Here in Australia we are quite spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a new home, for there are so many stunning locations. From trendy inner city apartments to mountain top retreats, there's a huge variety of styles, from the tropics to the snow.
A common dilemma, however, seems to be bush or beach. By choosing the beach you get the ocean, of course, but you may have to compromise on space. Choose the bush and you'll probably get a whole lot more for your buck, but it's a long way to go for a swim.
In some locations, where prices are generally lower, like Tasmania, you can have the best of both worlds. But usually you do have to make a choice.
Following Your Dream
The first thing to do is write a list of pros and cons for both locations, considering things like price; rates; proximity to schools if you have children; commuting distance if you work in the city; upkeep, and so on.
If you're favouring acreage, ask yourself why. Is it simply the dream of having space to spare, chicken and a veggie garden? Will you really have time for the upkeep required?
Or if the beach seems more attractive, will you spend so much time working to pay that mortgage that you'll never have time to enjoy it!
Of course, we're playing devil's advocate here, but it is important to ask the questions.
Acreage living is a delight - especially if you have a growing family. Generally it will mean a bigger house, so everybody gets their own room, and there are multiple living spaces to avoid arguments.
Kids Can Really Be Kids
Whether it's one acre or 40, you'll enjoy that extra space, as there's room for a pony or a bike track, trees to climb and probably a dam to splash around in. Kids can really be kids on acreage!
You're likely to be on tank water, of course, but there's still the possibility of putting in a swimming pool if the budget allows.
Coastal living offers a different sort of fun. Your property will probably be smaller, but you'll still likely to have a great outdoor area with a pool. If the beach is within walking distance, the kids will spend most of their time there any way.
There's nothing quite like an early morning walk on the beach or an afternoon dip in the ocean when you finish work.
So, if both ways of life are so good, how will you make the choice?
What's Practical For You?
It will probably come down to practicalities, including some of the points mentioned earlier. While driving an hour each way to work may not seem like a problem when you first fall in love with your rural home, how will you feel a few months down the line, when it's cold and wet?
And can you live without your 20-minute showers when it hasn't rained for weeks and the water tanks are nearly empty!
Uhm, leaning towards that beach house now, right?
Okay, but what will you get for your money? If you want pets, or you have several cars to park, a unit or a townhouse probably won't fit the bill. And if you value your privacy, perhaps a home in a busy seaside suburb isn't the one for you.
At the end of the day it comes down to budget and practicality, and what will work for you all as a family. Either way, bush or beach, you're still living in one of the world's best locations!