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RickyUK

Why do live where you do?

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Perhaps to help us with our quest for a long term rental, perhaps I can ask people here why they chose where they live now? Do you like where you live? What do you like and what don't you like? Where else would you live in Sydney area if you didn't live there.

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Value for money. We had a few areas in mind but, in the end, after looking around in Sydney's Inner West, we decided that we got more for our dollar in the Hills. For what we paid for where we live now, we would have got a pretty run down place in the inner west that would have needed at least $100,000 more spent on it to make it habitable.

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We were lucky enough to have a relocator help us for a week before I signed up for my contract to come out here, and they took us around a number of suburbs and schools

 

First on the list for us was a sensible commute, I work (mostly) in Chatswood, St Leonards or North Sydney so wanted to be on the north side, and also wanted to get back to bike commuting so was looking for somewhere within 15km or so of those places.

 

We chose where we live now - Wahroonga - on the basis of it being the nicest in feel (to us) of the Upper North Shore suburbs, as it's very green, leafy, large house sort of place with a nice village feel in the shops/cafe area. Now we have bought in the same area as we settled well and have friends and community here, so didn't want to move away. That's worth thinking about, if you rent first as most do, you can get stuck living somewhere you can't afford to buy if you stretch yourself too far, as like for like you'd be paying more in mortgage than in rent - depending on deposit and so on, of course

 

Things we like about it are the leafiness, the public transport, the proximity of national park, the schools, the feel still of the local amenities. It isn't cheap though

 

If it were up to me and commuting was no object, I'd like to be more urban, or on the beaches, or maybe both if I was made of money. I am a city boy and love the sea. However it's not just up to me, commuting is an object, my wife likes the space and privacy of the suburbs and as a redhead has very little interest in beach-related activities.

 

For almost all of us, budget is the first and primary consideration, especially in this city where housing costs a lot

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If money wasn't one of my concerns, I would probably go for Willoughby or Lane Cove. But to get the sort of place I would want would mean spending around $2 million. The inner west is another possibility - maybe Stanmore or Wareemba or Abbotsford, but then you're looking at the same sort of money or even more, which is why we settled on The Hills - plent of nice properties around the $1million mark, and not much to spend on them - and only a 40 minute bus trip to the city.

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We were lucky enough to have a relocator help us for a week before I signed up for my contract to come out here, and they took us around a number of suburbs and schools

 

First on the list for us was a sensible commute, I work (mostly) in Chatswood, St Leonards or North Sydney so wanted to be on the north side, and also wanted to get back to bike commuting so was looking for somewhere within 15km or so of those places.

 

We chose where we live now - Wahroonga - on the basis of it being the nicest in feel (to us) of the Upper North Shore suburbs, as it's very green, leafy, large house sort of place with a nice village feel in the shops/cafe area. Now we have bought in the same area as we settled well and have friends and community here, so didn't want to move away. That's worth thinking about, if you rent first as most do, you can get stuck living somewhere you can't afford to buy if you stretch yourself too far, as like for like you'd be paying more in mortgage than in rent - depending on deposit and so on, of course

 

Things we like about it are the leafiness, the public transport, the proximity of national park, the schools, the feel still of the local amenities. It isn't cheap though

 

If it were up to me and commuting was no object, I'd like to be more urban, or on the beaches, or maybe both if I was made of money. I am a city boy and love the sea. However it's not just up to me, commuting is an object, my wife likes the space and privacy of the suburbs and as a redhead has very little interest in beach-related activities.

 

For almost all of us, budget is the first and primary consideration, especially in this city where housing costs a lot

 

I have not noticed you around lately? Or am I walking around with my eyes closed (as usual!?)

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I live in Surry Hills, or sometimes I say Strawberry Hills, which is a suburb within a suburb, kept alive only by its post office and a pub. Surry Hills is in the inner city, so close to Sydney, that I sometimes just say that I live in the City, and it is the closeness to everything that is its main drawcard. Central station is five minutes walk, with buses outside my door. I can walk to UTS, Sydney Tech, the ABC,and China Town in 10 - 15 minutes, and not much more to Town Hall. Cafes, pubs, restaurants, shops are all around, literally hundreds within 10-15 minutes walk.

 

Lack of space for a garden, especially if you have kids, is probably the main drawback, and most of the homes are either 19 century terrace homes, or more modern blocks of flats. I don't think there would be a single suburban house or bungalow in Surry Hills. That does not mean it is unpopular with families, and many like being able to walk to school, rather than drive, and make use of parks to make up for the lack of gardens.

 

One of my friends was here today, and we had breakfast in a cafe right outside my flat. She lives in St Ives, and whilst she brought her kids up in the 'burbs, now, as a single person she finds the suburbs a little stifling. They are great when you are bringing up kids and you can make your life around your home, but not so much fun when you are on your own, and the nearest cafes/pubs etc are all outside easy walking distance.

