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About JaneSmith

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  1. Hello again compatriots, It's been a while since I last logged in, but my plans have been slowly making progress. I've now been told that I should get some detailed advice from on how I will be Taxed once I move back to the UK. I know that any income I continue to get in Australia will be treated as foreign source income for UK tax purposes, but I need some more detailed and specific advice about some other financial details (money details are a bit personal to write about in detail online aren't they) and this area is a bit too technical for my local Aussie accountant. Does anyone know of any accountancy firms (preferably in Qld) who can provide this kind of advice? Recommendations :unsure:
  2. JaneSmith

    First time mum but already a pingpongpom!! Am I crazy?

    Sounds like you've both given it a lot of thought Kellie and I'm glad that already know a lot of ex-pats over here already. Having a support network wherever you are makes a huge difference. With the hot weather, as well as sunblock, make sure everyone drinks a lot of water and always carries some with them. Not realising how much dehydration affects how well you can think and work/function is a big factor in struggling with the heat. I go to a "walk in" clinic over here in Oz (because there are overseas qualified doctors there who are more up to date and have been a lot more helpful than the local GPs who don't seem to have bothered keeping up to date and, with deleterious results, failed to recognise or treat various conditions that I and the children had over several years), and there is also often 2-3 hour wait, however it is worth it because the care/treatment you get at the end of the wait is far better.
  3. JaneSmith

    First time mum but already a pingpongpom!! Am I crazy?

    I don't know in detail about how OFSTED works, but I've certainly found the UK's GoodSchoolsGuide site pretty useful to find out about schools in various localities and that has links to OFSTED reports and ratings which is really useful. In Australia, there is the myschool.edu.au website that also compares schools with "All" schools and "like" schools that share similar socio-economic profiles. I'm guessing that the myschool designers modelled the system on what OFSTED does, though I'm not in the education sector so I don't know for sure, but generally the UK pioneers a lot of good practice I think. I certainly think that the National Health system, for all that it's not perfect, provides a more comprehensive system of care than is available under Medicare. The state health system here is so indifferent that people who can't really afford it feel they have to resort to private services to get any assistance.
  4. JaneSmith

    First time mum but already a pingpongpom!! Am I crazy?

    Hi Kelly, ....I've been told that Kent is a lovely place to live and that the schools there are really good...I'm just wondering what causes you to believe the Australian state education system would be better, or that Australia's GP and medicare system is any better (it doesn't cover any dental care at all except for primary school age children). The Australian climate can be better for an outdoor lifestyle, but working hours and shorter hours of daylight can mean little access to it.
  5. JaneSmith

    Advice on the southern suburbs of Greater London anyone?

    Hello again, I've looked up the term 'Chav' on Wikipedia and I can see why I'm not familiar with it - apparently it's only been in currency a few years (a relief, I was starting to feel really worried about being incredibly out of touch!). There's interesting discussion of it at this link. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chav . I've a feeling there must be a lot of relatively involved between area, because I've read various people on Yahoo stating they moved to Croydon because it was more cultural and educated than Essex. Yet others have told me that Essex is lovely...I did do a visit over recently. I didn't get the impression people were all that concerned about armed gangs as a general rule. Petty theft and stuff seemed to be a problem all over London though, even the expensive parts. ...By the way, does anyone by any chance know of any buying agents who work at my lowly end of the real estate spectrum? :wubclub:
  6. JaneSmith

    Advice on the southern suburbs of Greater London anyone?

    Simmo, as you mentioned you might know a bit about particular streets, do you have an opinion on Ridge Way, Crayford at all? Also, Downham in Bromley?:unsure:
  7. JaneSmith

    Advice on the southern suburbs of Greater London anyone?

    ....Beckeham and Shortlands...on my budget, what look like even ex-council flats in Beckenham are in short supply. I don't want to move back, after decades working here, to bring my children up in an ex-council flat....Is chav something like being a bogan? It's not a term I recall from when I lived in the UK previously and I'm still trying to understand exactly what it means. My difficulty is, that's the price bracket I'm in. Is Downham one of the better parts of Bromley by any chance? :frown: ...that's about the only part of Bromley that seems to fall within budget. Also, with Thornton Heath, Zoopla indicates that it has about the UK average for senior managers and professionals, and quite a bit more than the UK average for reading the Guardian and the Independent. I agree, it also seems to have about twice the UK average for unemployed people...that seems to be par for the course anywhere that I can afford..There are also higher than numbers of single parent families....but we're in that group ourselves.:huh: As forewarned might help me be fore-armed....if I were to live in Thornton Heath (eg. due to being unable to afford anywhere else) what are the aspects of 'undesirables' should I beware of particularly for myself and my children?:confused:
  8. JaneSmith

    Advice on the southern suburbs of Greater London anyone?

