Top 5 Suburbs for Families in Melbourne

If you don’t know a city well it can be a daunting task choosing your new suburb for your family! Here we take out the guess work and fill you in on 5 of Melbourne’s best options to rent in with kids.

Beaumaris

Nestled between Black Rock and Mentone, 20 km south-east from the CBD, Beaumaris is an affluent seaside suburb with the tranquil ambience of a country town. With a population of only 13,500, the tree-lined suburb has just the right number of people to keep its shops and plethora of eateries busy without making it feel the least bit crowded. Education-wise, it has three primary schools and one of the state’s best new secondary colleges which was built in conjunction with the Melbourne Cricket Club and has state of the art sporting facilities. When you’re not sipping a café latte, overlooking sun-mottled Port Phillip Bay, you can spend a leisurely afternoon with the family on Beaumaris Beach.

Balwyn

Located 10 km east of the CBD, Balwyn has a well-deserved reputation for being one of Melbourne’s most idyllic, family welcoming suburbs. Schools, parks, shops, public transport, there are no shortage of amenities in Balwyn. Its famous public secondary school is well known to get some of the tops academic results in the state beating out many private schools and having a strong focus on their music program. The suburb even has its own art-deco picture theatre, the famous Balwyn Cinema.  

Williamstown

Williamstown was Melbourne’s first port settlement and is steeped in history. It’s also steeped in cafes, restaurants, boutique fashion and gift shops and too many tourist attractions to list all of them here. So, we’ll name just two: the Williamstown Botanic Gardens and the Williamstown Craft Market. Lying on the eastern edge of Hobsons Bay, with the city of Melbourne in clear view, Williamstown is easily accessible by public transport, including the beloved Williamstown Ferry. Its range of schools, broad, quiet streets and sense of community spirit, make it an ideal place for families.

McKinnon

One of Melbourne’s best-kept secrets, McKinnon occupies just several square kilometres of land about 13 km from the CBD. Small though it may be, it has parks, schools and a dedicated railway station, and is a mere stone’s throw from the busy Bentleigh shopping hub. In the past, McKinnon was host to rows of Californian bungalows but has since embraced more modern architecture, with attractive apartments and townhouses now a common feature of its streetscapes. Low on crime but high on family living, McKinnon would be a great place for you to call home. Like Balwyn it also has one of the top performing public schools in the state.

Glen Iris

Glen Iris nudges Malvern and Camberwell and like those well-to-do suburbs oozes class – but with a much cheaper price tag! From its tree-festooned parks and avenues to its elegant shopping strips and state-of-the-art sporting facilities, Glen Iris eschews the bland for style and sophistication. It’s not just a suburb, it’s a lifestyle and its close proximity to the city, many fine private schools and transport links should place it near the top of your must-consider list.

For more information you can check out our other family friendly recommendations here!

Renting in Melbourne - Our Top 10 Things to Know

Melbourne is one of Australia’s most coveted rental markets so finding a quality property at the right price can be difficult if you don’t know where to start! Here are our top 10 things you need to know in order to find and secure the right place to rent in Melbourne:

1.      The best real estate search engine, bar none, is realestate.com.au. It has an easy-to-navigate interface and is updated more often than similar search engines.

2.      Typically, rental properties have no furniture or major appliances, with the exception of stoves and dishwashers. Furnished properties are available but cost considerably more to rent than unfurnished ones.

3.      The demand for rental properties in Melbourne is high. As a result an advertised rental price should not be seen as a fixed price. It may rise or even fall depending on how many people are interested in renting that particular property.

4.      Most real estate agents prefer that you use 1Form to make your rental applications. 1Form is free and streamlines the application process, enabling you to apply for multiple properties at once.

5.      Almost every agency requires you to inspect a property before leasing it. This can be a major hassle if you’re moving from interstate or overseas. That’s where we come in. We will inspect the property for you and ensure it ticks all the right boxes so you can move in the moment you arrive.

6.      The standard fixed-term lease agreement is for a period of 12 months. Fixed terms are the securest form of lease agreement. But they can be costly if you leave the property before the end of the term.

7.      A bank cheque is the preferred form of bond payment. After receiving the payment, the agent will forward it to the RTBA (Residential Tenancies Bond Authority), which holds it for the duration of the lease. Some agents accept payment by direct bank transfer. You will have to ask the individual agent whether this is an option.

8.      In addition to paying a security bond, you must pay 2 weeks rent in advance. Some agents do ask for more though.

9.      Real estate agents have an understandable bias for prospective tenants who are employed. If you don’t have a job when you move to Melbourne, you may have to offer more than 2 weeks rent in advance to secure a property.

10.  Once the lease has expired, you have the option of signing another or letting it automatically switch to what’s known as a periodic agreement, i.e. a lease that continues month by month. This is provided you haven’t been given notice to vacate the property.

Still need a hand navigating the rental process? Give us a call - we’d love to help!

Moving to Melbourne? This Map May Influence Your New Suburb!

One of the best things about Melbourne is its multiculturalism! On a Friday night when you are looking for a dinner venue there is nothing better than being faced with the dilemma; "should I go to Lygon St for Italian? Victoria St for Vietnamese? Little Bourke St for Chinese? Dandenong for Indian? Brunswick for Turkish? Footscray for Ethiopian?". We could go on....

So that's why we love this map! It shows the top birthplace for immigrants in suburbs across Melbourne and is a great tool for considering where you might like to live if you are moving to Melbourne.

Check out http://www.sbs.com.au/news/map/where-australias-immigrants-were-born-melbourne for further info!

Cheers

Simone and Jade

Renting with Pets in Melbourne

Finding a rental property in Melbourne that will accept your furry friends can often be a challenge.

There have been a number of horror stories published in recent years where pets have caused irreparable damage to rental properties. Consequently, this has caused landlords and managing agents alike to be understandably cautious when dealing with an application including pets.

I can’t begin to tell you how often I would call a landlord to discuss a potential rental application and as soon as I mentioned that there was a cat or a dog included you could hear the hesitation in their voice. As a Leasing Consultant the greatest tool I could use was to be able to email a copy of a ‘pet resume’ that the applicants had put together. This provides an opportunity for you to present a summary of your pet’s best qualities and your awareness of your responsibilities as a pet owner.

Needless to say the most crucial feature of the pet resume was the photo! I would encourage the applicants to include the most adorable and current picture you have of your pet, immaculately presented, looking as through butter wouldn’t melt in his/her mouth.

They say a picture is worth a 1000 words and this will ultimately put your potential landlord at ease when they see that the dog in the picture doesn’t resemble the dog from the movie ‘The sandlot kids’ as they had first feared.

Please see below for an example of a winning ‘pet resume’ that I have created for my make-believe dog Strawberry!

Additional Tip:

If your landlord is still hesitant to approve your application with your pet, you could offer an additional ‘pet bond’ on top of the required advertised bond. That way the landlord is confident that if your pet does cause any damage, they will be financially compensated. An additional 2-4 weeks rent on top of the mandatory bond should be adequate.   

There are a number of tips and tricks that we have up our sleeve to ensure you and your best mate secure your ideal pad – give us a call to find out more!