 

Finding a place to live also depends on where you are going to be working, because Sydney is not a pleasant place to commute long distances to work, and the weekend traffic is often worse than during the weekly peak. The most affordable homes are in the far-flung suburbs, around Campbelltown, Penrith, and also north, south and further west of Sydney, on the Central Coast, Illawarra, and Blue Mountains. Many people spend an hour or more commuting each way.

 

I work at Penrith, which is between 50 and 70 minutes by train depending on which service I use. I live and work close to the station but I still have to allow ten minutes either side of the train journey, so I am spending 90 minutes each way commuting. So, if you can both find a place, and afford a place, close to where you are going to be working, that is what I would recommend!

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I have not noticed you around lately? Or am I walking around with my eyes closed (as usual!?)

 

I sacked PIO - took a break for a while, came back and remembered why I'd left, so gone for good

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I understand, but in a way there are two PIO's for me, the one with the ratbags (including me!) and I can't help getting into futile 'yes it is, no it isn't' arguments, and then there is the one where I feel like I'm doing a bit of good, both for me and for the people asking questions. I'm off work at the moment recovering from my hernia, so spending a couple of hours on here gives me something to do, though I should be trying to write something for myself.

 

I suddenly realized that this forum is ratbag-free and I use it also to, hopefully, hone my writing skills. (Even if there is nobody reading them!) That was the problem when I decided to write a blog. After a while I got despondent, with no 'followers except me!'

 

Anyway, you are OK. How is the house coming along? My other brother in America has got into this house-sitting, not swapping, looking after places and pets whilst the owners are away, first gig in Vancouver now, and then one in England I think. He really is a bloke for whom 'where ever I lay my hat, that's my home.'

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Choosing a suburb in Sydney Is hard as hell. So many variables. We have some loose ideas and 6 months before we land.

 

If we didn't have kids in school or might be easier as we could find out through trial and error. But as we don't have that luxury it's hard!

 

It seems the places that tick all the boxes are too expensive for us

 

So it's a case of nailing a decent compromise.

 

If anyone has any tips based on good schools, commute to cbd and not too far from a beach (less than 30 mins) that would be good

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Hi matthewSorry, only just seen this: This place is pretty dead, and I don't go in PIO any moreI would concentrate on budget and what is an acceptable time/mode of commute to you before anything elseSee here for a map of the "areas" of Sydney - within each of these areas are many, many suburbs:

Greater_Sydney.png

In general, anything close to water, or close to the CBD, is expensive. On the map above, everything in the Northern Beaches, Eastern Suburbs, Central Sydney and Lower North Shore is going to cost a lot, as are the more central/waterfront areas of the Inner West, South Sydney and North WestIf you are going to be budget limited (which most of us are, but "affordable" means something different to everyone) then I would suggest looking to the suburbs in the Sutherland Shire in the first place - the presence of the railway makes the commute to the city much more realistic from a longer distance (and train fares are cheap) so you can get somewhere that ticks the other boxes without spending a fortune. From anywhere in the shire to the beaches at Cronulla will take less than 35 minsI can't recommend anywhere specifically down there as I'm on the other side of the city. On this side of town I would look at suburbs north of Hornsby - Asquith for example. Direct frequent trains from here to the CBD take about 50 minutes, the schools are really good and it's quite a nice place, close to bushland, lots of facilities (leisure centre, shops etc) in Hornsby. The beach from there would take about 40 minutes to the closest of the northern beaches (Mona Vale, Warriewood) or the beaches up on the Central Coast, which are an easy run up the M1 Freeway. Also look west of Hornsby in towards the Hills - Thornleigh, West Pennant Hills, Cherrybrook etc. Transport not as good but otherwise very good areas, again similar beach distance.If you can live without the beach in 30 minutes then you have many more options (but that might not be a good thing!) as it pretty much opens up the whole north west where there are lots of affordable, good suburbs with good schools

Greater_Sydney.png.d8e7fa9862c08cadc2111cff8e3fb9c7.png

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Thanks @northshorepom - very helpful.

 

We find loads of places that seem good, except for high schools, and we also struggle to understand the school 'ratings'. We can try for a selective high school, but that is far from guaranteed. The better government non-selective high schools are dotted around the city. Many decent ones in the shire, some on the north shore (Killarney heights) and some in the inner west or west of there (west of Balmain etc).

 

I am not entirely convinced by league tables and reports for schools here in the UK to be honest. They only show part of the story. We prefer to try and understand from recommendation and word of mouth. I think this might also apply to Sydney. Except there are more private and church schools.

 

I'm sure we'll work something out though. It's just hard to tell from the schools websites and those bettereducation results.

 

Cheers

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My brother lived in Picnic Point for over twenty years, and I've grown to rather like the area too. Revesby, Panania, Padstow, all have good shopping centres and railway stations, with the train to the City taking about 35 minutes I think. You can drive to Cronulla in about half an hour I think, via Menai and Sutherland, for a swim. There are nice homes around Menai, Alfords Point, Bangor, although there is no rail service.

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