07 Mar 2011 12:01 PM
We've been in Perth now for over 4 years and contemplating moving back to the UK, as it's so hard here! We have a daughter (9) and both hubby and I have good jobs ... I just need a sanity check and some fellow like-minded poms to mull things over with .... We have found that the cost of living is really high and are just living month to month with no spare cash .. the school my daughter goes to is not great and the mums are very much a 'click', I've found it hard to make any 'real' friends as opposed to mums that I say hello to on the school run. Our house needs renovating (80s built) but we have no cash to do so, and can't borrow as we have a massive mortgage (who doesn't if you want to live near the CBD for work!!) ... the thought of moving into another area, and starting again, with getting to know the area and the whole settling into a new school thing fills me with dread, as we all know what a massive upheaval it was to move here to begin with .. saying all that, when we look around at Perth it's such a gorgeous city... do we cut our loses here and go back to the UK (start again) or cut our loses here in this suburb/area and start again somewhere else in Perth .... arghh ... has anyone else had these thoughts/experience ? |
07 Mar 2011 12:15 PM
|Total empathy with that
Expensive place to live, insular,poor education system,rip off prices everywhere with poor customer service.
The rewards of moving do not match the sacrifices made to get here..
Financially much better off in UK, though UK has its problems too, what do you do ?
07 Mar 2011 3:41 PM
|been there and done that and back in perth living it to the full!! we were back in the UK all of 9months when i decided to come back and did so with less money!!
need to get on other sites, we did and have made a fair few friends and they are a great bunch. I wouldnt dream of going back now! it is down to personal choice and no-one can tell you what to do all i an say is think long and hard before you make the move as it is a costly one at that.
we too are on a budget and set a menu out and shop to the menu, but we do this so we can have some spare money to do the family things on a weekend!
with whatever you choose to do i wish you and your family all the best!
07 Mar 2011 9:31 PM
We were having the same dilemma, but we have now got our heads around it, we are going back to the UK. As you say there are some nice places here, but we have decided its not for us.
There is no shame in going back, it's just another chapter in your life.
The decision to go back is hard and must be well thought out, or you will end up being one of the ping pongs, which is a very expensive hobby.
Life is too short to be unhappy, so do what will make you and your family happy.
This is no dress rehearsal.
07 Mar 2011 11:48 PM
|We started out in Perth and, decided it wasn't for us, but although food etc is expensive, I have to say we were never so well off, and we wern,t earning big money.We had a $400 pw rent bill but all our other bills were for nothing, and fuel was half price! We drove over to the east coast, and it was all your dreams when we got there, but it was close to Xmas and we struggled for work, and our son was out of school, so we made the silly mistake of returning to UK as my job was still open , What a mistake! My wife was then offered a job in Coolam Beach, but our boy wanted to see all his mates again! The UK is still a dump and people are really struggling, and there isn,t much hope of things getting better anytime soon, the winter was agony, and we are hoping to return to Oz in June. It is a bit cheaper over East, and there is more to it, but think before you jump back to the UK.....its not good!|
08 Mar 2011 1:36 AM
|Hi, we left the UK nearly 3 years ago, moved to Adelaide for 2.5 years didn't really like it there so decided to move to Perth. It has been an upheaval for us all, we had some great friends there. I do think that this is a better place to live for us as a family, my eldest went back to the UK last October and is loving it. We are going back in October for a holiday, and to tell u the truth, Im kinda scared in case I love there again. You will always have the pull of home, family, friends, history etc. Its a really hard one to call, some say we are mad moving from Adelaide to here, it was worth the hassle, although at the mo Im finding it hard with starting again meeting friends etc but I suppose that is to be expected. If you like it in Perth, try a different suburb first before moving back as it will be cheaper in the long run to try while you are here. Good luck with your decision.
