"Good combo of the best of the suburbs with the best of the city"
I've thoroughly enjoyed living here for the past three and a half years. Subiaco combines my favourite aspects of suburbia (relaxed, safe, leafy, good community, lots of parkland) with the best of inner city living (excellent public transport & quick to hop onto the freeways or to drive to the beach, great shopping and dining, very close proximity to work & entertainment).
The neighbourly spirit is the best I've seen, with strangers regularly smiling at me as they pass or chatting to me in supermarket lines, most of the neighbours in my apartment block have introduced themselves and regularly chat, and my street even has a 'meet and greet' Christmas function that runs each year. Combine that with the free concerts most Sundays over the summer holidays and other community events such as the street festival on Rokeby, and it's a very lively and friendly place to live.
I'm in one of the noisier parts of Subiaco (near Rokeby) and although ambulances are fairly common, they're not a nuisance. Other than that it's pretty quiet. The rare group of people returning from a night out are loudly cheerful, but brief and well behaved. I've yet to encounter any antisocial behaviour and haven't heard of any break-ins. Despite being a young female I feel comfortable walking home from the train station around midnight, as the streets are well lit and often still have multiple people walking them.
Cost of living is surprisingly cheap, after you deal with the accommodation costs (whether that be purchase cost or rent). The Subi markets let me spend only $10/wk for a big supply of fruit and vege to last the week, Farmer Jacks has amazingly good value for money (I regularly find things cheaper than Coles, despite FJ's products being more gourmet, and milk [local southwest WA brands!] was almost always on special for $1/L long before the big supermarkets started their price wars) and the location & good transport links mean that I spend very little on fuel or public transport. There are even two Op shops plus Cotton On for those on a clothing budget.
A downside is definitely the parking - the ticketed parking is a rip off so I highly recommend finding a side street and walking a bit further if you're dining on Rokeby. That tip is for visitors, as if you live locally it's nicer to just walk to dinner.
The only other downside I can think of are the cockroaches - they're less prevalent than they are in Nedlands/Crawley, but I still dislike encountering them at night. Maybe this is unavoidable for all inner city areas though. I found that keeping my courtyard clear of large piles of leaf matter helps hugely, so now I only spot them on the streets sometimes when walking.
Something that may not be known to non-locals: Subiaco's absolutely brilliant for retirees. There is so much support (eg. free community programs for exercise & education, cheap social events, clubs) and infrastructure (everything's in walking distance, good public transport), combined with safety and proximity to lovely walking areas (Kings Park & Lake Monger).
- Short walk to shops/dinner/transport
- Saves you huge amounts of time & money when travelling to/from work
- Relaxing - doesn't feel like you're right next to the city
- Great choice of restaurants and bars
Not great for
- Traffic generally slow on Loftus & north end of Rokeby at peak hour
- Nowhere to park for visitors
Who lives here?
- Families with kids
- Trendy & Stylish