Finding Temporary Accommodation When Doing A Cross Country Move In Canada
When you’re planning a cross country move in Canada, there are going to be multiple factors to consider, no doubt. Balancing the timeline of events will be a little tricky. If you’re selling your home, your closing date may not have the 30-60 day window that will allow you to find a new place to live with ample notice. And even if it does, you might not find the perfect permanent dwelling in that time.
When you’re moving cross country in Canada, even if you’re not selling your home, but plan to move out of a rental, or plan to rent out your existing home, you have get used to your new neighbourhood. Deciding where to move in Toronto, for example, is not the same as deciding where to live in Vancouver. Traffic and distances are different – what took you 30 minutes to commute in Vancouver could take more than an hour in a bigger city. School districts may be organized differently, or come with different rules. Access to amenities could make your life more or less difficult.
And that’s all on top of finding the right space, with the right number of bedrooms, and the right decor style that fits you.
In short, moving is not as cut and dry as packing up one home, and then moving into another on the same day, or even within a few days.
Other times, you need a temporary place to stay while your home is being repaired or renovated.
Here are some options for finding such temporary accommodations:
Oakwood website: This is a site for finding a temporary place to live in Canada, that is not a hotel, but comes with similar services. These types of accommodations are used by business executives, relocators, and the like. They are referred to as serviced apartments.
Corporate Housing Locators: a similar service to the above, except they provide services across Canada, the USA and Europe for all your long distance moves. It also seems that they professionally manage the temporary accommodation places, and are able to provide better rates due to their volume of business (according to their website).
Comfy Suites: another Vancouver-based short-term apartment rental service. This company doesn’t just ‘match make’ like Vancouver Serviced Apartments, but they claim they own and manage their own suites. They also advertise their service is like a hotel stay, but more “flexibility.”
Corporate Housing Provider’s Association: this is an association offering membership, which may be a sign of better quality and regulation by the participating companies who join. Their directory offers a listing of Canadian temporary housing companies.
Airbnb: the DIY site for finding a vacation rental. Keep in mind with Airbnb, there is little regulation and you could be renting from anyone. News stories abound of the troubles of using this service. Then again, many people love it.
Vacation Rental By Owner (VRBO): this is a term used in the industry, but also the name of a website. The usefulness of finding a VRBO is that you deal directly with the owner of the property (obvious). This means you can negotiate without the complex ‘rules’ that a large hotel chain may insist upon.
Owner Direct Vacation Rentals: yet another VRBO type of site for searching for a place to stay. You may want to check multiples of these sites to get more options, and perhaps a good deal.
Other options for temporary accommodations while moving long distance
While we have provided a few options for finding temporary living spaces between moving houses, of course, we know there are more out there. Other ‘hits’ to try finding a accommodation for you and your family during a transitional move are:
Craigslist, Kijiji and local classified sites: individual home owners may be looking to have their house rented while they go on an extended vacation. They may not be ‘pros’ at the VRBO game, and may not be listing in all the ‘big’ places. While that comes with some risk, it may also simplify your search and arrangements. Just be sure to get a written contract in place, and take pictures of the condition of the home before you move in, to avoid any disputes.
Ask your realtor: if you have just sold a home, your realtor may have ideas for places to look. They may be listing an unsold home, for instance, or they may be property managing a home that is rarely occupied. Perhaps the owner was not looking for renters, but wouldn’t mind the extra earnings you could offer them. Again, keep conflict resolution in mind, and get a signed agreement between both parties in these instances.
Ask a friend: you’d be surprised how willing your friends may be to offer you a place to stay, or to refer you to friends they know in other cities. People can really enjoy the time together, especially when there are kids involved! Couch surfing is something we think of young people doing for cultural experiences. But it may be fun for families too.
Home exchange sites: there are plenty of home exchange sites that are usually for the adventurous-minded who don’t mind letting people stay in their home, while they stay in other people’s homes. If you join a network like this, you may be able to utilize it for your temporary accommodation needs while moving. Of course, that may mean you need to let someone else stay in your home at another point in time, which you may or may not be comfortable with. But perhaps it’s worth checking out.
