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Decisions, decisions...

Lessons Learned

Have I made the right choice? Homesickness etc.

Lessons Learned

Postby jessica » Wed 18 Mar 2009 11:36 GMT

Lorry's post in Canada Other got me thinking.

Perhaps it would be worth putting down things we've learned in moving here and settling down?

Here's some of my thoughts (and Lorry's :wink: )

- RENT a property first until you know what your budget is!

- Live a few months and work out what you need to live on, what your outgoings and incomings are. You really don't know all this until you are in a new Country for at least a year. No planning can prepare you for what you spend and what bills will be coming in.

- be frugal and save your money - we found it so tempting to buy stuff because it seemed so cheap compared to the UK and there's so much choice.

- use local services - three years after we moved, I discovered that our local library has CIC-funded Settlement Services which help with many aspects of moving here.

- winter seems very long, and come february/march you're about ready to jack it in. Hang in there, a few weeks later you'll be sitting on the doorstep savouring the sun

Anyone got anything else to offer?
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Postby sawman » Wed 18 Mar 2009 12:51 GMT

just about sums it up,

Definitely rent, I continue to be surprised by the amount of folks who arrive and buy a house within a week.

While you are renting get the cheapest furniture you can - it probably wont fit in you own house when you buy it - our start up furniture will be heading to the basement if we ever own a place!

Buy the cheapest functioning car you can, you can upgrade when you are established

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Re: Lessons Learned

Postby sawman » Wed 18 Mar 2009 12:52 GMT

jessica wrote:L

- be frugal and save your money - we found it so tempting to buy stuff because it seemed so cheap compared to the UK and there's so much choice.



This doesnt sound like the canada I know!!
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Postby Jeffnanne » Mon 23 Mar 2009 14:55 GMT

CIC-funded Settlement Services.... What are these?

Thanks for the advice! We will need it soon... I hope!

We are getting very nervous. Moving to Canada, finding somewhere to live, finding jobs for all of us, getting used to a new country all at the same time! HELP! :shock:
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Postby tracie107 » Wed 20 May 2009 16:38 GMT

Well we were one of those people that bought a house within 4 days of arriving. Absolutely no regrets as we love where we live and the house ticked all the boxes for us.
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Postby Jeffnanne » Wed 20 May 2009 16:42 GMT

Thats great! We originally thought we would want to settle in Kelowna, BC...
We went there.... Then we went over to Ontario, and fell in love with it!

Will be there in a few weeks looking for house, job, and all that stuff!

But this time we will be legal Canadian residents! :D
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Postby Graeme » Thu 21 May 2009 01:44 GMT

I'll bet you feel different after spending a summer in Ontario...Kelowna is much less humid. :)

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Postby Jeffnanne » Thu 21 May 2009 10:15 GMT

Not as humid as Florida.... That is where I have spent my last 9 summers!

I have spent time in BC and Ontario during the summer and winter months. I guess I prefered BC's climate, but prefered Ontario overall.

We are all different, but hey! We can move around if we want! :D
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Postby jessica » Thu 21 May 2009 13:31 GMT

Just to get this thread back on track :wink:

Jeffnanne wrote:CIC-funded Settlement Services.... What are these?


Settlement services are offices where you can get help with all aspects of moving and living here. They are funded by CIC (Citizenship Immigration Canada). I'm not sure how you find out where these offices are - our local library has it - as well as full job-search facilities.

Definitely check out your local library as soon as you arrive to find out what you can.
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Postby Buddyboy » Wed 3 Jun 2009 19:44 GMT

Jessica: One to add to your list, along the lines of the CIC-funded Settlement Services, is establish a good mentor. I had a cousin here who gave me all kinds of good advice when I first came. When you choose a job, choose where to live, where to bank, etc., knowledgeable advice is gold dust. You might not always choose what they suggest, but without good advice you are working relatively blindly. These forums are great for that, too.
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Postby tigger » Tue 9 Jun 2009 13:52 GMT

Jessica - what a GREAT idea - and a FABULOUS topic - I hope lots add to it!

We were told to use our credit card (goes against our religion!!) but doing so and obviously paying it off promptly - gets you known in the credit rating system - and builds you up for having a rating and having a good one...

Listen to locals about advice such as winter tires - wonderful invention!

Join in and go to local events - festivals - what ever you can as you learn about Canadian culture and feel part of the community

Watch local news - e.g. the oil prices - if you watch you can learn when it is going up so you run out and fill up before hand!!! I love local news and local folk who told us that tip!!

Once you have learned what things mean - such as bill paying methods or the best rates for car insurance - which you'll always lose out for in the first year - shop around - you then have the knowledge AND some history to build on... you can then bargin for better deals!

Learn things little by little - so now we rent - and realised that for our first winter here in Ontario (Barrie) - it was a godsend not to have to shovel - lol!!! - we can now start to learn about buying a house and what it actually means - all the hidden rules and costs....

Complain - if a certain internet or phone package doesn't work - tell them you are switching - us Brits never complain - but it does get you freebies or money back when you are being 'done'!! You are polite of course but everyone tells us to threaten to 'go over to the other side' as it scares the companies!!!

Save some money if you can - you never know what can happen (as some of you know I became ill then lost my job) - you never know when you need it!

Plan your holidays a little - we get what seems less time off - so we have had to use our time wisely!

That's all I can think of for now!


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Postby Jeffnanne » Thu 18 Jun 2009 08:37 GMT

We decided to buy a house..... Then we looked, and decided to rent, while we looked... THEN, all the rentals we see want a years rental term, the type of house we want to rent is an average of $1500 a month, that is $18,000 for the year! So we are back looking at buying! :roll:
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