08 Mar 2011 2:54 AM
|hi there - sympathies to you - i understand how you feel. we did just under 4 years in perth and although we all liked the place, decided it was not for us long term. despite having visited quite a few times, we struggled with the heat, flies, isolation, expensive cost of living, lack of 'proper' friends, and of course, missing family very much.
so after much thought, we moved back to england and have not regretted a day! it took the break away to make us realise what we wanted from life and to appreciate what we had in england.
the recession is biting here and as usual, the media is very doom and gloom. but we still have more money in our pocket, despite earning less that we did in Oz. and i have to say, going house hunting here was a joy after the amount of 70s inspired monstrosities we viewed in perth.
at the end of the day, we are all different and whilst some will settle and have a great life in oz, lots of us dont. i dont regret going though - it was an itch that needed scratched!
best wishes with your decision|
08 Mar 2011 1:59 PM
|'We've been in Perth now for over 4 years and contemplating moving back to the UK, as it's so hard here! We have a daughter (9) and both hubby and I have good jobs ...'
Your whole post sounds like a mirror image of us!
Been here 5 years, wife goes through spates of can't settle, and I have no idea on which way to turn!
Just letting you know you're not the only ones in the same boat, just that many won't give in and readily accept that they are actually in very similar positions, otherwise it undermines their whole reason/justification for being here in the first place!
We actually can (and usually do) go for many weeks without seeing so-called 'friends', not for want of us trying. But I do think some of that comes down to a certain level of snobbery by some who simply appear to have 'made it' here by being fortunate enough to have emigrated with enough money that they don't need to struggle with high mortgages/rent, etc, and can afford to do most things by cash. We found that when they wanted to go out for dinner and nights out, and that we had to constantly say 'we can't afford it this week', they just stopped asking, and unfortunately, in turn that affects your social 'standing' here.
I'm in a very well paid job, with a huge mortgage in what is classed as a very basic starter home (yes, we built, but price was kept to a minimum), in a 'less desirable' area. Times are hard for us right now and we struggle week to week, without being extrovert or extravagent.
A move back to the UK is NOT an option for me, and with house prices in Perth rapidly
declining, we stand to already lose money on our new build even though its only 4 months old, so moving to another suburb is out of the question also.
Anyhow, enough of my ramblings....you're not alone on your situation.|
08 Mar 2011 8:36 PM
|We have finally made the decision to go back. We are in the early stages of that process, getting house ready to put on market etc. Love Perth, it has been good to us. No regrets.
Been an adventure but time to go home now. Due to exchange rate we will be able to either buy outright an average house or have a small mortgage on our return but might rent at first. It gives me peace of mind to know that financially we will be so much better off in the UK. I'm not getting any younger and i'm tired of worrying about having a huge mortgage ($250,000) huge to me any way.
Our kids love it here but equally love the UK. We have included them in our discussions about returning and they are now excited. We intend on returning to cotswold area (not originally from there) but have researched it and have family there. We will make full use of the local amenities including kayaking on the avon and fishing. So similar lifestyle to what we have here in Perth.
It's such a personal choice only you guys can make such a decision. Good luck with what ever you decide.
08 Mar 2011 11:37 PM
|For me, it was never about standard of living, better house or more money. It was about where would be the better place to be in 20 years time (when my kids will be working and trying to raise their own families).
I can't predict the future, but my guess is that Australia will be a good bit better off than the UK in 2031.
I work harder here and for longer and my money doesn't seem to go as far as it did in the UK, but it isn't about that. My kids are happy,active and have a far more stable future (I reckon) than your average UK kid.
I couldn't drag my kids back to the UK after having dragged them here nearly 4 years ago. They are both well settled and I have experienced the ping pong effect myself when I was young, so no way would I inflict that upon them.
08 Mar 2011 11:52 PM
|No reason why my kids wont be happy active kids in the UK with a stable future. I'm optimistic about the future. We didn't drag them anywhere....We have had a wonderful time exploring another country. I think that will enrich them. Bonus is that they will have family, friends, cousins and grandparents which will give them good grounding. Positive experience all round.
