Housing in Oz

Old Jul 30th 2010, 11:30 am
  #1  
Forum Regular
Thread Starter
 
Pine Cone's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2010
Location: UK at present
Posts: 248
Pine Cone has a reputation beyond reputePine Cone has a reputation beyond reputePine Cone has a reputation beyond reputePine Cone has a reputation beyond reputePine Cone has a reputation beyond reputePine Cone has a reputation beyond reputePine Cone has a reputation beyond reputePine Cone has a reputation beyond reputePine Cone has a reputation beyond reputePine Cone has a reputation beyond reputePine Cone has a reputation beyond repute
Default Housing in Oz

It was mentioned in another thread where I was asking for comparisions with NZ, that a shack in NZ is very much the same as a shack in Oz, a far cry from the housing we were used to in UK. I am not interested in purchase price but getting an idea of the condition of the rental housing stock. We are currently considering Melbourne or failing that Sydney, as location so would prefer info relevent to those particular climates.

So I would like to find out a bit more about the standard of housing in Oz. I am aware that there are similarities with NZ in terms of poor levels of insulation etc, but just how bad is it? And is this as big an issue given the climate of Oz is warmer than NZ with relative humidity lower in many areas. Here we have 3-4 months a year of weeping windows and window frames that are so bad they require wiping down every morning or they'll go mouldy within a few days, and this is in a 2 year old house. It feels like such as waste of time and energy

What is the standard of newer homes like? Is double glazing still a relatively new thing, and is this a problem?

What are the best heating and cooling options we should be looking for when it comes to searching for a rental, and are they commonly found or only for those who pay through the nose. We're sick of putting up with temperatures that fall WELL short of the WHO minimum healthy indoor temperature of 18 degrees all winter, and then 30 degrees plus indoors over the summer with no air conditioning at all. We are used to living in a seasonally cooler/hotter house than we had in UK now, but would rather not be freezing our butts off every winter.

Is hot water heating mainly electric, gas, solar?

Lastly, are there any features I've not thought about which we should be considering when looking at homes?
Pine Cone is offline  
Old Jul 30th 2010, 4:08 pm
  #2  
rab
Forum Regular
 
rab's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2004
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Posts: 253
rab has a reputation beyond reputerab has a reputation beyond reputerab has a reputation beyond reputerab has a reputation beyond reputerab has a reputation beyond reputerab has a reputation beyond reputerab has a reputation beyond reputerab has a reputation beyond reputerab has a reputation beyond reputerab has a reputation beyond reputerab has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Housing in Oz

Originally Posted by Pine Cone View Post
It was mentioned in another thread where I was asking for comparisions with NZ, that a shack in NZ is very much the same as a shack in Oz, a far cry from the housing we were used to in UK. I am not interested in purchase price but getting an idea of the condition of the rental housing stock. We are currently considering Melbourne or failing that Sydney, as location so would prefer info relevent to those particular climates.

So I would like to find out a bit more about the standard of housing in Oz. I am aware that there are similarities with NZ in terms of poor levels of insulation etc, but just how bad is it? And is this as big an issue given the climate of Oz is warmer than NZ with relative humidity lower in many areas. Here we have 3-4 months a year of weeping windows and window frames that are so bad they require wiping down every morning or they'll go mouldy within a few days, and this is in a 2 year old house. It feels like such as waste of time and energy

What is the standard of newer homes like? Is double glazing still a relatively new thing, and is this a problem?

What are the best heating and cooling options we should be looking for when it comes to searching for a rental, and are they commonly found or only for those who pay through the nose. We're sick of putting up with temperatures that fall WELL short of the WHO minimum healthy indoor temperature of 18 degrees all winter, and then 30 degrees plus indoors over the summer with no air conditioning at all. We are used to living in a seasonally cooler/hotter house than we had in UK now, but would rather not be freezing our butts off every winter.

Is hot water heating mainly electric, gas, solar?

Lastly, are there any features I've not thought about which we should be considering when looking at homes?
Aussie homes are badly built, cold in winter and very inefficient. Wood stoves work OK due to good radiance. Warm air is exactly that but dear to run. There are no radiators it's so dry they don't work.

