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Guest iCanHazBiscuit

Job offer in Sydney, are we taking a step backwards financially?

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Guest iCanHazBiscuit

Hello all,

 

Not Pom here, actually from the USA, but this seems to be the absolute most knowledgeable place about moving to Oz! So I thought I would post our dilemma to you. Please help us out here!

 

I was recently offered a position in Sydney. The offer is a match plus a moderate bump from my current pay coming to a total of $115,000 AUD (I am currently at $110,000 USD).

 

The job is my dream job and so my wife and I are motivated to make this work. But we agreed when I started looking that we would not do anything that would take us backwards in our standard of living.

 

The problem is the difference in the cost of living, and particularly in housing.

 

Right now we live in the mid west USA. We have a very nice 4 bedroom, 4 bath house with a 2 car garage on about 1/8th of an acre of land that is nicely fenced in with a woodland view. (We bought the home with the extra rooms because we intend to start a family and I have a teen aged daughter from a previous marriage.) We have one nice car and one not so nice car. We are able to eat out 3-4 nights a week and take ballroom dance lessons. We are able to afford a full cable TV and high speed internet package. Our groceries typically come to about $400 a month. I have a long commute (59km each way) so gas is serious expense.

 

So it breaks down like this:

 

House Mortgage: $1,300 month

Retirement Savings: $1,000 month

Car Payment: $425 month

Car and Life Insurance: $300 month

Health Insurance: $350 month

Cable TV/Internet: $100 month

Gas: $250 month

Groceries: $400 month

Medical Debt Payments: $200 month

-------------------------------------------

$4,325 month

 

Other factors:

My daughter will not be coming with us, but may visit during the summers. So we only need 3 bedrooms.

We intend to rent rather than buy.

We will probably only need one car if I can use the train system to commute, and it can be mid-range.

I am OK with a commute of up to 45 minutes each way.

 

We need to know if we will be able to work out our budget to give us a lifestyle like we have now. But we can't seem to find a good site to give us real world expenditures in Sydney so that we can make the calculations.

 

So we need the numbers for:

 

3 Bedroom Apartment Rent (in a good part of town)

Mid Range Car Payment

Car and Life Insurance

Health Insurance

Cable TV/Internet

Gas

Groceries

 

 

Thanks in advance for any help you can give!

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Guest marge

hello - not a pom either but actually an Aussie living in Europe and contemplating a move back to sydney with my European husband and child. I agree this a great forum for doing research on moving to Oz even if not a pom.

 

Anyway - I don't think you can really compare living in the midwest of the US (BTW- I used to live in the US and I've travelled a lot in the midwest) - I assume it's a smaller city/town and not the centre of Chicago - with living in a city like Sydney. It might be fairer to compare Sydney with New York, LA or San Francisco for job prospects, size, vibrancy and expensive real estate. Also - wouldn't you be willing to give up something financially to escape those freezing midwest winters for mild sydney ones and nice beaches? Also this is your dream job - and the salary isn't bad at all. In fact I'd give a tooth for a salary like that. Personally I think that money isn't everything and you certainly won't starve on that salary.

 

She'll be right - just do it!! :wink:

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Welcome to the forum. I think what you have would not be attainable on the salary you will receive. Of course if your wife worked too and had a similar salary then its possible. I am talking about living in Sydney itself not in the surrounding outer areas. Have a look on realestate.com.au and look at areas such as Chatswood, on the north shore and say Summerhill on the south side, these suburbs will give you an idea of what money can buy.

 

If you want harbour then you are talking big money.

 

Sydney is more expensive to live in than other Australian cities.

 

I lived in Sydney many many years ago and lived in Neutral Bay, McMahons Point area so got the ferry to work. Moved down to Melbourne and must say I prefer it here.


Petals

:ssign15:taking no prisoners :wink:

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Guest marge

Just wanted to add that I agree with petals (in case that wasn't clear) - you'll have to downsize your life to live in Sydney. On the other hand, it must be lonely having only 3 people rattling around in a 4 bedroom/4 bath house. Cleaning all those bathrooms must be a real chore too! :)

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I can help with rental costs.

