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bex04

UK, Mid 30s, baby under 1, where to live in Canberra? Need advice & support

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Myself and partner are in our mid 30s with a, currently 5 month old baby. We've just received our 190 visa and clueless of where to move to in ACT, despite reading up on the suburbs....there are just too many! My partner is the main applicant and was sponsored as 'ICT Support Engineer'. We will have a vehicle to get around but arriving with minimal funds. We would like somewhere reasonably priced, that is safe and suitable for our age group with a young baby for at least a few months until employment is found. Any advice would be appreciated. Contacts/associates/friends to gain and meet up with also would be nice :)

Bex

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Myself and partner are in our mid 30s with a, currently 5 month old baby. We've just received our 190 visa and clueless of where to move to in ACT, despite reading up on the suburbs....there are just too many! My partner is the main applicant and was sponsored as 'ICT Support Engineer'. We will have a vehicle to get around but arriving with minimal funds. We would like somewhere reasonably priced, that is safe and suitable for our age group with a young baby for at least a few months until employment is found. Any advice would be appreciated. Contacts/associates/friends to gain and meet up with also would be nice :)

Bex

 

Canberra has very few "dodgy" suburbs. Most young families seem to end up in the far Northern suburbs (Gunghalin, Crace etc) where there's lots of new building.


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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Where will your DH be working? That's probably your first priority then look at renting within easy access to work.. If you don't know where he will be working then aim for somewhere central but you'll find the houses probably not what you're expecting if you're on a budget. Probably avoid Charnwood, Narrabundah, Richardson in the first instance but even they are gradually becoming gentrified and going more up market. Be prepared to spend quite a bit in the process of getting established.

 

Nowhere is going to be that bad, the further out you go the more likely you will need two cars and don't expect the neighbourhoods to be full of stay at home mums - they are few and far between these days. Lots of things available for kids pretty much all over.

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Where will your DH be working? That's probably your first priority then look at renting within easy access to work.. If you don't know where he will be working then aim for somewhere central but you'll find the houses probably not what you're expecting if you're on a budget. Probably avoid Charnwood, Narrabundah, Richardson in the first instance but even they are gradually becoming gentrified and going more up market. Be prepared to spend quite a bit in the process of getting established.

 

Nowhere is going to be that bad, the further out you go the more likely you will need two cars and don't expect the neighbourhoods to be full of stay at home mums - they are few and far between these days. Lots of things available for kids pretty much all over.

 

 

Thanks for your reply. DH has no pre planned job. We will try and secure one before we arrive but at the moment all locations are options. We're prepared for costs to settle but hoping to retain as much as possible for long term and property purchase, hence hoping for a non expensive but suitable and comfortable short term home.

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Thanks for your reply. DH has no pre planned job. We will try and secure one before we arrive but at the moment all locations are options. We're prepared for costs to settle but hoping to retain as much as possible for long term and property purchase, hence hoping for a non expensive but suitable and comfortable short term home.

 

Place is a minefield, something that looks quite simple on the outside just isn't when you start getting into detail. Wait til you get here and start driving round and they all look the same as well....takes at least a year to become familiar.

 

If he's an ICT Support Engineer and a non-resident, there are more likely to be employment opportunities in the local/state Government (schools, offices, health, your typical local government fare) than the national/federal/commonwealth government (A lot of commonwealth ICT requires security clearances which you can usually only get as a citizen, unless you're a specialist contractor).

The headquarters of the ICT branch for ACT Government is moving to a new headquarters in Gungahlin town centre in a few months, so i'd look in that direction first for employment, and there's no reason not to start applying for jobs if you see them. They can do Skype interviews, but obviously don't apply too early if you can't get there yet. I would try and have 6 months living expenses set aside, just in case. It's all about getting that first foot through the door, as a lot of people have found on this site.

 

Houses in the far North are modern, energy efficient, very easy to live in but with small gardens, infrastructure is great, new leisure centre, new health centre, new shopping town which has the best supermarkets, huge investment up there etc.

Gungahlin also has fibre National Broadband network which i guess might be important for an IT bod (like Virgin cable but without the copper bit from the street that slows you down, so fast enough for VoIP, internet TV and broadband all in one).

 

There are lots of rentals available up there as new houses are finished by investor owners (buy to let owners)...these rental prices are less than they were a few years ago because there's lots of availability at the moment.

