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    About Melbpom

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    1. Buying Cars in the UK

      Do you need a UK licence to buy a car? or will Oz one be ok? Also is there any stamp duty payable?
    2. Of all the areas you've mentioned my pick would be Malvern East/Glen Iris/Ashburton. Take a look at the Gardeners Creek Trail which is a very pleasant walk/bike ride close to the Monash freeway.
    3. Advice for moving back to England

      You have a point there Bunbury and it's something I'm quietly uneasy about given I already have my hands full. I'm due back in a couple of month's and there's already mention of power of attorney.
    4. Newbie looking for info on renting

      Sometimes agents ask you to apply online and fill in a web form and it can be hard to answer some questions when you have little history renting. I suggest asking for a paper version to be emailed to you or pick up the form up at an open day. It's much easier to gloss over the questions you don't want to answer (and add info which may help) on a paper form than a web based one.
    5. Geelong - what's it actually like?

      The big issue you've mentioned is looking for work and I suggest that you research that before falling in love with Geelong. If you settle in Geelong and then find you have to apply for jobs in Melbourne it will be a much harder sell to a future employer. Saying that I've nothing against Geelong and at one point considered moving there.
    6. Timeline for organising the big move

      Can anyone recommend removers from Melbourne to UK? I'm sure this has been discussed in other forums but I can't seem to find them. All I can remember is Kent. Also anyone know the volume of goods that it becomes more viable to get a container rather than a shared load? I've used Kent's calculator and estimate 20 to 25 cubic meters which is short of the capacity of a 20ft container but if cost is about the same then it might be worth stuffing a few extra things in like the dryer and the outdoor setting.
    7. Pet Insurance, What to take. Help

      From a quick read of your post, I'd say you're doing the right thing for the right reasons. You've given it a go here and at 28 you're young enough to start again back in the UK. If you don't have much stuff then some people use PODs but I don't know the details and I'm sure other's will come a long and advise you more. Very best luck with your move.
    8. Cost of living in Melbourne

      Johnny, You mention kids, what ages? because you'll have to budget for childcare or schools and neither are free. Also look online for quote on hospital and extras cover. I've just forked out $8.6K for one son's braces and $3.5k for another son's dental treatment (under anaesthetic because of his disability) because I didn't take out extras. Also be aware of the timing of university study. There is plenty of info on this in other posts.
    9. problem neighbour

      Have you thought about talking to your body corporate / strata manager? A good manager will know the owners/tenants and can sometimes intervene or contact family members. There should be details of the strata manager on a plaque located close to the front of the property usually near the letter boxes.
    10. Voluntary NI contributions

      Thank you NickyNook for your reply, very useful.
    11. Voluntary NI contributions

      I am under the impression that there was an agreement between UK and Australia under which years spent living in Australia could be claimed as paid NI years. I'm not expressing this well. The question (given that I'm returning to the UK next year) is what years are covered by this agreement and what evidence do I need to provide upon return?
    12. Deciding on a Bank Account

      No, I don't think so at least I didn't. I opened one here in OZ. Our first account opened from the UK was Commonwealth Bank and that was as good as any but over time we changed banks a number of times for one reason or another. I just think the customer service at HSBC is better and I think having an OZ account helped when opening a UK HSBC account.
    13. Time to De-clutter

      My biggest issue is with paperwork, I seem to have kept every scrap of paper for the last 30 years. I've broken 3 shredders so far and I'm still going.
    14. Counting down!

      It's taken me so long to get to this point and I've been heartened by watching everyone else's count down so I have to add mine. Tickets booked and 208 days to go .
    15. Deciding on a Bank Account

      HSBC have better customer service IMHO than any of the big 4.