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Ask RiotACT: Moving to Canberra

By SGM - 10 October 2015 15

Ask RiotACT

I’m wondering if I can get local advice on where to live in Canberra.

We might be settling in Canberra long term and will look to rent first before buying, so ideally want to rent in a place we will be able to afford to buy in. Generally looking for a family-friendly neighbourhood where we can buy a 3–4 bedroom house for 700-800 thousand. We like the look of areas in the Woden Valley area. Mawson, specifically, looks to be good ideal.

I am moving with my husband and two kids – one primary school age, and one preschooler. I have heard that public primary schools in Canberra are generally very good, so I am more concerned with being in a catchment area for good high schools for the future. From my research, Telopea and Lyneham look to be good, but houses in these areas are very expensive. Are there any other recommended high schools? We may also consider Catholic Schools.

Thanks!

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15 Responses to
Ask RiotACT: Moving to Canberra
Maya123 9:23 pm 15 Oct 15

gazket said :

O’malley , Easy distance from Woden nice views, with affordable family housing.

gazket is being ‘funny’. The cheapest house for sale on Allhomes in O’Malley at present is $1,525,000.

gazket 7:04 pm 15 Oct 15

O’malley , Easy distance from Woden nice views, with affordable family housing.

Masquara 6:42 pm 15 Oct 15

Canberra is really strange re suburb profiles and reputations. e.g. Torrens is regarded as “not so good” while Mawson is great – and I couldn’t tell you what that reputation is based on as I can’t see any substantial difference between them (from a distance – inner Northian here). Curtin and Hughes -also great suburbs – might be just within your budget (four bedrooms might be stretching it). The local shopping centre is very important.

jett18 1:07 pm 15 Oct 15

Hi OP.
Firstly, good luck with your impending move.

For what it is worth, Chapman and Rivett in Weston Creek are worth a look at. House prices may be closer to the top end of your budget but if what you are looking for is a good solid community with decent schools and accessibility to shopping centres and amenities it may be worth looking into.

Chapman Primary has an excellent reputation and is adjacent to a pre-school. The closest high school is Stromlo, though I would suggest looking into others before deciding on it as a secondary school option– mixed reviews.

Chapman and Rivett are both about a 5 minute drive or brisk 20 minute walk from Coolomon Court which has everything you need in terms of shopping and if you’re after a shopping mall, Westfield Woden is about 20 minutes away.

Public transport (buses) are OK with most services running either on the half hour or the hour (depending on the time of day)– there are also plenty of sports ovals and local clubs that your kids / hubby can get into.

Once again, good luck and welcome to Canberra!

Aragornerama 6:43 pm 12 Oct 15

Maya123 said :

Aragornerama said :

Consider looking at Narrabundah (the parts between Captain Cook Crescent/Jerrabomberra Av and Red Hill, or between Sturt St and Griffith are especially nice) for the Telopea catchment area, and Lyneham/O’Connor/Watson for Lyneham High School. All are good suburbs, but in the more affordable range for their area.

Consider all Narrabundah. There is an outdated idea that some parts of Narrabundah are to be avoided. Mostly no longer the case, and it hasn’t been that way for a long time. I live in what is parochially called ‘lower’ Narrabundah. It’s a quiet, tree lined and covered street, within walking distance of several schools, one (Narrabundah College) considered highly. People buy here to be close to it. Walking distance to the local shops and the fruit and vegetable markets too. Easy cycling distance to Red Hill schools and Telopea Park. Blocks are about 650 sq metres in size, so roomy. Mostly older houses, but some very modern ones too. There is a knock-down and rebuild trend going on.

I stand corrected!

Spherical 2:45 pm 12 Oct 15

To move around Canberra; look for proximity to expressways.
For easy access to services; look for proximity to a town centre.
For public transport; one bus to city, less than 1km (walk) to town centre.
How long will you have to work to pay for your convenience
vs
how much time is spent in transport to work and school.