Whatever your choice, being able to arrange your temporary accommodations well in advance will likely result in less stress for you and the family. You may need storage solutions while you are in a temporary home, and at Ferguson Moving and Storage, we’re happy to help with that portion! Give us a call, and we’ll get you a quote-in-writing.
Moving is expensive. And so is selling your home. However, when you are moving in Canada, you have some options when it comes to saving money on real estate services. These savings can come in many forms, and during different steps in the process. In this article, we’ll explore some of these options.
Sell your home using the FSBO method
FSBO stands for “For Sale By Owner” and it refers to the private sale of a home. Websites like this one are out there to help people do this. The world of real estate may seem like a mystery. Or you may think there is a big, and good reason why real estate agents pay a few thousand dollars to take a real estate course, and then more to join a broker firm.
However, there are home sellers who do all the work that real estate agent does, saving themselves the commission fee they would normally pay a sales agent.
But according to this article, don’t be fooled into thinking there are no fees with this method. It just means you take on the costs of selling the home, including the real estate lawyer fees. It also means you do all the work, and will have to learn the ropes when it comes to negotiations on your home price. This isn’t exactly like listing your patio furniture for sale on Craigslist. There is more that goes into selling a house when you are moving in Canada.
Some are calling the real estate agent service a rip off, for the amount of work they do. Selling your home by doing the listing and marketing of it yourself may be a piece of cake for you. Other times, you may find it’s harder to sell house than it looks (even if you pay to list in the MLS without a broker). If you are already stressed by moving in Canada, and need help to buy a home too, a real estate agent may be worth the investment, given how much more efficiently they can work.
Use a FinTech Real Estate Company
FinTech companies are companies using technology to cut out middle-men in financial services. FinTech real estate companies are entering this field. In some ways, they can save on the lending and borrowing of a home buying plan, like a mortgage. Or they can get you a quick credit rating for home buying. Other times, they can help you find buyers outside the MLS that you can speak to directly. Or, they might just be able to help you list your home without a real estate agent or broker service when moving in Canada.
FinTech companies are online-based, however. That means a lot of DIY for you, and a familiarity with web-based services. Most of the work will be done by you, on your computer. If technology intimidates you, this may be something you’d want to avoid. Then again, if you like robo investor sites and the like, then these services may be your cup of tea when trying to save money on the sale of your home.
Look for lower-cost real estate agents and brokers
Canada has a booming real estate agent marketplace. The number of people helping others buy or sell homes is increasing, along with the growth in profits to be earned thanks to current housing prices. This can mean there are fewer houses for more real estate agents to sell, resulting in (hopefully) more competitive prices on their services, or the cuts they’re willing to take to get your listing.
But how can real estate agents compete on price? Good question. It’s actually one that has brought up controversy lately.
To understand how ‘cheaper’ real estate sale services work, you first need to know how real estate commissions are earned and calculated in the traditional sense. This article does a great job of that for Canadian home buyers and sellers (mainly for the Vancouver, B.C. market though): https://youngandthrifty.ca/real-estate-agent-commissions-decoded/
As you read the article above, you’ll see that there are two sides to the story. And depending on your case, you may or may not find the value in real estate services to be worthwhile when planning a move in Canada.
To conclude: moving in Canada doesn’t have to be as expensive as always
If you’ve moved a couple times, or have bought and sold houses more than once, you may feel more comfortable taking the non-traditional routes noted above for your relocation. Either way, it helps to be educated about how the real estate sales industry works.
Even if you do get a full-service, full-commission real estate agent to help you when moving in Canada, you should know if you picked a good choice, and are earning the wage you pay them. The resources above can be an aid in ensuring you are getting the best service for the best price too.
After your home is sold or bought, feel free to call us and we’ll help you with the moving truck and movers!
Call Ferguson Moving & Storage in Moving in Canada.
You might think this topic doesn’t need a ‘how to.’ But you’d be surprised what the Internet can teach you when you do a little digging. Call it a ‘hack’ if you will. We’re about to teach you how to pack kitchen food when moving in or out of Vancouver.
