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Need some advice from the wise EB'ers :)


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#26 Hayleymumof3

Posted 18 November 2015 - 01:48 PM

View PostMarchioness Flea, on 18 November 2015 - 09:38 AM, said:

I can get from Tuggeranong to Dunlop in 45 minutes, not peak hour though.
And my husband catches the express bus in from here to Civic in 40 minutes or so at 7.30 in the morning.

Slow poke I can get From Holt to Tuggers in 30 minutes in peak hour traffic :p know your back roads

#27 pinkandgold

Posted 18 November 2015 - 02:48 PM

View PostLunaMombie, on 18 November 2015 - 01:09 PM, said:

I've seen 2 bedroom townhouses for that price in florey, page, Latham, macquarie, holt.  But there's not a heap of 2 beddy town houses around so it just depends on what's for sale at the time.  To give you an idea of what (age, size, condition) townhouse/unit you can afford in various belconnen suburbs
you can look through sales history for the suburbs you're interested on all homes and realestate.com.au
It's not the best time of year to buy now so not much for sale.

I saw some too and yes, not a lot to choose from :p I did look down the bottom of the page for each ad on when the ad was first displayed and some are months old with a couple of open homes already done. Maybe a slow market as its close to end of year? In Sydney, properties wouldn't be on there for more than 2 weeks without it changing to 'Under Offer' :/

#28 Hollycoddle

Posted 18 November 2015 - 03:00 PM

View Postpinkandgold, on 18 November 2015 - 09:32 AM, said:

Thanks for that! I will check out those suburbs.
Anyone know if its hard to get into Canberra High outside of zone and what the requirements would be?

Not sure but I know a friend of mine got her daughter in there for Year 7 this year and she was out of zone - the child went there as her friends were going there.

#29 Hollycoddle

Posted 18 November 2015 - 03:01 PM

View PostHayleymumof3, on 18 November 2015 - 01:48 PM, said:

Slow poke I can get From Holt to Tuggers in 30 minutes in peak hour traffic :p know your back roads

Coppins Crossing, through Weston Creek and Kambah?

#30 pinkandgold

Posted 18 November 2015 - 03:13 PM

View PostLunaMombie, on 18 November 2015 - 02:51 PM, said:

I'd say what's left right now is what hasn't sold for pre Christmas settlement and not much will be added before mid January.

Yep, looks like it :)
Well it has narrowed down my search and which schools we will look at. We won't have a lot of time to look at a lot of schools/areas so it has at least given me an idea on which areas to concentrate on and which schools to visit.

This thread has really given me a lot to think about and insight which is great! It's always good to get insider info and experiences :)

#31 Carrie_zmatik

Posted 18 November 2015 - 06:39 PM

Hi there! My DH is a primary school teacher who has worked in Canberra for 13 years now. I agree with all that has been written about Kaleen Primary. It is an excellent school and hard to get into if you are out of area.

If Kaleen is out of your budget he recommends Miles Franklin School in Melba as the next best. Latham had a change of principal recently (a year or two), he has worked extensively with that principal and highly recommends her but doesn't know much about the school. Normally the principal does have a big impact on a school so based on the current one he would recommend Latham also. Fraser Primary has had a great reputation in the past but he is not sure what it is currently like.

If at all possible avoid the west Belconnen area. It is the lower socio economic area but mainly the school there, Kingsford Smith has a terrible terrible reputation. The feeder suburbs for this school would be Holt, Higgins, Macgregor  I think. It is also a 'super school' one of the massive k-12 ones.

My preference for suburbs would be Kaleen then Melba or Evatt (for Miles Franklin), then Latham.

Good luck whatever you decide! Canberra is a great place to raise a family.

#32 jayskette

Posted 18 November 2015 - 06:55 PM

the entire ACT area is just like one advantaged area of Sydney. I would say the best area in sydney to compare to would be the Ryde, Hornsby to lower north shore. I was raised in Sydney and lived in ACT for long enough to say that I am happy to live in any suburb. to say that some suburbs are the equivalent of Campbelltown, Fairfield etc those people have never visited Campbelltown or Fairfield. Good luck in your search.

#33 blimkybill

Posted 18 November 2015 - 07:05 PM

There are lots of good primary schools in Belconnen. But possibly not many that meet the requirements you listed. The schools with the strongest academic focus and good extension programs tend not to be small schools -at least in part because they are popular and get bigger. So although Latham and Giralang are probably perfectly good schools, extension and high academic achievement are probably not their selling points.
The medium sized schools are still a good option. Kaleen is highly sought after because of its gifted and talented stream. But many others are good. Some I would recommend for what you are looking for are Florey, Hawker, Weetangera, miles Franklin, Aranda, Maribyrnong, Mt Rogers. Don't take our word on it though, go talk to them all. Some but not all of these schools would take out of area enrolments.
In terms of places to live, Hawker has plenty of 2 bedroom units and townhouses and its a very sought after school. Belconnen itself feeds to Florey and there are lots of townhouses. Melba has some units, feeds to Mt Rogers school. Scullin would have affordable units and then I would look to Florey, Hawker or Southern Cross Early cHildhood school.
If you can stretch your budget just a little, maybe to $375000, you would be able to get a townhouse with a yard.

