Moving to Perth WA - any mumsnetters already there?

(65 Posts)
XBenedict Sun 16-Dec-12 12:55:32

We have applied to move to Perth probably just south of the city but we're waiting for the firm job offer. We have visited before for a holiday but just wondering if you had any advice ref schooling private v public? Any other tips would be greatly received smile

There are a few of us here, do an advanced search for Perth in the Living Overseas category. I'm north of the river though. What job are you waiting to be offered? Exciting times ahead!

XBenedict Mon 17-Dec-12 18:15:25

DH is a GP. I will do a search and find you all smile

glastocat Mon 17-Dec-12 18:16:52

I am moving out in Feb with my husband and son. We have a three month rental in Rockingham, are there any mumsnetters around? I'm starting to get wry excited!

XBenedict Mon 17-Dec-12 18:19:06

We stayed very near Rockingham last year. Have you been before? It's just lovely. DD and I went swimming with the wild dolphins there. You never know I might be able to meet up with you later in the year smile, good luck with your move.

glastocat Mon 17-Dec-12 18:26:33

No I've never been before, I picked it off the Internet with the help of apieceofperth website. We are on Shoalwater bay, and I am very excited about visiting penguin island etc. Once we get there we will be able to get more of an idea where to settle. Do you have your visas all sorted yet? My husband was born in Oz so it was easy for him to get a passport and our son got one by descent, but my Spouse visa is taking ages! We have decided to go over anyway, with me on a tourist visa, which will mean I will have to take a trip to Bali to validate my visa, oh the humanity on my won, yippee!. Yes we will have to have a mumsnet meet up, definitely, I don't know anyone over there at all.

glastocat Mon 17-Dec-12 18:27:43

on my own

XBenedict Mon 17-Dec-12 18:31:11

No we have all the visas to go through yet, I know it can take some time.

glastocat Mon 17-Dec-12 18:35:27

I think the working visas are quicker, but do get your application in ASAP. I took ages getting my stuff together, and as I dithered, the waiting time for my visa went up from 5/6 months, to 8/9 months! Apparently Australia house is inundated with applicants at the minute rats leaving a sinking ship.

XBenedict Mon 17-Dec-12 18:36:52

Hmmmm I not surprised! Hoping for an email this week that will set the ball rolling.

Mosman Sun 23-Dec-12 05:05:07

We are stuck in the state system waiting for places in private schools Iona or st Mary's I think. I've been spectacularly unimpressed with the state system in the 6 months we've been here, thank god the girls are at least 12 months ahead - not intellectually - the kids here are just as smart and at the same level but the curriculum is so hit and miss, no continuity and the shit teachers don't get weeded out, the heads don't interview for teachers they get sent who's available.
People in my DDs year six class have moved to Victoria for education. I'd honestly have a good think about Perth unless you are in mining/resources. We are earning $200,000 and have never been so broke in our lives, not even at uni

glastocat Sun 23-Dec-12 10:47:47

Wow mosman, i know it's very expensive,but I have friends out there earning far less than that and they are very happy with their standard of living. They speak highly of the education system too!

Mosman Sun 23-Dec-12 10:59:03

It's going to depend on area and of course your expectations but we've been quite shocked. People warned us about the cost of good etc and of course having four kids doesn't help but my food bill is around $600 a week and DH and I rarely have dinner, the kids mainly eat chicken salad. Fruit is expensive, cereal, meat. My eight year old has done no Maths whatsoever since July, nothing and is supposidly at the best school in WA. Of course there's going to be massive variations because as I said the curriculum is so hit and miss but god if we are at the best god help the worst.

XBenedict Sun 23-Dec-12 17:39:42

Wow Mosman wasn't expecting to hear that!

migrant Mon 24-Dec-12 11:15:11

Xbendict, please feel free to inbox me. I've lived close to the area you're moving to for 17 years very, very happily and I'd be very willing to help you. It's a wonderful place

glastocat Mon 24-Dec-12 12:09:50

Migrant, whereabouts are you living?