An option would be to rent something up there, then have your own house built on a "house and land" package. You'd probably be eligible for a first home owners grant and it gives you the chance to get some capital growth while it's being built which would help offset the rent you'd be paying to somebody else.

It's probably a rare good time to rent because of the availability keeping prices down, AND a good time to buy because builders are discounting packages because of the worry about future job cuts to ACT. Growth has been pretty stagnant for a few years, but the new areas are seeing the highest price rises (Crace, Forde suburbs - both Gungahlin). Crace rose 20% last year, whereas the Canberra average was about 2-3%, some places saw no growth.

 

I use both North and South for work and living, and it's funny how many Canberran's from one side know absolutely nothing of what happens in the other half. One bloke i spoke to in the South said he hadn't been to the Northside in 20 years.....just had no reason to go there and didn't have a clue about what was up there. As immigrants with no pre-conceived ideas, you're in a good position to explore and get ahead.

 

The middle and South is more mature and very nice, plus it's finished. You're unlikely to get much infill building down there, roads are wider, parks are fixed and protected, the population levels won't get much denser so traffic jams won't happen, lots of trees and vegetation. But it's also dated in places. Older houses (think 70's and early 80's rectangular bungalow designs) on bigger blocks, draughty, poor insulation, can't do much with them. Important to factor in heating and cooling costs for these older places because the build quality isn't always great.

You can get some great renovated houses for a high price but there's a lot of poor quality junk mixed in with it, and there's asbestos paneling and roofs all over the place down there. If you get something down there it's unlikely to be a low maintenance option, whereas in a new house you shouldn't have to worry about anything for 5-10 years so important to factor in future costs.

Edited by Slean Wolfhead

"Nationalism is an infantile disease, it is the measles of mankind." Albert Einstein

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Thanks for your reply. DH has no pre planned job. We will try and secure one before we arrive but at the moment all locations are options. We're prepared for costs to settle but hoping to retain as much as possible for long term and property purchase, hence hoping for a non expensive but suitable and comfortable short term home.

Canberra IS expensive! The further out you go the cheaper the accommodation will be but the more your transport, need for second car etc will be so swings and roundabouts really. Personally I'm an Inner burbs girl but the houses are older and/or much more expensive. As Slean says some of the rental properties are poorly equipped for the seasons but they may still be expensive because of location. Don't bank on hoarding your money!

 

I wouldnt sweat it TBH, when you get there drive around the suburbs and see what takes your fancy. Start in the inner burbs and move outwards. You will find that rental prices often reflect the neighbourhood and, like the curates egg, most suburbs have bits that you might want to avoid.

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Wow Slean, what a reply, very informative. There's a lot to go on there so thank you very much. We've been looking at available ICT jobs and need to get some info regarding level 1 & 2 clearances. Most jobs require these clearances which, like you say are for citizens only, leaving not a lot of availability!

We will have a car as kindly given by my dad & step mam who live in Melbourne so would like to know if and where traffic would be a burden if we moved 'outer'?

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Yes, Rush hour traffic can be unpleasant coming into the city. Pretty much all roads into town are congested and if there is a bingle then it can stack traffic up for ages. It's sometimes easier to catch buses into a centre because they can use bus lanes and it's cheaper than parking in the city - if that's where he can get work.

 

There re isn't that much ICT availability really - the occupations for visas bear little resemblance to the job market unfortunately! The APS is the town's largest employer - and citizenship is required. Bank on being out of work for 6 months then if you get a job before that then think of it as a bonus.

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Thanks for your replies Quoll. What's a "bingle"? lol

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Hi Bex04,

we are in the same boat (and I'm another Bex lol) we are hoping to move to canberra in June assuming we have been granted our 189 visa by then. My sister, brother in law and family live there already. I'm a nurse and my husband is a rugby development officer. We are looking at Bonython and surrounding suburbs. I'll have to keep my eye out for your progress, as you'll probably be there vp before us. (We are also on a budget with the aim of keeping as much as possible to put towards buying a house.) but we will have the benefit of staying with my sister for a couple of months at the start until we get jobs.

Best of luck!

becky


EOI made 26/12/14. - Invited 9/1/15. - applied 18/2/15 - PCC's loaded 18/2/15. - medicals done 17/3/15 - CO assigned 17/4/15 - requesting form 80 for both and military history for hubby. Additional requested docs uploaded 20/5/15.. Visa granted 15/6/15!!!!!

