Calgary

Old Apr 11th 2014, 1:41 pm
  #31  
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Default Re: Calgary

Originally Posted by Photoplex View Post
I was thinking more of the luxuries and amenities. Granite, hardwood, stainless steel appliances (hell, dishwashers are a rarity in England), ensuites, walk-in wardrobes, in-floor heating, 9ft ceilings, finished basements (hell, basements at all), hot tubs, etc.

As for construction, can't really comment. My home back in England was over 100 years old. We just bought a brand new infill in a mature neighbourhood here. No complaints 18 months in!
There is nothing in that list you don't get in modern UK houses..every house i lived in the UK had a dishwasher (surely that is a personal choice) but the vast majority of new residential properties in the UK come with integral appliances including dishwashers etc..ensuites are standard too..as are things like granite work tops.

You would have notice the difference if you had moved from your 100 yr old house to a new one in the UK.

Working in construction UK housing is much more robust and has a better build quality than the majority of Canadian housing..building codes and inspections and warranties are much tougher in the UK than here.
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Old Apr 11th 2014, 2:03 pm
  #32  
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Default Re: Calgary

Originally Posted by Photoplex View Post
I was thinking more of the luxuries and amenities. Granite, hardwood, stainless steel appliances (hell, dishwashers are a rarity in England), ensuites, walk-in wardrobes, in-floor heating, 9ft ceilings, finished basements (hell, basements at all), hot tubs, etc.
Dishwashers and en-suites are a rarity in England? When did you leave, 1957?! None of those things are 'luxuries', most are in all the houses I know of. Even my first house, a grotty ex-council on a rough estate in Hillingdon had an en-suite, dishwasher etc.

My house in England is over 300 years old, but you'll be shocked to hear that it's actually got underfloor heating throughout (individual controls in each room), a basement (although we call it a cellar), en-suites, higher than 9ft ceilings, granite and oak worktops throughout. I don't have stainless steel appliances, but that's just because I don't like them (stainless steel and children's fingerprints don't mix, as I discovered in my last house - which did have stainless steel applicances), and I don't have a hot tub, but again that's personal preference and mainly because my name isn't Chardonnay and I don't live in Essex.

And get this, I have two dishwashers! *gasp*

Last edited by christmasoompa; Apr 11th 2014 at 2:49 pm.
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Old Apr 11th 2014, 3:27 pm
  #33  
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Default Re: Calgary

Hehe clearly depends on where you live.

In my 8 yrs in London I never had a dishwasher or an ensuite - indeed not many of my friends did either... as a sweeping generalisation I would have to agree and say that you get way more bang for your buck over here, in particular against London prices.
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Old Apr 11th 2014, 4:01 pm
  #34  
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Default Re: Calgary

Originally Posted by AnneMarieC View Post
In my 8 yrs in London I never had a dishwasher or an ensuite
Were you in a flat? That would make sense, but I've never come across a house in the UK without a dishwasher! Given that you can buy one for less than £200, I'd think it very rare that people can't manage to have one unless they don't have the space for it (or just prefer not to of course).
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Old Apr 11th 2014, 5:53 pm
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Default Re: Calgary

Originally Posted by christmasoompa View Post
Were you in a flat? That would make sense, but I've never come across a house in the UK without a dishwasher! Given that you can buy one for less than £200, I'd think it very rare that people can't manage to have one unless they don't have the space for it (or just prefer not to of course).
Yes/No ... 2 flats and 1 house ... well, I say "house" - it was a terraced cottage thiingymabob ... so kind of house-ish, not a flat, but not a "house" by most standards lol. It did feel quintessentially "British" though
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Old Apr 11th 2014, 7:09 pm
  #36  
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Default Re: Calgary

Originally Posted by AnneMarieC View Post
Yes/No ... 2 flats and 1 house ... well, I say "house" - it was a terraced cottage thiingymabob ... so kind of house-ish, not a flat, but not a "house" by most standards lol. It did feel quintessentially "British" though
I'm intrigued, why didn't you put a dishwasher in? There are many modern conveniences I can live without in my life, but a dishwasher sure as heck ain't one of them!
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Old Apr 11th 2014, 7:17 pm
  #37  
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Default Re: Calgary

