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Moving to Sydney

(63 Posts)
HelloHouse Wed 07-Feb-18 06:19:07

Hi - really looking for some help/reassurance!!!
my DH has been offered a job in Sydney (based in the CBD) I will be working aswell as we work for the same company in the UK. We will be looking to sell our home in the UK and use some of the equity to pay off some debts we have and we are going to rent in Aus as we don't know how long we will be there.

My main questions is where to live?! We don't mind commuting, we aren't big on going out for more than a nice meal and a bottle of wine now and again so would like some nice areas within walking distance.
We've looked at Manly which I love but it's crazy expensive.
This leads to my next question - our joint income will be around $220k a year. In the UK it's around £140k so I'm wondering if we will have a similar lifestyle? We live in the midlands so cost of living relatively low.
Like others have mentioned - Sydney is crazy expensive and it just concerns me that we will be paying around $1000 a week minimum for a home which currently costs us £900 a month in the UK.
Any advice? It anything further to consider??

beingsunny Wed 07-Feb-18 06:30:22

Congrats, that's super exciting!

First question is whether you want to live by the water...

Do you have kids?

Are your happy in an apartment or does it have to be a house.

I live comfortably in Bondi on a similar income, but live in an apartment.

It's most expensive in the east and north shore, but if you don't Care about beaches the inner west is a fair bit cheaper...

TheGingerSnapped Wed 07-Feb-18 06:30:45

Is it just you guys, or do you have kids? If you have to pay for childcare, then you will need to budget carefully, as you may not be eligible for government rebates on your visas.

HelloHouse Wed 07-Feb-18 06:35:38

Sorry - should have said no kids! Just the dog to find a new temporary home sad

We do like the beach, but I would like to not have the expense of a car too?

What's Bondi like to live in???

Thanks for all the feedback so far!
It's so exciting but so scary!! I've never lived in a city before

HelloHouse Wed 07-Feb-18 06:36:50

Sorry more questioned not answered.... I would like to live near the beach, and am open to an apartment we don't need a big house just for the two of us!! As long as a balcony or some outside space I think this would be fine??

TheGingerSnapped Wed 07-Feb-18 06:50:14

It would be an easier commute to Bondi - train to Bondi Junction then bus to Bondi proper. Manly is a loooong commute if the ferry stops for fog, storms, strikes, accidents etc. Buses to the Northern Beaches can take a while in peak hour too.

Eastern Suburbs beaches are lovely but only connected to the city by bus, which is often delayed due to light rail construction out that way.

Domain is a good website to check rental prices and you can work out public transport journeys on

beingsunny Wed 07-Feb-18 07:05:59

I love Bondi, I've been here around 10 years all up always in the eastern suburbs.

I live in south Bondi so can either take the 15 min walk to Bondi junction station or a bus in five.

Train straight to the cbd.

I have a car but could easily do without one, it's handy for going away for weekends.

I'm not 'that' young at 37 and have a young son who just started school.

There are plenty of great restaurants and cafes in walking distance and Westfield in the junction.

Parking is a nightmare!

There are lots of ex pats and sports and it's quite easy to make friends in the area, lots of English Irish and South Africans live around here.

There are of course the backpackers and summer is chaos but I swim after work at the beach and have great neighbours.

LadyCassandra Wed 07-Feb-18 07:16:19

I live in Manly. Our income is $100k and we have kids. Rentals are expensive but they are everywhere in Sydney so I'm happy here. The fast ferry gets into the CBD in 20 mins, and rarely gets stopped. For me it's a no brainer, especially with no kids.
There are lots of free things to do, and apart from food we don't spend that much on other stuff. We have a car but only use it for shopping because everything is accessible. The Northern Beaches get a bad press from the rest of Sydney transport-wise but it's not as bad as they make out.
You need to think about what your priorities are, do you prefer space or location?

I hate Bondi

snoopfroggyfrog Wed 07-Feb-18 07:23:27

I agree you want to be around Bondi if you don't want to use a car. It's not my favourite part of the city and can be a bit touristy but it is accessible by train and bus and has the beach, and good food and shops. The Or you could try somewhere with a good ferry connection, but they can be affected by weather. Sydney is crazy expensive so if you can manage with an apartment I'd do that. I love Bronte but there's no train.

Sydney will definitely be much much more expensive in every way (food, days out etc are all expensive) than the midlands.

Globetrotter100 Wed 07-Feb-18 07:32:08

OP look at Balgowlah....5 mins bus to Manly, walk to Clontarf etc for beaches. City bus (to CBD) used to take 23 minutes. Lovely walks at the Head.

