestyle properties around the country for the three months to the end of June 2016 were up 19% on the same period last year.
But there are some crucial factors to consider before you buy to make sure you find the right lifestyle property for your dream lifestyle.
- Think about what you really want. This is obviously true for any property purchase, but lifestyle properties come in many and varied shapes and sizes with different pros and cons. Start by creating a perfect wish list of what your new lifestyle might be. Then start thinking about the kind of property and location that might match that.
- Be realistic. There is a certain amount of romance about chucking it all in and moving to the country, but it can also be a lot of work. Some questions to consider, which can have a huge impact on the size and nature of the property you buy and the location, are:
- Will you still need or want to work?
- Will you need or want to draw an income from your lifestyle property? And if so, will that be passive income such as renting land for grazing animals to your neighbours or income from your own work on the property such as fruit trees or grapevines?
- Do you need to be near schools, medical facilities or other essential services?
- Do your due diligence. Again this is standard before committing to any property purchase, but things to consider in regard to lifestyle property are:
- What are the ongoing maintenance/upkeep costs? Do a thorough examination of things like fences, gates and outbuildings.
- Are there any restrictions on building or development of the property? Are there protected areas of native bush?
- Are there paper roads crossing the property? They may not ever be constructed but they can come with restrictions on how close you can plant/build.
- How is water and power supplied to the property, is it on the grid/town supply or will you need to supply and maintain your own?
Of all these considerations probably the issue of whether you will keep working or aim to generate all your income from your property is the most crucial.
If you want or need to keep your job, take into account your commute times – which can often be a lot longer when you move to the country. Add to that the possible need to feed animals or keep up with maintenance, and you can be in for some very long days.
On the other hand, if you’re giving up your job to work on your property to generate income you need to do some maths, to make sure you have enough land to create sustainable income in your chosen field, and that it is manageable in the time you have available. Or will you need to hire hands to assist, which in turn impacts on your bottom line.
The best place to start is talk to people who’ve done it and who are successfully managing a lifestyle property similar to your dream property and are happy doing it. Talk to your Harcourts sales consultants about how to narrow down the search for your perfect place.