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Everything posted by stamples

  1. A lot of people from Sydney with lots of $ are moving up from there to the Brisbane greater areas the last year or so. Some areas like the Gold Coast have had a surge in prices as a result. (They can sell their Sydney home and buy one outright Brisbane greater region and can afford the private school fees too, with change). We think the growth areas for the greater Brisbane region now that the Gold Coast has had the recent surge (and increase in prices) are north - e.g. somewhere on the Redcliffe Peninsular and going west e.g. towards or near Ipswich (suburbs like Karalee, Barellan Point, Karana Downs, Mount Crosby, Chuwar we like) - out of the Ipswich city but only 15 minutes drive home and little traffic and some great value) We've just moved to the Ipswich area (apparently 30 mins train commute times into Brisbane City). There is a very mixed bag of suburbs, but some lovely ones with acerage/rural etc. 15 mins outside the city and value here is still incredible - e.g. we're looking at a place 15 mins outside Ipswich city with 1.7 acres for $465,000 and Costco are opening shortly - not a company who invest where they don't expect growth. And some other shopping precincts going up. Springfield I don't know much about is also in the Ipswich Council area, but further away, but I think a similar commute time to Brisbane. Still for value and not too bad commuting to Brisbane City I also favour some suburbs on the Redcliffe Peninsular (Woody Point, Clontarf, some areas of Margate, Scarborough) - We bought a townhouse at Woody Point a block and a half from the beach 5 years ago for under $300,000, which we are about to rent out a block (2 big Bedrooms, 1.5 Bath, courtyard, Garage etc), prices are only now starting to rise - so there is still time to get into the area before the likely surge. I commuted by car from there to other side of the city for around 1.5 years - +/- 45 mins commute - and the Redcliffe Peninsular and starting to smarten up and is changing the last year or so in particular. (Like anywhere, mixed areas and some lovely and some not lovely areas/roads - basic rule of thumb some locals believe ideally you should be "'Ëast of Oxley" street, but there are some lovely ones around other areas too. Some say that areas like the Logan region (mid way between Brisbane and Gold Coast), which I understand can be a bit wild, might start going up and improve and the proximity to Brisbane isn't bad - but I'm inclined to think you need to have rented there and feel satisfied about the actual area before investing there at this stage. I'm also hearing that the last 3 months 8,000 migrants have come to Queensland, jobs were already in short supply, but maybe the influx will create job creation ... they say there were 210,000 people in Ipswich in 2018, by 2036 they estimate it will have doubled, so maybe the Costco's of this world etc. have some insight. Hope this gives you broader 'food for thought'. Feel free to email me if you want to know more.
  2. stamples

    Best sun lotion

    I agree 100% with Toots' sunscreen recommendation. That particular one (active) I've found also does not stain your white clothes/shirt collars. Many shops have it on half price or similar at the moment too.
  3. stamples


    Thanks for a brilliant summary of this wonderful area we live in!
  4. stamples

    Beachfront house mid-north Qld

    Hi Not sure if you're looking in all areas however we will be sadly vacating this month, to move inland for work, a lovely very reasonably priced 2 bedroom, 1.5 bathroom double story town house in a lovely small complex at Woody Point (postcode 4019,Qld) on the Redcliffe Peninsular just north of Brisbane that is a block and and a half from the local long Sandy beach. I've commuted into Brisbane easily, by car (around 45 mins or so), train too is great news, and now has two train line options and local busses to get you there too etc. The local lifestyle is amazing with shops, cafes etc. And from our place walks\cycles are amazing - just for beach views, walk or cycle left and walk or cycle up to around 12kms, or walk right for around 5. In a car it's perfectly placed - around an have hour to 1) the Sunshine Coast 2) the Gold Coast or 3) the gorgeous mountains and hikes. Plenty of local schools. Feel free to email me on stamples@ymail.com if you want more info on area or town house.
  5. stamples

