I immigrated to Australia in 2003. My wife grew up in the Melbourne area and, while we considered living there, the costs just didn’t add up for us. We finally settled on a small town about 90 minutes from Melbourne, and we sure are happy.
Ballarat is home to the Eureka Rebellion of the mid 1800s when miners revolted against government oppression. While the results were not as dramatic as the American Revolution, it had an impact that resulted in the independence of Australia.
Ballarat is growing rapidly, and the population is over 100,000 now (2019). The charm is that it reminds me of my hometown of Ventura, CA as it was in the 60s and 70s.
If you are considering a move to the Melbourne area, I would encourage you to explore Ballarat as a potential home.
Property prices are well below half of Melbourne. While new home developments are typically built with virtually no yard, in Ballarat you can still buy or rent an older house with a decent yard. Our home, 3br 1ba sits on a hill with a view, an 800sm lot (about 8600 sq ft). It needs some updating - built in the 40s, but it is worth about $375k. This property in Melbourne would easily be worth 1mil in Melbourne, even in the low $$$ Mark its at right now.
Ballarat schools are excellent. Medical care is excellent, as long as you find the right doctor, just like it is anywhere. Public transportation is growing with the population. But new work on the train system means that commuting to downtown Melbourne will be as fast as 1 to 1.5 hours.
Clean air, lots of greenery, Ballarat is large enough to have everything, yet small enough to still have a heart.
Expats in Perth, Australia enjoy diverse cultural options despite the fact that it is in a geographically remote area compared to Melbourne and Sydney . Find some ideas on how to make the most of expat life in Perth.
Expats in Perth, Australia enjoy diverse cultural options despite the fact that it is in a geographically remote area compared to Melbourne and Sydney . Find some ideas on how to make the most of exp...