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  1. Tychen

    Dual citizen studying law at UK university

    Just noting that the conversion process for Australian-qualified lawyers intending to practise England & Wales has also gotten harder (I think around 2009-10?) - the new "QLTS" scheme requires taking written and oral exams in a much wider range of subjects than it was in the 'good old days' of the "QLTT" scheme (two exams only, guaranteed pass if you do the course at the right institution). In any case, I second/third the views expressed above that he should study in the country where he intends to practise in future - taking into account of course whether the other offering is an institution that is so prestigious that it will 'open doors' in the other jurisdiction.
  2. Tychen

    Private Schools Gold Coast Qld

    Second that. If a prospective parent is not familiar with the reputation of the Hillsong organisation in Australia, I would recommend doing some research before choosing a Hillsong school, to ensure that you are making an informed choice for your children.
  3. We had the opposite experience. We were upfront about only wanting to rent for a year as we were intending to buy, thinking that would be attractive for landlords who similarly wanted flexibility. That turned out to be a turn-off for a lot of landlords. What we found is that the rental market for suburban houses was quite different to inner city flats: often the suburban house was the owners' biggest asset and they were really emotionally invested in it. They didn't want the stress of finding new tenants. They want stability and a family tenant who would keep renewing year after year for at least a couple of years and preferably indefinitely. So I think if the OP is renting a family home, definitely err on the side of overstating how long you intend to rent for. We were in work-provided service apartments for a month and found it barely enough to find a house to rent. I second Oatley, it's lovely and really popular with expats/returnees for good reason. The schools are great, and you have easy access to water and greenery. I wouldn't live any further south though - south of the river the commute is longer and it's much harder to get to the rest of Sydney by road. OP, I would suggest considering the Inner West as well, for transportational convenience. There are some lovely spots. If waterfront access is important to you, areas such as Mortlake, Russell Lea and Rodd Point are great for families. Several of our friends who moved from the UK live in this area. If you don't mind being further from water, places like Croydon, Concord, Homebush South, Summer Hill, Petersham or northern Marrickville are also great family-friendly areas. If you are intending to use the local public school, you really need to mind the catchment lines. https://www.schoolcatchment.com.au/ is an invaluable resource for that. We were looking at Concord West at one stage, and realised that the new school in that suburb (Victoria Avenue) performed far worse than all of the surrounding, established schools. And you could easily end up there if you lived on the wrong side of a particular street. The good thing though is you are guaranteed a place if you are within catchment, any time of the year. 5 months for shipping sounds about right. I would suggest spending a bit of your budget on shipping essential-but-not-too-essential things by air, to manage the risk of things being delayed even further.
  4. Tychen

    Where to focus on Sydney suburbs

    I think it depends a lot on whether you will regularly commute to the City or work from home. Traffic in the northwest is terrible, and even if you buy near a train station, the peak hour commute into and out of the CBD from the Epping will probably get annoying. Unfortunately, you won't be getting a comfortable four bedroom family home in the lower North Shore, or somewhere like Paddington. Below are some ideas in other parts of Sydney, if you are looking for a four bedroom family home on the $2.5m budget. - Oatley and surrounds. Oatley station gets relatively frequent and relatively fast trains into the City. It's a southern suburb with lots of green spaces and excellent schools. $2.5m will get you a comfortable four bedroom house with front and back yards, but no water views or wharf access. Very popular with British expats or returnees: when we were looking to buy in Oatley a couple of years ago, it felt like every second person at the open house had a similar story of having just moved from London and have a $2m budget etc etc... - Croydon, Homebush South, Concord West, North Strathfield, etc. Strathfield itself is all mansions on grand boulevards and premium private schools - unfortunately that's why it is the 13th most expensive suburb in the country and $2.5m won't get you anything reasonable in Strathfield itself, but it can get you a comfortable four bedroom house in some of the nearby suburbs. They are not as flash as Strathfield but can still be very comfortable, with excellent schools. Strathfield is a major station with express trains to the city (15 minutes to Central) every 1-2 minutes in peak hour. So if you are close enough to walk there, or can easily change there, it will keep your commute short. I haven't included Burwood because it's full of tower blocks now, not a great place to live. - Marrickville, Dulwich Hill, Earlwood. Not traditionally a premium area -- long term residents might look at you in horror -- but this pocket of south-western Sydney near the Cooks River has really gentrified. Marrickville itself is a curious blend of very trendy industrial chic cafes and very leafy streets with Victorian/Edwardian houses. And of course now the Prime Minister is a Marrickville local. Dulwich Hill has both the train and the light rail. The light rail is great if you work in Pyrmont or the southern CBD. The train is being converted to metro which will be a direct service to Martin Place - great if you work in the financial district/northern CBD.
  5. Tychen

    Where in London

    Thank you, those are great tips. The stamp duty is ridiculous, it's essentially throwing a whole mortgage deposit in the water (although in the equivalent price range it's also ridiculous in Australia...) May I ask if you ever considered any particular areas in the "outer ring" or "commuter belt" categories?
  6. Tychen

