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Everything posted by Buyer71

  1. Buyer71

    Car Insurance

    Hi, The best think to do in the UK for car insurance is to get as many quotations as possible. Main comparison websites are moneysupermarket.com, comparethemarket, gocompare. I would also look at the moneysavingexpert,com website this was set up by Martin Lewis and can be a wealth of information, would love to find a similar one for Australia. In general the insurance companies ask a lot more questions about you and your history than in Australia. I was always paying a premium in the UK because I was born in Australia, despite living in the UK from the age of 15. Best ways to reduce premiums are to check if you need cover for business, your commute to work (Many insurers charge more for this in the UK now!), where is the car to be kept overnight and ultimately the make/model of the car seems to have a bigger impact in the UK than in Australia. Did you keep a record of your previous no claims history in the UK or remember your previous insurer as they may be prepared to honour the amount you had built up, but it will depend on the insurer. Also make sure that you take a copy of your Australian no claims record it may help. I was amazed last year that my Australian insurer accepted a 10 years no claims from a UK insurer and gave me a rating one here. Otherwise good luck.
  2. We applied for my Wife's visa in June 2016 and it was issued in January this year. That includes us delaying the medical due to a 3 week holiday being taken. We did it ourselves and found the process painless and simple, provided you complete the forms properly and have all the supporting information needed it is a very easy process. The only problems were receiving a response to emails when we were wanting to get updates.
  3. Hi, My wife arrives in Australia in July on a 100 permanent resident visa and we hope for her to find work shortly on arrival. After looking on the human services website I noticed that the new start allowance was open to permanent residents and found that it is subject to evidence of unemployment. residency and asset test. This doe seem odd to me considering so many other social benefits are extremely restricted for permanent residents such as access to Uni loans? Does anyone here know if my wife would be able to access new start allowance funding whilst she looks for work on arrival in Australia with a 100 visa provided we met the normal criteria.
  4. Buyer71

    General question

    I would agree with Starlight7. My daily commute involves a bus then tram and the buses on the way are never on time so I usually walk 2.5Km's rather than wait (Good for staying fit and only takes 20/25 mins). In hindsight I would have focused on purely staying on either a tram or trainline for my commute.
  5. Buyer71

    Confused...Brisbane or Melbourne

    To clarify what I mean by resource driven and based on recent experience looking for employment in Australia (between April 14 and May 16) in procurement as a speciality. The majority of work for procurement professionals is in the resources sector (mining/gas/oil and support industries), followed by infrastructure (buildings/roads), then retail/services/banking followed by Government related work. While many organisations have a Brisbane Office it is more likely that the Head Office will be in Sydney or Melbourne (outside of the Resources Industry). I personally love Brisbane and would jump at the opportunity to live there, however I found the potential to find good strong career options for me limiting as I did not have the project experience in heavy industry required for the majority of roles.
  6. Buyer71

    Confused...Brisbane or Melbourne

    I think it depends what you are looking for in life. I know of a number of neighbours I grew up with as a child found that in their mid/late 20's they had outgrown Brisbane and needed more excitement and variety. However if outdoor living, more reliable weather and the fantastic beaches are sufficient it works. Also for young families it is fantastic as it is more relaxed. In Melbourne affordability is a problem (not as bad as Sydney), however wages may be slightly higher and depending on circumstances it could be a good call to try an up and coming suburb. My situation needs good schools and therefore taking a risk on a suburb is not sensible. However if I had no children or very young children I would seriously consider suburbs such as Preston/West Footscray and Airport West as options for living as they do seem to be in good locations for commutes and proximity to newly improved suburbs.
  7. Buyer71

    Confused...Brisbane or Melbourne

    Hi, Currently living in Melbourne, but grew up in Brisbane so can give an open opinion. Brisbane - For good family life and access to city Coorparoo, Camphill areas are great and stay away from the Logan City area. Further out a bit cheaper I would consider the Gap. Brisbane is a nice size city and getting out of the city to explore the wider areas is easy. Downsides are it gets dark year round relatively early, Summer humidity and rain may be too uncomfortable. I would also suggest it is still a BBQ city and great for that type of life, but this does limit variety of attractions to do. The city is very dependant on the resource industry for jobs and that can be a bit feast or famine. I hope this helps and while Brisbane is a good place to live for families when young, it has limitations and I would definitely consider job opportunities in your field of expertise and whether there are good options for progression or it could be limiting. Personally I think you would be more likely to have stronger work options in Melbourne and it would be tougher financially due to the housing cost. However it is possible to find good quality affordable suburbs if you will compromise on commute, proximity to public transport or depending on children's ages take a gamble on an improving suburb such as Preston.
  8. I love Melbourne and have been here nearly a year. As a city it is the most liveable city I have lived in and that covers London, Bristol, Denver, Toronto, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. It has culture, a seasonal change, never too extreme weather, reasonable transport and great energy. Only downsides are house prices (particularly with the pound presently) are high, but think of London commuter belt and it is not too much different. Weather is extremely changeable and this can be a problem for people that plan life around the weather forecast. Otherwise I love difference in each suburb and the variety of things to do in a day. Education is good, eating out is fantastic and it often feels smaller than it is a city.
  9. Buyer71