Mosman have to agree with you. Similar salary category and myself and the children have returned to the UK whilst DH is still working in Perth/Pilbara. He is home at the moment and returns out there on Tuesday. Its the first time in 6 months we have seen each other. We are unsure how to proceed in the future but we were really unhappy about the education out there and lack of support/resources for our youngest who has ASD. They are really happy and settled after returning back to the UK...anyway I just wanted to say I agree about the food shopping costs and schooling. We were in The Vines near Ellenbrook but in trying to maintain the same standard of living we had in the UK was really difficult financially whilst still owning our property in the UK. However we have just decided to sell our UK property and DH may not resign from his job JUST yet in Perth so who knows what's round the corner for us...

Mosman Fri 04-Jan-13 05:45:25

Thank you soirée I feel like I'm going mad sometimes talking to people online and in real life who cannot believe I'm not on my knees thanking g The Lord for the chance to live in Perth.
We are in nedlands but are literally about to go and look at a house in Aveley to see if saving $600 a month in rent will make much difference to our standard of living. If it doesn't I genuinely don't know what the next step is, to try Sydney or go back with PR and maybe try again when we don't have so many mouths to feed.
How did you like living out in Ellenbrook ?

trappedInYorkshire Fri 04-Jan-13 06:57:56

Mosman, you're panicking me! My DP arrived in Perth on Wednesday and I'm due to fly out with kids at end of this month. Neither of us have jobs lined up as yet, not sure how long are savings will last either if it's as bad as you're saying. We've a house to move into in Kinross (thanks to another lovely mumsnetter), and still trying to wangle a redundancy package out of work which will help, but nothing certain yet.

I've sent you a pm as I'd seen on another thread you're a recruiter, is the job market still looking good at least?

ben5 Fri 04-Jan-13 07:32:16

I'm in Port Kennedy just 10km out of Rockingham

MoaneyMcmoanmoan Fri 04-Jan-13 07:46:03

But Mosman without being rude, Nedlands is one of the best areas.
The Premier lives there!
You can get rentals in other areas for at least half the price.

Fear not TrappedInYorkshire Kinross is lovely smile

Are you able to say where you will be living XBenedict? I have school age children and they are in private school.
A lot will depend on the area you are living in... If it's Mandurah or Rockingham I would advise sending them to a private school. But that's just my personal opinion.

Mosman Fri 04-Jan-13 07:50:10

And that's what worries me the most Nedlands is the best - and it ain't all that. What's the rest like :-(
We are on our way to avely to view a huge 5 bedroom place that will add two hours to my working day but will save us $600 a month sp fingers crossed.

Mosman Fri 04-Jan-13 07:51:09

Private school is all very well if you can get a place

MoaneyMcmoanmoan Fri 04-Jan-13 08:05:32

Most private schools south of Perth have spaces I think.
Frederick Irwin in Mandurah is the only one I can think of that you might have issues with... a lot of it is performance based.

Sorry you are having a rough time Mosman and I hope the new rental is better. Are you planning on staying?

trappedInYorkshire Fri 04-Jan-13 08:22:52

I am happy with Kinross, my dp's had a look round and the house and area seem lovely, it's just the small matter of finding jobs to pay for it all that's worrying me now!

I'm hoping as we're coming from a distinctly average area in Sheffield then we're not going to be any worse off at any rate.

mumvswild Fri 04-Jan-13 08:36:09

I'm in Port Kennedy too. Shoalwater is beautiful and a good place to live.

Mosman Fri 04-Jan-13 09:20:21

I don't think we can afford the airfare home do we are kind of stuck lol
It's all relative isn't it, we didn't expect to come over and be living in a 5 bed detached with a pool 30 mins from the CBD and just as well.
The tread was about schools not me being a whining Pom anyway so my advice is budget for private as a lot of the Aussies do and play the "oh we've just arrived" card and hope you get lucky.

Mosman Ellenbrook is an expanding area and its just square upon square of houses! The town centre feels quite toytown like although it has the essentials so met our daily needs. There are some sports facilities too and it generally has a family feel about it all. It was a 25min drive from our house to the Domestic airport which was fab compared to other routes so it was not too bad.. We were originally looking at Burns Beach area but there were no properties available that met our criteria which is why we started looking further afield. With only a three week window after arriving to find a home it became apparent quickly that we had to start looking further afield in order to get somewhere in time!

Nonetheless I know people who have returned from Perth (around 10-12 families) in the last 12 months who have said it was too expensive for them to have the same lifestyle they had in the UK with good salaries and career prospects. Must be something in that are not going barmy!