Glad things have worked out well for you and your family. x |
08 Mar 2011 11:59 PM
|Jimboman and Kieren
both of your posts resonate with us. I am quite settled here as I have a job I love but my husband battles with the Australian way of things and gets very very frustrated. We also look at the long term opportunities for the kids. Now I have got my head around the fact that the kids in primary school (and I am a Perth trained primary teacher) dont get pushed as hard as in the Uk and the standards arent as high I am rather happy with our kids education. The bottom line is, if mine are missing out so are all the other kids! I balance it with the fact that they are so happy at school, get to play a raft of sports, get to live a very balanced and healthy outdoors lifestyle.
Kieren totally get the lack of money thing. We both earn a whopping wage but are heavily committed to mortgage too. We keep looking at the long term and know that it will even out, but boy it is tough. I dont like eating out here because I think the food is crap for the money you pay. Come and have a meal with us - I did a pasta making course the other day!!!! We dont buy into this big car mentality thing either. Just dont get it and how everything is on a loan! A mortgage is quite enough for us!
Jimboman your points about UK are valid and that is why we are stil lhere. Australia will offer our kids a very balanced growing up phase and then it will offer them options. As a dual citizen myself who made use of my british passport to spend significant time in Europe I know that my kids will do the same and be able to choose. My folks gave us that option by emigrating here from SA and I want my kids to have options too.
Perth isnt for everyone. There are far too many red necks here and it is bloody isolated. The isolation breeds a strange kind, there is a real sense of have and have nots and at times one just wants to tell the haves to get their heads out of their proverbials .... but isolation brings a sense of self importance. I ignore it and go on my own merry way and live in hope that at some point in this journey we will meet some down to earth people that we can form longlasting and firm friendships with. It will happen I am sure.
09 Mar 2011 12:13 AM
09 Mar 2011 5:41 PM
|Good points Jimbo.|
14 Mar 2011 12:37 PM
|Im with you, maybe something is in the water. We are here 4 years and a month and still on the fence, possibly returning next year. Have a little one arriving in July and I think that may help the decision, what with very few good friends here and no family.
Mainly experiencing very similar issues to those posted, we are lucky in that we are financially able to have a choice.
I think it is the decision we have been struggling with, not so much the move, though it will be unsettling.
All the best folks.|
14 Mar 2011 8:32 PM
|How are things now? Hope you are feeling more settled.
16 Mar 2011 9:11 AM
|I'm currently in discussions about a move to Perth from the UK. Reading this I'm concerned that the Aussie life style may not be all it's cracked up to be particularly given how expensive it seems.
If the family move (me, wife, daughter 14, son 10) what sort of income do you think we would need to have a decent standard of living and if we rented (and I've seen posts about how hard that is) what would we likely need to pay.
It is such a massive move and my mind is full of questions particularly when I read about how people are struggling and regretting the move.
16 Mar 2011 11:01 AM
|Don't be put off ,every family's circumstance is different.
Great weather, environment, leisure opportunities.....but still real life, not all easy peasy as shown on wanted down under etc.
And yes, an expensive place to live...insular ....and 15 yrs behind
16 Mar 2011 2:23 PM
|I dont think you will find too many people regretting the move even if they return. Once they have got through the initial shock of it all anyway.
Personally, after a 6 months of being here we had the lifestyle that is considered so exotic back in England - nice weather, (comparatively) big house pool, beach and kangaroos down the road.
We are now back into a daily routine similar to that back in England. I get up, go to work, get home eat dinner, play football on Monday nights, watch telly. At weekends I get round to fixing stuff that needs fixing and if there is time left I might get out on the water and go and see some of the few mates we have. There is not really much of a choice of stuff to do, even it you wanted. Plus the pull of old mates and family can be very strong.
The reason many Aussies talk about Europe (including the UK) as being the epicentre of exoticness, is because it has so much to offer that Australia does not, and for them, the honeymoon period with all that culture and choice is new and fun, until it becomes the norm, and the not so good bits like the damp and cold and negativity that so blight us poms start to wear. And the same pull of loved ones back home kicks in.
There are a lot of other reasons that need to be considered, finances being a big one, the economic climate seems to be favouring the Aussies at the moment and maybe for a while into the future and there are a lot of opportunities work wise over here.