If you come to somewhere like Adelaide you've got to face up to the fact you are often going to be too hot in summer and too cold in winter.
rab is offline  
Old Jul 30th 2010, 4:58 pm
  #3  
221b Baker Street
 
Sherlock Holmes's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2010
Location: Miles from anywhere, Victoria, Australia.
Posts: 14,125
Sherlock Holmes has a reputation beyond reputeSherlock Holmes has a reputation beyond reputeSherlock Holmes has a reputation beyond reputeSherlock Holmes has a reputation beyond reputeSherlock Holmes has a reputation beyond reputeSherlock Holmes has a reputation beyond reputeSherlock Holmes has a reputation beyond reputeSherlock Holmes has a reputation beyond reputeSherlock Holmes has a reputation beyond reputeSherlock Holmes has a reputation beyond reputeSherlock Holmes has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Housing in Oz

This comes up time and time again. For people who rent, it really can be a problem as you either can't or wouldn't want to spend money improving things.

Also, most rental housing stock is of the lowest standard. Note the word,"most".

Generally the air is dryer so hopefully condensation won't be a major problem. (I stand to be corrected). But there wont be any double glazing.

Water heating can be of all the types you mentioned. Instantaneous gas hot water is a good one to look for but many will be a "hot water service" a bit like an immersion heater in the UK but kept outside (normally) and run at night on the cheap rate.

You won't find central heating (re-circulated hot water a la UK), especially not in a rental. I'm not sure what the previous post meant by radiators not working as it is so dry....I have installed central heating (here known as hydronic heating) and it works perfectly.

If you find a rental with a wood heater, use Red Gum to fire it. A hard wood that is very hot, slow burning but easy to light. It leaves very little ash.

I dont find the air-con bill in summer overly excessive. We put ours on 26 and leave it there 24/7 (unless it cools down of course). We have insulated though so that helps.

Some places don't even have loft insulation and frankly, if that is the case, you are somewhat buggered.

So, I'd look for:

Nothing too big,
Gas hot water,
A wood heater,
Loft insulation,
not too much glass - they love big windows..god knows why, way too hot in summer, cold in winter,
so, see if there are north and west facing blinds or other screening.
Buy a Noirot heater that you can take with you when you move.

Last edited by Sherlock Holmes; Jul 30th 2010 at 5:18 pm.
Sherlock Holmes is offline  
Old Jul 30th 2010, 5:15 pm
  #4  
221b Baker Street
 
Sherlock Holmes's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2010
Location: Miles from anywhere, Victoria, Australia.
Posts: 14,125
Sherlock Holmes has a reputation beyond reputeSherlock Holmes has a reputation beyond reputeSherlock Holmes has a reputation beyond reputeSherlock Holmes has a reputation beyond reputeSherlock Holmes has a reputation beyond reputeSherlock Holmes has a reputation beyond reputeSherlock Holmes has a reputation beyond reputeSherlock Holmes has a reputation beyond reputeSherlock Holmes has a reputation beyond reputeSherlock Holmes has a reputation beyond reputeSherlock Holmes has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Housing in Oz

And is this as big an issue given the climate of Oz is warmer than NZ with relative humidity lower in many areas.
To answer this question, yes it is a problem. The south of the country, in general, enjoys a dry air climate. BUT for the last six weeks here, I live midway between Melbourne and Adelaide, the humidity hasn't dropped below about 88%. Okay so it has rained and there has been fog but even on a clear night it has been dripping. 10 degrees in humidity feels like minus 2 in the UK

A good wood heater will keep it dry indoors though. (And a touch of the A/C on heat or de-humidify). Keep smiling!
Sherlock Holmes is offline  
Old Jul 31st 2010, 5:22 am
  #5  
BE Forum Addict
 
verystormy's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Scotland
Posts: 3,321
verystormy has a reputation beyond reputeverystormy has a reputation beyond reputeverystormy has a reputation beyond reputeverystormy has a reputation beyond reputeverystormy has a reputation beyond reputeverystormy has a reputation beyond reputeverystormy has a reputation beyond reputeverystormy has a reputation beyond reputeverystormy has a reputation beyond reputeverystormy has a reputation beyond reputeverystormy has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Housing in Oz

We have been in the same rental for nearly 2 years now in Perth and find the build quality of houses here pretty shocking. We are in a new house which is supposed to be in the upper end of the market, so dread to think what a lot of others are like. We have just a couple of weeks ago had air con fitted because we couldnt get warm in doors.

Houses have little or no insulation and double glazing is about as common as fairies living in the garden.

People assume that it is hot and dry all the time. Reality is that Perth has a higher rainfall than London and try telling my missus it is always hot while she is sat at home with gloves on. Then in summer it can boil. Australians have no idea about saving energy. Just slap on the air con and stop thinking about it is the way most behave
verystormy is online now  
Old Jul 31st 2010, 5:40 am
  #6  
Just Joined
 
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 11
temp444 is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Housing in Oz

Originally Posted by Pine Cone View Post
It was mentioned in another thread where I was asking for comparisions with NZ, that a shack in NZ is very much the same as a shack in Oz, a far cry from the housing we were used to in UK. I am not interested in purchase price but getting an idea of the condition of the rental housing stock. We are currently considering Melbourne or failing that Sydney, as location so would prefer info relevent to those particular climates.

