ESCAPE PLAN

Would you like an income with that?

STORY: MARGARET LINLEY.  PHOTOS: SUPPLIED

Imagine. You sell your property in the city, pay off the mortgage and with the balance, you head to regional Australia and not only pay cash for your new house but begin earning straight away. Because… drum roll, please… your new home comes with an income.

You would be amazed at the variety of businesses on the market at any given time. And you don’t need buckets of money to buy into a different lifestyle. From a block of units to a vineyard or a country pub, here’s some idea of what your new life in regional Victoria could look like.

Let’s look at a passive income first

You could buy a block of units, live in one and rent out the others on a long-term tenancy arrangement. Unlike the short-term rental market, you’re not greeting guests and ironing sheets. You’re just more or less keeping an eye on things.

  • Check out 1-4 Chaffey Ave, Mildura. The property has four brick units all recently painted and recarpeted; and it’s within a short stroll to the town centre, river, supermarkets and arts precinct. Currently operated as Mildura Holiday Apartments, the units could be returned to long term rental earning $500 a week per unit. Take a look here

Guest accommodation can be a nice little earner

Rent out a room or two when you feel like it and value-add as much or as little as you like. You could charge guests extra for cooked breakfast or dinner, a pick-up and drop-off service to the airport, the train station or the wedding or event the guests are attending.

    • Buy a five-bedroom, five-bathroom purpose-built for Airbnb, house in Portarlington for $935,000 and rent out four of those bedrooms. You have somewhere lovely to live and can earn up to $250 a night for each of the four other rooms. Not bad. Check out the listing here
  • Consider the opportunities at Lakes Entrance. Less than a million dollars will get six units (four of these are two-bedrooms) and a two-bedroom cottage smack bang in town. The 60s-style retro units are rated 4.6 stars with Airbnb and the one-bedroom unit rents out at $150 a night. Do your maths on that one and see what you think. View the listing here

What about owning a country pub?

If you have always dreamt of owning a pub and being the one behind the bar dispensing beets and good cheer, there are some good options on the market in country Victoria.

  • For $480,000 to $520,000, you could be the boss in Linton with your accommodation and four bedrooms for paying guests, full pub facilities and quite a bit of local action including jazz and blues music afternoons. Linton is in the Golden Plains Shire, has a population of 580 and is less than two hours from Melbourne. View here
  • Can you imagine owning 12 bedrooms? The beautiful Victorian double-storey hotel, complete with iron lace verandas is in the Wimmera township of St Arnaud, 244 m north-west of Melbourne. The town is on the Silo Art Trail and the pub itself offers a range of business opportunities with accommodation, meals, functions, retail space and more. You get a lot for $750,000. View here
  • Can you imagine the tales you could tell if you owned the oldest weatherboard pub in Victoria? Just 20 minutes from uber-popular Daylesford, the historic Cumberland Hotel sit on 1900sqm in the heart of Smeaton. It’s a welcoming hub for local farmers, residents and equally popular with tourists visiting local landmarks such as the Anderson Mill and Hepburn House. In terms of private accommodation, it has three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The selling price ranges between $590,000 and $630,000. View here

Ever thought about running a swim school?

This may the opportunity to change not only your lifestyle but to channel your passion for swimming into a new occupation.

  • This large family home, of five bedrooms and three- bathrooms, on half-a-hectare in the central Victorian town of Rochester has a well-established swim school which has been in operation for more than a decade. The staff are reputed to be keen to stay on and the new owner can begin earning from day one in an overseer capacity. The house with business is on the market for $810,000. Rochester is situated on the Campaspe River, 180 km north of Melbourne, and has a population of 3,200. There’s the mural festival, the annual agricultural show and striking architecture reflecting the town’s wealthy beginnings. View here  

Or is your dream to own a vineyard?

If sharing a bottle of wine, from your very own vineyard is your dream, here’s two lifestyle properties that could lure you to the regions.

  • 419 Lake Road, Bethanga, is an eight-acre property nested on the banks of Lake Hume. Currently, the home of Posh Plonk, it offers an architecturally designed homestead and a winery with five acres of grapes that were planted in 1996. Whether you want to operate a winery in a commercial sense or just as a hobby, this property leaves the choice in your hands. View here
  • Just nine kilometres from the historic township of Maldon, you’ll find Chapple’s Estate and its beautiful five-bedroom homestead overlooking Lake Cairn Curran. The 40.47ha property at 329 Seers Road, has more than one kilometre of lake frontage, and a vineyard producing Shiraz, Cabernet and Semillon vines. It’s priced at $1.85-$1.95m. View here

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