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Thinking about making the move from Sydney to Newcastle


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#1 teaspoon

Posted 20 January 2015 - 06:12 PM

The recent thread about moving south prompted me to post.

I've been considering moving from Sydney's Inner West to Newcastle. My home has been sold with an extended settlement but I would need to decide in the next couple of months.

The primary drawcard for me (as a sole parent) is family in Newcastle, in particular my sister who is also one of my closest friends.

I work for myself and would still need client time in Sydney but could probably manage one full day a week along with working from home.

Tell me your stories about making the move out of Sydney to Newcastle?

#2 Sash

Posted 20 January 2015 - 07:41 PM

I've never lived in Sydney (and never would) but I live in Newcastle and everyone I know who has moved from Sydney to Newcastle says it's the best decision they ever made. Awesome place to raise a family, great lifestyle, beaches, restaurants, and the cost of housing is so much better. I could go on and on :)
Good luck with your decision.

#3 Mozzie1

Posted 20 January 2015 - 07:57 PM

Most people have to take a pay cut which offsets the lower housing costs. If you could earn the same money with lower costs, them go for it.

#4 mmdbz

Posted 20 January 2015 - 08:24 PM

I grew up in Newcastle but lived in the inner west of Sydney through most of my 20's, which I loved, however moving back to Newcastle was the best decision we made. My partner spent the first 38 years of her life in Sydney and loves living here also.

Newcastle definitely has a more relaxed lifestyle with access to great beaches, arts, live music and restaurants but with the bonus of not being too far from Sydney for regular visits.

#5 Seven of Nine

Posted 20 January 2015 - 08:35 PM

I've lived in both.

Newcastle is so much easier and quicker to drive around, but the public transport isn't great. Housing is far more affordable. You could live in Hamilton or Newcastle for less than you would spend to buy a place in Newtown, or you could live in a new development near Maitland for sooo much less. Unlike Sydney Newcastle seems unused to newcomers so it can feel unwelcoming, but having family nearby might counteract this?? I know I would choose to live near family if I had the option.

#6 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 20 January 2015 - 09:47 PM

If you don't have any family in Newcastle, be warned it is a big country town where everyone knows everyone, and since a lot of people have family here with established social groups, it can be hard to establish deeper friendships. If you have family in Newcastle, great idea.

Newcastle is a good place to live.  But food-wise and culturally, it's got nothing on Sydney.  If that kind of thing is a passion, re-consider moving to Newcastle.  I know people who have lived in Newcastle for 5 years now and they still struggle to find a decent coffee (one of the things they miss about Sydney - the food!).

Salary/incomes are noticeably lower, but properties prices are generally lower as well. depending where you choose to live.  Some places are exxy but there are still some pockets of affordability, more so than in Sydney.

ETA: agree public transport is sh*te in Newcastle.  Majority of people have a car, or two.

Edited by YodaTheWrinkledOne, 20 January 2015 - 09:49 PM.


#7 cinnabubble

Posted 20 January 2015 - 09:53 PM

A close relative moved there 20 years ago. She still thinks it's parochial and insular but can't move back to Sydney because her Newcastle house is worth about 40% of the current value of the flat she sold in the outer suburbs of Sydney.

#8 CallMeFeral

Posted 20 January 2015 - 10:01 PM

I love Newcastle. If family were there I would so happily move back there - unfortunately family is in Sydney so unless we write them off, we are stuck in this rat race of a city.
That said, employment was always a concern for me in Newcastle - if you've got that bit covered, then it sounds like a great move.

#9 Ping22

Posted 20 January 2015 - 10:06 PM

She must not have done her homework on where to live!  Ouch!  Did she buy something next to a mine?
Outer suburbs of Sydney flat = $400,000 maybe, max $500,000, at a stretch $600,000?
So she is trying to sell a house for $160,000 - $240,000?
Perhaps the OP could do her a favour and take it off her hands?

#10 cinnabubble

Posted 20 January 2015 - 11:10 PM

She's spectacularly bad at real estate. The flat she gave up would be worth close to $600K now and the town house she's in isn't worth $300K. Probably closer to $250K.

#11 José

Posted 21 January 2015 - 06:58 AM

View PostYodaTheWrinkledOne, on 20 January 2015 - 09:47 PM, said:



Newcastle is a good place to live.  But food-wise and culturally, it's got nothing on Sydney.  If that kind of thing is a passion, re-consider moving to Newcastle.  I know people who have lived in Newcastle for 5 years now and they still struggle to find a decent coffee (one of the things they miss about Sydney - the food!).



