LezGoMelbourne

A lesbian couple loving free, learning anew, and living in Melbourne


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Moving to Australia: 10 Things to Know About Leasing a Property

Moving to Australia 10 Things to Know About Leasing a Property, Melbourne How to Rent a House, Glasswork, Melbourne Houses, Lezgomelbourne, Go Melbourne, Leasing a Property Melbourne Australia, Living Moving to Melbourne How to Rent a House

You can find some beautiful glasswork in well preserved houses. This one, however, can be found in the RipponLea Estate.

You can find a lot of literature about moving to Australia. That’s one of the first things you notice when you do your research online. There are brochures made by the state and local government which you can download. The wealth of information is out there if you know where to look.

But sometimes all the straightforward information you get out there is not enough. Some of us need to work with the details; some of us need some context so we know when and how we can apply such information.

I would like to think that I am one of those. So let me share with you a bit of what I know about leasing a property in Melbourne.

1. Referrals
Renting out a property includes a referral, either from your personal or professional network. So, it is best to know a couple or so people who know you and can vouch for you. Check with your real estate agency too it written referrals are needed.

2. Inspection Times
You may find yourself walking around a neighbourhood and saw a sign for a unit or house for rent. You don’t just barge in or try to snoop around the property. You have to contact the agent and get the details for an inspection time. Be sure to not be late though as some inspection times can be quite short.

3. Rent Rate
Apartments or houses are most commonly leased on a weekly rate. Don’t forget this as you compute and compare your options. The rent is also paid on a fortnightly basis or every two weeks, unless otherwise specified in your contract.

4. Lease Periods
Apartment units or houses are commonly leased on a yearly basis. Although, you may find some that allows you to rent a place from a monthly basis to a 6-month contract, especially in the city where a lot of travelers transit.

5. Location
Research and know what you are looking for in a neighbourhood. You can situate yourself in proximity to public transportation or to where you are looking to send your kids to school. It all depends on the needs of your family so it’s best to plan your priorities.

6. Furnished or Unfurnished
It all depends on your needs, really. But most of the time, the units or houses for lease are unfurnished so you may want to adjust your budget and expectations accordingly.

7. Utilities
Ask about the utilities you need to pay, the due dates, and where or how you can pay them. Depending on your lease or contract specifications, you may be billed for gas, aside from water and electricity. Other monthly bills you may need to pay are for those that you applied for such as internet, phone, and cable television.

8. Bond
A bond is similar to the security deposit we know back home. Typically, a bond is a month’s worth of rent. Knowing this, you have to allocate a budget for the bond and anywhere between 2 weeks to a month’s worth of rent to be paid in advance when you apply for a lease.

9. Always ask your agent
Do not be afraid to ask your agent anything regarding the house. It’s important to know the condition of the house, how certain amenities work, and what to do when something acts funny. Keep communications line open with your agent. For everything else, the real estate agency will update you if a new agent has been assigned to you.

10. Parking
If you see yourself buying a car in the very, very near future then you need to consider your parking options during your lease. If you leased a self-detached house with its own garage, I doubt you’ll be having problems. But in a crowded city where there is barely space for cars, you need to study your options and research the parking rules regulations in the city. It is best know what parking permits to apply for, what on-street parking rules are in your local area, and the terms in a strata parking in your building.

Resource: Melbourne Parking

 

Here are other links that you may find useful:
PDF Guide by the Consumer Affairs Victoria on Renting a Home
PDF Relocation Guide to Melbourne by the Government of Victoria
PDF Relocation Guide for Skilled and Business Migrants by the Government of Victoria
www.immi.gov.au
www.liveinvictoria.vic.gov.au
www.newcomersnetwork.com

 

 

Disclaimer: LezGoMelbourne is not paid by nor affiliated with any of the companies, shops, or brands mentioned above (if any). These are LezGoMelbourne’s personal opinions with no intention to cause or do any harm. These tips/guides are not to be taken as fact or absolute. Please consult with a professional for your own counsel.