#34 blimkybill

Posted 18 November 2015 - 07:11 PM

Oh one more thing... It seems there are apartments in Bruce in your rice range.Bruce has the disadvantage of being very much a unit based community, but it does zone to Aranda school, which is highly sought after and has a great Principal.

And if you buy in Canberra, then rent out for a year, you can deduct the stamp duty against your tax... For some reason I don't understand people can do that in Canberra. Then you could buy now, but rent for a year to get into the primary school you want.

#35 pinkandgold

Posted 18 November 2015 - 07:40 PM

View PostCarrie_zmatik, on 18 November 2015 - 06:39 PM, said:

Hi there! My DH is a primary school teacher who has worked in Canberra for 13 years now. I agree with all that has been written about Kaleen Primary. It is an excellent school and hard to get into if you are out of area.

If Kaleen is out of your budget he recommends Miles Franklin School in Melba as the next best. Latham had a change of principal recently (a year or two), he has worked extensively with that principal and highly recommends her but doesn't know much about the school. Normally the principal does have a big impact on a school so based on the current one he would recommend Latham also. Fraser Primary has had a great reputation in the past but he is not sure what it is currently like.

If at all possible avoid the west Belconnen area. It is the lower socio economic area but mainly the school there, Kingsford Smith has a terrible terrible reputation. The feeder suburbs for this school would be Holt, Higgins, Macgregor  I think. It is also a 'super school' one of the massive k-12 ones.

My preference for suburbs would be Kaleen then Melba or Evatt (for Miles Franklin), then Latham.

Good luck whatever you decide! Canberra is a great place to raise a family.

Thanks so much for your feedback! So helpful! I've never heard of Miles Franklin and having a quick look at their website, looks like it may be what we are looking for. Do you know if its a big school? How is the suburb Melba?

When you say avoid West Belconnen - which suburbs in particular?

Edited by pinkandgold, 18 November 2015 - 07:42 PM.


#36 pinkandgold

Posted 18 November 2015 - 07:43 PM

Also, what's the commute time like from Melba to Belconnen?

#37 pinkandgold

Posted 18 November 2015 - 07:47 PM

View Postblimkybill, on 18 November 2015 - 07:05 PM, said:

Some I would recommend for what you are looking for are Florey, Hawker, Weetangera, miles Franklin, Aranda, Maribyrnong, Mt Rogers. Don't take our word on it though, go talk to them all. Some but not all of these schools would take out of area enrolments.

Thank you, I will look at these suburbs :)

#38 blimkybill

Posted 18 November 2015 - 07:51 PM

Melba to Belconnen is five minutes in a car. A bit longer in a bus but not much.

You can see the size of different schools here:
http://www.det.act.g...n-updated-2.pdf

Miles Franklin has just under 500 students.

#39 pinkandgold

Posted 18 November 2015 - 07:58 PM

View Postblimkybill, on 18 November 2015 - 07:51 PM, said:

Melba to Belconnen is five minutes in a car. A bit longer in a bus but not much.

You can see the size of different schools here:
http://www.det.act.g...n-updated-2.pdf

Miles Franklin has just under 500 students.

Wow thanks so much for the link! Very helpful :)
With Miles Franklin, I noticed they take out of area enrolments so even if we can't get into the suburb, we can potentially still get in to the school.

As we will be limited in time to check out a variety of schools, I can now compile a short list of schools we can visit and choose between them depending how we and DS like them.

#40 Carrie_zmatik

Posted 18 November 2015 - 08:39 PM

View Postpinkandgold, on 18 November 2015 - 07:40 PM, said:



Thanks so much for your feedback! So helpful! I've never heard of Miles Franklin and having a quick look at their website, looks like it may be what we are looking for. Do you know if its a big school? How is the suburb Melba?

When you say avoid West Belconnen - which suburbs in particular?

I would personally avoid Holt, Higgins, Macgregor, Dunlop and Charnwood.

Miles Franklin is not a big school, I don't know exact numbers sorry. Melba is lovely, lots of parks, we lived there for 3 years. It is on the base of mount Rodgers which has a really nice walking track. Evatt is also very popular. There are some great 3 bedroom townhouses on Copland Dr in Evatt that come up every so often for sale. There are other townhouses of course, these are just particularly nice (not that new) have a park beside them and are walking distance to the lake.

Do you have the opportunity to come down and visit some of these schools, suburbs and houses to see what you like best?

#41 pinkandgold

Posted 18 November 2015 - 08:53 PM

View PostCarrie_zmatik, on 18 November 2015 - 08:39 PM, said:



I would personally avoid Holt, Higgins, Macgregor, Dunlop and Charnwood.

