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Guest Dom and Elaine

Best place to live in Canberra

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Guest Dom and Elaine

OK so I plan to move to Canberra in the next 12 months or so under a 176 Visa along with my wife and two daughters (11 and 8) and we are scanning the map of canberra and school websites to find the bext areas to live in.

 

So we need good schools for the girls, plus residential districts with a bit of space and good sized house plots.

 

So all those of you already in ACT - can you recommend where we should be looking for rented houses?

 

Thanks

 

The Cook's

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Guest mschulhof

Hi we live on the south side woden area and love it cant help with schools though as children all grown up, you will love Canberra I guarantee it regards michele

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Guest Dom and Elaine

Woden looks lovely and was one of the areas we were looking at, thanks!

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Guest Samfire
OK so I plan to move to Canberra in the next 12 months or so under a 176 Visa along with my wife and two daughters (11 and 8) and we are scanning the map of canberra and school websites to find the bext areas to live in.

 

So we need good schools for the girls, plus residential districts with a bit of space and good sized house plots.

 

So all those of you already in ACT - can you recommend where we should be looking for rented houses?

 

Thanks

 

The Cook's

We are also hoping to move to Canberra on a 176 visa in the coming year and have been experiencing the same problem as yourselves - we also want similar type of property with space and access to local schools. Having never been in Canberra, it is hard to decide which areas to focus on, but based on what we can see from the property searches online, we are leaning towards Tuggeranong - Calwell, Condor, Gordon - as there seems to be some breathtaking scenery and mountain views in these areas from what we can gather. If anyone disagrees or can suggest other suburbs, we would love to hear from you.

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Guest sean74

hi samfire. i just had a look at the websites of a few agencies to see about state sponsored visaa for me, my wife and baby daughter.

 

looks like the ACT is the only state where sponsorship for construction professionals is available.

 

how long have you been in the process...i saw your signature......... and do you hold out hope for a job over there at the minute?

 

based in meath at the minute but lookin into the 176 also.

 

did you use an agency? i just got quoted €5k for the state sponsored visa.

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Guest Samfire

Hi Sean from Meath! My husband and I have been in the process since last September, starting with the TRA skills approval (which took four months to compile, submit and get approved). He is a printer, and he emailed some of the print companies in Canberra, to research the printing business over there, and in the course of his enquiries, he was offered a job!!! He has since received this in writing, so it's a definite! Might be worth a try if you look up the local business listings for construction companies and email them asking questions about the size of the company, how long they have been in business, type of specialist business they are in, if there are always jobs available - you never know! We are using a migration agent - we have mixed feelings about this at the moment in that it has been worthwhile for getting the skills approval, but the fees are phenomenal - we just got another invoice in for €1,700 and the total we have spent so far is in the region of €7k! We are getting ready to put the house on the market at the end of April and we just hope we get the value for it in the current economic climate. The TRA skills approval is a very detailed process, so I would definitely think of maybe using an agent for this stage of the application process (the first stage). Then, if you find that you don't want to spend anymore money on something you can manage yourself, then don't if you are good with paperwork and are a well-organised person. If not, consider going ahead with an agent. It is a lot of money, but everything is vetted before it's submitted and there are no mistakes, or hold-ups because information is incorrect! Good luck with your application process!

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Guest sean74

samfire - thanks a lot.

 

it is a big help to understand the quirks of the process and the extent of documentation you need.

 

i suppose for everyove going through the process it has its ups and downs as you get the initial wxcitement over and done with and then might become quite disillusioned as time passes.

 

congrats to you husband on turning up the job offer so quick. i'll follow your advice.

 

saw on other forums that the security clearance in ACT can be very restrictive to non-nationals as a lot of employers are defence orientated.

 

sure we'll see. but thanks again.

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Personally I would avoid Tuggeranong but that is a very personal p.o.v - the schools down there really dont float my boat, they are all open space and Conder PS is huge and Lanyon HS wouldnt be my first choice. Sure, nice views but ..... If I had to live anywhere in Tugg then it would probably be Fadden but it's a nasty drive into town in the rush hour whichever route you take.

