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Hi All!

I'm a mid-twenties professional moving to Sydney via my company in July. I'm trying to determine the best neighborhoods to live once I move. I'll have only six weeks to find a place once I arrive, so I'd like to narrow the search to one or two neighborhoods if that's possible.

My office is in North Sydney and I won't have a car for the first few months, so Bondi and points south are out. A few neighborhoods recommended by future co-workers are Darlinghurst and Surry Hills, and I've been considering Manly because it'd be great to live at the beach in Australia, but unusure what my commute would look like from there.

I'm trying to spend about $500/week for 2 bedrooms but could go to $650 for the perfect place.

A bit about what I'd like:
- Easy access to public transit to North Sydney, with relatively short transit times (~30 min. door to door)
- If at all possible, a private yard of some sort. I have a small dog and a yard makes all the difference (though I know this is a tall order in the city)
- Good nightlife, especially good restaurants
- Something that really showcases all that Sydney has to offer

Also, if anyone has any tips on the best way to secure an apartment once you've found the perfect one, I'd appreciate that as well!

Many Thanks!

Jenn
 

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Hi,

I have lived in Manly for the past two years. I highly recommend this neighbourhood (especially during summer). There are some really nice restaurants, bars, parks, walks, beaches, etc. All in all, this is one of my favourite neighbourhoods in Sydney.

My wife works in North Sydney; there are both local and express busses available from Manly Wharf. If you want to get to the CBD, there is ferry service which takes 30 minutes (or 18 minutes if you take a fast ferry).

Please note that $500/week will not get you far in Manly though. In addition, getting a really nice apartment in Sydney (at a good price) is a nightmare at this time. To tell you the truth, getting any apartment is difficult at first. I would assume that your dog will not help you in that matter. You will probably need good references. I was a bit lucky because my company helped me to find my first apartment. Maybe you should take a similar route; ask your company for help and references.

I assume that you have done your research about Sydney. Please note that Sydney is a very expensive city (even comparing to New York where I lived for almost 10 years before coming here). You also need to take into consideration LAFHA benefits (or lack thereof as of 1 July 2012).

I have really enjoyed my time here, but, I know, that Sydney is not for everyone. I work with a lot of expats from all around the world – some of them love Sydney and some are extremely disappointed. I have seen quite a few US/UK people leaving Sydney because of high living costs. Many people also find Sydney boring after a while.

Hope this helps.
 

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Jabol,

If you are already receiving LAFHA before last Tuesday's budget then it has been extended till 01-Jul-2014 and does not finish now on 01-Jul-12 !! TJ
 
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