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Moving to Canberra’s inner suburbs?

By GoGwak - 6 April 2015 38

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I’m from Sydney and moving to Canberra for good. My husband is renting in Gunaghlin but as a family we would like to move to an area that has established public schools for my kids. We have heard great things about Turner School/Lyneham Primary/ Lyneham High in inner North, and Garran Primary/Curtin Primary/Red Hill Primary/Telopea Park High in inner South, and would like to buy a place in their PEA.

We have done some basic research and the following suburbs are now on my list for home hunting:

  • O’Connor
  • Lyneham
  • Garran
  • Curtin
  • Griffith

However, we know nothing about these suburbs and would like to know more about them before buying a property there.  Some of my questions include:

Are these suburbs family friendly and safe to live in for young families? I am aware that the inner South seem to be more expensive than the inner north and would like to know why? How is the internet like in those areas?

Ideally we would like to get a house with a backyard for ~$800-850k but we are also happy to get a townhouse instead for a place in inner South. Thanks in advance for your help!

What’s Your opinion?


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38 Responses to
Moving to Canberra’s inner suburbs?
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Shad0w 12:07 pm 24 Apr 15

I grew up in Curtin and have now lived in Garran for 10+ years. I loved Curtin, but love Garran more.

In Garran, I live in ‘flats’ (apartments) that are next door to Garran Primary, and across the road from Canberra Hospital. There are many established trees all over the suburb and you definitely experience the colour and joy of the Canberra seasons. I am a 20min drive to work in the Majura precint, where there is a huge Woolworths, Masters, Costco and soon to be finished Ikea. I’m five mins drive to the local Westfield with Coles, Woolworths, David Jones and cinemas, and 10mins drive to Fyshwick markets.

Curtin has a reasonable sized Coles supermarket and a thriving ‘village’ shops, however Garran shops isn’t nearly as well serviced in that sense. The Garran shops are lovely, with plenty of parking and the proprietors and staff at the IGA are lovely people. They have a great butcher, café, chinese restaurant, newsagency/post office, hairdressers and a new professional zoned two story building that is almost finished. The footpaths are lined with lovely trees and the bus route goes right past.

I don’t have children, so cannot comment first hand, but all around me in the apartments I live in are families with small children. I have family members that were very keen on getting their 3 boys into Garran Primary, but they could not afford to live in the suburb, and so ended up at Curtin Primary. I should mention – they are very happy there.

The apartments I live in offer an affordable alternative to a house in the area – well worth exploring as an option. The grounds are large & landscaped, with plenty of green-space for the kids to play in, as well large established trees that attract plenty of birds. The families I see around me all use the next door (no roads to cross) primary school and sports ovals for their playground and I see plenty of people out at all times using the fitness equipment, enjoying the sunshine, walking dogs, riding bikes, playing sport, etc. So they have the outdoors and a treed view without the burden of maintaining them every weekend. The shops are accessible from these areas by footpaths (again, living in these apartments, no roads to cross). The mix of residents is somewhat transient – primarily diplomatic, hospital staff, retirees and youngish renters.

I’m sorry that Garran is too expensive … the townhouse you looked at was most likely a recent knock down/rebuild or a very new build on some of the blocks that are being redeveloped. I agree – they are pricey & there is very little for sale at all in Garran right now. Then again – for all the suburbs you are keen on, I find them all to be quite pricey. I rent, and that probably skews my view. Schools seem to be the driver in your choice, I can understand that. But do consider some of the flanking suburbs if you can manage it, you might get a bit more for your dollar.

shauno 10:10 pm 23 Apr 15

vintage123 said :

This one just listed is perfect and rare.
http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/sale-residential/23-stuart-street-griffith-canberra/1316975641011

Rates $4500 PA lol

vintage123 10:25 am 18 Apr 15

Maya123 said :

vintage123 said :

Maya123 said :

vintage123 said :

Maya123 said :

With “~$800-850k” you will have no trouble finding a house or townhouse in an inner suburb. Not everywhere, but there are houses in that price range. There are no bad areas, if you steer away from government blocks of flats. Just look around the area first.

Where are these mysterious homes?

Not mysterious at all. Just check allhomes. I didn’t say all houses and townhouses are in this price range, but there are plenty in this price range, unless your tastes run to five bedrooms with ensuites, separate entertainment rooms, etc.

