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Jos

Sydney - Good areas to check out?

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Jos

Hi

So today I received my invitation to apply for my 189 VISA, really stoked! My wife and I are going to take an LSD trip to Australia in August this year, and are checking out 4 cities: Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne. We would like to check out the suburbs while we are in Sydney, can anyone recommend the best areas to check out for a family of 4?

Thanks a lot!

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Riekie

Really depends on the lifestyle you're after. City life or Suburbia, Beach or Bush? Estimated budget for a house? Own car or public transport? What's important to you; Schools, Churches, Type of Entertainment etc. Sydney is huge (150km from one side to the other!) so you'll need to give us an idea of what you're after.

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NickiD

I'm also keen to know more about Sydney's Eastern suburbs. We're after a more chilled lifestyle - with two children (4 and 7) who would need to go to a good public school.

Edited by NickiD

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Riekie

Nicki, the Eastern Suburbs are beautiful but also the most exclusive and expensive area in Sydney. I'm lucky enough to work in Rushcutters Bay and I love the vibe, the culture, the lifestyle - very artsy fartsy! Lots of cafes, restaurants, gourmet restaurants, boutiques, speciality shops, gourmet markets, a nightlife to rave about, and of course, amazingly beautiful parks & water views!

If you're looking at property in the Eastern suburbs, you'll search for Rushcutters Bay, Darling Point, Darlinghurst, Double Bay, Watsons Bay, Rose Bay & Vaucluse. Anything in Sydney near water or with a view (even a glimpse) of water is usually accordingly priced (aka expensive!). Check out these two property sites to give you an idea of affordability:

www.realestate.com.au

www.domain.com.au

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monsta

I'm also keen to know more about Sydney's Eastern suburbs. We're after a more chilled lifestyle - with two children (4 and 7) who would need to go to a good public school.

Most migrants do not consider the eastern suburbs because they can only afford a shoe box of an apartment.

The average commute in Sydney is over an hour each way. So, if you live in the eastern suburbs (15 mins from the CBD) then you are quite wealthy.

Also, a single person in their 20's can earn $3000 - $4000 pm. They are happy to pay $500 per week to live in a shoe box in Bondi because its close to the night clubs in the city. You might not be (especially if you have a family)

A lot of the forum members here have moved to the Hills (e.g. Seven Hills or Pennant Hills) because they can afford to rent a house there. Some have moved to the northern beaches (Oxford falls, Forestville, etc...) for the same reason. If you are happy to live in an apartment, try Ryde, Epping, etc.. Unfortunately, I don' t know the south side of the harbour very well... so I can't recommend suburbs down there.

Edited by monsta

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elleneo

Anywhere on the north shore would be great because it has an abundance of great schools, try Pymble, St Ives and turramurra for excellent public schools and leafy streets with many professional couples with school going kids.

 

eastern suburbs can feel very busy so not sure about relaxed lifestyle. If it's beach you want I'd suggest Moana vale or narrabeen, not cheap either but more affordable, quieter with a similar commute.

 

so hard to decide, but I'm going to give u some of the best advice I got when I arrived, try and rent where you could buy, if you have kids you not going to want to change schools 2 years or so after arriving and settling in....(unless of course you move interstate like we did) 

 

everywhere in sydney is expensive, so I'd say decide what is priorit for you, commute? Beach? School?

 

sorry to say but unless you have $1300 a week budget for rent you won't be getting all 3 ??

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monsta

Just bear in mind,  the most expensive real estate in Sydney ia

 

Mosman,  West Pymble,  Kilara and St Ives. Or anywhere nearby. 

 

And yes as Elleno has pointed out,  they are lovely neighbourhoods.  

 

Sydney is the 2nd least affordable city to buy property in,  in the world.  Having both you and your spouse working in high paying jobs won't get you into those suburbs :(

 

If you had been earning that kind of money for 20 years in Sydney and invested your spare cash wisely,  then maybe you could afford to buy in an expensive suburb. 

