… Part of Canada 101 for Immigrants
NOTE: ALL INFO IS PER MY EXPERINCE BACK IN 2011. PROCEDURES AND PROCESSES HAVE CHANGED. USE THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK J
|$$$...it's all about $$$|
One of the first things to do before coming to Canada is searching for, and booking your temp. accommodation. By temp. accommodation… I mean: a place where you will stay for up to a month or so till you find a flat to move into.
Ask friends or even rent something via TripAdvisor Rentals website or something of the sort.
Note: be careful when using your temp accommodation as you apply at different places (like when opening a bank account) as they will tend to send you mail to that address. This WILL be a problem if you are not careful. I had my Credit cards sent to a temp accommodation which I had moved out from!!!! (went well though..no issue al 7amdo lelAh).
2- First few Years Rental:
Immigrants tend to rent unfurnished flats (lowering the costs as much as possible when they arrive). The important thing is to try and get a flat somewhere central (do your homework via the net on this one per the city you will be in). By central I mean… near transportation (bus-train-metro), super markets, laundry,…etc.
Here are a few good resources:
Renters Rights: http://www.schl.gc.ca/en/co/reho/yogureho/fore/index.cfm
Rentals and more : http://kijiji.ca
Things to check in a flat:
- Garage: reserved parking spot or entitles you to a discount on the monthly parking fee
- Heating: includes the price of heating in your rent
- Elec (hydro included)?
- Laundry available
- Gym or Pool?
- Elect type?
- Open kitchen?
- Stove type (gas is nicer for cooking!)
- What appliances are included in the apartment
- Pets allowed? (may you’ll endup with dogs barking all night!)
- Limitation on number of people living in apartment?
- Deposit you pay when you sign the lease? (refunded when leaving)
- Note anything damaged or amiss and negotiate for repair or replacement
Things To inspect (if part of rental agreement):
-Locations of water main and fuse box
-Screens on windows
-Heating and gas system
-Security alarm system
-Washer and dryer
3- Buying House:
Usually, after a year (or more) immigrants whom feel they are doing well (and have proper credit history – more details in banks section) tend to start searching for houses.
The reasons are obvious, besides investment, ownership, space… a major driver will be :You’ll get fed up yelling at your kids (if any) all the time wanting them to be keep quiet, as you don’t want neighbors complaining”.
Again, the same rule comes handy: “read a lot, research a lot, ask as many people as you can”.
I do advise going for a Real-Estate Agent as they make many things more clear (they don’t take money from you, they get their money from the seller…so no worries there!).
When buying a house, the rule of thumb is: “Location, location, location”… any real estate agent will tell you that. So, when comparing houses, give higher evaluation points for the location.
The buying process is quite straight-forward...
- Search for a house (with or without a Real-Estate Agent). Real-Estate Agent to sort out appointments for you;
- Get a Licensed Housing Inspector to check the house for you (provides you with a report on what needs to be fixed in a house). Real-Estate Agent can help identify one for you;
If you will go ahead with a specific house:
- Get a bank's Pre-Authorization on a loan that covers the house's selling price. MAKE SURE YOU SHOP FOR MORTGAGES (loans), as they differ from one entity or bank to another (check banks websites for rates and offers). I’d go for big banks (safer I think???);
- Give in a proposal (with conditions if you want certain things to be fixed or left for you to use...etc). Real-Estate Agent can help;
- After all formalities (usually a few proposals and counter proposals will take place before you get the seller to sign on the final proposal).
- Get final loan (mortgage) approval from bank;
- Agree on a specific Notary with Seller (where you and the seller will sign the contract). Again, Real-Estate Agent can help;
- Notary will call you a few days before Contract signing to meet up and sign a few papers (and checks).
- Meet at Notary and sign Contract. You might be asked to settle a few bills that the seller had paid for yet you will be benefiting from;
- 10 to 20 days later, you’ll get your contract papers via mail
- Plan your move… check for moving companies for rates, and try to avoid moving the 1st 2 weeks of July as those are the peak weeks.
Canada’s top Real Estate Database (list of houses being sold across Canada): http://www.realtor.ca
…to be continued.
Mood: Still Hungry :S