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moving to Melbourne?

(25 Posts)
NK5BM3 Mon 05-Oct-15 09:13:38

We are very early stages of considering a move to Australia, specifically Melbourne for a job that's come up for me (headhunted). Dh is in a professional job/career and the kids are 7 and 5 so year 3 and year R.

We are not citizens of Australia but this move will mean it takes us closer to my home country (Dh is British as are the kids).

Can any kind mumsnetter tell me about:
1. What's a good wage? And what the taxes are like? (We are currently on a combined income of about £70-80k) and have put the years of horrendous childcare behind us).
2. What is housing like? (We live in the se and are in a 3 bed semi. We pay roughly £800/month mortgage). My commute at the moment is 5 min to work!! I understand that that would be difficult given that Melbourne is much bigger than where we are! Work will be in the CBD area.
3. What are schools like and how does one get into schools? Is it like here where it's really about catchment area and religion? (We are Catholic, kids baptised and go regularly to church).
4. Visas - what visa must I be on to enable Dh to be able to work, and the kids to go to state school and have access to healthcare?

And any other information you might have and happy to share - thanks v much in advance! I've visited Melbourne several times on holiday and I have family in Sydney.

Many thanks,

NK5BM3 Tue 06-Oct-15 07:28:02

Hopeful bump! smile

echt Tue 06-Oct-15 09:32:07

For spousal visa, get on to

Government schools have to take you if you're in their area. Catholics, not so sure, but you sound OK. You pay for all books, netbooks, stationery, etc. Uniforms are elaborate (think chalet school) and stupidly expensive.

Depending on where your work is, you may struggle to get a 5 min commute to the CBD.

If you are being headhunted, get them to pay your removal costs. If you're in government, this is easier, but squeeze the feckers for all they're worth.

Your combined income will not translate into a CBD-friendly house. Sorry.

Your children will need up-to-date, documented vaccs histories to get into school.

echt Tue 06-Oct-15 09:33:47

I forgot to say that Melbourne is lovely. smile

stealthbanana Tue 06-Oct-15 09:40:14

Your wages will likely to be higher - the average Aussie wage is c $72k (median is $54k) so in absolute terms you will likely earn more - hard to say without knowing what you do.

Base interest rate is higher (2%) so you won't be able to match your super cheap mortgage. But presumably you'll rent anyway? You probably won't live 5mins from cbd but as long as you live on a train or tram line that won't be such a big deal. You also do need to run a car in Melbourne.

State schools/catholic schools - similar concept to in the UK, you need to be in catchment. Uniforms aren't super expensive unless you're at private school?

It is a great city to live in, good luck!

NK5BM3 Tue 06-Oct-15 10:01:26

thanks very much!! smile I'm quite excited about the potential of this move but of course, one must get the offer first.

When I first got my current job as I was relocating from another country, there was the possibility to removal costs of up to £12000 - so I imagine this will be similar. The salary range they are offering is around AUS120K-140K? I guess that's ok? I don't know how that translates to real money after tax, health insurance etc, but it looks like it will be ok if the average wage is 72k? DH - if he gets a similar job as he currently does will get something like the average 70-80k.

Serendipitiously, the BBC had an article about how Melbourne was the world's loveliest city to live in - I thought that was a 'sign'!!!

I'll keep fingers crossed.

thanks again. any other information you can offer, will be greatly appreciated.

Boofhead Tue 06-Oct-15 10:18:27

Melbourne is awesome! Beach, city and close to great countryside. A perfect mix.

Housing is very expensive. Look at and for prices. Albert Park and surrounding suburbs are an easy commute. A lot of expats live around Brighton.

You'd be looking at about four times what you pay now to be a few minutes from the cbd. Also, utilities are much more expensive.

Your wage is a decent wage, but you won't feel like you're rolling in it. If you're relocating can you get them to give you a proper expat package? Housing, schooling etc?

A lot more people go to private school and a lot of them are faith schools.

I think your partner can work on any business visa (457 etc). However, if you can get them to get you a permanent residency visa then that would be best.

Good luck!

NK5BM3 Tue 06-Oct-15 10:25:01

thanks boof! smile I don't think we will be wanting to be that close in the CBD. I don't have a problem with commuting on trains or trams - it's just where we are at the moment, we currently work very close to our workplace (not in London - but in the SE). I'm thinking 30 minutes from work might be a good compromise?

I don't think we will be able to get a proper expat package - the pay is standard for what we do, expat or otherwise. I'm currently an 'immigrant' in the UK - my colleagues get paid on the similar scale as I do at the same job title.

