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Sydney- where to live?

(55 Posts)
ComradeJing Mon 10-Oct-11 03:54:13

How do I work out which suburb we would want to live in without visiting?

DH is from WA, were based in china but DH may (all fingers and toes crossed) get sent to Sydney. I need to work out what we can ask the company from in terms of rents so need to figure out which area we would want to live. He would work in Mantraville and wants to live within 45 minutes of the office.

I need to think about distance to work, possible future schools for DD (only 8 months now but I assume you need to sign up early?), good family suburb etc. I definitely want a house not a flat. Anything else I'm missing? I'd love to be near the beach but would rather good local amenities.

Has anyone got any suggestions for me or a website to help me decide?

I think we would probably be able to ask for At least 5000aud a month in rent but maybe more.

AllThreeWays Mon 10-Oct-11 05:39:56

i don't have a suburb suggestion but these two site are the best
with $5000 a month you should be fine

Bubbaluv Mon 10-Oct-11 05:53:37

Do you mean Matraville? If so it's down south near the airport, so you're probaby looking at either Eastern Suburbs (Coogee, Clovelly, Randwick, Bronte, Waverley, Bondi, Queens Park - all good choices) or down south in "The Shire". People who live in The Shire love it but I've never lived there and know sod all about it, sorry!

Another option could be inner West - Haberfield is lovely, Annandale also a good choice. Not so close to the beaches, but lovely cafes and a nice cosmopolitan feel. I particularly like Haberfield in this area - feels like you're in a little corner of Italy.

I live in the East, so happy to help you out with questions re round here and I've also lived in the inner west, so might be able to help there too.

Are you looking at Private schools or Public (state)? If you want private then yes you need to sign up early, but for state schools you are garaunteed a place if you are within the catchment. This can mean that houses within catchments of great schools are more $$$.

Bubbaluv Mon 10-Oct-11 06:02:04

You know places are rented unfurnished don't you?

idlevice Mon 10-Oct-11 06:12:16

The shire is like a separate bit of Sydney as it is separated by a river & the southernmost bit. It is very nice but pretty boring so depends what lifestyle you are after. It is the probably one of the quietest suburban areas of Sydney, ideal for young kids. Central Sydney is about 40mins by car/train. It's very handy for beaches, & has Sydney's only beach accessible by the train system. You can get to the beaches within 20mins from anywhere in the shire or go down to the coastal beaches below Sydney in about 30mins. You have to be on the outer edges of the shire not to get bugged by the traffic anytime you want to go anywhere else but it's probably nowhere as bad as the rest of Sydney. There are many lovely waterfront properties. The southern parts of the St George area are nice, suburbs like Oatley. Look out for being on a flight path as the airport is nearish Matraville I think. If you want to be near a load of other UK expats you need to be in the northern beaches area.

saffronwblue Mon 10-Oct-11 06:16:21

I lived in Randwick for years and loved it- handy for the airport, beach, city, good parks and I think OK schools.

Bubbaluv Mon 10-Oct-11 06:23:19

Idelvice - there are heaps of uk Expats round Bondi/Randwick way. The woman who runs my son's daycare (in Bondi) reckons about 50% of the kids there have a Brit parent.

Northern Beaches are the other lovely but rather out-of-the-way area of Sydney. It's known as the insular peninsular. It is wonderful but would be about the worst place to live if you have to commute to Matraville!

Comrade, can you tell us what sort of area you like?

ComradeJing Mon 10-Oct-11 06:37:53

Yes, matraville! Sorry, iPad autocorrect.

Really I'm just looking at rental prices as they would say 'you can have x amount for rent' and we would say 'no that's unreasonable, we need y amount as y more reflects the areas we want to live in' or whatever. In reality we would probably buy and use the housing package to pay the mortgage.

Thanks for the website and location suggestions. I'll have a bit of a look around online.

School wise I'm flexible. Id rather she went to a good state school but it may be cheaper in the long term to have a house out of the catchment areas and pay for private. DH is flexible too. We may be able to get the company to pay for school fees too.

Love the idea of nice cafes and cosmo feel. I'm fed up to the back teeth of china and just want to get out. Really, really hope we get this.

On another note how long does it take to get to the country? As in DH would like to live out of the city but i guess the commute into town would be too long?

ComradeJing Mon 10-Oct-11 06:47:11

Sorry x posts.

Ideal suburb? Family friendly, cosmopolitan feeling, good food and markets/supermarkets, nice cafes, more houses than apartments (is that a loony wish in Sydney?), good schools, not needing to travel to get to a local pool or what not.

The shire sounds great but so does somewhere more funky like haberfield. I'm not fussed either with being near Brits.

There is also a part of me that thinks we should do Sydney properly and be by the beach, closer to central Sydney etc.