Step 1: eat your food before you move in or out of Vancouver
This is important. Don’t buy more food at the grocery store until you make a serious commitment to go through your pantry, shelves, spice drawer and fridge. You will be amazed at how much food you have accumulated and not eaten. On the one hand, this can make you sad about the money you wasted. On the other hand, this can help you get creative by looking up recipes specifically to use all your ‘odds and ends’ food ingredients. Won’t that be fun?
Food is heavy. If your mover has quoted you based on weight (which we think they shouldn’t), then moving food can get expensive. So if you don’t eat your food to save your money, you’ll need to consider whether getting rid of it is going to be cheaper than buying new food at your new home.
Also, as a resident (or soon to be resident) of Vancouver, moving food is not as simple as you may think. We’ll get into that.
Step 2: reduce and categorize your food to plan for the cost of the move
As movers in Vancouver, we would strongly not recommend you take the approach of ‘dumping’ all your food into cardboard boxes and hope to ‘deal with it’ later. In fact, while you’re getting an estimate, you should be telling your moving company about how much food you want to transport in their trucks. If it’s unreasonable, this can affect the quote you get – even if it is a binding quote from an in-person visit. Don’t forget, the in-person quote that a mover gives you won’t be able to take into account how much food you will have stored in your cupboards on moving day. So be wise, and talk about that in advance with them, to avoid disputes.
The best thing you could do is to start reducing your food, either by eating it up, as noted in Step 1 above, or by getting rid of it. You can throw away the about-to-expire foods. And, while we don’t want to promote food waste, if you’re keeping a cereal box around because it has a snack-size serving left at the bottom of it, maybe don’t plan on keeping it.
You also will want to categorize your food so that you can properly plan for moving it later. Heavy things will transport differently than lighter things, and the way they get packed can affect how well they do in transit. You won’t want to pack up a bunch of dry pasta only to find out it got crushed in the moving truck when you arrive at your new home. That would feel like a waste of effort.
Perishables should be kept somewhere where they can easily be put into a cooler on moving day. Or…left behind. Remember, movers won’t realistically be able to move your fridge or deep freezer if it still has food in it.
If you want to go all survivor-mode and learn how to doomsday prep your food for long term storage – even if it’s dry foods – check out this article on how to do that:
That way, if your kitchen is full of a farm-sized pantry you planned on using to feed 13 kids for the next 20 years, you won’t lose your investment during the move. But on a serious note, that blog post above has some really good pointers about preserving shelf-life on the foods you didn’t think would perish so easily.
Glass food containers
Foods in glass containers are another story. Those will have to be very carefully packaged upright with lots of padding, or otherwise thrown away (though this article suggests getting rid of them altogether). Another option is pouring their contents into sturdy plastic containers, but that may not be practical depending on how far you’re moving. Some moving companies may say no to moving glass bottles.
What about food you medicines4all.com store in glass canisters you paid good money for? Good question. These decor items should be treated like your plateware. You may want to empty their contents so you can pack them as carefully as your fragile items. Sorry, but the food needs to go somewhere else…unless you’re willing to take the risk (which is more doable on a short-distance move, or when you can pack them in your car).
If you’re holding kerosine around for your BBQ, or other flammables meant for cooking, the moving companies will likely give you a flat out ‘no’ to putting them in the moving truck. So just forget about it. You’ll need to find a new home for them, or legally dispose of them.
Spices, flours, teas, coffees and other dry goods:
Some dried herbs and cooking ingredients need to be kept at certain humidity levels to stay useful. This is where moving in Vancouver is a bit tricky. The region has different seasons depending on what time of year you’re moving. And on any given day, humidity levels outside can change. So you’ll need to take care when packing these kitchen foods for moving – even if it’s just across town.
While convention would say to just tape them up and make sure they are sealed before the move, experience may remind you how easily they can either clump, or go stale depending on temperature and humidity. And, as this article notes, spices can be expensive, especially when you consider how many years it took you to accumulate them.
So whether it’s placing them in a climate-controlled cooler, adding moisture-suckers to their containers, or even using vacuum sealers to preserve them, be careful with these. That is, if they are valuable enough to you to do so.
