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The planning starts now..


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Well, if you are planning on selling your house in the not too distant future, I would do it sooner rather than later as the Atrick's are planning to move back to Aus, which will no doubt devalue prices across the country! What swayed it for SWMBO was the first episode of River Cottage Australia (which we caught last night). She is an avid fan of McLeod's Daughters as well, but what is ironic is that welive on a 13 acre smallholding here and she wants nought to do with the self-sufficiency thing (describes herself as Margot rather than Barbara of The Good Life). Still, who am I to inquire of the complex though processes of the better gender.


I have to admit, although I was tolerant of the cold and rain, as I grumpify into old age, I find that tolerance waning substantially. And while the sojourn to France for a rather nice lunch in a light plane is idyllic, I think I would rather Mungo, Cooper Pedy and the like.


We are planning Jan 2020, however, there are two potential spoilers: 1) We'll try a trip to Aus so the kids can experience day to day life in Aus. If it doesn't work for them, I will have to wait for retirement; and 2) Partner's mother is getting on. In 2 years she wil be 78 and things like frailty - should they kick in - may scupper the whole thing. Though, she lives with a younger, virile man, so it should keep her going for some time yet. Also, my son (whom we thought would hate the idea) asked if we could do it sooner, although our daughter (whom we thought would love the idea) is full of trepidation.


So, what has to be done between now and then.. Well, quite a lot. Firstly, I am hoping to get an extra week holiday from my new gig and take the family to Aus this year rather than next. May as well learn earlier rather than later if it is going to fly. Then the house sale. It is on the market already - about to fire the agent and instill another for the new season. Then there's schools to think of. And, of course, we have to look at the finances. As an example, I almost choked when a 500ml bottle of lemonade was $4.50; over here, in the airports they are £1.30 (about $2.30). In what I do, the salary isn't double Aussie to the pound. And of course, I learned that health insurance now comes with a 2% per year levy when one is over 30. Well, that would add about 44% to the health insurance bill (somethign I don't even think about here as we don't really need it here).


Then there's the inevitable flying - will I stay with GA or go RAA and what do I need to convert? I will have to pay a visit to the RAA website, I guess. Thankfully, I will have a good excuse to get my backside in gear and sell the carpy Volvos, although cars here still seem to be cheaper to buy here.


Calling a couple of schools tonight...


Exciting days to come.



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Thanks, @red750 - one of the ideas if we get out to Aus this year is to simulate living as if we were there. Air BnB a place for the time and allow what would be an estimated net take home pay after fixed expenses and do the supermarket thing, etc to see what it left over. My last trip was a mercy dash and only a couple of days, so I hadn't even entered a supermarket - the only shops I went into outside Tulla airport was a newsagent in Yarra Glen, a servo on the road between Dandenong and Dingley (can't recall the name of the 'burb - is it Noble Park?) and the cafe at YMMB (and Skylines aviation, of course).


One of my disappointments was that the cafe at YMMB has stopped selling 4 'n twenty pies, so I bought whatever brand they had now. Nowhere near as good and for the first time in my life I visited Australia without consuming at least one.


Partner and I were talking about the move tonight and how we found it tough back in 2003 - 2006. I agreed but put it down to a rush decision and although we did planning and research, probably didn't cross-check it enough as well as trying to import the UK lifestyle into Aus, where it just doesn't work.


Anyway, waiting another hour to ring the schools...



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HI Jerry, if you do make it back remember that Australia has changed, if you have some funds set aside for retirement keep it in cash, I took most off mine out of super in cash that way the Ato wont get their grubby hands on it, also if you sell your house in UK when it comes to buy in Aus Victoria and NSW will eat most of it up to buy a house close to a large city, to be mortgage/rent free works for me but if you end up on the stupidly low pension that us oldies get(I get a part pension of $220 per month) pension life is not good for some, and when you are older the chances of work is zero, life can still be good, I am about to start building another aircraft, there are quite a few cheap aircraft experimental VH and Ra experimental for sale but I would rather build because after owning 4 aircraft i know what i want, it will keep you young at heart, anyway good luck and if your in Brissie on your holiday maybe could catch up


Cheers Gareth



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Thanks @gareth lacey ... And we will get to Brissie as my mother is originally from there and we still have family there (Keperra area). Also have a good mate that lives out Redlands way.. So, be careful about what you offer - I may take you up on it ;-)


I have to admit, before November last year, it was about 9 years since I had been in Australia, and the changes were noticeable - but in terms of culture, not so much. I have some super in Aus from days gone by, and have pensions (super) here, too. Not much, so I am planning to support myself in my later years.


At my age, finding work is difficult here, too (as I have just found out). Luckily, I look about 10 years younger than I am (according to others) , despite being a tad overweight in the middle area , underweight at the cranium and feeling 10 years older at times. However, I have maintained good relationships with those I worked with in Aus since leaving and they have indicated that when they have openings, they would be happy to take me back. The plan is to be mortgage free with the house (unless we decide to buy another UK house and keep it - have to look into it), which wil mean I have to hit some financial goals here to achieve that (£ is down and housing market is crazy in the cities where I can find work - Melb, Sydney and Brisbane are the main ones).


Me, personally, would be happy with a modest house in Tocumwal, gliding all day and the odd GA/RAA jollie. Unf. my partner and children expect a little more ;-)



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You'll have to live like a pensioner, JA. 1.25l store brand lemonade is 75c regular price at supermarkets. You pay for the name and the convenience of smaller quantities. The differences are considerable. Also, chilled bottles are more expensive than off the shelf. Comparative prices on the shelf, eg. $x / 100ml.

The same goes for bread. Brand name like Tip Top white sliced can cost $3+ per loaf, store brand $1.00 (went up from 85c a few months ago.)

Water is still free. I think our bread works out about 50 cents a loaf - we make it.



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@red750 - thanks for the intel - I lived in Melton for about 6 months in my mid 20s - doesn't look like proces have moved much in 25 years! I was really surprised.


Anyway - the probable area we will move to, although not cast in stone is in or around Melbourne as that is where I am fromm, know best and have most professional and personal/family contacts. I also lived in Brisbane for about 9 months and still have some professional contacts (as well as the wider family) there, too. However, I don't think the partner would enjoy it as much mainly because she is lepidopterophobic-ish.., mainly phobic of moths rather than butterlfies and when we were up on the sunshine coast she touched what she though was a terra-cotta butterfly and turned out to be real! That was certainly an interesting and entertaining minute or so. However, ironically, the English pimp - er - agent I have used for a long time out here moved to Brisbane a year ago (just emailed me to say he is looking forward to Autumn and now knows what the inside of an oven feels like), and as I am a known quantity to him, he can comfortably recommend me to his clients.


Although my partner has literally just re-entered the workforce in a sales/bid management role after a 15 year break, she is an artist at heart (of course, not the run of the mill stuff, it has to be something obscure with molded/melded glass which is flipping expensive to make and sells for very little). The daughter is a little like me and into everything and anything, however, her main passions are horses and gymnastics. My son is a gamer although thanks to GTA has just found an interest in cars and rebuilding them/re-engineering them (he wants to put Tesla motor/s into a Ford Escort Mk 1!!! - so he has his work cut out for him). Me, I am into flying and like fishing (don't do the latter here, though). When we were discussing the move with the children last night,my partner mentioned to my daughter who is concerned that in moving to a city we will be out of reach of the horse world was that we may move to a rural or semi-rural location. I personally don't think that will fly knowing her, unless that semi-rural location is very close to a thriving metropolitan area.


Me, personally, I am happy moving to Tocumwal - for some reason, when I went there many years ago with my then fiancee (never to be married), I fell in love with the town and the area around it. However, it is a definite no from the missues (poor lady - when we lived in Aus it was where we went for most short breaks). My other favourite spots are Apollo Bay, Deniliquin (except for that Ute Bash or whatever it is called - that is a little boganish - apols to anyone who likes it ar attends it), Merimbula, Nagambie, and well, you get the picture. So, the criteria for where we live is:


- Good links to the major city if not in the major city.


- Good access to horse agistement, riding schools, gymnastics facilities, etc, all of which have to be good standards


- Have good links to the arty world or is within a reasonably small commute to the arty world (but no, I am not moving to Nimbin!!!!)


- Will need to have availability of quality foods - not just the supermarket stuff - my kids are cheese connisuers and my partner likes all that fancy stuff you only get in the Sydney road and similar delis (we spent a lot of time at the Vc Market food hall when last in Aus, but I hear that is under threat).


- Good broadband access (son has demanded an ISDN line if we can't get good ADSL or cable boradband access).


- Easy access to the nearest centre of town/suburb/etc, that the son can easily get to without having to drive (we will be just under 18 when we get there)


- Easy access to trunk roads out of town for the planned getaways (but since the time I left Melbourne, it appears to have laid more sqaure metres in ring/access/trunk roads than adding residential housing, yet still the traffic jams were apparent).


- Easy access to the schools I am targetting (which are currently Melbourne based, but if our selected location is another city, well we will still have to have good access to schools)


- Close enough to a decent airfield and good fishing, either fresh or salt-water (note, my main requierments come last!).