=South East Belconnen (Bruce, Aranda, Cook Macquarie)

Maya123 10:30 am 12 Oct 15

Aragornerama said :

Consider looking at Narrabundah (the parts between Captain Cook Crescent/Jerrabomberra Av and Red Hill, or between Sturt St and Griffith are especially nice) for the Telopea catchment area, and Lyneham/O’Connor/Watson for Lyneham High School. All are good suburbs, but in the more affordable range for their area.

Consider all Narrabundah. There is an outdated idea that some parts of Narrabundah are to be avoided. Mostly no longer the case, and it hasn’t been that way for a long time. I live in what is parochially called ‘lower’ Narrabundah. It’s a quiet, tree lined and covered street, within walking distance of several schools, one (Narrabundah College) considered highly. People buy here to be close to it. Walking distance to the local shops and the fruit and vegetable markets too. Easy cycling distance to Red Hill schools and Telopea Park. Blocks are about 650 sq metres in size, so roomy. Mostly older houses, but some very modern ones too. There is a knock-down and rebuild trend going on.

Aragornerama 9:29 am 12 Oct 15

ps. try Hackett too. And do double-check the school zones before buying anything – I’m not 100% which inner north suburbs are in Lyneham’s zone (Campbell High School would probably also be ok too though).

Ezy 8:18 am 12 Oct 15

To get an idea of house prices – you are going to have to do some research. All past sales data is relatively easy to find online. You will be able to get a nice 4 bedroom in Weston Creek within your budget. See if this works for you:

http://www.realestate.com.au/sold/property-house-with-4-bedrooms-in-weston+creek+district%2c+act%3b/list-1?maxBeds=4

Aragornerama 9:36 pm 11 Oct 15

Consider looking at Narrabundah (the parts between Captain Cook Crescent/Jerrabomberra Av and Red Hill, or between Sturt St and Griffith are especially nice) for the Telopea catchment area, and Lyneham/O’Connor/Watson for Lyneham High School. All are good suburbs, but in the more affordable range for their area.

SGM 9:11 pm 11 Oct 15

Thanks for taking the time to respond. All info is very helpful!
Any further info on Weston creek? eg. Are house prices slightly more affordable?
We will also consider moving further out from the centre if it enabled us to afford something more modern or will also consider a smaller town house closer to the centre if we decided on a school in that area. Basically keeping all our options open!
Any info on gungahlin and surrounding areas?
I have also read good things about Melba Copland high school, so would think about suburbs in this area too.
Thanks!

scentednightgardens 2:14 pm 11 Oct 15

Lyons. Not far from Mawson really, but just that little extra central. Its a great little suburb that covers a lot of bases. Great views from the homes higher up on Oakey Hill Reserve. Fantastic access to express services to Civic and the Triangle on ACTION (15/10 mins). Walk to Woden Centre for shopping. Close to the Tuggeranong Pkwy and Hindmarsh Drive, in terms of fast access around greater Cbr. In the catchment for Curtin PS and the well-regarded Alfred Deakin High. In your price range but price growth is on the cards !

JC 1:42 pm 11 Oct 15

The only house you will get in Woden for the money you have is an ex govie fixer upper and even then they are few and far between. Same true for most of the more inner suburbs.

So that would rule ou Woden, South Canberra and the inner north and Belconnen east of the town centre or north of Belconnen Way.

You may get something reasonable in Weston Creek, which is not a bad place to live.

Watson 10:30 am 11 Oct 15

I can highly recommend Watson and it would be within your price range (just).

You’d be in the catchment area for both Lyneham and Campbell High. Both have an excellent reputation.

The local primary school is also quite good.

It’s an excellent location within cycling distance of Lyneham High and the city. Public transport is a but crap like in most places, unless you live close to Nirtbourne Ave.

It’s got plenty of ovals and green areas, a nature reserve and good local shops.

I’d still be living there is I had been able to afford to buy there…

bronal 9:26 am 11 Oct 15

Any of Mawson, Pearce, Torrens or Farrer would be good. Very central, good shops and Mawson has park and ride. You should be able to buy a good house within your budget in any of those suburbs, although houses there are now around 40 years old so some renovation may be needed. From memory the primary schools in all those suburbs are good, especially Farrer. Can’t comment about high schools or colleges – reputations tend to go up and down like yoyos.

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