So I would like to find out a bit more about the standard of housing in Oz. I am aware that there are similarities with NZ in terms of poor levels of insulation etc, but just how bad is it? And is this as big an issue given the climate of Oz is warmer than NZ with relative humidity lower in many areas. Here we have 3-4 months a year of weeping windows and window frames that are so bad they require wiping down every morning or they'll go mouldy within a few days, and this is in a 2 year old house. It feels like such as waste of time and energy

What is the standard of newer homes like? Is double glazing still a relatively new thing, and is this a problem?

What are the best heating and cooling options we should be looking for when it comes to searching for a rental, and are they commonly found or only for those who pay through the nose. We're sick of putting up with temperatures that fall WELL short of the WHO minimum healthy indoor temperature of 18 degrees all winter, and then 30 degrees plus indoors over the summer with no air conditioning at all. We are used to living in a seasonally cooler/hotter house than we had in UK now, but would rather not be freezing our butts off every winter.

Is hot water heating mainly electric, gas, solar?

Lastly, are there any features I've not thought about which we should be considering when looking at homes?
I grew up in Adelaide and lived/worked in Melbourne and Sydney. For the last 4 years I have been working in Wellington, NZ.

Having travelled around both countries, my opinion is that NZ housing standard is far worse than Australia.

In NZ, a high proportion of houses are made of wood, without any insulation, central heating, a/c (though not really needed), carpet, double-glazed windows etc. Also alot of NZ houses are cold, damp and drafty ... but NZers grow up with it and don't seem to care. Just look how they often walk around in shorts, T-shirts and bare feet during winter.

Infact, I would go as far as saying that NZ consists of a small % of middle/upper class, and a huge proportion of lower class. This is particular noticable once you drive only a short distance from the 3 main cities. NZers invest pretty much in property and spend money on little else (overseas holidays seem to be the exception).

When travelling back to Australia, I couldnt get over how much better the housing was. Just the fact that most Australian homes have carpet, insulation and heating make them alot more comfortable to to live in.
temp444 is offline  
Old Jul 31st 2010, 6:59 am
  #7  
Wol
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
Wol's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 9,397
Wol has a reputation beyond reputeWol has a reputation beyond reputeWol has a reputation beyond reputeWol has a reputation beyond reputeWol has a reputation beyond reputeWol has a reputation beyond reputeWol has a reputation beyond reputeWol has a reputation beyond reputeWol has a reputation beyond reputeWol has a reputation beyond reputeWol has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Housing in Oz

>>There are no radiators it's so dry they don't work.<<

Huh?
Wol is offline  
Old Jul 31st 2010, 8:04 am
  #8  
BE Forum Addict
 
Petals's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Westernport Mornington Peninsula
Posts: 1,761
Petals has a reputation beyond reputePetals has a reputation beyond reputePetals has a reputation beyond reputePetals has a reputation beyond reputePetals has a reputation beyond reputePetals has a reputation beyond reputePetals has a reputation beyond reputePetals has a reputation beyond reputePetals has a reputation beyond reputePetals has a reputation beyond reputePetals has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Housing in Oz

If you buy new housing from big builders in Aus then you get them cheaper but warts and all.

Prior to getting married I lived in NZ and Australia and in New Zealand the houses were cold and as has been said built of wood, this being for the earthquakes as they give.

In Australia I rented in Sydney and the rentals were very nice, in Melbourne I also rented and they were nice and we had central heating and aircon. I lived with friends so we could afford more expensive property.

The more you pay the better the rental in my view.

As far as double glazing is concerned just been in the UK for two and a half months and it was warm whilst we were over there and of course all the properties we rented were double glazed but what we found was that this made the properties very hot. I certainly would not be putting double glazing in here as if it was anything like the last newish property we stayed in it would be a furnace in summer, the double glazing may keep out the heat but because of it the properties are already warm so compounds the problem.

So the upshot is to get a good climate in housing in Aus pay more money.
Petals is offline  
Old Jul 31st 2010, 9:54 am
  #9  
Banned
 
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 183
danjones1 is just really nicedanjones1 is just really nicedanjones1 is just really nicedanjones1 is just really nicedanjones1 is just really nicedanjones1 is just really nicedanjones1 is just really nicedanjones1 is just really nicedanjones1 is just really nicedanjones1 is just really nicedanjones1 is just really nice
Default Re: Housing in Oz

Just move to darwin or cairns, then problem solved.

Why anyone would buy an overpriced shed in a country like OZ is beyond me. More of a rip than UK houses which at least are good build, apart from new build rabbit hutches like barrett.
danjones1 is offline  
Old Jul 31st 2010, 10:03 am
  #10  
_
 
Joined: Aug 2005
Location: Perth (ex Oxford)
Posts: 411
Kalenge has a reputation beyond reputeKalenge has a reputation beyond reputeKalenge has a reputation beyond reputeKalenge has a reputation beyond reputeKalenge has a reputation beyond reputeKalenge has a reputation beyond reputeKalenge has a reputation beyond reputeKalenge has a reputation beyond reputeKalenge has a reputation beyond reputeKalenge has a reputation beyond reputeKalenge has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Housing in Oz

Originally Posted by Petals View Post

As far as double glazing is concerned just been in the UK for two and a half months and it was warm whilst we were over there and of course all the properties we rented were double glazed but what we found was that this made the properties very hot. I certainly would not be putting double glazing in here as if it was anything like the last newish property we stayed in it would be a furnace in summer, the double glazing may keep out the heat but because of it the properties are already warm so compounds the problem.
A very good point. Many Brits appear to have the assumption that because Aussie homes tend to not have double glazing that the builds are inferior. That's not the case. There generally isn't double glazing because there isn't as much of a need as what there is in the UK.

On the other hand, air conditioning is almost a standard installation in most homes in Australia. Now how many homes in the UK have air-con?
Kalenge is offline  
Old Jul 31st 2010, 10:10 am
  #11  
Forum Regular
Thread Starter
 
Pine Cone's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2010
Location: UK at present
Posts: 248
Pine Cone has a reputation beyond reputePine Cone has a reputation beyond reputePine Cone has a reputation beyond reputePine Cone has a reputation beyond reputePine Cone has a reputation beyond reputePine Cone has a reputation beyond reputePine Cone has a reputation beyond reputePine Cone has a reputation beyond reputePine Cone has a reputation beyond reputePine Cone has a reputation beyond reputePine Cone has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Housing in Oz

Originally Posted by temp444 View Post
Having travelled around both countries, my opinion is that NZ housing standard is far worse than Australia.

In NZ, a high proportion of houses are made of wood, without any insulation, central heating, a/c (though not really needed), carpet, double-glazed windows etc. Also alot of NZ houses are cold, damp and drafty ... but NZers grow up with it and don't seem to care. Just look how they often walk around in shorts, T-shirts and bare feet during winter.

I know a few people who have now hopped the ditch to Oz and they all tell me the same thing i.e. housing (among other things) is better in Oz. It's good to hear this from other people too, because many people are quite raw about their experience of life in NZ, so are quick to 'big up' anywhere else and put NZ down. We're trying to make more objective comparisons.

So far everything that's been mentioned about housing in Oz seems to be the same stuff we complain about in NZ. I guess this means we won't be any worse off than we are now at least, and doesn't sound like we'll be in for any more nasty shocks.

And I so hear you re Kiwi's. They are a lovely bunch of people on the whole, but see nothing wrong with eating your breakfast in a beanie hat and fleece all winter long, and getting in to bed full clothed at 9pm because it's too damn cold to stay up and do anything else. If you try and have a conversation with most locals about this, they get all defensive and call you a 'winging pom', apart from those who have done an OE in the UK/US/Canada who are more open minded and will generally be happy to reminisce about central heating. There are many things I love about NZ, but housing definitely isn't one of them.
Pine Cone is offline  
Old Jul 31st 2010, 10:15 pm
  #12  
Victorian Evangelist
 
Buzzy--Bee's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2005
Location: Melbourne, by the beach, living the dream.
Posts: 7,704
Buzzy--Bee has a reputation beyond reputeBuzzy--Bee has a reputation beyond reputeBuzzy--Bee has a reputation beyond reputeBuzzy--Bee has a reputation beyond reputeBuzzy--Bee has a reputation beyond reputeBuzzy--Bee has a reputation beyond reputeBuzzy--Bee has a reputation beyond reputeBuzzy--Bee has a reputation beyond reputeBuzzy--Bee has a reputation beyond reputeBuzzy--Bee has a reputation beyond reputeBuzzy--Bee has a reputation beyond repute
Smile Re: Housing in Oz

Originally Posted by Pine Cone View Post
It was mentioned in another thread where I was asking for comparisions with NZ, that a shack in NZ is very much the same as a shack in Oz,
OK, I think I was the bloke who posted that, maybe I needed to explain it better.

