Emigrating to Canada – Introduction to House Construction and Real Estate Practices

When emigrating to Canada, its important to spend time looking in to the job and Visa situation and not to spend too much of your time trawling through the web sites of Realtors (Estate Agents), drooling over that five bed detached house which you have fallen in love with, which also has a lcouple of lounges, playroom, vast kitchen 2 x bathrooms, a dining room and separate laundry room and which sits on a spacious piece of land and is also probably very affordable. It is also important when considering emigrating to Canada which area you are hoping to move to as house prices can vary enormously. Vancouver is or can be very expensive where as Eastern Canada is less so. One acre is a piece of land about 50 yards x 50 yards (150 feet x 150 feet or about 22,500 square feet). Many Realtors work in Acres or square feet. A standard building lot on a new sub-division is usually 75 feet wide at the road x 125 – 150 feet deep. Many pieces of land come up for private sale not on a development zone which are much bigger than that but obviously the more urban you go, the less chance there is of finding something suitable, like a one acre piece of land.

When you buy a house or piece of land in Canada, it is usual to sign agreement forms before hand and the purchase price is set subject to conditions. You can stipulate that the house is subject to what is called a home inspection, in case some serious flaws in the building appear or that the property is not owned by the person or organization who claims to own it for example. In any event you can take out property insurance in case there is a dispute over who owns the land. The seller cannot ‘Gazump’ you, saying that someone else has come along with a higher bid ‘X’ after the seller has agreed to sell for ‘Y’. Your representative (Real Estate Agent) needs to be chasing up questions like is the house on mains water supply or on artesian well? Is it on a Septic tank or hooked up to the town or city sewer and so on. Either are often acceptable in Canada.


When people emigrate to Canada especially from the UK, they will find that the construction of houses here is very different. UK houses are normally brick or stone. Canadian (or rather North American) houses are normally built entirely of wood, with some concrete and a bituminous style roofing materials. Most houses have a concrete foundation coming up to just above ground level, and the internal area of the concrete ring is either filled in with stone or a basement area created. On top of the outer ring wall is built the main construction frame of the house. A lattice of 6 inch x 2 inch timbers make up the external frame of the walls and internally the timbers are normally 4 inch x 2 inch. Insulation is placed within the framework and also in the attic space to keep the heat in the building. An anti draft wrapping is then placed on the outside of the insulation then the complete outer siding – the visible areas, are placed outside this wrapping. People who immigrate to Canada especially from the UK should realize that these materials are well suited to the climate and timber has always been in abundance in Canada. Early Canadian Immigrants from places like Europe soon became used to constructing houses using this timber frame method. Obviously the above is not a definitive list of practices in the sale and construction of houses. But a good realtor will spend the time it takes working with a person who has newly immigrated to Canada and build their confidence in the system.

If you are looking to relocate to Canada, a great place, which promises opportunity, stability and freedom, we recommend Canada. We emigrated to Canada and would like to help you too.

Clare Dugdill emigrated to Canada from the UK. She and her family have a personal insight into the emigration process having carried out the formalities singlehandedly. She would like you to benefit directly from a person ‘in the know’. The immigration need not take years nor cost the earth and is not actually that complicated when you know how.

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