We went back 3 times a couple of years ago for good and bad reasons, when we got back to Aus it felt like we had 2 homes, that is a very good way to see it. Sometimes I can be on a bit of a downer - just after people have visited for example, and I dont know where I belong.
It is a big case of swings and roundabouts and the biggest variable is yourself, your needs and where your head is at. There is no denying that the whole thing plays with your head, there are no easy answers. The best thing you can do is to keep as positive as possible whatever you do.
Sorry that doesnt answer too much!|
16 Mar 2011 3:31 PM
Regarding how much to live, how long's a piece of string?? To live anywhere close to the CBD (ie 10kms) rents for a 4x2 family pad (not villa or unit) start from about $600 a week upwards. The further north and south you go the cheaper it becomes (to around $300 a week e.g butler and mandurah (expect 1hr ish commute to CBD)). The closer to the beach the more expensive ...
Check out these for 'standard' rentals:
Mount Pleasant (lovely, easy to CBD, next to river) - usually about $1000 week http://www.realestate.com.au/property-house-wa-mount+pleasant-404990188
Leeming (good links to the city/schools etc, older houses) - usually about $500 week
Bibra Lake - usually about $400 week
Subiaco - (trendy, gorgeous, 'cafe culture' easy to CBD) - about $1500 a week
Innaloo - usually about $400 a week
Butler - usually about $300 a week
It's all about the type of lifestyle that you want!
I would note that rent is going UP though!!
Hope this helps
Remember, it's all about what you make it ....|
17 Mar 2011 2:46 AM
|Excellent post and pretty much sums up our situation too - although we are back in England and happy to stay here.
the days of moving to oz, having a nice house and working less for a better life are pretty much over. even those who love it admit they probably work more in oz for less money, although they love the lifestyle.
we didnt particularly like the lifestyle and found the heat and flies of perth just unbearable, but there bits of it we loved and i can see why many migrants settle there happily.
for us friends, family and living in england are definately what we want, and i can't see us ever going back. but i'm glad i tried it -even just to know for sure - although even trying it might be out of the reach of many people with the exchange rate and the very high cost of living.
17 Mar 2011 6:17 AM
|Thanks for the posts they are all great
I'm truely shocked at the rental costs!!! but perhaps what disturbs me most is the idea of an insular culture. Despite living in the cold wet north of England we entertain an awful lot outside and it was one of the things I was most looking forward to if I moved. The idea that we would BBQ with friends whilst the kids played footy was perhaps the most appealing thought.
I'll find out in a couple of days whether they are going to offer me the job by which time I will have had to come to some sort of decision so thank you all for your replys
17 Mar 2011 11:53 AM
|I wouldnt say there is an insular culture, there are so many different migrants here that there is a more of a mix of culture than I have ever experienced, and in general people integrate well. It just has that new place feel about it, as though it needs to grow up and establish itself.
The cost of rent is all relative to what you will be earning and it is possible you will be earning a lot more than you are used to over there, as you may be relocated, at least you will have an idea of your finances before you take the step.
Football a with a bbq is something that you can do pretty much all year round! |
17 Mar 2011 3:40 PM
|Like already been said so many times before some people settle and love it and others struggle and return to UK. We are i believe one of the lucky ones that have settled here and love it. Our oldest son wasnt too keen at first but loves it now and said he likes living here better than the UK. He has now left school and has got himself a 3 year full time apprenticeship in Bricklaying. He is also dating a local girl and has tons of friends here. We know we have done the right thing especially for our children. I believe that there are so much more opportunities here for them and the life style is fantastic. Me and my hubby also work hard here and we are earning alot more money here than we did in the UK. This is obviously just my story and there are others that will agree with me and others that dont. Thing is you will never know unless you give it a go - good luck with whatever you decide.|
17 Mar 2011 8:34 PM
|Sharon, I just responded to your post but not directed at you!!!!!!!! :)
I think part of the problem is it now isnt as an attractive option as it once was when the exchange rate was more palatable. We have just bought money from UK and it killed us. We lost a lot and what we could have bought with its value in the UK was far more than what is was worth here. It depends on your lifestyle in the UK. I know many people who had a much better standard of living in the UK as they had more disposable income, and when in the UK with loads of extra cash it is rather a grand place to be!!! Problem is, is that is not the case so much any more.
