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Is it me or Sydney houses are just old looking and ugly ?

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Hi,

 

I have been checking on google street view many areas in Sydney in order to find the best place for me to live when I have arrived.

 

The majority of what I have seen are old and ugly houses. I'm not talking about apartments buildings here.

 

I will not even mention the price that is ridiculously high but this is another issue..

 

Now is it me or is the housing in Sydney not a quality one ?

 

I'll appreciate your comments.

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I found that a lot of the houses in Sydney were surprisingly gloomy and old fashioned inside - especially those in the rental market. A lot of houses seem to be stuck in the 1950s-70s era, and a lot are also designed and furnished in a way more suited to cooler European climates (carpets, tiny windows that don't let in light etc). There are also some really nice places out there too that make better use of the light and have wooden floors, balconies etc - just takes a bit of looking. On the whole I found Sydney houses to be less 'cosy' and homely than their UK counterparts, but that's probably because of the outdoor lifestyle and the fact that people don't spend all their waking hours cooped up indoors.

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If you are looking around the inner city suburbs - Surry Hills, Glebe, Newtown, Darlo, Paddo, Balmain - then you will encounter many terrace homes dating from the 19th Century, originally built for 'worker's but now HUGELY popular with (much) more wealthy people. Some are still in original condition but many have been updated for the 21st century.

 

As you move further and further out, you will encounter older style - often 'Federation' style brick bungalows, again, some in original condition and many others updated. Of course this is a continuous and never ending process.

 

Further out still, you see the original 'fibro' bungalows but many of these are replaced by very modern single or semi-detached homes - 'Duplex' I think they call them in Sydney. And further out still, home of first time buyers, all the houses are new.

 

So I don't know where exactly you are looking, or what you expect to pay. You could of course follow the popular trend of buying old and unrenovated, then bringing it right up to date.

 

But I don't know what your expectations are, nor what you are able to pay. If we are talking under $400,000, well, you could still find a decent unit closer to the city but if you want a 'proper' home, they it means 40/50 kilometres away from the CBD or perhaps on the Central Coast, but you still be able to find plenty of brand new places.

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I found that a lot of the houses in Sydney were surprisingly gloomy and old fashioned inside - especially those in the rental market. A lot of houses seem to be stuck in the 1950s-70s era, and a lot are also designed and furnished in a way more suited to cooler European climates (carpets, tiny windows that don't let in light etc). There are also some really nice places out there too that make better use of the light and have wooden floors, balconies etc - just takes a bit of looking. On the whole I found Sydney houses to be less 'cosy' and homely than their UK counterparts, but that's probably because of the outdoor lifestyle and the fact that people don't spend all their waking hours cooped up indoors.

 

Ah yes! A photo of a Bradford suburb ca 1920s, built in the latter years of the industrial revolution (ca 1790s-1820s).

 

MarketSt.jpg

I left this place in 1963 and guess what?? It's still the same.:wink:

 

Marketst_zps0f3ae9d4.jpg

 

Cheers, Bobj.

Edited by Bobj

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What's "attractive" is very much in the eye of the beholder.....new builds here are often rendered and often in grey, it's popular but I don't like them. The most attractive of the common styles here to my eyes are the early 20th C fed or california bungalows, some of these have really nice extensions at the back which give a great combination of open-ish plan living space with cosier (but still usually roomy) bedrooms. I don't like the trend to build right out to the plot boundary and leave almost no back yard (often just a deck) but there's a lot of that.

 

I must admit I'm unimpressed with the majority of what I've seen on Sydney's housing, inside or outside, old or new. Lots of very ordinary stuff out there. I do think it's hard to get a feel for an area off Google Streetview, useful though it is

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I agree with this. So basically If I want to live in a "sufficiently nice" and modern house I will need to live far away from the cbd.. This will mean long commute time then, 1 hour or more ? Not really quality life I would say. Being from Europe, I'm used to that (actually even more than 1 hour) and don't want to go on with that kind of lifestyle: work , commute time and little time left for leisure..

 

Having been to Melbourne and Canberra as well, I found the houses in Canbera to be much more modern and the neighborhoods more nice. Probably built in the last 5 years. Anyway, there does not seem to be much life over there and besides I am only sponsored by nsw, so out of question. Just a comment to compare.

