A couple’s downsizing journey - From the Inner West to The Sunshine Coast
For Lars and Angela von Plomgren, moving from Sydney’s Drummoyne to the Sunshine Coast meant realising a dream.
They had always wanted a home amid Queensland’s lush hinterland, fringed by the natural beauty of the coastline.
The couple is part of an over 50s’ movement since the Sunshine Coast is one Australia’s top downsizing destinations with Coolum and Peregian Beaches, among the country’s top 10 suburbs to retire in. Property research company, RiskWise based this analysis on lifestyle, relative housing affordability and the ability to build equity in properties there.
According to the Australian Bureau Of Statistics, the median age on The Sunshine Coast is 44 years with over 20% of the population 65 years and older.
Packing Up Their Lives Was Challenging
Actually moving interstate was a mammoth task for Angela and Lars, which meant shedding many of the belongings that told the story of their rich family life with their four, now successful adult children. But it was the lifestyle they’d promised themselves ever since the birth of their first child 35 years ago.
“We were staying in Noosa just after our eldest child, Thomas was born when I told Lars that I wanted to move up here,” Angela recalls.
But then life intervened instead. There were trips to Sweden and then back home in Sydney. Meanwhile three beautiful daughters - Sophie, Matilda and Clementine also came along. They all went to school in the city, which is where Angela worked as a registered nurse and ran an interior design business on the side. Lars was also busy with a stint as the Swedish Trade Commissioner.
That dream life of theirs in Queensland was put on hold.
However, with their children firmly entrenched in their professional lives, the conversation turned to downsizing and seeking out a new path for themselves. There was only one destination under consideration.
“We wanted to make a clean, fresh start and so we finally made a home in the Sunshine Coast 35 years later,” says the vivacious Angela. “We moved last May just in time for our first winter there, which was unseasonably cold, by the way.”
It helped that they had found an idyllic, white shuttered house to buy with spectacular views of the hinterland and its own guest cottage.
The Family Pets Downsized As Well
Moving to Queensland was almost a military manoeuvre that played out over a couple of days.
Lars drove from Sydney with many of their most prized possessions including their four cats and as dog, while their eldest daughter, Sophie came along to help her parents to settle in.
Coincidentally Sophie found a job as a lawyer in the Brisbane branch of a prestigious law firm and has been dividing her time between Brisbane and The Sunshine Coast. This has made it easier for Lars and Angela to be away from the rest of the family. But everyone came together for a first, magical traditional Swedish Christmas in the new home.
Starting Over To Create A Different Life.
Today Angela, has just spent hours driving up and down the coast on a plant buying expedition. She’s creating a tropical oasis around their property, which is just 15 minutes away from the boutiques and cafes of Noosa’s famed Hastings Street.
“We’re going to Airbnb the guest cottage now that the Queensland borders have opened up,” she says. “But in the meantime, there’s been a flow of family and friends staying over.”
Angela is particularly proud of her professional decorating skills, especially when it comes to the guest accommodation. Think a Hampton’s style villa with a new swimming pool between the two properties.
In just seven months, they have already created their ideal lifestyle and have increased the value of their property. The timing is also perfect for a further property boom with Brisbane preparing to host the Olympics.
It Was Meant To Be
Angela was never in any doubt that it would all work out from the very moment she walked in the front door because “sometimes you just know when it’s right”.
The couple already has several friends living around the area and there’s a significant Swedish community in Queensland. Several more friends are also planning a move.
“I’d have to say that I have never been more relaxed in a home,” Angela explains.
“This is one of the best times of my life.”
What More Could You Ask For?
No wonder it’s a haven for over 50s, according to the couple, everything they need is right here.
There’s beautiful fresh, organic produce especially at the Yandina and Eumundi markets, excellent medical facilities nearby, fashionable boutiques and a thriving cafe culture. Plus Noosa has world class restaurants. They were particularly excited to recently visit Alba by Kuruvita - a new dining concept at Noosa Heads by renowned Sydney chef, Peter Kuruvita.
“Queensland is a happy place,” says Angela. “It’s tropical, there are palm trees and everything is smiling at you. Even on a rainy, sultry day, you can walk out the door and life is good.”
“I have felt so evolved since I moved up here. I’m also doing what I’ve always wanted to do and creating my little guest cottage in my own style.”