Originally Posted by cheeky_monkey View Post
There is nothing in that list you don't get in modern UK houses.
Except they're much smaller because the houses are smaller, I never get this idea about "economy" refrigerators, all it means is that you have to go the shops more often. How does that save energy? I've seen fridges here you could live in.
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Old Apr 11th 2014, 7:19 pm
  #38  
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Default Re: Calgary

Originally Posted by Photoplex View Post
in-floor heating
Can't say I've noticed that being common. It's nice though. I just had thick carpets instead.
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Old Apr 17th 2014, 10:26 pm
  #39  
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Default Re: Calgary

Hi

I've lived in calgary for just over 5 years. I am an office manager for a small multi disciplined health clinic. I work 10 hour days! 36 hours in total & that's part time! Laughable really in a 'health' clinic.
Calgary is exceptionally expensive. Calgarians pay through the nose for everything as the city is way out west and far from the dense population areas such as Toronto. Utility bills are horrific. I never paid such ghastly amounts for gas & electricity in the UK. And wouldn't now despite all the price hikes there. Property taxes are high and based on market values. Given the enormous rise in property values recently the City did a property tax review with the resulting increases. Many of the people I've met over the last few years say they only live in Calgary because the work is here. They won't live here in retirement.
And yes! You do need a car or two. Public transport is 'ok' but has a tendency to be unreliable especially in the winter. An hour stood out in minus 28 waiting for a bus is not funny. I'm here because I married a Canadian. Thankfully, he likes the UK enough to live there. So we won't be staying in Calgary/Canada forever.
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Old Apr 17th 2014, 10:35 pm
  #40  
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Default Re: Calgary

Originally Posted by christmasoompa View Post
Were you in a flat? That would make sense, but I've never come across a house in the UK without a dishwasher! Given that you can buy one for less than £200, I'd think it very rare that people can't manage to have one unless they don't have the space for it (or just prefer not to of course).
I didn't have a dishwasher in the UK and I don't have one in the house I now live in.

Would I like one.. hell yeah!

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Old Apr 17th 2014, 11:47 pm
  #41  
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Default Re: Calgary

Originally Posted by Fedupandt1red View Post
Hi

I've lived in calgary for just over 5 years. I am an office manager for a small multi disciplined health clinic. I work 10 hour days! 36 hours in total & that's part time! Laughable really in a 'health' clinic.
Calgary is exceptionally expensive. Calgarians pay through the nose for everything as the city is way out west and far from the dense population areas such as Toronto. Utility bills are horrific. I never paid such ghastly amounts for gas & electricity in the UK. And wouldn't now despite all the price hikes there. Property taxes are high and based on market values. Given the enormous rise in property values recently the City did a property tax review with the resulting increases. Many of the people I've met over the last few years say they only live in Calgary because the work is here. They won't live here in retirement.
And yes! You do need a car or two. Public transport is 'ok' but has a tendency to be unreliable especially in the winter. An hour stood out in minus 28 waiting for a bus is not funny. I'm here because I married a Canadian. Thankfully, he likes the UK enough to live there. So we won't be staying in Calgary/Canada forever.
Wow, this is so different from my experience of Calgary that I really have to respond. I am also here because I married a Canadian, and have lived here getting on for 6 years.

My scheduled work day is 8.5 hours, and I only occasionally have to work additional hours. In return for the longer than standard hours, we get 2 Fridays a month off. I also receive 5 weeks of vacation leave, with an option to buy or sell up to a week, and ability to carry over unused vacation time. I have a good work/life balance, apart from in March which is our busy time of year. However, that hard work is well recognised in performance reviews, and reflected in pay rises/bonuses/LTIs.

Some things are more expensive than in England, others are cheaper. Expensive items that stand out are food generally, property tax (but Calgary property tax is much lower than other big cities in Canada), alcohol, childcare and kids sports/activities. Cheap holidays to the Med are also out - flying is expensive, and so is accomodation in nearby tourist destinations

Cheaper items include big ticket items, that you don't buy often but see significant savings when you do. Things like televisions, computers, cars, houses and diamonds are all notably cheaper than we were used to in southeast England. Clothes vary a lot - with some items much more expensive (a Next/Debenhams quality shirt is usually over $70) than England and others notably cheaper (brand name jeans, casual clothes). I find that clothes often don't fit as well here, and even expensive items can be very poor quality.

