Author Topic: Intentional Relocation (within Australia) as a Free Agent  (Read 2998 times)

Vespa

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Intentional Relocation (within Australia) as a Free Agent
« on: October 18, 2016, 06:21:50 AM »
Greetings,
I thought I'd pick the frugal Oz brain trust on potential places for relocation.  Some of you may have already gone thru a similar process and I seek your insight.  Rather than try to craft the perfect first post, I'm going to crush my perfectionistic tendencies this time and just get a discussion going.

Current situation:
I work in the mining industry and it's been going thru a very rough patch.  There have already been severe budget cuts.  Although my manager would prefer to retain my services, the choice might not be up to him.  I live and work in a remote area and my accommodation is provided by the business.  If my current employment ends , I will effectively be homeless.  Since this has become a fairly small industry, I cannot divulge any further details.

Constraints:
The destination should have a relatively low COL and have the following amenities:

•library,
•markets / grocery stores,
•reasonably priced internet service (ADSL or better),
•hardware stores

More Specifications as requested:
•Climate: Mediterranean or similar (I do not have to live by the coast), average annual temperature range 0 to 35
•Town size: Preference is for small town (caveat: if the town is too small, there seems to be a tendency for it to collapse so there has to be a certain "critical mass", how does >25k population sound as a cutoff for stability? Let's discuss)
•natural hazards: Prefer to be away from flood and fire zones
•Exclusions: NT and Tassie
•Work: Based on my informal survey of industry colleagues, near-term re-employment potential in the field is grim.  I'd say any re-employment would have to be a side hustle found locally.
•Budget: Let's make this interesting with 2 tiers: Badass < 200k AUD  ; Bad to the bone < 100k AUD (open to further tweaking as responses roll in)


I've done some searching on
https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/
and WA and NT seem to have priced themselves out of the running.  The top contender states seem to be Qld and SA.  However, there may be particular towns in Vic and NSW that are worth considering (here's where you chime in). 

Question:
Where are some places you would consider relocating if you achieved FI status? 

Rough guidelines/information to include (this list is from the sticky note on this sub-forum):
•City, State
•If a suburb, distance from city
•Average housing cost (specify rent or buy)
•Indoor Hobbies
•Outdoor Hobbies
•Weather
•Favorite things
•Least favorite things
•'Must Try'
•Stupid ordinances/laws
•Words of wisdom/Advice
•Sustainability options (gardening, solar, etc)

I don't have reliable internet so be please be patient if you have questions.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2016, 06:20:34 AM by Vespa »

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Intentional Relocation (within Australia) as a Free Agent
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2016, 08:02:09 PM »
You may need to be more specific.

Do you prefer a small town or a capital city? Any particular climate you are after? Any re-employment opportunities?

Tassie is probably cheap, but there's the weather and weak economy to consider.

Ultimately it comes down to your desired lifestyle rather than just dollars and cents.

Sent from my LG-D855 using Tapatalk
« Last Edit: October 18, 2016, 08:05:42 PM by alsoknownasDean »

frugalsurfer

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Re: Intentional Relocation (within Australia) as a Free Agent
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2016, 10:22:07 PM »
You may need to be more specific.

Do you prefer a small town or a capital city? Any particular climate you are after? Any re-employment opportunities?

Tassie is probably cheap, but there's the weather and weak economy to consider.

Ultimately it comes down to your desired lifestyle rather than just dollars and cents.

+1

There's hundreds of medium sized towns and small cities around Aus that'd meet the OP criteria, especially in rural VIC/NSW, most of SA and TAS.

If I was FI, I'd personally need to be around some greenery, mild weather and near the ocean which means I'd be looking for affordable, low COL places on the southern, mid-north or northern NSW coast. Lots of options.

Mark31

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Re: Intentional Relocation (within Australia) as a Free Agent
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2016, 12:11:17 AM »
When I’ve looked at this before, the basic quantitative things in my shortlist were:

Presence of:
Library
High School
Major Supermarket (Coles, Woollies, Aldi)

While also thinking about:
House prices
Voting patterns
Distance from family
Distance from places of beauty

If you have GIS skills you can overlay all these criteria on a map to generate a shortlist.

This is all if you’re considering moving to a small town. There are probably areas in all capital cities that are nice places to live if you don’t need to commute each day. I for one think Ipswich, in the west of Brisbane, could represent great value.

Anatidae V

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Re: Intentional Relocation (within Australia) as a Free Agent
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2016, 01:44:49 AM »
In WA, I wouldn't live in Perth, but the regional centres (e.g. Albany, Bunbury) are cheaper, and there's very pleasant holiday towns that I think would meet your criteria. Eastern states might have more options.

marty998

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Re: Intentional Relocation (within Australia) as a Free Agent
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2016, 02:02:39 AM »
Hard choice. How much is the housing budget?