Step 3: donate your unwanted food to charity before moving, or through your moving company
You can also then donate food to a charity, if you don’t want to take it with you. This is especially a good idea for canned or dry goods. And, this is something you’ll want to do on a long-distance move especially.
As movers, we have programs for donating food during our trips to service you. You can keep your donations separate for pick up. But ideally, you’ll want to clear out your space before the movers arrive.
See these articles for more info on donating food:
https://fergusonmoving.com/blog/packing-food-donation/ and https://fergusonmoving.com/blog/dec-1st-2013-participate-move-hunger/ and https://fergusonmoving.com/blog/fergusons-supports-local-food-bank/
Step 4: don’t bring foods that can get contaminated, and avoid contamination
If you’re planning on bringing a paper bag of flour, remember that if it’s been opened, or if it’s susceptible to tear, you are risking contamination. As the preservation blog noted above, foods with some shelf life won’t last forever, and insects can leave eggs in there too. The environment of the move will increase that risk all the more. Temperature also affects the lifespan of foods, especially perishables.
Also, cardboard boxes probably aren’t best for keeping food safe if it’s in plastic bags. Consider plastic containers, or companies that rent out plastic moving boxes, like FrogBox in Vancouver.
Step 5: don’t move illegal foods across borders
You may not be allowed to bring some vegetation across borders. So do declare them to your movers, or look up the rules in advance to avoid the hassle of finding them in the moving truck if you are told they must go after the fact.
Step 6: pack up and hand off to the movers
After you’ve gone through the steps above, it’s time to pack up the remaining food you want to take with you.
You can leave this part to the movers, or do it yourself. Either way, remember where your foods are, so they can be unpacked as soon as possible when you arrive at your new home. You won’t want them sitting under the elements too long.
We’ve heard amazing stories about pets who found their way home after being lost. It can be months or even years after. And the distance can be incredibly far.
Sometimes, it’s worth waiting for your pet toreturnhomebeforeyoumove. However, what do you do if you really have tomove, and time is running out?
Our Coquitlammoversdiscusswhether or not youshouldwaitforlostpetstoreturnhomebefore moving.
Beforeyouwaittomove, do whatever you can to find your pet
We realize this section may be a bit obvious, but youshould be looking for your pet. Posters and calling out their name on the street probably won’t be enough.
According tothis site, cats and dogs, for instance, display particular behaviours when they are lost. Those behaviours can depend on their personality, and, in the case of cats, whether or not they are indoor or outdoor cats. When they don’t returnhome, something is usually out of the norm. They could be injured and hiding, or scared. You’ll need to look under porches and in hiding spots to find them.
The BC SPCA also has advice for finding your pet. While some folks who find lostpets bring them to shelters, some may take them in to their homes, thinking they are strays.
There are websites and Facebook pages to help you find missing pets nowadays too.
Consider the likelihood of your pets returning homebeforeyou delay moving
If you’re moving in or out of Coquitlam, consider how likely it is that your pet will returnhomebeforeyou delay moving. This means being aware of not only your pet, but your neighbourhood. Most pets do come home (especially cats), or are found after being lost. So if it’s been a while, you may wantto question whether it’s worth putting off your move (though we know it’s hard!).
Does your pet have a clear ID, such as a collar, a tatoo or a microchip? If they do, it’s likely that someone who finds your pet will return them. If it’s been a while, you may want to consider that your pet can be gone for good. Or, they are taking a hiatus from home life, which is sad to think about.
Has your pet been neutered? If not, this can be causefor them to go far outside their usual ‘zone.’ If they’ve gone too far, they may be lost. How lost? That’s hard to tell. But animals are known to find their way home through scent or other means.
Is your neighbourhood the ‘pet stealing’ kind of neighbourhood? While expensive pets like purebreds are more likely to be stolen for their value, it’s not common that pets with IDs get stolen. However, the site we linked to above has this page (about cats) to list things that could have happened toyour pet. It does mention that if neighbours have a particular disdain for your pet, they could kidnap it to get rid of it.
Do you live near a transport area? One of the possibilities could be that your pet has hopped on a train or truck, and gone cross country! That can make it impossible for them toreturnhome.