Miles Franklin is not a big school, I don't know exact numbers sorry. Melba is lovely, lots of parks, we lived there for 3 years. It is on the base of mount Rodgers which has a really nice walking track. Evatt is also very popular. There are some great 3 bedroom townhouses on Copland Dr in Evatt that come up every so often for sale. There are other townhouses of course, these are just particularly nice (not that new) have a park beside them and are walking distance to the lake.

Do you have the opportunity to come down and visit some of these schools, suburbs and houses to see what you like best?

What in particular does your DH like about Miles Franklin? Or why the recommendation?  Just hoping to get more info coz as of now, all I can get is info from their website and some friendly and helpful EB'ers :)

We will definitely be driving down to Canberra to see for ourselves. Will probably allocate a day looking at schools and another looking at properties.

I have my top 5 schools written down already for us to check out if/when the time comes.

#42 Sassenach2

Posted 18 November 2015 - 09:21 PM

You will think you have landed in heaven, after commuting in Sydney. My daughter went from Canberra to Sydney, then back to Canberra and now she is living in Sydney again. I loved visiting her in Canberra and she lived in Gordon, but I have no idea where it is compared to the suburbs mentioned by other people. I just know that Canberra was lovely and much quieter then Sydney and the rat race. I was able to walk to pick the kids up from school and I wish she was still there. Sydney is a nightmare!

#43 Jane Jetson

Posted 19 November 2015 - 01:32 PM

View PostCarrie_zmatik, on 18 November 2015 - 06:39 PM, said:


If at all possible avoid the west Belconnen area. It is the lower socio economic area but mainly the school there, Kingsford Smith has a terrible terrible reputation.


Is that still going on? Do you think it's deserved, or is it more that it had such terrible teething problems (and terrible communication between principal/staff and parents) when it first opened so the reputation has lingered?

View Postpinkandgold, on 18 November 2015 - 07:40 PM, said:


When you say avoid West Belconnen - which suburbs in particular?

Bear in mind that a "rough" suburb in Canberra is not quite the same as a "rough" suburb in Sydney or Melbourne. There is significant disadvantage in, say, Charnwood or Holt, particularly given Canberra is otherwise an affluent community and a difficult place to be a have-not, but they're not exactly war zones.

In terms of avoiding Kingsford Smith, Holt and Higgins are its zone for P-6. For high school, the same school's zones are Higgins and Holt, then Latham and Macgregor, plus Dunlop (which shares with another school).

#44 BadCat

Posted 19 November 2015 - 01:42 PM

I live in one of the suburbs mentioned as a no go.  It's no different to living anywhere else in Canberra.  We're not talking about random drugged up teens roaming the streets at all hours and causing mayhem here.  It's just the houses tend to be a bit cheaper.

As for Kingsford Smith, I know quite a few people there who are very happy with it.  There were teething problems but people seem pretty pleased with it now.

In all honesty, most of Canberra is just like most of the rest of Canberra, and most of our schools are pretty good.  You're not going to have major problems anywhere here.

#45 Jingleflea

Posted 19 November 2015 - 02:05 PM

We've got random drugged up teens wandering the streets at times, and we're not in one of the 'bad' areas.

You get sh*t residents everywhere. You have domestic violence everywhere.
And street racers. And jerks trying to abduct kids on the way home from school.

#46 pinkandgold

Posted 19 November 2015 - 02:06 PM

I have read that even in the suburbs people would consider nice, you could end up with a "neighbor from hell" or there could be that one "bad" street in a nice suburb.

I guess as long as I don't end up with a neighbor like the ones you see on ACA :p

#47 Jane Jetson

Posted 19 November 2015 - 02:09 PM

View PostMarchioness Flea, on 19 November 2015 - 02:05 PM, said:

  And street racers.  

Ohhhh yes, around here (North Belco) you sure get them.

#48 Monket

Posted 19 November 2015 - 02:17 PM

I grew up in Higgins and it wasn't horrible. Isn't Canberra more made up of the have-a-lots and the haves?

#49 Carrie_zmatik

Posted 19 November 2015 - 06:22 PM

View PostJane Jetson, on 19 November 2015 - 01:32 PM, said:

Is that still going on? Do you think it's deserved, or is it more that it had such terrible teething problems (and terrible communication between principal/staff and parents) when it first opened so the reputation has lingered?



I don't know from a parents perspective. It is great that there was a poster who said that they know someone who is very happy with the school. DH only personally knows 2 teachers who worked there recently and they spoke very negatively of it, but you can find individual teachers who hate a school anywhere. The bigger picture is that each year in the transfer rounds they have a much higher percentage of teachers applying to leave compared with even the other 'super schools'. As a result they have a much higher turn over of teachers which is not good for the school or kids and shows that there is still a general unhappiness of teachers working there.

#50 Carrie_zmatik

Posted 19 November 2015 - 06:24 PM

Also this  AFP website is useful comparing the crime rate of different Canberra suburbs.

http://www.police.ac...rime-statistics




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