The property itself will have to have at least four bedrooms (so I can do some home-working) and two bathrooms (2 teenage kids by this time) and a very good sized shed so we can fit the partner's kiln and other glass art kit as well as a workshop of sorts for me, Because we are moving to Aus, all the family demand a decent in-ground pool as part of the deal. When we last lived in Aus, we rented a house (thankfully the bottom had fallen out of the rental market at the time) with an inground salt-"chlorinated" pool with a decent filter setup and one of those pool sweepers - maintaining the pool was pretty simple; once per week PH test, throw in some hydrochloric acid, flick a lever for the filter to self-clean, bathe the electrode in hydrochoric acis to take off the calcium (I think) build up and skim leaves as required. Tennis court is optional but desirable (not sure why as the daughter gave up tennis and despite being identified as quite talented at it, my son declined an invitation by the club to play; I can't play it to save my life and my partner hasn't touched a racquet since she was about 10).


If we go to a semi-rural area, I will want a few acres and I am aware of the meticulous ground work required to minimise risks of damage during bushfires as well as keeping the area uncomfortable for snakes to inhabit (and these are the reasons I think the family will decide on a more urban/suburban lifestyle).


Keeping it around Melbourne, I am focusing at looking at the following areas


- South East bayside suburb - ideally Sandringham, but its prices seem to have skyrockted over the years, so probably Black Rock, Beaumaris, Mentone; skip Mordialloc and then some of the subuurbs heading towards Frankston, but stop before one gets to Seaford. Close enough to Moorabbin


- Inner-ish East/South East Suburb from say Camberwwell East, Glen Iris (now expensive), Malvern East, Carnegie, Glenhuntly, Elsternwick, Ormond, Caulfield South, Gardenvale type areas. Wil look at Bentleigh/McKinnon but I found them a bit drab when I lived near there.


- Various spots along the Mornington Peninsula; Most obvious spots are Mt Eliza (too expensive, though), Mt Martha, Frankston South (though no real centre for the son to get to); a couple fo the towns in the centre, Red Hill. Flinders, Sorrento and similar are too expensive and too far. Airfield access may be a problem though -unless there are other airfields than Tyabb and Tooradin.


- Yarra Valley: Yarra Glen; Healesville, Coldstream, Mooroolbark and similar areas.


- Outer Eastern Suburbs but need to see f they do fast links into the city. However, areas around Dixons Creek, Eltham, etc, looked really nice when I was last in Melb - though the concern is the lack of stimulating facilities for teenagers without relying on the car.


- Looking north and semi-rural, Kyneton, Lionsiville, Trentham areas; Mt Macedon (although expensive). Possibly Essendon or Moonee Ponds; Suburbs like Kensington, which seem gentrified now, will have too small houres for what we can afford.


- Heading west, Williamstown and possibly Yarraville, though I think we would have to sacrifice a lot of what we want in a house to afford these areas. Heading further west, semi-rural around Werribbee may work but without having checked it out,my guess is there will be a lot of land-banking around there (if it hasn't already been developed out). Other than that, areas around Geelong would be on the radar (and although I believe Grovedale airfield is no more, I hear Avalon will have a few slots available soon ;-)).


I am sure there are other areas I have missed out, but gives a flavour for what I am letting myself in for.



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You obviously haven't seen my water rates bill.

I'm lucky enough to be on tank water with a creek running through the property. I have no water costs... oh, there's the creek pump, which has been into the shop twice, the ag pipe I accidentally put a crowbar through, the house pump which was replaced recently, the new rainwater tank, the under-sink filters which get changed every 6 months...


You're right, water isn't free.



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This might give you some idea. This was my late uncle's home in Bay Rd Cheltenham (halfway between the beach and YMMB). Only 1 bathroom. Sold for $1,103,000 in December. Older style BV, he was a builder by trade. Photos and floor plan: 372-bay-rd-cheltenham-vic-3192

That thud you heard was me falling off my chair! Wow! I had better save for more, hope Brexit is scrapped or find a really shady lender!


Just looking at Patterson Lakes (right under the inbound reporting point to YMMB), you seem to get a lot more for your money, unless people are still paying way over the asking price... 250 McLeod Road Patterson Lakes Vic 3197 - House for Sale #127793634 - realestate.com.au



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@Marty_d, that is a fine propety... and I love Tassie.. But that one is a bit south and I am tiring of colder climes. I bet, though, the fishing is superb..


Having said that, I am starting to plan our fact finding tour and a quick sojourn to Tassie is definitely on the cards.


Also in our hunt is the Adelaide Hills..


In either case, I will have to revert to a former occupational life; not impossible, but at my age, I would be viewed as past it a bit...



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