I have to say that isn't my experience. There's more than a couple of great coffee shops IMO, some who do their own roasting.

#12 SplashingRainbows

Posted 21 January 2015 - 01:09 PM

View Postcinnabubble, on 20 January 2015 - 11:10 PM, said:

She's spectacularly bad at real estate. The flat she gave up would be worth close to $600K now and the town house she's in isn't worth $300K. Probably closer to $250K.

There's so much variance in "newcastle". i suspect this specific scenario has as much to do with poor decision making on her newcastle purchase rather than poor property price growth in newcastle generally.

I can't think of any of the more popular/prestigious suburbs having townhouses available for that price.
That said Sydney and Newcastle are very different and you have to be ok with the newcastle culture if you want to enjoy living here.

#13 teaspoon

Posted 21 January 2015 - 01:26 PM

View PostSplashingRainbows, on 21 January 2015 - 01:09 PM, said:


That said Sydney and Newcastle are very different and you have to be ok with the newcastle culture if you want to enjoy living here.

Yes, this is probably my chief concern...how to know a place you don't actually live in?

Property-wise, I've done well for myself -- through a mixture of good choices and good luck. I can afford something exceptional in Newcastle or even one to live and one to rent out.

My sister says  to rent a place and see for myself what it's like to live if I don't want to buy outright but that's a lot of disruption for my son. I'd prefer to commit one way or the other.

thanks for your input everyone...some thoughts to consider.

#14 SplashingRainbows

Posted 21 January 2015 - 05:57 PM

How do you spend your weekends / down time OP?
What do you like to do?
What things do you do with friends / to meet people?
Would you be working here? I've personally found that a good way to make friends and get connected.

Perhaps if you're willing to share interests etc some locals might be able to give you an idea of whether that type of thing is available and how it might work for you?

Just a thought. Ignore if it doesn't suit :)

#15 Julie3Girls

Posted 21 January 2015 - 06:07 PM

Spend some time in newcastle. Pefectly doable to spend weekends up this way. Stay with your sister.

Work out what sort of things are important to you.
Check out the different areas .. Newcastle as such covers a pretty big area, you need to work out where you want to live. Check out the schools, primary and high schools. Might want to take in ease of commuting to Sydney as well.
Having family up here, particularly a sister you are close to,would be a really big draw card to me.

#16 teaspoon

Posted 21 January 2015 - 06:27 PM

View PostSplashingRainbows, on 21 January 2015 - 05:57 PM, said:

How do you spend your weekends / down time OP?
What do you like to do?
What things do you do with friends / to meet people?
Would you be working here? I've personally found that a good way to make friends and get connected.

Perhaps if you're willing to share interests etc some locals might be able to give you an idea of whether that type of thing is available and how it might work for you?

Just a thought. Ignore if it doesn't suit Posted Image

Yes, SplashingRainbows, these questions are a good place to start :-)

Like many sole parents (in my case, whose child's father has moved overseas and is still trying to "teach me a lesson" 8 years on) most things I do are child-related, from kid's sports, scouts, music etc.

For the past couple of years I've been working successfully for myself as a consultant to organisations and also completing a masters degree -- so not a huge amount of after hours socialising unless my (ex) mother in law is up for child minding.

I like to exercise daily, meet friends for lunch, connect over coffee, love film, books and music. I keep the house, cook, clean and budget -- but tend to fit anything personal in between school hours.

A have a handful of close friends who I would miss immensely - so that's a definite drawback. But they're mostly partnered and have their own lives. I'm OK at making new friends so feel reasonably confident of being able to connect socially.

There's been an on / off again thing with a man for these past couple of years but he lives 5 hours away and it isn't going anywhere so that wouldn't hold me back.

As I mentioned, I'm independent and doing ok on the financial front, but work is important for other reasons so yes, I'd be working from Newcastle. Initially I'd be maintaining Sydney clients with a view to broadening to some sort of online delivery so my income wasn't so location-specific...

#17 No Drama Please

Posted 21 January 2015 - 06:27 PM

View Postteaspoon, on 21 January 2015 - 01:26 PM, said:

My sister says  to rent a place and see for myself what it's like to live if I don't want to buy outright but that's a lot of disruption for my son. I'd prefer to commit one way or the other.

thanks for your input everyone...some thoughts to consider.
I would do what your sister said. Not anything for or against leaving Sydney (which I often consider myself) more to keep your options open.

