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Cost of living in Sydney

(15 Posts)
LastAnni Thu 25-Feb-16 22:32:05

Back story: I'm Australian, Dh is British, we have one DC who holds dual nationality. We lived in the UK for 10+ years before DH took a position in the US, where we currently live. Life is great at the moment, but we're looking ahead and would like to relocate to Australia within the next couple of years. We'd been working on the assumption we'd end up in Melbourne, due to DH's particular job field. But there's a possibility he may take a job in a company which is mainly located in Sydney. I'd always discounted Sydney due to the housing market. At the moment we live in one of the most expensive cities in the US and, despite a great (on paper) salary, this means we're not putting away nearly as much money as we'd wanted to during our time here. I'm really hesitant to leave one overblown housing market for another, but would like to hear from Sydneysiders what you think the outlook for us would be with the following specs:
- DH's salary would most likely be somewhere from 150-200K
- I would work part time, probably earning about 50K
- DS would be in school
- we would have about 100K cash for a house deposit

We'd prioritise location over house size, and would want something with an easy commute to the CBD via public transport (DH doesn't drive). Good schools are a must, as is nice community feel, lots of cafes, facilities etc. Not fussed about being near the beach. I guess my question is: how do-able is Sydney on an income of 200-250K for a family of three? Even though I'm Australian and have a handle on the general cost of living regarding food, cars, utilities, education etc., I'm not from Sydney, have never lived there, and haven't lived in Australia for more than a decade. Any insight gratefully appreciated.

LastAnni Sat 27-Feb-16 01:49:25

Hopeful bump?

LadyCassandra Sat 27-Feb-16 02:39:31

I think you could do it, but then we are at the total other end of the scale earning $70k between us and living in a shoebox in one of the most expensive suburbs in Sydney. House prices are out of control here, but they are predicting a fall. You might be better waiting for someone else who can compare their salary/way of life with yours, sorry smile

Lotsofplanetshaveanorth Sat 27-Feb-16 02:44:52

Well of course it is do able, that is a significant wage..but it depends on the lifestyle you currently have and wish to maintain. I think it is difficult for people to advise unless their circumstances are v v similar. We earn less than that..but not Sydney. Cost of living where we are is extraordinary and we need two cars, but we have good state schools so don't need to go private...very hard to say. So many factors

AllThreeWays Sat 27-Feb-16 04:26:03

I am in Canberra, not Sydney, however Canberra's housing market is equally ridiculous. We are very comfortable on just over $$200000 and are paying a mortgage on $450000 house and paying childcare of $1000 f/n. I think you would be fine in Sydney, you would have higher mortgage costs but cheaper costs of living in most other areas

InAWashingMachineMinute Sat 27-Feb-16 04:26:06

Are those figures $Aus? I'd say the salary would be fine, but your deposit might be a little low.

Have a look at and for ideas of house prices. It's still pretty crazy in Sydney at the moment. They keep saying a crash is coming, but I can't see any sign of it at the moment.

LahLahsbigband Sat 27-Feb-16 04:31:40

it is a good income, but the quality of your life will depend on what you're prepared to pay for housing. I would work out on what you can cope with per fortnight in mortgage repayments, add a little grin, and take it from there. The size of your loan will depend on where you can buy, and what you can buy (house vs apartment for example). Go on for house prices. Remember the establishment costs of buying also (fees and stamp duty, aka big fat buyers tax). There are a lot of upsides to Sydney : lifestyle, weather, good schools, safe. It's even developing a bar and coffee culture a la Melbourne grin so what's not to love!?

LahLahsbigband Sat 27-Feb-16 04:33:04

I'd also add that there's been talk of a crash in the Sydney market for decades now. I wouldn't hold my breath

sofato5miles Sat 27-Feb-16 05:16:27

A 1 mill mortgage is around 6k a month in repayment. How long a commute are you prepared to do?

AllThreeWays Sat 27-Feb-16 06:53:37

You don't have to spend a million though, plenty of two bedroom apartments close to the cbd for between $500000 to $700000. As the OP stated they would chose location over a comfortable house.

TheAussieProject Sat 27-Feb-16 20:26:54

We live in the Northern Beaches, a very expensive part of Sydney. Around here the houses start at 1.3 M.

Sydney is expensive. Eating out, the dentist, the extra-curricular activities, even the grocery shopping is you eat fresh food. At the beginning I was shocked, but then you'll get to the point where you stop comparing.
You can live very nicely with that salary . Putting money away is another question.

I have yet to find a community feeling.

ohtobeanonymous Sun 28-Feb-16 04:47:03

In a similar situation (but with an extra child) and considering moving back to Sydney - worked out we couldn't afford to maintain the lifestyle we wanted, so staying abroad! Live in a great house, kids in an excellent school, very little commute and can still afford several fab holidays each year. And low stress...

I think you could do it, but would need to look carefully on what you should sacrifice (small apartment far from CBD to save on rent and get a good state school so you could save the $30000 AUD + per year on school fees)

Good luck with your decision.

Astrophe Sun 28-Feb-16 05:25:43

It will depend on what you're salaries end up being. If $150k then yes, doable in terms of living, but you may find it hard to buy, and you may need to move a bit further from the CBD. If $200k-$2250k combined, you'll be sweet.
We live 9k from the CBD in the Ryde area. Our household income is ~$130k, we pay $180/week Childcare and have 3xDC in a state school (which costs us about $1500/year in fees and excursions and extra things- that's for the 3 of them).
We run two cars. DC each play a sport and an instrument but we don't do masses of extracurricular. We holidays in NSW and eat out occasionally (say once a month) and take away a couple times a month. So fine, but not living lavishly and not saving. We are renting at approx $800/ week and housing in this area starts at 1.2 million for a three bedroom house (which is why we are not buying, even the we have a 300k deposit!).
Ryde is a nice area - it's very family friendly, there are lots of parks around, very central for the CBD and parramatta and Blue mountains and the M2 out to the Hills too. Our primary school is in a little strip of ships and is the most "villagey" place I've found in Sydney, lovely community feel. But I have friend in the inner west who also feel part of the community there. I think by and large the suburbs are not as good for community, but we have a little gem here, pm me if you want to kNow anything else.

Astrophe Sun 28-Feb-16 05:28:30

Btw, not sue I'd hold my breath for he housing bubble to burst (though I wish it would), but we were house hunting late last year and following the market with interest this year, and it has definitely slowed down, I'd say things are ip to $100-$150k cheaper in the area than hey were in Oct-nov last year (which is still madness). Whether it continues that way is anyone's guess.

BuyMeAPony Sun 28-Feb-16 05:55:00

We are on a similar income and also on the northern beaches. Our 4 bed house on a main road cost $1.2m 5 years ago and is now valued at $1.9m. I didn't find a community feel until my DCs started at the local school but now I can't go out to the car without bumping into people I know. I love it.

With schools, you automatically get into the local one and they have their catchment areas on their websites. You can apply for out of area but it depends on how full it is. It's seems more straightforward than the uk in that you'd know where they'd go before you even arrive, if you knew where you'd be living.

That is a comfortable salary and you'd have a good life. I'd try really hard to bump up your deposit if you could though, to have slightly smaller mortgage repayments and more disposable income while you settle in.

We manage a UK trip and an overseas holiday each year on that salary and a $6k per month mortgage. I don't spend much on "stuff" though. Good luck with your move.

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