A city change to take advantage of the opportunities that regional living can provide is an exciting and liberating experience.
It is not surprising that so many people have made the change in recent years to release themselves and their families from the high cost of living and congestion usually associated with living in Sydney and other capital cities. Supporting, promoting and actively pursuing the ideology of sustainable living and listed as one of only seven Evocity members, a city change to Armidale can provide individuals and families with an environment conducive to achieving personal growth, business development and peace of mind.
Getting Here and There
Armidale has its own airport only 5 km from the CBD. Qantas operates several daily flights between Sydney and Armidale for business and private commuting and from mid August this year, Brindabella will operate flights between Brisbane and Armidale. The XPT operates between Armidale and Sydney, and the scenic route between Armidale and Newcastle via Gloucester on the Buckets Way is certainly not to be missed.
There are many opportunities to grow your business in Armidale. Armidale has an extensive and diverse range of business activity regionally, nationally and internationally, including building, trades, real estate agents, mortgage brokers, financial advisors, health and medical services, accountants, legal and migration services, to fine wool, cattle, alpacas, cool climate vineyards, orchards and other related agriculture. For new and relocating businesses, membership of the Armidale & District Chamber of Commerce (ADCC) is a must and provides excellent opportunities to network, build, refer and promote with existing local business people.
The ADCC also provides many functions and events throughout the year, such as the monthly New England Women in Business Breakfasts. Information on ADCC events can be found at www.armidalechamber.com.au/ or making contact with Liz Egan on (02) 6771 1177. Information on other local events can be found at www.neonnow.com.au
Support materials for new and existing businesses can also be obtained from the New England North West Business Enterprise Centre at www.bec.com.au/
The Armidale community is further enriched through direct local access to high level internationally acclaimed private and public education resources, including family day care, preschools, primary schools, secondary schools, TAFE and the University of New England. These education institutions are also major employers within the community.
Armidale is a unique location to relocate to or invest in for both residents and non-residents. Within the New England region we are fortunate to have a wide selection of magnificent rural, residential and commercial properties to choose from that facilitate diverse lifestyles within our community. Affordable character homes and rural family hobby farms are particularly popular for those making a city change.
Unlike the fluctuations and uncertainty that can affect markets in capital cities, the Armidale property market is considered to be reasonably stable. In June 2011 local proprietor Peter Georkas of Hutchinson & Harlow Real Estate announced that statistics have confirmed annual average listings of between 350 to 400 properties sold per annum, with indicative average prices for residential homes (on an 800 sqm block, with 3 bedrooms, a lock up single garage and perhaps an ensuite) in the first quarter of this year ranging between $290,000 to $312,000. The Legal Minds conveyancing team can manage the detail to provide a smooth simultaneous settlement for the sale and purchase of property for a fixed price, no matter where you are located.
Regional Relocation Grant – $7,000
Effective from 1 July this year, the NSW State Government introduced the Regional Relocation (Home Buyers Grant) Act 2011. The scheme will continue to operate for a limited four year period and provides approved applicants with a one-off payment of $7,000 to assist them with the cost of relocating from their ‘metropolitan home’ in Sydney, Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury, Gosford, Wyong, Wollondilly, Wollongong and the Newcastle areas to settling into their new regional home. This scheme provides significant offsets for individuals and families relocating to Armidale. More information of the scheme can be found at www.osr.nsw.gov.au/benefits/rrg
First Home Buyers Grant – $7,000 and Stamp Duty Exemption
Under the First Home Owner Grant Scheme, benefits of up to $24,990 are available, being the $7,000 First Home Owner Grant and a stamp duty exemption of up to $17,990 under the First Home Plus Scheme. The Scheme applies to first home buyers purchasing property for value under $835,000. There may be significant opportunities within the region for tertiary students to potentially acquire equity in their first home while studying for 3 to 6 years, rather than renting accommodation. Further information can be viewed at: www.osr.nsw.gov.au/benefits/first_home/
New England Lifestyle
The New England region provides cultural and lifestyle opportunities for all individuals and families. View artworks from the Hinton, Coventry or NERAM collections or touring exhibitions at the New England Regional Art Museum. Purchase unique gifts and handmade jewellery from Harrisons of Armidale and country fashion from Concepts and other boutique shopping outlets in the Central Mall. Experience the flavours of local produce, fine dining with some of our cool climate wines from over 44 New England vineyards at Bistro on Cinders, The Red Grapevine, Archies, An Indian Affair or at some of our local hotels.
Take a helicopter tour to view the gorge with Fleet Helicopters. Participate in regional sporting activities, such as soccer, rugby, netball, golf, hockey, bike riding, horse riding, canoeing to name a few; or just warm up with a drink and nibbles and relax in front of the open fire at The Armidale Club, play some pool, enjoy a hearty dinner at Turn Tables and listen to some of the local and touring live entertainment for which the Club is renowned. There is something for everyone who chooses to relocate to Armidale. Come and join us. You’ll be inspired!