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Budgeting for Canada

Budgeting for Canada

Old Apr 8th 2020, 9:34 pm
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Default Re: Budgeting for Canada

Originally Posted by jproberts View Post
Thanks for the honest review of life there in General. I work as what would be a Millwright in Canada and we're coming from South Wales in the UK. I'm aware of the situation with annual leave over there and coming from a job where i get around 220hrs per year + bank holidays that will be a big sacrifice to make I suppose.

We'll have to go through everything again, especially after Covid and make sure that we're not making a mistake with Canada in general. Thanks for the honest feeback
Id be very careful about that kind of field in Alberta. I have family members who are a millwright and engineer. The oil industry is falling apart here. And that's obviously a huge area of employment for your kind of business. So there's going to be thousands out of work, and unfortunately it's quite nepostistic here and Canadian experience will count before any from overseas.
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Old Apr 8th 2020, 10:17 pm
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Default Re: Budgeting for Canada

Originally Posted by dbd33 View Post
I live semi-rurally, not in AB but I don't think this issue would be any different. Rural living shifts costs from being "little and often" to "huge but rarely". For example, city water might be billed monthly, rural water just costs the price of pumping, until the well breaks. City sewers might be charged with the water bill, rural shitting just costs the price of pumping water for the cistern, until the septic bed fails. In the city a tree falls, the council come for it, that's been paid for by taxes, in the country one buys a chain saw, and a log splitter, and a lean-to in which to dry the logs, and a trailer to haul the tree parts and one deals with the tree. Rural living is rustic and primitive but it costs a whole lot of money to live this cheap.

A reserve fund, or unused line of credit, is much more important in the country than the city.
This, This and This.

Everything goes along fine until something breaks then you are 15k plus in the hole for a new well and associated gubbins, absolute min of 20k for a new septic.

Property taxes for us are much cheaper here than they were in the city because we get a reduction for having some conservation wetlands on the property which we can't use and we qualify as farmers which gives us an additional reduction in taxes.

We also got lucky in that our acreage was already planted with nursery trees when we bought it which we mostly sell wholesale to guys that come and dig them out themselves. On a good year, tree sales would pay for a new well.

I have a gravel driveway and just use the tractor bucket in float mode for snow removal. It leaves a thin layer of snow which eventually makes a great skating rink but with enough determination and nerves of steel it's possible to get the vehicles in and out.
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Old Apr 8th 2020, 10:34 pm
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Default Re: Budgeting for Canada

Rather than moving to Canada and renting while looking for a rural property, why not just buy a farm in Wales?
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Old Apr 8th 2020, 10:36 pm
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Default Re: Budgeting for Canada

Originally Posted by HGerchikov View Post
This, This and This.

Everything goes along fine until something breaks then you are 15k plus in the hole .....
Yes indeed - you pay in money or time when things go wrong!

We had a 70ft mature pine tree come down on the roof two weeks ago, mercifully the damage was minimal in the extreme, in fact ridiculously so, and I got the tree removed for peanuts because I have an established relationship with a guy who does tree work. I paid his crew to winch the tree off the roof, and make it horizontal, that was all - but now I have a huge amount of pine logs and branches to cut up and burn, which will take some time even with the pro-grade chainsaw I own.

We lost a large oak two years ago, that remarkably fell directly away from the house - it took serious time and effort to cut the trunk into saw logs, but after contracting with a small sawmill, I now have about 700board-feet of white oak that only cost me about £200, plus the time and not inconsiderable effort of preping the logs and dragging them out of the gully where they fell.

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Old Apr 8th 2020, 10:37 pm
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Default Re: Budgeting for Canada

Originally Posted by jproberts View Post
You're absolutely right, we've had the same discussion tonight about waiting for the wife to start work again before making the jump from renting to buying an acreage. It'd definitely take off some pressure. The houses we've found are all either South or East of Calgary. We didn't mind that too much as the alternative is the move to Edmonton or a different province altogether.

To be honest with you I've never heard of Nakiska until today so that's definitely worth checking out!

