What to consider when making a seachange

By Will Keall

The days of going to the coast just for the annual end-of-year holiday are changing. Many people are now choosing to permanently leave the cities where they live and move to coastal regions to start a new life.
This trend towards a “seachange” has been around for some time, but before you put your city home on the market and pack your bags, you need to research this option carefully to make sure you know what’s in store.
Below are just some areas to consider before you make a seachange.
Rent first and don’t sell your existing property
While a move to the coast sounds fantastic, one strategy that will help make sure it’s the right move for you, is to rent out your existing property while you rent in your chosen area. This way you aren’t committing yourself to an area that may not turn out to be the dream move that you thought it would be.
Research property prices
A fun activity when people are on holiday is to check out the local property prices. Often they’re amazed at what they can get for their money outside major cities. But just because might be cheaper, this doesn’t mean that when the time comes for you to buy that you should pay over the odds.
Research the area you are thinking of buying in to familiarise yourself with current prices. There’s no reason you should be paying more just because you think you’re getting an amazing bargain.
Look for work before you move
If you need to find work in your new town, try and organise a job before you get there. You’ll find the transition much easier if this is already sorted out. It will also be useful in helping you decide if the move will make financial sense. If your move is dependent on you getting work and none is available, you may need to think twice about going.
Are there the right facilities for you?
A major advantage of city living is the number of facilities available such as schools, hospitals, shops and sport and entertainment venues. When you’re researching your new town, check out what types of facilities are available in the local area. If there are some you need more than others – such as medical facilities or schools – a lack may make a huge difference to the quality of your life.
What social activities are offered?
It’s not just your working life that you need to sort out when you move. Setting up your new social life is just as crucial and plays a big part in helping you settle in more quickly. Research the demographics of the area so you know whether you are moving to a place where there are people with similar lifestyles and interests.
One way to do this is to find out about the types of clubs or evening classes that are offered. If you don’t know anyone, these types of activities make it much easier to settle in as they help you build a social network.


Preparing for the move
If you’ve decided to go ahead with your seachange, there are many things you can do before you move to make the transition easier when you get there. Actions like organising the forwarding of your mail and getting recommendations for doctors and dentists can be done well in advance.
Other things you can organise include:
  • Check out new schools and if you can, seek recommendations.
  • If you have pets, organise their move. You may want to put them in boarding kennels to give you time to settle into the new area.
  • If you are going to look for a new job after you move, make sure you have sufficient funds to tide you over while you are out of work.
  • A house move is also a great time to work out what furniture and other items can be thrown out or sold. You may want to organise a garage sale.
  • Do some research into the cost of living in your new area. How different is it? Make sure you can still afford the lifestyle are used to.
  • While you should research the local facilities, try and get a feel for the type of community it is you are moving into. If you like a busy lifestyle then make sure there are lots of activities on offer. Similarly if you like eating out: ensure there are enough restaurants and cafes to keep you entertained.

Will Keall, iMortgage’s general manager, has a wealth of marketing and business development experience gained in Australia and the United Kingdom. These include high level roles in a range of sectors such as financial services, insurance, travel and tourism, motoring and professional services.

Will played a pivotal role in the successful establishment of iMortgage. His dedication and passion for the mortgage industry have won Will the utmost respect as an integral part of the iMortgage brand.

A self confessed “numbers and brand geek”, Will calls himself a conservative investor with a long-term philosophy. He also believes it’s important to “love where you live.”

Will is a cricket and football tragic, who also enjoys running.