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Arriving in Calgary this summer - a few questions

Arriving in Calgary this summer - a few questions

Old May 4th 2011, 11:05 am
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Default Arriving in Calgary this summer - a few questions

I've spent the last few days alternating between excitement and terror.

I have done some (wiki/web/talking to people over there) research and I'd really appreciate some advice.

Banks: HSBC are good because you can open an account from the UK, yes?

House/Car insurance: Johnson Inc will accept UK No Claims - anyone else?

Large Scale Currency Exchange - haven't looked this up, but husband is asking who to use.

And the HUGE sticking point - cheap, short term, furnished accommodation for a family of six in or near Calgary. We're intending to buy a house asap (heading out on a recce this month or next) but we need somewhere to live until that's sorted. Oh, and we'll have a dog. And possibly the cat, although she could go into a cattery until we're sorted.

If anyone wants to tell me they've got a house sitting empty anywhere near Calgary which we could rent whilst we get ourselves sorted (ha ha, I know, and if you have next week's lottery numbers that'd be great) that would be fab.

Off to finish painting some skirting boards and have a minor nervous breakdown.
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Old May 4th 2011, 2:23 pm
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Default Re: Arriving in Calgary this summer - a few questions

If you bank with HSBC in Calgary you will limited by the number of branches. Being able to open an account from the UK is irrelevant. It takes less than 10 mins to do so when you arrive and you can also do so from the UK.

I opened an account with TD Canada Trust from the UK and made deposits to that account before I arrived. I wasn't allowed to make any withdrawals until I attended the branch in person - it took all of 5 mins out of my day.

Ing accepted our UK no claims when we arrived but, then again, we came armed with the required letters from our UK insurers.
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Old May 4th 2011, 2:33 pm
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Default Re: Arriving in Calgary this summer - a few questions

HSBC- really not advisable. They have been an all round PITA. 6 weeks for cheque book, 2 1/2 weeks for mortagge pre-approval. You now have to pay to use BMO cashpoints.

Don't do it.
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Old May 4th 2011, 3:04 pm
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Default Re: Arriving in Calgary this summer - a few questions

I am using them as a means to an end until I get things sorted .Also I have an account with TD.bank that I opened a few years ago on holiday.They said I had to be a resident so I made it a joint account with my daughter in law who is resident and they said that was no problem.
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Old May 4th 2011, 3:51 pm
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Default Re: Arriving in Calgary this summer - a few questions

Originally Posted by skara View Post
I've spent the last few days alternating between excitement and terror.

I have done some (wiki/web/talking to people over there) research and I'd really appreciate some advice.

Banks: HSBC are good because you can open an account from the UK, yes?

House/Car insurance: Johnson Inc will accept UK No Claims - anyone else?

Large Scale Currency Exchange - haven't looked this up, but husband is asking who to use.

And the HUGE sticking point - cheap, short term, furnished accommodation for a family of six in or near Calgary. We're intending to buy a house asap (heading out on a recce this month or next) but we need somewhere to live until that's sorted. Oh, and we'll have a dog. And possibly the cat, although she could go into a cattery until we're sorted.

If anyone wants to tell me they've got a house sitting empty anywhere near Calgary which we could rent whilst we get ourselves sorted (ha ha, I know, and if you have next week's lottery numbers that'd be great) that would be fab.

Off to finish painting some skirting boards and have a minor nervous breakdown.
Just a quick note on the house front. Buying and moving can happen very quickly here. When we sold our house in Nov 09, from offer to moving out was 3 weeks.
If you are coming over to buy a house before, then you could quite easily have it all sewn up and able to move staight in on arrival in the summer.
Furnished rentals are difficult to come buy and most places ask for a minimum 6 month contract (in my experience)

As others have said HSBC are beyond useless, we set up with TD before arriving.

Had a bad experience with TTT moneycorp when we moved over in 06, so I wouldn't recommend them.

HTH
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Old May 4th 2011, 8:52 pm
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Default Re: Arriving in Calgary this summer - a few questions

Originally Posted by skara View Post
I've spent the last few days alternating between excitement and terror.

I have done some (wiki/web/talking to people over there) research and I'd really appreciate some advice.

Banks: HSBC are good because you can open an account from the UK, yes?

House/Car insurance: Johnson Inc will accept UK No Claims - anyone else?

Large Scale Currency Exchange - haven't looked this up, but husband is asking who to use.