I must have a different version of allhomes as I couldn’t locate anything for their budget in Curtin or Griffith.

Stop being so selective. I didn’t say all inner Canberra. Beside, Curtin is Woden, not inner. They said, “Ideally we would like to get a house with a backyard for ~$800-850k but we are also happy to get a townhouse instead for a place in inner South.” Try these three bedroom places:
$425,000: http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/sale-residential/narrabundah/121484210

$440,000: http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/sale-residential/13-51-leahy-close-narrabundah-canberra/1316933455511

$599,000: http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/sale-residential/35-warramoo-crescent-narrabundah-canberra/1316961236411

$675,000: http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/sale-residential/20-mcintyre-street-narrabundah-canberra/1316960465411

Four bedrooms:
$770,000: http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/sale-residential/32-tungun-street-narrabundah-canberra/1316960837411

There are more than these in Narrabundah.

Perhaps Narrabundah is too much beneath you, so moving onto Red Hill.
Three bedrooms:
$695,000: http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/sale-residential/110-monaro-crescent-red-hill-canberra/1316964572311
Four bedrooms:
$849,000: http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/sale-residential/14-astrolabe-street-red-hill-canberra/1316960232711

What do you think a house should have that you would ignore all these?

Yeah I looked at all those, and they are close to government houses or in dodgy areas or are very substandard. I was attempting to help the OP, not just trying to prove a moot point between you and I. I think it’s important to read the OP details. They listed their preferred suburbs and subsequently there were no listings in their price bracket when I looked. Anyway, let’s just see who’s advice they take. Doubt we will see them living in pov narrabundah.

Ghettosmurf87 10:24 am 13 Apr 15

Masquara said :

GoGwak said :

TIs there anything you could tell me about O’Connor? Eg streets to avoid etc?

We drove around the area and didn’t notice any govt housing there.

If you’re anti social housing you don’t belong in Canberra. And you particularly don’t belong in the inner north. Every suburb in Canberra other than O’Malley has public housing. There is public housing in Forrest and Red Hill, for example. O’Connor has masses of public housing, including a large number of its three-bedroom houses on large blocks. If you want to live in a neighbourhood devoid of public housing, I’d suggest you save up and see if you can afford O’Malley.

I don’t think the OP is against public housing, it’s just that earlier posts had warned them to avoid living on the streets with public housing, so that is what they were seeking to do.

Maya123 8:04 am 13 Apr 15

Maya123 said :

vintage123 said :

Maya123 said :

vintage123 said :

Maya123 said :

With “~$800-850k” you will have no trouble finding a house or townhouse in an inner suburb. Not everywhere, but there are houses in that price range. There are no bad areas, if you steer away from government blocks of flats. Just look around the area first.

Where are these mysterious homes?

Not mysterious at all. Just check allhomes. I didn’t say all houses and townhouses are in this price range, but there are plenty in this price range, unless your tastes run to five bedrooms with ensuites, separate entertainment rooms, etc.

I must have a different version of allhomes as I couldn’t locate anything for their budget in Curtin or Griffith.

Stop being so selective. I didn’t say all inner Canberra. Beside, Curtin is Woden, not inner. They said, “Ideally we would like to get a house with a backyard for ~$800-850k but we are also happy to get a townhouse instead for a place in inner South.” Try these three bedroom places:
$425,000: http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/sale-residential/narrabundah/121484210

$440,000: http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/sale-residential/13-51-leahy-close-narrabundah-canberra/1316933455511

$599,000: http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/sale-residential/35-warramoo-crescent-narrabundah-canberra/1316961236411

$675,000: http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/sale-residential/20-mcintyre-street-narrabundah-canberra/1316960465411

Four bedrooms:
$770,000: http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/sale-residential/32-tungun-street-narrabundah-canberra/1316960837411

There are more than these in Narrabundah.

Perhaps Narrabundah is too much beneath you, so moving onto Red Hill.
Three bedrooms:
$695,000: http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/sale-residential/110-monaro-crescent-red-hill-canberra/1316964572311
Four bedrooms:
$849,000: http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/sale-residential/14-astrolabe-street-red-hill-canberra/1316960232711

What do you think a house should have that you would ignore all these?

Oops, it appears that although I copied the link on individual pages, they take you to the general pages. But still, those houses and townhouses do exist for those prices.

