Demand for hobby farms in the Lockyer Valley is growing
WHEN she was attacked by a ram and broke her back in three places last year, Allison Yourell and her husband Bernie had a new incentive to downsize and find their dream home.
The ram was "lovely”, Ms Yourell said - it just got excited about dinner and she was holding the feed bucket.
The Esk couple recently moved into a hobby farm at Laidley after a 12-month search turned up a 1.2-hectare property with the rural charm and proximity to services the Yourells were looking for.
It's half the size of their property at Esk, so the sheep won't be joining them.
But Ms Yourell's horse Rodney has two paddocks to itself, while the huge "house yard” will give Mr Yourell space for a formidable vegie patch.
At Esk the couple were self-sufficient in vegetables, and aim to again grow everything they need at their Laidley home.
Plus they will have fruit trees, a beautiful rural outlook and will be closer to doctors, shops and a more attractive social life.
The selling and buying process had been easy, Ms Yourell said, turning around a challenging year recovering from her spinal injury.
"We've even become friends with the old owners,” she said.
The shorter commute to Ms Yourell's Ipswich workplace will be a welcome relief, as driving long distances is painful, and she said the cultural events at Gatton and surrounds were calling.
"The Lockyer is a bit more up-and-coming than Somerset,” she said.
"There's a lot more social events around, and it's really pretty as well. Gatton's got a lot more to offer.”
LJ Hooker Gatton principal Matt Kark sold the Yourells their new home.
He said there had "definitely” been more buyers interested in hobby farms in recent years.
"We have personally sold 11 hobby farms over the past year, with inquiries on the increase,” he said.
"The growing demand is very exciting for the area, as it adds further options for buyers looking for the country lifestyle change.”
REIQ zone chair Damien Said described the move to lifestyle blocks as a trend that was increasing in regional areas across the south-east.
"Especially with younger families wanting to get away from the hustle and bustle and embrace that tree change,” Mr Said said.
"People want to grow their own vegies, tend their own animals and have space for kids to run and play.”
Ray Bachmann from Ray Bachmann Real Estate said plenty of people bought hobby farms after seeing what they can buy on listing sites like realestate.com.au.
"People are starting to realise that we are only an hour out of Brisbane,” he said.
Price was also a big factor, with many good quality hobby farms available for around the $500,000 to $600,000 price range.