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So we're coming from Melbourne to Perth next month and have a few areas shortlisted:- Alkimos, Halls Head, Dawesville for beach options, and Roleystone, Pinjarra, Darlington for bush options.

I love the countryside and walking around national parks, but we also love being near the sea (we're currently on the Mornington Peninsula). I', having a baby end Sep so wouldn't go on the beach much as they're not very beach-friendly (sunscreen, beach tents, baby crumble in the sand!...) but I love walking along boardwalks by beaches and we also love new estates but not where there's nothing there. Alkimos seems to have lots of amenities and facilities but all the community events are organised by the housing developers and the cynic in me thinks these will stop once all the houses are built.

My son is into soccer and my daughters ride (I'm really horsey so it would be nice to be somewhere rural). But we're not moving again so wherever we choose has to see us through primary and secondary school...will the hills have enough to keep teenagers entertained? I don't want them being surf dudes either though, as I'm paranoid about sharks! 

Schools seem very hit-and-miss - either primary are good and secondary are bad, or vice versa!

Does anyone have any pros and cons of hills vs beach and any local info on the areas I've mentioned, please? I'd be most grateful.... We're very indecisive and some days we're 100% beach and then, other days, we're 100% hills / bush! But we need to secure an air b&b and not sure whether to pick it in the middle of these areas or actually IN one of these areas. We'll only have 2 weeks to find a rental so we need to do most of our research now....

Thanks in advance for any help or local info.

Cheers,

Neat :-)

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I can only comment on two. Pinjarra and Dawesville.

We lived in Dawesville for 8 years until last year and loved our time there to the extent we built a house there. The beach is one of the best in the area and the only patroled one. The surf rescue do a fair few things and of course children can join from a very young age. There is also the golf club which as well as the restaurant and bar, do a range of events during summer such as concerts.

Pinjarra is nice to visit, but I wouldn't live there. It can be very rough in areas and has a high crime rate.

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Hi VeryStormy,

Thanks for your reply. Was it you who posted on here last years selling your house in Dawesville...? Rings a bell... Hope you settled back in the UK quickly :-)

Last night we were convinced Dawesville was the place but this morning my husband has been reading about the mosquitoes and he's really allergic so I think it's out now :-(

Alkimos was top of our list but the nearest school (Mindarie Senior College) has bad NAPLAN results and a low ICSEA rating (not sure how much faith to put in these nor what they really mean, but I don't have anything else by which to judge a school!), and Merriwa Baptist College - although the fees are only $2k - it's still an extra $5k a year more than public school once all 3 children are attending... and I'd have to drive my son there whilst the girls are at primary and he'd either have to get there really early or the girls would have to be late! (How do you do two school runs at the same time?!).

Roleystone is still my favourite hills / bush option but a bit concerned about (1) fires and (2) not as much for the kids to do when they're teenagers... 

Alkimos doesn't seem to be near any national parks except Yanchep though (everywhere else is 1-2 hours' drive away) and once we're bored with that, where do we go...?

We're trying to book temp accomm and even the cheap areas are commanding ridiculously high fees - quite surprising given it'll bid mid-winter! :-(

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Hi, yes, it was me selling our house. We moved last May and haven't regretted any of it. Now live in a tiny Scottish village.

Everywhere can and does get mozzies. Generally they are worse in land, though any areas of fresh water will cause them. Dawesville isn't any worse than any where else because of the sea breeze. Though old Dawesville which is around the Peel is bad as it is on the other side of a hill which prevents the breeze and next to the inlet. Though the worst I have ever been bitten was in the city centre of Perth and on Cottesloe beach!

Same with flies, which can be a major headache.

Bush fires are a consideration, though not just inland areas - anywhere where there is a large amount of trees - such as nature reserves and national parks. Though you would be surprised how close to the city they can get. I always remember a couple of years ago watching a big storm come in with lots of lightening and then a few hours later it being replaced by massive plumes of smoke as a town was consumed not far from where we lived. I have also known trains being cancelled into Perth because of them and Perth city center being covered in smoke from nearby fires.

