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About velden

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  1. velden

    Where to live?

    Both Varsity Lakes and Burleigh are beautiful. Regarding Burleigh do you mean to live close in at Burleigh Beach or a little further back in Burleigh Waters (canal estates behind the beach)? domain.com.au can give you an idea on pricing if you don't already know. The main difference will be Burleigh Waters - GREAT location but house a little older/dated versus Varsity Lakes - GREAT house but "B" location (just my opinion). Have you also considered Mermaid Waters - I think it's still slightly cheaper than Burleigh Waters so you could get a very well rennovated house 2kms back from Mermaid Beach. If when you start looking at prices the suburbs you have picked seem a little out of budget then I would have a look at Robina (Benowa if you are only a little worried, be beware of some Benowa water-front as it doesn't all have Broadwater access, and Benowa will only be cheaper if you have been looking at Varsity waterfront and then look at Benowa dry-block). If they are not out of budget I would add in Mermaid Waters/ Broadbeach Waters / Sorrento / Isle of Capri, if you still aren't bothered by the amounts then take a look at Currumbin on the beach (those other suburbs can also go UP to wherever you want to be)
  2. velden

    where to live in the goldcoast

    Gold Coast is a great place to live, it's not hard to be close to a beach. Living very close to the beach is however very expensive... I agree with CalNgary that the least touristy part in on the south side. Even Burleigh which is the north end of the south and is quite built up and busy is still stunningly beautiful and a great place for the kids to ride bikes, rip-sticks, power-wings, rollar blades, kick balls etc (while happy mums and dad take care of the bbq and a couple of wines). Regarding areas, this is not everything, just the ones that stick out for me: Central 1. Sorrento, Isle of Capri, a few parts of Bundall (not the industrial side) - great place to live, just inland from Surfers (approx 2kms) but you can easily forget that Surfers exists. Mix of old houses, rennovated houses and new houses. Many are waterfront. One of the more expensive areas - BUT you could get an affordable smaller house on a dry block (600K small dry blocks, 1300K nice 4 bedroom on water, can go much higher) 2. Broadbeach Waters/Mermaid Waters (this is where I live) - also a fantastic place to live. We are close to everything - beach, shopping, dining. Like the area above many houses are on canals but cheaper dry blocks do exist (550K small dry blocks, 1100K nice 4 bedroom on water, can go much higher) Both 1. and 2. could be considered "inner-city" living 3. Clear Island Waters - beautiful houses, lovely streets, just a few kilometres back from Broadbeach Waters. Waterfront homes are on rocks as opposed to other suburbs which are on sand. If the midges (like sand flies) bother you then it is much better to be on rocks (the midges breed in the sand). Only problem with this suburb is that is it just houses, nothing else might feel a little "Stepford" (starting 1.2 but that would be about the worse house in the estate) 4. Varsity/Merrimac - I just picked two suburbs in the area here.... some newer suburbs built on the canals. Some are in golf estates. Here you will have a nicer house but you will pay about at least the same as Sorrento, Broadbeach Waters etc and over 10-15 I don't think your return will be as good. Of course there are other areas of Merrimac/Varisty and surrounds where 500K-700K will get you a beautiful house 5. Robina - (not sure if this is central GC or top of southern) very family friendly, bike riding paths, parks, beautiful shopping centre. Very good primary school, about 10 minutes drive from Burleigh Beach. Houses are about 20-30 years old in parts, newer in other parts, good sized nice house on good sized land (say 1000sqm land) with pool and double garage around 700K Southern 6. Benowa - I might insult some people but I would call this a slightly up-market Robina, sans beautiful shopping mall. Some on water, some not (as is Robina by the way). Be careful if you do want water that you actually can go somewhere on the water, some of these estates are simply on contained water with no access to anything. The golf estates are beautiful. 7. Burleigh Waters - again a mix of slightly older looking to be rennovated and beautiful new mansions. Prices similar to Broadbeach/Mermaid. 8. Miami/Palm Beach - good mix of expensive and quite a bit cheaper. Lots of renters. I don't really know much about these suburbs 9. Currumbin - beautiful, natural surrounds, the least touristy part but pretty expensive. More NSW prices than QLD prices. Not sure what a dry block without views could get you but a 4 bedroom not that attractive house with views will go well over 1000K. North 10. Paradise point, runaway bay etc - these canal suburbs are great for people who are really into boating because that provide great access to the broadwater. I think they are slightly more expensive than Broadbeach Waters Hinterland 11. Tallai/Mudgeeraba/Gilston etc - beautiful, only about a 20 minute drive into the coast. Houses range from small to huge with amazing views of the whole GC. If you want a little land this is a beautiful area and they are not that far out 12. Highland Park - around Tallai, its a suburbs so normal sized blocks (mostly), 900K will get a BEAUTIFUL home but you could go much cheaper. Still reasonably close to beaches 13. Currumbin Valley - BEAUTIFUL but it rains A LOT Have a look at domain.com.au to get a better idea of the prices. There is also a whole other area about 20 minutes north of the GC - Helensvale, Hope Island, Pacific Pines etc. All very popular, nice areas BUT they are not that close to a beach so I ignored them (I also ignored them because I don't know much about them). 13. Southport/Labrador - I'm not sure if this is still true but 18 months ago you could get a 30 year old house on good block (maybe even res 2B zoning - meaning that you could pull it down in the future and build some town houses - dependant on block size) for around 420K. Some people will tell you these areas are scummy but I disagree, I think they have a nice vibe and they are fantastically positioned and in my opinion can only go up in price. Do you have children? school age? if you do then the state schools at Robina and Benowa really are good. In the other areas the lower years in the States schools seem to do alright and then they drop off as the kids get older (and discover the beach :-( ). The Catholic private schools are very reasonably priced, the Christian and Independant schools average between 4.5K to 9K a year, a few schools go over this price TSS (really over) and Somerset (a little over). Depends what you want, not sure what you consider as being "close to beach", also if you are young and without kids or older with kids left home (then maybe you want to really live on the beaches), whether you want a boat, where you will work, are you going to have 2 cars etc etc. And I totally left out Nerang/Ashmore because I just don't know enough about them. If I could afford, I would live: 5 million - Sovereign Islands 900K - 1.5 million - Broadbeach Waters/Mermaid Waters/Sorrento 800K - Benowa dry block 500K - 700K - Robina (or Hinterland if I didn't need to be close) If I was renting, gees for 650 a week you can get a million dollar house (renting is really not that bad of an idea). Where you rent would really depend upon what you want - beach, public transport, work etc but your rental dollars can go a long way. So if I didn't have a heap of money available. I would rent a nice house in a suburb that you feel right in and then buy a 350K-450K investment property in either one of the newer suburbs or in Labrador/Southport - the shortfall between interest and rental is still a tax deduction here.
  3. For cars Trading Post Online Classifieds & Auction Website
  4. velden

