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Moving from Sydney to Canberra?

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#1 Babby and Roo

Posted 25 November 2012 - 08:31 PM

What was it like adjusting to life in Canberra after living in a much bigger city?

We are thinking of moving our family there as we can't afford to stay in inner Sydney if we want to buy a house. My dad lives in Canberra and raves about how wonderful it is for families, employment, etc. We have visited quite a lot and we both like it there.

Any insights into how Canberra compares to Sydney (or Melbourne)? What are the good things, what are the bad?

Such a big decision!

#2 jayskette

Posted 25 November 2012 - 08:35 PM

If you are the type who craves for the nightlife and all the hustle and bustle of lots of people every night, then Canberra is not for you.

If you are a homebody/nature loving person who likes markets and great food and doesn't mind travelling to Sydney/Melbourne for big events/nightlife on the weekend then give Canberra a try.

If you have a young family and is concerned about commuting, work/life balance and security/crime from a big city, then Canberra is definitely for you.

(by the way, house prices are actually pretty comparative to Syd/Mel, but you save more by not going out/no commute)

Edited by jayskette, 25 November 2012 - 08:36 PM.

#3 roses99

Posted 25 November 2012 - 08:35 PM

I don't live in Canberra, but my brother and SIL do. They live out in Tuggeranong, so still have a decent commute to the city. Their house wasn't cheap either; housing is pretty expensive in Canberra.

And childcare is a nightmare to find. An expensive nightmare!  

That said, they love living there and have a great social network and community. Plenty of parks and things to do. Just make sure it's as cheap to live there as you hope it's going to be. Compared to Sydney, it may well be. Compared to Queensland (where I live) Canberra is frightfully expensive!!

#4 farfaraway

Posted 25 November 2012 - 08:37 PM

Do it. You won't regret it. We've been here just over a year after a long stint o/s. I could never go back to Sydney permanently now. Canberra is sensational for families, and when I need my Sydney fix it's less than 3 hours up the road. Wouldn't change our decision to come here for anything!

#5 Marchioness Flea

Posted 25 November 2012 - 08:43 PM

Canberra is full of awesome people like me!
There's plenty to do, (I think) pretty good restaurants in Manuka and Dickson, plenty of shops, I wouldn't live anywhere else.

#6 Babby and Roo

Posted 25 November 2012 - 08:46 PM

haha jayskette this describes us perfectly! "If you are a homebody/nature loving person who likes markets and great food and doesn't mind travelling to Sydney/Melbourne for big events/nightlife on the weekend then give Canberra a try.

If you have a young family and is concerned about commuting, work/life balance and security/crime from a big city, then Canberra is definitely for you."

I know it is expensive considering it is a small inland city, but it is still much cheaper than where we live in Sydney.

Roses99 where in QLD are you? Maybe we should check it out lol. We are just attracted to Canberra as my dad lives there with his family (remarried with some primary school aged kids) so he has told us how great it is for raising kids. Plus its driving distance to Sydney where our families live. And apparently unemployment is very low?

#7 FeralAlpacaWarrior

Posted 25 November 2012 - 08:46 PM

We moved here from Brisbane and love it- never moving back. Costs can be comparative, but you can get from one side of town to the other in 45 minutes. You also have the option of living rurally, like us, and still being only 25 minutes from the city. We are also close to both the beach and the snow, best of both worlds!

#8 Babby and Roo

Posted 25 November 2012 - 08:51 PM

QUOTE (lovealpacas @ 25/11/2012, 09:46 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We moved here from Brisbane and love it- never moving back. Costs can be comparative, but you can get from one side of town to the other in 45 minutes. You also have the option of living rurally, like us, and still being only 25 minutes from the city. We are also close to both the beach and the snow, best of both worlds!

when you say rural what do you mean - on a property or in a smaller town close by?

#9 CallMeFeral

Posted 25 November 2012 - 09:49 PM

I was there pre kids (from Sydney) and love it. I think it would be even better with kids. There's a better work life balance in the culture thanks to the high level of government stuff, and unless you work out at Brindabella, traffic jams are pretty non existant (some Canberrans disagree, but what they call a traffic jam is very different from what Sydney-ites call a traffic jam!).
If not for the extended family here, we'd have stayed there. But the extreme heat and cold does kind of suck.