Mosman Sat 05-Jan-13 13:19:57

I think we are going to try and buy in Ellenbrook or aveley and just get ourselves onto the property ladder. We arrived for the viewing and there were 40 other couples there to see the house, we stand no chance so I think we'll buy and try and see it as an investment. That's today's plan anyway Monday could be something else altogether lol

Oscarandelliesmum Tue 22-Jan-13 21:40:46

We are planning a move out to Perth this year too.....getting v worried about the cost of living though! Like you, Yorkshire, we live in a particularly uninspiring bit of scotland. I'm a primary teacher (sahm) at the minute and dh is an accountant but until I am back at work (when dc are older) we are only looking at half the Mosman family budget. Now I am wondering if the move is even feasible? Anyone reassure me??? Please??

Mosman Wed 23-Jan-13 06:24:14

Do you have 4 children ? If you have two then you'll manage on half our budget if you have four then it'll be tough tbh.
The visa makes a big difference too, if you have permanent residency and earn up to $150,000 you'll receive some tax credits and that for me says it all. In the UK you can live on £40,000 ish and not need government assistance, here you need $150,000 to be independent.

Oscarandelliesmum Wed 23-Jan-13 20:35:51

Thanks for getting back to me Mosman! My husband is a kiwi, so we can move there but no recourse to public funds etc. We have three kids so it's looking like it might be tight! Is the financial situation spoiling the whole experience, or is there still a lifestyle benefit??? Scottish winters are brutal but not perhaps bad enough to bankrupt the family over........

Mosman Wed 23-Jan-13 23:53:12

Do they mean family assist though ? We couldn't claim unemployment benefit for two years after we get PR but we can claim part A family assist. That would be the deal breaker for me.
We are really struggling, we came out with £10,000 and that wasn't enough. I now have $9000 on the credit card and its constantly a worry.

Mosman Wed 23-Jan-13 23:56:20

The lifestyle everyone talks of means different things to different people, you get to go to the beach and that's nice but do you want to do it all the time ?

newbiefrugalgal Fri 25-Jan-13 19:41:54

A lot of families live and survive on a lot less than 150k.

Mosman Sat 26-Jan-13 01:03:10

Yes, plus not insignificant government assistance.

No, we're on a lot less than that, 457 visa so no benefits, and it's fine at the moment. If you research costs eg shopping as mosman says (but you'll hopefully be able to shop on specials, at farmers markets etc which cuts cost a lot) and be realistic, and approach the move positively, at worst it would be a fantastic adventure, at best the start of a whole new life!

lisianthus Wed 30-Jan-13 11:59:47

Wow. I'm sorry to hear you are having a hard time, Mosman, but I am racking my brain to think what you are spending all that on. We are on less than half that, admittedly not in one of the most expensive suburbs, but a very nice cafe-strip "trendy" one, and are doing fine, with a much nicer place than we had in London, with a good sized garden. The kids both do weekly swimming lessons and other activities, and we spend max $500 a month on groceries, cleaning items etc, including lunches for DH. We don't receive any govt assistance or payments, although I am looking into whether we can get something similar to the UK Child Benefit.

There are some lovely leafy old suburbs like Mount Lawley, Wembley, inglewood, Mount Hawthorn, East Fremantle, (just off the top of my head) which would all be cheaper than Nedlands, have good schools and not involve a two hour commute. You know the private schools you mention are also the most expensive in Perth and not necessarily the best?

Sorry OP, don't mean to ignore you- don't feel that you need tonecessarily go for private schooling. Our local govt school is lovely and in fact one of the reasons we moved from London

migrant Wed 30-Jan-13 12:27:50

My friend is renting a stunning five bed house, walking distance to the ocean in a very nice suburb mentioned by the OP, easy commute to Perth. She's paying $400 a week.
Our local private school is amongst the top schools in WA. It's fees are less than $6000 a year.
A little positivity goes a very long way, as many very, very happy UK migrants will agree. There are a great many of us doing very well here and we are extremely happy. However, you can choose to see the negative in just about anything......
Happy to accept inboxes if anyone wants a positive spin on Perth!

