Sally and Grant and their two kids moved from Campbelltown in Sydney to the Gold Coast at the start of 2022 and bought their house in Oxenford sight-unseen. We sat down with Sally to chat about their relocation experience.
What was your motivation to move to the Gold Coast?
For a long time now, we wanted to move to Queensland. I think the idea was first seeded when we used to come up to Noosa for holidays when the children were younger and we just fell in love with the lifestyle. But because our family are in Sydney, and while the kids were little and at school, it just seemed too much and too hard to just pack up and move interstate.
But then COVID happened, and that brought a lot of perspective to our lives. The lockdowns just forced everybody to stop and it gave us a chance to reflect on what’s really important. So, that’s when we decided to bite the bullet and go for it. It also helps that our children are a bit older now, so that made it easier too.
We decided on the Gold Coast, instead of the Sunshine Coast for a few reasons, for one, the house prices in the Sunshine Coast have skyrocketed beyond our reach, but also, we feel there’s more employment opportunities for us, and there’s universities and jobs for the kids as they get older.
Why did you choose to live in Oxenford on the Gold Coast?
I had never been to the Gold Coast and Grant had only been once or twice years ago, so we didn’t really know where to start our search. We started of doing online research and looking at maps and different locations. That’s when we came across the Moving to the Gold Coast website and we had a consultation with Janneke from 'Moving to the Gold Coast'. That’s what helped us find this area, Oxenford really ticks all of our boxes. It’s close to everything. It’s a bit quieter and offers modern houses, which is what we like. It’s close to my work and easy for my husband to get to work in Brisbane. And it’s close to the theme parks which the kids have loved.
How did you go with finding a place to live? Are you renting or did you buy?
We initially planned to rent so that we could have time to settle in and figure out what areas we like. But then after hearing how hard it is to find a rental on the Gold Coast, we changed our minds. We also didn’t want the stress and hassle of having to move twice. So, we took a massive risk and we decided to buy straight away.
After getting our finances and mortgage sorted, we started the search. It was made extra hard because we couldn’t travel across the border and houses were being snapped up so fast. So, it was a huge help to have Janneke do the property inspections for us, which gave us a lot of confidence. We ultimately found this house that ticks all of our boxes and were able to secure it. It’s in a safe area, close to work and the kids’ school, they go to Pacific Pines State School, and easy access to public transport.
Was it hard to find work?
We both found jobs before moving here, we did our interviews via Zoom. I’m now working in the early-childhood centre at Tamborine Mountain College, which is only 20 minutes’ drive from home and Grant is working in Brisbane in construction. The commute to Brisbane is so easy, he’s actually travelling less than he was when we were still in Sydney when he used to travel two hours easy every day.
What have you so far enjoyed about your move to the Gold Coast?
We just love the lifestyle. There’s so much to do, much more than what was available to us in Campbelltown, and everything is so close. We have the best beaches and bush walks on our doorstep, shopping, mountain bike trails, the theme parks and GC wake park are literally around the corner. It’s so good!
I’ve also enjoyed the slower pace of life. And people are so friendly, there’s a real sense of community. People seem genuinely happy here.
What’s been the biggest adjustment?
The hardest thing has been being away from my family. I’ve never lived more than 10-mins away from them, so moving interstate has been a big adjustment. We’re having to build a whole new support network, make new friends etc.
I also didn’t consider all the small things that would be different; For example, the kids needed a public transport card, an Opal-card is what that’s called in Sydney…when asking for an Opal card in the shop here, the shopkeeper looked at me like I was speaking a different language. Turns out it’s not called an Opal-card here. It’s a Go-card. Also, at the moment I have to consult google for everything and use my GPS even to get to the corner store.
What is your advice for anyone thinking of moving to the Gold Coast?
If this is something that you want, then just do it. Don’t get bogged down in the details, just focus on the end goal. It’s such a good lifestyle, you won’t regret it.