Top Tips: Moving From BC to Alberta
There are many great reasons to move from British Columbia to Alberta. Some of these include the more affordable cost of living – including housing prices, lower taxes, and shorter commute times.
Edmonton, specifically, is a family-friendly, multi-cultural city that’s known for its various festivals and celebrations every year. If you’re considering a move from BC to Alberta, here’s a list of things to consider to ensure your move is a smooth one.
Benefits of Moving from BC to Alberta
Housing prices are significantly lower in Alberta than in BC. The average cost of a single-family home in Edmonton is less than half that in Vancouver, and that includes the price of a brand-new home. For the cost of a fixer-upper in Vancouver, you could purchase two brand-new homes in Edmonton!
For these more affordable home prices, you also gain square footage. The average single-family home is 1,500-2,000 square feet, plus you have plenty of choice about the type of lot your home is built on and in which neighbourhood.
An overall lower cost of living is observed in Alberta, with lower housing prices but also lower taxes. Alberta doesn’t have a Provincial Sales Tax, so the only tax you’ll pay is the federal GST. This applies to everything typically taxable that your family purchases, including your home, vehicle, and goods and services.
Albertans love the outdoors. There are year-round festivals and events to enjoy, but also access to mountains, lakes, and endless parks and recreational facilities in the city to choose from. If you have an active lifestyle in BC and like being around nature, you won’t need to sacrifice your favourite activities when you move to Alberta.
In Edmonton, commute times are relatively efficient thanks to our ring road – Anthony Henday Drive – that circles the entire city. If you work downtown, there are several major thoroughfares leading into the city’s core from all quadrants. But Edmonton’s overall layout is designed to spread traffic throughout the city. The general workforce is found in all parts of the city, typically making your commute within 30 minutes.
Edmonton has several suburban communities surrounding the city in all directions. All these communities are connected by high-capacity freeways and highways, opening further options for your preferred residential community. Living in these outlying areas doesn’t mean adding lots of time to your commute; most are within 10-15 minutes of the outer city limits.
Potential Costs to Move
If you choose to hire a professional, full-service moving company, depending on the amount of furniture and boxes you are moving, the costs can range from $4,500 to $10,000. For the average 3-bedroom home, you can expect to pay around $7,500-$10,000 for full point-to-point moving services.
Be sure to get quotes from at least three companies when making your selection and be wary of any quote that seems extremely low (such as anything under $2,500). Hidden charges can pop up on or after moving day in these cases, and this is the last thing you want to encounter when you have other things to handle.
Do your due diligence when choosing a moving company. A relocation to a new province is a significant move, and you want to be able to trust the company moving your family’s personal items. Be sure to ask plenty of questions, including what your moving quote includes and whether there is potential for additional fees after the move is completed.
If you prefer to save some money on your move, you could rent a DIY moving van (ie: a U-Haul) or even choose a moving container. With a moving container, the company parks the container on your driveway in advance, allowing you time to fill it. Once it’s ready, they pick it up and move it to your new location, allowing you time to unpack it before taking it away once you’re finished. This option can typically save you about 20%-40% on the cost of a full-service moving company.
Your Pre-Move Task List
To make your move easier, there are some tasks you can tackle before you arrive.
Arrange for utility, phone, and Internet hook-ups at your new address. Obviously, you’ll need to physically be there for some of these services but arranging them in advance means you can avoid potential waiting periods once you arrive as some of these services book 1-2 weeks out.
Set up your vehicle and home insurance in advance so it’s valid once you arrive. Although you have a small grace period once you’ve moved to register your vehicle in Alberta, it is always best to do it in advance so it’s just one less thing to think about once you have moved.
Once you’ve moved, visit a registry office to change your driver’s license and/or identification card. Since you’ll need your photo taken to complete this, you’ll have to tackle this after you’ve moved. Also, you’ll want to contact Alberta Health Services to obtain a new health card.
Moving from BC to Alberta is a major decision, but if you’re looking to reduce your overall cost of living without sacrificing your lifestyle, the move is worth it. Lower housing costs and lower taxes in Alberta are a great incentive to make the move, giving you and your family more financial and personal freedom. Edmonton is a vibrant, family-oriented city, and a fantastic place to live.
About the Author:
At Sterling Homes, our mission is to provide the opportunity for affordable homeownership without compromise. Over the last 70 years, Sterling Edmonton has quickly become one of Edmonton’s most popular builders. We bring more than seven decades worth of exceptional customer service, superior design and unparalleled craftsmanship to the greater Edmonton area. As a member of the Qualico Group, Sterling Homes focuses on greater Edmonton’s finest family communities, while being able to offer some of the region’s most family friendly prices thanks to volume purchasing power for materials, trades and land. This has not only made Sterling one of Edmonton’s bestselling, move-up builders, but also one of the industry’s most respected home providers. It is through our uncompromising commitment to our customers that we proudly deliver the Sterling Advantage – that’s why each and every home we build includes a 10-year home warranty, a completion guarantee and new home warranty excellence rating. Our Advantage is our pledge that, when you build your dream home with Sterling, we will deliver a timely, well-built home you’re sure to enjoy for years to come.
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