Newcastle NSW

Old Mar 30th 2019, 10:14 pm
  #16  
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Default Re: Newcastle NSW

Interestingly another colleague recently moved up there, renting with a view to buying, and has come back declaring "it's not cheap". Guess that's what happens when so many people leave move there.
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Old Mar 30th 2019, 11:02 pm
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Default Re: Newcastle NSW

Originally Posted by Kooky. View Post
Interestingly another colleague recently moved up there, renting with a view to buying, and has come back declaring "it's not cheap". Guess that's what happens when so many people leave move there.
I don't think anywhere or anything can ever be considered "cheap" in Australia, so I'll forgive Newcastle that. We've moved three times in three years trying to find something suitable. The place we have now is central and exceptionally well priced (< $500 p/w), but of course has major faults- no aircon, low water pressure, etc.

You can't really beat the system you just have to understand what compromises you must endure. In Newcastle you will be forced to accept a very small, possibly cramped space to live in - if you don't wish to live amongst undesirables. If I did it all over again I'd recommend myself a modern flat or townhouse and prepare myself for its going to cost mid 600 p/w.

One option is to live an hour away where rent is very cheap (< $450 p/w) and you have reasonably respectable neighbours (e.g. Medowie, or some Coastal village, if you enjoy boredom try areas around Maitland). We tried this and if you have a small car its a reasonable option, however, of course you will face other enormous expenses, Shopping trips become a 2 hour round ordeal, no internet, any services and you get rinsed by the local tradies (sucking air in between teeth; that's gonna cost you $160 an hour, if you can find one).

So with that we found we saved nothing and it sucked up a lot of time so now we live in a run down old house in a "good" neighbourhood close to the centre. I laugh out loud whenever I hear anyone who hasn't visited express how "cheap" Newcastle is, and how lovely it must be to be in the midst of wine valleys and wide stretches of beaches. Like all myths there are elements of truth behind it, but you know, those never ending summer evenings 10pm at night, sitting at the telly, sweating into the couch kind of brings about a certain reality check. Don't get me wrong I'd take it over anywhere in Oz, but I do wonder if there is anywhere remotely pleasant elsewhere. This is probably as good as it gets here.
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Old Apr 1st 2019, 4:56 am
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Default Re: Newcastle NSW

Ha, rabble_rouser, I think you have hit the 3-year wall! I can relate to a lot of what you write about Newcastle but I think it only tells half the story, and the gloomy half at that. Definitely industrial and dilapidated in parts and eye-wateringly bogan in parts too. OTOH, there's a lot to like about here and the proximity to lovely beaches is a major plus over most Aus cities. I have a love-hate thing with Port Stephens because in summer and at Easter it is choked with tourists but I do like it very much on a quiet winter day. I think the worst thing about Newcastle is probably the poor public transport in such a spread out city so it's hard to not be reliant on car use. We have limped along with one car the past three years but the novelty of that is wearing thin.
I agree that house prices here are far too high given that, in the end, it's a sprawling industrial town with an attractive coastline and a few "up-and-coming" and hipster burbs. I am hoping we see a decent price correction in the next few years but not really holding my breath.
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Old Apr 1st 2019, 11:43 am
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Default Re: Newcastle NSW

Just as you feel, bourbon-biscuit, its a love-hate thing. My wife and I also share a single car, and its straining at times, fortunately I work from home a fair bit otherwise we could not manage.
Of course there are far worse places to wind up in Australia, then the Newcastle area.
There are those unbelievably pleasant moments in spring, all quiet on the beaches, when the sun just sort of playfully hangs around up there, and you look around at the huge ships coming in, up at the cliffs and playgrounds and wonder if you aren't apart of a "Peter and Jane go on holiday to Australia" Ladybird book. Those days tend to pass by pretty quickly though, and you remember there are just too many Bogans per square meter to get totally comfortable.
In fact, my first year here as a nice little welcome, I was woken up at 2am by two meth heads trying to break into my front door. And my street had a 9.4/10 on Homely.
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Old Apr 2nd 2019, 1:31 am
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Default Re: Newcastle NSW