On the other hand I have a friend who is Australian married to a brit and they are giving up everything with two pennies to rub together (he is a lawyer and all money tied up in business) and coming over here. They can see the endless possibilities for their kids here and are prepared to do it.
It is hard for anyone to give advice I think, you have to do it to see if it for you. It is for some of us and not for others!!!|
17 Mar 2011 8:43 PM
|And some of us just cant make up our bloody minds!|
17 Mar 2011 10:14 PM
|Totally agree :o) Like you say things were so much brighter when we did it. Sold our house in UK when they were at their highest and the exchange rate was great too. Not totally sure if we would have been brave enough to do it without the above and wouldnt like to be in UK now wondering what to do !! |
18 Mar 2011 7:01 AM
|Don't be put off. Any lifestyle anywhere is what you make it.
We made the move to NZ 5 years ago and have never looked back. People always said this is not the place to move to, low wages high cost of living etc, but if you are prepared to work hard then the opportunities are there but don't expect to get everything handed to you on a plate, you have to work hard at it and I think this applies where ever you go.
Even as the economic climate tightens here we have never considered returning to the UK, we could never have there what we have here.
Now it looks like my husbands company are moving us to Perth and a new adventure is beginning. Life will be completely different for us yet again but an adventure is what it is.
Look on Seek for job opportunites, will give you an idea of whay jobs pay. Look on realestate.com.au will give you a look at what rental opportunites are out there and the cost. Use goole maps to see where the suburbs are relevant to CBD, you don't have to live in the CBD. Use this website there is loads of info on here about all sorts of stuff, it may raise more questions but may also answer a lot. If you can afford to take all your stuff with you do so it will give you something familiar when you arrive and when you do get there just enjoy it, yes there will be times when you want just sit down and cry and go home but deal with and get on with it. If someone you meet invites to a BBQ or a nibbles and drinks evening go and go to as many as you get invited, invite people to your place - you have to get out there and meet people there is always someone out there in the same boat as you and you always meet someone who knows someone who knows someone else and you will be amazed at how small a world it really is.
DON'T LET OTHER PEOPLE PUT YOU OFF, life is a huge adventure and if you want to do something, do it.
Leaving the UK was the best thing we ever did, yes we miss family and friends and sometimes it's hard to be so far away but you can't live your life through them. I've known my fair share of people who've made the move and gone back, I know people who have spent the last 10 years going back and forth because they can't settle in either place but I know far more people who have made the move and stayed.
IT'S NOT EASY BUT IT SO WORTH IT. Your life in Perth will be what you make it not what other people have made of there's.
Make a decision and don't look back only forward.
Hope it helps, may be see you in Perth for a beer or two....|
18 Mar 2011 10:04 PM
|Very true words. I do think though, that many who post on here who are contemplating going back, are just relating their own experience. There have been some in the past who diss Perth or Australia but no one in this thread is doing that.
Many people have come here for many different reasons. Some came because they saw an episode of 'Wanted Down Under' and beleived that could earn 100k a year for washing dishes up north and live in a luxury beachside McMansion.
Some because they thought it would solve debt problems and some because they liked hot weather and sandy beaches (based on having spent two weeks a year in Majorca).
Most who use this site, came here after doing a lot of research and were prepared for a struggle. There have been an odd few who were clueless, but most have put in 100% effort to make a new life. If, after making the effort, they decide to go back and share their experience, I don't really think that they are trying to put people off.
The fact is, coming here is one of the hardest things you will ever do. Arriving at Perth airport with no one to greet you and having to start your life all over again, is bloody hard.
Your advice about accepting invites is bang on. Go to anything and everything.
Good luck when you get here. |
25 Mar 2011 9:10 AM
|Thanks again for the posts, its gone quiet on the job front so maybe they are having second thoughts as well but if that changes I might solicit more opinions.
