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Still Early Days 6 Months

Still Early Days 6 Months

Old Mar 15th 2014, 3:46 pm
  #1  
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Default Still Early Days 6 Months

Me, My Husband and 2 children (girls age 6 & 8) landed on the 2nd of September in Edmonton 2013. As I say its still early days but thought I'd share our experiences so far.

We found it hard to find somewhere to rent, very few rentals in Edmonton, I think they say 1% of the Market. We did find somewhere to rent over here when still living in the UK, but my cousin here had to co-sign as we had no credit line in Canada and were deemed a risk, not sure if she wasn't here what we would have done?! We stayed with my cousin for about a week while we collected beds etc.... for the apartment (flat!)

We managed to change over our driving licences very easy (was sad to surrender my uk one). Picked up a car very easily, my husband was after a truck which took a while as so pricey and hard finding the right one. The first hurdle was getting insured!!! total nightmare, they don't except "10 years no claims" well not written like that anyway...so I had many 5am phone calls to the uk to try and get our old insurance company's to word the letters correct, also had to get our transcripts from the DVLA which wasn't too hard. But still with having these our car insurance is very high but should come down in time, it again being new to Canada!

The Girls! well what can I say apart from I/we are totally amazed at how well they have settled! they started school on the 3rd day of arriving in Canada... they settled well, I will say they really push reading and found my eldest has struggled a bit as she is behind, but reading has never been her strongest point, but again she is doing well. They did change schools at the start of Feb as we brought a house (still in Edmonton) Schools here are the same as the uk you have to live within the catchment area!! again they have settled I think even better than the first school... I think with the girls still being youngish it has helped. They miss their nans and granddads but weekly Skype helps.

The house purchase... my husband is a self employed painter and I am currently only helping at the school, so getting a mortgage after 3 months of landing was a challenge! we went with First Foundation a mortgage broker, the main banks wouldn't touch us as being new and self employed, so we got a mortgage through what they call a b lender (equitable bank) our rate is double that of a high street bank!(we did have 25% deposit) but is a 2 year fixed so not too long, and the house we have is amazing, detached, double drive in garage that over looks a lake at the back, much more than we could ever afford in the UK.. so far although still being cold and people stay indoor the street seems very friendly. The flat got too much to bare so had to move on and buying seemed like a good option. Which we are both very pleased. We also got a puppy!

Generally settling, my husband has settled and says he only misses his parents, and love it out here, he just got back from 10 days in the Rockies, a friend from the uk came over and they went off boarding... I'm still in the learning stage so was happy for him to go (one of the reasons I think we are in Canada as he is a big boarder and love the cold). I on the other hand have found it very hard, I love the country, the people, the big blue skies (not the -35). The shopping has defiantly improved haha! but back in the uk I was a social butterfly had many close friend I miss dearly and so miss my parents, so have had hard days where I wish I was back home! but I know inside things will improve once the summer arrives and we can get out for a bbq and meet the neighbours. I'm also not working so have decided I'm going to go back to work full time once I find a job that is... I think when coming to a new country you need to get out the work to meet new people, it can be hard but I think that is the best way to finally settle. A few Brits I have meet have all said the same.. once they got working it all fell into place.

So I will say for now our 6 mouths have been a roller coaster but for now we are hanging on tight and enjoying the ride. Good luck to anyone that is making the move over or just landed... its will hopefully work out for us all... we can only but try.
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Old Mar 16th 2014, 2:34 pm
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Default Re: Still Early Days 6 Months

I'm nearly three months, and some of what you say resonates for me about missing friends etc, but anyhow good luck for the next six
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Old Mar 17th 2014, 7:45 pm
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Default Re: Still Early Days 6 Months

I'm very surprised you struggled as much with car insurance

I managed to find a broker who took into account my UK history and got me a sizeable discount

When I put my details into the online systems I was getting quotes in the $4000 region which is what the horror stories on here suggested to expect...

after a bit of hunting i managed to get that quote down to $1400, and in my second year that was just over $1000, and on a pickup truck of all things!
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Old Mar 17th 2014, 11:13 pm
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Default Re: Still Early Days 6 Months

Thanks for relaying the story. Probaby the beginning can be the hardest (and premove) as there are so many things to sort out. Good luck with everything.
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