Originally Posted by rabble_rouser View Post
In fact, my first year here as a nice little welcome, I was woken up at 2am by two meth heads trying to break into my front door. And my street had a 9.4/10 on Homely.
I live in an apparently "very nice area" (9.2 on Homely) and yet a couple of months ago when I was home alone a meth head tried to break into my house with a fence post - he was ranting and raving and bashing at the door and house and I am not too proud to admit I was terrified and called the police from a cupboard. I don't know how the windows held but they did - doubtless because he was so off his head he kept striking the window frame. He bashed in the car back windscreen though. Police eventually caught him. I am OK but deeply troubled about what if it had been my teenage daughter home alone that day. I know this stuff happens anywhere - but it's never happened anywhere to me before.
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Old Apr 3rd 2019, 9:39 am
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Default Re: Newcastle NSW

Originally Posted by bourbon-biscuit View Post
. I have a love-hate thing with Port Stephens because in summer and at Easter it is choked with tourists but I do like it very much on a quiet winter day..
Ha. This is when I go and it makes me laugh how the locals complain about how busy it is. As someone who comes up from Sydney these times of year are completely deserted in my opinion, especially in contrast to Sydney.
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Old Apr 3rd 2019, 11:30 am
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Default Re: Newcastle NSW

I got a real hoot reading the comment about “low wages like everywhere in Australia”. I’ll bear that in mind when next visiting my in-laws in Norfolk, a respectable semi-professional full-time working couple trying to raise two kids on less than £50,000 a year and paying a mortgage on a pokey and decidedly average £300,000 home. No pay increases for years. I guess that grass is always greener!
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Old Apr 3rd 2019, 7:12 pm
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Default Re: Newcastle NSW

Originally Posted by DC10 View Post
I got a real hoot reading the comment about “low wages like everywhere in Australia”. I’ll bear that in mind when next visiting my in-laws in Norfolk, a respectable semi-professional full-time working couple trying to raise two kids on less than £50,000 a year and paying a mortgage on a pokey and decidedly average £300,000 home. No pay increases for years. I guess that grass is always greener!
You should be here. Opposition political parties use wage growth as a weapon without telling the public that it's a global phenomenon. On the bright side there is next to no inflation so it's a win win for all.
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Old Apr 8th 2019, 12:53 pm
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Default Re: Newcastle NSW

Originally Posted by DC10 View Post
I got a real hoot reading the comment about “low wages like everywhere in Australia”. I’ll bear that in mind when next visiting my in-laws in Norfolk, a respectable semi-professional full-time working couple trying to raise two kids on less than £50,000 a year and paying a mortgage on a pokey and decidedly average £300,000 home. No pay increases for years. I guess that grass is always greener!
I’m guessing you’re not in Australia? Downturn is a real thing, and the numbers you’re talking about, I’ll take that, including the fact we haven’t seen a pay rise since mining boom ended years ago, are you one of these weird people who think Australia is still cheap and roads paved in gold. Because they’re not. Australia is bloody expensive and just last month we took a $35k hit in pay just to have a job.
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Old Apr 13th 2019, 1:17 am
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Default Re: Newcastle NSW

Australia is breath-takingly expensive compared to Norfolk.
Whats missing is the range of options of economy that you do have in the UK.
Virtually every good and service is tiered to levels of income in UK.
In Australia goods and services more homogeneous.
What makes matters worse, are the presence of false economy supermarkets - buying chinese crap in Kmart or "deals" in ALDI. Beyond the superficial savings you can't really beat the system goods just cost what they do - learn to live without.

I have figured some methods of saving here that I never really had to consider in the UK:-
Don't use supermarkets for any reason
Buy in bulk from distributors (yes you can do that here)
Get a deep freezer and prepare your own meals
Don't drive anywhere unplanned for leisure (its typically a 1-2 hour round trip)
Drink 1/10th of what I did in UK and buy from first choice, or get coop brewed
Services (e.g. mechanics) tend to be cheaper in larger towns/cities where there is more competition
Keeping a 3-4 bed house cool in summer costs about $1-2000 per quarter easily
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Old Apr 13th 2019, 1:28 am
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Default Re: Newcastle NSW

How's that "better quality of life" thing going for you, rabble rouser?

This is the reality for many, yet still people watch UK TV programs and think you can get a house with a pool, on acreage, for a quid.
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Old Apr 13th 2019, 3:56 am
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Default Re: Newcastle NSW

Originally Posted by Kooky. View Post
How's that "better quality of life" thing going for you, rabble rouser?