Also cheaper are regular purchases such as petrol, which is about half the price of England. However, the cultural perception of distance means you will likely use more of it. Gas is about half to a third the cost that it is in England, but larger homes and long cold winters mean you will likely use more of it. Our bungalow is well insulated, and our heating costs a comparable to our tiny old flat on the south coast. Electricity costs per unit are also significantly cheaper than England, but high by Canadian standards since we have very little access to cheap hydro-electric sources.

All in all, we have much higher incomes here, which more than offsets the fact that some things are more expensive by a long way. Our work/life balance is also better. I don't know whether we will stay here for ever, but we're certainly in no hurry to move away.
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Old Apr 18th 2014, 12:09 am
  #42  
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Default Re: Calgary

Originally Posted by Fedupandt1red View Post
Calgary is exceptionally expensive. Calgarians pay through the nose for everything as the city is way out west and far from the dense population areas such as Toronto. Utility bills are horrific. I never paid such ghastly amounts for gas & electricity in the UK. And wouldn't now despite all the price hikes there. Property taxes are high and based on market values. Given the enormous rise in property values recently the City did a property tax review with the resulting increases.
Yes I feel I have to respond too, the property taxes are based on the total budget divided by the appraised values, the amount of tax is not based on the value of the house per se but your portion of the budget. Which to my mind is a very fair way of doing it, plus I don't think the taxes are that high. I pay less here (taking inflation into account) for a similar sort of house and also, property taxes in Calgary are among the lowest of any major city in Canada.

The price of natural gas in the UK is around 7.5 cents per kWh, the current price Enmax has got off-contract is only 2 cents per kWh.

Southern Electric in the UK is currently charging 15p per kWh for electricity and Enmax is charging 7.3 cents...

Alberta is a producer of natural gas, there's no way are utilities more in the UK than here. You might use more gas here because it's colder but your overall bill should still be less.
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Old Apr 18th 2014, 2:54 am
  #43  
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Default Re: Calgary

Originally Posted by Steve_ View Post
The price of natural gas in the UK is around 7.5 cents per kWh, the current price Enmax has got off-contract is only 2 cents per kWh.
You need to go check this again.

1) Gas is measured in GJ. Electricity is measured in KwH

2) It's measured in dollars, not cents

3) The floating rate for natural gas in Calgary just hit the highest rate since 2006, at $9.38/GJ in March
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Old Apr 18th 2014, 4:59 pm
  #44  
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Default Re: Calgary

danfolkestone is quite right. Many employers do offer 'normal' good working conditions. Large employers, particularly in the oil industry(offices in downtown Calgary) offer flexible working hours, 1st & 3rd Fridays off, good vacation time, great benefit scheme etc. But there is a flip side to that coin & I would recommend anyone seeking employment in Calgary/Alberta to have a look at the Alberta Employment Standards. Even qualified for a profession (such as my field in accountancy) I was advised in my 2nd interview that I would be expected to work a lot of evenings/weekends with no vacation in the first 12 months (as an employee has to 'earn' the vacation time in this period). After 12 months the standard vacation time is 2 weeks each year for the first 4 years rising to 3 weeks after 5 years. Of course, this could be negotiable with an potential employer but not a 'norm'.

If you're in salaried employment as well you don't need to worry about taking unexpected time off (you're sick, you're child's sick). A great deal of employers pay hourly, so no work that day, no pay.
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Old Apr 19th 2014, 2:38 am
  #45  
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Default Re: Calgary

Originally Posted by Photoplex View Post
You need to go check this again.

1) Gas is measured in GJ. Electricity is measured in KwH
Yes... and it can be converted into kWh, which I did for the sake of comparison... in the UK it usually is measured in kWh.

2) It's measured in dollars, not cents
Er... you're aware that 1/100th of a dollar is a cent, right? Like the .38 means 38 cents?

3) The floating rate for natural gas in Calgary just hit the highest rate since 2006, at $9.38/GJ in March
Well I went with what was on my bill but that still works out to 3.3 cents per kWh. Which is still less than half than what it is in the UK.

Alberta is a natural gas producer, I doubt there's any country in the EU that has prices as low as we do, unless there's a subsidy. The UK is a net importer of gas now, I can't imagine how it could ever have lower prices than us, now.
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