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Aussie Rules
by Sarah Rodrigues

Australia's iconic golden beaches, rainforests and vast red centre are a siren-song for tourists, and few visitors down under fail to be impressed by the quality of life enjoyed by its residents. Many returning Brits enthuse about relocation, a few just up and do it. The thought may even have crossed your mind - surveys show that a huge percentage of British adults dream about starting life a new on foreign shores and that Australian shores are generally somewhere the top of the list. So what's stopping them?

It's very likely that the vast distance between the two countries colours the whole enterprise with an air of difficulty. Yet Australia is just a day away by air, and has seen an influx of British migrants for over 200 years - however, Australia has finally woken up to the fact of its own desirability. No longer the receptacle of England's unwanted criminals, nor a country needing to entice settlers out with a bargain 10 pound fare - the lure in the time of the "10 pound poms", these days, Australia ensures it gets top-quality immigrants by granting residency to individuals who will be able to contribute quickly to the economy.

"The climate, open spaces and the proximity to coastal areas mean that outdoor activities can be enjoyed by residents year round" says Reynolds.

Charlie Gunningham of agrees. Himself from Britain, he names advantages of life down under ranging from a lack of crowds and traffic to a welcoming attitude to outsiders. "I sometimes miss things like a beer by the fire in a country pub - but wouldn't trade any of what I have here for those things." Regarding property, he says that things were calmer during the recent boom than on the East Coast. "Prices have risen strongly, but Western Australia (WA) remains very cost -effective and it is still possible to buy for under $250,000 (99,375 pounds) within ten kilometres of the CBD (central business district)."

Reasonable purchase prices have contributed to the creation of a renters market, and in other Australian capital cities too the buying stampede has led to a drop in rental occupancies and rents. Evan Reynolds advises immigrants to take full advantage of the trend.

"The internet is invaluable for educating yourself about what's on offer before you even set foot in Australia," he says. "But once here, it's wise to rent for a couple of months to familiarise yourself with your surroundings and get a real feel for where it is that you want to live."

" has a number of features of use to overseas people looking to buy in WA, points out Gunningham. "Descriptions and photos, mapping, suburban trend charts detailing median prices - these things facilitate the relocation process and can make life in a new country seem far less daunting."

So next time you hear the call of those sunny shores, bear in mind that it may not be as difficult as you think - at least in terms of obtaining permission to emigrate and setting up a home. Consider, though, that once there you will have other factors to contend with, such as missing the proximity of family. Remember also that Australia is the country with more things that'll bite you, scratch you, sting you and eat you than any other. There are spiders, snakes and mosquitoes. And then there are the Aussies themselves. They're a friendly, welcoming bunch - but they are just so infuriatingly good at sport.

Tel: 08 9389 5833

Courtesy: Homes Overseas Magazine (

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