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.
1.Reese's Peanut Butter Cups or Pieces (if you can manage to find them here, they are very expensive).
2. Canned pumpkin (It's difficult to have a proper Thanksgiving dinner without it, and they just do not have it here.)
3. Any particularly pricy, items you use daily (ex- expensive face creams, makeup) - They have them here, but the mark up is far more than the exchange rate will ever make up for. By the way, with the current exchange rate, your US dollars will not go as far as they used to making common items even more expensive.)
Leave at home:
1. Heavy, New England clothes (you won't need them).
2. Any decor that contains wood or animal skin. (I brought a cool, goat-skin lamp that I bought in Spain and had to pay $200 for customs to chemically treat it or forfeit it.)
3. Any electronical items (unless they are worldwide voltage items, and then you will still need lots of plug converters)
What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?
Do a bit of research on the web, and read about other people's experiences. There are quite a few things that are quite different to the US and will take some getting used to.
What type of housing do you live in? Is this typical for most expats in your area?
Flat. It is very typical for someone young (I am under 30) to rent an apartment. Buying a house/condo in the Sydney is much more expensive than buying the same in NYC or San Francisco.) Most young people rent for a long time, and then have to move way out into the suburbs to be able to afford any nice.
How did you choose your neighborhood and find your home or apartment?
Drove around a lot, talked to a lot of people that I knew and asked "if they were to move, what are the top 3 suburbs and why?"
It's important to check transportation options in the area that you are considering as well.
Are your housing costs higher or lower than they were in your home country? What is the average cost of housing there?
Average rental cost in the area that I live in is approximately $450AU per week. (Rental costs are always quoted on a per week basis, making it a bit difficult to work out your monthly budget.)