    School and areas to live moving from uk

    We don't have kids, but immigrant friends who do have been very impressed with some of the Independent State schools (fairly independently run as opposed to State Schools as I understand it). If you are in Brisbane, there is an excellent and extremely well resourced Independent State school near Graceville I believe which our friends espouse is as good in every way as their children's previous private schools (in South Africa, which are generally still very good). Hope this helps.
  6. I've heard a few comments including from friends who've heard from UK estate agents (can we believe them?) that 'house prices in the South East/Outer London are experiencing such strong demand often the asking prices are exceeded by some level' fuelled by Londoners being priced out of London - Your views on this, articles, links etc. or guestimates on when it might peak/best anticipated time to sell such property etc. would be most welcome, thanks in advance! (our property is on the Oxfordshire/Buckinghamshire border (+/- 50 mins by train, 30miles by car from Central London) if we get a bit more specific in the discussion of areas etc.)
  7. Thanks everyone for your input and recommendations. Very pleased to say recommendations led us to an exceptional professional Conveyancing Solicitor - Emily Davis of Cartmells Solicitors in Buckinghamshire (http://cartmell-solicitors.co.uk/property-law/) - incredibly efficient throughout, who managed to get our sale through in only 6 weeks (liaising with us abroad) after a (random) window cleaner found us a private buyer (one of his clients who'd already sold) the day before we signed up with an estate agent! (random act of kindness?) Also the buyer's estate agent, Simon Minter, the Branch Manager of Tim Russ, Thame, Oxfordshire (http://www.timruss.co.uk/about-us/tim-russ-thame/thame-team/) although not getting any commission from us, was very professional and helpful by liaising with the parties and keeping me updated on what was occurring in the process, a second good deed, much appreciated - we've extremely grateful to all these kind and professional parties, particularly this post-BREXIT vote week!
  8. Dear Shayman I've only a few minutes, so a quick brief post in reply: I don't know anything about the Leeds market or rentals there or anything, but here are some generic things to think about: - at the moment if you rent out a UK property, you can get 'depreciation' tax relief here in Oz on it if it's under 20 years old or renovations have been done in that time (I think those are the parameters from memory) - this may change, but at the moment it's still there - we just got it done from here for a UK property via http://washingtonbrown.refr.cc/3HJFXMP. You can usually also claim your mortgage interest and repairs and maintenance off Oz tax. So after all sums done, often it's almost 'neutral' but someone else is paying your UK mortgage and the property is growing in value - so worth staying in the property market rather than being out of it altogether for 4 years I would personally think unless tax regimes become harsher. - As part of you decision making - worth also checking out the newish UK's Capital Gains tax laws, but from what I understand it, it'll be worked out from 5 April 2015 until you sell and I'm guessing your rental income will keep you under the UK tax paying threshold. - Leave it vacant possession - I can't think of any good reasons to contemplate this, a good rental agent should be able to look after a property and repairs etc. can often be claimed back via tax (or a proportion of). On another note, have a read of posts regarding what life in Brisbane or Queensland generally is like to live in or why people have returned to the UK before you sell up anticipating you might move here permanently, it's not all fun and sunshine, things can be quite challenging, in the workplace especially. All the best with your research and subsequent decisions! Regards
  9. Hi All The conveyancing Alchemist we used to use in the UK (21 days viewing to completion on a freehold) has retired, and we probably have a cash buyer who is in love with the house and wiling to pay decent money it seems, and all before we've even put the house on the market with an agent - so if we proceed that route, would ideally need a really quick UK conveyancer if anyone can recommend any - My google search found a few, but it looks like they are just trying to differentiate themselves from other conveyancers and don't necessarily appear really convincing they are fast at achieving completion. We'll be selling from over here (house based Oxfordshire/Buckinghamshire border) and I understand from a conversation with one conveyancer (quoting 8-12 weeks at the moment!!) that scanned signed email documents can start the process and that originals just need to be available for Completion (?). Any experience on this? Also, any other advice/recommendations/things we need to be aware of if selling 'not through an agent' would be appreciated too. Thanks in advance.
  10. stamples

    North of Brisbane

    The Redcliffe Peninsular is lovely - good lifestyle, sand beaches, marina - so good walks etc. and good value homes. If you look there the general 'rule of thumb' is to ideally look at property (East of Oxley St so you are beach side and/or Scarborough), there are some nice homes elsewhere, but you generally can't to wrong with East of Oxley. I don't know much about schools. Traffic to Brisbane I personally think is a bit better than Northlakes etc. as we have more sneaky routes we can use from here when things clog up. Also they are opening a new train line here shortly and it's 'end of the line' so you should be guaranteed a seat. Happy home and area hunting!
  11. Thanks everyone for your input and suggestions. This thread has sure had some legs
  12. Any recommendations on a good conveyance that can get things through really quickly in a no-chain scenario?
  13. Thanks for the advice on the furnishing etc., just wondering about what to aim for in sales commission negotiations - 1% seems to be coming up as standard rate, how low is a good agent likely to go - best to start negotiations with figures in mind... Thanks in advance for suggestions.
  14. Hi! Wow 75% hike in 4 years, extraordinary - well done! Some areas probably have grown more than others too. Our recent valuations have had a 40k span - what's with that... We've had ours a long time so the value is over time. Excellent tax advice from our Alchemist has just demonstrated to us the forex etc offset from when we moved until now means limited tax liability, so looking like the right time to make the move .... The property is Chilterns based, in Chinnor, 4 miles from Thame and Princes Risborough, about 12 miles from High Wycombe or Aylesbury. Any recommendations/suggestions on Estate Agent and Solicitor would be welcome and if things are still so hot, opinions too on the following would be helpful too: - Do some more improvements before selling to try and maximise sale value? (interior to be repainted this week, but facias could be replaced at around 3k if likely to make a difference, both neighbours have upgraded theirs) or just sell as is? - It will be emptied this week so furnish with a staging company or not?, if so, any idea of costs and any recommendations? - Wait until after Easter before putting on the market? - Also, any ideas whether we could do the selling paperwork without us both flying back to the UK to sign etc? - What estate agent's commission rate should I be aiming to achieve when negotiating? etc. Thanks in advance for all opinions!
  15. Dear GW May I ask your recommendation for a Bucks based agent if you have one, and what buyers think of the 'bidding' process in the UK these days? We're about to engage an estate agent, so just getting up to speed on what we need to be asking for etc. and if things still as 'hot' as they appeared a month ago
  16. stamples

