What are the top factors to keep in mind when searching for a place to live in your city?
When searching for a place to live, some important factors to consider are safety, location preference and individual needs. Depending on your preferences, you may want to find a place close to a school, church, transportation, shops, medical facilities, work and most importantly an area that is secure and safe. Choosing the right place to live is essential to having a pleasant and safe stay in Brisbane. The city is committed to constant upgrades of roads, plus building tunnels and bus-ways which greatly improve the commuting time for residents.
Expatriates should remember that the styles of housing in Brisbane 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, the Queenslander style of home (which is mainly in evidence in the inner suburbs) sits high on stilts to help circulate air, because not all homes are air conditioned. Also, there are Colonial, brick and new Tuscan style housing, plus apartment living. Master-planned communities, such as North Lakes and Springfield Lakes in the west have been developed with modern homes and wonderful community spirit.
What are the most popular neighborhoods in your city for expats?
Brisbane has many areas that are popular with expatriates. Ascot, Hamilton, Clayfield and Hendra all situated 15 minutes from the airport and centre of the CBD with excellent private and State Primaryschools to choose from. Trains, buses and CityCat ferries service this area. New Farm and Tenneriffe are situated along the river and are very popular with all age groups. A mix of accommodation with many cafes and restaurants right on your doorstep. St Lucia, Indooroopilly, Chelmer, Paddington and Bardon are also popular neighbourhoods and offer excellent facilities.
Do expats tend to buy or rent their homes?
Expatriates typically rent in Brisbane. The Queensland Government has high taxes (known as "stamp duty") on the purchase of real estate. If you are not a permanent resident of Australia, you will need to get Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval to purchase established residential real estate so often times it is easier to just rent in the beginning.
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 up to one 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") before you can move in. Generally this is equivalent to one month's rent and is held by a government agency (Residential Tenancies Authority) until the end of the tenancy.
Note: Rent in Brisbane is 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 (keeping in mind there is typically more than 4 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 be responsible to pay for electricity, water, phone, internet service, pay TV and natural gas. Water charges can also be passed on to the tenant in some cases.
Are there special security concerns I should be aware of in regards to my home or choice of neighborhood?
As with most cities, some areas are more desirable than others. This can sometimes be evident in the cost of the accommodation. Before deciding where to live, make sure that the house or apartment has door and window protection and a reliable alarm system. It can be advisable to change all locks on doors and replace with brand new ones. The majority of Brisbane's suburbs are reasonably secure, but most people will elect to take out contents (renters or owners) insurance for peace of mind. It is also prudent to always lock your house and car when you are not at home.
Also, it is recommended that you check out local police reports before deciding on an area to live. These reports provide factual information on types of crimes and how often they occur. This will most likely be a determining factor on whether you choose to live in a certain neighbourhood or not.
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 colour,
Type I plug -- Oblique flat blades with ground (inverted
Do you have any other accommodation information that might help me?
The majority of Brisbane rental properties are unfurnished, but in areas closer to the city fully furnished apartments are available.
Below is some helpful property terminology:
- House - free- standing bungalow
- Terrace - adjoining homes, often refers to renovated Victorian homes
- Unit - apartment, condominium
- Townhouse - small complex of homes, may be free-standing with small courtyards or gardens
- DLUG - double lock-up garage
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.