What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
Name three things that you wish you had brought and three you wish you had left at home.
Since we read the postings on Sydney on this website before we came we were well armed with our Reese's Peanut Butter cups and a supply of face creams/make-up. We also left behind heavy coats and sweaters and brought good walking shoes. Thanks for that info. I wish I had brought more American Country Music, more shorts, more books. Books here are outrageously expensive unless you can find a discount store. There are a few food items we miss or that are different, but I don't think we would have brought them with us. We were very circumspect in packing for our 6 month stay, so there isn't anything we would have left behind.
What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?
Be aware of a few key things. One is rent is quoted weekly and while most of the time GST is included, we ran into a couple of places where it was not. The very modern apartment (1 year old) we are living in does not include heating or airconditioning. Meaning that there aren't even vents or a thermostat. You have to buy/rent a heating or airconditioning unit yourself. I wish I didn't sign a 6 month lease right off the bat, we might have changed our minds if we had the opportunity.
What type of housing do you live in? Is this typical for most expats in your area?
We live in an apartment on the fifth floor of a relatively new apartment building. Except for the traffic/city noise the apartment is very nice, a lot of amenities - pool, workout room, close to shopping, grocery, public transport, school. There are many different types of people living here, locals, students, expats.
How did you choose your neighborhood and find your home or apartment?
We had recommendations from locals, we drove around quite a bit and we looked at the Sydney Herald. It is important to decide what type of area you want to live in, Suburb, Urban etc.. Also, it's helpful to decide about transportation, parking, schools. We chose not to have a car so we decided on a more urban area with good public transportation and lots of stores, schools within walking distance. Look carefully before you decide, you should visit the neighborhood at different times of day to see what it is like. Also ask people like taxi drivers about neighborhoods, they are very well informed.
Are your housing costs higher or lower than they were in your home country? What is the average cost of housing there?
The housing costs here are very high. We came from California where housing costs are outrageous. The cost of our 2 BR, 2 Bath apartment is just slightly lower than an equivalent apartment in our area of CA, which is north of San Francisco.