    The House Sale Timing dilemma

    In response to various above and other key thoughts: - I would not give any indication of any particular 'need' to sell urgently - whether you go for a full disclosure or more private positioning, your ethical choice, I would recommend you 1) are not home when viewings take place (I think this is a ploy by estate agents to save resources, but that's what they're paid for) - we have always preferred the agent shows people around, they have less attachments and often get a better price through their objectivity in the sales process 2) even if you do disclose you are moving countries, I recommend you indicate you are quite happy to rent if not sold, 'so either way, you're ok' so it's now their choice to make a decision before it goes off the market, whichever way that transpires.... 3) conveyancing can be done really quickly with the right conveyancers - we purchased a vacant property once with no chain and moved in 21 days from viewing - viewing to and it was completely hassle free - our choosing a small but dedicated and very professional team who worked to achieve our goals enabled that - we happened to use http://brownssolicitors.co.uk/brownssolicitors/contactus.aspx - excellent professional service, fixed fees, fair prices - we've not used them in a few years personally as not sold, but I've recommended them to hundreds of people over the years and no one has ever expressed anything but high praise I've heard about. Good luck!
  17. stamples

    The House Sale Timing dilemma

    Hi CNC FABS - can you please share a little more info on the " wants to beat the stamp duty increase coming up" as we're contemplating selling soon and timing might be key - thanks in advance.
  18. Hi Claire! we're also a Redcliffe Peninsula based, child free married couple who work substantial hours and commute to Brisbane too - if I can figure out how to send you a private message, will do, if not maybe send me one and we'll be able to communicate and maybe meet up.
  19. stamples

    Depreciation report for a UK property

    Hi Rob - how much (or roughly what percentage) of the UK depreciation schedule costs were you able to claim back on Australian tax? i.e. would you say the benefit was worth the investment?
  20. stamples

    Moving to Northern Subs Of Brisbane?

    We went for the Redcliffe Peninsular and I commute daily. Main thoughts: Good value rentals or purchases (but ideally go for 'east of Oxley' Road strip according to the estate agents and other blogs - (any suburb along that strip as far as I can see seems okay, bit of a different feel in some areas west of Oxley). Commuting by car on a very good trip for me, 45 mins, sometime 1.25 - 1.5 hours, a really bad day (but not had many lately) - up to 4 hours! A really viable alternative - Trains from Sandgate (approx. 15-20 mins drive first) run well - 40 mins from Sandgate Station to City and run every 15 mins. Trains don't seem crowded and are usually clean etc., and overall a very do-able option (but not to my specific workplace, so I'm back in the car the majority of the time). A train station will open up at Kippa Ring in approx. 2016, so dependent on where you are on Peninsular, may be better than Sandgate Station, or supply a good second alternative. What we love is having a sand beach (but not good waves - the Islands blocking cause that) on our doorstep - my hubby cycles/walks around 4am onwards, on weekends I enjoy the beach or use our location as a base for the Sunshine/Gold coast trips as suggested by others in previous articles - really do-able. We're pretty used to the lifestyle now, but if we bought again (and were happy to pay more), we would also consider more inner BNE suburbs for weekdays and rather commute on weekends to beach. Hope this helps.
  21. stamples

