After 3 months in a furnished rented apartment paid for by the company that sponsored my husband, we moved into our "renovators dream". For about 1 month we had searched for our dream home by going to various "open homes" on the weekends ranging from units to houses, old and new in various suburbs South of the River* but we had a maximum amount we could spend, as we had to put down 20% deposit, due to our type of visa, and of course that restricted our choice, as we hadn´t yet sold our house in Portugal, so we had limited funds.
Perth was in the middle of a boom, so everything seemed quite expensive to us, and all we could afford to buy was a used property, which meant the house would not have all the mod cons of the ones in the newly built areas, one advantage was it was just 7min by car to my husband´s work and 15min to my work.
Now that our house is "almost" fully renovated (by us), I think I quite like where I live, not too far from the city centre, close to work, walking distance to a Primary and High school, 5min drive to a shopping centre, a bus stop in the street behind, train station 7min away by car...
Prices vary of course depending on the suburbs, the further from the city or from the sea or river, the cheapest it is of course. But with over 500 suburbs, from "Two Rocks" in the top north to about 140km down to the southern town of "Mandurah" to chose from, it´s no mean feat deciding where to live.
*South of the river - refers to all suburbs south of the River Swan that flows in front of the city. People here always distinguish between living South or North of the River. The Northern suburbs are newer (apart from the ones surrounding the city), and the southern suburbs have older properties with bigger blocks of land, except for the new suburbs popping up further away.
From the southern suburbs it´s easier to get away to the South of WA where a lot of the most popular holiday spots are, and it´s closer to the airport if you happen to have a FIFO (fly in fly out) job.
The northern suburbs have better beaches. As far as I am concerned I find the infrastructure and transport more abundant in the southern suburbs, but I could be wrong!
The Hills, the area to the right of the Perth airport has some lovely farming type communities, with big blocks, lovely views and lots of green areas and fresh air.
Surrounding the rivers Swan and Canning are a lot of the most exclusive suburbs with beautiful mansions or pricey smaller townhouses or units. You pay of course for the views and for the proximity to the city centre.
In the weekend newspapers you get a section with Properties for sale in each suburb and also the times you can visit the various "open homes", land for sale, various property developers advertise their homes and home plans to choose from, etc. Visiting the new estates popping up everywhere is also a good idea when looking for property, as generally it´s cheaper to buy land and build to your taste, than it is to buy an established older home. The only advantage of an older home is that the size of the land is generally bigger and you usually already have an established garden that can be quite expensive to set up as Perth is built on sand, so you have to put down plenty of good soil to start up a garden.
|View of one of the newer suburbs with a man-made lake|
|The show houses are fully furnished and with inviting small outdoor areas|
|An entrance to one of the new open homes|
|Various show houses built by the various property developers|
The number of days needed to sell a property had fallen by 4 days to an average of 77 days.
As for rentals, in the metropolitan area the median price was $420 per week, while for apartments, units or townhouses the price was $380 per week.
The above Reiwa link has some interesting calculators so you can see how much you can afford to borrow and what property taxes you have to pay, like stamp duty, etc.
Of course if money is no problem you can always buy a luxury 290sqm, 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom, double garage, river front apartment right next to Kings Park Botanic gardens and within walking distance to the city centre for $2,950,000.
|Crawley apartment - isn´t the river view just amazing? (photo from Reiwa)|
Now that is luxury!
If you happen to be moving to Perth or anywhere in Australia, my advice would be to probably rent for a few months, look around, visit a lot of suburbs, choose somewhere close to your work if possible, close to good schools if you have kids, close to public transport is also a good idea, and of course choose according to your wallet, as you will be paying it off for quite a few years...
If you rent, you are subject to rental inspections every 3 months, just to make sure you are looking after the property, but you get previous notification of the visit.
As for the quality of the houses, I find them not to be as well constructed or as high quality as the ones in Germany or Portugal (this is in my experience from where I lived, South African houses are also not of a high standard of construction). Maybe when you pay above a certain amount you might get better quality, such as double glazed windows, solid wooden doors, better finishes, etc. Or at least I would expect so!