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10 Tips on Moving to Australia: Documents and Paperwork

Some people move here with job offers, others with little or no prospects at all. The latter can be really troublesome, time consuming, and cash draining. Remember, you’re starting from scratch. Not unless you have a friend or relative who can house you for free, all you have is yourself, your time, your health, and your savings.

Building a new life in Australia can be difficult for anyone, but not impossible. It’s best to prepare for everything. No matter the circumstances, you can make the transition a smoother one if you have one less thing to worry about.

What I have listed here are just documents you have to accomplish, things to apply for, and other essentials you need to remember and prepare before and after coming to Australia.

1. Contract
Print your job contract stipulating your salary, your official role or designation, and of course, your own signature. You will be presenting this to POEA when you apply for an exit clearance. Consequently, you will be attending the PDOS or the Pre-departure Orientation Seminar.

Frankly speaking, I don’t know what is the purpose of the PDOS. It just wastes time and resources. If people have access to the information they need, they wouldn’t have to attend this seminar. Imagine, the taxpayer’s money goes to pay for utilities, rent, and salary of various speakers who have to give out these seminars. If you compile that into a handbook, into catalogues or brochures Filipinos can just pick it up, pack it in their luggage and we would all be on our way. And in case you forget, you can always read it online or download it. It’s much simpler and cheaper that way.

Besides, if you have travelled overseas as an OFW or business consultant, you are more than familiar and informed of what you can encounter in another country. You know what your rights are and where you can seek help if any need arises.

2. Print your Notification of the Grant of a Visa
You have applied for a visa and it has been granted, congratulations! The Australian Embassy at the Philippines no longer prints the visa on your passport, but it is attached electronically. However, for some reason, the immigration officers at the Philippine airports request to see your visa or a proof of it. Even though they know that the Australian Visa is attached electronically, they still insist! Isn’t this just pure incompetence?! Argh!

So please, save yourself the headache and print it.

3. Apply for a Medical Insurance
It doesn’t matter whether you are a student, a worker, or a dependent visa holder, you will need a medical insurance. You need to take note which one is right for you, what extras you may need to pay, and how long is the waiting period.

4. Bank Account
If you have an international account, you can easily access your money here through Visa or Mastercard. If you have a BPI account, don’t forget to activate Cirrus before you leave. Also, if you want to transfer some of your money from one BPI account to another, you would have to “apply” for that account in your local bank in the Philippines.

You can also apply for a bank account in Australia even before getting here. It requires you to fill out some forms, details like your date of arrival, and of course, proof of identification.

5. References
If you do not have a job offer upon migrating, you can always secure not only your employment clearance or history, but references as well. You need both professional and personal references so you can have a better shot at applying for a job and renting an apartment. It is also helpful to have references based in Australia as well.

6. Get your Tax File Number or Australia Business Number
You can apply online for an Australian Tax File Number or Australian Business Number, so you don’t have to be anxious about

7. Identification
Australia uses a point system for identification when you make an application or complete transactions such as receiving a package from the post.

8. Get connected
Set your phone on roaming 24 hours before your flight, afterwards, buy a $2 simcard so you have a local number and access to the internet.

9. License to Drive
Secure a driving license if you or your family will be settling in the suburbs with little access to public transportation. More information can be found here. Simply select the appropriate state you will be moving to and it will direct you to the respective website.

10. Research
There are plenty of resources you can use, read, and download regarding immigration, work rights, and other information or concerns regarding visas like this one or you can always visitwww.immi.gov.au.

I might be echoing some tips I have written before, but I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to accomplish these. It helps to know what you need to do and to remember. So hopefully, by reading this, you are better prepared and more confident about moving to Australia.

 

Disclaimer: LezGoMelbourne is not paid by nor affiliated with any of the companies, shops, or brands mentioned above (if any). These are LezGoMelbourne’s personal opinions with no intention to cause or do any harm. These tips/guides are not to be taken as fact or absolute. Please consult with a professional for your own counsel.

© LezGoMelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com 2013 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including photos if any, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lezgomelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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10 Tips on Moving to Australia: The Cost of Living

It’s hard to calculate just how much change you would have to get accustomed to when living in a different country. Settling down in a new house, in a new neighborhood, all of it can take some time.

