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So, we've suddenly decided that we're moving to Sydney - in 20 weeks :-) All help gratefully received...

(25 Posts)
Jackaroo Tue 07-Aug-07 14:13:58

We've been wittering on about it for years, but had decided on next April/May. We will be there for 2 years. Suddenly realised this weekend that we're just sort of waiting to go, so might as well get on with it.

What I'm after is the mother of all checklists, just so I can make sure I'm not missing anything important - any ideas? Websites?

We will be in Upper North Shore if anyone can shed light.........

Argh!

OH, PS, one DS just turning 2, and will be near outlaws :-)

Harrogatemum Tue 07-Aug-07 14:16:51

suggest if you havent already found it to visit www.britishexpats.com, full of great tips and ideas from people going and people planning to go.

I have a good checklist that I think I got from there for all the things you need to do before you go - send me a CAT and I'll forward it onto you.

Jackaroo Tue 07-Aug-07 14:50:53

Thank you for that :-)

I'm now a bit bothered as I've been reading a bit about visas etc., can they really take ages? I suppose I thought that as my DH is an Aussie etc etc there would be less of a problem than if we were two english people?

Harrogatemum Tue 07-Aug-07 16:08:55

got your CAT and have just replied!

lynniep Tue 07-Aug-07 16:34:35

yup I agree, go visit www.britishexpats.com. I used to be on it all the time (especially when I wanted to come home!) Was living on the north shore for 15 months, in Artarmon. Not a very happening place, but close enough to get into the city for work. Can't think of anything specific though. How useless am I!

Jackaroo Wed 08-Aug-07 11:07:34

Mm, I think that's the thing Lynnie; I know we'll have lots of people to meet there (DH has a good lots of friends, or did before he left for 6 years :-) - but I'm worrying about being somewhere where you have to drive to get to absolutely anything, particularly as I have a real problem even driving to the supermarket! But my general impression is that it's pretty lacklustre.... ah well, at least I get to be a SAHM for a while - although quite how that will feel I don't know!

robinpud Wed 08-Aug-07 11:10:56

Bloss is a north shore girl and maybe around later. Mogwai is south and I am south and west. Mogwai has done some very good posts as has sunnydelight or sandcastles about relocating here. Search in the archives.
My top tip is make sure dh is on a cracking salary!

good luck!

sunnydelight Thu 09-Aug-07 10:05:07

Hi Jackaroo. We've been here five weeks now, we're living in St. Ives which is North Shore. My top tip at the moment is be prepared for pretty horrific rents - we were keeping an eye on the rental market for a year before we came but got a real shock when we saw what we would get for our money. As others have said you need britishexpats.com - that will give you an idea of how long spouse visas are taking at the moment (we came in as permanent residents on 136 visas so the whole process probably took about 12 months including getting DH's qualifications and experience assessed by the Australian Computer Socity). I'm just beginning to emerge from the chaos of arriving here with three kids knowing NO-ONE, trying to find a place to live, schooing etc. so am hoping to get in touch with the other mumsnetters here very soon You're welcome to CAT me if you want any specific info. Not sure where you're coming from, but I would heartily recommend GB Liners as shippers. Looking forward to seeing you in sunny Sydney (it is a truly amazing, beautiful place to be!).

SweetyDarling Thu 09-Aug-07 10:17:53

Jackaroo, I grew up in the Upper Nth Shore. It's actually (mainly) a very affluent area with lots of big houses on big blocks, very green, lots of excellent schools etc. Not bad at all - very family focused. Do you know exactly where you'll be looking?
A pousal visa should be much easier to organise than if you were both Brotish, but it is always worth getting organised early as the process can be slow.
You won't necessarily have to drive to get to the shops etc so long as you choose a home close enough to walk, but be aware that if you don't drive you are likely to be very isolated. Sydney is very spread out (similar size geographically to LA, but with only about 4 million people) and you may well find that your friends are spread far and wide. Maybe do a driving refresher course when you get there?
Make sure you take your DS to swimming lessons ASAP - very important in Aus!

robinpud Thu 09-Aug-07 11:49:58

I agree re the driving. I spend a large amount of time ferrying children to netball, soccer, parties, swimming etc, despite living in an area pretty well served by public transport. Managing without a car would make it really hard I think as although other parents are very helpful in arranging car pools etc, you would be at a huge disadvantage not driving at all. The car is king here, whatever anyone tries to tell you to the contrary.

Harrogatemum Fri 10-Aug-07 10:20:28

JAckaroo - did you get the list I sent you?

robinpud Fri 10-Aug-07 10:31:42

Also, if you are renting, you might want to look at Mogwai's posts as she and her family found that they had "missed" a lot of rental properties which changed hands over xmas.

robinpud Fri 10-Aug-07 10:31:43

Also, if you are renting, you might want to look at Mogwai's posts as she and her family found that they had "missed" a lot of rental properties which changed hands over xmas.

Jackaroo Fri 10-Aug-07 11:41:18

Hi - yes thank you, I did reply?? I thought..
Will go and check!! sorry for the silence, bit of an alarming couple of days involving hospital etc.. back on track now

mm, I'm loathed to leave house hunting to in-laws, but maybe they should have a look over christmas for us? I wonder why people move then, surely most people are too busy with the celebrations? Ah well, thanks for the heads up on that one.

