Thinking of buying a lifestyle block? Here's what you need to know
Escaping to the country is a dream for some but a choice that many have made. The average block size is around 10 acres (4ha) but there’s plenty of room either side of the curve, with smaller blocks of half an acre up to 1000-acre swaths of land. Aside from the appeal of a quieter life away from the city, it’s important to realise that you’ll still need to put in some time to get the most ‘life’ from your land. Here are a few things worth thinking about.
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Putting the ‘life’ in lifestyle
The first thing to remember is that just because you’ve left the city behind for the quiet life, it doesn’t mean you can spend every day sitting and looking over your amazing view. That view needs to be looked after, and it can be rewarding in more ways than one. With a lifestyle block you have the option of living off your land, whether it’s through an orchard, grazing livestock or even a boarding kennel – you have the space to grow a small business that lets you enjoy every square-metre you’ve bought. On the other hand, if you have kids, you’ll have to factor in the extra time that it will take taxiing them to and from school and any other commitments as well, but the experience they’ll have from a semi-rural upbringing will give them a rounded perspective that kids from the city won’t have.
Fewer neighbours = greater community
One thing people don’t consider, but soon come to learn, is the community that comes with going rural. It seems a bit backwards to when your neighbours can be so few and far between, but when you join a smaller community its members take care of each other. By heading to the local shops or the nearest gas station you’re helping out your neighbours, and even a trip to the block next door with some eggs your chooks have laid could have you returning with some home-kill, some avos or a smile at the very least.
Bigger lawn, bigger mower
While making the choice to live on a lifestyle block is about more than just deciding which ride on you’ll need, it’s an important decision nonetheless. Depending on the lay of your land, and how you plan on using it, the type of ride on will vary but your three main options are a lawn tractor, a zero turn mower or a slope and brush mower.
Say, for example, you want to grow apples. Weaving a lawn tractor through the orchard will be a pain that’s easily solved with a zero turn mower. Because of their ‘zero turn’ radius they can get around any number of obstacles on the spot with the least amount of tracks left on the grass.
Lawn tractors lend themselves to generally flat, wide open spaces without many obstacles to maneuver. The obstacles part is important because you don’t want to spend an extra hour on top of the job pulling three-point turns.
If your home is perched atop a hilly piece of land then your safest option is to opt for a slope and brush mower built for the job. They’re designed to have a very low centre of gravity to make sure they don’t tip, and modern models come in 4WD to maintain traction on steep terrain.
We offer a wide range of mowers that can maintain any sized block and we’re able to demonstrate how they work too. So, with that in mind, it’s important to consider how you want to use your lifestyle block, and then get the mower that’s best suited – not the other way around.