STEPHEN Polis and Louise Brettell are typical of many interstate buyers who have settled on the Gold Coast in recent years.
The couple were renting a house in Sydney’s eastern suburbs after selling their two-bedroom Marrickville unit two years ago. They cashed in close to the top of the Sydney property boom and were planning to buy something bigger as the market softened.
However, their priorities changed after the birth of their son.
“Trying to find a house in the Sydney market was hard,” said Louise, who is expecting her second child next year.
“We were priced out of the areas where we grew up in and where we wanted to live in Sydney, and I didn’t really want to go back to full-time work just to pay for a large mortgage after having my son.
“We were looking at $1.3 million to live somewhere we really didn’t want to be.”
The daily commute through Sydney traffic was also weighing on the couple.
“Stephen works in construction management and his job could take him anywhere in Sydney which meant a 90-minute commute each way, and a lot longer with traffic,” said Louise.
With family already living on the Gold Coast, Stephen and Louise took the plunge and made the move north after settling on a four-bedroom home at Burleigh Waters three months ago.
“We ended up paying less for the house than we sold our unit for two years ago, so that has given us a lot of breathing space,” said Louise.
“Now I can go back to full-time work on my own terms and not feel pressured financially. After buying our house we still had money left over to do renovations and improvements, so we are adding a swimming pool.”
Stephen and Louise have always been fans of the famed Gold Coast lifestyle, and after just a few months in the coastal city, they’re planning to stay for good.
“It’s hard to explain but people are genuinely much friendlier and more relaxed than they are in Sydney,” said Louise.
“Even though it’s a big place with the bustle of a big city, plenty of shops and great places to eat out, people are a lot happier. It has a permanent holiday vibe to it and everyone is just happier in general.”