Do you mind me asking how Mortgages were being so new to the country?
Nakiska is a great hill to learn on, so ideal for your kids when the time comes. I know it becomes a bit limited for more expert skiers after a few visits, but they can pay for the premium challenges they get at Sunshine and Lake Louise. And for $300 for a season ticket, it's hard to go wrong when you're starting out and finding your feet and trying to keep costs down. Sunshine is 1 hr 45 mins from Airdrie, and Lake Louise would be 2.5 hours, just for reference. Makes for a long day out if you're heading there.

We are self employed, which made life more difficult when we arrived and needed to get a mortgage, but we were able to put 30% or 35% down (I forget which) as a downpayment - we bought small to start with, to get us on the housing ladder, using the equity from our house sale in the UK. We used a broker to arrange the mortgage - you'll be surprised how quick the transaction can proceed if you have the money ready to go. We arrived in Canada on 7th August, started looking at properties on the 9th, had an offer accepted on the 15th and moved in on the 30th. (All in 2013, by the way, things might have changed since about how available mortgages are)

Last edited by Bucks_Family; Apr 8th 2020 at 10:40 pm. Reason: clarified which year i'm babbling about
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Old Apr 8th 2020, 11:02 pm
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Default Re: Budgeting for Canada

Rather than moving to Canada and renting while looking for a rural property, why not just buy a farm in Wales?
Sounds great in principle, other than the fact that we'd be looking at £500,000+ for anything anywhere near what we've found in Canada. Also the rain! This actually brings me on to what the wife and I have been talking about tonight though. Why exactly do we want to move? Being near the Rockies was definitely one part but the main thing is that we have a more outdoors lifestyle than we have here. So we've suggested that realistically we want one of two things: A house in a town/ suburbs with enough disposable income to enjoy our weekends. OR some land to enjoy with the children. That's why we didn't mind being east of Calgary if we go for the latter option.

Although, it doesn't strictly have to be Alberta, we just don't know enough about any other Provinces in all honesty. Job Bank shows that the situation for my job is roughly the same in all provinces other than BC, Ottowa and Quebec where there are much better job prospects for me but also a higher cost of living I thought? Also, is there still the opportunity to live rurally in these provinces? They seem very densely populated.

We've looked in Saskatchewan lately and quite like the province but it's so difficult to know until you're over there I guess. Also, house prices in SK seem alot lower and according the Job Bank the wages are roughly the same as AB?

Last edited by jproberts; Apr 8th 2020 at 11:05 pm.
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Old Apr 8th 2020, 11:06 pm
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Default Re: Budgeting for Canada


This may well be the proof we needed that we need to look outside of AB. If so, the research starts all over again!
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Old Apr 8th 2020, 11:08 pm
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Default Re: Budgeting for Canada

Originally Posted by jproberts View Post
Sounds great in principle, other than the fact that we'd be looking at £500,000+ for anything anywhere near what we've found in Canada. Also the rain! This actually brings me on to what the wife and I have been talking about tonight though. Why exactly do we want to move? Being near the Rockies was definitely one part but the main thing is that we have a more outdoors lifestyle than we have here. So we've suggested that realistically we want one of two things: A house in a town/ suburbs with enough disposable income to enjoy our weekends. OR some land to enjoy with the children. That's why we didn't mind being east of Calgary if we go for the latter option.

Although, it doesn't strictly have to be Alberta, we just don't know enough about any other Provinces in all honesty. Job Bank shows that the situation for my job is roughly the same in all provinces other than BC, Ontatio and Quebec where there are much better job prospects for me but also a higher cost of living I thought? Also, is there still the opportunity to live rurally in these provinces? They seem very densely populated.

