But have you ever considered what would happen if your home, business, community centre or church ever caught on fire? How bad would the damage be? How would you recover from a fire? See the story of this historical hotel recently damaged by a fire in B.C.
Chances are, after everyone’s safety is addressed, you’ll go through a lengthy, tedious and specialized process to salvage your belongings (if they can be recovered at all). You’ll also likely need to re-locate after a fire. In between, your things will need to be moved – sometimes to a special facility – and then back to their original spot in your home.
And so, salvaging belongings from a fire, and moving after a fire in B.C. often go together.
In this article, we’ll give some tips on what to expect, and what to do, if you are recovering from fire damage.
Know that fire damage is not just from flames: water and smoke will ruin most belongings not turned to ashes
Fire smoke, soot and the water used to put out the fire can be the biggest determinant of whether or not your belongings can be salvaged at all. This is where fire restoration companies come into play. This restoration specialist explains what the process may be like (though we don’t claim to sponsor or promote any one company). As you’ll see, everything will need to be moved out before it can be salvaged.
If you watch the second video on this news story, you’ll see floods of water coming out of a church building that had been powerfully hosed for hours to put out a fire. Now imagine what would be left after the fire is gone. You can expect that carpeting, flooring, walls and much more will be damaged by water – and resulting mould – alone.
And, as this article explains, smoke damage can be the most detrimental, and hard-to-get-rid-of effect of a fire. The site goes on, in this page, to explain that chemicals from smoke and soot damage can be harmful to humans. This is why you may want to consider a temporary relocation, or moving permanently, after a fire.
Know your first recourse after a fire, to help you resettle or move, while bringing your home back to shape
Your first recourse after a fire is your insurance policy. Insurance should cover the services of a fire restoration company to help you determine what can be salvaged of your belonging after a fire. They will also be able to professionally handle the material that may now be hazardous to your health.
The City of Vancouver publishes a guide on what to do immediately after suffering from a home fire (or other building fire, such as a commercial or community space). If you don’t have insurance, there may be government resources or charities that can help you. This can be as little as shelter for the first few days after a fire, or as extensive as social services and financial help (from the B.C. government), if you have to move out of your home completely.
Of course, it goes without saying that if you live in another city, you should check with your local city hall to find out your similar available options.
You can also see our guide on how to find temporary accommodations in Canada, here.
Learn what work you’ll need to do on your home before you can move in after a fire
There are several guides on how to clean, repair and restore your home and belongings after a fire. Here are some we found that may be useful in your search:
https://prrd.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/fire.pdf – this explains the importance of professional de-odourizing. It also explains that you’ll need to make sure your home’s value is adjusted, and that your property is kept safe while restoration is going on (you won’t want trespassers causing even more damage during this process). Also, it brings up the important point that a building structure damaged by fire may not be safe for the untrained to walk into. You don’t want blocks of charred wood falling on your head, so please be careful. Again, we’ll emphasize that a professional may need to do this job for you.
Don’t forget you’ll also need to temporarily cancel your utility services after a fire. As you can see, there is administration to do after a fire, and before you can move in or out of a building damaged by fire. It’s not just cleaning.
To conclude: precaution is the best remedy to fire restoration, and having to move
You knew this piece of advice was coming. As you can see from what we’ve covered above, recovering from a fire is a dreadful process. Not only will you be in shock and recovering personally from the event. And that’s not even assuming there were any fatal life losses (which is more devastating). But the amount of work involved in salvaging your belongings will be a headache. It can take a long time – so don’t expect to be able to move back in within a week or two.
And so, we recommend having a fire safety plan to begin with. Make sure sure your smoke detectors are working, you have the right fire ceiling paint, self-closing doors, and other building fixtures that can help prevent fire damage – not to mention save lives. Also, if you have tenants in a basement suite, make sure it is a legal one, to avoid unnecessary blame if the fire affects their safety.
If you need help moving in from your temporary location, back to your permanent home after a fire, give us a call. We’d be happy to help. The fire restoration specialists may need to handle the careful moving of other damaged items, however.
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.