With the price of real estate in the Greater Vancouver Area having been on the rise for some time, more and more people are looking to Kelowna as a place to call home. Moving from Vancouver to Kelowna offers a variety of benefits depending on your situation. For those with equity in their Vancouver are home, a move to Kelowna can provide you with a reduced mortgage or more available liquid capital for other investments or an enhanced lifestyle. Then there are those who simply can't get into the real estate market; there are thousands of young families who struggle just to make rental payments, let alone save for a down payment on a $1M+ family home. I'm not suggesting real estate prices in Kelowna are not at record highs - they are, but we definitely are not at the point where Vancouver is.
A lot of people moving to Kelowna from Vancouver find it a natural choice because it really is close to home. So whether you're a young family looking to make a start in a great place to put down roots and raise children or a retired couple wanting to tap into that equity and enjoy the beautiful weather offered by the Okanagan micro climate, or somewhere in between, you get it all while staying just a 40-minute flight or 4-hour drive away from friends and family you're leaving behind in the big city.
So you've decide on making the move to Kelowna, now what? Is it Kelowna or perhaps another Central Okanagan community that interests you most? Have you looked at real estate? Do you have kids? If so you probably have questions about schools, sports, and other activities in Kelowna. I highly recommend you check out our FREE Moving to Kelowna App as it will help you find answers to a lot of questions. Of course, I'm just a phone a call or an email away too.
Once you've got everything figured out, it's time to pack the boxes and get organized for your move. Your experience moving to Kelowna from Vancouver should be exciting but we get that moving can be stressful. The following is a list of tips and tricks to help make the move to Kelowna from Vancouver less stressful and more seamless:
1. Hire a moving company - You can move all your belongings on your own but moving companies really do make it a lot easier. Start your new chapter off on the right foot and get some help. There are quite a few different moving companies that make regular trips from Vancouver to Kelowna, Abbotsford to Kelowna, and even Vancouver Island to Kelowna, weekly and some even daily. Not all moving companies offer the same level of services though so contact a few of them and ask about what they offer. Make sure to get a complete quote with the cost of the moving truck and labour to load and unload, plus any additional services requested.
2. Make a list of what you need moved - There are few reasons making a list can be very beneficial. Often moving is a good time to downsize or get rid of belongings you no longer use. You'll also probably find things you forgot you had. Creating a list will help give you clarity on how much stuff you have and will also allow you to make sure you get the right moving company for the job. There are some items not all moving companies will move: think very heavy or large furniture or fragile items like aquariums. A list will also help you keep track of your stuff and will usually be required by moving companies to provide an accurate quote for your move.
3. To pack or not to pack - Many moving companies also offer professional movers to pack your belongings. This includes emptying out cupboards, closets, bookshelf, and armoires. If you are working full-time or have other commitments, or a house full of kids and their belongings, this service may be invaluable. Professional movers can quickly pack up your house saving you from having to go get supplies, get motivated, and from getting distracted by the nostalgic feeling of baby photos and clothes from a decade past.
4. Make sure your move is insured - Make sure that the moving company selected guarantees the safe transport of your belongings or that your belongings are properly insured while in the moving truck and during loading and unloading. Nothing puts a damper on a move like broken and damaged furniture and personal items, especially if they are costly to replace.
Moving into a Kelowna condo building? Don't forget to book the elevator and confirm moving procedures with the building management. You'll often only have a narrow time window booked so make sure to properly communicate this with your moving company.
5. Hire a cleaning company - You have enough to worry about with organizing, making lists, packing, and related moving preparations and moving days tends to be fast-paced and stressful as is. The last thing you need is to try to find time to vacuum floors, deep clean carpets, scrub bathtubs and wash windows. But you have a small house? No - don't do it! This is one of the most common regrets movers have is not hiring a cleaning company. Even small homes and condos can be an awful lot of work when you're cleaning the entire place in one go, so save yourself the trouble and get someone else to do it.
6. Forward/cancel mail and subscriptions - Have a look at everything that comes in the mail for you for two or three weeks, then try to update your address or cancel with any company you think might send mail again. Also, don't forget about any monthly or quarterly magazines subscriptions. If you get the local newspapers, make sure to cancel them too.
7. Cancel services/utilities - Call any service/utilities providers including those for internet, home phone, natural gas, electricity, and water to advise them that you are moving. It is always a good idea to make a note of your call and write down any cancellation confirmation numbers in the event that those services don't get disconnected when they are supposed to. You're probably a very nice person but I'm guessing you don't want to be paying for someone else's power bill.
8. Schedule installation of internet - A good time to set up the installation of services like internet and home telephone is in the morning of your moving day before your moving company arrives. This way you can have internet ready at your new home during the move in process and furniture can be properly positioned around routers and cords. If it is not possible to have it installed before the move-in, just don't forget to book your services before your move because it can be several days or more before companies like Shaw and Telus have an available technician to come to your new home.
9. Transfer your home insurance - Notify your insurance company 30 to 60 days before your move that you're going to be moving and that you need to transfer your home insurance to the new address. This will give your insurance company plenty of time to evaluate your new home and location and update your policy accordingly. Most insurance companies will cover both your new and old home for 30 days, so you don't have to worry about something happening at the new or old location halfway through the move, but confirm this with your insurance company.
10. Get to know your neighbours - a common thing I hear from people who move to Kelowna is that it can be hard to make friends. You're probably thinking, I don't need some voice on the internet to tell me what to do but seriously; grab a bottle of wine and knock on your neighbours door and say hello! If wine is not you're thing (you do realize you just moved to Kelowna?) then bring something else or even just show up. I have been surprised many times over where I've met great people in this city when I just took the time to say hello, and when you're new to a city it can be great to have a few people to chat with and ask questions to.