When you work for a company, and they ask you to move in Canada to take a new position in another city, you may get a relocation package. Relocation packages can come in the form of stipends for moving, salary bonuses, temporary housing, long distance moving services covered by the company, or other help getting settled in to your new home (and life!).
Relocation packages can include temporary accommodation, or company housing
Sometimes, people who have to relocate for their jobs are put up in a home paid for by the company – for them and their family. It might be cheaper for the company than paying for you to travel a lot on business.
If you are asked to find the accommodation, for reimbursement later, check out our article on this topic here:
You can negotiate your relocation package when moving in Canada
You may not realize this, but if your company is asking you to move long distance, they probably really want to keep you. That means you can ask for a custom relocation package. Of course, don’t go overboard. But for instance, if you need to take your family with you to check out houses before moving, you can ask for that. They may pay for that trip.
Relocation packages can include a lot you may not be thinking of. It’s not just the long distance move they’ll cover, or the housing and storage needs. A company may help your spouse get a job, pay for child care services, or even cover language training.
The point is to think about what you will need before and after the move, so you can ask the company for compensation in your relocation package. Not all will be willing to go that far, but it’s worth asking, and worth making a case. After all, you’d be uprooting your life to work for them.
While relocation packages may have become rare due to recent economic downturns, they are not totally abolished as a reasonable concept among businesses.
As an article linked to above notes, always maintain receipts of the cost of your move. Even if that includes meals paid for while road tripping with a trailer across the country. Track all of it. It may be needed when calculating the stipend a company will reimburse you for.
You can search for jobs with companies that offer relocation packages, if you want to move in Canada
It may sound sly, but if you are job hunting, and also would like a change of scenery, there isn’t a lot stopping you from finding job postings with companies that are willing to pay you to move.
One way to do this is to visit a job website, and type in the word “relocation” in your search. You can get results where the company is actually advertising a relocation package as part of their job offer.
You can also google a company you want to work for, and then also type in the word “relocation” to see if they have job openings on the web that include these packages.
However, these can be few and far between.
Other times, the company may not advertise their relocation package policies so directly. If you know someone within the company, they may be able to give you an inside scoop on typical relocation packages. If the company has an HR department, you might be able to randomly call in to ask if they offer these incentives to eligible applicants.
Other times, you’ll just need to apply for the job you want. Then if you get selected, ask – in a professional way – if they can offer you help with your business move. If they see you are highly qualified, and a rare hire, it may just work out.
When you’re ready to move to another city in Canada, give us a shout! We can help you with the long-distance move, as well as temporary storage of your belongings until you get settled. Our storage comes in portable containers, which means your goods can be shipped when you want them, without unnecessary unloading.
See Other Relocation or Long Distance Moving Articles:
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.
In our first article, we explained that movingscams – even if they are based on legal-sounding contracts with legitimate moving companies – are all too common in thelong–distancemoving industry.
As this CBC Marketplace video explains, by interviewing a professional mover, starting a moving company is too easy nowadays. All you need is a friendly representative at the other end of the phone line, and a nice website. Heck, some Canadian movers don’t even own warehouses, addresses or their own trucks: all of that can be outsourced, or lied about.
Some want the moving industry regulated. But so far, that is limited.
In this series, we wanted to explain how to avoid the longdistancemoving problems that you don’t expect, or that are harder to spot. For example, a nice person comes to your home to give you a quote. Or a friend recommends a moving company. How do you predict moving company scams in situations like this?
There are tell-tale signs, and it helps to know what they are. We covered some of them in our previous article on this topic. Below we continue to cover more.
Ask about fees in detail before you sign a moving contract, or don’t let the movers load your belongings in their truck
In this story on the CBC website, a mother was told her moving costs would be 4 times what she thought they would be. As she explains in the story, the initial contact with the moving company was pleasant.
But come moving day, she was told that there would be extra fees for things like going up stairs. She was also going to be charged for wrapping TVs, and for weighing her stuff. Sound fishy? That’s because it is. All of these details should have – and could have – been covered in an initial estimate or quote, and then put in writing before moving day.
The other big lesson to learn here is also to get an in-home moving quote (it’s unclear if this happened in the story mentioned above). The person who gives you amoving estimate needs to come to your home to see your belongings. Describing the needs of your move is not likely your specialty, if you’re not a professional mover. So a moving company should be doing that for you.
Reading the story linked to above, you can see there was a lot of “she said this, she said that” – but it seems nothing was in writing except a “bill of lading.” And that document didn’t discuss all the details of what was to be moved beforehand, or what the final moving costs would be.
This comes back to the weight issue discussed in our previous article on this topic. A moving quote can be binding and set at a flat rate. You just need to find amoving company willing to give you this predictable pricing model.
But, even more fishy is that the bill of lading in this story did seem to outline what the estimates would be, as well as inclusions like ‘packing fees.’ And, get this – the addresses the moving company publicized were not accurate.
So remember – a nice website and a friendly phone call do not protect you as a consumer in the moving industry. You have to take more steps to be vigilant about the company you pick to handle yourlongdistance move.