#10 Jane Jetson

Posted 25 November 2012 - 10:01 PM


Edited by Jane F. Jetson, 15 June 2014 - 06:06 PM.

#11 FeralAlpacaWarrior

Posted 25 November 2012 - 10:22 PM

QUOTE (Strawberry Wellies @ 25/11/2012, 09:51 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
when you say rural what do you mean - on a property or in a smaller town close by?

We are on 22 acres, halfway between Queanbeyan and Bungendore. Bungendore is a small town, Queanbeyan is a small NSW city just outside of Canberra. Smaller rural properties are available though if 22 acres is too big for you  biggrin.gif

I agree with pretty much everyone else has said, especially in regards to raising kids here. We also get the opportunity to go to heaps of agricultural shows as Canberra is close to so many country towns  original.gif

#12 FeralRebelWClaws

Posted 26 November 2012 - 06:48 AM

I moved from Sydney to Canberra 3 years ago because I was going mental in Sydney with the traffic and I knew I'd never afford a place in Sydney.

DF is a mechanic and there is plenty of work for him. Work depends on what you do really!

We love living here, but we are looking to move rurally. But that has more to do with being with family and friends. We do enjoy living in Canberra.

I love that after being used to Sydney, everywhere in Canberra is close. The commute and traffic is nothing compared to Sydney.

House prices are lower comparatively. You can buy a house for 400k, not many, but they are out there. If you can spend up to 600k then there are lots of options. But those cheaper houses are still only 20/30 min to the city.

There are so many activities for kids and it is a city designed for an outdoor lifestyle (with bike paths everywhere!) There are parks for kids everywhere! When we have DSDs we go around to different parks and check them out original.gif

I find the heat not too bad after Sydney, because it seems a much dryer heat to me. I thought the cold would kill me, but then Canberra houses and shopping centres and workplaces are built for the cold! I actually found myself warmer at work in Canberra than in Syd where we had no heating!

I definitely find it a slower more enjoyable pace original.gif

Good luck with your decision original.gif

#13 ros_g

Posted 26 November 2012 - 12:09 PM

I moved from Sydney to Canberra 10 years ago & have NEVER regretted it!
I do love Sydney, but I love to go back & visit, not live!

Yes Canberra housing prices can be extensive, but if you say that you can't afford 'Inner Sydney' I am guessing you are talking about houses in the $mill or very close to it mark? if so, then Canberra is cheaper for a similar distance from the city.. if you know what I mean?
Like, my mum lives about 9kms out of the Sydney CBD & medium house prices there are $1.2mill however in Canberra 9km out can get you a new house for under $600k.

other posts have summed the pro's of living here up really well.

I hope you make a decision that is best for you & the family. original.gif

#14 Babby and Roo

Posted 26 November 2012 - 02:08 PM

Thanks so much for the replies. I hadn't thought about living on a property outside of the city but that idea actually appeals to me a lot! I'm going to have to broaden my real estate search.

We live in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, a 2BR apartment in our block just sold for $700K (no view or anything) and even 2 BR semis around here are over $1mil. It is ridiculous how much housing costs here. I grew up here and I love living here but even rent is getting too expensive and we'll never get our own house with backyard if we stay here.

Canberra sounds very appealing. I think the cold of winter should be ok so long as we have central heating in our home.

I was a little worried about the social side of things, DH and I are both friendly people but fairly quiet (more him than me) so I do hope we can break into some social circles. I was hoping that if we moved there before my DD started kindy then I would meet all the other kindy mums and go from there. I've heard you make lots more friends when you have kids.

I love the idea of getting into all the outdoor activities like biking and getting the kids into them as well when they are old enough.

I have been looking in south Canberra like Woden Valley and Weston Creek because that is near my dad but it seems pretty expensive, at least $500K for a 3BR house. Any other suburb suggestions?

#15 munchmum

Posted 26 November 2012 - 04:15 PM

Re suburbs I grew up where you are looking but moved north - belconnen for affordability reasons. Although nothings very far I would say there is actually more for kids here than woden. Depending where you go you can also be closer to the city. Also not sure if you are aware but we have free preschool (15hrs/ week) the year before kindy and there are lots of playgroups where you could meet potential friends.