Mosman Wed 30-Jan-13 12:59:43

I think i've got a bit more of a handle on it now, sorry if I was dragging the mood down, it's been a bit of traumatic journey tbh what with one thing and another.
Anyway, we are moving from Nedlands, I have DC1 starting at what seems to be an excellent and not the most expensive school, although the uniform was daylight robbery so onwards and upwards. We're stuck here so might as well make the most of it.

migrant Wed 30-Jan-13 13:09:39

I think you will find a more positive attitude will reap huge rewards. Anyway, your post on larger families heavily hints that you're not staying here anyway and will soon be able to leave.
Lots of people do have wonderful lives here, I'm one of them, but if it's not for you, then maybe a return trip is the answer.
I have found Perth to be a great place to live, but I didn't come here expecting to live in opulence on $200 a week. I did come here determined to succeed.

Mosman Wed 30-Jan-13 13:32:01

I had rather hoped $2700 a week might cover the basics though, silly me.

ajandjjmum Wed 30-Jan-13 13:44:17

Sorry you're not finding things easier Mosman - hopefully it'll pick up with your move and schools getting sorted etc.

I remember reading threads before you emigrated, as we had friends moving to Perth at the same time. They have four girls - two who are now working - and they have settled in very well, although they are finding the summer heat a little overwhelming. They went from a pretty horrible area of the UK, and are now happy with their lifestyle, although missing family, as you would expect. So it can work out well OP.

Mosman Wed 30-Jan-13 14:26:36

It's been a funny time, had to work full time to give us the cash flow to relocate and settle but then couldn't spend the time required to establish routines, find the right areas/houses, schools etc to make it all work.
Anyway I've given up work now and fingers crossed it all run more smoothly then I can reconsider my career, or not grin

ajandjjmum Wed 30-Jan-13 15:14:36

Take it DH has found work then? I know our friend has changed jobs since he arrived in Perth, so there must be work around. With four DC and a new home, I shouldn't think you've got much time to spare! smile

newbiefrugalgal Thu 31-Jan-13 19:30:41

Not a lot of people live and rely on benefits in Australia. The system is VERY different to the UK. It does exist but not to the same level.

Glad things are looking a little brighter Mosman.

Secondary state schools in Australia can be excellent, you don't need to only consider private.

Oscarandelliesmum Thu 31-Jan-13 21:07:34

Hi all, things are sounding slightly more reassuring - thanks for the info! Am about to start busily noting down the suggested suburbs mentioned for affordable family life and decent schools!
Are there things like second hand furniture shops, budget supermarkets etc?
Thanks again (exciting times!)

Mosman Fri 01-Feb-13 05:38:25

Pretty much everyone I've spoken to relies on some sort of family assistance and of course you get 50% of your childcare costs back if you earn under $170,000 in our case, then it'll all fall into place i hope.

Mutley77 Fri 08-Feb-13 20:35:08

lisianthus where do you live, it sounds great..? Would you mind if i pm you to ask.

We are being relocated to perth in 3 weeks and i am really anxious about finding a decent rental in a decent area with a decent school. Cost of living does seem v high.

Ask me in 3 months and im hoping i will love it smile

Hi Mutley77, we're in Perth too (northern suburbs). Moved here a year ago from London, and loving it. I'm lying on my outdoor sofa right now, fan blasting. We went to the beach as a family at 8am, back for brunch at 10. I really do feel like we are living a fairy tale life. Margaret river area has beautiful scenery, good wine tasting and excellent food, so when you need to get away, that's an easy first stop.

Our income is similar to Mosman's, we have one international holiday per year budgeted in, and we have more than we need really. I think $150k would have been plenty tbh, we have friends living very happily on much less. But of course it's all relative, as ever! Good luck, and feel free to message me if I can help at all.

We have moved countries before, and although this sounds flippant, determinedly focussing on the positives is what you need to make it work, anywhere.

I forgot to answer your OP about schools - our DC are in the local state primary, and it's fine. They are on waiting list at an fairly inexpensive private school, and likely to move there next year.

oldnewmummy Wed 13-Feb-13 09:41:40

We live NOR, near the beach, and love it. Yes, it's quite expensive, but can't easily compare to the UK since I haven't lived there since 1997.

Whoever is moving to Kinross, that's a nice area (several friends there) and Kinross Primary is good.

A lot of it is luck. We've a good group of mates, and that makes a ton of difference.

lisianthus Thu 14-Feb-13 09:29:17

Hi Muttley- pm away! Always happy to chat. There are definitely things you can do to bring costs down, as well.