Maya123 8:02 am 13 Apr 15

vintage123 said :

Maya123 said :

vintage123 said :

Maya123 said :

With “~$800-850k” you will have no trouble finding a house or townhouse in an inner suburb. Not everywhere, but there are houses in that price range. There are no bad areas, if you steer away from government blocks of flats. Just look around the area first.

Where are these mysterious homes?

Not mysterious at all. Just check allhomes. I didn’t say all houses and townhouses are in this price range, but there are plenty in this price range, unless your tastes run to five bedrooms with ensuites, separate entertainment rooms, etc.

I must have a different version of allhomes as I couldn’t locate anything for their budget in Curtin or Griffith.

Stop being so selective. I didn’t say all inner Canberra. Beside, Curtin is Woden, not inner. They said, “Ideally we would like to get a house with a backyard for ~$800-850k but we are also happy to get a townhouse instead for a place in inner South.” Try these three bedroom places:
$425,000: http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/sale-residential/narrabundah/121484210

$440,000: http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/sale-residential/13-51-leahy-close-narrabundah-canberra/1316933455511

$599,000: http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/sale-residential/35-warramoo-crescent-narrabundah-canberra/1316961236411

$675,000: http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/sale-residential/20-mcintyre-street-narrabundah-canberra/1316960465411

Four bedrooms:
$770,000: http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/sale-residential/32-tungun-street-narrabundah-canberra/1316960837411

There are more than these in Narrabundah.

Perhaps Narrabundah is too much beneath you, so moving onto Red Hill.
Three bedrooms:
$695,000: http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/sale-residential/110-monaro-crescent-red-hill-canberra/1316964572311
Four bedrooms:
$849,000: http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/sale-residential/14-astrolabe-street-red-hill-canberra/1316960232711

What do you think a house should have that you would ignore all these?

astrojax 11:40 pm 12 Apr 15

GoGwak said :

Thank you so much for everyone’s comments. They are really useful information. We went to a few open homes in the last couple of weeks. We Like O’Connor for its close proximity to work and for our budget we could get a decent house there. Is there anything you could tell me about O’Connor? Eg streets to avoid etc?

We drove around the area and didn’t notice any govt housing there. Hopefully we didn’t miss anything.

I note that one of you said negatively about Turber School. But its performance seems pretty good on tye Better Education website. May I gave more information about why it is not so good please?

I’ve heard many good things about Garran Primary but Garran is too expensive for us. We went to an auction there last Thursday. A 3 br townhouse was sold for almost $880k. I heard Curtin Primary is great but they seem to have a really strong arts focus which doesn’t suit my kids.

Thanks again for your help!

most of o’connor is great. and pretty well most schools in canberra are good – compared with sydney’s average. you could also look at lyneham, dickson and downer for that price bracket, you’ll get some good real estate and it’s still close to things.

good luck.

Masquara 10:09 pm 12 Apr 15

GoGwak said :

TIs there anything you could tell me about O’Connor? Eg streets to avoid etc?

We drove around the area and didn’t notice any govt housing there.

If you’re anti social housing you don’t belong in Canberra. And you particularly don’t belong in the inner north. Every suburb in Canberra other than O’Malley has public housing. There is public housing in Forrest and Red Hill, for example. O’Connor has masses of public housing, including a large number of its three-bedroom houses on large blocks. If you want to live in a neighbourhood devoid of public housing, I’d suggest you save up and see if you can afford O’Malley.

Sandman 7:25 pm 12 Apr 15

I know a couple of people who have pulled kids from Turner primary. These were smart kids from well to do families and were having a bit of trouble with bullying and social aspects. There are enough Govvy flats and houses in the Turner area to inject a few kids with less than stellar parents. Apparently the school wasn’t or couldn’t do enough about it.

I’d put in another vote for Ainslie, however when browsing Allhomes the other day I noticed there was only 1 property for sale in the whole suburb (and its a big suburb). I’ve heard pretty good things about North Ainslie and wouldn’t hesitate to send my kids there if they weren’t at a nice small private school with an awesome community.

GoGwak 6:29 pm 12 Apr 15

Thank you so much for everyone’s comments. They are really useful information. We went to a few open homes in the last couple of weeks. We Like O’Connor for its close proximity to work and for our budget we could get a decent house there. Is there anything you could tell me about O’Connor? Eg streets to avoid etc?