    Wow, thanks for such a quick response! That's really helpful Simmo. Those houses in Crayford look like what I'm looking for but quite a bit out of my price range unfortunately. So your picks would be Sidcup, Eltham and bits of Bromley. Do you have an opinion on Thornton Heath at all? :rolleyes:
  9. Hello again compatriots, Ok, I'm getting organised to buy a house in greater London while I'm still in Australia. Can't get over there to check them out in person and have to mainly rely on what I can do remotely as far as the house-hunting process goes. I've worked out the neighbourhoods I can afford, however I'm not familiar with any of them, having been in Oz for the past 30 odd years. My family members in the UK all live in more central London in tiny flats, and don't know much about the outlying 'burbs. But with pre-teen children, I want a house, and call me a control freak if you will, but I want freehold, not leasehold over what I sink my meagre resources into. These are the suburbs I seem able to afford (assuming the exchange rate doesn't do anything overly dramatic in the next little while - Thornton Heath, South Norwood, Plumstead, Eltham, Crayford, and at pinch, some bits of Bromley, Welling and Sidcup. (I can also afford Abbey Wood and Dartford, but I can't find much positive written about these as great areas for families, so I've figured to avoid these) Trying to get a handle on what these locations might be like to live in just based on internet searches of things people have said about them in the past is a bit touch and go - a lot of commentaries seem to be a few years old and some of the locations may have changed in the last couple of years. So can anyone out there maybe provide a little advice in terms of which might be the pick of the bunch; and which (if any) should be avoided, providing reasons? In general I'd like to live in a pleasant suburb, preferably with a bit of character, but safe and with nice neighbours (ie. reasonably educated, pleasant, friendly) - I realise one can't guarantee what neighbours will be like anywhere, but chances of problematic neighbours might be higher in some places than others. Also need train or tube access so getting to work won't be too difficult (once I've found a job), hence nice leafy villages further out are not practical. I particularly want to keep the children away from drugs and violence as much as possible...so, of the suburbs above, if anyone can provide any advice, I'd be most appreciative.
  10. Thanks for those tips - very helpful. Hope your purchase is going ahead smoothly. Personally eating big prawns and gelato (not together of course) is one thing I may miss about Aussie Xmas's - make the most of your last 'winter' in sunny Perth! All the very best with your move
  11. ....it's so complicated trying to move back, which is why I've left it sooooo long....In Australia if there a difficulties with a tenancy there's an Administrative Tribunal that deals with it. It's pretty quick and straightforward, not too expensive for either party and doesn't require a lawyer. Are you telling me that in the UK the same issues have to be dealt with in an actual court and that you have to hire a lawyer? Is it compulsory to hire a lawyer? Do people self-represent in simple matters ? (eg. I'd have thought it would be a pretty simple matter - if the tenant doesn't move out we'd be homeless ourselves!). It certainly sounds like it would be pitfall to offer a low rent to attract a tenant...:nah:
  12. :jiggy:Yes, there are some pitfalls with being an absentee landlord...I have to weigh these up with not being able to buy a property due to the AUD continuing to slide. I've come across some firms that provide furniture for hire for rental property to overcome the problem of the place needing to be furnished. Obviously it will reduce the rental income and it wouldn't be affordable for a long-term rental situation. With sitting tenants, to my understanding this is mainly an issue if I were to decide to sell a property with the tenant in situ. http://www.ask.com/question/how-do-you-become-a-sitting-tenant but I wouldn't be planning to do that. Where the tenant is on a lease that clearly states a particular end date and s/he was given the required amount of notice in writing prior to the end of the lease date that lease would not be renewed, then to my understanding the sitting tenant thing would not apply. Obviously if we turned up in the UK before the end of the lease, then we'd have to rent somewhere until their lease date expired and/or request they leave early and pay them compensation for me breaking the lease. That's my current understanding, based on Australian experience. Are there other issues associated with 'sitting tenancies' I've not taken account of. ....Currently it would suit me down to the ground to find a property with a sitting tenant in it I think, but unfortunately I've not come across such in my price range!
  13. Those are great tips - thanks! :rolleyes:
  14. Thanks for those tips - what is mundic testing though?:rolleyes:
  15. Another quick question for this thread, can anyone explain leasehold to me? I understand it's like being a very long term tenant to a landlord who has the freehold and that leaseholds that still have about 70 or 80 years of a 99 year lease to go are considered pretty good. I've seen a few properties with only relatively short times to go - eg. 15-30 years. The blurb says these leases are renewable. Okay. But how do I find out the price of renewal? I'd want to know that before putting in an offer. For example, a few weeks ago there was a beautiful flat in Sloane Square advertised that only had about 20 years to go on the lease and the flat was advertised at an amazingly affordable price - I'm sure the catch was that lease renewal would be about $2 million which I'd never have access to in a month of Sundays. Does anyone know how to find out about the price of lease renewal?:mask: