2013-07-17 13:21:19

Expats can find accommodation in numerous different neighbourhoods in Australia's most 'European' city; Melbourne.

Melbourne is one of Australia’s largest cities, located in the south-east part of the country, and is the capital of Victoria. It is known for its culture and art scene, and is often described as being similar to European cities. Accommodation in Melbourne can be expensive, both for renters and buyers, so it is good to start your search well in advance before your move.

Melbourne's neighbourhoods

During your search, you should research different neighbourhoods of Melbourne to get a feel for where you might like to live. Popular areas with expats include South Melbourne, Yarra, Kew, Elsternwick, Armadale, Hawthorn and Eaglemont. Toorak, Camberwell and Brighton are also well regarded suburbs. Beachside suburbs include Williamstown, St Kilda, Altona, and Brighton. Melbourne is well serviced by its train and tram lines, which makes commuting easy from almost anywhere. It is also important to consider proximity to schools (if you are moving to Melbourne with children), employment, and other necessary services.

A flat share can be a great way to save money, if you are a backpacker or student. It’s also a helpful way to meet new people if you have just arrived in the area. Flat sharing allows you to share your apartment and the costs with another person. The conditions of flat shares can vary, meaning there are opportunities for both short and long term stays.

The Melbourne rental market

In Melbourne, rent is paid every two or four weeks by bank transfer or deposit. Generally, when signing a contract, or lease, to let the property, you will also need to pay one month’s bond as a security deposit, as well as two or four weeks of rent up-front. Rental periods are most commonly for six months or one year, but you can sometimes negotiate longer or shorter durations. Flats can be found both furnished or unfurnished, and may or may not include appliances such as a washing machine, dryer, or refrigerator, so it is always good to double check this before signing a contract. It is also good to check if pets are allowed, as many landlords do not allow cats and dogs.

Landlords tend to include the water costs as part of your rent, but tenants are responsible for electricity, gas, and internet/cable. If any damages are done to the property, the tenant may be responsible, so it is important to let your rental agency or landlord know if anything goes wrong.

Buying a house in Melbourne

If you want to buy a house in Melbourne, some restrictions may apply if you are not a permanent resident in Australia. Generally, temporary residents can purchase one property for their sole residential use, but are not allowed to purchase investment property. However, this may depend on your visa type. After permanent residency is obtained, this creates more possibilities in terms of investment properties. To know more about the regulations regarding the purchase of real estate, please visit the Foreign Investment Review Board website.

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