But after a month of two, you should be able to find your way in and around Melbourne with ease either by train, tram, or bus. You can easily map out where the nearest convenience store is , where the post is so you can drop your mail, where the bottle shop is so you can grab a cider or two, and of course, the nearest market or grocery for fresh produce.

You can easily build your routine within a few weeks, but how much is the change going to cost you? I have tried my hardest to research about the cost of living in Australia. So far, there isn’t a concrete or fixed amount out there. I guess it all depends on the lifestyle you live and what you can afford. But, to give you a rough idea and maybe help you manage your budget, here is a list of expenditures you can expect on a weekly basis for a couple with no kids:

Fed Quare, Federation Square, Flinders St, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Lezgomelbourne, Lez go melbourne, Melbourne CBD

One of the many city views on Federation Square, along Flinders St

1. Rent

The closer you are to the city, the pricier and the smaller your unit or apartment becomes.  The same holds true for really popular streets or neighborhoods. Nevertheless, you would be spending roughly $300 – $350 per week on rent for a 1 bedroom apartment located near the CBD.

2. Health Care

For a couple, you would be spending roughly $100 every 2 weeks for health care coverage. The estimates vary if you are availing private health care, which policy, and other extras.

3. Food

Every week, I try to keep my grocery down to a maximum of $50. However, that budget can be very limiting especially if you like variety in your diet. It also doesn’t include any toiletries and other household effects like cleaners.

Remember, almost all products are priced at $1 per piece or more. This partial list, as of December 2012, costs roughly $23.  Imagine if you add in your beef, chicken, pork and other produce, not to mention your rice, it’ll only cost more.

2 Litre Milk                                         $2.00

250g Butter                                        $1.40

500g Spaghetti                                  $0.69

750g Bread                                         $3.50

Brown Vinegar                                  $0.95

1 Dozen Caged Eggs                        $2.90

2 Litre Pineapple Juice                   $2.77

1 kg Cashmere Potatoes                  $2.98

1pc Iceberg Lettuce                         $0.90

250g Strawberries                            $1.98

1kg Tomatoes                                    $2.50

 

4. Utilities

Electricity is responsible not only for your refrigerator and television, but also your electric stove/ oven and your hot water, unless, of course, it runs on gas.  Your bill might run up to $100 per month or more with additional appliances in the house such as dishwasher, dryer, or heater.

Depending on your tenancy contract, water bills are due quarterly or yearly, and may or may not be paid by your landlord. Please check with your agent accordingly.

5. Communication

Buy a prepaid sim for $2 and load up. Network to network text messaging is free, but other than that, you need to pay for calls and data. Without international calls, you may spend just $30 a month.

6. Internet

If you have applied for an ADSL connection, it may cost anywhere from $49/month or more, depending on your data plan. On the other hand, if you have bought a prepaid internet kit, you may spend more than that if you are unaware of your consumption. If you make video calls every day, watch a ton of Youtube videos, and download a lot of files, you can spend $25 in an instant. A budget of $20-30 per week is good for a modest use.

7. Transport

If you commute to the city everyday by train or tram, you may spend roughly $30 per week, excluding Saturdays and Sundays.

8. Take away

Running errands can leave you hungry. Sometimes, you just have to grab a bite to eat. The cheapest ones out there are $5 pies and $5 baguettes. Wash it down with $3 coffee and it’s a simple break you can indulge yourself in. Yes, indulge. Australia makes great coffee.

French toast, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Lezgomelbourne, Lez go melbourne, Brunch Melbourne, Food Melbourne, Food Australia, Brunch Australia, Dining Melbourne, Dining Australia, Cafe Melbourne, Bistro Melbourne

Dining in one of the many cafes and bistros in and around Melbourne is exciting and all too tempting

9. Dining out

A plate of grub can cost anywhere from $10 to $18 and it all depends on where you eat. An average meal costs $10, be it  TexMex, Vietnamese, Chinese, or Fish and Chips.

10. Entertainment

Ticket for two at the cinemas can cost anywhere from $40 – $50. A walk in the park or on the beach, free.