#16 Babby and Roo

Posted 26 November 2012 - 06:28 PM

Yes I was thinking about the free preschool actually, I remember my dad's wife telling me about it. Might have to move there the year before she starts school! She is 2.5 now so we still have a couple of years to play with.

Will check out Belconnen area, thanks original.gif

#17 mumin07

Posted 26 November 2012 - 07:32 PM

If you are seriously looking at coming to Canberra, I would suggest that you get jobs before you move as that will shape where you are likely to live as not all Public Service (if that is what you are looking for) jobs are in the city. Also depending on where work is you can live 5/10 mins away easily, otherwise you may be looking at up to 40-50 mins (during peak hour and due to road work) if you end up living on the other side of town to work.

Although from Weston Creek it wouldn't be 40 minutes to anywhere in Canberra.

You could look at Kambah, it is North Tuggeranong and not too far from Weston Creek. Northside I would suggest somewhere like Cook or Aranda but possibly just as expensive.

#18 Babby and Roo

Posted 26 November 2012 - 07:52 PM

thanks mumin07, that is a very good point! We (or at least DH) will definitely need a job lined up before moving anywhere.

Will check out those suburbs, thanks.

#19 CherrySunday

Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:10 PM

Southside is the best - it smells better Tounge1.gif
I'm in Kambah, and it's a lovely suburb, but the whole city is pretty lovely.
I don't have much to add, because I've lived here my whole life so don't have any city-moving experience.

Like others have said, it's only a maximum of 45-50 minutes to the city from anywhere. Public transport is pretty good if you need it.
And I echo Jenflea that Canberra is full of cool people original.gif

#20 HerringToMarmalade

Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:17 PM

QUOTE (*Browncoat* @ 26/11/2012, 09:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Southside is the best - it smells better Tounge1.gif

Pfft, keep telling yourself that Tounge1.gif

QUOTE (mumin07 @ 26/11/2012, 08:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You could look at Kambah, it is North Tuggeranong and not too far from Weston Creek. Northside I would suggest somewhere like Cook or Aranda but possibly just as expensive.

Yep, I'm in Weetangera, next to Cook and Aranda. Its next to major arterial roads making it easy to get anywhere, about 10 minutes to civic (20-30 minutes in peak/roadwork traffic ohmy.gif Tounge1.gif). A 6 bedroom house on a large block near me just sold for $750k but I would think that was at the top end of the scale. I think Gunghalin has a lot of new but cheaper houses, and with the major roads it doesn't take too long to get anywhere.

There is more to do than people generally make out, you just have to keep your eyes peeled.

Edited by HerringToMarmalade, 26 November 2012 - 08:25 PM.

#21 Marchioness Flea

Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:30 PM

Tuggeranong IS the best!
there is a bit of a north v South thing here too lol.

#22 Marchioness Flea

Posted 27 November 2012 - 05:57 PM

if you've not already looked at it, Allhomes.com.au is a good realestate site. Tells you median suburb prices, where schools are etc.

#23 ThatsNotMyName

Posted 27 November 2012 - 06:56 PM

I'll vouch for Weetangera, it's a fantastic suburb. We lived southside for ages (rented in Hughes & Kambah, bought in Conder), DH grew up southside (Torrens) but we bought in Cook in 2001 then Weetangera in 2010. There's lots of lovely places all over Canberra, I hope you find one you love original.gif

Take Jenflea's suggestion & have a look at allhomes, it's a great resource.

#24 lorywhol

Posted 27 November 2012 - 09:50 PM

Sorry to butt in, but you have all made me feel very at peace about our decision - we are moving early next year (was meant to be in January, but this surprise pregnancy now means I don't start my job until July).

PS - we are going Northside.

#25 FeralRebelWClaws

Posted 28 November 2012 - 10:35 AM

QUOTE (Jenflea @ 26/11/2012, 09:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Tuggeranong IS the best!
there is a bit of a north v South thing here too lol.

Exactly!! Who'd want to be one of those Dirty Northies wink.gif wink.gif

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