More than twenty years ago, we moved to Kitchener-Waterloo. We had been living in Taiwan for nearly a decade. It was time to come home. The children were at the age where they were just about to enter school and we had to think to the future, take a leap of faith.
Kitchener-Waterloo – a good choice
I’m happy we moved to Kitchener-Waterloo. It was a good choice. We could have chosen Toronto. That was our other strong contender. There wouldn’t have been anything wrong with that choice. Who knows? Toronto and the GTA could have been a better choice. But I’m happy that we chose Kitchener-Waterloo because it has been a nice place to raise a family and essentially our move back to Canada was mostly about that.
After moving, rent for a year
When we moved back in June of 2000, those were nascent years of the internet so information was not quite as easily attainable. We arrived. We rented for a year and then we bought our first house. That is still good advice. Rent for a year and see what you learn about where you live. I recently read that new immigrants to Canada, tend to rent for three years before buying their first house. Three years is certainly long enough to learn what you need to learn before buying.
Starts on the internet
There are so many resources available to people relocating now. Before moving you can start from wherever you are. Beside Google maps with their street views and realtor.ca now with lots of pictures of homes and maps and demographics, we have sites like:
- Walkscore for walkable neighbourhoods, rentals, bike and transit scores, restaurants and entertainment…
- Fraser institute for school rankings
- City portals for information on virtually everything
- School board sites for information on schools
- Newspapers and lots of other news sites for local news
- Real estate news sites, blogs, vlogs and Youtube channels
- Crime incidence reporting…
You get the idea. You can research almost anything online if you have enough time.
Plan a visit before moving
Take a weekend or take a week to visit Kitchener-Waterloo. Walk the sidewalks. Shop. Eat out. Visit the libraries and the malls and the parks and even the schools. Rent a bike. Ride the LRT. Be a tourist or pretend to be a local in your future home city
Get an agent
While here, connect with a real estate agent. It is never too early to start receiving timely information on homes selling and sold. Once connected to a Realtor, you will be plugged into a most valuable resource. It is never too early to start getting information about moving.