And the HUGE sticking point - cheap, short term, furnished accommodation for a family of six in or near Calgary. We're intending to buy a house asap (heading out on a recce this month or next) but we need somewhere to live until that's sorted. Oh, and we'll have a dog. And possibly the cat, although she could go into a cattery until we're sorted.

If anyone wants to tell me they've got a house sitting empty anywhere near Calgary which we could rent whilst we get ourselves sorted (ha ha, I know, and if you have next week's lottery numbers that'd be great) that would be fab.

Off to finish painting some skirting boards and have a minor nervous breakdown.
For transferring money over, we used Satworldwide. We've used them a few times now and have always found them really good. - www.satworldwide.co.uk

Regarding accommodation, you'll notice below that we have a guest suite rental. Ideally, it is only suited for four people plus a cot. We have had six people stay before (albeit just for a few days with a couple of airbeds). Also, we are friends with a realtor who has a few furnished accommodations that she usually rents to clients on recce trips or when first moving over until they sort themselves out into long term accommodation etc.

Let me know if you'd like any details.

Regards.
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Old May 4th 2011, 9:39 pm
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Default Re: Arriving in Calgary this summer - a few questions

Thanks everyone.

Having one of those 'so much to do I think my brain might explode' days.
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Old May 4th 2011, 10:40 pm
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Default Re: Arriving in Calgary this summer - a few questions

Originally Posted by skara View Post
I've spent the last few days alternating between excitement and terror.

I have done some (wiki/web/talking to people over there) research and I'd really appreciate some advice.

Banks: HSBC are good because you can open an account from the UK, yes?

House/Car insurance: Johnson Inc will accept UK No Claims - anyone else?

Large Scale Currency Exchange - haven't looked this up, but husband is asking who to use.

And the HUGE sticking point - cheap, short term, furnished accommodation for a family of six in or near Calgary. We're intending to buy a house asap (heading out on a recce this month or next) but we need somewhere to live until that's sorted. Oh, and we'll have a dog. And possibly the cat, although she could go into a cattery until we're sorted.

If anyone wants to tell me they've got a house sitting empty anywhere near Calgary which we could rent whilst we get ourselves sorted (ha ha, I know, and if you have next week's lottery numbers that'd be great) that would be fab.

Off to finish painting some skirting boards and have a minor nervous breakdown.
I work for a bank and as long as you have 2 pieces of ID Government issued and have your photo on one then it really is a quick process to open a bank account. What you may find is that it is not so easy to get things like credit cards at first as you have no credit rating in Canada. At our bank we can get round this if you are interested please feel free to PM me. Good luck
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Old May 10th 2011, 5:44 pm
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Default Re: Arriving in Calgary this summer - a few questions

Originally Posted by skara View Post
Banks: HSBC are good because you can open an account from the UK, yes?
Well, I suppose if that makes the deal for you but HSBC isn't that popular in Canada, I think BMO has the lowest bank costs and they're more common than McDonald's, ATB Financial is very popular in Alberta as well.

House/Car insurance: Johnson Inc will accept UK No Claims - anyone else?
I think everyone will accept UK no claims on car insurance, not sure it matters with house insurance (didn't matter with mine). One major tip I can give you is to get copies of your claim history on your car insurance from your current and former brokers for the past five years. Also make sure you keep a copy of your UK DL before you exchange it, they take it off you and send it back to DVLA. With no proof they'll assume you're a new driver.

Large Scale Currency Exchange - haven't looked this up, but husband is asking who to use.
Customs House is the usual answer to this one, aka www.xe.com - it's a Canadian company, based in Victoria. Which is not to say you can't get better rates elsewhere, you'd have to check around.

And the HUGE sticking point - cheap, short term, furnished accommodation for a family of six in or near Calgary. We're intending to buy a house asap (heading out on a recce this month or next) but we need somewhere to live until that's sorted. Oh, and we'll have a dog. And possibly the cat, although she could go into a cattery until we're sorted.
Pets are licensed in Calgary, check the city website, and there are restrictions on where they are allowed to roam. I don't have a pet but I got into a conversation with a big pet fan a few weeks ago who was telling me the way she trained her cat not to leave her property (which requires the cat to be tagged and not really sensible when it's cold anyway) was to leash the cat to a pole in the centre of the garden so it could reach the fence and not beyond. Eventually it learned not to try to leave the garden. Not sure how common this is but I thought it was worth sharing.

