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Sydney - Location location location!!

Sydney - Location location location!!

Old Jan 15th 2008, 10:57 am
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Default Sydney - Location location location!!

Hi all, I seem to have spent the last 3 weeks reading every single forum topic on every website, including Go Matilda and City Hobo and BE trying to get a real feel for where it would be suitable for my wife and I and our 3 yr old son to live when we arrive in Sydney in April.

We have a months serviced apartment when we get there and will obviously take that opportunity to personally check out/drive by all the areas we think would interest us. Any decision we make won't be until we have physically seen the area we like both day and night time and checked out schools, work, shops etc.

My conundrum is having to look at it from two levels, my daily commute to work (will be in CBD/North Sydney) and the safety, security and social aspect for my family. Having scoured the rental sites I have a general feel for the rentals and what I can get for my dollar, we have capped ourselves at $600 per week.

Padstow/Panania seem like decent family type suburbs and we could get a really good 4 bed house there. The plus is the size of the house and the family suburb environment, the minus is the longer commute and the possibility of my wife feeling a bit isolated whilst I am at work.
Meadowbank/Ryde also have appeal to the family but we could get a 3 bed house/3 bed brand new waterside apartment. Plus side is the reduced commute and riverside location, minus would be less property for our dollar and if the apartment was chosen maybe even more isolation for my wife.
I should say that my wife is very easy going and tends to get on well with everybody and has a very 'smiley' disposition!!

One other factor is she, and I, both think that if she got work there and put our son into daycare then she would improve her social circle with her new work colleagues and also contribute to the income, all cash willingly accepted!! She currently works as Home Child Care in UK and could do that in Oz but then that would just imprison her in my opinion. What would be ideal is work in a Child Day care centre, even though her UK quals would not be valid in Oz I am sure they could take her on in some form of unqualified/training capacity. Might even get reduced rates for our son if he is there too!! lol God, I sound like a right Shylock!

I would certainly appreciate any inputs on those particular suburbs as well as any other location suggestions, I realise that most will be subjective but the way I see it the more you listen then the more you learn!

Only just started the 457 process but my colleagues who have just done it reported 4 weeks from start to finish, I am setting aside 8 weeks to be on the safe side! Our company also seem to be on the ball with things thier end.

Thanks for any inputs,
Patrick
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Old Jan 15th 2008, 11:22 am
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Default Re: Sydney - Location location location!!

Padstow and particularly Panania are very ordinary suburbs. They definitely don't have any wow factor. They seem to consist of acres and acres of 1950's housing. They're also quite close to Bankstown which I wouldn't recommend frankly. Is the cost of rentals the only reason you're considering them? Or do you have some other reason for shortlisting them?
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Old Jan 15th 2008, 2:55 pm
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Default Re: Sydney - Location location location!!

Originally Posted by NickyC View Post
Padstow and particularly Panania are very ordinary suburbs. They definitely don't have any wow factor. They seem to consist of acres and acres of 1950's housing. They're also quite close to Bankstown which I wouldn't recommend frankly. Is the cost of rentals the only reason you're considering them? Or do you have some other reason for shortlisting them?
Cost didn't really come into it too much, although as per any major city, the further out from the centre you are the more you get for your money. It was upon a recommendation from some guys out there but without sounding patronising they did have a lower income. Had a look and there was some really nice modern houses. I have heard that Bankstown is undesirable to some, any particular reason? Also the fact of a direct rail link to the CBD helps!!
You guys out there have obvious knowledge which I want to suck out and as I mentioned my dilemma is not just for my preference but also for my wife. I however am pretty much already sold on the Ryde/Meadowbank areas.
Keep all the comments coming as I really want to build up a decent picture and as a caveat I should state that any assumptions I have on locations are based purely on ignorance!!
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Old Jan 15th 2008, 6:38 pm
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Default Re: Sydney - Location location location!!

Have you looked at the areas around Hornsby?

We are going on a reci next week and these are the areas we are looking at. I'm in pretty much the same situation as yourself. Will be working CBD/North Sydney, have a 5 year old daughter and wife to consider.

If it helps I posted this a couple of weeks ago with the same question and got a few helpful responses:
http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=497070

One thing I have learned, is that it's realy tough to make a decision without actually being able to visit the areas. You'll probably get a better idea once you are out there and able to check them out for yourself.

Good luck,

WW
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Old Jan 15th 2008, 8:35 pm
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Default Re: Sydney - Location location location!!

Originally Posted by Wigan Warrior View Post
Have you looked at the areas around Hornsby?