 

The three Australian property portals that I know of are:

 

http://www.domain.com.au/

Real Estate, Property, Land and Homes for Sale, lease and rent - realestate.com.au

Real Estate Properties, Homes, Houses For Sale & Rent - realestateview.com.au

 

I've got a friend in Melbourne and she's paying around $2000 per month in rent for a two bedroom flat in one of the inner suburbs.

 

Sydney is more expensive. As an example I saw a fantastic looking place (now rented) at $600 per week in Church Point.

 

http://www.domain.com.au/Property/For-Rent/House/NSW/Church-Point/?adid=5929708

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Guest byron

Church point has no train access, only bus and is minimum 1 hour travel to sydney (stayed there)

 

Its one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen though

 

I can help with rental c

osts.

 

The three Australian property portals that I know of are:

 

http://www.domain.com.au/

Real Estate, Property, Land and Homes for Sale, lease and rent - realestate.com.au

Real Estate Properties, Homes, Houses For Sale & Rent - realestateview.com.au

 

I've got a friend in Melbourne and she's paying around $2000 per month in rent for a two bedroom flat in one of the inner suburbs.

 

Sydney is more expensive. As an example I saw a fantastic looking place (now rented) at $600 per week in Church Point.

 

http://www.domain.com.au/Property/For-Rent/House/NSW/Church-Point/?adid=5929708

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Guest byron

yeah I been in sydney 8 months now, we needed a 4 bedroom house - cheapest we ever saw was about 450 a week and that was for a dump...

 

you can reckon on about 2000/2700 for a nicish 3 bed flat. your pay will get you almost 5800 per month after tax which is not greeat if you are forking out 2000 a month. you will get by though I think. in oz you are forced to pay 9% into a pension called a "super" here. the 5800 you will get is after the super is paid in. so in effect you are getting 5800 + super component each month.

we are a family of 5 and are gobblingup at least 1500 of shopping bills..

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Australia used to be cheaper than other areas in the world but now its a lot more expensive and housing is virtually unaffordable for the average wage earner in the cities.

 

Near me a three bedroom small home, one bathroom rents for $300 a week and we are nowhere near the city, living 70 ks away by road. The house would not be particularly nice either. $400 getting a bit better.

 

My friend's daughter rents a one bedroom flat in Richmond and she can walk to the Melbourne CBD and she pays $360.00 a week for it.

 

A lot of migrants are surprised and disappointed when they arrive here and find how hard it is to get a job, and also how hard to get a rental, and how much the houses cost. Cost of living is expensive.

 

If people do their homework look at the supermarket on line sites Coles and Woolworths and see what the prices are like, look at rentals in the cities and surrounding areas on realestate.com.au and domain.com.au check on price of cars, insurance etc then they will be prepared.

 

I love living here but we have been here for a long time and it was a lot easier when we came here.


Petals

:ssign15:taking no prisoners :wink:

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Guest joshdon1

Hi! I am in a similar situation I have been offered a job in sydney package 148000 + super. I have reservations due to the cost of rental/housing. I also have two kids so will have school fees to pay. I do not feel my offer reflect the cost of living in Sydney.

 

Thanks

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I think it is unwise to consider your USD 110k salary to be equivalent to AUD 115k. It might be today but that is not a typical comparison, if you translate the price of everything into USD at current exchange rates you would think everything very expensive just because of current FX trends.

 

What I am saying is that the standard of living you can achieve on AUD $115k will be nothing like what you could achieve on US$110k. Particularly when comparing mid west America with Sydney. You have to compare New York to Sydney.

 

Of course it is perfectly possible to survive on $115k in Sydney and I am sure lots of people will tell you this is the case, but I don't think that is the question. You have your lifestyle and you want to keep it. I don't think you will be able to. I think that you can survive in Sydney but it won't be comfortable.

 

We live 45 minutes out of the CBD, we were looking for a 3 bed house in the area and found our $800 a week budget was simply not enough. Note that some of the other comments on rents are not about Sydney, the rents in Sydney are higher than elsewhere in the country.

