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About Valespark

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  1. Valespark

    Securing rental

    We have recently been through this issue. In our case, instead of paying 6 months upfront or having to ask somebody to be a guarantor, we were able to prove that we could support ourselves without income help for the length of the lease. Not sure how the calculation works, as the number was given to the letting agent by the referencing company, but for £1200 PCM rent, they wanted to see savings of 21k to avoid the need for upfront payment or a guarantor
  2. Valespark

    Buying a property in UK prior to moving back?

    I have made a few enquiries recently with regard to UK expat mortgages etc. From the broker I have had email exchanges with, it all seems very possible. In essence they can arrange a mortgage for 75% LTV, which comes with an automatic rent permission, so you can buy now and lease out for a while, before you return. Extract of email Option – This option is only available when position is permanent, you will also need to be out of the UK at time of submission of full application Raise a mortgage up to 75% of the property valuation - this is classed as a Main UK residence and comes with an automatic consent to rent the property out. 18 month Tracker Rate of 1.7% above UK base rate (0.5%) with a bank arrangement fee that can be added to the mortgage of £999 2 Year Fixed Rate of 2.69% with a bank arrangement fee that can be added to the mortgage of £999 2 Year Fixed Rate of 2.4% with a bank arrangement fee that can be added to the mortgage of £Zero 3 Year Fixed Rate of 2.9% with a bank arrangement fee that can be added to the mortgage of £999 5 Year Fixed Rate of 3.75 with a bank arrangement fee that can be added to the mortgage of £999 5 Year Fixed Rate of 3.99% with a bank arrangement fee that can be added to the mortgage of £Zero Broker fees on top. Whether it is really as simple as that I don't know......My only advice would be to buy in an area you understand. VS
  3. Hi, You need to view years 11 & 12, as a 2 year course. They function same as "A" levels, in that the score achieved will determine what choices are available for University. Sensibly, your son will need to do both years in full, otherwise he will not accrue a high enough score. The GCSE's have no value, sorry. There is no equivalent here VS
  4. Having lived in Melbourne, and visited Sydney many times, I feel it's a pretty good assessment. it will be interesting to see how both cities compare from a living point of view, as well as a tourists perspective
  5. It is chip paper, or more accurately the reel end of unprinted newspaper stock
  6. Valespark

    Britvics no more ???

    Thanks for the update, I thought it was just my link that was broken
  7. Hi, If anyone has a set I can have a review of, that would be great. If you send me a PM, I will send you my email address, Thanks
  8. Valespark

    Would coming and going back harm education?

    Hi, The school year in which your children will enter depends on their birthdays, and different states have differing cut-offs. In UK 1st September is typical cut off, In Victoria it is end of April and I think in NSW it is end of July. We took our daughter from UK school aged 7, and returned 6 months later. Moved again in Sept 2009 and back to UK Dec 2010. In my opinion, the impact on schooling depends alot on the school. We felt in the first school that our daughter was a long way ahead, and this may have been due to her having been in reception since aged 4 (May birthday, so young for her school year) and moving to a year below the one she left in UK (becoming one of oldest in year), due to the cut off. On our second period in Melbourne, we were much more aware and elected to go private for schooling. The school was fantastic and placed our daughter in the year above her age (so same year as she had been in, in UK). Going private is not the only option to good schooling, but it gave us what we wanted. Placing children in years above their age group may be ok academically but I would be very careful especially if you are thinking in regard to teenage years etc. Many classes contain a variety of ages, as some parents hold back there children for a year. It could be for example, that a 12 year old (placed in a year above their norm), in a class of predominantly 13 / 14 year olds, could also have a 15 year old classmate. Academically they might be equals, but social maturity would be very different. In our opinion, our daughter has lost nothing, and gained lots by travelling and changing schools. It has developed many skills, including the ability to cope with change and make new friends, but has also opened her eyes to a whole world of experiences. Academically, she is still a well performing student. The only subject that she has lost a little ground on is LOTE (languages), where she studied Mandarin in Australia, and has had to learn German in her current UK school. Hope this helps. Kids are far more resilient then you or me, the chance and adventure is a great opportunity, carpe diem!
  9. Valespark

    As promised, update '1 YEAR IN' - enjoy :-)

    Great update. BTW, I seem to recall that you can get Bisto granules from "treats from home" in the CBD.
  10. Valespark

    Cost of Living website

    I came across the following site whilst surfing around, and would interested in hearing the views of those currently in Australia..... http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_countries_result.jsp?country1=United+Kingdom&country2=Australia
  11. Valespark

    car insurance for our imported car

    We used AAMI for our MX5 import. Shannon's were really difficult to try and deal with, they maybe good for some car types, but we found them to be very unhelpful.
  12. Valespark

    In New Homes, What is A Square?

    Beaware that the advertised "square number" eg 20SQ, will include covered alfresco areas, porches, and garages. Therefore the internal living space could be 14SQ out of a 20SQ build. I remember doing some calcs that an average new build 4 bed detached home in the UK is around 1400sq ft or 14SQ excluding garages.
  13. Valespark

    14 and moving - any tips??

    Hi, My daughter is 13 and we are aiming for Sydney in early 2013. You will find her on here as xXHopeXx. Drop her a message, if you want someone in a similar situation to talk too. Good luck on your move, I am sure you will soon be enjoying the Australian life.
  14. Hi Tina2 Thanks for the positive words re Anglican schools. Hopefully someone who is in the area may be able to add a little on the other schools.
  15. Hi, We are looking to move across to Sydney toward the end of this year / start of next. It is likely that I will be based around the Silverwater area, and we are looking at the Hills area as a possible location. From a surf around the net we have seen some school information, but would love to hear from anyone who is using these schools or knows anything about them. Thanks