We are going on a reci next week and these are the areas we are looking at. I'm in pretty much the same situation as yourself. Will be working CBD/North Sydney, have a 5 year old daughter and wife to consider.

If it helps I posted this a couple of weeks ago with the same question and got a few helpful responses:
http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=497070

One thing I have learned, is that it's realy tough to make a decision without actually being able to visit the areas. You'll probably get a better idea once you are out there and able to check them out for yourself.

Good luck,

WW
WW, I did read your thread and it provided some valuable input, also showed a bit of bigotry from some!! But thats by the by. My company has office in CBD and , at present, North Ryde and then we will be relocating main office to North Sydney. Even though the trains and buses are good I just think that Sutherlandshire is a bit too far, 2 hours a day on a train is not my idea of fun!
I think Epping would be the furthest north I would go. I think my wife and I have both come to the conclusion that we will get somewhere within 20 mins of the city initially, not too close but not too far, so that my commute is not too long and also we can explore for the first year. We will then look at it and having learnt more about the area over time make a more informed decision about either staying or moving further out into the burbs!
So our areas are now north of the river or maybe inner west (chiswick/drummoyne) or, if we really get a good find, east to Rose/Double Bay. Last time I went out with work I stayed in Watsons Bay, bit spoilt I think and not an option for rental with our budget!!
Have you not got a job lined up yet then?
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Old Jan 15th 2008, 11:03 pm
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Default Re: Sydney - Location location location!!

Originally Posted by paddyo View Post
Cost didn't really come into it too much, although as per any major city, the further out from the centre you are the more you get for your money. It was upon a recommendation from some guys out there but without sounding patronising they did have a lower income. Had a look and there was some really nice modern houses. I have heard that Bankstown is undesirable to some, any particular reason? Also the fact of a direct rail link to the CBD helps!!
You guys out there have obvious knowledge which I want to suck out and as I mentioned my dilemma is not just for my preference but also for my wife. I however am pretty much already sold on the Ryde/Meadowbank areas.
Keep all the comments coming as I really want to build up a decent picture and as a caveat I should state that any assumptions I have on locations are based purely on ignorance!!
Bankstown and its surrounding suburbs are not desirable. It's flat, hot and has nothing to recommend it. The crime rate in the area is way above the rest of Sydney and in recent years there has been much gang-related crime - drive-by shootings seem to be popular.

/www.smh.com.au/news/national/bankstown-bucks--crime-fall-trend/2006/04/10/1144521247981.html

There may well be some large houses in the area (most suburbs have a scattering of new large houses) but that doesn't mean it's nice .
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Old Jan 16th 2008, 1:05 am
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Default Re: Sydney - Location location location!!

Going to subscribe to this thread as you and WW are doing similar research to myself

I'm really leaning towards living north of the harbour now, despite what friends already there say as they all work in the CBD.
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Old Jan 16th 2008, 1:27 am
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Default Re: Sydney - Location location location!!

If you're going to be based in North Sydney and want to be north of the bridge then the best place to look is along the North Shore train line. Look south of Chatswood if you prefer a more urban feel and north of Chatswood if you like a bit more space. You certainly don't want to live anywhere which will commit you to driving into North Sydney (unless your company provides parking) as parking spaces are in very short supply and are expensive.
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Old Jan 16th 2008, 1:38 am
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Default Re: Sydney - Location location location!!

Thanks yan - I'm looking around the railway as we'll probably only buy one car for starters.

How is Chatswood? Unlike some, I like the multicultural aspects. I know it has plenty of shops (been there) but do you know what the residential areas are like?

TIA
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Old Jan 16th 2008, 2:21 am
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Default Re: Sydney - Location location location!!

Originally Posted by Seasider View Post
Thanks yan - I'm looking around the railway as we'll probably only buy one car for starters.

How is Chatswood? Unlike some, I like the multicultural aspects. I know it has plenty of shops (been there) but do you know what the residential areas are like?

TIA
There is very little of Sydney that is NOT multi-cultural. This is the last city in the world to come to if you want to live in an anglo-saxon enclave.

That said, in most areas everyone lives very happily alongside one another, regardless of their origins. There are however a few exceptions - the area around Bankstown/Lakemba being one. This was once a normal working class area but is becoming more and more like a middle-eastern ghetto. There are racial tensions and many problems associated with organised crime.

Not all 'multi-cultural' areas are nice places to live in.
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Old Jan 16th 2008, 2:38 am
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Default Re: Sydney - Location location location!!