    Where in London

    Perhaps your friends have a better sense of self preservation than my circle, I don't know. It happened to me once, and I've seen it happen several times. Worst in the more central parts of Islington and Camden close to the City I think. It is (or at least, was) a much worse problem at least in those parts than say, in Sydney, where people seem to just pull out their phones on street corners without any fear of a moped mounting the kerb and snatching it.
  7. Tychen

    Where in London

    Ah thanks for the idea. Hadn't thought about that part of town, but yes there are lovely parts of Battersea, will look into it. There was a news report (this would have been around 2018) that Islington and Camden were by far the top boroughs for phone snatchers. Will need to check whether that's changed...
  8. Tychen

    Where in London

    Thank you - those sound like great options, will look into them.
  9. Tychen


    I diligently filled out the shipping forms listing everything that was bought within the last 12 months (as the form requested), but was then told by the shipping agent not to do that because, essentially, no-one cares unless you are actually trying to ship new goods for commercial gain.
  10. Tychen

    Where in London

    After a few years in Sydney, we need to make a decision about whether to move back to London. I'm looking for ideas about where to live - which would help to contextualise other aspects like housing, atmosphere, schools etc. When we left London we were living very centrally with one baby. Now we would be leaving with two young kids, so will need to tick very different boxes! The essential things we are looking for are. reasonable commute both to the City (eg Liverpool Street/Moorgate stations) and to Westminster (eg Victoria/Charing Cross stations) good schools (state or independent) low street crime (still traumatised by the moped phone snatchers in Islington) If it is possible to get a detached house or large terrace for sub £2 million, that would be excellent. Any ideas will be appreciated!
  11. Tychen

    Relocation allowances

    When we moved a couple of years ago (mid level position in large City firm), it was one way economy flight for the family, two weeks' serviced apartment accommodation on arrival, packing + freight + storage + unpacking (can't remember the exact volume of freight, but it was more than enough to move clothes and immediate living needs by air and the rest of a family home by sea), plus $5,000 allowance for other expenses. We used the cash to 'top-up' the flight to business class and extend the accommodation a little. They offered a different package for people with no kids, with less freight but more allowance. Maybe half the freight volume but $10,000 in allowance?
  12. Tychen

    Move to Sydney

    I recommend these two blogs. Completely subjective of course, but I find that a blog author's intuitions about a suburb are often a better guide than someone merely crunching stats - and definitely a lot more helpful than a real estate website's write-up which is only aimed at selling houses to you. www.travelwithjoanne.com www.sydneycompletion.com
  13. Tychen

    House Purchase - Broadband, Gas, Water, TV etc

    Not in Adelaide but we recently went through something similar in Sydney, so trying to help: Broadband - we went with an NBN plan through Aussie Broadband because they have great, Australia-based customer service. They were really good at sorting out connection, arranging NBN engineers etc. We discovered afterwards though that Optus is slightly cheaper across the board for the same plans. Utilities - generally yes. In Sydney the water company will contact you because your details would have been given to them as part of the house settlement. Same with council tax. But you can choose your own electricity and gas companies. TV - we got a cheap "Laser" branded set top box from Officeworks which has worked fine with our UK TV. It plugs into the normal Aus aerial connection at one end and via an HDMI cable to the TV at the other end. It generally works well, but there are more expensive models out there.
  14. Tychen

    Sydney - where to live?

    Hi, I realise this is an old thread and you've already made your decision, so this response is more for the benefit of anyone else researching the same topic who is in a similar situation. So, I would actually recommend thinking about Strathfield and surrounds. Because it's a major hub station, you are about 20 minutes by train from the city centre and only 5 minutes more to North Sydney. It's also near the intersection of a few A-roads, so you are also close to other centres by train or by car if you end up working in say Parramatta or Macquarie Park. Surf-wise, it looks inland but you are actually only about 30-40 minutes drive away from the southeastern beaches like Coogee or Maroubra. Lots of other sporting facilities in the suburb and nearby - multiple golf courses, tennis courts and bike tracks, and Sydney Olympic Park and Bicentennial Park are only a couple of minutes drive away, and there are little bays and beaches on the Parramatta River. Strathfield town centre itself is very Korean, but there are a variety of cuisines and nice cafes in nearby suburbs like Homebush. Budget-wise, the grand houses in the "Golden Mile" of Strathfield are going to be beyond your budget, but you should be able to get a house that ticks your boxes in the surrounding areas at that price - say the south end of Strathfield, or next-door suburbs like Homebush, Strathfield South or Enfield - where you are still only a 15 minute walk or short bus ride from Strathfield station.
  15. Tychen


    It's meant to be both, if you are thinking about big picture long term strategic development... The current government strategy for Sydney divides it into "three cities" - essentially an eastern one that includes the city centre, north south, east and Inner West, with the traditional Sydney city centre as its main centre, and a second one that includes the western suburbs beyond the Inner West, with Parramatta as its main centre. There's a third one further out west, focussed around the future airport development. So Parramatta is meant to be its own regional centre within the Sydney region - with its own concentration of jobs and a high rise CBD, etc.