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rozellem
On 2/17/2015 at 8:46 AM, NickiD said:

I'm also keen to know more about Sydney's Eastern suburbs. We're after a more chilled lifestyle - with two children (4 and 7) who would need to go to a good public school.

Not trying to be funny, but thats sadly the only time I have seen Eastern suburbs and chilled lifestyle in the same sentence. Keep on looking.....

Edited by rozellem
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AFreshStart
10 hours ago, rozellem said:

Not trying to be funny, but thats sadly the only time I have seen Eastern suburbs and chilled lifestyle in the same sentence. Keep on looking.....

 

RozelleM,

 

This post is almost over a year old!

 

NickiD has been here for 6-months already, they've all settled in well. We've had them over for a meal, attended their sons birthday party and meet-up from time to time.

 

They are living in Eastern Suburbs and happy with their choice, the boys are in good schools and playschools and both her and her husband have jobs.

 

I'm not sure what your definition of 'chilled' is, but coming from JHB life here is pretty chilled, city or burbs. They regularly hit the beach, enjoy park life and activities in the City (as do we).

 

To each their own, but feel you're making broad stroke statements that might not be all that helpful for others who haven't made the journey yet. 

 

Cheers

 

Matt

Edited by AFreshStart
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AFreshStart
15 hours ago, elleneo said:

sorry to say but unless you have $1300 a week budget for rent you won't be getting all 3 ??

 

Elleneo,

 

For a house... You can have all 3 if you choose to downscale to an apartment.

 

We are 10-mins from the City, 15-mins to the nearest beach and can walk to both my daughters childcare and sons school.

 

We are a 5-minute walk from 3 Coles, a Woolworths & ALDI and 900m from Green Square Station, one stop away from Central, 2 to Circular Quay and have bus stops right outside our front door with a bus route that run through the City into Chatswood.

 

We live in a small low rise, 36 units, built 2-years ago. It's 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a loft. We bought, but equivalent rent here is $650 - $750 a week.

 

We have 2 reserves (parks) right outside our home, are a 5-minute walk to the large Redfern Park and an 18-minute walk to Prince Alfred Park and Pool and are positioned right next door to the Waterloo Library (great for the kids!).

 

We have everything we want and more and are certainly NOT paying $1300 a week, it's all about figuring our what your needs are, and for many, ourselves included, that's NOT a 3-bedroom house.

 

Cheers

 

Matt

Edited by AFreshStart
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elleneo

I'm very glad that you are happy in your apartment in Waterloo. I'm househunting at the moment and wish I would be satisfied with an apartment like you, but we desperate for a garden, a veggie patch, big trees  and and to give our little girl her own swimming pool.

 

just to add, I was merely trying to give helpful advice, after living In Australia for almost 7 years, in Melbourne and Sydney, in the west and in "posh" suburbs, with and without a garden, having a school going child and wanting to be near a variety of school options, converted my legal qualifications, worked here,been a stay at home mom here etc etc I feel my advice is valuable. 

 

Also, it is of course up to the asker to decide what advice to consider. 

 

can I ask out of interest sake what are they living in? Apartment or a house? 

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AFreshStart
2 hours ago, elleneo said:

I'm very glad that you are happy in your apartment in Waterloo. I'm househunting at the moment and wish I would be satisfied with an apartment like you, but we desperate for a garden, a veggie patch, big trees  and and to give our little girl her own swimming pool.

 

just to add, I was merely trying to give helpful advice, after living In Australia for almost 7 years, in Melbourne and Sydney, in the west and in "posh" suburbs, with and without a garden, having a school going child and wanting to be near a variety of school options, converted my legal qualifications, worked here,been a stay at home mom here etc etc I feel my advice is valuable. 

 

Also, it is of course up to the asker to decide what advice to consider. 

 

can I ask out of interest sake what are they living in? Apartment or a house? 

 

Elleneo,

 

Firstly, absolutely, your advice is valuable, invaluable!

 

I hope you didn't take my comment as diminishing that, I'm just pointing out to others that read this that there are ways to curb your spending and still enjoy many of those benefits.

