As horrible a pandemic Covid-19 has been, a positive side-effect for millions of Australians has been the normalisation of working from home.
So with many workplaces comfortable with staff working from anywhere, what is keeping you in the city?
The prospect of fresh air and a much nicer house for the same money already has had many Australians thinking about moving to the country.
"Real estate agents in major capital cities and regional areas are all reporting an influx of queries about selling the home in the big smoke and buying a house with land in a regional area to plant some veggies and run some chickens," said Creation Wealth senior financial planner Andrew Zbik.
"Domain coined this the 'Covid-change'... Suddenly, the concept of ‘having’ to live in a big city is no longer a must."
Corelogic also reported increased demand for country real estate. The June quarter saw capital growth in regional centres outstrip metropolitan areas.
"As employers and employees adapt to remote working conditions, physical proximity to a workplace may become a less important factor in home purchases," said Corelogic head of research Eliza Owen.
If you're considering such a move, there are four things to carefully think about to stop bleeding cash along the way. Here they are:
Reduce your home loan
For most people the home loan is the largest debt they will ever incur in their lives. So it's worth reducing it if you're going to move from the city to a cheaper country house.
According to Zbik, you could pocket $260,000 if you can instantly reduce the loan by $100,000.
It works like this – assuming 4.5 per cent interest, for every $100,000 in the loan you end up paying about $172,000 back to the bank.
Then you have to add the tax you paid to earn that money to pay back to the lender.
"A home mortgage is paid with ‘after-tax’ money. Based on the third highest marginal tax rate of 32.5 per cent you will need to earn around $260,000 pre-tax to pay back that $100,000 currently owed to the bank on your home loan."
"The opportunity of using proceeds from a sea-tree-COVID-change to reduce $100,000 of non-deductible mortgage debt effectively saves you the need to earn $260,000."
So financially it's worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy a country home that will see you with a slightly smaller mortgage than what you have in the city.
Watch the costs of buying and selling
Even if the new rural home is cheaper, the side costs of real estate transactions quickly add up.
Stamp duty, legal fees and mortgage costs are just some of the obligations draining your wallet outside of just the price of the house.
"A $750,000 new home purchase will incur stamp duty of around $29,183 in NSW, $26,775 in Queensland and a whopping $40,070 if you have the honour of buying in Victoria," said Zbik.
"You can add a further $2,500 to $5,000 in legal fees and potential home loan application fees in addition to stamp duty."
Then there is selling the existing city home.
"As a rough rule of thumb, selling a property can cost between 2 to 3 per cent in real estate agent fees, marketing costs and legal expenses. For a $1,000,000 home sale you can budget around $30,000 in fees."
So all up, selling a $1,000,000 home in the city then moving to a $750,000 home in the country will cost $65,000 to $75,000 in side-fees and taxes.
"That doesn't include the cost of your removalist either … and your multiple trips to Bunnings!" Zbik said.
Downsizers can cash in
If you're aged over 65 and owned your primary residence for more than 10 years, "downsizer" rules mean you can pocket massive amounts of money with a tree-change.
"You may make a downsizer contribution of up to $300,000 to your superannuation fund. This is available for each individual," Zbik said.
"The downsizer contribution does not count towards your non-concessional contribution cap or total super balance. It can be a handy strategy to move the capital gains tax fee proceeds from your home sale into superannuation which may offer tax free earnings in retirement."
There is some fine print to negotiate for this move, so Zbik recommends seeking financial advice before selling the home.
"Importantly, some key documents need to be signed within 90 days of your property sale settlement to take advantage of this strategy."
Rent first then buy
Before making such a huge financial and lifestyle change, Zbik recommends trying it out for a bit.
"When advising clients about making such a move I have always suggested to rent for 12 months first in the area you want to move to whilst you lease out your current home in the big city."
Some city people are lured in by the fresh air and the tree-lined hills but soon resent the isolation from shops, family and friends.
"After growing up or living in a big city for many years or all your life, many people who are thinking of a tree-sea-Covid change may overlook the importance of social networks and family connections."
Renting in the new area for a year could test your own mettle to see if the longer travel to everything would get on the nerves.
"If after 12 months the move feels right – then proceed with selling your home in the big city," Zbik said.
"By this time you will also know the local housing market you are living in and be able to gauge what is a good buy for a new home to live in."