The ExPat Diary: We’re Official!

Well friends, I’m happy to say, we’re finally all moved. With more than a little luck we were able to get to Sydney, get a bank account set up, and sign a lease for an apartment in just one week. It wasn’t the most fun week ever but it was productive, and now that we have an address we’re starting to feel like official Sydneysiders.

Just one of the backbreaking pieces of luggage that accompanied us to Sydney. Poor Qantas!

Apartment hunting in Sydney is quite a bit different than the experiences I’ve had in the States. Once you find an apartment you like, you show up at the official ‘inspection’ time to view the place, along with several other interested people. If you like the place, you rush to put in an application, and then you cross your fingers hoping a call comes letting you know that you’re the lucky winner. Another difference: rents are calculated by week but often paid monthly, and with only a few exceptions, pets are not allowed.

(gratuitous cat pic) These guys are awesome, but not allowed in Sydney apartments!

Furnished apartments are very available, and they are furnished with everything down to the silverware. Unfurnished apartments are super unfurnished: no fridge, no washer, no dryer, no nothing! We found that the rents are pretty on par with Manhattan, and the apartments go just as fast.

Sites like list what's available along with rents and inspection times.

Once we were accepted, Alex and I went to sign the lease. And we signed and signed and signed and signed some more. We may have inadvertently signed away our first born – these leases are at least 10 pages long and very detailed. The funny thing is, should you want to break that lease, it doesn’t take a ton of money to do it. In the States you’d need to sublet or pay off the entire lease. Should you decide to break a lease here, you’re out less than two weeks rent. Kinda makes you wonder what all of those signatures are for!

Sydney's diverse mix of neighboorhoods. We explored as much as we could before settling on a place!

So as we settle into Sydney life, we are so excited that our weeks of hotel living are almost over. Even for a committed wanderluster, having a home to go home to is a nice feeling. Plus, living out of a suitcase does get old after awhile. 🙂


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