#18 teaspoon

Posted 21 January 2015 - 06:41 PM

View PostHolalily, on 21 January 2015 - 06:27 PM, said:

I would do what your sister said

She'd love that... she's even found the perfect place

http://www.domain.co...m_source=domain

#19 jayskette

Posted 21 January 2015 - 06:52 PM

I lived and studied in sydney and newcastle and if I have a steady FT job there I will move today.

#20 marple

Posted 21 January 2015 - 06:57 PM

I can't link but I am in love with 62A Church ST Mayfield in Newcastle on realestate.com.au . I would happily move from Sydney for that house!

#21 JomoMum

Posted 21 January 2015 - 07:05 PM

View Postteaspoon, on 21 January 2015 - 06:41 PM, said:



She'd love that... she's even found the perfect place

http://www.domain.co...m_source=domain

Bahahaha. The most expensive area in Newy.

Hamilton would probably suit you down to the ground, lots of families, close to cod, cafe scene etc. Maybe even Merewether, but can be a tad pretentious I've heard?

Pp's are right about it being a small town. Everyone knows everyone and it is a struggle, well I have found it that way, to break into new friendship groups. I don't live there but work there (going back soon from mat leave).
With your sister there as your best buddy, I'd say you'd fit in perfectly.

I haven't found the restaurant/cafe scene to be lacking at all. Some real finds actually.

#22 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 22 January 2015 - 10:46 AM

If you can, move to Newcastle temporarily and rent for a year.  That will give you a good idea of how you will find it.

#23 Azadel

Posted 22 January 2015 - 11:17 AM

I'm from Newcastle. I moved to Sydney in my twenties, met and married DH, has Mr 3 and we returned to Newcastle to settle down.

We (barely) lasted two years and are back in Sydney now.

It depends what you like, I suppose. If fish and chips by the beach on the weekend is your thing, you're covered. Me, I just couldn't stand the way everything is closed on the weekends and the lack of good food (there are some great higher end restaurants but little in the way of inexpensive food) and shopping. The public transport in some areas is pretty ok - we lived in Mayfield, buses to town every 15 minutes or so - but with rare exceptions, public transport in Newcastle is seen as the last ditch option for those who can't afford anything else; patronage can be rather dodgy, and most bus stops are in fairly appalling condition.

Also - I've often said the town motto of Newcastle should be "Getting all worked up over nothing". You can see this in the comments section of the Herald. Issues such as the Laman St figs, cutting the rail line and - for crying out loud - the Whitely egg sculpture outside the art gallery can turn into vicious feuds with threats and insults galore.

There can be a good deal of resentment of Sydney & Sydney people too.

#24 teaspoon

Posted 22 January 2015 - 11:57 AM

View PostYodaTheWrinkledOne, on 22 January 2015 - 10:46 AM, said:

If you can, move to Newcastle temporarily and rent for a year.  That will give you a good idea of how you will find it.

Yes, it seems wise to rent and see. I guess I just don't like the idea of being out of the property market...somewhere

#25 Sash

Posted 22 January 2015 - 06:45 PM

View PostAzadel, on 22 January 2015 - 11:17 AM, said:

I'm from Newcastle. I moved to Sydney in my twenties, met and married DH, has Mr 3 and we returned to Newcastle to settle down.

We (barely) lasted two years and are back in Sydney now.

It depends what you like, I suppose. If fish and chips by the beach on the weekend is your thing, you're covered. Me, I just couldn't stand the way everything is closed on the weekends and the lack of good food (there are some great higher end restaurants but little in the way of inexpensive food) and shopping. The public transport in some areas is pretty ok - we lived in Mayfield, buses to town every 15 minutes or so - but with rare exceptions, public transport in Newcastle is seen as the last ditch option for those who can't afford anything else; patronage can be rather dodgy, and most bus stops are in fairly appalling condition.

Also - I've often said the town motto of Newcastle should be "Getting all worked up over nothing". You can see this in the comments section of the Herald. Issues such as the Laman St figs, cutting the rail line and - for crying out loud - the Whitely egg sculpture outside the art gallery can turn into vicious feuds with threats and insults galore.

There can be a good deal of resentment of Sydney & Sydney people too.

Everything closed on the weekend?? How long ago did you live in Newcastle because that's not true.  And there is an abundance of inexpensive good food. Are we talking about the same place?




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