    6th day today!!

    Have you tried this site for buying a car Trading Post Online Classifieds & Auction Website
  5. velden

    New Bikes for Xmas or not??

    and Kmart. I forgot Kmart.
  6. Thank you all SO much. I can't believe people answered me (that's a bit sad isn't it). I think 'itcouldbeworse' summed things up very well. I just need to get over the guilt of "why am I so pathetic that I can't settle - i.e., speak Dutch". But some of the posts have made me see that it's just as bad for me to offer a partially happy mummy/wife. AGAIN BIG THANKS TO EVERYONE. YOU ARE SUPER KIND AND NICE PEOPLE.
  7. velden

    New Bikes for Xmas or not??

    Just to give you a point of reference: Kids Bikes — Affordable Childrens Bicycles Most normal Australian's just buy from Target or Big W. But I checked their online sites and couldn't find any bikes.
  8. velden

    Best air line to fly with toddlers

    Emirates is good but don't you have one more stop? maybe not from London?
  9. Thank you Smiley Kylie. I just have this stupid feeling that I would be putting my needs ahead of my kids - which is something difficult for mothers to do :-). But I also know that if we are all in Australia then I can help them with their school work etc. and be much more a part of their "external" lives. I was teaching them to read English but now that they have started learning to read Dutch at school I have to stop as it gets too confusing for them. My husband reads with them in the evening - it's something I wish I could also do. I practise my Dutch with them - offering to read Dutch stories etc but they say "mummy you are terrible I'm going to get an English book for you", it's very funny but also a little sad. I really do thank you for not making me feel like a selfish cow.
  10. velden

    Best air line to fly with toddlers

    I forgot to mention that you should board when they call Business Class, first boardings. We have never been stopped doing this. In most cases they will say as first boarding "passengers with young children" but if they forgot don't be shy just jump in the boarding line and ask if you can board. It's impossible to get settled with 2 kids if you have to go with the general boarding call
  11. velden

    New Bikes for Xmas or not??

    depends if they will fit in the container you will be using. Will they fit in easily and not add anything to your transport costs? make sure you clean them really well. If they even sniff dirt on one thing they will go through the whole container - dipping your shoes etc. also make sure you get bikes suitable for perth. I mainly just mean gears so that they can go up hills. what about the Razor Powerwings. Lots of Australian kids have them at the moment and they fold up pretty small
  12. Thanks for the advise so far. I'm going to count up the "go" and "stay"'s and decide that way :-). I have to add that I live in a dialect area (strong dialect close enough to a different language), you don't get dialect lessons you get Dutch lessons. I've been in this spot for 5 years and up until a few months back when I quit my job I have been locked away with other expats in companies that dictate English as the language to use. When you work many hours and socialise with these people more than others... well... it's an excuse but my Dutch is terrible (terrible) and this is my main reason for wanting to leave. I have tried classes, private lessons, books and tapes but linguistically I am... well... retarded. Now that I am not working and don't want to go back to that line of work (no work life balance and thats saying something for the Netherlands) I'm a bit stuck. I can finish my PhD (in Complexity Theory - so like 'who would!'), I can't retrain because most undergrad is in Dutch. i can't start my own business. I can't stay home forever. I totally agree with the people saying that I have to consider MY family and whats best for them. but if Holland is 90% good for them and 20% good for me and Australia is 70% good for them and 80% good for me. Who wins? is it 290% versus 290%. how do I make the decision when it will be better for me and it will be a little worse for them. I do like Holland, I really do. If I wasn't challenged (really, really this is a big issue that I don't seem to be able to Master) by the language I would be a pig in mud. Am I being selfish??? (say it gently please - even though I'm an aussie)
  13. velden

    would like to move to Ballina NSW

    Ballina is very nice. I lived at Lennox Head for a year. Great beaches, nice size town, lots of families. One concern might be youth boredom but I'm not really qualified to say that - I have no evidence. Also very expensive real estate for what you get. Have you looked for houses yet? best place to look (I think) is www.domain.com Still if you can get work in the area then it's a wonderful choice.
  14. velden