 

Woden Weston is OK - mainly built in the 60s and 70s. Chapman has probably the best rep or Torrens/Farrer on the other side of Hindmarsh with Melrose HS or Alfred Deakin HS being the pick of most parents.

 

Gungahlin is the new build area of the moment but the houses tend to be bigger and the blocks smaller - the schools have a pretty good rep at the moment though. The very new suburbs like Harrison look horrible IMHO because they dont have the vegetation grown up there yet - sort of moonscapish.

 

If I had plenty of money I would be heading for Yarralumla, Reid, Campbell, Griffith (older suburbs more traditional homes) or Aranda (bushy suburb with good school). With marginally less money, then Ainslie, Hackett or possibly Watson, Downer. (I live in Ainslie - big block, small house).

 

Avoid Richardson, Charnwood and Eastern Narrabundah as a general rule but wherever you go though you want to look at the neighbourhood because it can be very variable.

 

We also have a strong independent school system alongside the government system and at HS about 50% of kids actually go to private schools.

 

Real Estate & Homes for Sale, Rent and Share | allhomes is the place to be looking for properties and if you go to googlemaps we have pretty much a universal streetscape coverage. Google earth is also good for getting the feel of a suburb.

 

At the end of the day though, rentals here are scarcer than hens teeth so you may just have to go where you can get a place in the first instance.

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Guest Dom and Elaine

Thanks Quoll

 

We also have a strong independent school system alongside the government system and at HS about 50% of kids actually go to private schools.

 

 

Is it true that if you go for independent schooling, the government contribute the equivalent of the state school costs so you only have to top up the independent fees? Or have I been misinformed!

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Guest Samfire

Thanks Quoll

 

Very informative and we are delighted to get some good suburb advice. Our budget would definitely be middle-of-the-road approx. 500k - 550k so this will surely dictate what we can afford. Hubby was wondering what Holt, Melba and Evatt in the north are like. I had also been wondering about Wanniassa, Monash, Calwell or Banks in the south, both in terms of neighbourhoods and schools. I suppose we'll find out when we get there - best to concentrate on a rental home first. I'm dreading the idea, as I have always owned my own home since I was 20, and have never rented before. Will it be difficult for people in our situation, who won't be able to provide references from previous landlords? Thanks again for all your help

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Thanks Quoll

 

Is it true that if you go for independent schooling, the government contribute the equivalent of the state school costs so you only have to top up the independent fees? Or have I been misinformed!

 

The federal government supports private schools based on their "need" as determined by the post code of the kids enrolled there from memory. However you never know about that and all you do is pay the fees - anywhere from about $2k for primary Catholic through to $15k for the Grammars.

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Thanks Quoll

 

Very informative and we are delighted to get some good suburb advice. Our budget would definitely be middle-of-the-road approx. 500k - 550k so this will surely dictate what we can afford. Hubby was wondering what Holt, Melba and Evatt in the north are like. I had also been wondering about Wanniassa, Monash, Calwell or Banks in the south, both in terms of neighbourhoods and schools. I suppose we'll find out when we get there - best to concentrate on a rental home first. I'm dreading the idea, as I have always owned my own home since I was 20, and have never rented before. Will it be difficult for people in our situation, who won't be able to provide references from previous landlords? Thanks again for all your help

 

If it were me, personally I would be avoiding all of them. Holt is feeding into the new superschool and I dont know how that is going to pan out - let us say the catchment area hasnt had the best reputation in recent past. Melba and Evatt are a bit like the curates egg and in that area you might prefer Fraser and possibly Flynn (heights) and some of Macgregor is fine.

 

Down in the south, you really dont want to go to Banks. Calwell Heights is fine and PS is good but HS is very ho hum. Monash, the PS has one of the best principals but the local HS wouldnt be my pick. In that area, check out Fadden but not the local HS which is in Chisholm - I think if you went for Tugg you would probably be doing what many Tugg parents do and look up the valley to Melrose or Alfred Deakin for HS.

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Guest Samfire

Thanks Quoll - this is exactly the kind of information and feedback we were looking for and couldn't get. I'm sure that Dom and Elaine and many others will also benefit greatly from your practical advice and experience and the reassurance that your know what you're talking about! Cheers!

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Guest edard

Your budget will get you a lot of house in somewhere like Holt. Holt and MacGregor have a fair bit of scenery too.