Oscarandelliesmum- yes, there are second hand furniture shops, from the independent bric a brac type to charity shops, as well as cheap furniture shops like Amart on Scarborough Beach Rd (not settled back in enough yet to know all the names of these shops but that was one mentioned to us). Ikea is more expensive here than it is in the UK- basically, if you are bringing a container anyway, fill it up rather than getting rid of things. Although I'm now trying to get rid of a shedful of things blush.

re cheap supermarkets, it's not quite the same in WA as it is in the UK. There is no real equivalent to Lidl and Aldi. There's two big supermarket chains, Coles and Woolworths. There's also IGA, which is small and naice and not at the cheaper end. However, we go to Spud Shed for vegetables, meat and some other bits and bobs which is very cheap - 10kg potatoes for $3.99 for example. I also go to my local Chinese and Asian "supermarkets" (i.e. they aren't very big) for items such as rice and dal as they are cheaper. Other ways to save (not tried these yet, but know people who do) : get your roadside assistance via RAC (WA) membership and benefits include access to Cash and Carry stores which are like Costco and usually just sell wholesale. Also, you can buy gift cards for Woolworths at 5% discount through them and then pay for your groceries with it, which adds up over a year. You also get other things such as cheap movie tickets. This is starting to sound like an ad, so I'll stop!

Anyway, the point is, there are lots of discounts available which aren't always obvious. You need to look about, talk to people and check websites such as Poms in Perth. There are also cultural differences such as that Australians (well, west Aussies, anyway) tend to entertain at home with barbecues, inviting people around and so on rather than meeting in the pub and tend to cook from scratch more often than is usual in the UK. There's no equivalent of the M&S ready meal. This way of living thus tends to be cheaper. You are also more likely to be able to buy things in bulk at the supermarket because of this. If you take advantage of it, spend $300 or so on a cheap freezer, buy in bulk and cook in advance, it pays off.

And Mosman, really glad to hear things are picking up for you.

I'll be quiet now!

Mosman Thu 14-Feb-13 11:53:34

Aldi is coming to WA (genuinely excited !!!), not that i ever really got on with Aldi in the UK but the competition I believe will drive prices down in the other main supermarkets.
On another note, just as things were picking up it turns out H was having an affair in the UK and she tried to email here, so it's all turned to shit again.

lisianthus Fri 15-Feb-13 23:11:46

Oh hell. You poor thing. That is really rubbish. Am very sorry to hear that.

newbiefrugalgal Sat 16-Feb-13 11:11:09

Oh Mosman, that's crap (talking from one who knows!!)

How are you coping?
Do you have details, is he being honest with you?
What do you thinks going to happen!

Mosman Sat 16-Feb-13 12:00:59

Am drinking heavily - saves on food I guess - I don't know he's begging for forgiveness but is then drip feeding details as he knows he's getting backed into a corner.

newbiefrugalgal Sat 16-Feb-13 12:40:33

God he needs to man up and tell you everything!

I'm sounding stronger than I am, see my other thread on relationships.

Start a new thread in relationships the girls over there are great!
Enjoy the drink, will have one for you tonight! Only lunchtime here so a bit early for me to start.

Got a cranky toddler, but yes, I live in Armadale.

Hmm, just to counter what some say about expense and 200 k not being much. DP and I earn 65kpa, own our own house on a decent block, admittedly not in a smart, shiny suburb but we're by no means broke. $120 a week for groceries, including nice meat and the like.
Petrol is shock though.

Oscarandelliesmum Sat 16-Feb-13 17:32:38

Lisanthus, thanka so much for such a helpful post. Am only just getting the hang of Also myself!
Mosman. I am so sorry, I hope things turn a corner for you soon. smile

Mosman Sat 16-Feb-13 19:44:22

WankbadgersBreakfast - timing is everything though isn't it, when you bought your house makes the world of difference.

lisianthus Sun 17-Feb-13 04:32:29

No worries Oscar. Happy to help.

Mosman, bought September last year smile. Was a 21st birthday present to myself, in a way.
BTW, saw you're trying to get a place at SMAGS- I went there as a boarder, bloody loved it!
We put our DD's name down for John Wollaston, last week. Only 10 years early but at least it's done now.

Mosman Mon 18-Feb-13 00:57:22

Lol well you have to start early in perth and it seems you've certainly done that lol
Good for you though much more organised than I was at that age.

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