 

As far as I am concerned, the bad state and price of real estate in Sydney is a huge drawback to me moving. What's the point of moving to a nice country that is doing so well economically if I have to pay through the nose for an old ugly house I won't like ? I am really starting to wonder if moving to oz is the right thing to do..

 

I am trying not to sound too negative but if the houses were large, modern and close to the cbd at least this would justify the level of prices I am seeing online but they are not...

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Guest scrumpy

Everything looks better when the sun is shinning, dont you think?

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I agree with this. So basically If I want to live in a "sufficiently nice" and modern house I will need to live far away from the cbd.. This will mean long commute time then, 1 hour or more ? Not really quality life I would say. Being from Europe, I'm used to that (actually even more than 1 hour) and don't want to go on with that kind of lifestyle: work , commute time and little time left for leisure..

 

Having been to Melbourne and Canberra as well, I found the houses in Canbera to be much more modern and the neighborhoods more nice. Probably built in the last 5 years. Anyway, there does not seem to be much life over there and besides I am only sponsored by nsw, so out of question. Just a comment to compare.

 

As far as I am concerned, the bad state and price of real estate in Sydney is a huge drawback to me moving. What's the point of moving to a nice country that is doing so well economically if I have to pay through the nose for an old ugly house I won't like ? I am really starting to wonder if moving to oz is the right thing to do..

 

I am trying not to sound too negative but if the houses were large, modern and close to the cbd at least this would justify the level of prices I am seeing online but they are not...

 

Hard for me to comment when it comes to "sufficiently nice and modern" because I'm not really into new houses, especially the ones here. I just don't have the "new, 4x2, pool" thing that lots seem to. If that is your aspiration then yes, unless you can afford big bucks then you're looking at some pretty far-flung suburbs

 

Part of coming here for me was also to cut down the commute as it had crept up to silly timescales in London. That was a must have for me so we just looked at suburbs within a sensible distance from my work, we weren't going to go far out just for the sake of space. Although having said that, neither of us are "new estate" people anyway so that was no drama

 

You can get new houses in good suburbs that aren't miles out, but you need to be looking at townhouses and the likes rather than standalone houses with space for a pool. Or change tack completely and go for something more compact and make use of excellent local sports facilities.

 

Nothing remotely central is cheap, but that's just the way it is here. You can't buy a big house anywhere near central London cheaply either

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From what I've seen inner sydney likes to protect the front facade of their houses for "historic" reasons and they can often look old, tired and not very inspiring (especially with google), however the inside can be very different. Here in Balmain what looks an old single storey semi from the front can be 3 storeys at the back (one up and one down) with great decks and inspiring courtyard gardens not to mention modern kitchens.

 

I've recently noticed how much more floor area there is in Sydney homes compared to London homes, a small one bed flat here is generally 50m plus whereas in London this would easily be a two bed flat.

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Melbourne and Sydney are known for their Victorian era terrace rows which are mostly in the inner suburbs, especially on the edge of the CBDs. Most of these terraces date from the 1870-1890 period and many are heritage listed and therefore can not be touched as they are an integral part of the character and history of these areas. In some areas of these suburbs you'll find entire streets that are more or less still as they were from the late 1800s. Most of these will never be replaced with more modern houses (unless they fall down one day).

 

Almost anywhere in the inner suburbs will be expensive due to the convenience of being close to the city and basically close to where the 'action' is as well as the fact that gentrification has made these suburbs upmarket over the last couple of decades, eg. cafe culture, trendy boutique stores, leafy streets and parks etc.

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If you really want to buy a 'McMansion', take a look at the outer suburbs, where you can have all the newness you want.

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Its the same for the inside and out. All the houses that I have been looking at are furnished from the 60's. Whats all that about. There are some uptodate houses but 70% of them are not worth a look. Very strange for a large cosmopolitan city.

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Guest Ptp113
I agree with this. So basically If I want to live in a "sufficiently nice" and modern house I will need to live far away from the cbd.. This will mean long commute time then, 1 hour or more ? Not really quality life I would say. Being from Europe, I'm used to that (actually even more than 1 hour) and don't want to go on with that kind of lifestyle: work , commute time and little time left for leisure..

 

Having been to Melbourne and Canberra as well, I found the houses in Canbera to be much more modern and the neighborhoods more nice. Probably built in the last 5 years. Anyway, there does not seem to be much life over there and besides I am only sponsored by nsw, so out of question. Just a comment to compare.