MsRichLife

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Re: Intentional Relocation (within Australia) as a Free Agent
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2016, 05:22:29 AM »
We've chosen the mid-North Coast of NSW for our post-FIRE location. Primarily we chose our new town because it's close to family, surrounded by beautiful countryside, weather that suits us (not too hot) and has affordable housing compared to Canberra where we are coming from. We are moving next week.

You haven't mentioned whether you plan to work in your new location. I imagine that would be a huge factor.

If it's smaller towns you are interested in, these lists might give you some ideas:

https://www.australiantraveller.com/100-best-towns-in-australia/
http://thenewdaily.com.au/life/wellbeing/2015/01/27/10-best-towns-change-life/
« Last Edit: October 19, 2016, 05:34:53 AM by MsRichLife »

happy

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Re: Intentional Relocation (within Australia) as a Free Agent
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2016, 05:29:22 AM »
following

Vespa

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Re: Intentional Relocation (within Australia) as a Free Agent
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2016, 06:23:09 AM »
Thanks for all your feedback!  I've added more specs to first post.

krustyburger

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Re: Intentional Relocation (within Australia) as a Free Agent
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2016, 07:47:38 PM »
I just had an idea, I can't tell from OP if this is possible but could you go on an epic mustachian camping or campervan trip around Australia?
Visit regional towns, coastal towns, some major cities spending time in places that you like the most. And then once you have sampled a huge array of climates and town sizes, locations etc you could pick a suitable town or make a short list.

MsRichLife

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Re: Intentional Relocation (within Australia) as a Free Agent
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2016, 09:38:55 PM »
We've chosen the mid-North Coast of NSW for our post-FIRE location.

Anything around that area all the way up to the QLD border is about as close to perfection as I think it gets, not Mediterranean though, it's definitely subtropical. Unfortunately many people think that too, Byron Bay as the prime example of yuppie filled expensive coastal hippie town. Slightly inland from the coast, like Lismore or places like that seem like a good balance.

We've chosen a small inland town with a population of 1200 and a cool-temperate climate (similar to Tasmania and Canberra). It's quite different from the rest of the coast in a lot of aspects.

The two towns closest to us:

https://www.australiantraveller.com/nsw/north-coast/coffs-harbour/075-dorrigo/
https://www.australiantraveller.com/nsw/north-coast/bellingen/027-bellingen/
« Last Edit: October 20, 2016, 09:43:43 PM by MsRichLife »

deborah

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Re: Intentional Relocation (within Australia) as a Free Agent
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2016, 10:55:11 PM »
There are 48 urban centres in Australia that have more than 25,000 people - so you are limiting yourself there. And you don't want a big city (whatever that means - let's say it excludes the Gold Coast - which is larger than Hobart - Newcastle, Woollongong...Geelong - anything larger than 100,000), and Tassie and NT, so you are down to 26 places in Australia that fit just two of your criteria - see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cities_in_Australia_by_population. If you visited them all for two weeks, it would only take a year, and you would have sampled every possibility!

Coastal Queensland is beautiful, but gets cyclones and floods. It's also tropical rather than Mediterranean.

Toowoomba - a bit on the cold side.

Ballarat - almost a dormitory suburb of Melbourne, gold history, it and Bendigo are very similar, with similar history. Ballarat is colder in winter, and my grandfather said it was the coldest place in Australia.

Bendigo - great place, good hardware stores. A bit pricey, because it is closeish to Melbourne (good train service to Melbourne, and bus to Tullamarine airport) lots to do - you should go to their Easter parade, where EVERY SINGLE community group parades, along with the Chinese dragons (longest Imperial dragon in the world, and oldest Imperial dragon in the world) and all the lion dancing teams from all around Australia - it goes for HOURS.

Albury-Wodonga - another good place with lots to do.

Mackay - gets very wet. Tropical. Definitely not a Mediterranean climate.

Mandurah - isn't it really part of Perth?

Maitland - probably part of Newcastle.

Bunbury - didn't seem to have much to do there, but I wasn't there for long.

Rockhampton - another tropical coastal city. Interesting place with a variety of things to do, but I don't like the small biting wildlife.

Bundaberg - ditto.

Hervey Bay - too tropical, too touristy. Was once nice. Beautiful place.

Wagga Wagga - a bit too flat. Has a lot of things going on. It gets a little too hot for me.

Melton - part of Melbourne.

Coffs Harbour - mentioned above. Was once nice, but too touristy. Wonderful scenery.

Shepparton-Mooroopna - too flat. Gets floods. Great people.