Does he get the 457 business visa or will get that with me? So many things to think about!!

Boofhead Tue 06-Oct-15 14:40:10

There are loads of great areas you could commute from, no matter what your budget.

If you get a 457, then I think it's pretty straightforward to get one for your partner. I've never done it, so can't be any more help - sorry!

chloeb2002 Thu 08-Oct-15 12:49:47

When you get a 457 visa your husband and kids are included. Your husband can also work.
Aussie salary of $75k is not much. So you would both need to work.
Cost of living is reasonably high. But awesome too match!

NK5BM3 Thu 08-Oct-15 12:55:19

thanks chloeb! Yes, the salary range for mine is around 120-140K and DH's will be lower but hopefully combined will be fine?

Fingers still very tightly crossed.

Scotinoz Fri 09-Oct-15 10:11:49

$120-$140k is ok. Not massive but certainly liveable. After tax and super, it gives a take home pay in the region of $6-7k.

In terms of commuting/nice areas:

- South Yarra, Richmond, Prahan are all nice and approx 20minutes into the CBD on the tram. Houses are expensive and small though. However, lots going on, lots of outdoor space etc.
- Bayside (St Kilda down to Beaumaris) are lovely. The further down the coast the bigger, slightly more affordable property gets (of course there are bajillion dollar mansions too). Commute by reliable train is about 30-40 minutes. Lovely suburbs, by the beach, lots to do.

I've lived in these areas and really enjoyed them. A lot of friends are beginning to move further afield to the likes of Mt Eliza, Carrum etc. All much more affordable and still am ok commute (an hour door to door).

I pay $3k/mth for a modest 3bed house in Bayside. I see placed for double that and upwards. Health insurance is around $300/mth for mid range hospital and extras (2adults and 2children).

I believe schools are based on catchment area, but unsure on religion. Mine are only babies and I've not got that far yet!

457 is a business visa and entitles the spouse to work or study. As Brits you're entitled to Medicare through the recriprical agreement, however to be entitled you must enter Australia from the UK.

It's hot! 30degrees today and only early Oct!

NK5BM3 Mon 16-Nov-15 01:49:31

Hello everyone,
Not much to update except that have had a chat with the headhunters again and she mentioned something about there being a Melbourne habit of putting kids in private paying schools (one of you mentioned that). Her child is in private too and it costs about $30,000/year. What?!!!! Omg.

I have 2 kids. So that's $60k easy. If my take home pay is 84k (after tax - before tax 120-140), then that leaves us with v little to live on! And that's without the rent of house, utilities and food. Dh will be getting a job of course, but given that perhaps for the first few months we are looking at me working ft, and him helping to get the kids sorted and the house, this might be not feasible.

Interviews in December. Help!! Any thoughts? Can one go to state school without being penalised (ie, have little opportunities)? My kids are in state school currently. A very good, 'middle class' one. 2 form entry and all the usual ptfa activities and Christmas and nativity plays.

Any thoughts welcomed.

Glastokitty Mon 16-Nov-15 02:29:38

Err, private school is not compulsory you know! And 30k each is ridiculous, the school near me is around 8k per year (before all the inevitable extras). We're in Perth though. My son goes to the local state school and finds it much better than his previous school in Ireland, there are far more options and opportunities.

NK5BM3 Mon 16-Nov-15 04:53:14

Hi glasto
Good to hear it's not compulsory. I did say that to the headhunter, and she said yes but there seemed to be this culture in Melbourne to go private. My kids aren't in private in the uk and we would struggle to pay for them to go private in any of the 3 private schools at my doorstep (literally 5-10 min away we have 3).

Saying that, yours is/are currently in private? $8k sounds a lot more reasonable although again, that's still paying.

I'm guessing if private seems to be the practice in Melbourne then perhaps the state offering isn't that great?

Essel Mon 16-Nov-15 05:46:14

I think i remember reading that about 50% of students in melbourne are in fee paying schools. But they start cheap and none of them are near 30k for primary school.

All catholic schools are private and they are generally not zoned. There are lots of excellent state schools but the good ones are tightly zoned but if you live in their zone they have to take you. Some of them are crampt.

Victorian kids start school (prep) the year they turn 6. The school year starts at the end of jan. So your youngest wont have missed much.

Have a look at the myschool website and the better schools website. Theres no such thing as ofsted but kids sit a NAPLAN trst which is a bit like SATs. How important is the catholic school part?

