How to find accommodation in Canada? Guide for Newcomers

Winnipeg - Manitoba

Finding accommodation in Canada can be tricky. Canada is a beautiful country, and living there can be a great experience. When you’re moving to any new area, looking for the right home for you and your companions (if any) can be hard and enjoyable.

There are so many options to explore, and so many landscapes to live in. Where would you want to live? What is right for you? Where do you start looking?

Choosing a place to live in Canada

The first step in moving to another country is discovering where you want to find accommodation in Canada. Before starting your search, you might want to ask yourself if you are a country person or a city person, or if you like the coast or if you would be happy living inland. It’s just as important to choose the right environment as it is to pick the building you’ll call home.

Other things to research before you move residences include crime rates, schools, politics, cost of living, and spiritual communities.

It is easy to find how much crime occurs in neighborhoods and communities. Using a search engine, you can search for crime rate statistics for the area you are moving to.

If you’re moving with children, or you’re planning on having children once you move, then the child’s interests are essential. One of these interests is education. So, a school in the area is important.

You might want to live in an environment that shares your political beliefs. Maybe this makes you feel like you belong to the community.

Lastly, religious communities are essential for a lot of people. It is a good idea to make sure that you have a place to practice your belief system and feel a sense of belonging before you move locations.

When you’re checking out homes online, make sure to convert Canadian dollars to the money system you usually use. This will make it easier for you to determine if you can afford this new home. This includes buying the residence and paying for the internet and utilities. Contacting the local internet providers and utility providers to get a quote might help in determining what you can afford.

Renting an apartment in Canada

Some apartment complexes don’t rent to people who haven’t seen the unit in person. This can be a problem for people who want to move to Canada from another country because these people live too far away to look at an apartment unit. Looking for temporary housing can solve this problem for many.

Renting an apartment is a great way to save money and start a new life. In Canada, apartment styles can have multiple living rooms, multiple bedrooms, or what is known as a “bachelor” style apartment, which is when the bedroom and the living room are the same room.

When renting, it is important to know how much you will be paying for which utilities. If this information is not shown on the apartment complex’s page, you can easily find the information by asking the landlord.

Internet plan rates will vary due to internet speed and the number of devices allowed on a plan at a time.

Most leases require the renter to live in the apartment for at least a year. Before you get upset because you don’t want to be stuck in a lease for a year, there are benefits to living in an apartment for 365 days. Benefits of renting an apartment for a year include a chance to build a good credit score (if you do not already have one), searching for a long term home, and allowing you time to get your bearings.

Costs of apartments will depend on the area that you choose to live in and the size of your unit. This is important to keep in mind when assessing how much room you might need if you are moving with your family.

Apartment complex reviews are also important to look at if you choose to rent an apartment. If you are thinking of working with a rental company, reading the reviews on apartment review sites can save you a lot of drama in the future working with a poor management company. There are many apartment review websites online that can allow you to read reviews of apartment complexes and companies before visiting “on sight”.

When looking at reviews, it is important to know how to use the reviews as a way to measure what will infuriate you and what you can live with. It is important to keep in mind that what infuriates someone might not infuriate you as much, so reading a bad review can be just as beneficial to you as reading a positive review. On a website, an apartment might look nice, but when you get there and move in, the apartment is small and cramped. To prevent this from happening, you can read the reviews and discover what the reality of your apartment complex is.

Even if you do not trust apartment reviews, reading reviews before checking out a place will be worth your time. You can fact check the reviews with the apartment owner, landlord or company as well if anything mentioned in a review concerns you.

Once you have found an apartment or unit that you want to move into, you will be required to present some documents to your future landlord or your rental company. They will need these to approve you for the unit. Apartment companies often require proof of a job contract, a list of references, an insurance deposit, a letter of accommodation, and proof that you can afford the apartment (in the form of a credit score or monthly income).

Some apartment companies or landlords will require you to pay them 3 months’ rent upfront before you move in or on your move-in day. If you can’t afford to pay the amount, you can search for other apartments that don’t require 3 month’s rent or more upfront the day that you sign your lease.

Buying a House or a Condo in Canada

Toronto View From CN Tower

Other housing options include houses and condominiums. These are bought (although you have the option to rent from someone who owns a house or condo if you wish). The process of buying a house is never the same as renting an apartment. The best thing about buying your own property includes the fact that the house or condo is all yours.

