Finding Housing

Finding a place to live can be fun but also stressful. The place you choose will become your home for a period of time.

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It is very important to find a place that will work for your needs. Think about and write down what these needs are. Ask yourself:

  • Where do you want to live (what city? neighborhood?)
  • Is it close to public transportation or will you need a car to get around?
  • Is it close to your work or school, or anything else that may be important?
  • Are there grocery stores nearby?
  • Do you want to buy or rent a place?
  • Do you want roommates? If yes, consider the following:
    • Is their level of cleanliness similar to yours?
    • Do they go to bed at the same time as you?
    • Do they wake up at the same time as you?
    • Do you both like spending time alone at home or having friends over?
    • How similar are your smoking and drinking habits?
    • Do they have significant others?
    • Do you both deal with conflict in the same way?
    • Do you feel safe in the area around the housing?

When moving out, here are some tips you might want to think about to prepare yourself.

This infographic has tips for moving out, such as living with roommates, being patient, checking the paperwork, know the costs, practice cooking, and knowing your rights as a tenant.

Finding Places to Rent

There are several web sites to help you find rental housing that fits your needs. You can select your needs and the system will filter the results for you.

Rental finders in British Columbia:

There may be other websites for your local area. Ask around and see what other people have used.

If the rent is too high, there are programs offered by the Provincial Government to help you. You can look into BC Housing to see if you are eligible for rental assistance, subsidized housing, or able to live in affordable renting housing.

Finding Places to Buy

You need to make sure you are financially able to buy a place. First, you will need to save for a down payment. The amount of money for a down payment depends on the cost of the place you are going to buy. You should aim to have a down payment equal to 20% of the cost of the house or condo. You will also need to qualify for a mortgage. A mortgage is a loan from your bank or credit union that is used to buy a house. Visit the mortgage information website page of your financial institution or contact the mortgage specialist at your local branch to learn more.

Most people will contact a realtor after they consider finances. A realtor is a professional who helps their clients buy and sell houses. They can help you find a home that meets your needs, They will guide you through the process of making an offer and the paperwork needed to buy the home. If you do not feel ready to contact a realtor but want to look at homes, there are several websites where you can see what is currently for sale such as Realtor.ca.

Emergency Shelter

If you are in an emergency situation and need short-term housing there are emergency shelters across the province. They are free of charge and include include essentials such as bedding, food and water, clothing and other services. To find a shelter near you visit the BC211 Shelter List.

There are specific shelters for women-only and family shelters.

For women and their children fleeing violence, contact a transition house or safe house.

What Next?

Want to explore and learn more? Here are a couple options that will help you.