    Places to live with children in Victoria

    Have you considered going north! Good access out of Melbourne and to the airport. At the budgets you are looking you could go for Pascoe Vale, Coburg, Strathmore, Niddre or Airport West of which all have reasonable schools with both train and tram into the CBD. Slightly more would get you into Essendon and a bit less would get Fawkner, Keilor, Avondale Heights although personally I would avoid Glenroy.. My commute on the 58 from the top of Melville road is 40 mins into town by tram and if I lived near the station it would be more like 25 mins. We are looking at similar rental value for this year with view to buying soon at the just under $1m level for a 4 bed.
  10. Buyer71

    Entering Australia mid Year 11

    Hi, My 16 year old daughter arrives in Melbourne in 2 months time after completing her 10 exams GCSE's in the UK and will enter into the middle of year 11 at our local school. Looking at the Victorian education board website it appears to be that she will only need to pass half her GCSE to be considered having reached the equivalent of full year 11 results. Does anyone know how the comparison assessment would link into ATAR scores as my daughter would like to study Physio therapy and this would require good ATAR scoring. In addition she will have GCSE Spanish and I understand that language skills are beneficial to ATAR scoring. The alternative option is for her to go into year 10 and start the VCE in Jan 2018, however she is fairly mature for a 16 year old and has outgrown a number of our present school peers which means I feel that would almost be worse for her adjusting socially.
  11. Buyer71

    Benefits available to Permanent Residents

    Thanks that would make sense to me. It just seemed odd there was no clear reference of the waiting period as a permanent resident on the human services website.
  12. Buyer71

    Moving to Melbourne - advice needed

    Hi, I have moved to Melbourne just over 6 months ago and am just waiting for the family to arrive permanently in June. However my salary is similar and we have the view that I do not want my wife to be pressured into working quickly as our children may need support to settle in school. General finding from me so far is that probably best to rent before buying, school catchment areas are important to understand. Distance from CBD affects price a lot and think about what can be compromised on. I am in the Pascoe Vale and realistically a family home requiring work will be over $800K which is fine if you have equity. At $500K you would struggle with good schools for example Strathmore/Buckley Park/Rosehill are all good areas, but if I moved to the Glenroy area (Been advised avoid with a poor secondary school, but only the next suburb) the average price drops by $200K easily. Depending on your equity position I would suggest that you need to add $150 - $200K to that budget to find a house about 50mins to 1 hour from the CBD in a good catchment area (Although I have heard positive comments on schools in Frankston). My bank have confirmed a mortgage of up to $600K is easy to secure at that income and loans on homes are a lot more flexible than in the UK. In particular the concept of going initially interest only and then changing to repayment would not be a problem and is a way to ease the pressure on a short term basis this was a difference of about $800 a month roughly.
  13. Buyer71

    Buy to Let Mortgages in the UK

    Thanks John, have just sent you a message and if you want specific details on our situation let me know.
  14. Hi, Does anyone know which UK based lenders are happy to lend on a UK buy to let property at reasonably competitive rates. As the pound is so poor against the $ we want to retain a foothold on the UK property market to benefit from any capital growth and still have flexibility to move savings across to Australia when the exchange rate is more favourable for the balance. Therefore we are looking at 2 properties where we would use a 30% deposit. Looking at the likely rent and the revised affordability criteria we are quoted at 145% of mortgage costs based on rates of 5.75% the net position is still a positive return of just over 50 pounds a month, so the numbers stack up. However we have found one lender at an affordable rate 3.29% for 5 years (but the timeframes mean a completion in 6 weeks with no flexibility) and the other 3 our broker knows are quoting rates well over 4% for 2 year fixes. Although we can afford cash we wanted to use a lenders money to work and then use our other savings towards a smaller Melbourne house than originally wanted, which could either be invested in longer term or traded up.
  15. Hi, I arrive in Melbourne for my new job in two weeks time and have found furnished accomodation in Flemington for the first 10 weeks which is ideal for work in Parkville. Looking further forward I am needing to consider which suburbs I should base myself in after the furniture arrives and before the family joins me. Therefore I am ideally looking for a clean three bed place (or larger two bed) up to about 400 a week if possible that is close to public transport and would be up to 45 mins from parkville. Also I would ideally like to know a suburb that would be family friendly and potentially an area for us to consider buying in which would be in the region of 800 - 1m budget for a four bed home with the same public transport requirements. We would if possible like to have one car as the parking where I would be working is very expensive Gareth
  16. Buyer71

