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Renting in Australia – Part 1

by Chris Lang on March 24, 2007

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It’s a very rare situation when a person arrives to a new country and starts new life by buying a house – usually the first year or two they rent a place to live. We all have been there and there is enough pressure, so no one wants to add to it. We want to take time, get familiar with the new city, find a job, get stable income – then we’ll feel confident enough to buy a house.

So having said that renting can’t be avoided – how do we find a rental property in the most “painless” way? This is what I’ve found while searching for a house to rent:

First we need to understand where we want to live and it’s a complicated task – so let’s make it simple. Usually we choose list of suburbs we’d like to live in, based on how close they are to our work (and kid’s school, in case you have them). Choosing no more than 3 – 4 suburbs is very important, otherwise the list of rental houses you have to go through will be too big.

Then there is a question of transport – do we need a house close to train / tram / bus? Basically, family with 2 working adults and one car almost always needs to live close to tram or train. On the other hand family with 2 cars can choose a house a bit further. The obvious advantage here is the rent: in houses located close to transport it’s higher, away from transport is lower. Also living on a busy street with tram passing by every 15 minutes can be quite annoying, I had to do that for 6 months and didn’t like it.

Another big question is what kind of house we need – should it be a studio, an apartment or a flat, a unit, a house or a townhouse? When I first saw in the newspaper those descriptions of rental properties, I was really confused and didn’t know what to expect of each type, so I decided to learn what the differences were and to write a post about it – read it here.

To be continued…

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