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Guest lost over here

My husband earns $106,000 and we live in a 3 bedroomed house in North Sydney and we are overspending every month despite trying to live on a budget. Our rent is $3,020 a month & we even have to shop at Aldi for our groceries. We are moving back to the UK because our standard of living is so bad. I wouldn't mind but the house is far from perfect. Sydney is a great place to live if you have your rose tinted spectacles on...

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You don’t say whether the move would be temporary or permanent. If it is temporary and there are just you and your wife, you will only need a 1 bed apartment, not a three bedroom house. If your daughter comes to visit she can sleep on the sofa or get a hotel room – which would be cheaper than paying for an extra bedroom. You don’t need a mid range car; you can get a small car (easier for parking) and hire a big car if you ever want to go touring. In practice, most weekends away will probably start with a plane ride so you can hire a car at the other end. Food is very expensive and eating out can be cripplingly so. It is easy to pay $100 for a meal for two without feeling particularly extravagant. It is possible to eat for less, but even a burger and a beer in a café is going to cost $30+ per person.

On a short term basis, it can be done. On a long term basis, though, you have a good salary in a cheap part of the world now; you are looking at a moderate salary in one of the most expensive parts of the world. You will probably never have as good a lifestyle anywhere as you have right now – regardless of where you work or what you earn.

Also, if you are worried about lifestyles then you should be aware that babies will have an impact.


Feb 2010 Prospective Marriage Visa | Nov 2010 Temporary Partner Visa | Nov 2012 Permanent Partner Visa | Jan 2015 Australian Citizenship

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Guest Tupe

My family and I have just moved to Sydney and my salary is $115k + super. With my wife being a stay-at-home Mum (or Mom for our American cousins) we are basically setting ourselves up with the single salary. Take home per week is just shy of $1600.

 

Based on your points my inputs are:

 

3 Bedroom Apartment Rent (in a good part of town)

We are (hopefully) about to rent a nice 3 bed 1 bath house in Burwood for $600 per week which is only 2 stops away from Central station on the Northern or North Shore lines. Depending on your view of "nice" that figure will only go north so suggest budgeting $800 per week.

 

Life Insurance

Health insurance is about $50 per week for pretty good family coverage. Don't know about Life Assurance I'm afraid.

 

Mid Range Car Payment

Car Insurance

Car insurance for a new Mitsubishi Outlander (which cost $26,000 - estimate repayments from that figure depending on what you can afford for a downpayment) was $600 for the year.

 

Cable TV/Internet

About $50 a week for a really good package

 

Gas (petrol)

From about $1.35 per litre. Assume about a $60 refill for every 500kms (or more if you buy a Prius!).

 

Groceries

Obviously depends on your eating habits! Typically you'd probably look at $100 to $150 per week plus an extra $100 for a couple of nights eating out (again depends on where you go).

 

In my opinion you'd be able to do all that and save the $1000 that you are doing at the moment, but as people have already eluded to much of the affordability depends on the lifestyle you lead and what you expect.

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Guest Dave53

Tupe ,

What about water rates , gas , electricity and phone bills ?? .... and $100-$150 per week of groceries isn't going to buy a awful at at Coles or Woollies is it ..

I'd say to our American friend who started this thread , stay where you are , you obviously have a decent lifestyle already , why move to Australia . Don't make my mistake .

Dave C

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Tupe ,

.... and $100-$150 per week of groceries isn't going to buy a awful at at Coles or Woollies is it ..

 

 

Actually it will buy you plenty to feed two hungry adults. And I'm not one to compromise on quality.

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Guest Tupe
Tupe ,

What about water rates , gas , electricity and phone bills ?? .... and $100-$150 per week of groceries isn't going to buy a awful at at Coles or Woollies is it ..

I'd say to our American friend who started this thread , stay where you are , you obviously have a decent lifestyle already , why move to Australia . Don't make my mistake .

Dave C

 

Fair point on the rates Dave I forgot about that. Phone bills are dependent on your use. You can use Skype and call the US for free using your internet connection. Mobile (Cell) phone plans start at $29 per month so you could pay as little as $6.50 a week.