Before looking for a home, it is always important to hire a realtor to assist you in making a proper choice based on your housing budget. Real estate agents will make sure that your needs are met when you’re looking for a home, and they’ll help with pricing negotiations. One of the easiest ways to look for a real estate agent is on For Sale signs. Another way to find a real estate agent in Canada is by looking at the Canadian Real Estate Association’s website. On this website, there is a section that can help you find a real estate agent called FIND A REALTOR.

Once you find a home that you simply love, you will have to make an offer on the property. If you have successfully hired a real estate agent, they will help you make an offer on the home. If you are accepted, then you are going to need to hire a lawyer to help you transfer your name to the property.

When making an offer, it is highly recommended that you request the offer is only valid if the home passes what is called a professional home inspection. This means that if the home doesn’t pass the home inspection the offer you put down can change to a more reasonable price, or you can decide to not buy the property.

Chances are, to afford a home, you will need to obtain a mortgage loan. These loans can come from your bank, your credit union or another appropriate financial institution. These loans are not a big deal, and it is normal for people to take out a loan to pay for their new property. Mortgages are paid off, usually, within 25 years in Canada, with payments reoccurring over time. Something you will need to remember is that there is an interest charge when you borrow money for mortgages.

Make sure to find out all the details of the mortgage you will be applying for before you apply for the loan.

Another thing you must have before applying for a mortgage is a good credit score. Credit scores are extremely important to banks because it determines how much the bank can let you borrow to afford your new place of living.

Senior Living Options and how to find them

Senior living communities:

Elderly persons who want to move to Canada may wish to live in a senior living community. If they wish to do so, there are many options for them. Finding assisted living communities is very similar to finding an apartment. Housing costs will change from city to city, and senior living rates for rooms will change from city to city as well.

In assisted living, and independent living communities, transportation, and housekeeping services are often provided. Occasionally, independent living communities will have a nail salon, a hair salon, a spa area, a massage therapist and other nice services for a small fee.

Residential care homes:

Residential care homes are also available forms of housing for older persons of age. Care homes are homes that have been modified to meet the requirements of the person or people living there. Caregivers often live on-site to give a more family-style living environment feel to the resident seniors.

Memory Care Communities:

Canada also offers housing options to those who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. These places are called Memory Care Communities and employ people called aides, who are trained to handle Alzheimer’s patients who are at risk of wandering off or becoming agitated due to mental confusion. These memory care aids assist in keeping track of patients at all times for their safety and others.

These are just some accommodations in Canada for those over 62 years old who qualify for senior living.

Low-income housing options and emergency resources:

Low-income housing and government subsidies are also options for people who are moving to Canada. Low-income housing is available to people who live in the low-income bracket.

Programs for veterans, and for the elderly, specifically, exist. These various housing programs give vouchers to these people to assist them in affording a place to live.

Additionally, people who are homeless or in need of emergency housing options have the option to connect with an organization that can assist them in providing shelter.

If you are looking in the Vancouver area, the Counsel for Homeless Housing Solutions is one such organization and can be reached by phone at 360- 695-9677.

Community resources are available in many areas to also help you pay rent, find food, and find employment if you are in a temporary financial crisis. More information on low housing resources in Vancouver can be found on this website: https://vhausa.org/housing/getting-started
Affordable housing options in Canada can be found through multiple organizations such as the Affordable Rental Housing Initiative, the Aboriginal Housing Initiative, and the Federal-Provincial Housing Initiative. More information on these programs can be found online here.

Conclusion

Making the trip to one country to another can be an exciting journey. Finding accommodations can be challenging if you do not know what you are looking for or where to start. Seeking accommodation is challenging because of the overwhelming amount of options that are available to you.

Finding your home is one of the most important parts of moving. That is why it is highly recommended that you rent temporarily first and start your search. This is especially helpful if you are trying to rent an apartment, but are not close enough to the American Canadian border to look for housing in person.

Resources are available if you move and find yourself homeless, or are in desperate need of shelter.

Safe travels and good luck finding accommodation in Canada.

Thais R

I moved to Canada in 2016. This was the best decision that I ever made. I created this website to share what I’ve learned with anyone who’s thinking of moving or travelling to Canada.

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