After you have had time to familiarize yourself with your new home city, the first thing that must be on your mind is to find yourself an apartment to rent. Even if you want to buy a home right away, think of renting first. This will help you get to know the area that you want to buy in, and explore other suitable areas.
Choosing the right neighbourhood is important, and you should consult family and friends on where you should consider renting your apartment. Even if they cannot help you choose the best location, they will be able to help you determine which areas are not suitable for you. Obviously, safety should be a primary consideration and you can find some great information on neighbourhoods at www.homefinder.ca.
If you have kids, then you should also evaluate the public school in the neighbourhood you are looking. Ratings and information on schools is available at the local school board website and also from the Fraser Institute. Another factor you may want to consider in choosing your neighbourhood is access to public transport, especially if you are not going to buy a car very soon. You can search for apartments at http://www.kijiji.ca/, http://www.viewit.ca/ and http://www.rentit.ca/.
Many apartment buildings will ask you to sign a lease for 1 year. Since they won’t be able to check your credit history, they will ask you for a guarantor or then ask you to demonstrate that you have the finances to pay your rent for 1 year, e.g. bank statement showing a minimum amount of funds.
But before you sign your lease, make sure you negotiate! Yes, you can negotiate the rent down or get some freebies thrown in if you can demonstrate that you are aware of all the deals in the market place. Like any other product, apartment owners also have deals and discounts that they can offer and you can negotiate with them. So don’t pass up this opportunity to do so, as this will be your only chance.