This is the reality for many, yet still people watch UK TV programs and think you can get a house with a pool, on acreage, for a quid.
You know, I'm not sure about that either way. I do believe many people only think of the upsides, the downsides being snakes and spiders. Nobody I have talked to ever considered practical things like prices, etc.
I do think its a great place to live a sort of extended holiday for a few years, sink a few glasses of chilled wine, hang around on the beach get your dose of sunshine, and sheer novelty of wearing shorts most of the year.
However long term I'm not sure if there are any compelling advantages whatsoever. Quite the opposite. The longer I am here the more tiresome I find it. Most countries it seems the more time you spend the more there is to discover, yet here it feels as if ever year there is less and less to discover; Lets go exploring the riches of Australia this weekend - Oh look...another sun bleached patch of bush called "Yengonullanullanawalloroo national park", look at that dusty gulley, perhaps there was water here once in the last ten years. What a treat!

I would say that there really is only a single advantage in Australia. And that's space. You can get it, and you can get away for it all and just have the stinging insects for company. But neither is it the 70's any longer and prices are now through the roof and the general expectation amongst the oldies is that their houses will sell for a million each. Of course, who can really afford to buy that? The "rich" miners/tradies myth is just boring now, and Australia is quickly growing unaffordable for average wage slaves like myself.
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Old Apr 14th 2019, 4:06 am
  #28  
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Default Re: Newcastle NSW

Originally Posted by rabble_rouser View Post
Australia is breath-takingly expensive compared to Norfolk.
No it's not. Australia is more expensive overall but only marginally so

Incomes are higher here - including disposable and discretionary

Australia is wealthier than the UK - Per Capita GDP is over 30% more (source: UN)

Wealthy, successful countries that have wealth distributed fairly evenly throughout the economy tend to be expensive - think Norway, Denmark, Switzerland etc - and now Australia and Ireland

Never forget that we all want and need different things in life so our COL's are all different
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Old Apr 14th 2019, 6:49 am
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Default Re: Newcastle NSW

well this has been an interesting read

so iv been in belmont north for a week and the place seems nice. the people here have been very helpful and overall compared to where i was before in the uk its clean and people take care of their yards/lawns and houses. everything i seem to need for shopping etc can be found within 15 mintues drive. rent is ok i managed to get a place 3 bedroom with a decent yard for $440 pw.

theres does seem to have been alot of work gone on in newcastle iv only driven through it a few times while looking for stuff but its certainly not as scruffy as say birmingham/coventry/leicester.

affordability wise is it cheaper certain things yes overall i would say slightly more expensive. hard to tell as i havnt been here long enough yet. well the work side of things i havnt even started looking yet so basically this will make or break it here for us. but if it doesnt work out we can always move.

the whole people watch these shows and think you can get 4 bed pool and acres of land for a quid im not sure iv met anyone who thinks that and if there is then they really are dreamers. the uk is no park walk its a hard life for most people i know their and they struggle. they also go to food banks so there you go. im not a grass is always greener type person, im more take the chance and see if it works type so as always lets hope it works lol

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Old Apr 14th 2019, 10:42 am
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Default Re: Newcastle NSW

Originally Posted by Amazulu View Post
No it's not. Australia is more expensive overall but only marginally so

Incomes are higher here - including disposable and discretionary

Australia is wealthier than the UK - Per Capita GDP is over 30% more (source: UN)

Wealthy, successful countries that have wealth distributed fairly evenly throughout the economy tend to be expensive - think Norway, Denmark, Switzerland etc - and now Australia and Ireland

Never forget that we all want and need different things in life so our COL's are all different
Its misguided to just manipulate statistics like that, and it doesn't even contribute any meaning to your quip that "Australia is only marginally more expensive". And, of course some people's COL will be different (what a blindingly obvious point to make).

Wages are lower in the UK, and you get a far wider spectrum between wealth and poverty. The economic landscape in the UK reflects this hierarchy. (e.g. working class shop at ASDA, middle class in Sainsburys and so on).

Australia, being a Socialist egalitarian society means that for the average man, there are fewer options (this is a very critical point here). Now of course, the UK has expensive and beyond that makes any Australian pale away but we are talking average compared to average. There are more "average" options in the UK than there are in Australia.
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