Relocating to Toronto, Mississauga, Oakville or Burlington? The Lourantos Group is experienced in both relocating themselves and assisting families relocate. We’ve lived on three continents, and sold real estate on two. Through our experience, we are able to bring a wealth of information that other real estate agents cannot. To put it frankly, We probably know what you don’t know, that you don’t know yet.
1.Before immigrating to Canada
As a newcomer to Canada, you don’t have a Canadian Credit Score. So bring one from your country of origin. Also, bring a reference letter from your bank, your previous employer, and anyone else who can shed light on your character and ability to pay bills and debts. Rental vacancies are very low, and competition for rentals is very high. To make finding a rental in Toronto and surrounding area easier, bring your reference letters, overseas credit scores, bank statements, and job offers. Before deciding whether to relocate to Toronto verse Oakville, Mississauga or Burlington, take a look at the average rental costs in the city in this blog post.
2.Once you’ve relocated
From a financial perspective, it’s extremely important to start building a Canadian Credit Score as soon as possible. Open a bank account and apply for a Credit Card within your first few days. BMO bank has a whole banking division dedicated to new comers, visit them here. Next, apply for a Canadian Driver’s License, which is the standard ID in the province. Apply for your Ontario Health Insurance (OHIP) coverage fast, because it takes three months from the date of application before you have medical coverage. Also, apply for your Canadian Social Insurance Number (SIN) within your first week or two. To apply for a drivers license, and a health card visit a Service Ontario location, visit their site here.
3.What to expect when relocating
There are many uncertainties on where to live, and whether to rent or buy. We advise taking day trips to cities and areas and see where you feel comfortable. It’s natural to want to remain in the first city you arrive in, because you’re looking to set roots, but it’s our job to help you find the right community. We spend everyday driving around the city, and selling homes near beautiful parks, great schools, and fantastic shopping. We can help you find the perfect place, if you’re willing to let us show around.
We’ve found that clients immigrating to the Greater Toronto Area usually find themselves living in Toronto, or they settle west of the city in a suburb like Oakville, Mississauga, or Burlington. Each city has a distinct community and lifestyle, which offers something for everyone.
For families with children, it’s important to note that your children have to attend the schools based on the location of your home. There are two separate school boards, the catholic school board and the public school board. Both are pretty good in terms of education.
Real Estate Agents that help people relocate
Real Estate Agents are licensed provincially and help clients throughout the province. In Ontario, real estate agents share listings on what we call the TorontoMLS. Real Estate Companies in Ontario contribute to a shared pool of listings, that any agent can show. So you only need one real estate agent, and that one agent can show you all the available homes. However, not every agent is knowledgable with relocating families, and they won’t anticipate your needs.
If you’re relocating to Toronto, you will find the greatest demographic diversity, which is reflected in the many ethnic neighbourhoods like Chinatown, Greektown, Little Italy, and Little Portugal. Each neighbourhood has a unique architecture and cultural flair, which makes it interesting for both residents and tourists alike. Toronto has many beautiful, historic neighbourhoods that feature homes with true woodworking skills and design. The formal feel of these homes and neighbourhoods, like Wychwood and Rosedale, are what bring families to Toronto.
Relocating to Oakville
At the turn of the century, Oakville was where Torontonian families retreated to their second homes on hot, summer weekends. Oakville is known for its big, beautiful homes, and the overall up-kept look of the whole community. It’s very popular among professional families, because of its proximity to highways, and it’s Go Station. From Oakville, you can get to the Core of Toronto in 25 min on the Go Train. Bronte harbour is a very popular destination for residents who want to enjoy a tapas style dinner, while watching boats in the harbour. If you’re looking for a detached home, Oakville is a little more affordable than Toronto.
Relocating to Mississauga
Mississauga is the second biggest city on Ontario, and is home to many company headquarters. Because of the vast size of Mississauga, the city has many unique pockets of real estate. On the banks of Lake Ontario, you will find the community of Port Credit. Port Credit is known for its beautiful harbour, and mature-tree lined streets. Port Credit is also locally known as the financial hub of Mississauga. Mississauga is very accessible by car, having three major highways and one toll way connecting it to Toronto and surrounding neighbourhoods.
Relocating to Burlington
Burlington was recently praised in local media for being the best place to live in Ontario. The attention is well deserved. Burlington is found just west of Oakville, and shares the up-kept look of Oakville. If you can live a little farther from the city, you will find a very comfortable lifestyle in Burlington. Burlington has many winding streets, and dead ends. The courts are filled with kids, and most houses have a basket ball hoop or hockey net in the driveway. Burlington is probably the most affordable of the four communities mentioned, and is very safe, friendly, and family-oriented.
5.If I'm relocating should I Buy or rent?
Real Estate prices are on the rise. Which drives many newcomers to purchase real estate before they know where they want to live. If you’re looking to buy, then you need to be aggressive in your search, so you don’t regret the community you buy in. Once you walk through the threshold of a home, and know that it’s priced right, and is in a community you like, then you’re ready to buy a home. That could take 2-3 months. In Canada, the listing agent and the buyers agent are both paid by the Seller. Closing costs on a home is around 2-4% of the purchase price.
If you or someone you know is immigrating to Toronto, Mississauga, Oakville or Burlington, please contact us.