Now, you have a more realistic figure for your household when it comes to making your weekly or monthly budget. Hope it helps you. If you have better ideas, why don’t you share your own thoughts and tips!

Disclaimer: LezGoMelbourne is not paid by nor affiliated with any of the companies, shops, or brands mentioned above (if any). These are LezGoMelbourne’s personal opinions with no intention to cause or do any harm. These tips/guides are not to be taken as fact or absolute. Please consult with a professional for your own counsel.

© LezGoMelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com 2013 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including photos if any, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lezgomelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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10 Tips on Moving to Australia: To Buy or Not to Buy

I was in a shopping frenzy two weeks prior to my flight for Australia. I was thinking, what clothes do I need? What was worth buying here that was cheaper? Do I need to bring my books?

I am a bargain shopper and I want nothing but a good deal with every peso or dollar that I spent. So, what is it that I just had to pack in my luggage and had to have shipped? And what makes sense to just leave behind? Read on and find out.

1. Bed sheets
Philippines is a textile manufacturing and garment producing nation, so if you look really well, you’d be able to find lots and lots of good sales and deals on items from something as small as socks to as big as bed sheets.

I had brought with me two sets of queen size bed sheets with a 500 thread count, both of which I had bought on sale for around $40 equivalent. If you were to buy bed sheets here, it would probably go for $39 that barely has a 300 thread count. It’s one of the luxuries you can afford.

2. How cold is cold?
I kept asking everyone as to what the weather is like in Australia. It differs from state to state, but it can be agreed upon that it can be quite chilly. And even though the temperature doesn’t go below zero in winter, you can gauge just what winter clothes you need.

I, for one, bought thermal inner wear, and a thermal lined jacket. Many may laugh at me but I can’t stand walking out on a windy, 14C evening. It’s summer here and that temperature is but normal at night. So you can imagine how cold it’ll be by winter time when it goes down to 2C.

3. If you’re going to ask, “Can we find tabo in Australia?” As a Melbourne resident, I can say that yes, you can buy one but finding it is not easy. We went to Queen Victoria’s Market and entered an Asian Grocery, I think it was Minh Phat Supermarket and bought one for around $2.50. So go get your tabo now or later, your choice.

4. Buy new shoes. Sanitize and disinfect old ones.
Buy new shoes and pack it with you. Old shoes means you have to wash them, wait for them to dry, and then put it in your luggage.

It is much cheaper to buy shoes in the Philippines. Even a pair of boots in Payless Philippines has much better quality than a pair of boots, on-sale, at Rubi Shoes on Bourke St.

5. Toiletries such as shampoo and conditioner can be quite heavy to add to your luggage. And you can’t have liquids shipped by air or sea freight, to the best of my knowledge. So, keep them to a minimum. Purchase what you need for a couple of weeks and not more than that.

6. A pair of denims is a great investment, now and forever. One that fits really well gives anyone that tailored look. That way, you can wear it for a casual stroll along the city or dress it up on a Friday night out. Splurge and find a good tailored pair or two to bring with you.

7. Jackets. You can never have too many jackets, I think. You wear one over a dress, you wear one for the office, you wear one for the movies, and you wear one for winter.

8. Underwear, lots and lots of underwear. A good pair of briefs, on sale, can cost $5 each.

9. Buy something for your skin, especially if you have the sensitive type. Weather or temperature changes can be rough on your skin and you are best prepared to handle it with products you know and can rely on.

10. A month’s worth of over the counter medication is more than enough. Don’t forget to declare them, if or when you are in doubt.

You can also read:
10 Tips on Moving to Australia: The Necessary Preparations

10 Tips on Moving to Australia: All About Packing Up for Down Under

Disclaimer: LezGoMelbourne is not paid by nor affiliated with any of the companies, shops, or brands mentioned above (if any). These are LezGoMelbourne’s personal opinions with no intention to cause or do any harm. These tips/guides are not to be taken as fact or absolute. Please consult with a professional for your own counsel.

© LezGoMelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com 2013 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including photos if any, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lezgomelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.