 

I've traveled to 80 cities worldwide and lived in London, New York etc and am used to living small, even though in South Africa we had the 3-bedroom house with front and back yards etc.

 

We choose to do so for many reasons. We live small, off a single salary, have no debts (outside of our mortgage) and own a new car for cash. We're able to do this, even in an expensive city in Sydney by choosing to compromise on space. We see our home as a place to rest, recoup etc and need very little space to do that, even with 2 children. We chose to live our lives outdoors and see it as an extension of our home.

 

That said we still LOVE being hospitable and our space it large enough that we host our community group weekly and are able to feed 10 people from it and don't feel cluttered or cramped, we are able to all enjoy a meal around the dinner table and recline to the living room later (it's open plan).

 

I run a community garden for the neighbourhood and the City of Sydney provides the land and financial support to do so and it's a great way to meet the neighbours.  We also grow all our kitchen herbs, tomatoes, lettuces and Asian greens on our balcony. We don't feel the need for a garden because we are surrounded by parks that we get to use, enjoy and DON'T have to maintain (so over mowing a lawn!).

 

We have season passes to the local public swimming pool and because our kids are currently having lessons are there every Saturday.

 

We enjoy the beach, cycling in the park and closer to home the City and all it offers, much of it FREE.

 

I'm not saying it's the RIGHT way to live, but A way to live and a great one to keep your costs down and still enjoy many of the benefits of City life like reduced transport costs, being close to the family. My wife gets to leave after 8am and is back by 5.30pm most nights, which allows us to enjoy more time together etc.

 

I'll let NickiD answer the question on her accommodation arrangements if she so chooses.

 

Cheers

 

Matt

Edited by AFreshStart
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qwerty

It is all relative really. We live in a 3-bedroom house in Gordon - don't have a choice since we have a Golden Retriever. However, we went for an older house, so we're not paying a premium to stay in the area. If you want all the bells and whistles, then you are going to pay through your nose :) Most non-doggy or small-doggy people can easily live in an apartment - and should consider this option at least until they find their feet (we did for over a year, right next to Pacific Highway!). However, a bigger pooch needs some space (and a trampoline to tear apart :rolleyes:).

 

So guess it is really about needs vs. wants, which is different for everyone.

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NickiD

Haven't been on the forum in ages, so interesting to see all the replies. 

 

Firstly, thank you as always @AFreshStart for jumping in to let @rozellem in on the first couple of months I feel our stay here :) Matt, you're a wealth of objective knowledge and sage advice, and for that I will be forever grateful! 

 

Secondly, we landed up (after 10 days of manic property searches before u was due to begin work) in Woollahra, one of the most LEAST "chilled" places in Sydney. But, it's been amazing. My children have been so incredibly happy at their schools and the close proximity to the city for work for my husband and I has been exactly what we needed. No, it's not "chilled" per-se, but how would you know about living in Sydney until you have LIVED in Sydney yourself? Everyone's needs are different, especially at different life stages. I am beyond grateful that we landed where we did, for the first year of our new life. Work is 3 train stops away. The kids are happy. I am home before dark. That said, it's expensive and the people are not exactly "our" people. But it has worked for us. And that's all that counts! Our lease expires at the end of August and we intend to (hopefully) get a month-to-month until the end of the year so that our boys can finish our year one and the last year of daycare where they are. Then we plan on heading over the bridge to somewhere no further than a 30 minute commute into the city, so that we can have a slightly more "relaxed" home (away from the Range Rovers and Rolexes of Woollahra and Double Bay!), in an area that, now that we've had time to explore on our own terms and not just on the advice of one somewhat pessimistic/skeptical forum member, would suit us better. 

 

The one thing that Matt did better than any other person did when we asked for advice about where to think about living, was that he was objective, as well as positive and honest about everything. When I said we were looking at Woollahra (only because the public school came out as one of the best in Sydney), he didn't judge us or tell us we were being foolish. He supported us. And for that I am eternally grateful! 

 

Onward and upward! 

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