 

Canberra's a bit like London in that people from the north rarely venture south of the 'river' and vice versa - that's where the similarity ends - so I've got biases in favour of the north side. As ever, Quoll's advice is spot on. The all homes website is very useful.

 

Cook and Aranda are nice. They're more affordable than more inner suburbs, but slightly more upmarket than the north and western parts of Belconnen.

 

We live in Melba, love it and wouldn't move - unless I suddenly came into a lot of money and could afford O'Connor or Ainslie.

 

If you want space I'd steer clear of the newer suburbs (Gungahlin) as the blocks are smaller.

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Guest Samfire
Your budget will get you a lot of house in somewhere like Holt. Holt and MacGregor have a fair bit of scenery too.

 

Canberra's a bit like London in that people from the north rarely venture south of the 'river' and vice versa - that's where the similarity ends - so I've got biases in favour of the north side. As ever, Quoll's advice is spot on. The all homes website is very useful.

 

Cook and Aranda are nice. They're more affordable than more inner suburbs, but slightly more upmarket than the north and western parts of Belconnen.

 

We live in Melba, love it and wouldn't move - unless I suddenly came into a lot of money and could afford O'Connor or Ainslie.

 

If you want space I'd steer clear of the newer suburbs (Gungahlin) as the blocks are smaller.

Thanks for the invaluable advice! It's good to get the opinion of those who are living in Canberra and know what they are talking about. Cheers

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Guest joeljr garcia

hi to all,

i am certainly learning a lot about reading the posts here particularly Quoll's. (thumbsup)

 

I am from the Philippines and are planning to have a State nomination from ACT. First and foremost concern for us is really rental since we will be coming in with not that much of a budget. Next thing would be the primary school for our daughter, turning 5.

 

I would really appreciate some more advice on where to rent for the our first few months.

 

thanks in advance to all

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hi to all,

i am certainly learning a lot about reading the posts here particularly Quoll's. (thumbsup)

 

I am from the Philippines and are planning to have a State nomination from ACT. First and foremost concern for us is really rental since we will be coming in with not that much of a budget. Next thing would be the primary school for our daughter, turning 5.

 

I would really appreciate some more advice on where to rent for the our first few months.

 

thanks in advance to all

 

Rentals in Canberra are really hard to find, there is no denying it. It may be a bit easier now than it has been for the past few months but it has been dire as new public servants, new students, new defence personnel etc all come at the same time. The places to avoid are Charnwood, Richardson, Narrabundah (eastern side) and maybe Conder and Banks because it is such a hike down there.

 

Basically though you take what you can get within your budget. The schools will naturally fall into place - there are none which are avoid at all costs but they do reflect the socio economic profile of the suburb. Usual rule of thumb - if you wouldnt live in the suburb, you wouldnt want to send your kids to the school there. Real Estate & Homes for Sale, Rent and Share | allhomes is the place to have a look for rentals.

 

Also remember with schools that there is a very strong Catholic system and a good proportion of ACT parents make a choice to send their kids to private schools.

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Guest migration angel

Some great info here Quoll. It's not that easy to come by info about Canberra.

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Guest mremjay

Hi Samfire, we too are moving the Canberra later this year. We have been back in OZ for 9 years but living in Sydney but my hubby has just got a job in Canberra. I've been doing lots of research and I haven't heard many good things about Calwell Primary. Stay away from Richardson but Monash and Gowrie look fine. I've lived in Wanniassa years ago before going to the UK and meeting my hubby. Wanniassa is fine, the public school there (Wanniassa Hills) is aparently great but not the High School. I'm looking at Trinity for my kids at this stage, maybe Monash primary until they reach High School. I don't know the Northside at all except to say that it is older. The Harrison area looks okay but I'm a bit worried about the schooling over there, can anyone help with what those "SuperSchools" are like P -10. I also want a decent sized block of land in a nice street - we can fix the house.

 

I'll keep my eye on your post because any info might help us both.

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Guest mremjay

Hi Quolll, is Monash Primary suppose to be okay?

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Hi Quolll, is Monash Primary suppose to be okay?

