Once we were settled and had been to see the famous landmarks around Sydney, we cracked on with finding somewhere to live in Australia (pretty difficult).
After having spoken to many people in the same position as us, we knew that finding somewhere to live in Australia, being a group of 5 girls wanting to stay together, was going to be difficult.
Below I have outlined a number of tips to help you find somewhere to get settled. We decided to stay and live in Sydney, but no matter where in Australia you are, these tips will work.
There are many different ways to find somewhere to live. For most of you, you will probably end up looking for a room in a shared house. This is the cheapest way to live here. There are few Estate Agents that offer house shares. However, the majority of people offering this type of accommodation are the landlords or owners of the properties.
Going Through an Estate Agent
One Estate Agents who are involved in House Shares are called Share My Room and own many stunning properties around Sydney. However, this company infuriate me so much. Their properties are incredible but the staff who work here are completely useless. We found this company last year by talking to a few people who directed us to a back office that nobody knew about. We signed with them based on the quality of the apartment. Most of their properties include a swimming pool, gym, and sauna within the rent too.
Unfortunately, the lack of communication between the staff is horrendous. They turn up to the house unannounced for inspections and viewings – something I shut down on them for. Legally they cannot to do that, but they seem to come up with all kind of excuses.
Overall, I would recommend using them IF you can’t find something elsewhere, purely because of the standard of their properties. They are way nicer than a lot of apartments I have seen around Sydney.
How to Find Somewhere to Live in Australia – Finding a Place By Yourself
If you want to find a place to stay on your own accord, there are a number of websites which can aid you to do this. There are always people moving out of their rooms, or who are looking for a roommate, who advertise their rooms on Gumtree, and various other websites dedicated solely to finding a place. Here are a few which I found handy:
You can sign up to these websites and create your own profile. Here you will state what you are looking for, and get notified by email when something matches your search, or somebody has messaged you. You receive numerous emails a day through these sites. They are very popular, so definitely a good way of finding something.
TIP! Be prepared to book viewings as soon as they become available.
BONUS TIP! One massive issue that leaves backpackers staying in hostels for so long, is not signing for the house on the spot (or the next day). Of course, you have questions. Ask them! Also, don’t skip reading the contracts down to a tee, etc. But if you keep saying, we’ll think about it and get back to you. More often than not, they will have gone. The majority of properties in the city centres are gone within days of being advertised. If you like a place, and have a good feel for it, follow your gut and sign the paper!
Another Popular Method is Social Media
Another thing that is very popular among backpackers is signing up to Facebook Groups. There are a few groups that are specifically for finding/advertising available rooms and apartments. Type in the search bar what it is you are looking for and join one of the appropriate groups. A good group to join if you are in Sydney is called ‘Irish around Sydney’. I’m pretty sure this group started as a group for the Irish to get in contact with one another, but every nationality in the world is now inside this group. They post both things about apartments, jobs and events, so a very handy one to be involved in.
**Please note that moving in somewhere can be expensive for the first 2 months. Most landlord/agencies require a bond upfront, usually 4 weeks rents worth (around $1000) plus 2 weeks rent upfront also ($500). It does take a big chunk out of your savings but don’t worry, you will make it back – just give it time and don’t give up.
Check out my post about How to Find a Job in Australia