I agree with Ally Perth is not quite the land of milk & honey that it once was,
we came here from New Zealand 14 yrs ago and were amazed how cheap everything was but in the past few years house prices,rentals,petrol food and general cost of living has gone thru the roof!
If you are renting a family home dont look at anything under
$300 a week ,expect to pay around $150 for food and basic household groceries.Electricity bills can be high in summer when you have the air conditioner going all the time (which you will!).
Public transport costs are fairly reasonable but petrol can be quite high.
Dont get me wrong Perth is a beautiful place but unless you are on a great wage its a struggle.
My husband is a labourer he pours concrete,builds bridges all sorts of hard physical stuff and I just had to start doing cleaning jobs just to help out with our bills!
Years ago we could always manage on his wage alone.
If you are looking at school fees the public schools are very cheap, medical costs will be much better than the US.
my kids went to private schools and its expensive well over $3000 a year.
There is a good social welfare system which I think is very generous for families and can be a help with child care costs.
We are a family of four who rent and our average weekly cost of living is around $600 which is
bills , phone,gas,power,internet,
so that doesnt cover things like entertainment (movies,meals out,birthdays & celebrations,holidays,clothing)
so if you work on that basis you need to earn at the very least $40,000 per annum and thats just to get by.
I dont want to put you off but having lived here for a while now I would not recommend Perth unless you are able to earn a really good living from your job...which you may well be able to do.
Looking around things are not getting cheaper and property especially is out of reach for most working families not only that but rentals are also hard to find now with the influx of workers from over East,Sydney,Melbourne ect taking many of the rentals.
Landlords are very greedy and the house we once rented for $220 is now renting for $360 and thats only in two years!!
My best suggestion is to check online and look at the house prices,and so on check out our newspapers online and request as much information as possible
try the above 2 sites for perth info and house prices
This is the best site for you as a new West Australian it has all the info you need
hope it helps I dont want to put you off but thats my honest experience after 14 yrs here