Use long–distancemoving companies that are insured and provide insurance for lost or stolen belongings
In this CBC article, we read about a couple who claim a moving company employee stole their jewelry while it was unattended. The moving company denies the claims, stating that an investigation did not bring up proof of the situation. But the couple found out that one employee on the job had a criminal record.
In the case above, the moving company advertised it does background checks on all its employees, which it ended up not following through on, in this case. So this is not something that is easy to spot or predict as a tell-tale sign that you’ve hired a shady moving company. Just know there are no guarantees. And no one can say with certainty that a person with a criminal record is going to commit crimes agains, or shouldn’t be hired at a job to start a new beginning.
However, there is a lesson to be learned with all this: never leave your valuables unattended! Jewelry in this case was left in a box in the bedroom. But something that valuable should be kept in a safe.
Also, make sure there is insurance for this sort of thing, if it happens. Arrange that insurance before moving day, and as you negotiate your longdistancemovingcontract. Ask your mover: what if something goes missing in my home, even if I didn’t ask you to move it for me? What then?
Since the jewelry was in a box that was not hired to be moved by the moving company, they claimed it was not their responsibility. So, you will also want to make sure that your other insurance policies cover belongings like this in such a situation. For example, make sure your homeowner’s insurance would cover you if you put things in a special box on moving day to prepare for the move.
You also want to ensure your moving company has insurance for in case belongings get damaged during the move. This happened, and was caught on camera, withthis moving company customer.
To conclude: long distancemovingscams are preventable
As we noted earlier, a lot of these issues can be prevented if you are aware of how to spot them. They do happen, and we’ve only mentioned a handful of articles on the CBC site that describe them.
If you are booking a mover through an online bidding program or through an app, like this one used in the U.S., remember you still need to meet the mover in person, and ensure they are a reputable company. This is especially so with a long distance move, because your belongings will be going farther, and there is more to consider. There is also less you can take with you, or move on your own.
Long Distance Moving Scams in Canada & How to Avoid Bad Movers
Recently (January 2017), the CBC reported a story of a long distance moving company that wouldn’t deliver a family’s belongings until they paid double the amount they originally thought it would be. Digging into the issue, you’ll find that stories like this abound in Canada. We found many similar stories on the CBC website.
We, like other ethical moving companies in Vancouver and Canada, believe that this should stop. Some cross-country moving company owners are calling for more regulation of the industry by government.
Until then, we will do our best to help educate the public on long distance moving scams to avoid. These are not hypothetical: these have happened to real Canadians using real, so-called ‘legitimate’ long distance movers in Canada. By ‘legitimate’ we don’t mean ethical: we mean they had a pretty website, sometimes had really nice staff do the in-home estimates, and had branded trucks with logos and everything. It’s not always obvious to spot the shady businesses in the moving industry.
We will say for sure, before we start, that there are always two sides to every story. Long distance moving companies in the articles we’ll mention below do try to make their defenses and claims. And we don’t know all the information to say whether or not one side is being dishonest with their story.
However, the point of this article series is not to determine who wins the argument: it is to help future long distance movers avoid these problems in the first place. And they are avoidable, if you take some precautionary measures.
Always pick a reputable moving company by doing your research outside their marketing material
We did mention above that it’s not easy to spot an unprofessional company, especially if they have a nice website and branded vehicles. However, you can be sure that if people are getting ripped off by a company more than once or twice, it is likely they are going to be talked about. If the same complaints are happening over and over again, then it’s not likely an issue of a misunderstanding between two parties, which can happen in any business.
We wrote about how to pick a reputable moving company on our blog before, and encourage you to have a read:
Don’t sign long distance moving contracts that charge by weight after the fact
One thing you’ll want to do, as described in the articles above, is to look for a long distance moving company that will give you a binding quote – not an estimate that could fluctuate based on a mover’s discernment on moving day. And certainly one not based on weight.
That is what happened in the article we mentioned above, and we encourage you to avoid it. CBC’s Marketplace re-weighed the goods of the moving company customer, and found they weighed almost 2,800 pounds less than what the long distance mover had said it weighed. Of course, the mover said the customer changed the number of goods to be moved, which explained the extra cost.
But the point is this: disagreements like this need to be avoided in the first place with better, more assured moving quotes. If there will be anything undetermined regarding price that has to wait until the final move, beware of problems you’re likely to have.
If you do want to use a moving company that charges by weight…
The excuse that “mistakes” and “errors” can occur with weight-based quotes is not a good one (yes, this has been claimed). It should be up to the moving company to ensure they are using calibrated, government-certified scales when weighing belongings.
Some may claim that you can be there when your belongings are being weighed. Check in advance to know if this will be an inconvenience to you. Or they say you can ask for it to be re-weighed. But remember: you have no way of knowing how well calibrated the scale is. So yes, the scale can be ‘lying’ – whether or not intentionally on the part of the mover. You are putting a lot of trust in the moving company with a weight-based quoting system.