    Best air line to fly with toddlers

    Definetely Sinagapore or Cathay Pacific. Check the seating configuration - i.e., 3 seats - aisle 4 seats - aisle 3 seats or 2 - 4 - 2 etc the 1 year old should be ok in a bassinet - depends on his weight so you will do well taking the A, B & C seats (assuming 3-4-3 seating configuration like a 747) then the baby is in front of you and their are no strangers too close. Make sure you request the bassinet even if you think he will be too heavy because it guarantees you the bulkhead (assuming there aren't too many younger babies on the flight. the younger the baby the higher its chances of a bassinet. You should request childrens meals. They won't automatically have one for the 1 year old - probably just jars of baby food but if you ask for a one it should be ok. The food is usually; breakfast - little sausage and egg, dinner - mac and cheese so something similar. Real normal kids food. Nothing spicy. They give a little activity bag when you get on the flight - puzzles or colouring book or puppets or something like that. it will actually drive you more crazy than anything. they will keep dropping it and you'll have to search under the seats to find it. Both the Singapore and Cathay staff are very helpful with the kids - they might even take them off you for 5 minutes or so to give you a break. This is NOT true of all airlines. Malaysian Air for example screamed at us to pick our children up every time they got into the aisles (this is hard to do when you have 24 hours in the air). We flew one way with Malaysian and refused to fly back with them - it was expensive but we just bought new tickets with Singapore for the return flight. I don't want to suggest something that you don't like but perhaps consider a couch medicine with a sleep aid in it. Ask your doctor/chemist to recommend one and then try it out a week before you fly to make sure it works. Remember the bottle can't be more than 100mls or you are against the liquids regulation. Don't let them go to the toilets without shoes on - there is wee all over the floor. Oh, make sure your stop in Singapore/Hong Kong is not too long. The kids won't settle and it just adds hours to your trip. That said Singapore is a fantastic airport - look for the area around the free movie cimena - lots of things to amuse them. And take them to the area upstairs outside - then you will know you have left the cold - makes me feel revived everytime I do it. Don't take too much carry on. A book for you, a little bag of whatever toiletries and makeup you can't do without, a spare change of clothes for the boys. think layers and just make sure one layer stays clean :-), 2 spare changes of socks for the boys, nappies, formula and perhaps a spare t-shirt/socks/undies for husband and you. The plane gets cold so a fleece is a good idea - this is better if you also use it as your winter jacket to get to the airport. We have flown many, many times with our 2 boys. They are now almost 6 and 7 and very seasoned long distance fliers. Because of their ages you will have a tough trip - 3 seats between 4 people, the 2 year old not quite big enough to keep the head phones on for the movies. Take a little bottle of liquid hand disinfectant. Very importantly they have to have something to suck on take-off and landing or they will scream and cry (and then it can get hard to stop), a bottle for the one year old and a safe lolly for the 2 year old. Make sure you make them suck/swallow or they will cry as it hurts their ears. Don't stress if they cry, don't worry about other passangers hating you. Just try to relax and remember it will soon be over.
  15. Thanks Swandog, It is home isn't it. I think we will go, we have made November decision month. So I can question things for the next few weeks but come November 30 we will make a firm decision to either go or stay. The Netherlands is a great place but the second I land on Australian soil and some nice customs agent takes a look at my bag and says "darl, that looks too heavy for you, let me lift in onto the belt for you" I feel happier. Do you think your English wife will like Australia? my husband does but his family (parents and sister) doesn't. They think it's tacky and primative (and they haven't even seen the Gold Coast yet). I am already wondering how I can show them around without venturing near Surfers (easy) or driving down the Gold Coast Highway (harder). My family (Sydney based) also look down a little on the area we have chosen. I guess this makes my decision harder - not having anyone's support. The decision is 100% mine, it would be good to have someone share the responsibility but that's not always life. I'm not criticising my husband with this - his ideal would be to stay in Europe so I am lucky that he is willing to give up his country for me. My husband gave me his requirements if he was to move; near the beach, warm weather, didn't want to feel "remote", boat tied up in the backyard, kids closeby to school and sports, nice good-sized house, good restaurants and nice people. Based on that I picked the Gold Coast, short-listed the houses and together we selected one. The Northern beaches of Sydney was first choice but we couldn't afford to be on the water. I'm glad that other Australians are going back home. I read somewhere about an exodus of young Aussie talent that never returns to our fair shores.