Working Holiday Backpackers Tips – How to Find a Share House That Suits You

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– Australia Working Holiday,The day and night of Sydney

While most of the Working Holiday backpackers are busied with finding jobs after arriving to the country, it is also essential to find a comfy share house. Better quality of living, more energy to find jobs and of course, you can enjoy your working holiday more. So I will talk through one of the tips for working holiday people, no matter which countries you will be at, this is important for all of you.

I have been in Sydney, Australia for eleven months. From the very beginning I lived in a hostel temporary, from a 14 mixed dorm to 8 female dorm.

Afterwards, I decided to move to share house as I found a job in Sydney. I had been living in four different share houses in 4 districts (Chippendale, Redfern, Haymarket and Ultimo). They are all near to Central station.

This entry is my own opinion and feeling; please do not criticize if it is not applicable to you.

In choosing a share house, you can look out for the following items:

External factor

Location, Transportation, Distance

The distance between your share house and your workplace – If it is far away, you need to count the time for travelling between two points (Time for walking/taking transport/cycling)

The distance between your share house and the bus stop/train station – Any nearby bus/train station? Are they frequent? When is the last train/bus?

The coordination between transportation fee and living cost – It saves a lot if you walk to work. Although living in city is more expensive, it saves a lot for transportation cost if you work there. Also, living in city is more convenient, you don’t need to worry about too late to back home. Also most of the weekend activities/parades will be happening in the city.

Internal factor

1. Roommates/housemates
Roommates’/housemates’ identity, their resting time and working/going to school time

If you can know in advance are your roommates and housemates working or studying, you can know better will they wake up late/early.

Cooking time

If you can know how their cooking schedule is (Will they cook once for one week’s amount, how long for each meal’s cooking time, usually start at what time), this can reduce conflict with them while using the kitchen.

2. Landlord
Apart from roommates/housemates, we need to know whether

a. landlord is staying at the same flat

It will be more troublesome if living together. It seems all the things you did will be monitored. I was once living with the landlord. She thought I cooked for a long time (Boiling potatoes of course takes longer) and she thought I cooked too late (It was only 8:30pm at that time)

b. landlord comply with what they promised

It is best to have black and white record for every payment and deposit. If there was agreement between you and the landlord there will be discount for long stay (like 1 month, 2 months), best to record it down black and white too. I have encountered one landlord saying he will give me the discounted price if I stayed for 3 months or more. At last he said I did not stay long enough even though I had already been there for three months. He did not want to give me back my deposit which was almost the difference of the discount.

c. landlord promised something for action but did not act

For example, if the mattress is not comfortable, did he/she promise he/she will help to change but did not actually do it?
For example, if wifi is slow, did he/she promise to fix it but did not do it in reality?

3. Facilities
Most of the share houses have the following things. If it did not have you may want to see if you need to pay extra for convenience.
a. Washing machine
b. Drying machine
c. Cooking utensil
d. Eating utensil
e. Bed cover/pillow cover/blanket

Some share houses even provide the following items:
a. Washing powder
b. Toilet paper
c. Rice
d. Hair dryer

4. Things needed to be notice while having inspection
a. The location of the accommodation
– It will be noisy at night if your building is on the main street and being at the lower level, especially in the city. Obviously it will affect the quality of sleep.
b. What is the direction of the room’s window
– If it is facing East/West, the sun will shine directly to the room, this will be a little bit disturb.
c. Do the living room have people sleeping?
– How big is the common area (Better to have more common area, so that the chance of getting along with people will be greater)
d. Number of toilets
– If there is a toilet in the room, you may be awaken by other people in the morning, especially for girls. As some girls like to have shower in the morning, you may get up because of them.
e. Do you need to shift to help with the housework?
– Some houses will hire cleaner to clean the places every week, some house may make a schedule for you and your housemates to clean the house.
f. Is the house using electric stove or gas stove and number of it
– If you always need to cook for a long time, the time needs by the electric stove is longer than gas one. Also the number of stove is also important, can you cook if others are using too?
g. Any oven
– If some people like to make food/dessert, having an oven will be better.
h. The location of washing machine/drying machine
– If other roommates/housemates wash/dry their clothes at midnight, will the machines’ sound disturb you?
i. Any air con inside the house? If no, any fan?
– Most of the houses in Sydney do not have air con installed)
j. The location of parking
– Some of us may have car, is there any free parking space available?
k. If you are living in an apartment, is it every one of you has the electronic card to access the building?
– If not, you might need to wait for somebody entering the building every time you go back home. If there is no one entering, you might need to wait for a period of time


Items suggestion

As different person’s sleeping and resting time are different, I suggest you have the following items so that you can fall asleep easily even others have not slept yet.

ear plugs
eye cover
I hope everyone of you can find a share house that is comfy and can get along with other roommates/housemates.

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