Port Macquarie - haven't been there that I can recall (I must have). Lots of people like it.

Tamworth - it's an inland town. Has a festival. Is in northern NSW where it is pretty.

Orange - ditto.

Mildura-Buronga - Nice place, lots to do, but it gets pretty hot.

Sunbury - really part of Melbourne.

Pakenham -  really part of Melbourne.

Dubbo - another place in NSW that's flat. People often say it is in Western NSW, because they don't count most of the state. It's a nice place, with lots to do, and it's a gateway to the outback (like Mildura is, but I think Mildura is nicer).

Gladstone - another tropical coastal Queensland town with biting insects.

Bathurst - Nice place, lots to do there, as it is sort of at the back of the Blue Mountains. Rather isolated though.

Kalgoolie-Boulder - I haven't been there but it is probably too hot.

Warnambool - REALLY NICE PLACE. Coastal Victoria (the only one on the list). Interesting place.

Nowra-Bomaderry - A tourist mecca in summer. (probably the same can be said for Port Macquarie)

Lismore - I've been there, several times, but I can't remember much about it.

Albany - Nup, haven't been there.

And I thought I hadn't seen much of Australia!

Anatidae V

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Re: Intentional Relocation (within Australia) as a Free Agent
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2016, 11:12:11 PM »
Albany is cold in winter, similar to Melbourne I think?

Mandurah is almost a suburb of Perth, but you are far enough away and they have plenty of beaches!

Bunbury is nothing special, but there are several suburb-like towns very close by with good amenities that would be very pleasant to live in.

I have little to no experience with the other places :)

MsRichLife

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Re: Intentional Relocation (within Australia) as a Free Agent
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2016, 01:54:26 AM »

Oh man Dorrigo is beautiful! Nearly got to do some field work in the NP, sad that it didn't eventuate.
Bellingen may not fit the bill for the OP, it seems like it floods every other week.

I love the vibe of Bellingen, but I couldn't live there. Too many floods and too hot in summer. For living, I prefer the climate of Dorrigo. It's so different and only 1/2 hour drive. I do plan to visit Bellingen a fair bit for the culture though.

Fresh Bread

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Re: Intentional Relocation (within Australia) as a Free Agent
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2016, 04:56:27 AM »
Deborah, the whole list, fantastic!!

Maitland - a lower income place to live with a horrible commute to Newcastle via congested roads or on a skanky train. It's come up a bit with newer subdivisions, so not that cheap. Of course it's just near the Hunter Valley if you like wine. The Hunter region is also a mining area so possible jobs?

Warnambool - I'd check the climate, I think it gets bitter in winter.

Orange - I've passed through and I liked the look of the place. It had some older architecture that gave it a bit of character. You might find a house in budget.

Nowra - Bomaderry - Not sure exactly how far this region extends but Nowra and Bomaderry themselves aren't near the coast so not strictly touristy. Nowra is a bit bland but I think I write it off because there are so many beautiful places nearby. For your price range you're looking at a not great unit or a caravan park. Nice weather. Some of the cheaper areas around and about may be flood prone. My possible retirement location is down the road in Kiama. You can get this place but I think you can only stay there 180 days or less. http://www.domain.com.au/unit-225-51-2-minnamurra-street-kiama-nsw-2533-2012721048

Lismore, Wagga Wagga & Tamworth - I've been to all briefly. Had the worst coffee ever in Lismore but I think I got unlucky. I was impressed with all three as I had low expectations but they were nice towns with plenty of amenities.  The cheap bits of Wagga are flood prone. Very brisk in winter!

Dubbo - I have heard it's a bit rough but can't be the whole town. I've only passed through. There's the Western Plains zoo!

How about Broken Hill? Cheap and the Council is always trying to regenerate it. It's got an art scene I think if you wanted to pick up a paint brush! Not sure of employment oppos.

I think you can get a small plot and put a tiny kit type house on it in most of these places for $200k. Or get a teeny unit. Except Broken Hill, you can buy a house there!

All the inland places are too cold for me in winter so I'd be sticking near the coast for that reason.

Edit - Sorry Broken Hill will be too hot, won't it.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2016, 05:05:38 AM by Freshwater »

deborah

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Re: Intentional Relocation (within Australia) as a Free Agent
« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2016, 06:53:24 PM »
Broken Hill - pop 18,317 (so it didn't make the cut off) - a bit too hot - like Mildura it has covered parking at the supermarkets. Wonderful place. Because it is extremely isolated it has a lot of things (like hospitals) that it shouldn't, and it has a really good arts scene. There are a lot of things to do in the area. The petrol stations on the main drag are a lot more expensive than the others. It has the wrong time (being on Central Time although it is in NSW can be confusing).