There is housing of all qualities here. There are some run-down shacks, many of which are let out as cheap rentals. The rental we had for our first 2 years was new and modern, as are several here.

You don't get the climate issues here (in Melbourne anyway, no experience of living in other states) that you do in NZ with regard to housing. In Melbourne the humid period is the winter, and its nothing compared to NZ. I have never seen the condensation issue here that I did in NZ ever. There has been no scandal of leaky buildings here like there has been in NZ despite the fact that the materials used here are the same that the leaky building issue has been blamed on.

However there are different climate issues that you didn't need to consider in NZ. Although in Melbourne we almost never get a frost except in the outer suburbs, we do get very hot days. A hot day in NZ is 28 degrees. Here that would be considered pleasantly warm. When we get 38 degrees plus, that's when you wish your rental had aircon!!! But it is a very dry heat indeed, no humidity at all.

I personally think that in recent years both NZ and Oz have dramatically improved their building regulations, I believe double glazing is now a requirement in NZ on new builds. My point still stands though, that a shitty old house in NZ and a shitty old house in Oz are both still a shitty old house.

BB
Buzzy--Bee is offline  
Old Aug 1st 2010, 12:15 am
  #13  
Just Joined
 
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 11
temp444 is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Housing in Oz

Originally Posted by Pine Cone View Post
I know a few people who have now hopped the ditch to Oz and they all tell me the same thing i.e. housing (among other things) is better in Oz. It's good to hear this from other people too, because many people are quite raw about their experience of life in NZ, so are quick to 'big up' anywhere else and put NZ down. We're trying to make more objective comparisons.

So far everything that's been mentioned about housing in Oz seems to be the same stuff we complain about in NZ. I guess this means we won't be any worse off than we are now at least, and doesn't sound like we'll be in for any more nasty shocks.

And I so hear you re Kiwi's. They are a lovely bunch of people on the whole, but see nothing wrong with eating your breakfast in a beanie hat and fleece all winter long, and getting in to bed full clothed at 9pm because it's too damn cold to stay up and do anything else. If you try and have a conversation with most locals about this, they get all defensive and call you a 'winging pom', apart from those who have done an OE in the UK/US/Canada who are more open minded and will generally be happy to reminisce about central heating. There are many things I love about NZ, but housing definitely isn't one of them.
Yes, I agree that the Kiwi people themselves are very warm and friendly ... I'm only criticising the housing because it is very poor.

As for the comment about a bad house in NZ is the same as a bad house in Oz ... well that be true, but my point is that the portion of these poor houses in NZ is very very high compared with Oz. And I am living in Kelburn, Wellington which is one of the high priced suburbs.

There are street upon street here of these wooden houses, whereas I can drive through vast areas of most suburbs in Oz and see quality housing for miles. By quality I mean the boring 3BR brick houses with tiled roofs, carport and back garden. The nice houses (costing about $200-300K extra) are vastly superior again.

Last edited by temp444; Aug 1st 2010 at 12:19 am.
temp444 is offline  
Old Aug 1st 2010, 1:07 am
  #14  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Tauranga
Posts: 104
krissie has a brilliant futurekrissie has a brilliant futurekrissie has a brilliant futurekrissie has a brilliant futurekrissie has a brilliant futurekrissie has a brilliant futurekrissie has a brilliant futurekrissie has a brilliant future
Default Re: Housing in Oz

reading this with interest...we live in nz at the minute and although this place is beautiful, we dont feel that there are opportunities here for our children...and quite frankly its quite boring...
just wondered whether others making this move are nz citizens and does this make the move relatively simple??
krissie is offline  
Old Aug 1st 2010, 2:15 am
  #15  
Just Joined
 
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 11
temp444 is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Housing in Oz

Originally Posted by krissie View Post
reading this with interest...we live in nz at the minute and although this place is beautiful, we dont feel that there are opportunities here for our children...and quite frankly its quite boring...
just wondered whether others making this move are nz citizens and does this make the move relatively simple??
I agree that NZ is a beautiful country and the people are great, but I'm returning to Oz after 4 years. The main problem is there is just not enough money flowing through the economy to support reasonably well paid jobs. The main areas of employment are govt, tourism and agriculture/farming.

I work in IT so do reasonably well, but everyone else seems to be paid a pittance ... so there is a wide gap between the well off and everyone else.

Currently where I'm working there is a steady stream of 20-30 year olds leaving to work overseas.

Apologies for sounding quite negative, but I think people need to be realistic about what NZ has to offer work wise. I guess it's like any place, if you're not earning enough for a reasonable standard of living you're going to be unhappy ... however beautiful the country.
temp444 is offline  

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2022 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.