LKC

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LKC last won the day on February 19

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About LKC

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  1. I had unopened boxes of things in the garage that we'd brought with us! I figured that if we hadn't needed them in the eight years we've been here, we won't need them moving forwards! I think OH was a bit gobsmacked as to how much stuff I chucked/donated/sold, but it is such a good feeling! I've kept sentimental things, but I did force myself to get rid of some of the things that the kids have brought home from school over the years. I kept one box for each of them that I put the best things in, but the rest got recycled. I did feel bad about sorting through those things, but realistically you can't keep every bit of paper that a child has scribbled on!
  2. We are just in the throes of planning a move back at the moment. I will be heading back to the UK with the kids in about the end of August/beginning of September, with OH to follow a few weeks later having shipped our belongings and our cats. We've been in Sydney for eight years, and have accumulated quite a lot of 'stuff' in that time! With regards to shipping, I've sold any bits of furniture that we definitely don't want to take back such as the IKEA storage stuff that we had for the kids Lego. I figure I can replace that easily and cheaply if need be when we buy a house. I've also thinned out lots of our possessions. For example I went through the toys, books, pictures and ornaments, and we've only kept things that we love or need (still 15+ boxes of books to bring back though!). We won't bring our sofas. The two old ones that we brought with us we gave to a local charity to forward on to a family in need, and the IKEA ones which we are still using we will give to the girl's school (they are setting up less formal learning areas with sofas, beanbags etc). We will bring back our dining furniture, sideboard, tv cabinets, a desk, a hall table, and all of our bedroom furniture, with the exception of our mattresses. Our mattress didn't travel very well coming this way and had to be replaced, so I figured that we'd give those to the same charity that our sofas went to, and I can arrange new mattresses in the new rental so we've got something to sleep on until the shipping arrives. It is complicated, and I was really worried at the start that I'd never manage to sort things out and manage to fit the UK end with the Australia end, particularly in regards to having somewhere to live and shipping our belongings and cats. However, the further in I've got the easier it has become. It all kind of untangles itself!
  3. Actually, I agree that it isn't a bad thing for kids generally. I really wish we'd held our two back instead of listening to people who said we'd be ruining their education. As it happens, they'll both be going back a bit when we move to Scotland anyway. As it is here, they are both among the youngest/smallest/most socially immature in their year, which holds them back anyway. They'll be among the eldest in the year when we move, they are both looking forwards to that!
  4. It depends where you're going. Our daughter is an April 2006 birthday and in year 6 here (NSW). If we were moving back to England she'd be due to start high school this year. However we're moving to Scotland, and because their cut off is different (March 1st) she'll be going into P7. Youngest is Feb 2008, so she should go into P6, but as she's Y4 here we'll hold her back (which we can do in Scotland). I'm pretty sure you can request to hold them back in England too, you'd probably have a fairly good case, since it'd otherwise mean they'd miss a year.
  5. Staying with family is a huge bonus! We've been lucky as a rental has come up in the right area for the right(ish) price and is available only one or two weeks before the kids and I aim to be there. The letting agent has been great so far, as has mil who is going to sort out payment, so we don't have to faff about with money transfers and things before we transfer the proceeds of our house/business sale over.
  6. I guess the length of time you wait depends on how much more you like this house than the others. I'd probably make sure they know you're a cash buyer and that there are two other properties you're interested in. We're in the throes of moving back, and have been looking at Rightmove and so on for a while. I'd noticed a couple of houses listed with Purplebricks. I'd not heard of them before. We'll be in a similar position to you, cash buyers, which we're hoping will go in our favour. We're moving to Scotland which seems to be mostly 'Offers Over', which we've not experienced before (we lived in England before moving to Aus), so that'll be a bit of a learning experience! Funnily enough, we had an estate agent round today to have a look at our Sydney home. He reckons it'll be sold within three weeks, then a six week settlement. Average time on the market in our suburb is 17 days, so I'm inclined to believe him. Seems much more simple this way.
  7. If, for example, a GP visit costs GBP30, then obviously that charge is going to have a bigger impact on someone who earns minimum wage than someone who earns GBP100K a year. Maybe things should be done more fairly by percentage, with those at the top who will miss it the least paying a touch more (that they wouldn't miss) than those at the bottom who can't afford it (and who would miss it the most). Oh, wait...! Isn't this what tax brackets do? We are in the higher tax bracket (for now - we sure won't be when we move back to the UK!) and are quite happy to pay a bit extra if it helps someone who has been less fortunate than us.
  8. As Skani mentioned, you need to find out a few more details about the visa they would be offering first. If it is a permanent visa, then you would be in a much better position than if they were offering a temporary one.
  9. Unfortunately, as you're finding out, Sydney is an expensive place to live. We've been here for a bit over eight years and have seen costs rise massively in that time. I've no idea what sort of job/salary you would have, but talk to the employer and see if there is any wiggle room.
  10. They sometimes do reduce the fees for hardship reasons, but this is discretionary so I wouldn't assume that they would. Is there any way you can apply for PR? You don't pay school fees for state school in NSW if you are a permanent resident. I agree that it is costly otherwise, and makes the move much more difficult to manage financially if you have a couple of kids.
  11. Looking at your posting history, you are going to Sydney on a 457 visa? If so, school fees for the 2017 school year are $5000 per child, going up to $5200 per child in the 2018 year. There is also an admin fee payable on application per child of $110, but this is only paid once at the start. Bear in mind that there will also be other costs on top of this, such as voluntary school contributions (which aren't really voluntary), payments for books, excursions, sport, extra curricular etc. This is the relevant page from the NSW Education Dept. The links on there show you how to make an 'Authority to Enrol' application etc.
  12. I'd put the X-Box/games in the suitcase, but bring laptops etc in hand luggage. I think you get 7kg of hand luggage on most flights, and I've found that a light rucksack with a laptop, ipad, phone/keys/purse, a book, change of t-shirt/undies etc has never come to over 7kg. Remember you can usually split it between bags too - I only took one bag last time, but on other occasions I've taken a handbag in addition which contained my phone, purse, keys, tissues, hand wipes, medication pen and notebooks etc and wasn't weighed.
  13. Actually, thinking about it it should be 'Because we had the opportunity, and we've loved it here but it's time to go home'.
  14. Because we had the opportunity, but now it's time to go home.
  15. Yep, I agree with this! Our postal votes for the UK election arrived too late for regular post, so we sent them back via international express. You could feed a family of four for a year on that sort of money! I said that tongue in cheek by the way, just in case someone jumps on my post