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Tychen

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  1. I can't remember exactly how it worked out in the flow chart and it varies according to when the parents were born and how each parent proves your entitlement. In our case, one of us is a British citizen by naturalisation and so had a naturalisation certificate (the other was a British citizen by descent born overseas). So our passports + the naturalisation certificate were sufficient, I think.
  2. We've just applied for the first British passport for our child born in Australia. Confirming what's been said above: the full document list is overbroad and seems to be meant to cover every conceivable eventually. We only submitted the docs necessary to establish the child's entitlement to British citizenship by descent - in our case, just our (parents') docs, not the grandparents' docs. And the passport was duly issued.
  3. Tychen

    Where to focus on Sydney suburbs

    Lane Cove is very lovely, but the OP would have to be very lucky for get a reasonable 4 bed house for $2.5m. Anything like that within walking of the village is going to be more like $3-3.5m I think. But maybe if the market keeps falling for another year...
  4. Tychen

    Commuting to Sydney

    $2-2.5m is a healthy budget in today's market. You'll definitely find places that tick all of the boxes. Within the range of possibilities, the trade off will be between commute and coast. One question is, does "coast" mean ocean only, or can it include river/harbour to you? To give you a concrete example: the northern end of the Inner West, close to the river/harbour, is popular with British migrants / returning expats because they tick many of the same boxes you have. Prices vary, but $2.5m can probably get you a reasonable house with a garden, though on a small plot (<500sqm), around Concord / North Strathfield / Homebush South, all of which are reasonably leafy areas with neat villages, local cafes etc etc - this is the far end of the Inner West per MarisaWright's formulation, before it shades into (proper) Western Sydney. Your commute into the City will be around 15 minutes from Strathfield station (which is a major interchange about 10-15 minute walk from Homebush South), or 5 minutes longer if you use Concord West / North Strathfield stations. You may or may not get a seat, but it won't matter for such a short trip. Strathfield has express trains about every 2-3 minutes at peak hour. Where this area might fall down for you is beach proximity. The nearest ocean beaches are the ones on Botany Bay, such as Ramsgate Beach, which is about 30 minutes drive away on a typical weekend, but the other side of this bay is the airport and oil refineries, not the prettiest scenery. To get to any other reasonable ocean beach, let's say Bondi Beach or Balmoral Beach, you will only make it within 30 minutes when traffic is quiet (and realistically it'll be more like 45 minutes on say a Saturday morning). The consolation prize is that you are only a few minutes drive from reasonably pretty bay/harbour front areas, including a few river beaches, such as around Hen & Chicken Bay, Cabarita Beach or Abbotsford. At the other end of the trade-off between commute and beach, I second Oatley - also Penshurst and Mortdale (in between). These are popular areas for British migrants / returning expats, because they tick most of the same boxes you have. You can get a reasonable to nice house with a garden - possibly even on a fairly large plot. It's not as trendy as the inner west, but there are leafy parts (especially in the heritage conservation areas). The part of Oatley closer to the water is "leafy" in a different sense: it essentially shades into wilderness here. You are around 35-40 minutes from the City by train. Trains are frequent at peak hour - maybe every 5 minutes. You are only a few minutes from the riverfront (Georges River, not Parramatta River) or Ramsgate Beach, and you will easily get to the excellent beaches around the Cronulla peninsula in sub 30 minutes. The Royal National Park is also sub 30 minutes from this area.
  5. The OP's question is relevant here: for me, the most surprising downside of moving to Aus has been the poor salary-to-cost of everything ratio. I thought if a £x salary in London was quite comfortable, $x in Sydney would be just as comfortable. (In my case the same jobs happened to have about the same figure in salary - just different currencies.) It isn't - it's much more of a struggle in Aus. A big part of this is the inflated cost of housing: locals who bought property astutely won't feel it, because they've been riding the rising tide of property prices.
  6. To live in Sydney on 100k a year with a baby would be quite a struggle if you need to cover rent. I think you can do it if you really try hard to be frugal - eg shop only at Flemington markets, forego eating out or entertainment, don't buy a car, etc. You may struggle to fund any unexpected purchases. We lived for about half a year a couple of years ago (also post baby) on about 150k pre tax and just about managed to break even each month. If your housing budget is 600k, my suggestion is to look at garden flats in the periphery of the inner west. There are a few suburbs which are pleasant enough that people will pay $2m or more for the houses, but the apartments are much cheaper - especially if they are older and not shiny - which may not be a bad thing, as older apartment blocks tend to be solidly built and not afflicted by the structural issues that are a problem with newbuilds in Sydney. For example, you could have bought this 2 bedroom apartment in Enfield for just over $600k: https://www.realestate.com.au/sold/property-apartment-nsw-enfield-138385647 . Enfield is not the trendiest suburb but it's by no means the worst: median house price is $1.9m. Closer to the railway line, you could have bought this 2 bedroom apartment in Homebush for $575k: https://www.realestate.com.au/sold/property-unit-nsw-homebush-139226451 . Homebush is a more expensive suburb than Enfield (median house price is $2.7m), so you get slightly less for your money in apartments too. The nice thing about buying an apartment in a suburb that's expensive for houses is that, while you don't get the space of the multi million dollar houses nearby, you have access to the same good quality schools, village shops and transport facilities as the house dwellers. In that sense, it's a very good value buy - especially if it's also convenient for your commute.
  7. Tychen

    Furniture

    For furniture, definitely buy the best European furniture that you can afford and ship it. If you are shipping by container, the shipping cost won't be that much per piece. Furniture in Australia tends to be either bad quality or very very expensive. Expect to add a 30-50% mark-up for any European or American designer furniture. Plus, being at the end of the global distribution chain, it's hit and miss whether popular stock even makes it here on a particular shipment, and even if it does you often have to wait months.
  8. Tychen

    Uggs...

    Yes, UGG (apparently, officially pronounced Yew-Gee-Gee) is a trade mark owned by a US company but only in certain countries and not Australia. In Australia "ugg" is a generic term for sheepskin boots. I've been converted by family here to these people: https://www.goldenrams.com.au/ . Properly Australian ugg boots made with Australian sheepskin locally in Sydney. They have a shop in Miranda Westfield, but the more "authentic" experience is to go to their factory shop in St Peters.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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?
  14. 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.
  15. 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...
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