I haved lived both north and south of the river and I prefer north. Personally I would not live in Rockingham,Kwinana or the surrounding suburbs but you will get value for money down there.
Ellenbrook is nice but it has poor infrastructure such as trains and buses and it is a drive to major shops and the beach. A synergy worker told me the other day that the electricity/water/telephone cabling out there is cheap and poorly installed.
I live 10 mins past Mindarie in a suburb called Jindalee and I love it. I am on the coast and looking at the ocean as I type this. I highly doubt that you can get the house that you want in Mindarie for 450k but you could in some streets of Jindalee, Alkimos, Butler, Brighton and maybe Quinns (not all of quinns is nice though so watch where you build). There are fantastic private schools out this way but they all have waiting lists.
It takes me 40mins to drive to work just outside the city centre.
It takes 15 minutes to get to Joondalup which is a major service and shopping hub.
Other suburbs close to the beach (say 5-10mins) are Edgewater,Heathridge,Craigie,Clarkson (some questionable parts of this suburb),Sorrento (old parts not new beach front).
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Don't get me wrong, I do love nor near the beach but as dh and I both work in bayswater, ellenbrook was the most logical option based on the type of area, budget and amenities 😄
Also, we have only had one power outage in 6 months as opposed to when I lived in heathridge when during summer we had 3 in one month!
I work in the success area. Nice estates, a shopping centre wih Coles, woollies, and plans for it to be upgraded. New housing, lots of parks and some wetlands. Not a whole lot of restaurants but us getting better.
I am near Joondalup and love it! Close to beach and 2 minutes from Joondalup shops (which has almost everything, except a department store) I can't remember the last time I went into the city. I have family that live in ellenbrook and they love it. The shops and surrounds are coming along well, just needed the train line that was promised. I wouldn't personally live in rockingham even though its affordable they just always seem to cop all the weather mishaps.
Confused yet OP?
From the sounds of it if you are particular about the type of school you want your kids to go to, so research that first.
Then work out what work you (or DP) will be doing and where, then start looking at the map. If you buy for example in Baldivis and work in Joondalup, you'd spend most of the day on the freeway at peak hour which is not fun.
Perth metro is spread out along the coast, so you have lovely beaches both north and south of the river. Obviously the further from the CBD that you travel, the cheaper the housing and the more availability of vacant housing blocks.
PM me if you'd like me to send an old street map to you in the post? This might help.
A lot of the areas like Warwick, duncraig, craigie etc are so so limited for land for building. So land is expensive in there. All the new areas NOR are either quite north (butler, alkimos, jindalee) and near the beach but a fair way north. Or you can look in tapping, pearsall, ashby or Sinagra. There is lots of land and lots of new estates. In turn, new schools and shops going up. No trouble, all seems very family oriented.
We built in this area and have been there for 12 months. We paid $405k for house & land including blinds, floors and just painting of ceilings & doors. We have a 4x2 but no room for a pool. Gives you a good indication tho
Lots of parks and sporting clubs around. Shops within 5 mins any direction, I walk to main shops in 25mins and it takes us 20min to drive to the beach
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