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We will have a car as kindly given by my dad & step mam who live in Melbourne so would like to know if and where traffic would be a burden if we moved 'outer'?

 

The joke about the Canberra rush hour is that it lasts 35 minutes, it's not really a problem if you're coming from the UK and used to proper gridlock, here it keeps moving except for right in the city centre approaches. It's like Sunday everyday.

City Centre parking is chargeable and around $50 a week, so is Belconnen town shopping mall above 2 hours. Gungahlin is still free.


"Nationalism is an infantile disease, it is the measles of mankind." Albert Einstein

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Hi Bex04,

we are in the same boat (and I'm another Bex lol) we are hoping to move to canberra in June assuming we have been granted our 189 visa by then. My sister, brother in law and family live there already. I'm a nurse and my husband is a rugby development officer. We are looking at Bonython and surrounding suburbs. I'll have to keep my eye out for your progress, as you'll probably be there vp before us. (We are also on a budget with the aim of keeping as much as possible to put towards buying a house.) but we will have the benefit of staying with my sister for a couple of months at the start until we get jobs.

Best of luck!

becky

 

 

Well Hi Bex

Yeah very similar. My mother, partner and sister live in Sydney and father, wife and two brothers live in Melbourne. Unfortunately we can't bunk with either for too long as our visas are 190 (state sponsored) so we are bound to live and work in ACT. We're flying out for 3 weeks this May to sus out some things then returning to UK with intent of moving permanently as soon as the house sells. Everything is revolving around 'the house'! the amount of funds we'll have, depending on what it sells for and time scale for the move, depending on when it sells.

Good luck to you too. Might be nice to meet up for a bit of moral support.

Bex

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Well Hi Bex

Yeah very similar. My mother, partner and sister live in Sydney and father, wife and two brothers live in Melbourne. Unfortunately we can't bunk with either for too long as our visas are 190 (state sponsored) so we are bound to live and work in ACT. We're flying out for 3 weeks this May to sus out some things then returning to UK with intent of moving permanently as soon as the house sells. Everything is revolving around 'the house'! the amount of funds we'll have, depending on what it sells for and time scale for the move, depending on when it sells.

Good luck to you too. Might be nice to meet up for a bit of moral support.

Bex

 

Absolutely! In which case we will hopefully be there before you. We are renting our house out (I hope!) so that shouldn't be an issue. I do envy you having your parents over there though, I will have to make do with them coming over for six months of the year once my mum is fully retired.

Good luck with the house sale, I hope it is a speedy one, and I look forward to a moral supporting cuppa!

Becky


EOI made 26/12/14. - Invited 9/1/15. - applied 18/2/15 - PCC's loaded 18/2/15. - medicals done 17/3/15 - CO assigned 17/4/15 - requesting form 80 for both and military history for hubby. Additional requested docs uploaded 20/5/15.. Visa granted 15/6/15!!!!!

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Hi Bex - We've been here around 20 months and really love living here. We came from North East of England with a 1 and 2 year old (at the time) and needed to sell a house, so we have some understanding of how it is.

 

We live in Harrison in Gungahlin (north of the city) and its a really great place to raise kids. Lots going on, lots to do. If you want to meet up with us you are very welcome. We could give you the benefit of some experience. By all means PM me on here.

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Hi Bex, just to say my wife, toddler twins and I arrive on May 5. We'll be staying in the inner north for a couple of months while we look for a permanent rental and wait for our stuff to arrive from Edinburgh. I'll be home with the kids full time for the foreseeable future so would be happy to meet up with the kids during the day and explore our new home!

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Hey

Thanks for the message. Hope it all goes great for you. You'll have to let me know how the inner north is. We're flying out for 3 weeks on 19th May. We'll be visiting Sydney and Melbourne (Parents) but hoping to get through to Canberra around the 30th May for a mooch around the burbs. We'll keep in touch and may catch up for a brew in May?

 

 

 

Hi Bex, just to say my wife, toddler twins and I arrive on May 5. We'll be staying in the inner north for a couple of months while we look for a permanent rental and wait for our stuff to arrive from Edinburgh. I'll be home with the kids full time for the foreseeable future so would be happy to meet up with the kids during the day and explore our new home!

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