And the consumer should know what that weight will be before agreeing to the move, and well in advance of moving day. This way, they can opt to use another company if they want to. Looking at your furniture, or mentioning you have enough to fit a 1-bedroom apartment in an online form is not a great way to guess how much it weighs. That could be anything!
There are more long distance moving scams to watch out for
We are going to cover more of these stories in a follow up article on this topic. Stay tuned for our further advice, using real situations that Canadians have endured with shady moving companies.
A few months ago the internet was all the rage about Americans searching on the topic of how tomovetoCanadaif Trump wins the U.S. election. But according to Justin Trudeau, the idea is not new. And, according to one comedian, the viable options of places tomove in Canada are probably limited for most Americans, who either don’t like the cold, or can’t speak French. Check out that video here for a good laugh. And let’s not forget, with Brexit in the mix, the Brits also seem towanttomovetoCanada.
But this article is not about moving internationally toCanada only ifyou’re not happy with your politicians (in a relatively peaceful country, we mean!). People movetoCanada for a variety of reasons. And as a moving company in Canada – one that has helped international movers in the past – we thought we’d give a bit of advice on the topic. It can be quite logistical!
We also wrote about some practical tips to help make the move emotionally easier:
While we will give some more logistical advice and tips here, be sure to also consult a legal professional on the topic ifyou are planning an immigration as a non-Canadian. And, before you start your move, get some good quotes and advice from international movers before you start shipping your belongings overseas. They’ll know how to help for your specific case.
Consider legalities of immigration before you call international movers in Canada
According to Wikihow, there are a variety of reasons a person can be revoked access tomovetoCanada. However, supposing you are qualified, and have applied for a particular visa that matches your case, you can follow their guide here.
The Canadian government also has a great (and probably more reliable) resource for both finding out ifyou would qualify tomoveto the country, and for the application process. They also have a section preparing you for life in Canada, which can be different from where you’ve lived before, even ifyou think it’s similar in culture and living standards.
The last thing you’d want is to get one small thing mixed up in your application process, or to not have your immigration processed correctly. Ifyou plan yourmove with an international moving company before sorting out these important details, you could end up with an expensive bill for nothing. And, not tomention, a lot of hassle and time without your belongings, which really can make life tough.
Consider how you will earn a living, and your cost of living in Canada
This is an important one. Ifyou’re reading this page, you may be considering tomovetoCanada as an expat with an existing job that will transfer youto an office in a Canadian city. Fair enough. Some companies may cover your costs of moving internationally too. But living in Canada can mean a shift in financial planning for your daily life too. And ifyou don’t already have a job, it’s important toknowwhat employers look for. For example, even as the comedian mentioned above notes, in some places, and for some jobs, not knowing French can be a setback for you.
This site has a great resource on matters to do with your finances ifyouwanttomovetoCanada:
Consider where you’re going to live when youmoveto a new country
Canada is a big country. The country does share a common ideological culture, with common federal laws that affect all Canadians (such as Health Canada Pharmacy healthcare). However, there are definitely idiosyncrasies that define regions in the country.
The most obviously defined province would be Quebec, which is a traditionally (and officially) french-speaking province.
But there are more things to consider when picking a city to live in within Canada, such as:
Cost of housing (it can vary a lot!)
Nearby universities or schooling programs
Weather (this is a big one for many!)
Access to travel points like airports
Transportation systems and costs (public transport, gas costs, car taxes and laws, etc.)
And so on.
This article on our blog may also help when considering moving to Vancouver:
But even worse, if a company goes bankrupt, or decides not to help you anymore, it will be up toyouto cover the cost of getting your things out of storage, or shipping them to your new home. This is real, and we’ve seen it happen before. See this article on our blog about the true story of international movers with this terrible experience:
Now, one way to avoid this risk is to not try to bring your current furniture and ‘big’ things with you. But that can pose sentimental problems, as well as cost considerations. Depending on the type of furniture you have, it may be cheaper to ship your furniture in a container than to sell and re-buy new furniture whenyou get toCanada. This one site for expats recommends not opting for shipping, especially ifyouwanttomoveto an inner-country city like Calgary for instance: you’ll need to pay extra to get your container from a port and onto a truck!
But in places like Vancouver, the port is nearby. And like we already said: sometimes parting with your belongings is not an option. And neither is putting them in a suitcase for a plane ride.
For those instances, we recommend reliable furniture moves with international moving companies that can help you with the logistics of the move.
In addition to the logistical planning of shipping household belongings internationally, you may wantto check out our typical packing tips to keep your items safe during the long ride toCanada. Here are just some of our articles on the topic, though we encourage youto search more on our blog!
It takes more than a dream tomovetoCanada! But it can certainly start with the the dream! Surely Canada has benefits for anyone who wants to live in the country. And after you land, you may quite enjoy the country and culture, and all it has to offer. But like any move, the process can be stressful. For such a large decision, be sure to plan carefully and well in advance.
Ifyou need help with your international movetoCanada, feel free tocontact us! We’d be happy to provide quotes and advice on your case.