Tips for making a tree change

making a tree change

The dream of living surrounded by nature in an idyllic country town has changed dramatically now that features such as fabulous places to eat, along with closer access to large cities and rising urban property prices have made NSW towns like Orange accessible and attractive to a new market of home buyers.

If you’re looking for advice for making a tree change, start it right with these tips from the local experts to help you decide if it’s right for you.

Start with you

With so many TV programs, online posts, and magazines showcasing the joys of getting out into the country and the many gorgeous places Australia has to offer, it can be tempting to think it’s a change that will suit everyone. But what is it about your values and desired lifestyle that tell you it’s going to suit you?

‘Buying a rural property is similar to buying anywhere,’saidAsh Brown, Director of One Agency Orange in NSW. ‘It’s a good time to pause and think about what you want from the lifestyle this property will provide, so that you line up what you’re looking at with what will work best for you in the long term.”

Think about practical issues such as how far you’re happy to drive to visit family and friends, what facilities are a must for you, and what type of weather you enjoy. These answers will narrow down your search to specific areas and help you explore what really matters to you.

Rachael Wallis, a lecturer at the University of Southern Queensland, in her article It seemed like a good idea in lockdown, but is moving to the country right for you?, says ‘With people who moved to the country, I found successful moves came down to how closely aligned people’s values were with the attributes of the place they moved to. If they found these attributes in their new home, then they were able to craft a new life that was deeply satisfying.’

Be real

The media will generally show the best side of a location. TV programs rarely film in the rain! Be aware that you’re looking at a limited view of what this location has to offer and do a bit of research to get the full story.

Check out the area’s average weather patterns, and the local newspapers and councils for current issues or development proposals. How fast is the population growing? Did that highly promoted program you saw about that sleepy rural town also spark interest from many other people wanting to move there. Was it sponsored by a developer who’s just opened up a large area of land for sale?

‘Local real estate agents are experts on many aspects of a community,’ says Ash. ‘They’re experienced in matching people to homes, so let them know who you are and what you want, so they can point you in the right direction.’

You may love, for example, the idea of getting out into the country into a small community with less people and are fine that these towns don’t come with restaurants or bars for your time off, but if those facilities are important to you then you need to decide which of those values is most important and how prepared you are to sacrifice one for the other.

You also need to consider issues of your lifestyle that may not work in your idyllic location, such as your pets. If you have a large dog, for example, and you love the idea of giving it space to run, you don’t want to be looking at a property bounded by crops or land for grazing livestock. You can run into all sorts of problems in a small community if your lifestyle clashes with the neighbours so don’t assume everyone loves what you love just because the area is where you want to live.

Working from home

With average daily commutes growing and the work from home culture continuing after lockdowns, the appeal of moving away from cities is growing. If this is you, make sure the areas you’re looking at have adequate phone and internet coverage for your work and that you’ll enjoy not having to go into the office to work.

New friendships can replace those with previous colleagues, but be certain you’re going to enjoy working on your own and you can factor in any time you need to travel for the work that can’t be done from home.

‘Remember that working from home can include working from a café or library and many communities have co-working spaces,’ says Ash. ‘Asking about areas that have these facilities could make a huge difference to your choices if you want to work from home but still like to have people around to talk to.

‘It’s also worth asking what areas have created programs specifically to attract tree changers to their towns. You may find a great incentive on offer in an area you hadn’t thought about.’

If you want the rural, work-from-home lifestyle but your current company doesn’t allow for it, you could consider planning your tree change to happen after you’ve found work with a company that does.


It happens to all of us eventually. We buy a home for one reason, like raising a family or accommodating visitors, then one day find it’s too big and we need to downsize. It’s a common situation for tree changers, so here are five tips for downsizing your home.

  1. Letting go of a family home can be like letting go of a child or good friend. Have a conversation first with your family about how they feel about selling it to give them time to be comfortable with the decision.
  2. Do some calculations about how financially viable it is to downsize, particularly if you want to move to another location or town where the real estate prices may be higher. Do your research and have your house appraised by an experienced real estate agent or property valuer so you know what you have to spend.
  3. Make a list of their desired locations with each person making the move, along with each location’s tree change pros and cons. It can be quite revealing to discover what everyone actually wants.
  4. Investigate the market in those locations. Take a few Sunday drives and look for for-sale signs, and if you happen to see an open home, pop in and get to know what to expect for the price point on offer. While you’re there, set yourself up for new listing alerts on the online property portals so you can get a better idea of new properties coming onto the market.
  5. Do your homework thoroughly by checking out amenities in the area such as shopping centres, sporting facilities, medical centres, distance to hospitals and community centres. Take a look in the local shops to get an idea of the cost of living there and enquire about other basic costs like petrol, rates and water.
  6. Start early on the necessary maintenance items on your home to get it ready for sale. Think about employing an interior decorator or maybe asking a friend with experience in decorating for ideas on how to spruce it up.

‘Get onto your local real estate agent too,’ says Ash. ‘They can give you excellent advice on how to market your home, what’s on trend, and ways to make it look appealing to current buyers.’

Buy from the best

The town of Orange in NSW is one of Australia’s most favoured places for a tree change, especially if you love lots of great foodie places in your neighbourhood and want an easy drive to and from Sydney’s western suburbs.

Check out our other helpful articles, especially The upside of downsizing… If you’d like to see the great properties we have available right now, you’ll find them here or if you’d like to take a virtual stroll through one right now, see our short Facebook Armchair Open videos where Ash will walk you through our latest properties. You can find more about the surrounding areas too on our Orange and its surrounding rural communities page.

When you’re ready to see some gorgeous properties in person, come and meet the team at our office in Summer Street. We’re Orange’s friendliest and most energetic agency. Our service is all about making your real estate experience as stress-free as possible.

02 6362 9560 | | Suite 7/230 Summer Street Orange NSW 2800