Real Estate News

Five Is Grass Greener? Challenges in Paradise

Written By: PJ Wade
Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Just back from an extended tour of the South Pacific, I am ready to move to almost everywhere I visited.

Travel inspiration may mark the start of a new exhilarating life adventure, but if you jump before you think, paradise may be anything but.

As a quick reality check, consider our Five ldquo;Is Grass Greener?rdquo;nbsp;Challenges for Bringing Paradise into Achievable Focus:

1. Fact or Fantasy?

How much of your strong affinity to this vacation spot is tied to a romantic love interest or a resort-based life>

2. Weather or Not

When you believe the grass is greener somewhere else, you believe that other peoples situations are better or more attractive than your own, but in the few days or weeks of your visit, you may not have experienced typical weather. Check local media to learn whether your vacation coincided with atypical weather or the expected seasonal. During my two weeks in New Zealandrsquo;s summer, even though locals repeatedly referred to unseasonably warm and dry weather, I was taken in by the heat. Instead of cool, windy, rainy days, everyday was a warm, sunny delight that played up the extraordinary scenery and beaches until I was well and truly hooked on New Zealand. Then, for one day, real New Zealand weather hit. Balmy breezes became biting winds, and it rained on and off all daymdash;that was the real New Zealand. Locals noticed nothing; vacationers were in shock and shivering. Yes, New Zealand does have lots of great warm days, but this is not a tropical country as my visit had left me believing.

3. Fabulous or Frustrating

ldquo;Irsquo;d live here in a heartbeatrdquo; places like Sydneyrsquo;s Bondi Beach and Honolulursquo;s Waikiki Beach were highlights of my travels. Yes, I would love to live on or near either beach. However, the reality of living near a world->

When I gushed to locals about how wonderful it must be tonbsp;live in the paradise that is Hawaii, one Waikiki resident told me firmlynbsp;that she was exhausted by the experience. A continuous stream of familynbsp;visitors, kept her so busy that she couldnrsquo;t get out to enjoy Hawaiinbsp;herself. Is having a small family another essential for living out yournbsp;dream of paradise?

4. Consistent or Changed Climate

Southeastern Australia, which includes Melbourne, Adelaide, and Sydney, is the most populated part of the continent. For a few years now, weeks of 100-degree summer heat waves have taken their toll on crops, animals, residents, and power grids. In parts of southeastern Australia, power outages, wildfires, cyclones, and extensive flooding have become commonplace, expensive realities. Furthermore, floods are sending coral-killing silt out to The Great Barrier Reef. Prolonged heat-waves warm the ocean and cause blooms of potentially-fatal stinging box jellyfish, which keep swimmers in full protective body suits or out of the water. These changing patterns are not unique to Australia. Red algae tides have plagued Floridarsquo;s west coast. California has been besieged by wildfires and the threat will continue. Storms and flooding ravage the Atlantic Coast making waterfront seem a high-risk environment. Whatrsquo;s taking a toll on the paradise you lust after?

5. Economic Wonder or Financial Worries

Successfully financing a new life>

bull; Many of the worldrsquo;s best-places-to-vacation are difficult places to find well-paying, full-time employment. Thatrsquo;s why most of the crew on my American cruise ship were from Indonesia where beaches are beautiful and living-wage jobs are scarce.
bull; Many locals in Honolulu repeated the same story: ldquo;Life is great, but good jobs are scarce, so most people who move here donrsquo;t last long.rdquo; Traditionally, the hospitality and travel industry, that makes our vacations terrific, does not pay high wages and often offers only contract or seasonal work.
bull; If your paradise is offshore, check out government restrictions for working and owning property. Investigate changing politics before you move.
bull; Your savings, pension buy-out, or pension may not last as long as you think. What choices would you have in paradise if you had to supplement your income?
bull; One common global parallel may surprise you: real estate prices have risen sharply in most popular vacation spotsmdash;million-dollar homes are the norm in ldquo;hot spots.rdquo; Local real estate professionals can usually provide up-to-date overviews of housing, foreign ownership regulations, and economic conditions in their corner of paradise, so you can begin to assess the feasibility and practicality of a move.

This list is offered as a practical first step for following up on your passion. Within the United States, there are many variations on paradise, so following your passion may not be a high-risk pursuit, but consider our Five ldquo;Is Grass Greenerrdquo; Challenges first.

An extended stay of one to three months may be an ideal experiment to check out details regarding a longer stay or a permanent move to your paradise.

Whatrsquo;s Coming Next?

Which topic or pending real estate decision would you like PJ to explorenbsp;in a column? Let PJ know:

Additional Resource: For more about Achievable Focus visit PJrsquo;s blog, Whatrsquo;s Your Point?

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