You never know I might be drinking beer by the beach in 3 months yet|
07 May 2011 9:26 AM
|Just following on from the very interesting read, and reck alot of names from the past, sorry I havent been on here for ages. I agree with all posts, wanting to go back, we have and still are thinking about it. BUT, think at the moment that thought has moved away. We know we need to go back for a holiday, the 'outlas' not getting any younger, nor mine really. Before we get that phone call........
I think that will make us realize what we have here.
Yes it is dear here, but a picnic/BBq in the park, fantastic. We just need good friends to do the same, thats coming, now Ollies at school, we can sort that out with the other families. We have an handful of good friends here. Miss at times the UK ones, but really, do they miss us......... How often does the phone ring........ yes they are happy to hear from us, the odd email, but aprt from that.... Its only family that pull the strings. I dont know, as many have said its your life, live it for u and your own family.
Being here has brought us as a family closer, there is only 3 of us, we have family times, every weekend. We earn good money,like most have to watch it. Any different from the UK, yes, we didnt earn as much. Still had to watch the money.
We have and still are.... thinking about going over the East coast, there seems to be more to do for us and Ollie, who knows, would go there first before going back. But as many have said, its a personal thing and choice. Just remember how lucky we have been to be able to come here in the first place to have the choice to live the dream.........|
07 May 2011 8:39 PM
|Good comments them..|
08 May 2011 9:28 PM
|Havent really been on here for a long time but recently came for a look see, and found this post,
A lot of very honest and frank posts, which with us being here over 4 years now, I can relate to.
I definetly think you get out what you put in, but moving all this way will NOT solve all your issues, but instead it will maybe even magnify them, or replace them with funky new issues!!
It is not for everyone, and some will choose to go back, but that doesnt mean they have lost or are defeated, cos at the end of the day its about personal choice and what is best for you and yours
I dont think you can ever get away from the pull of family, and for me that is the one issue I would like to sort, but money/logistics etc make it very difficult.
I feel the kids are poorer for missing that element, but on the other hand they are richer for a number of other factors,
You have to choose what is important to you and your family, and where will provide you them things, be it here or there,
08 May 2011 10:16 PM
think u and the Larners from Moving down under, can relate to the dream and how difficult it is. I agree the little ones miss out on the family side, but 100% are rewarded with the life style.
We are yet to go back, maybe we will this year, or next. UNTIL then that will confirm where we want to be. NOW tho, happy with the weather and enjoying exploring an amazing country.
09 May 2011 6:02 PM
If you love living in Australia, the way of life despite the fact you are struggling with money, I would personally maybe try another state. I think Perth is quite different to other places. It really depends on why you left the UK, did you hate living there ? or did you come to Australia for a new adventure ?.
We came to Perth July 07 not because we hated the UK but because we thought Australia would offer us and our children a better quality of life. I always felt that I wanted to return and after going back last year this was confirmed for me.I saw England through fresh eyes and thought what a beautiful and historical place it is. Also I do miss my Mum and not seeing the rest of my family who live in Europe. Work has been quite difficult for my husband and after being made redundant this was the crunch decision.Should we stay or go? I can't say it is horrible here because it isn't, it is different and i have made some lovely friends through expat websites. These people will be the hardest to say goodbye too.We took a family vote and are returning to England as soon as we can sell our house.
I return, not regretting our decision to move to Australia but in the knowledge that we are richer for our experience We believe we will be happier in England warts and all and that is the right decision for us.
I hope you can reach a decision and you life is more content. Good luck to you!
09 May 2011 6:37 PM
Great Post. Wish you and your family the very best for the future x
11 May 2011 6:40 AM
|A really good read!! I think it can be different for everyone, we are not leaving the Uk because we hate it we are moving to Perth because I look at my children and feel it will be best for them, the exchange rate is desperate but we are lucky that we have friends to greet us at the airport.
'Sometimes you just have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down'
Good luck to everyone x |
11 May 2011 10:30 PM
|such a true word, amazing how things can turn around, and meals can be made from odd things from the pantry.... Good on yah, be happy and cross each bridge as it comes...|