Suburbs you might like;

spotswood, williamstown, yarraville

Fairfield, Ivanhoe, Northcote

Hawthorn, camberwell, canterbury

Port Melbourne, albert park,

Essel Mon 16-Nov-15 05:47:58

There ars lots of good gov primary schools - check out auburn south, spotswood, merri creek

Glastokitty Mon 16-Nov-15 06:20:23

No, my son goes to the local state school. We could afford private, but don't see the need as he is in the Accelerated programme, and his school is fab.

NK5BM3 Mon 16-Nov-15 06:37:51

Thanks glasto and Essel. Think I must have misread glasto's post (sorry - I'm slightly/very jet lagged) as currently in Asia on a business trip. I read your comment that your local private school being $8k as what you pay - clearly you don't as you are in state! Sorry.

Thanks for the list of nice places to live! Will check those out. I will need to get into the cbd so an easy ride into the cbd would be useful. The catholic school bit isn't necessary (kids aren't currently in catholic schools). Being near the beach would be great - we currently live near a beach and it's nice to just drive 15 mins and we are near sandy beaches, pebbly beaches and everything inbetween.

I ventured onto one of the housing websites and omg, some of the houses are really nice! The houses in the area of Mt Eliza (as suggested by one of you up thread) look quite nice too. $750k? Is that the price to aim around for? A lot of them look like its single storey. Great for my creaky knees! smile

Essel Mon 16-Nov-15 12:24:20

Mount eliza seems really far out to me, but Im not really sure whats realistic on your income.

The west is generally cheaper. If your budget was about 750k and you were looking to buy, i would look in the west. Altona (near the beach/pier) and williamstown have decent beaches and schools. Both are on the trainline. Newport, yarraville, seddon and spotswood are neighbouring suburbs, on the train, with decent primary schools. Williamstown has quite a sought after state high school.

If you are happy to rent im sure you could afford lots of suburbs along the otherside of the bay. Theres also a trainline that goes down that way.

Yes many if not most, houses in melb are single story.

You could probably get better advice on an Australian parenting forum.

janaus Thu 10-Dec-15 04:15:26

Melbourne is lovely place to live. Climate is ok, a little milder than Sydney. A few hot weeks in summers, Winters are usually quite mild.

Public Transport is pretty good.

Eastern suburbs are apparently the "best" area to live. More pricey.
I live West, and it is more affordable, the new home market in the west is booming. Good and bad everywhere I think.

Point Cook is my favourite suburb in the West, half hour drive to the city,, well allow an hour peak hour. Newish suburb, great shopping centre.
Williamstown is lovely too, a bit more history there, and close to the beach, but also very expensive.

You would probably be able to get really nice house in the West about $500,000, much more in the East, north and southern suburbs

NK5BM3 Wed 06-Jan-16 16:34:19

Hello! Happy new year!

Thought I'd update you. So I had my interview Via Skype and they decided to fly me out! So I went for a day (I was already in Asia so it was easier than say flying from here!). Now it's the waiting game I guess.

Speaking to my would be colleagues they suggested camberwell, Kew and box hill as good areas in terms of commute in and schools. I saw some houses for rent around 2-2.5k AUD per month which look pretty decent. Does that sound about right?

On a positive note, one day in Melbourne was really nice! I bought the kids some reindeer antlers that they were selling in town! smile

KierkegaardGroupie Wed 06-Jan-16 16:56:25

We moved to a similarly hcl place on a SIM salary. But 7 years ago.
We have a much better quality of life here this. In uk, but we are not swimming in so are money...and we earn quite a bit more than that now.

But to escape the cold dark.climate of UK has been life changing for us.
Sunny weather makes us happier it seems.
I like both cities but I found melbourne sort of had some depressing tumbleweed feel in their winter. Sidney was much more upbeat.....more artists in Melbourne so that kind of self conscious superiority thing is more felt I feel. Sidney more down to earth and closer to driving up to great holiday spots.
I would go for it but expect to live in a modest flat on that income just like London
.....but you will be in the sun so you kind of spend less money. As a misty happy transplant I would do anything to escape the UK for all its other merits, to move to a sunnier country.

comebacksun Fri 22-Jan-16 04:49:53

Camberwell, Kew and Box Hill are all really lovely areas and you would find great public schools there. We're a little bit further east and houses are very pricey to buy, but renting is still very doable. 2-2.5k per month for a rental sounds good.
The waiting must be hard! Good luck!

Simmi1 Fri 22-Jan-16 05:51:50

We have just moved from London to Melbourne (Richmond). I've not done much exploring yet but Melbourne seems great. My kids are younger so not looked at schools yet but I think it's true that a higher proportion go private. Good luck OP!

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