We've looked in Saskatchewan lately and quite like the province but it's so difficult to know until you're over there I guess. Also, house prices in SK seem alot lower and according the Job Bank the wages are roughly the same as AB?
I was going to say if you're going east of Calgary why not go all the way east into Sask and save a fortune on cost of living.
Rural Ontario can be very cheap compared to AB. But it's all relative as there are only really two centres of population in AB. So if you are away from them then prices are much lower. But so are job prospects. Ontario is a little better in this regard as it's just more population dense in general.
My Dad bought a big house on a lakeside acreage just outside Ottawa, actually in Quebec but only 25 min from Ottawa. It was about $250k.

Alberta has been struggling for years. This virus is just making it much worse!
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Old Apr 8th 2020, 11:11 pm
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Default Re: Budgeting for Canada

There are some insanely beautiful acreages in Sask for under $400 and within 30-40 minutes of Saskatoon or Regina. Job prospects also seem better in Sask than AB. Not as good as BC or Ottowa though.
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Old Apr 8th 2020, 11:12 pm
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Default Re: Budgeting for Canada

Originally Posted by jproberts View Post

Although, it doesn't strictly have to be Alberta, we just don't know enough about any other Provinces in all honesty. Job Bank shows that the situation for my job is roughly the same in all provinces other than BC, Ottowa and Quebec where there are much better job prospects for me but also a higher cost of living I thought? Also, is there still the opportunity to live rurally in these provinces? They seem very densely populated.
All the Provinces offer the opportunity to live rurally by UK standards. I commute to Guelph which is a town with lots of manufacturing (one employer/one industry towns are to be avoided). It's all fields around here. Ottawa offers lower costs but worse weather, it's certainly an option. Quebec is problematic unless you speak French.
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Old Apr 8th 2020, 11:13 pm
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Default Re: Budgeting for Canada

Originally Posted by jproberts View Post
There are some insanely beautiful acreages in Sask for under $400 and within 30-40 minutes of Saskatoon or Regina. Job prospects also seem better in Sask than AB. Not as good as BC or Ottowa though.
Yep. Alberta has the premium prices mainly because of the mountains. I mean Banff National park is heaven on earth.
The problem is being able to work to afford it, but not having to work so much you actually have time to enjoy it. The balance is hard to find unless you're very rich!
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Old Apr 8th 2020, 11:17 pm
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Default Re: Budgeting for Canada

I was under the impression that the slightly higher wages would make up for the cost of living in Alberta. I didn't realise that the difference was quite so drastic! For me it's all about being able to enjoy time with the family and having enough disposable income to do that so it's seeming more and more as if we've had our hearts set on one of the least suited provinces for us.
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Old Apr 8th 2020, 11:21 pm
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Default Re: Budgeting for Canada

Originally Posted by jproberts View Post
I was under the impression that the slightly higher wages would make up for the cost of living in Alberta. I didn't realise that the difference was quite so drastic! For me it's all about being able to enjoy time with the family and having enough disposable income to do that so it's seeming more and more as if we've had our hearts set on one of the least suited provinces for us.
It used to. 10 years ago yes, life was very very comfortable for most people.
4 years of an accidental socialist government and an ongoing liberal federal government determined to put virtue signalling before prosperity has put Alberta in a very bad situation.

Western separation is looking like a real possibility.
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Old Apr 8th 2020, 11:28 pm
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Default Re: Budgeting for Canada

Western separation is looking like a real possibility.
Wouldn't that include SK and BC though?
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Old Apr 8th 2020, 11:31 pm
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Default Re: Budgeting for Canada

Originally Posted by pawxpaw View Post
It used to. 10 years ago yes, life was very very comfortable for most people.
4 years of an accidental socialist government and an ongoing liberal federal government determined to put virtue signalling before prosperity has put Alberta in a very bad situation.

Western separation is looking like a real possibility.
Well, hold on a minute. People in Alberta dig things out of the ground. The price of things in the ground goes up and down. When it's up Alberta is rich, when it's down Alberta is not. It's been boom and bust in Alberta since before the Liberal government was born. "Mailing the keys back" when the mortgage can't be paid is an Alberta tradition. Moving home when it goes bust again is also a tradition. I daresay blaming the Federal government is also an Alberta tradition.

That's not all bad for the OP. A bust could be a good time to buy.
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