GAME: The Unspoken Rules of Sydney Real Estate

Real EstateIf you’re working in Sydney on the Working Holiday Visa over the next 6 months you’ll find yourself needing long term accommodation. In order to save you from the unspoken truths that lay ahead of your room search I’ll bring you up-to-speed with those things people know about but never seem to say.

 Reality Check!

 It all depends on what you’re earning, what you can put out at the start and what you are willing to compromise on.  Do note that you will have to pay a security bond; this is 4 weeks rent which you should get a receipt for as its often cash in hand. You get this back when you leave. There’s also a 2 week in advance rent payment, so you’ll pay fortnightly after this: starting price is around $1000.

 The reality is you’re about to go on the real estate market to one of the most expensive cities in the world. It also moves very fast, so if you like something view it ASAP and let them know you like it.

What your dollar will get you in Sydney

$150 – $160 per week: Master Room

All bills included, fully furnished. These apartments/units will also have a swimming pool and gym complex. What’s the catch? This is a shared ‘master’ room. This means you will be living in the heart of the city (Darling, Pyrmont) but sharing with 3 other people in the same room and they will be of the same gender.

$175 – $190 per week: Share with one other person

All bills included, fully furnished. Sometimes these will also have a swimming pool and gym complex in the apartment/unit or this will be a house in a suburb off the heart of the city. The cost is a little more because you’re sharing with just one other person. Find a bunk-bed at the lower end of this budget or find your own single bed at the top end, although always still sharing with one other person of the same sex.

$195 – $250: The luxury of your own space

This is the price you will be paying for your own room. Bills are not usually included but look at $11 a week or $15 in winter, usually paid quarterly.

Sometimes the room does come fully furnished, if not the current owner may be selling off their furniture and you can negotiate a price. This all seemed very over priced considering you can get everything included and more for a $175 budget.  The price of your own space I guess.

Location Location Location

This is also a major factor in pricing, as with anywhere.  When you’re new to the city not knowing the geography of Sydney is another thing to wonder where to begin your search.

 Here is a list of places to consider looking for your room in Sydney, I was looking with a price of around $195 – $250. Of course if I was on a budget of $150 – $180 I’d be sharing.


An Indie suburb that’s very much sought after, it’s considered the place to go out (on Kings Street) for a pub crawl or lounge by day in the café culture. It’s a land where people wear what they want and feel free to be themselves totally. You’re 45 minutes from Bondi Beach and 20 minutes to the city center. You will be paying good dollar for this postcode: $210-250 for your own room.

Avoiding this price tag people tend to look at the suburbs around Newtown:

Marrickville, Summer Hill, Petersham, Enmore or Glebe

Bondi Junction

So you’ve come all this way and feel this is the only time you’ll ever live by the ocean. Here you are, 10 minutes from Bondi Beach and 10 minutes to central. This great location comes at a cost, and you could find yourself sharing…but then you’re living by the sea.

Sites to help you search for that room:



Easy Room Mate


 If you come with a partner or rock up with a friend the cost of a double-bed-room is immediately
more exciting as its well on budget ($300 / 2 = bargain).

I didn’t look at North Sydney (Manly area). If you have any feedback on the room search in North Sydney please do share.


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