Sod it, I'd live in a cardboard box at this stage.

Bubbaluv Mon 10-Oct-11 07:05:37

All the things you are talking about are totally achievable except living in the country. Dural is probably the closest area with a semi-rural feel and that would be a good hour to and hour and a half to Matraville (maybe more).
I guess down Camden way you can get a few acres, but it is quickly becoming a sprawl of endless suburban hell development.

If you get here in Summer I would really recommend spending your first few months near the beach (Bronte and Clovelly are both super kid friendly) while you decide which area best suits you long-term. Being able to walk to the beach/ocean pool on a hot morning or even late in the evening before bed is just the most lovely way to experience Sydney.

Longer term you may decide that you want to prioritise a bigger garden or want to pay less, but do at least one summer by the beach is my suggestion.

Bubbaluv Mon 10-Oct-11 07:09:30

Not much of a garden, but then your 8mo is hardly looking for somewhere to ride her bike. Walk to the beach, cafes, shops, school, daycare, parks etc.

Bubbaluv Mon 10-Oct-11 07:11:15

Bubbaluv Mon 10-Oct-11 07:45:00

I love house-hunting. I get stuck on the real estate porn though...found this which is well within your commute area, but possibly somewhat out of budget.

ComradeJing Mon 10-Oct-11 07:52:56

Wow! Love it. Odd kitchen but great to see whats there. Bubba I'll have to take you to coffee as thanks if we get the posting smile

I thought so re country. That's fine tbh, I'd rather be in the city.

Thanks again for all your help. I'm going to ignore DD for a bit whilst she plays have a look on line now.

ComradeJing Mon 10-Oct-11 07:54:04

grin slightly out of budget the 2nd one!

Bubbaluv Mon 10-Oct-11 07:55:56

I know, I know - it's so much more fun when you take the upper limit of your searches!

This was the first one where the link didn't work well - not much garden as I mentioned.

ComradeJing Mon 10-Oct-11 08:39:00

Oh I like that one too! Ohhhh please, please can DH get the posting!

Bubbaluv Mon 10-Oct-11 09:21:35

When will you find out?

ComradeJing Mon 10-Oct-11 11:33:54

The big bosses are meeting to discuss it today 2pm Uk time. His is the only name put down so It will come down to whether he is more valuable in china or Aus. The business is bigger in china but new in Aus so... I don't know. If it happened it would probably be 3-6 months before we leave.

Bubbaluv Mon 10-Oct-11 22:33:23

Good luck!

dollydoodledo Tue 11-Oct-11 03:22:43

I'm in Randwick, love it! All public schools in the area are very good

Thzumbiewitch Tue 11-Oct-11 03:37:41

ComradeJing - very excited to hear that you may be joining us in Aus soon! FX that your DH gets the posting and I hope you find somewhere good to live.

I know narthing about Sydney suburbs or anything - I live too far north out in the country (I am considered to be a hick by Sydneysiders wink) but we're still trying to work out a time when we can do a Hunter Valley wine tour (when everyone is healthy/not pg/not bf'ing) so people can come up my way. smile

Thzumbiewitch Tue 11-Oct-11 03:39:57

Anyone on here have preschoolers and fancy joining the rest of us who are meeting up at Sydney Aquarium this Friday? See the end of this thread for details...

tryingtoleave Tue 11-Oct-11 03:54:05

The inner west and south are mixed school-wise. I have family in Maroubra (amazing beach!) who are trying to get their dcs into out of area schools. There are also less options with private schools in that area than the eastern suburbs and north and there has been a baby boom in the area, so it would be worth putting your dd's name down early if that is what you are thinking about. Also for childcare - everyone I called in the area told me it would be a 12 month wait for a 2 year old. can give you some information (it is a bit controversial, but a helpful starting point, I found when moving to sydney).

ninedragons Tue 11-Oct-11 06:19:17

Given you have a small child, just a note of caution on Annandale, which was mentioned up thread. A friend told me a very scary story last week about friends of hers who lived in Annandale - their puppy died suddenly and the autopsy proved lead poisoning was to blame, from 130 years of lead-based paint leaching into the soil. They had to get their garden excavated down several feet and the soil replaced.

There are a lot of now-gentrified suburbs that used to be heavily industrial. Personally I wouldn't live in Erskineville, Newtown or many other areas without having had a soil sample tested. I have friends in Erskineville who say everybody in the area knows not to plant their veggies straight in the ground - container gardening all the way for edible plants.

I am in the inner west and pre-schools are a bitch. We are wait-listed at six different pre-schools, including our local catchment one. Some wouldn't even take our names, as they already had 250 kids on the waiting list for 20 places. The state government didn't see the inner city demographic explosion coming, so didn't plan for families with young DC to be living here in such great numbers.

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