    2014 for HR Advisers in ACT

    I would recommend 'proceed with absolute caution' at this time. I was state sponsored and went to Canberra mid 2011 - the market seemed relatively buoyant as I had several job offers in a few weeks and accepted one. Amazingly the skill level I was sponsored for wasn't what the market needed, it was my breadth of experience that led me to work easily. 've been monitoring the HR jobs market since and I can honestly say, the market has never been anywhere near the same since. I was very fortunate and enjoyed a few roles in Canberra, but most other HR professionals I know there were forced to do other work, lots of HR talent around, very few opportunities. Not only has the new government meant even fewer jobs open to non-citizens, (you need to be aware that if you are not a citizen - which most new emigrants aren't for around the first 5 years), your job possibilities will be very limited and competition fierce - estimates are that only around 5-10% of jobs generally are available to non-citizens - this is because most professional jobs in Canberra require 'security clearance' and that can usually only be available to citizens. The few exceptions there are tend to be individuals with specialist skills, not related to HR. A real sign of the market constriction was that only a year ago, friends who wanted to rent a unit were in competition with 25 other families for the one home, recently I rented my place out and there were 31 properties for rent in my small area (suburb equivalent) alone on the market for rental. When we'd looked for a small place to purchase in 2011, there were approx. 8-12 properties in the entire ACT/Queanbeyan region in our price range, a few months ago there were 361 for sale, many of those selling for much less than when I purchased. I hope this doesn't sound pessimistic, but times are genuinely hard and it's worth knowing that before taking the plunge and potentially being tied to a geographical area that might not enable your family to settle easily. One friend, a professional, had to literally 'dig trenches' for nearly 3 years before finding a job for their sponsored skill, another has had to move to Perth for work, leaving behind the family in Canberra, partner then found work in Brisbane and the commute of 4,400km from Perth to Brisbane until a local job is found is no picnic for everyone! I do know of a HR professional from Perth recently getting work in Darwin, after seeking work in around WA for nearly 2 years, so be prepared to work hard at it and potentially make sacrifices (and you family may have to too) if your Australian dream means that much to you. All the best, wherever you end up!
  22. I have used Thrifty in most cities here and always been very reliable and good value. Good luck!
  23. I'm seeking any recommendations and good and bad reports on Estate Agents for Jerrabomberra/South side rentals as I'm about to rent out a property (a free standing duplex 3 Bedroomed unit in a small block of 8). So far the three estate agents I've been in contact with have not impressed me customer service wise - not one follow up call from any in three months after sending me a quotation email from any of them! If that's the level of service when they are trying to win your business, I dread to think how they will respond when I or a tenant needs to make contact in the future. The two key challenges will be 1) engaging one that will be professional and responsive as I will be living interstate and need to minimise hassle., 2) amazingly these three quotes were completely different - with one going for a straight percentage of rental and another going for similar amount PLUS a weeks rent each time they rent it out, so very different charging models and therefore potential expense for me. I guess I'd be just as interested to hear on views of who NOT to consider using, you could send me a personal message on this if you feel you do not want to respond on the blog. Thanks in advance to all who will help with suggestions/experiences!
  24. stamples


    Great to see this thread as we're taking up our rental just near there tomorrow! Nigel and any others interested - we got accepted for our first rental offer (but then we're employed and property owners already living elsewhere in Australia), but, depending on your circumstances, if you get the chance consider taking up the advice I was given by someone at a Brisbane central employment agency, which worked - once you find somewhere, if you think they will be happy with you as prospective tenants (challenge no. 1), haggle on the rent. There is so much quantity of property available in the area, that, unless it would lose you the rental, it's certainly worth considering a try. If you don't want to live in a modern apartment, the challenge though of finding a suitable rental on the Peninsular, being an area with a lot of older homes, can be the quality of the buildings/interiors, ideally you do need to view properties in person before signing up. As others say, the location can be excellent. (We know of others going to try North Lakes first as it seems quite easy and quick to secure a rental there, but we're happier choosing a good spot where we hope to settle, from the outset). Everyone - do you commute and if so to what area - I'd love fresh views on the commuting challenges/advice from the Peninsular in any direction, thanks in advance. (also all specific other recommendations on cafes etc. etc. welcome).
  25. Hi Life is getting exciting and we may be moving from ACT at short notice around the end of the month so our 3 Bedroomed, 2.5 Bathroom but smallish duplex unit with Garage and parking in Jerrabomberra (which has a highly regarded local primary school I am advised) and is approx. 20 mins drive from Canberra Civic, City may be available very soon. Still have to plan ins and outs but may consider short term occupation too as we know when new people arrive having somewhere to 'lay their hat' while deciding where to set up a new home means often people can make better choices than jump into a longer term lease only to find out they would have preferred another area. Willing to be 'sounded out', even if not wanting something in Sept. Regards