 

There are 3 of us and we get by fine on $100-$150 per week even by shopping at Coles.

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Guest

Would you really need to live in a large house in the beginning?

 

Could you live in an apartment for the first year or two until you are both established?

 

You don't have to pay AUD 600+ a week, you'll find apartments cheaper than a house and find houses for about 350-400 per week in Sydney suburbs (25 minutes by train into the centre)! You do not need to live in the "richer" areas of SYdney in the beginning - try suburbs like Penshurst, Mortdale, Roselands, Beverlly Hills, Campsie, etc....

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Would you really need to live in a large house in the beginning?

 

Could you live in an apartment for the first year or two until you are both established?

 

You don't have to pay AUD 600+ a week, you'll find apartments cheaper than a house and find houses for about 350-400 per week in Sydney suburbs (25 minutes by train into the centre)! You do not need to live in the "richer" areas of SYdney in the beginning - try suburbs like Penshurst, Mortdale, Roselands, Beverlly Hills, Campsie, etc....

 

Yikes I dread to think what $350 - $400 p/w in Sydney would fetch, especially for a house. :swoon:

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Its certainly not cheap to live here now, especially for those people who have a family as well. Rents are at a premium, of course there are cheaper options but most of us would not want to live in them. Anything that is decent and in good position has many people wanting to rent.

 

I think if you have a skill that is required here and companies really want that skill then people need to do their homework and renegotiate on the basis of the cost of living now. After all they are in business but so are we as employees, we need a standard of living we are used to.


Petals

:ssign15:taking no prisoners :wink:

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Guest Dave53

 

I think if you have a skill that is required here and companies really want that skill then people need to do their homework and renegotiate on the basis of the cost of living now. After all they are in business but so are we as employees, we need a standard of living we are used to.

 

I think you have made a very valid point there . Many will come over here with the attitude of " what the hell , lets give it a go anyway " , while that may have been credible a few years ago , it may not be now , and many display that attitude on this site . For many who dive in feet first without doing the homework they will see a drop in their standard of living . You owe it to yourselves to a at least maintain that standard .

 

Dave C

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Guest
Yikes I dread to think what $350 - $400 p/w in Sydney would fetch, especially for a house. :swoon:

 

You can find decent units, apartments or sometimes even homes in the suburbs for about 400p/w. You just need to adjust your expectations.

 

Note that I say suburbs not an inner-city suburb 5 minutes away from the CBD but a suburb about 20-30 minutes away by train.

 

I can't understand why new migrants want to spend 600-800 to stay in a large house as opposed to starting slowly in a smaller place and then working towards getting that large property.

 

Houses, Apartments & Units, Apartments For Rent between $0 and $400 in NSW (Page 1) - realestate.com.au

 

It's just too risky to rent an expensive property when starting out. Start slowly. The migrants of my parents generation all did and they built their assets slowly.

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You can find decent units, apartments or sometimes even homes in the suburbs for about 400p/w. You just need to adjust your expectations.

 

Note that I say suburbs not an inner-city suburb 5 minutes away from the CBD but a suburb about 20-30 minutes away by train.

 

I can't understand why new migrants want to spend 600-800 to stay in a large house as opposed to starting slowly in a smaller place and then working towards getting that large property.

 

Houses, Apartments & Units, Apartments For Rent*between $0 and $400*in NSW (Page 1) - realestate.com.au

 

It's just too risky to rent an expensive property when starting out. Start slowly. The migrants of my parents generation all did and they built their assets slowly.

 

Why should people adjust their expectations? What is wrong with people wanting to move and have a similar standard of living that they once had. I don't want to move across the world and live in a dump in an undesirable location. And I have no doubt that this is all $400 would get me in Sydney.

 

Why should people have to start slowly? Why is it risky to pay more than $400 a week for accommodation. I am 40 years old, I didn't move here to start again and I see no reason why I need to 'start slowly'. We hit the ground running and are doing perfectly well after six months. Perhaps you should raise your expectations.