 

Yup it's quite good and has a really good principal IMHO. I'd choose it over Gowrie on balance. I'm surprised at negatives about Calwell PS I must say, the HS I could believe but the PS has a slightly better demographic however it did have a change of principal quite recently so not sure how that is going.

 

I'm not convinced by the superschools although Amaroo does have a good rep going for it at the moment with parents, staff and students generally feeling very positive about it. I reserve judgment about the new Kingson Smith school in Holt - it had some teething troubles and I dont know that its catchment area makes it a very attractive proposition. Gold Ck was the first K - 10 school and it hasnt done too badly really - the kids move into the "middle school" at year 6 which is in the HS building which is a bit different.

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Guest mremjay

Thank you so much for your advice, it really helps. I've just been recommended to Chapman and Torrens so will look at there websites. Alfred Deakin as a high school but as you say, they are changing all the time. My daughter is in year 4 so I have to worry about that fairly shortly.

 

Will look at houseprices and rentals on allhomes too.

 

Thanks so much for taking the time to reply, your advice is invaluable and I really appreciate it.

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Guest redtop
OK so I plan to move to Canberra in the next 12 months or so under a 176 Visa along with my wife and two daughters (11 and 8) and we are scanning the map of canberra and school websites to find the bext areas to live in.

 

So we need good schools for the girls, plus residential districts with a bit of space and good sized house plots.

 

So all those of you already in ACT - can you recommend where we should be looking for rented houses?

 

Thanks

 

The Cook's

We have just emigrated and live in Canberra. We stayed in a temp apartment in town for the first month to find our feet.

 

We rent in Nicholls (North Canberra, Gunghalin is the closest shopping area apart from the local 'corner shops'.) We looked at houses all round Canberra and were torn between Conder (views of the mountains) to this one. Smaller house for the same money but we just got a better feeling about it.

 

Many Nicholls houses look out onto the golf course so you get green views without having to maintain your own (there are water restrictions in Canberra so you really want recycled water supply to keep your grass green).

 

This is closer to Canberra Centre than Conder so where are you going to work? The Queanbeyan / Jerrabombera road into town from the South of the City gets busier than the road from the North. Beware houses in the South under the flight path as I believe there are plans to expand the airport.

 

We felt that the South of Canberra was more rough n ready than the north. (The South has a reputation for a higher youth crime rate than the North. Not sure that's true, just what a lot of people told us.)

 

I think the London analogy is good. All the suburbs have a different feel to them. Also, how close / far away do you want to be from Canberra City? Campbell and Ainslie seem to be your Park Lane but right close to town, Kingston and Manuka are the trendy (think London Richmond without the old buildings) shopping / going out type places. Dickson is vibrant.

 

Nicholls / Harcourt Hill all seem to be good 4 bed (or more) size properties all with double garages. There are some really lovely properties around. There is a school at Nicholls but I can't give any useful comment there.

 

Would avoid renting in some of the newer places round Gunghalin as there are many houses in the middle of building sites full of dust and some look really squashed in (like some UK houses!!).

Would also think twice about any property that backs onto the bush because of snakes n stuff n fires.

 

Top tip if you have children: on arrival suggest you get your property professionally pest sprayed (request non toxic) to guard against all those insect things that us poms have no idea about! Our spraying killed a redback spider family nest, a paper wasp nest, etc etc

 

Canberra is fab for families. Go to the government run 'live in canberra' website, join (free) and meet lots of people all new to Canberra. Every holiday time the government produces a Canberra booklet of all the activities going on for children - how organised is that?

 

Hope this helps.

 

Hoo Roo (what does that mean?!)

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Guest Sagarlgup

Hi !!!

I m moving to CANBERRA with my wife and daughter ( 3 yrs) in June 2009 from Ahmedabad, INDIA.

Is there any one who is looking for a sharing family in canberra ?

I would like to hear from an Indian (or Gujju) family to share an accomodation in Canberra.

..................................................................................

Plz provide any other information or any special instructions as I m moving to Canberra and looking for the accommodation. I plan to make first step in Gungahlin.

..................................................................................

Email: sagarlgup@yahoo.com

Thanks.

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Guest Dublin

Hi Quoll

 

Whats your view on Ngunnawal and the Primay school there?

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