I was driving around Chatswood yesterday and there seemed to be some very nice streets/houses around, and you don't have to go far from the centre to get a less urban feel. Transport links are excellent. It all depends what you want I guess - we're in St. Ives which is very green and "nice", but it's a bit sedate for my tastes even though it ticks all the boxes for a desirable, safe, family area. There are no pubs (hotels to the locals) at all, and if we don't get to our local Thai before 9pm (a 20 minute walk on dark leafy roads with no pavements if you want a couple of glasses of wine) you can guarantee that we will eat alone and they will put up the closed sign as we leave. If you're coming from Singapore Chatswood might be less of a culture shock.

I haven't read all this thread so it might have been mentioned before, but have you thought of French's Forest/Forestville? - a few people on here have moved in that direction recently and really like it. You are relying on bus to Chatswood and then the train, or the express city bus to get into town though.
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Old Jan 16th 2008, 3:46 am
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Default Re: Sydney - Location location location!!

Originally Posted by Rosscarbery View Post

I haven't read all this thread so it might have been mentioned before, but have you thought of French's Forest/Forestville? - a few people on here have moved in that direction recently and really like it. You are relying on bus to Chatswood and then the train, or the express city bus to get into town though.
French's Forest / Forestville have direct buses to the city running fairly regularly. If you need to get to North Sydney though, you'd need to go
via Chatswood and change, or to the city and back out again.
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Old Jan 16th 2008, 4:47 am
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Default Re: Sydney - Location location location!!

Hi there

As a Sydneysider I'd be recommending sticking to the suburbs that have rail access to North Sydney, especially if you're new to our fair city

Northern and North Shore lines would be the best in your case, and $600 a week will get you something decent in many suburbs- try Northern line suburbs for better value - that includes Epping, Beecroft etc all the way to Hornsby. There are also express trains on both these lines that make the trip faster.

Check out www.domain.com.au and www.realestate.com.au for rentals- yields are improving here in Sydney, though some suburbs have less stock than others.
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Old Jan 16th 2008, 9:18 am
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Default Re: Sydney - Location location location!!

Originally Posted by paddyo View Post
WW, I did read your thread and it provided some valuable input, also showed a bit of bigotry from some!! But thats by the by. My company has office in CBD and , at present, North Ryde and then we will be relocating main office to North Sydney. Even though the trains and buses are good I just think that Sutherlandshire is a bit too far, 2 hours a day on a train is not my idea of fun!
I think Epping would be the furthest north I would go. I think my wife and I have both come to the conclusion that we will get somewhere within 20 mins of the city initially, not too close but not too far, so that my commute is not too long and also we can explore for the first year. We will then look at it and having learnt more about the area over time make a more informed decision about either staying or moving further out into the burbs!
So our areas are now north of the river or maybe inner west (chiswick/drummoyne) or, if we really get a good find, east to Rose/Double Bay. Last time I went out with work I stayed in Watsons Bay, bit spoilt I think and not an option for rental with our budget!!
Have you not got a job lined up yet then?
Have not got a job lined up. I'm waiting for redundancy from my current job (biggest part of IT being offshored to India) and then we're off. The reci next week is to get our visas stamped to prevent them expiring.

I've applied for a couple of jobs but I get the feeling that it wont be very fruitful until I actually get out there.
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Old Jan 16th 2008, 9:38 am
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Default Re: Sydney - Location location location!!

Originally Posted by Jacque View Post
Hi there

As a Sydneysider I'd be recommending sticking to the suburbs that have rail access to North Sydney, especially if you're new to our fair city

Northern and North Shore lines would be the best in your case, and $600 a week will get you something decent in many suburbs- try Northern line suburbs for better value - that includes Epping, Beecroft etc all the way to Hornsby. There are also express trains on both these lines that make the trip faster.

Check out www.domain.com.au and www.realestate.com.au for rentals- yields are improving here in Sydney, though some suburbs have less stock than others.
I am more inclined to those areas now and we have made an executive decision to keep our property location sites either along the river or north of it. During the first month out there in the serviced apartment my wife will be doing daily recce to all the areas we like to see how it is for mothers/children/shopping (sorry, that should probably be first if its on her list!!)/preschool/primary schools/work for her.
I am fortunate in that I have a intra company transfer and going on a 457 visa so a job to go to and I really do want my wife to be able to enjoy it and not feel isolated when we are out there. Too far out might be too quiet for newbies and too central might be too hectic for a 3 yr old boy so a happy medium is what we want...oh...and a pub for me!!
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