What are the top factors to keep in mind when searching for a place to live in your city?
What are the most popular neighborhoods in your city for expats?
Do expats tend to buy or rent their homes?
Typically, will I be required to pay additional money up front (such as a deposit) before moving into leased housing? If so, how much is common?
Are utilities generally included in the price of rent, or are they extra?
Are there special security concerns I should be aware of in regards to my home or choice of neighborhood?
I’m not sure if I should bring my appliances. What is the electric current, Hz and plug shape in your city?
Do you have any other accommodation information that might help me?
Some important factors to consider are safety, location preference and individual needs. Depending on your preferences, you might want to find a place close to work, school, shops and medical facilities. Perhaps most importantly, you'll want an area that is safe. Although Vancouver is a very safe city to live in, choosing the right location is essential to having a pleasant stay.
The most desirable neighborhoods for expatriates in Vancouver are Kerrisdale, Southlands and the West End. The latter is particularly attractive because it's a high -rise neighborhood in the downtown area and close to entertainment, shopping and the beach. There are even suburb-style houses which make a great escape from the feeling of living downtown. Southlands has huge mansions boasting the highest costs in the area and Kerrisdale has more of a British feel.
In the downtown area, are three new residential neighbourhoods: Coal Harbour, Yaletown, and Concord Pacific Place. All three were once old industrial areas with factories and warehouses. Now apartments and condominiums dominate the landscape. Concord Pacific Place was the host site of the World Exposition in 1986.
Typically, expats rent their homes if their stay is for a short duration. However, those with longer durations may decide to purchase a home. Some companies prefer that a transferee rent rather than buy, if only for the first year, to ensure the family feel comfortable in their selected area.
In most cases, you should expect to pay first and last month's rent prior to moving in. Beyond that, your lease will clearly state the cost of rent per month, and whether or not the cost includes utility bills. The lease also states the length of time for occupancy of the property (generally one year), how payment is to be made each month, which appliances (if any) are included and whether or not parking is included.
When renting a house, utilities are not typically included in your payment. However, for condominiums and apartments, some utilities are included in your monthly cost.
Vancouver is a very safe city and the crime rate is low, but it is recommended that you check out local police reports before deciding on an area to live. These reports provide factual information on types of crimes and how often they occur. This will most likely be a determining factor with where you choose to live. The downtown area is usually busy at all times throughout the day with the Vancouver transit, tourists, locals and bustling shopping areas.
The West End is known as one of the safest areas and is very laid back and scenic. You'll want to avoid the downtown East Side and practice some of these safety routines:
No spare keys: Do not leave spare keys in any convenient hiding place such as under the doormat.
Solid doors: Check that your exterior/entry doors are made of solid wood or metal.
Clear View: Trim trees and shrubbery so that doors and windows are visible from the street.
Secure tools: Keep property such as ladders and tool boxes in a secure shed or storage area to prevent use by thieves.
Valuables: Don't store valuables all in one place, particularly in the bedroom. This is the first place thieves will look.
Take inventory: Record serial numbers of all appliances, electronics, and other valuables. It will be vitally important in the aftermath of theft. If convenient, it is also recommended that you mark your valuables by means of engraving with a distinct number (i.e. your driver's license number) and/or Province.
Avoid strangers: If a stranger asks to use your phone, place the call for them. Never let them into your home.
The electric current in Canada is 120/240 volts. The electrical Hertz (Hz) is 60. Below are examples of the types of plugs that are used in Canada:
Type A - Flat blade attachment plug
Note: In the U.S. and Canada, two-blade plugs are often polarized, with one blade larger than the other. Most outlets are designed to handle these. The larger blade is the neutral side of the current. This is a safety feature intended so the plug can be inserted one way only to reduce the chance of accidental shock. If you try to plug a modern plug into an old-style receptacle for equal size blades, it won't go in unless you file down the larger blade to the older plug size. Outside the U.S., many countries with Type A use the old style plug, and a newer plug with unequal pins might pose a problem. This can be bypassed by using an adaptor (found in many travel kits) which converts the newer Type A plug to the older model with equal-sized blades. Beware though that you might also be bypassing the protection that polarization provides.
If you are interested in a particular property, you will be required to complete a preliminary application. At that time, you may be asked to include a letter from your current employer, on company letter headed paper. This should indicate your salary, job status and length of employment. In addition, you may also be required to provide a letter of reference from a former landlord stating something to the effect that you were a reliable and responsible tenant. You may also be required to provide your Social Insurance Number for credit reference, along with personal reference numbers.
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.