What Happened When We Left the City

Here’s what to expect when you sell up and move to a regional town

Andrew Macrae



This is a long piece, so I’ve put a summary at the top, if you just want a quick glance at the main things we learned.

Here’s a breakdown of the sections:

  • Summary and key messages
  • Deciding to make the move
  • First step: find the right place
  • Second step: sell up
  • Third step: move there
  • Fourth step: deal with the emotional earthquake
  • Fifth step: build a new life
  • Conclusion


1. Know why you’re doing it

The main reason we wanted to move was for cheaper housing. We also wanted a quieter life, and my partner was ready to slow down and take some time to consider her next move.

2. Stick to your objective

If your objective is cheaper housing, stick to your budget. When you’re looking for a new house, it’s tempting to be seduced by houses going for just a little bit more than the price range you’ve targeted. But it’s worth taking your time and holding out for the right house. Given the unexpected change in our circumstances, we could have easily ended up with a mortgage that wiped out all the benefits of the move.

3. It’s going to be more disruptive than you think

Strap yourself in for an emotional earthquake. I’m not saying this is inevitable, but it’s likely such a big move is going to cause big upheavals in your family’s emotional life.

4. You won’t miss the things you think you’ll miss

I thought I’d miss the bars and the restaurants and the coffee and the craft beer. But I don’t. Not a bit. I found a local coffee roaster at least as good as the place I was buying my coffee from in Melbourne, and I ended up quitting drinking beer anyway.

5. You’ll miss some things you weren’t even aware of



Andrew Macrae

Freelance writer and editor. Sign up for my newsletter about writing, freelancing and whatever is worrying me https://tinyletter.com/Andrew_Macrae