The major considerations is where you will all be working, how long you are prepared to commute and budget. For example, if you are working south of the city, then Alkimos would be a very long commute, same the other way, if working north of the city, then Dawesville would be a long trip.

Ultimatly, I would not get too hung up on an area yet. It is too hard until you actually visit. For example, I remember when we moved and we were certain we had got it down to 2-3 suburbs where we were sure we wanted to live. Then we arrived and looked around and these were the 2-3 suburbs we liked least and the one we ended up in was the one we had never considered.

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I personally think it is very hard to judge a suburb and area from the internet and other people's comments/recommendations etc.   You really need to visit the areas, walk around, go into the shops, visit the schools etc, before you can get a good feel for a suburb.  

It is hard to choose where to live and I don't envy you on this journey, but whilst researching different areas online and through this forum, have you considered taking a  holiday rental for a few weeks and having a really good look around when you get here?   Or even renting for 6 months in an area you really like so that you can get a feel for the place?

As far as schools go, don't just be led by the NAPLAN scores on a website.   Just because a certain number of students scored well in one particular examination on a particular day, does not mean that the school is good.   Personally I would be more concerned that the school fitted the needs of my children, which is why I always advocate visiting schools and asking to speak to the Principal.   

 

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Hi @Nomadneat we live in Roleystone.  I grew up here and lived in Roleystone until I went travelling to the UK where I stayed for 11 years.  We came home nearly 4.5 years ago and we moved back to Roleystone.  We bought our house.  My kids go to Roleystone community college just as I did and will do years 11 and 12 at either Kelmscott or Lesmurdie.

There is plenty for kids to do and lots of sports clubs.  We are involved in the t-ball/baseball club.  

I work in Morley which is about 35 minutes on the Tonkin Hwy dependant on traffic and my husband works in Perth CBD his commute is just slightly longer by car.  

We never really looked anywhere closer to Perth and always wanted 'bush' to live in.

My parents have been in Roleystone since 1970 and only once have they evacuated with a bush fire in 2011 which was started by a local using welding equipment.  there seem to be more fires out of the hills now than in the hills.

any questions please ask?

 

 

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If you are looking at Alkimos, why dont you look at Currambine, think it has a different school catchment area and its still 2 mins to the beach, we lived in Harrisdale for two years, thought the mosquito & fly epidemic was normal for Australia, until we moved to Burns Beach, hardly any flies and few mosquitos we love it around here, 5 mins to joondalup, 5 mins to currambine station, on the freeway, the freeway extension will open soon so even less local traffic

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Alkimos. It's closer to Perth than Mornington is to MELBOURNE. Train line makes access easy so when the kids are bigger they can access all. Beach will be great for all in two years. Schools are new and affordable several k-12 options.


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Personally I would stick closer to Joondalup and echo Druid's thoughts.  As the parent of teenagers they would be mortified if I moved them to Alkimos.  Nothing there, have to travel to anything and I would spend my entire life being a taxi driver, more than I do already!!  When we moved I didn't want to be any further north than Burns Beach road or any further East than Wanneroo Rd.  

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On 15/06/2017 at 22:36, Druid said:

If you are looking at Alkimos, why dont you look at Currambine, think it has a different school catchment area and its still 2 mins to the beach, we lived in Harrisdale for two years, thought the mosquito & fly epidemic was normal for Australia, until we moved to Burns Beach, hardly any flies and few mosquitos we love it around here, 5 mins to joondalup, 5 mins to currambine station, on the freeway, the freeway extension will open soon so even less local traffic

Hmmm seems a bit pricey but thanks anyway 👍

Anyone got any experience of Dawesville / Halls Head?🤔

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On 14/06/2017 at 19:05, Nutnudger said:

Hi @Nomadneat we live in Roleystone.  I grew up here and lived in Roleystone until I went travelling to the UK where I stayed for 11 years.  We came home nearly 4.5 years ago and we moved back to Roleystone.  We bought our house.  My kids go to Roleystone community college just as I did and will do years 11 and 12 at either Kelmscott or Lesmurdie.

There is plenty for kids to do and lots of sports clubs.  We are involved in the t-ball/baseball club.  

I work in Morley which is about 35 minutes on the Tonkin Hwy dependant on traffic and my husband works in Perth CBD his commute is just slightly longer by car.  

We never really looked anywhere closer to Perth and always wanted 'bush' to live in.

My parents have been in Roleystone since 1970 and only once have they evacuated with a bush fire in 2011 which was started by a local using welding equipment.  there seem to be more fires out of the hills now than in the hills.

any questions please ask?

 

 

Thanks so much for your detailed post, and apologies for the delay in replying, I've been busy packing and selling for Perth!

so what are flies and mozzies like in Roley? We've noticed prices haven't dropped as much there and are also considering Kelmscott (east of railway tracks!), mount nasura and mount richon, just incase prices / interest rates go up before we can buy (U.K. house on market but slow going, as it always is in the U.K. 🙄).

do you ever miss the beach? When we buy red definitely like a pool but rentals don't tend to have them and a summer without access to water to jump in might be unbearable 😕

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On 14/06/2017 at 17:25, verystormy said:

Hi, yes, it was me selling our house. We moved last May and haven't regretted any of it. Now live in a tiny Scottish village.

Everywhere can and does get mozzies. Generally they are worse in land, though any areas of fresh water will cause them. Dawesville isn't any worse than any where else because of the sea breeze. Though old Dawesville which is around the Peel is bad as it is on the other side of a hill which prevents the breeze and next to the inlet. Though the worst I have ever been bitten was in the city centre of Perth and on Cottesloe beach!

Same with flies, which can be a major headache.

Bush fires are a consideration, though not just inland areas - anywhere where there is a large amount of trees - such as nature reserves and national parks. Though you would be surprised how close to the city they can get. I always remember a couple of years ago watching a big storm come in with lots of lightening and then a few hours later it being replaced by massive plumes of smoke as a town was consumed not far from where we lived. I have also known trains being cancelled into Perth because of them and Perth city center being covered in smoke from nearby fires.

The major considerations is where you will all be working, how long you are prepared to commute and budget. For example, if you are working south of the city, then Alkimos would be a very long commute, same the other way, if working north of the city, then Dawesville would be a long trip.

Ultimatly, I would not get too hung up on an area yet. It is too hard until you actually visit. For example, I remember when we moved and we were certain we had got it down to 2-3 suburbs where we were sure we wanted to live. Then we arrived and looked around and these were the 2-3 suburbs we liked least and the one we ended up in was the one we had never considered.

Thanks VS, very informative post 👍 Husband will be home-based so proximity to city not an issue 😊 Totally agree with your last point - all our favourite areas (picked in the UK) were off the cards as soon as we visited them in person, and we actually ended up somewhere we'd never heard of!

time is of the essence though, as we have one week in Safety bay and one week in Alkimos and then need to be in a rental! 😱

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On 14/06/2017 at 17:43, Rossmoyne said:

I personally think it is very hard to judge a suburb and area from the internet and other people's comments/recommendations etc.   You really need to visit the areas, walk around, go into the shops, visit the schools etc, before you can get a good feel for a suburb.  

It is hard to choose where to live and I don't envy you on this journey, but whilst researching different areas online and through this forum, have you considered taking a  holiday rental for a few weeks and having a really good look around when you get here?   Or even renting for 6 months in an area you really like so that you can get a feel for the place?

As far as schools go, don't just be led by the NAPLAN scores on a website.   Just because a certain number of students scored well in one particular examination on a particular day, does not mean that the school is good.   Personally I would be more concerned that the school fitted the needs of my children, which is why I always advocate visiting schools and asking to speak to the Principal.   

 

All good points, thanks 👍 We have two weeks' air b&b, during which time we need to find and agree on a suburb, and apply for and get approved for a rental!😳 Kids are going into next year 9 months in so don't want them off for more than 2 weeks as they'll be behind as it is...😕

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All good points, thanks We have two weeks' air b&b, during which time we need to find and agree on a suburb, and apply for and get approved for a rental! Kids are going into next year 9 months in so don't want them off for more than 2 weeks as they'll be behind as it is...

So how/where did you go? Wetter here than Mornington atm.


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Hi, well it was very manic and, looking back, I don't quite know how we did it - especially being 6 months' pregnant at the time!

We weren't keen on Safety Bay - bit old and tired, not very aesthetically-pleasing, no real beach to speak of... Alkimos was just a tin-roof 'burb - identical newbuilds on tiny plots... Quinn's Beach seemed a bit rough around the edges.... Joondalup felt unsafe (as did Rockingham)...Mandurah was nice but high crime (due to its size, probably, as there are some decent parts with really nice houses)...Hall's Head and Dawesville were very pretty but too far from the city (incase we ever wanted to visit), and Dawesville didn't have any shops or school within walking distance... Roleystone was beautiful but a bit pricey... Armadale was rough and high crime... Kinross was top of our list for NOR (but then we decided on SOR!), and we really wanted to visit the Swan Valley but ran out of time :-/

We covered so many miles, and all whilst my husband was working (luckily he was doing Sydney hours so finished at 2.30pm) and I was 'home-schooling' the kids at the dining table (also my husband's workspace, lol).... we decided on Secret Harbour because it's just an hour from the CBD (less without traffic), an hour from the hills, closer to the south-west, has a beach (not a family-friendly one, unfortunately, but great for listening to the sound of the crashing waves whilst watching the sunset with a bottle of plonk ;-) ), had lots of amenities (everything we needed except a library - which is planned eventually), good schools (well, as good as schools get over here - which isn't great compared to the UK, lol ;-) ), affordable houses (but not so cheap that you feel you're in an unsavoury area) and was bang in the middle of Rockingham and Mandurah - two big cities (towns??) that have lots more shops, amenities, things to do, see, etc. And of course the biggest secret about Secret Harbour is the fact that it doesn't have a harbour!! 

Having decided on Secret Harbour (which, ironically, wasn't even on our radar! Neither was Mount Eliza when we moved there...), we still didn't know if we should rent or buy, and we only had a week to decide AND to find a place. We put in an application for a short-term rental (but nobody got back to us) and then found our current house, which was for sale but the owners were willing to rent it to us whilst our UK house sale went through; the process is called Prior Possession and it can be dodgy, but luckily we fared ok (worst was the UK tenant refusing to allow viewers and surveyors in, and she stopped paying rent, all of which delayed the sale and we had to extend the completion date - but luckily I'd got the settlement agents to remove the penalty clause as I feared this might happen (phew!). Plus you don't get the luxury of having any problems with the house rectified prior to completion when you do PP - it's kind of like 'sold as seen'. So we spent a bit on titivating rundown bits, and the door locks on the patio doors are knackered and need replacing eventually.... 

The stress of the move (we had a lot of things go wrong - flights cancelled, car shipping cancelled, container delayed and damaged, no insurance - not to mention the pressure of being homeless if we didn't find somewhere to house our family in <2 weeks - and me being in 'nesting mode' for the new baby, and home-schooling the kids whilst my husband tried to work at the same table, and travelling 4 hours a day to visit areas and looking at several properties every day  / evening and sometimes 30-odd at the weekends....I could go on!) and the problems with the UK house ended up with me on bed-rest and then, at 8 months' pregnant, I found myself in hospital with Aussie flu and pneumonia and reduced foetal movements. Luckily she was born safely a few weeks later and she's now 10 months old and snuggling up to me in the baby carrier whilst I write this :-)

In hindsight, we should probably have gone into rented first as we're now looking at newbuilds (for inspiration on renovating the house) and they're soooo cheap for what you get, but we'll have to hang onto this for a few years due to the housing market (and the tens of thousands we've already spent on solar, patio roof, decking, pool fencing, decorating, internal walls and doors built, etc.). 

PS - Hope my comments don't offend anyone living in the areas we didn't fancy - just our opinion and each to their own ;-)

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Good on ya for the happy end after all the madness.

The newbuilds may be cheap, but land is still quite expensive. Although an hour from the city and SOR may be different.

 

When we looked at houses, we could buy a 4x2 on 750sqm land for around 540k. At the same time, vacant land that was sold nearby was roughly the same sqm, for 500k! 

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