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Guest
Why should people adjust their expectations? What is wrong with people wanting to move and have a similar standard of living that they once had. I don't want to move across the world and live in a dump in an undesirable location. And I have no doubt that this is all $400 would get me in Sydney.

 

Why should people have to start slowly? Why is it risky to pay more than $400 a week for accommodation. I am 40 years old, I didn't move here to start again and I see no reason why I need to 'start slowly'. We hit the ground running and are doing perfectly well after six months. Perhaps you should raise your expectations.

 

Who said anything about living in a dump? 400 per week can get you decent accomodation in Sydney if you look carefully. The house my husband and I own is in a quiet, safe suburb is rented out for 400 a week - it is a medium sized property, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms with a medium sized backyard. We renovated our kitchen and the property has no issues whatsoever.

 

Our tenants express their happiness and delight with our property.

 

So clearly not a dump.

 

You only need about 25 minutes to get into the city.

 

I really recommend that people adjust their expectations because as a new resident, you don't know how life will be in a foreign city. People don't know the real cost of living somewhere until you do. One may have a ball park figure but will not know the cost of living until you experience it.

 

It's not about doing it tough - just being careful.

 

It's great that you did really well - congratulations! Not everyone is that fortunate though and I don't think it's a bad idea to be cautious in the beginning until you decide whether or not you are happy with where you are living.

 

Things change. There can sometimes be unexpected pregnancies, unexpected health issues, redundancies, changes in relationships, etc. These can have a HUGE financial impact, more than what some people realise! I find that AUD 600 + a week in rent is A LOT of money! Maybe some people can afford that comfortably but I still find it a lot of money for a rental.

 

So fine. If people have the money, feel free to spend thousands! Don't be careful initially, just spend it all! We've just experienced some horrible things in our life and are somewhat cautious that's all.

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In my opinion I do not think people should adjust their expectations. If they are in a successful career and have a nice home etc why should they think "oh lets move to Aus and of course we will not be able to have our lifestyle there, but that's ok" I am helping out the company.

 

This thread is about a company wanting someone expert in their field, not a person just moving for a change of way of life.


Petals

:ssign15:taking no prisoners :wink:

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Who said anything about living in a dump? 400 per week can get you decent accomodation in Sydney if you look carefully. The house my husband and I own is in a quiet, safe suburb is rented out for 400 a week - it is a medium sized property, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms with a medium sized backyard. We renovated our kitchen and the property has no issues whatsoever.

 

Our tenants express their happiness and delight with our property.

 

So clearly not a dump.

 

You only need about 25 minutes to get into the city.

 

I really recommend that people adjust their expectations because as a new resident, you don't know how life will be in a foreign city. People don't know the real cost of living somewhere until you do. One may have a ball park figure but will not know the cost of living until you experience it.

 

It's not about doing it tough - just being careful.

 

It's great that you did really well - congratulations! Not everyone is that fortunate though and I don't think it's a bad idea to be cautious in the beginning until you decide whether or not you are happy with where you are living.

 

Things change. There can sometimes be unexpected pregnancies, unexpected health issues, redundancies, changes in relationships, etc. These can have a HUGE financial impact, more than what some people realise! I find that AUD 600 + a week in rent is A LOT of money! Maybe some people can afford that comfortably but I still find it a lot of money for a rental.

 

So fine. If people have the money, feel free to spend thousands! Don't be careful initially, just spend it all! We've just experienced some horrible things in our life and are somewhat cautious that's all.

 

Can you tell us what neighbourhood this is and post pictures? :wink: I have moved here recently and I would maintain that $400 for a house in Sydney is going to be undesirable. One only has to look at www.domain.com.au to know this. If your house is in a desirable location and is a beautifully modernised house then you should also look at this website because you might be short changing yourself.

 

Many of us moving to Australia are *skilled migrants*, the clue is in the name. Your assumption that we should all have to take a step backwards is off the mark I think. We are people who are skilled in our trades and professions, why should we take a step back. For me and I am sure many others the move was the next step in my life, not a regression.

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