    Two weeks until Melbourne best places to live

    Hi, Thank you you for the reply and this is in line with my current thoughts. Good luck with your PR application and move. Regards Gareth
  17. Hi, is is anyone able to advise on when I need to formally change residency from the UK to Australia. I am due to move in mid-June and our house will still be going through the sale process at this stage. Therefore I would appreciate knowing whether my residency for tax reasons ends when I enter Australia (in short accomodation and employment) or if It is delayed until after my uk home (primary residence) is sold and equity is in cash? On the same theme Would I need to complete a tax return in Australia for the two weeks in June when I would have worked in this tax year?
  18. Hi All We are looking at a potential move to Melbourne and I am just trying to find out what the weather is really like throughout the year- I know that it can have changes within a day but on average what are the temperatures like. Are you able to spend more time outdoors than you would in the UK? I have visited Sydney and Brisbane and my husband has lived in both cities when he was younger but neither of us have visited Melbourne so not 100% sure about the weather and how this does or doesn't impact life outdoors such as the park for the kids or the beach/swimming, or just walking and having a wander. I am trying to work out if my vision of what Melbourne can offer us is realistic or not. Thanks for any comments or thoughts you have.
  19. I am wondering if anyone can give me information about Autism Spectrum Disorder Assessments for children. We currently live in the UK but are looking at a move to Melbourne, my husband is Australian and wants to return home, therefore our children are also Australian as have citizenship and passports. Our youngest daughter is on a waiting list for a full Autism assessment as has some indicators and has been through an initial triage through the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services. At the moment the waiting lists for full assessments are up to 18 to 20 months and we are only 4 months into our wait. My daughter is at mainstream school and coping well with this. I was wondering if anyone had supported their child through an autism assessment in Australia and how long the waiting lists are for this, also what health services are available to you?
  20. My husband has just been offered a job in Melbourne and we are therefore looking at options around education. I was wondering if anyone could let me know how the education system in Melbourne compares or differs to that in the UK which is where we currently live. I am worried/concerned about disrupting my eldest daughters education as she is currently in Year 10 and would be sitting her GCSE's in the summer of 2017, if we make this move then we will be arriving in Melbourne in about six months time so where would she be within the system there. Also I would be on a partner visa as would my eldest daughter as my husband isn't her biological father but has parental responsibility in the UK (my husband is Australian and therefore my two youngest children hold Australian passports). Would we therefore have to pay for my eldest daughters education in the same way as other visas or would she be treated with having the same access to education as an Australian due to my husbands citizenship. Many thank for any comments or advice or thoughts that you can share with us.
  21. Buyer71

    How much to bring

    We are looking at moving to Melbourne and selling our house in the UK and initially renting before buying in Melbourne. I am not particularly attached to any of the furniture I have in the UK but would like to bring some personal belongings - photos etc. How much should we consider bringing - I wondered about selling everything in the UK and then buying things as we need them in Melbourne. This may be a daft question but I know that Clarks school shoes are more expensive in Australia and with three children wondered about buying some in the sales in the UK and bringing with us - are there certain styles that children need to have or is it just black school shoes or does it depend on the school they go to? My eldest daughter wears a size 9G adult shoe and is so limited here that I wondered about bringing a year or two's supplies with us. Would be great to hear of what others have done and what has worked out for you. Thanks.
  22. Thanks for all of the useful information as it does really help with getting an understanding of the education system. One last query and Buzzy--bee you may be able to help with this. My eldest daughter is 15 and her date of birth is the 23/09/00, therefore what year would she be in within the education system in Melbourne? Also am I correct in my research that the main exams are sat at the end of year 12 and these are for the Victorian Education Certificate? Just trying to work out where she would be and when she would have to sit exams for. In the UK she would have her GCSE's in Year 11 and then A Levels in Year 13 so children finish school when they are 18 but I think this is 17 in Melbourne. Again, thanks for all the support and information.
  23. Buyer71

    How much to bring

    Many thanks for all of your comments, a movecube does sound like a sensible way forward to ensure that we bring our personal odds and ends and a few other bits and pieces. Can you remember how much a movecube cost you to ship over and how long it took to arrive?
  24. Buyer71

    Moving to Melbourne from the UK with three children

    Many thanks Susukiscottie and Buzzy-Bee for your thoughts, these are areas that we have looked at online but weren't sure of so always good to get suggestions from people who know the area and have insight into what is available. I am really keen to manage with one car but we do have two in the UK so not sure how long we will cope with but I guess we should give it a go.
  25. My husband has just been offered a job in Melbourne and we are trying to find out as much information as possible about choosing the right suburb for us to live in. We would ideally like to rent for the first 6-12 months with a view to buying at a later date, we would like to have four bedrooms and have a budget of up to $700 per week for rent and $1.1 million to buy. We would like to be no more than 40 mins by public transport from the Parkville area as this is where my husbands job is going to be and we would like to just have the one car. We would also like a family friendly suburb with both primary and secondary schools as our children are 7,9 and 15. Many thanks for any comments or thoughts that you have that can help us with our decision.