Australia is fortunate to have plenty of land, with thousands of miles of coastline and the massive expanse of the outback, which means there will always be opportunities to purchase holiday homes in remote locations. If you are thinking about buying a cottage in the countryside or a villa in an out-of-the-way coastal location, here are some things to think about before you purchase your home away from home that could save a lot of money and hassle in the long-run.
Ask About any External Factors Affecting the Property
When you are buying in rural Australia, you aren't just occupying a house. You are also entering an ecology and a community. In some areas, land usage rights might restrict what you can do with your land, making it impossible to house horses or clear trees. In others, livestock diseases are a factor and could affect any plans you have to raise animals. Sometimes rural areas can also be deceptive. What looks pristine could be contaminated by agricultural or industrial chemicals.
Think about fire risks as well. In some places, bushfire risks could be driving owners to sell. You don't want to be stuck in a dangerous property as climate change bites, and areas with increasing fire risks may be subject to increased regulatory costs such as minimum water storage levels.
Ensure Your Lights Won't Go Out
Energy is another thing to think about. In rural Australia, most homes now have connections to the national grid, so you probably won't need to worry about lighting gas lamps and turning on heaters on a daily basis. However, if the power fails, you need to have backup plans in place. Investing in a couple of petrol-powered generators makes sense (and keeping petrol on site to fuel them), along with mobile heaters, battery powered torches and candles.
Energy costs are often higher in rural areas as well, but not all rural areas. So check whether the region you'd like to buy in has competitive electricity prices. It could save you a lot of money.
Deal With any Waste Disposal Issues
One of the trade-offs of buying properties in remote locations is that they tend not to be connected to sewage mains or waste collection services. This means residents need to invest in their own waste management systems. That's a price worth paying if you want somewhere tranquil and isolated, but it can be a pain if you purchase a property and find that the previous owner has left some nasty surprises.
Septic tanks are one common problem. When you buy a second home, you don't always think about sewage disposal, but you should. It's a fair bet that your property requires a septic tank to store sewage waste, and not every seller cleans out the tank before leaving. If this happens to you, a septic tank pump out is the first thing you should do. Either that or deal with toilets backing up and the tank overflowing. However, it's even better to ask that the seller pays for septic tank cleaning before you arrive.
Possessing a beautiful, peaceful property in rural or coastal Australia can be a wonderful addition to your life, but it can also be expensive. However, if you think about sewage disposal, energy and bushfire risks, you can reduce the costs considerably.