My husband and I are looking to move to Toronto in the next year or so. We have a young son (currently a few months old) and a dog, who would be reloacting with us, and I would like some help in relation to sorting accommodation:
- Has anyone moved to Canada with young children and pets? If so, what was your experience, and what should we pay attention to?
- Is it recommended to sort out some temporary accommodation when we first arrive (e.g. hotel, holiday let, etc.), or is it possible to organise a rented flat/house before we move?
- If we rent initially, how long does it normally take to arrange a lease (so we can plan how long we would require temporary accommodation)?
- Is it possible to buy a house in Canada without first having rented? I have read that Canadian banks (like most banks) require some kind of credit history before they give you a mortgage - is it possible to 'transfer' you UK credit history to Canada, or is it not possible to buy a house in Canada if you have not initially rented?
- One of the options we are contemplating is having my husband move out to Canada first, so he can start work and look at accommodation options, and I would joing him later with the baby and the dog - in such a situation, would he be able to sort out all th paperwork on my behalf (e.g signing a rental agreement or mortgage), or would I need to be present at all the meetings / give him some kind of power of attorney before he left?
- Is there anyone we can talk to in relation to the above (e.g. government agency or advice services) who can give us more information?
Relocating with young children and pets is always a bit of a worry. Where are you located currently, and what is your nationality?
Depending on whether your current country is considered rabies-free, you should be able to easily relocate your dog to Toronto. Our page on shipping and removals in Canada could give you some more information on moving with pets.
It is definitely possible to organise some sort of temporary accommodation for the first couple of weeks before you first move there, and if you work through Airbnb or something similar, it is possible to work something out with the owners and go on a week-to-week basis.
Read our page on buying property in Canada for some general info. You can buy property as a foreigner, and banks do finance foreign buyers, but your down payment and interest rates could be higher.
There are many websites and government agencies that provide information on relocating to Canada and buying property there. Getwhatyouwant has a guide, the Government of Canada has an immigration site and we also have a detailed guide on moving to Toronto.
I just went through this and it is probably best for your husband to arrive first. Unfortunately, you "start over" with credit. I believe banks require 35% down payment if you want to purchase a home as a non-resident. We are currently renting. I also think there is a 15% tax on foreign home buyers. Probably best to move here and feel out the area for a good year before buying. Let me know if you want more info and we could exchange emails.
Jim and Anita