 

As far as I am concerned, the bad state and price of real estate in Sydney is a huge drawback to me moving. What's the point of moving to a nice country that is doing so well economically if I have to pay through the nose for an old ugly house I won't like ? I am really starting to wonder if moving to oz is the right thing to do..

 

I am trying not to sound too negative but if the houses were large, modern and close to the cbd at least this would justify the level of prices I am seeing online but they are not...

 

Where are you from?

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I agree with this. So basically If I want to live in a "sufficiently nice" and modern house I will need to live far away from the cbd.. This will mean long commute time then, 1 hour or more ? Not really quality life I would say. Being from Europe, I'm used to that (actually even more than 1 hour) and don't want to go on with that kind of lifestyle: work , commute time and little time left for leisure..

 

Having been to Melbourne and Canberra as well, I found the houses in Canbera to be much more modern and the neighborhoods more nice. Probably built in the last 5 years. Anyway, there does not seem to be much life over there and besides I am only sponsored by nsw, so out of question. Just a comment to compare.

 

As far as I am concerned, the bad state and price of real estate in Sydney is a huge drawback to me moving. What's the point of moving to a nice country that is doing so well economically if I have to pay through the nose for an old ugly house I won't like ? I am really starting to wonder if moving to oz is the right thing to do..

 

I am trying not to sound too negative but if the houses were large, modern and close to the cbd at least this would justify the level of prices I am seeing online but they are not...

 

Frankly, I think you should forget about migrating to Australia, just as you wonder above. Do you really want to move ten thousand miles to the other side of the world. How prepared are you to integrate into a new culture and lifestyle. Certainly, we speak English here, but do not make the mistake of thinking that Australians are just Pommie with funny accents.

 

I would say that you are setting yourself up for failure and disappointment. If you DO come here, you will be on this website in no time, going on, ad nauseam about the virtues of English sausages, English beer, English history, English pubs, and 'real' Christmases.

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Its the same for the inside and out. All the houses that I have been looking at are furnished from the 60's. Whats all that about. There are some uptodate houses but 70% of them are not worth a look. Very strange for a large cosmopolitan city.

 

Do you mean they look furnished from the 60s on websites, or in the flesh?

 

I ask because a lot of the pictures on agents' websites are years old - for many rentals they took pictures when it first went on the market and just recycle them for ever rather than take more. So you could be looking at pictures that are 10 years old

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I would be surprised if they used pics from 10 years ago.

 

 

Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 2

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Frankly, I think you should forget about migrating to Australia, just as you wonder above. Do you really want to move ten thousand miles to the other side of the world. How prepared are you to integrate into a new culture and lifestyle. Certainly, we speak English here, but do not make the mistake of thinking that Australians are just Pommie with funny accents.

 

I would say that you are setting yourself up for failure and disappointment. If you DO come here, you will be on this website in no time, going on, ad nauseam about the virtues of English sausages, English beer, English history, English pubs, and 'real' Christmases.

 

Unnecessary and uncalled for. OP is only saying that the houses look a bit crap and overpriced, and the principal comparison is being made with other Aus cities so I'm not sure why you would jump to such a defensive conclusion about their ability to adapt and integrate. Particularly the oh-so-predictable "it isn't just the UK with sun/funny accents" smear - wind your neck in

 

Perhaps Sydney houses are just, well, a bit crap and overpriced? It is possible you know

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I would be surprised if they used pics from 10 years ago.

 

 

Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 2

 

Some do, honest. Most rentals I've visited after seeing the website, the pictures have obviously been years old

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Prices are exorbitant yes--but you are looking at one of the most popular cities in the Southern hemisphere! I think You can get nice new modern estates built entirely for the modern family --places like Stanhope Gardens etc there are communal halls for entertaining, swimming pools etc--each for a street or two.

On the other hand there are plenty of older homes--some fibro--which you can buy and renovate if thats your cup of tea. Somewhere in between you can easily rent a duplex--3 or 4 bed home with all modern amenities and a yard or back garden depending on budget. From what Ive seen in my recent property search is that many of the older homes too are being renovated for the rental market with new kitchens and wooden flooring throughout---so again thats another choice if you like. But what you would be hard pressed to find is rows of 1930's and 40's homes brick built etc like you would in England.

one has to understand that the weather in Sydney is different to England and that it is indeed an asian country by weather standards at least.