If anyone wants to tell me they've got a house sitting empty anywhere near Calgary which we could rent whilst we get ourselves sorted (ha ha, I know, and if you have next week's lottery numbers that'd be great) that would be fab.

Off to finish painting some skirting boards and have a minor nervous breakdown. [/QUOTE]
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Old May 10th 2011, 7:46 pm
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Default Re: Arriving in Calgary this summer - a few questions

We landed in Calgary almost a month ago. I did actually open up the HSBC account before I left - I had an advance account in the UK so the charge was 50. It was useful to transfer money and have a bank card I could use as soon as I landed. The transfer rates between HSBC UK - Canada were better than some of the money exchange sites like HiFX.

Yet to be seen how much of an issue HSBC will be - I work downtown right next to a branch and there is also one close to where we will be living. I did open up a BMO account as well just in case!

When you land in Calgary PM me and I will send you details of who we used for car insurance. I was really worried about this as heard nightmare stories but due to having proof of UK no claims and DVLA history we got a quote I was very happy with.
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Old May 13th 2011, 1:52 am
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Default Re: Arriving in Calgary this summer - a few questions

Originally Posted by skara View Post
I've spent the last few days alternating between excitement and terror.

I have done some (wiki/web/talking to people over there) research and I'd really appreciate some advice.

Banks: HSBC are good because you can open an account from the UK, yes?

House/Car insurance: Johnson Inc will accept UK No Claims - anyone else?

Large Scale Currency Exchange - haven't looked this up, but husband is asking who to use.

And the HUGE sticking point - cheap, short term, furnished accommodation for a family of six in or near Calgary. We're intending to buy a house asap (heading out on a recce this month or next) but we need somewhere to live until that's sorted. Oh, and we'll have a dog. And possibly the cat, although she could go into a cattery until we're sorted.

If anyone wants to tell me they've got a house sitting empty anywhere near Calgary which we could rent whilst we get ourselves sorted (ha ha, I know, and if you have next week's lottery numbers that'd be great) that would be fab.

Off to finish painting some skirting boards and have a minor nervous breakdown.
If you PM / email me your dates I know a furnished property that will accommodate all 6 of you and the dog. Ill check the availability and get back to you - Sam
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Old May 13th 2011, 11:33 am
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Default Re: Arriving in Calgary this summer - a few questions

Originally Posted by delsol79 View Post
When you land in Calgary PM me and I will send you details of who we used for car insurance. I was really worried about this as heard nightmare stories but due to having proof of UK no claims and DVLA history we got a quote I was very happy with.
We'll be landing in August and would interested in the insurance company and what details we need to provide Del.

With regard to HSBC we opened our account a while ago now in preperation. As we are Premier it didn't cost anything and we get Premier in Canada aswell. They have been ever so helpfull but that maybe because of the Prem thing. They have even got hold of our UK credit history and applied it giving us a $5k line of credit on our account. I might be slightly biast though as my Mum works for HSBC here
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Old May 13th 2011, 2:18 pm
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Default Re: Arriving in Calgary this summer - a few questions

Originally Posted by Mickey690 View Post
We'll be landing in August and would interested in the insurance company and what details we need to provide Del.

With regard to HSBC we opened our account a while ago now in preperation. As we are Premier it didn't cost anything and we get Premier in Canada aswell. They have been ever so helpfull but that maybe because of the Prem thing. They have even got hold of our UK credit history and applied it giving us a $5k line of credit on our account. I might be slightly biast though as my Mum works for HSBC here
Most people do not have an issue with opening a bank account in Canada and, unless one is on a work permit, do not usually have to put any form of security down to obtain a credit card.
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Old May 13th 2011, 4:23 pm
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Default Re: Arriving in Calgary this summer - a few questions

Originally Posted by Almost Canadian View Post
Most people do not have an issue with opening a bank account in Canada and, unless one is on a work permit, do not usually have to put any form of security down to obtain a credit card.
Well I wonder how these MOST people do it. I tried getting a credit card in two banks and was only offered a secured one. That is with PR and a good job offer/salary.
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Old May 13th 2011, 4:49 pm
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Default Re: Arriving in Calgary this summer - a few questions

Originally Posted by delsol79 View Post
Well I wonder how these MOST people do it. I tried getting a credit card in two banks and was only offered a secured one. That is with PR and a good job offer/salary.
I, and many others, didn't have an issue, depends on one's circumstances.
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