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Arriving in Sydney in 23 days!


NickiD
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Arriving in Sydney in 23 days and everything's feeling REALLY real. Still feel like I have 38477636221 things to do here first, which is stressful and overwhelming, but just trying to take it one day at a time.

Two things in particular that are stressing me out, which I can't really do much about now:

1. Getting a rental

2. Getting my son (6) into a good public school

Anyone have any words of advice for me on either of these two things?

Thanks and SEE YOU SOON, SYDNEY!!!

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Not that i can help, but just wondering how you came up with that number, that's a lot of things to do. :whome::ilikeit:

Welcome in advance.

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We used these sites to find available rental properties:

www.realestate.com.au and www.domain.com.au

We're on the North Shore and most of the public primary schools are really good - think it's about finding the right area for you to live in and the school that suits your son best. If you are in the public school's catchment area, they have to enroll your son into the school. However, if the school is full, then they must refer you to another school in the area.

My 6 yr old daughter goes to a small school and it suits her personality best. A bigger school would have been too overwhelming for her. I would recommend that you try and get your son into Kindergarten, rather than year 1 (but it's up to you as you know your son better).

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Nicki,

Rentals are tough, it's a tough market, more people than property.

The best thing is to try and have your ducks in a row. We did a bit of a "one-sheet", introducing our family, sharing a bit about us, some references and because of my involvement in decor/design our own home had been in several magazines so I added a few clippings/articles, they could she that we were property owners ourselves and took care of things.

We got the first rental we applied for, and there were several interested parties, when we left the rental and broke lease it took us week to find new tenants and had 5 walk ins the first day. Try be as proactive as possible on this front.

RE schools, that's tough as it's all going to depend on where you want to stay. We chose our son's school based on research we did and moved into the suburb because of it. They are VERY strict on zoning here, if you fall in the catchment area they HAVE to take you, so you need to make sure that wherever you rent you are in the schools catchment area.

The school he is at is the 'poster boy' for Sydney education and the fastest growing school in NSW. To give you an idea of how it's grown, 7 years ago when the current headmaster took over there were 67 students, there are now over 300 and they were just approved for a $7-million upgrade to makes space for another 100+ students next year. It's an old building, but modern features, computer room, smart boards in each of the classroom, ipads etc.

It also has a large catchment area that incorporates parts of Surry Hills, Redfern, Alexandria, Waterloo and Beconsfield.

Enjoy the last few days, we're here to welcome you on the other side :ilikeit:

Cheers

Matt

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I have been worrying about the fact that his age would put him in Year 1 and he's only just in Grade R here now. That said, he's a really smart boy. But I don't want him to be on the back foot when he's arriving at a new school, on a whole new continent! Will let the school assess him and take it from there, I reckon :)

As always, thank you Matt. Looking forward to meeting the Allisons when we land :)

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My daughter is in Kindergarten and most of the kids in her class turned/turns 6 this year. So a lot of folks choose to only send their kids to school in the year they turn 6. I was really worried that she would be the oldest and not fit in with the younger kids :whome:

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Yes, rather do Kindergarden instead of year one. Like people in education say on making the decision: You want a child to thrive, not just survive. We live in Belrose/Frenchs Forest area and their are loads of brilliant public/primary schools here. My son is in kindy and I have just come back from his concert for Education Week. Very, very impressive. I have to giggle when the people around here talk about my sons large school, as there is only 300+ kids in it. My primary school had 800+ and high school had 1200. Anyway. Can I suggest you join a facebook group called South Africans who love to live in Sydney. They do a great womans (young-ish, not tannie-ish) breakfast every two months. It is a great place to start. Shout if you need any Sydney specific help. Or if you are looking for a hairdresser :whome: ...........

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Very exciting times!! I remember that time like it was yesterday...craziest busiest time! All the best for all the things you need to get done.

When you are applying for a rental a "cover" letter as Matt suggested that introduces your family - it helps to make it more personal and makes the owner's feel like they know you better than just a random application with no "personality". Remember the agent is often the one who will kind of make the decision...so don't be dismissive of them...a good impression on the real estate agent can be a step closer to getting that rental.

Some people have offered a 6 month upfront rental payment to make their application more appealing - we didn't have to do that...but it is an option if you can do it. Might help.

I live in South Sydney in the beautiful shire of Sutherland. You will find most of the Saffa's in the North of Sydney - which is a beautiful area. The Sutherland shire (Where I live) is a stunning area as well. A lot of Natural beauty, great beaches and wonderful outdoor areas. Very good schools here as well. We are very happy with our daughter's school, she is in Kindy this year (she turned 6 in February) and last night read me a full story book by herself with only a bit of help on a couple of words. I am blown away by how quickly she has progressed with her reading. We chose to move to the Sutherland Shire because my husband has a job in Matraville. I have totally fallen in love with this area...so unless he changes jobs that takes him further out, we will stay right where we are :)

If you would like to meet up when you have arrived, or have any questions, just PM me :)

Good luck with the last few days! Enjoy the adventure!

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Thanks for the tips about the rental properties - I had not thought about doing a 'cover' letter but that sounds like a great idea!

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Greggle, it works like a bomb. It worked on all our rentals (4) we applied for and even when we bought.

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