Commuting is the norm here and there is a good enough system of rail so you will be surprised at where a one hour commute will get you.

All in all -- the choice is there--one just needs to look. Sydney is more a collection of smaller cities mind you--then one comprehensive whole.


Don't judge even if you've walked a mile in their shoes. They haven't walked in yours yet!

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Some do, honest. Most rentals I've visited after seeing the website, the pictures have obviously been years old

 

We've see this too. The house we rented when we arrived, the owners had bought it some years before, and simply used the pictures from when the house was on the market as their rental pictures.

 

All of the houses are different in our area. Some new, some older, some McMansions, some little old shacks. I quite like the way that they are all different, rather than every house looking the same. I did notice when we were looking to buy, that exposed brickwork inside the house seems quite popular, which I don't like, but I wouldn't have said we looked at any particularly dated houses.

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Unnecessary and uncalled for. OP is only saying that the houses look a bit crap and overpriced, and the principal comparison is being made with other Aus cities so I'm not sure why you would jump to such a defensive conclusion about their ability to adapt and integrate. Particularly the oh-so-predictable "it isn't just the UK with sun/funny accents" smear - wind your neck in

 

Perhaps Sydney houses are just, well, a bit crap and overpriced? It is possible you know

 

They did pose the question 'I am really starting to wonder if moving to OZ is the right thing to do?'

 

And I've given my answer, based upon all the negative vibes they are expressing BEFORE they have even arrived.

 

The 19th century terrace homes here in Sydney and Melbourne (and to a lesser extent??? in other parts of OZ) are probably unique. They are not for everybody. I looked at one and I was terrified to descend the stairs, but, refurbished, they can be wonderful, just like the ones in Balmain, or was it Leichhardt, that someone mentioned above.

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To complement the discussion, I'll assume the apartment buildings are much less old than houses. What about the quality of building, sound insulation, etc?

In general what's the building quality of houses and apartments built, say in the last 20 years, compared to what we have in UK/Western europe ?

 

Other question, is a house built in bricks preferable ?

 

Thanks

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Hi,

 

I have been checking on google street view many areas in Sydney in order to find the best place for me to live when I have arrived.

 

The majority of what I have seen are old and ugly houses. I'm not talking about apartments buildings here.

 

Now is it me or is the housing in Sydney not a quality one ?

 

There are some beautiful, "character" houses in Sydney but there are also many houses built in the 1950's when there was an explosion of post-war immigration. I agree they look ugly, but that doesn't mean they're poor quality - far from it. In fact, the quality of new construction in Australia is far, far more questionable. Given a choice, I'd rather buy and renovate an old house to my taste, than buy a brand new one. Brand new houses are always tens of thousands more expensive than an old one of the same size.

 

I don't know what the quality of building is like in UK/Western Europe and I wouldn't even assume they are equal - I hear comparisons of shonky building in the UK compared to Germany, for instance. Plus I have memories of paper-thin Barrett houses from my life in the UK 20 years ago. There are certainly cowboy builders in Australia but I see there's a UK show called exactly that, so I'm not sure whether we're any worse.

Edited by Marisawright

Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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I have never thought of housing in that way. I take the view that you cannot judge a book by the cover. Some pretty surprising homes behind rather dull facades. A lot of the terraces and older homes around the cities are heritage listed just as houses in the UK are, however they are renovated and beautiful inside. Unfortunately rentals are dire unless you pay through the nose. Mid to lower rentals tend not to be insulated, no double glazing and that is when you crave the sixties and seventies look of carpet for winter.

 

Living close to any of the centres is expensive world wide these days I believe.


Petals

:ssign15:taking no prisoners :wink:

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Most of those 60's houses were bought by the explosion of European immigrants who arrived after the war. They had just about saved enough money to buy a house in the 60's. They were frugal people who arrived with nothing and had to scrimp and save for everything. They furnished their houses in the 60's and never saw the point of replacing furniture that wasn't worn out.

 

All those immigrants are now getting old and are moving into retirement homes, or dying. They may have no kids, or the kids are established elsewhere, so the house gets sold. That's why you see so many of them.

Its the same for the inside and out. All the houses that I have been looking at are furnished from the 60's. Whats all that about. There are some uptodate houses but 70% of them are not worth a look. Very strange for a large cosmopolitan city.

Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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