Thanks so much sunnydelight - I'm sure more specific questions will come up, but just lovely to know someone will be in St Ives - not a million miles away. We'll be somewhere around Gordon/Pymble/Wahroonga. We're comign from London, so sounds as if GB would be worth a call.

I do realise that the car is an imperative, and I'll just have to get on with it. At least I only have one DS to deal with!

Harrogatemum Fri 10-Aug-07 14:44:24

Hi Jackaroo - didnt get an email, but dont worry about it!

dont know if you have already looked but check out www.realestate.com.au for house prices, both rental and sale.

Jackaroo Fri 10-Aug-07 16:41:48

I'm looking forward to having a theoretical couple of hours at hte w/end to look at all these websites - i've only ever looked at Domain - the house bit of the Sydney morning herald? Jsut because ILs do, will be nice to have my own lead!

SweetyDarling Fri 10-Aug-07 18:20:27

Jackaroo, it's not that everyone moves at Christmas, it's that people tend to move more during summer (same as UK) and Christmas is in Summer.
The rental market is very hot at the moment in Sydney, so if I were you I would arrange temporary accom for when you arrive and get house-hunting ASAP.

Jackaroo Fri 10-Aug-07 20:40:37

We'll be living with the ILs, and that's not generally ever been a problem (even when we were there for a month!), so I'm glad that's sorted - but yep, am already looking at all the rental companies etc. My plan is that we should make a few long distance eamils/ calls in a couple of months, so they know we're coming, and so we are on their mailing lists, and then hopefully we'll be ready to look as soon as we get there. DH may or may not have a job to go to, but we've save enough to manage at least 2 months of house/ job hunting, and he has never found a problem getting a job anywhere in the world, so we're hoping back in his home patch, he'll be OK!

I suspect I'll be asking lots of questions in the next fews, such as, how come it's already only 19 weeks til we get there??

Boo94 Sat 11-Aug-07 10:56:33

Robinpud, is it really so different in the UK re driving? I've never lived in the UK with kids and I just thought that once you have kids anywhere you end up ferrying them around a lot. I'm interested to know...

robinpud Sun 12-Aug-07 08:39:37

Boo- I think it depends on what you do with your kids and how much sport etc they get involved in. But just for starters, most sport in the uk is a once a week commitment whereas here it's twice a week, so for 2 kids that becomes 2x 2x2 journeys just to get there.
My own situation however does slightly colour it- in the uk we live in a dormitory village of 4000 with pretty much everything accessible within a short drive or walk. Here we live in Sydney, in the suburbs so it's very different!

SueW Sun 12-Aug-07 10:35:49

When we went in 2000, I had to wait about 6 weeks for a supported spouse visa. It took longer than I had expected and when I panicked & spoke to a visa advisor, he said I should have gone out on a holiday visa and converted it as the Australians don't insist you leave the country to do that. No idea if this is good advice.

I landed in mid-Dec and would agree it was a hard slog looking for the kind of property we wanted at that time. We didn't find anything until end Jan Other people we knew on same project as DH had arrived in early November and pretty much walked into what they wanted.

aquasea Mon 13-Aug-07 18:38:12

hi Jackaroo, just saw your post on my old thread. Am excited to find someone else in the same boat as me. I think we are looking in the north shore area too. It would be good to stay in touch.

Jackaroo Mon 13-Aug-07 20:11:18

I would be more worried about the housing thing if we were literally turning up for christmas, and only had hotel accom. to begin with. I think our welcome with the Ils is as long as required (within reason) and we won't be there til mid Jan anyway.. so I'm assuming we'll find something if we've got til mid-march for example...??

Aquasea - good to see you. Yep, a fellow traveller to share a flat white with would be good!

Boo - I only have one DC, and he goes to nursery at my work, which we walk to. Apart from a big shop every couple of weeks I walk everywhere.. so it will be a huge change for me. I'm coming at it from the exact opposite end to Robinpud. Very inner city London, but equally, you can walk to everything.

mogwai Fri 17-Aug-07 06:34:39

Hi Jackaroo

We arrived January 19th. The rental market was an enormous nightmare, but then we didn't have any childcare for our 18 month old daughter while we went looking and we were also in a holiday rental with time fast running out!

We saw 31 properties in 3 weeks and I had to really lower my expectations of where we'd be living as we wanted/needed to be in the eastern suburbs.

We now rent a 2 bedroom flat for $440 per week exclusive of bills. It's unfurnished as well so we had to buy everything from a fridge down to a duvet(we are selling lots of stuff when we go home and it's good quality and cheap so if you have someone who can store it for a couple of months, CAT me).

I think salaries are quite a bit lower here (husband is a doctor, I'm a speech therapist working part time) and I have great difficulty adjusting to living in a small flat when I'm used to a large house with lots of modern conveniences like a big fridge!!

Other than that, we've had an amazing time. Five months to go, I feel sad at the thought of leaving.

Jackaroo Tue 21-Aug-07 12:44:37

Ooh, good to know Mogwai - so when are you going? We think we'll be there 3rd week of January now... or something like that? ILs have huge under house space, so could probably take some stuff off you're hands

Am about to ask a "how long is a piece of string question", but given that you were spending $440 a week on rent, how much to you reckon is an Aus$ salary that would cover that easily, plus leave enough for trips (in Oz), and a few nice days out/emergencies...

Is that answerable??!!

So which area are you now in? Looks like we'll be able to get what we need for about $500/550 a week, but then we're out in the burbs a bit more than you I suspect...

Many thanks!

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