Accommodation is one of the many important things that you should prioritize when moving to Canada for the first time. Actually, this applies, no matter where you plan on migrating to in the future.
However, finding where to live is harder than you may think. You have to consider many factors like the number of bedrooms, available utilities, location, and likes. Not only that, but you will also need a separate budget for your rent or mortgage (if you plan on owning your own home) apart from other necessities.
Because of this, you may want to start knowing some tips on how to get the cheapest accommodation as a first-timer. Here is a list for your reference:
Determine your accommodation needs.
First, you need to remember that to get the cheapest yet best accommodation possible. It’s important that you know your needs. This means that you’re aware of what you’re looking for in a property instead of relying on either extravagance or frugality.
To do this, you need to consider factors like the people you will be moving in with. Are you alone? Will you move in with family and/or friends? If so, how many are you in total? Details like these will help you find the right number of beds and baths that you’ll need. This is the same as the total size of the property. Keep in mind that greater needs mean a higher price range, so you may want to set the right expectations if that’s the case.
Know where to look for an apartment.
The city that you’re browsing rentals on will have a significant effect on the rent prices that you will get. As of 2021, Ontario and Quebec come as the top two cheapest cities to live in Canada in terms of accommodation. You may want to start looking for homes around these areas first.
In contrast, you may want to avoid Vancouver and Toronto if your budget can’t exceed $1,500. These two have the highest rent prices out of whole Canada, so they aren’t really ideal for first-time expats. Nevertheless, there will be no problem if you can shoulder $2,000 max for monthly accommodations.
Browse social media posts.
Believe it or not, there is a high chance of you finding cheaper accommodations from social media posts rather than simply relying on newspaper ads and websites. Not to mention, you will also have access to more choices, especially if you aren’t limiting your options to only one city.
You can try Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the likes for reference. It’s best if you stick to Facebook, though, since you can do a more thorough background check about the landowner here.
There are also some safety tips that you should keep in mind when surfing social media. For one, avoid meeting up immediately without having prior knowledge about the landlord. Agree to check the property only once you’re sure that both the person and property are safe. Be a healthy skeptic.
Take a chance in negotiating.
If you’re looking through pre-owned homes or other properties that aren’t really at their best quality, then you may take your chance in negotiating for the price. Only do this if the property either still has hopes in being repaired or is considered valid for claims for housing disrepair. If it’s neither, then you may want to look for other homes since you may incur more on repair costs than rent.
In haggling for the rent price, make sure you stay within a reasonable range. Don’t cut the cost down too much since it won’t leave a good impression on the landlord. It’s best if you base mainly on the property issues during negotiation.
Try renting from someone you already know.
For those that already know someone in Canada, you should highly consider asking them if they’re subletting one of their rooms or fully renting one of their properties in the country. Renting from them may give you more opportunities of securing affordable accommodation without worrying about security and safety issues.
Keep in mind that it may take time for you to actually find the right home for your needs and budget. Invest your time, and don’t forget to use your logic skills (and a bit of negotiation) to somehow cut down on living costs.
On a side note, make sure that you can legally look for accommodation and fully live in Canada before committing to any rental. If you’re not set on the necessary travel processes yet, then it’s best if you get help on immigrating to Canada. This will help you not only in legal matters but also in increasing your chances of giving a good impression to the property owner you’re talking to.