We drove around the area and didn’t notice any govt housing there. Hopefully we didn’t miss anything.

I note that one of you said negatively about Turber School. But its performance seems pretty good on tye Better Education website. May I gave more information about why it is not so good please?

I’ve heard many good things about Garran Primary but Garran is too expensive for us. We went to an auction there last Thursday. A 3 br townhouse was sold for almost $880k. I heard Curtin Primary is great but they seem to have a really strong arts focus which doesn’t suit my kids.

Thanks again for your help!

smacg 7:15 pm 09 Apr 15

We have been in Narrabundah for seven years and love the area. Red Hill PS, Telopea Park School and Narrabundah college have all been great. Internet is fine, no traffic and you are close to Woden and the City. Good bus connections too. Lower Narrabundah is cheaper and has improved over the years with plenty of renos and knock down/rebuilds. A lot cheaper than upper Narrabundah too.

countach 6:23 pm 09 Apr 15

all the inner suburbs are great,just make sure you understand the rules on which are areas that can be converted into units,so you don’t get any surprises later.

vintage123 5:26 pm 09 Apr 15

Maya123 said :

vintage123 said :

Maya123 said :

With “~$800-850k” you will have no trouble finding a house or townhouse in an inner suburb. Not everywhere, but there are houses in that price range. There are no bad areas, if you steer away from government blocks of flats. Just look around the area first.

Where are these mysterious homes?

Not mysterious at all. Just check allhomes. I didn’t say all houses and townhouses are in this price range, but there are plenty in this price range, unless your tastes run to five bedrooms with ensuites, separate entertainment rooms, etc.

I must have a different version of allhomes as I couldn’t locate anything for their budget in Curtin or Griffith.

Maya123 5:05 pm 09 Apr 15

vintage123 said :

Maya123 said :

With “~$800-850k” you will have no trouble finding a house or townhouse in an inner suburb. Not everywhere, but there are houses in that price range. There are no bad areas, if you steer away from government blocks of flats. Just look around the area first.

Where are these mysterious homes?

Not mysterious at all. Just check allhomes. I didn’t say all houses and townhouses are in this price range, but there are plenty in this price range, unless your tastes run to five bedrooms with ensuites, separate entertainment rooms, etc.

Argonaut 3:49 pm 09 Apr 15

We live in Ainslie, and love it! No kids, so can’t comment on the schools, but the most valuable piece of advice I was given about Canberra when I moved here from Sydney 9 years ago was ‘”Where you live is where you play”, and I think it’s worth bearing in mind. As a former Sydney-sider I initially disregarded this advice, thinking, “I’m used to driving everywhere in Sydney, who cares, it’ll be fine!” but I soon realised this piece of advice was so true! In Sydney I wouldn’t think twice about sitting in the car for 45 mins to get from A to B, but Canberra is a lot smaller, and it’s a lot easier to stick within your locale.

Rather than having an active CBD, life in Canberra revolves more around village centres, and this has the potential to be your main hub. Buying walking distance to shops is always a good idea, and its particularly relevant in Canberra! Lyneham, O’Connor, and Ainslie all have a small, thriving central ‘hubs’ at the local shops.

Another thing to know is that, rather than entire suburbs of housing commission residences, each suburb seems to have its share of government housing. A good piece of advice would be not to buy in the streets that are situated between the govvie flats and the local shops, as the incidence of break-ins in these streets is much higher (at least, that’s the case in Ainslie).

You might like to get a hold of the local Neighbourhood Watch newsletters for areas you’re considering buying in, and having a look at the stats for different suburbs yourself. But yep overall Canberra is safe and welcoming. Best of luck with the move!

dungfungus 3:26 pm 09 Apr 15

vintage123 said :

A nice place a couple of doors down from my house came onto allhomes today. This is a fantastic location.

http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/sale-residential/139-mugga-way-red-hill-canberra/1316970934511

“Land Tax: Approx. $12,998 pa (If rented out)”
Gasp!

vintage123 2:46 pm 09 Apr 15

Maya123 said :

With “~$800-850k” you will have no trouble finding a house or townhouse in an inner suburb. Not everywhere, but there are houses in that price range. There are no bad areas, if you steer away from government blocks of flats. Just look around the area first.

Where are these mysterious homes?

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