LIFESTYLE BLOG 101

Property and Buildings

MAY 2018

Lifestyle Blog 101

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Moving to a lifestyle block is without doubt a big adjustment. Your property will now be many times the size it was in the city, and that means there's a lot more to keep an eye on.
Overview
By now you've hopefully had a chance to look over your property and check the following:
Fencing - This is a vital consideration on a lifestyle block. check all fences for weak spots, especially boundary fences, and plan any required upgrades.
Water - It's important to know where your water is sourced from and what condition your pipes, tanks and troughs are in.
Entrance & driveway - Make sure you have suitable access , and fins out if it is shared with any neighbours.  You should also consider whether is is sufficient for your future needs, and trim any overhanging trees to ensure that emergency services can access your property.
Pasture - Check whether the existing paddocks are fertile and weed free or if you will need to spend time improving them.
Livestock - Keeping livestock is on the wish-list of most lifestylers, but you need to make sure you have the time and capability to care for any animals you buy.
Equipment & Machinery - This is a major investment.  You will need to work out what is suitable to won yourself, what you can hire, what machines you are comfortable operating, and what you should get a contractor to do.
Stockyards & loading race - You may need to build these or improve on what already exists.
Mail - Because some rural addresses are remote, mail delivery isn't always automatic.
Neighbours - The more isolated you are - the more you will rely on your neighbours for help, so it pays to get to know them and stay friendly.

Safety
In the country there are a lot of risks that have the potential to cause injury or damage, such as operating heavy machinery and vehicles, moving stock or working in rough weather conditions.  Take these simple but effective steps to ensure your lifestyle block is a safe place to live and work.
1. Identify any hazards on your property.
2. Eliminate them where possible, or
3. Isolate them if they can't be eliminated.
Power lines & trees
TIP: You may be able to sign over maintenance of your trees to the power company and they will trim them for you.  Depending on where you live and the power company involved, you may need to pay for this service.

Mother Nature
TIP: Keep an eye out bad weather with the FMG Rural Weather App for your iPhone or Android. Download it by visiting iTunes or Google Play.

Security
Theft and burglary is a problem for many lifestylers who are not often home during the day.  You should safeguard your property by installing security measures such as deadlocks, sensor lighting and monitored intruder alarm systems.
Going Away?
If you're going away for an extended period of time, don't leave obvious clues tht no one is home.  For example, install times on your lights and, if possible, leave a vehicle parked in the driveway.  If your neighbours are close by, ask them to empty your letter box and regularly check on your animals.  If you're away for more than 60 days be sure to advise your insurer, as this may be a condition of your policy.

Power surges

TIP: Remember, out here water supply and septic tack can also be affected by power surges. To learn more on how to protect your property, search on YouTube.com

SUMMARY
The first few months on your lifestyle block will probably be your steepest learning curve, but getting the basics right will make things a lot easier.
Your property is likely to be your biggest asset, so make sure you know it inside and out and prioritise any maintenance work.  It's also a good idea to get to know your neighbours as soon as possible.  They will be able to tell you about things that are unique to your area and share what they have learned.