< Back What are the top factors to keep in mind when searching for a place to live in your city? What are the most popular neighborhoods in your city for expats? Do expats tend to buy or rent their homes? 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? Are utilities generally included in the price of rent, or are they extra? Are there special security concerns I should be aware of in regards to my home or choice of neighborhood? I’m not sure if I should bring my appliances. What is the electric current, Hz and plug shape in your city? Do you have any other accommodation information that might help me? What are the top factors to keep in mind when searching for a place to live in your city? Proximity to the office and schools are often key factors when expatriates are considering residential areas in Sydney. The city is not a planned city. Its layout is complicated by the surrounding hills and the numerous inlets of the harbor. This increases the commuting times for many. In addition, expatriates should remember that the styles of housing in Sydney 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 not common in Sydney and air conditioning is not a given in many of the city's homes. ↑ Top What are the most popular neighborhoods in your city for expats? Sydney has many areas that are popular with expatriates. The following are most popular with families for their locations and the availability of good schools: Eastern Suburbs: Woollahra, Double Bay, Edgecliff, Bellevue Hill, Rose Bay, Darling o Point, Point Piper, Elizabeth Bay, Vaucluse and Watsons Bay. These areas contain some of the most expensive real estate in Australia, particular if there are water views. Homes range from smaller terrace houses closer to the city to huge mansions, some with their own moorings. Large older-style blocks of apartments are also prevalent. There are also several prestigious private schools in this area. In addition, restaurants are abundant, yacht clubs are numerous and there are many exclusive shops (particularly in Double Bay). Transport is mainly by car and bus; there is no train line. Lower North Shore: Neutral Bay, Cremorne, Mosman and Balmoral. These affluent suburbs are primarily known for their Federation homes. Built in the 1920s, they have high wedding-cake ceilings, sandstone bases and usually a porch. Some of these homes have been beautifully preserved and others have been split into apartments or duplexes. These areas are also well serviced with shops, restaurants and private schools. Transport is available by ferry, bus or car. Balmoral Beach, in particular, has a beautiful harbor beach. Upper North Shore: Chatswood, Roseville, Lindfield, Killara, Gordon, Pymble and Wahroonga. This area features family homes from Federation to ultra-modern style. These homes are sometimes on large blocks of land with many beautifully landscaped gardens, often with tennis courts and swimming pools. These suburbs are on a main train line to the city and have several large private schools and lots of parks. Young professionals often consider inner urban and inner Western suburbs. These include Paddington, Glebe, Pyrmont, Annandale and Balmain. These suburbs contain a mixture of terraces built in the Victorian era, modern apartments and stately old mansions. These areas are well serviced with public transport, shopping, restaurants and nightlife. ↑ Top Do expats tend to buy or rent their homes? In Sydney, expatriates typically rent. The New South Wales government has high taxes, known as stamp duty, on the purchase of real estate. There are restrictions on the purchase of real estate in Australia by non-permanent residents. Please refer to the website of Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) for further information ↑ Top 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 be required to pay a security deposit (known as a bond) of a maximum of 4 weeks' rent, regardless of whether the property is furnished or unfurnished, plus 2 weeks' rent in advance. The amount of bond that is to be paid (if any) must be written on the agreement. ↑ Top Are utilities generally included in the price of rent, or are they extra? Utilities are not included in the price of rent. ↑ Top Are there special security concerns I should be aware of in regards to my home or choice of neighborhood? The majority of Sydney's suburbs are reasonably secure, but most people elect to purchase contents insurance for peace of mind. It is also prudent to always lock your house and car in your absence. ↑ Top 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 European appliances (an adapter will be required for the plug) but not with US appliances (which would require a transformer). Standard plugs have three flat pins (Australian pattern) and the majority of lamp fittings are of the bayonet type. Some appliances can be purchased with dual voltage. Television and video communications operating on the PAL-B system are being phased out gradually with the introduction of DVB-T, which should be completed by December 3, 2013. Type I plug -- Oblique flat blades with ground (inverted V) ↑ Top Do you have any other accommodation information that might help me? The majority of Sydney's rental properties are unfurnished, but in areas closer to the city fully furnished apartments are available. Helpful property terminology: House - free-o standing bungalow 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 ↑ Top IMPORTANT NOTE: 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.