Whether you are moving from your home country to Canada or already living in Canada, house hunting can be a nightmare. I look back on my experience in trying to find a place before arriving in Canada and it was not the easiest thing.
I was really interested in renting a home as I already lived on campus while living in the UK I thought a semester on campus and moving to off-campus accommodation would be ideal. However, on seeing what the residence looked like and analysing the cost it was not worth it. The expense of on-campus accommodation with compulsory meal plan alongside having to deal with additional costs if I decide to stay on during the holidays for a year did not make financial sense. This made me come to a decision to rent a home right away.
Here are a few websites to check for renting your first home :
- Places4students – This organisation partners with institutions in the US and Canada to provide off-campus accommodation. This website did not work for me as a lot of the landlords were asking for either a guarantor or a referee from a previous landlord in Canada.
- Facebook – People put up a lot of home listings on Facebook. Simple keywords like “rent Halifax” will allow you see available rental listings in Halifax.
Checklist For Renting A Home In Canada
- Communal Space
- Pest and Bug-Free home
- Heating and Cooling system – The winter is no fun with the freezing temperature. The heatwave in Canada during the summer months can be insane. I had to purchase a fan as the home I am currently living in has only one ceiling fan and it takes 5 minutes to go through one oscillation ( I am exaggerating ).
- An all-inclusive billing helps with budgeting. Renting a home without an all-inclusive bill means the electricity and heating bill will fluctuate month to month.
- Easy access to public transport
- Proximity to neighbourhood amenities
I was house hunting with the mindset of renting a home in the UK whereby off-campus accommodation comes furnished. Welp! not in Canada, better still Halifax? In most cases, you move into an empty space and you buy your furniture. Furniture stores like Ikea and Wayfair are places worth checking for furniture. Facebook and Kijiji are good places for second-hand furniture.
How do I Pay For Security Deposit?
Another challenge after getting a home is paying for the security deposit if you are house hunting from another country. The landlord expects you to pay right away once you sign the lease. You will be asked to use Interac platform to transfer the money. Ask for other payment options like PayPal , WorldRemit , Azimo or simply ask someone who is residing in Canada to help you pay your security deposit for you. Depending on what country you are residing, some of these services may not be available in your region.
For house hunting, one of the best ways is having someone in Canada who can help you out with house viewing. I will love to know your house hunting experience, share it in the comment section below.