I told my children, neither believed me at first, they thought I was joking. When they finally realized I was serious their reactions were polar opposites. My daughter told me in no uncertain terms that I was crazy and "who wants to live there...nobody I know wants to live in Tasmania". My son on the other hand thought it was a great idea and "if it's what you want , go for it Mum!". I believe in signs..crazy I know, but after my announcement two things happened that convinced my my instincts were right. My son had bought me a subscription to Country Style magazine for Christmas. My first magazine arrived in the mail the week after I told my children I wanted to move, it was the Tasmanian issue, that week was also the very first episode of Location, Location, Location Australia. The two hosts were helping two families with their search from new homes in Tassie!
I examined why I wanted to live there, there were plenty of reasons. There was no humidity. The house was smaller, it had three bedrooms and a wood fire. The land was smaller, this house was on 1.5 acres as opposed to my 2.5 acres. I could grow all the roses and other cottage garden plants I liked and the garden was a blank canvas so I could set it all out my way too. The house was all on one level and perhaps most importantly, it would be closer to my children, (my daughter had also announced her intention to move back to Victoria, although not Mildura) without being too close.......perfect! I told my boss, he thought it was a fantastic idea, he asked for the link to the house. Every week he would ask if I had booked my ticket to Tassie yet and if not why not.
It took me three months to work up the courage to fly down to Tassie to check out the property, I also found another 13 properties that I wanted to look at. I booked my ticket, hired a car and booked accommodation. Sadly the little blue house sold the day before I flew down. Still I had other houses to look at and a week to do it. I was concentrating my search on the northwest coast around Wynyard which was only a half hour drive from Burnie where there would be more employment opportunities. In the end I looked at 15 houses. I had a new favourite, 1.5 acres, three bedrooms overlooking the ocean. A huge old barn I could convert into stables for Chloe, a chook house and still have plenty of space to conver part of it into a craft studio. I went and looked at this particular house 3 times. It needed some work, a slight rearranging of the living spaces a new kitchen, there was NO oven, an an updated bathroom. On my second visit I measured every single room and drew up a floor plan. I discussed my ideas with the real estate agent and each night I drew up plans of what I wanted. When I got back home I made an offer, it was rejected and I waited for a counter offer. When I rang to find out what the counter offer was I was told the house was sold.
To say I was disappointed was an understatement, I was disillusioned and wondering if perhaps my instincts and the signs were wrong, maybe I wasn't meant to to live in Tasmania after all. For weeks I refused to look at properties or discuss my plans with my boss. Eventually the call of the southern state got too strong and I started to look again. I widened my search, I knew I didn't want to live near Hobart, I preferred the north. I decided to move my search to within a half hour radius of Launceston and started to make a list of properties to inspect. Finally in June, winter, I headed back down to look at houses again. This time I had a list of 5 to look at and another two or three that I hadn't decided on.
Every house was not quite right for one reason or another. One little cottage I looked at in Longford was almost perfect. It was the right size, but the garden was a little small, it was right next to a racing stable and opposite the race course and the living spaces had no solid walls to accommodate my large kitchen dressers. At the last minute, four hours before I was due to fly home, I rang the real estate agent about another little cottage I'd seen advertised in Longford. I'd been debating with myself if I wanted to see it or not and finally decided I would. I met the real estate agent out front of the cottage three hours before my flight. We walked in the front door and the second I crossed the threshold I KNEW this cottage would be my new home...perhaps even my forever home.
I returned home full of excitement and optimism, I told my boss, I sent him the link . Finally I rang the real estate agent and made an offer. After a bit of toing and frowing we reached a figure we were both happy with...and the cottage was mine!
Settlement on my new home was the end of September 2014. The vendors rented it back from me until just before Christmas. In January I went down for four days to play in the garden and then I rented it out for three months while I got my Queensland house ready to sell. It went on the market late on a Thursday night and by the following Tuesday night the house was sold and all contracts signed......the race was on to get the house packed up and all arrangements made so that I could move into my new home by the 16th May.......mission accomplished! Despite the fact I have moved down here just in time for winter, I couldn't be happier. I am where I'm meant to be.