What are the top factors to keep in mind when searching for a place to live in your city?
Proximity to office and schools are often key factors when expatriates are considering residential areas in Melbourne. The city has an excellent road system, which minimizes commuting times for many.
Expatriates should remember that the styles of housing in Melbourne may be different from what they are used to. It is important to take time to understand the relative features and benefits of local housing when making a decision. For example, heating is common in Melbourne but air-conditioning has only recently become a common addition to most new homes.
What are the most popular neighborhoods in your city for expats?
Melbourne has many areas that are popular with expatriates. The Bayside suburbs of Brighton, Hampton and Sandringham and black rock (10 to 20 kilometres southeast of CBD) are very popular with families for the space and availability of good schools. Camberwell, Hawthorn and Kew are popular for their gracious and stately renovated homes. Young professionals often consider inner areas such as Port Melbourne, Docklands and Albert Park near Port Philip Bay or the trendy fashion areas around Chapel Street, Prahran and Bridge Street, Richmond. Further out of town, great family areas like Templestowe provide spacious housing and gardens.
Do expats tend to buy or rent their homes?
Expatriates typically rent in Melbourne. The Victoria Government has high taxes, known as "stamp duty", on the purchase of real estate. If you are not a permanent resident of Australia it is recommended you refer to the FIRB website (www.firb.gov.au/) as there are special requirements regarding purchasing and selling real estate whilst visiting Australia on a visa.
Typically, will I be required to pay additional money up front (such as a deposit) before moving into leased housing? If so, how much is common?
To move into a rental home, you will need to pay one calendar month's rent in advance before you can collect the keys. You will also be required to pay a security deposit (known as a "Bond") which is equivalent to one calendar month's rent (or for more expensive properties you may be required to pay the equivalent to 6 weeks rent) before you can move in. The Bond is held by a government agency (Residential Tenancies Bond Authority - RTBA) until the end of the tenancy.
Rents in Melbourne are quoted by the week, so if you see a house advertised for rent at $500, you should budget to have nine times this amount, or $4,500, available to cover one month's rent and one month as a bond payment (remembering there are more than four weeks in most months).
Are utilities generally included in the price of rent, or are they extra?
The landlord will pay the local council taxes but you will need to pay for electricity, water, phone, broadband, pay TV and natural gas.
Are there special security concerns I should be aware of in regards to my home or choice of neighborhood?
The majority of Melbourne's suburbs are reasonably secure, but most people will elect to take out Contents Insurance for peace of mind. It is also prudent to always lock your house and car when you are not there.
I’m not sure if I should bring my appliances. What is the electric current, Hz and plug shape in your city?
The electric current for Australia is 230/250 volts. The electrical Hertz (Hz) is 50 cycles per second, which is compatible with UK appliances. Standard plugs have three flat pins (Australian pattern) and lamp fittings are of the bayonet type. Television and video communications operate on PAL color, System B.
Type I plug -- Oblique flat blades with ground (inverted V)
Do you have any other accommodation information that might help me?
The majority of Melbourne rental properties are unfurnished- no white goods, (but do have built in wardrobes and curtains/drapes), but in areas closer to the city fully furnished apartments are available.
Helpful property terminology:
- House - free-standing home
- Terrace - adjoining homes, often refers to renovated Victorian homes
- Unit - small complex of townhomes, may be free-standing with small courtyards or gardens
- DLUG - double lock-up garage
- Apartment- usually multi-storey buildings with many small dwellings- may have a balcony but no
- Townhouse- mostly double storey, separated dwellings with small courtyard
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.