Northern Beaches v Bondi....they are very, very different so check them both out.

beingsunny Wed 07-Feb-18 07:40:01

@LadyCassandra shock

Agree Bronte is lovely, my ex husband lives here, I'm on the corner of Bondi, Bronte and Waverley so a bit away from the crazy of Bondi itself.

Transport is amazing here though so it's an easy commute.

EnriqueTheRingBearingLizard Wed 07-Feb-18 07:55:42

What are property and income taxes like in Australia? I’m just thinking with a lower income and much higher housing costs, plus the general cost of living, how you’ll get on, especially if you do return here and are no longer on the housing ladder?

RosiePosiePuddle Wed 07-Feb-18 07:58:41

An income of over $200,000 will be more than enough to have a nice lifestyle. The size of bills varies a lot in comparison to the UK (mostly cheaper).

A car is much cheaper to run. Petrol is about half the price. Rego and insurance are reasonable. Public transport (especially the ferry from manly to the cbd) is more expensive.
Gas and electricity tends to be less as well unless you use huge amounts of air con or heating.
We don't pay for water.
Health insurance will be up to you. But as high earners you'll get a tax rebate in return for having a health insurance.

Accommodation will be the most expensive as you have figured out. You can get cheaper but the nicest areas around the beach are going to be the most expensive.

In terms of social life, it is really how long is a piece of string. Because the weather is generally warm and good we have a lot of picnics and days at the beach. Work colleagues on the other hand spend a fortune on swanky restaurants and trips to gorgeous beach resorts.

Sydney is an amazing place to live. Good luck with your decision.

To let you know we have lived here for 2 years, have a small child (childcare costs), live in the inner west (waterside location), pay $700 for a 3-bed flat (cheap), have a joint income of $150,000 and have saved over $40,000. But we do live simply.

SuperBeagle Wed 07-Feb-18 08:05:13

Manly's nicer than Bondi, but Bondi is a much easier commute to the CBD (closer, also).

The Northern Beaches (Manly) are notoriously bad for public transport. The whole area has essentially one road in and out, so for drivers, it can easily become a congested nightmare. Your options aside from driving are limited to buses (wouldn't recommend) and ferry.

The North Shore and the Eastern Suburbs are the areas I'd recommend in Sydney. However, both are expensive. The Upper North Shore (Chatswood and up) have reasonable train commutes and are less expensive than areas from Chatswood down the train line (Chatswood to Milsons Point on the train). Eastern Suburbs areas such as Elizabeth Bay, Rose Bay, Double Bay, Bellevue Hill etc. all the way out to Vaucluse are very expensive and have a reputation (posh), but suit people without children. Bondi is technically considered part of the Eastern Suburbs, but the culture of Bondi (backpacker, expat, tourist hub) sets it apart.

raglansleeve Wed 07-Feb-18 08:17:49

How about Sutherland Shire (aka God's Country!). Beautiful beaches, quieter than the Eastern Suburbs, if you're working in CBD you can just jump on a train and be in the city in an hour or less. Cronulla has really come up in the last few years, some great restaurants and cafes and easy access to fantastic beaches. You could rent a 2 bed unit 5 minutes walk from the beach for $500 per week.

I wouldn't recommend Bondi, but Bronte and Clovelly are nice. You'd have to rely on buses or a car as there are no trains outside Bondi Junction in this area.

Will your work pay health insurance?

raglansleeve Wed 07-Feb-18 09:17:18

Oh, and we pay for water - the year we tried to start a vegie garden our water rates were off the scale - we reckon every lettuce we grew cost around $10!

Cost of food, eating out, clothing, weekends away is far higher than the UK, but you don't have to spend huge amounts to have a great life. A day at the beach with a picnic costs nowt. We go camping rather than stay in hotels, and because the weather is fairly predictable it's a pleasure rather than a chore.

