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Make your move easy

By Michael McMahon

YOU have found the perfect house, done your sums and know you can afford it . . . then

you look at a map. Gulp. Your dream home is across town.

Most of us move to unfamiliar territory at some point in our lives because of the personal and

financial gains that can be made. But moving is always a major upheaval, and worse when

you know nothing about your new home turf.

Realestate has looked at ways to fast track the adjustment.


“Moving house is one of the most stressful experiences individuals can go through but with

a little thoughtful planning the move does not have to be as stressful,” psychotherapist and

family counsellor Tahlia Mandie said.

When a family relocates it is important parents start talking to their children about it weeks in


“They will need time to grasp the idea and come to terms with a change,” Ms Mandie said.

“If you are moving to a suburb that has friends you already know, maybe get the kids to talk

to these friends beforehand or arrange a play date soon after the move. You can also help kids

by trying to maintain a sense of routine and find out if it is possible for the kids to visit their

new school.”


The psychotherapist also advised those on the move to be realistic about the time it will take

them to settle in.

“But by establishing connections and a lifestyle early on, it can make the settling process a lot

easier,” Ms Mandie said.

“Connect with community groups, local sporting clubs or your local gym.”

Ensuring you stay flexible and maintaining regular communication between all family

members as you adjust is also necessary.

Brad Straughair moved from Carnegie 80km northwest to Mt Macedon in 2010.

Faced with buying a two-bedroom unit in Melbourne’s east or a three-bedroom house on a big

block, Mr Straughair from Domain Buyer Advocates bought in the bush.

He did thorough research on his prospective home town, including eating at local restaurants

and trying a peak-hour commute.

Post-move Mr Straughair got involved in his new town by joining the golf club, which abuts

his home.

Getting your head in the right place is vital, he advised.

“Sure there are days when my usual commute of 65 minutes is delayed but you must not let

that affect your feelings of happiness about your new home,” he said.

“The fact is many people commute an hour just to get from Fairfield to Elwood for example,

and that is only 15km.”


Amanda Bennetts from Rye in Victoria also believes joining groups of residents with similar

interests will help people settle quickly.

After six years in Altona Meadows, Ms Bennetts, husband Matthew Tallent and daughter

Mary-Clair bought on the Mornington Peninsula in January.

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