Did your pet go missing while it was travelling with you? If you were on the road while they went missing, it can be harder for them to find their way home, which means it can take a bit longer.
While all of the above could explain why your pet has been gone too long, remember there are stories of animals that come home years after the fact.
Also, there is a science behind how animals find their way home. This is real stuff! So they could return. The tough job is finding out how likely it is that they will, or if it’s a lost cause that youshouldmove on from. As the article linked to in this paragraph states,
“A dog or cat that finds its way halfway across the state makes news; the uncounted others that stay lost do not. What’s more, some cases of remarkable returns may turn out to be matters of mistaken identity.”
Here is a forum full of personal stories about lost cats who come home, or are found months or years after they go missing.
Some last resources to find your pet before hiring Coquitlammovers
We get it: you don’t want to have to call the moving company until you’re sure it’s safe to give up on your pet. It’s emotional and hard.
As a last resort, you can try hiring a pet detective. Yes, these are real, and not just from a movie.
You can also try cameras and trapsto find your pet. And, this thread of comments has owners telling what they do to get petstoreturnhome, like putting out a t-shirt that smells like their owner, so they can find their way back.
Shouldyouwaitforlostpetstoreturnhomebefore moving? It depends on your situation!
As we’ve learned above, whether or not your pet is likely toreturnhomebeforeyoumove will depend on the factors involved in how, or where, they went missing. While some pets do returnhome like miracles, it may not always be the case with your pet.
While the thought of acompostingtoilet probably sounds gross at first mention, you may be interested to know that the industry has come up with some advanced solutions to make it not so. Eco-friendly toilets are emerging as a great alternative both in public spaces and in private homes. If you’re moving in Vancouver, acompostingtoiletor eco-friendly toilet may be more accessible than you think.
If you’re moving into a new home, and especially if you’re in the process of making upgrades to your home beforeyoumove, you may want to consider acompostingtoilet or an otherwise eco-friendlier toilet. These come in multiple forms, which we’ll describe below.
We know what you’re thinking: why would I change my toiletbefore moving?
Well, there are a few reasons people are opting for the compostingtoilet systems, or eco-friendly toilets. They are, among other things:
A desire to care for the planet, and have an eco-friendly move
Also, cesspools, which may seem like a natural way to get rid of waste, are actually causing harm to the environment in places like Hawaii. Pooping into the ground nowadays means distributing disease and other harmful things into the environment (like our drinking water!). Human waste needs to be treated before it goes anywhere. The liquids are disposed of by evaporation or by legal dumping (which you’d need to check rules for locally).
Acompostingtoilet, or at least atoilet that uses less water, can help solve these issues. Doing your part can make a difference.
Moving to a land away from traditional sewers or septic systems
This is a big one. We’ve written about tiny house living on our blogbefore. And that is one reason to need an alternative toilet. This is especially so if you want to move into tiny home or travel trailer that won’t be parked at an RV park.
You want to save money when youmove into a new home!
If you’re going green with your move in Vancouver, you may have already sought out money-savers like solar panelsoralternative heat sources. Composting toilets can also save on water bills (though some use electricity). They are also cheaper to use than building a septic system, if you were in that situation.
What are the best composting toilets or eco-friendly toilet options to install before moving?
You will definitely want to install your eco-friendly toiletbeforeyoumove, especially if you have one bathroom in the home. This will give you time to get used to it, and not feel the pressure to install quickly, if you need the time.
Here are your options for acompostingtoilet to install before moving:
1) Bucket style toilet with saw dust
This type is very basic. Even if there are some nicely designed ones, it’s essentially a two-bucket system. One for poop, with sawdust, and one for pee, which gets bottled. Youcan dispose both when they get full.
Here are some videos to explain them a bit better:
These types of toilets may require building codes to use! They are great for situations where you’ll be far from plumbing, as explained above. Wilderness locations, oremergency shelters can make use of these toilets well.
To conclude, atoilet is not just atoilet anymore! Pick a good one before youmove in Vancouver
You can save both the environment, and money – not to mention be able to live anywhere – with these composting and eco-friendly toilets. If you have amove-in planned, check out your options for installing a new toilet. You could get both a new look, and an efficient way to do your business!