Berwick is a great suburb
Is being close to the city necessary? Melbourne's outer suburbs have great facilities, big shopping centers, parks etc. If there isn't going to be a daily commute to the CBD I'd look at places in the City of Casey like Berwick, Officer, and Pakenham. Very family friendly, newer houses, great shopping centers and excellent facilities.
Great thread! Very interesting to read peoples opinions of the burbs
I've lived in many of the suburbs previously listed as bad, and the only place i really feared for my safety was Pakenham (used to be a very isolated country town & VERY racist, but its now joined the urban sprawl and is becoming more cosmopolitan)
In many cases, look at the bad suburbs and go just one suburb over to find a pleasant area that is cheap by association. For instance, Doveton is very scummy but separated from it by the monash freeway is Endeavour Hills which is really lovely and not too expensive. Mulgrave is right above scary Noble Park, but is much more livable.
What about reginal areas? Bendigo is a very beautiful little city. Ballarat is just as nice. Warragul is a great family-friendly area but much smaller for the country town feel.
Shepparton i would stay away from. It used to be a great place to live but is now very run down and has gang issues.
Reginal cities are way more affordable than Melbourne and the bigger ones have very good career ops too.
I cant comment on Geelong, i've never lived there (can anyone else advise?)
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I'd highly recommend Point Cook in the West. If you drive, the public transport issues shouldn't effect you. The train station is a 5 minute drive and PC is close to the city.
They have some great parks - http://www.melbourneplaygrounds.com....o.php?id=22431
Above is definately the best one in the area but there are many recreational areas - little parks and bbqs.
It is also only a 15 minute drive from the Bay Beach in Altona which is really nice in the summer.
It is one of the most affordable suburbs and still really nice to live in. There is a main shopping centre in town and lots of local supermarkets etc. There is also a bigger shopping centre just 15 minutes down the road.
Better still, there is a really lovely group of bubhub mums that live in the area that I am sure would make you feel very welcome and help you settle in :0)
There are definitely some western suburbs to avoid, but they're not all bad. I live in Hoppers Crossing and it has a bit of a bad reputation. Like any town it all depends WHERE in the town you're living. The area I'm in is peaceful, walking distance to shopping and school, excellent public transport and the neighbours are lovely; mostly older folk or families going to the local school. I was living in Tarneit which is supposed to be nice, but we had a lot of trouble with noise and drunken fighting just outside the house. Werribee is tricky, there are some really dodgy areas, but once again there's ok areas as well.
Altona Meadows is another area where you'll get some nice places, and it's close to the beach. As many have mentioned, Point Cook is good as well. Housing is pretty inexpensive around this way because it has had a bad reputation for years, which is SLOWLY lifting. I'm happy for the bad reputation to hang around until we buy, keeps the house prices down! It's more north west that I'd be avoiding, like a PP said Sunshine, St Albans, Craigieburn.
MissPoss - Ive never heard anything bad about Hoppers, had friend that lived there for several years and everytime I went up it seemed lovely.
DH does heaps of work in Tarneit..he really hates its, the people are pretty rough and DH is horribly shy so when they yell at him and stuff he gets really uncomfortable!
Another quick question,are rentals hard to get in Melbourne? For example in Canberra currently you will get about 30 applicants on each house. It's a real battle to get a rental.
point cook looks great value for money. What costs about $350 there ( according to real estate websites costs about $500 in canberra.
Check Realestate.com for rentals
I personally wouldn't live in Point Cook - waaaaaay to far out of the way for ME but the rentals are fairly well priced
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