HelloHouse Wed 07-Feb-18 10:13:18

This all seems really helpful thank you so so much!! We have just looked at cronulla, looks beautiful but quite far? We aren't big spenders generally but we do like a nice wine and the odd designer handbags/shoes (sorry)
Interesting about bondi, we've just been looking at properties in north bondi this seems nice?!
I love the look of the northern beaches but a bit put off with the transport comments you make?? It seems so lovely but if it's a pain in the rear getting to work then might not be so lovely!!
Nice to know the money will hopefully be okay here... it's just nuts how expensive everything is. Our local pub at home does a nice Rioja for £4.50 a large glass 😂😂 xx

HelloHouse Wed 07-Feb-18 10:14:48

Had also not considered health insurance, is this something Work should pay? What is normal?

miked99 Wed 07-Feb-18 10:45:26

I live in Manly and the transport is great, not sure where some of the other posters ideas are coming from. My partner commutes via the fast ferry and I use the Express buses to the city and both are frequent and fast.
The state government have recently introduced a fast bus service along most of the Northern Beaches that runs about 20 hours a day and there's a dedicated bus lane in peak hours, so the commute from most places is great.
As you can probably tell both the Northern Beaches and Eastern Suburbs have supporters/detractors in equal measure and the same is true for 'the Shire' , Inner West etc. Good luck with whichever you choose

cantsleepclownwilleatme Wed 07-Feb-18 11:02:43

What's your lifestyle like in the uk? Only asking as I see others saying they earn less in Sydney and survive, but I wouldn't consider moving there unless I was earning $300-400k. I live in a different state in Oz and we earn $250k and have a great lifestyle here. But in Sydney that would really change unless we had an increase to income.

cantsleepclownwilleatme Wed 07-Feb-18 11:10:05

Oh sorry just saw you said you have no kids. That makes it cheaper grin

RosiePosiePuddle Wed 07-Feb-18 12:16:53

Health insurance in australia is a whole thread in itself. They have an equivalent of ths nhs called medicare, which is actually pretty good. Although there are waiting lists like the nhs.

I'd be happy to rely on medicare only but middle-class paranoia gets me. As it does almost everyone and we (nearly all) end up paying a sort of voluntary tax.

It is NOT like the American system. State and private meet and you can choose to pay into a "health fund". Depending on the extent to which you pay in, you can get faster treatment with private doctors for certain ailments or needs. People hop between the two all the time.

It is not a perk offered by employers. It comes out of your pocket. And as high earners you will have the choice of paying higher tax and sticking with medicare or paying lower tax and paying into a health fund. You should get health cover if you're going to earn that much.

It is fiendishly complicated but it works and is a lot fairer than the US system and more reliable than in the UK. We pay $200 a month for our family. Although I am thinking of cancelling it.

By the way, everything is more complicated in australia. It is an amazing country to live in but the bureaucracy is a nightmare. Forget the laid back put another shrimp on the barbie stereotype.

wheresmyphone Wed 07-Feb-18 12:25:38

Have lived there too. Great fun. But I wonder if you should sell here?

What if you decide to come back? God knows what will happen to property prices and you may get out there and hate it.

Have you considered renting your place out here, and then maybe selling here once you are more settled. You can register as a non-resident landlord (or at least used to be able to) so can delay tax on any rental receipts.

NotEnoughCats Wed 07-Feb-18 18:05:53

We used to live in Sutherland Shire, and would say that Cronulla would be do-able on that salary. It is a bit further out, but there are frequent trains, it takes about an hour from Cronulla I think. There are lots of bars and restaurants, it is quite an up and coming area, and there are some beautiful beaches, including the absolutely gorgeous ones in Bundeena which you can reach by ferry from Cronulla. I used to drive to Cronulla to walk down the front, and really liked it there (we were based a bit further inland). It has quite a beachy vibe, lots of young people.

We were a family of four with an income of approximately $220k and were okay, although things had definitely become more expensive over time. We owned our home outright though, which of course had a massive impact on our outgoings.

HelloHouse Thu 08-Feb-18 02:17:53

Thanks for all the replies! There's a lot to consider, it turns out my role here may involve travel over NSW so a Car will be necessary. Interesting you say it's cheaper to run as a lot of people have said it's more expensive! I want to sell the house at home so we can move debt free and less our outgoings. This minus our car costs at home will be hopefully some toward sthe huge housing costs. We will still have a lot left over to buy a house in the uk should we ever need to.
It might be worth us viewing some apartments in Manly/cronulla this weekend before I go back to the UK.
I'm not too worried about getting off the housing ladder as we both are in the real estate business and there's a chance after here we may have to go to the US (if I'm not homesick by then!)
We went to look at some properties at the weekend, just to get an idea in Dee Why, Narrabeen (we think is too far/quiet) and freshwater (seemed nice)
Good to here the general consensus is we will be ok on that wage. Although I'm sure some of this will be eaten up with the flights home and paying for my stepchildren to come visit us.
Parking in the city seems crazy money so public transport is going to be important regardless of us having a car.

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