Our helpful Malaysian friends diligently gave us some guides to finding a place to rent in Melbourne.  I am going to unfold them in this entry.

(1)  Find a place within the same zone

If you are going to rely on public transport on regular basis and your destination is located in Melbourne CBD, always lookout for properties located in Zone 1 of Metro service line.  Travelling intra-zone is always cheaper than travelling inter-zones.  The maximum rate charged per day within the same zone is $7.00 while inter-zones is $11.00+.  In our case, we decided not to go beyond Glenroy Railway Station (on Craigieburn line) as it is the final stop of Zone 1.

Zone 1 is marked by the yellow line while Zone 2 is in blue. Source: livinginmelbourne.com

Zone 1 is marked by the yellow line while Zone 2 is in blue. Source: livinginmelbourne.com

(2)  Gas for cooking and hot water.  Gas for heating is an added bonus.

Jo repeatedly reminded us not to go for houses equipped with electric cooking facilities and electric water heating system – no matter how desperate we are to get a place.  The charges for electricity is crazy in this part of the world.  With the added carbon tax, the tariff is higher and the rate increases annually.  Our house is equipped with gas water heating and gas cooking facilities – and we are being charged $90.00 – $120.00 on average for 2-monthly electricity consumption.  Can you imagine how much we need to fork out if cooking and water heating rely on electricity?   It can easily double or triple.

(3)  Wall to wall carpet

We don’t see snow in Melbourne, but the chill in winter is crazy – especially to a non-native who has been living near the equator all her life.  The good thing about wall-to-wall carpet is that our winter experiences will be less miserable compared to carpet free units/houses.  I still vividly remember the unbearable chill every time we went barefoot in our transit room in Malaysia Hall, although it was only in spring.   Can’t imagine how it is going to be like in winter.  Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…

(4)  Avoid houses with large backyards

A friend shared this tips with us after he had to mow the grass at his backyard every month.  Failure to do so may trigger the council to go after him.  We have a small backyard, just sufficient to cultivate herbs common to an Asian household e.g. lemongrass, coriander, parsley, mint leaves (Gina always says might as well eat toothpaste!), Vietnamese mint leaves (daun kesum) and spring onion.

That is pretty much what I wanted to share in this entry.  If you have more tips to highlight, feel free to share them here.  Thanks heap for making time to read this post.  Good night everyone.  Wan an.