There’s no place like home…

This is definitely one post I didn’t think I’d be lucky enough to write just yet, but I’m pleased to announce to the big wide blogosphere that I leave the country in five weeks and five days, and in five weeks and six days I will be moving into my very own (well, for six months anyway) Vancouver apartment.  More specifically, a third floor, hardwood floored, third floor in a walk up heritage building, in Kitsilano, with all utilities included Vancouver apartment.

Kitsilano is just south west of Downtown

For those of you who haven’t been religiously studying maps, guidebooks and reviews of Vancouver neighbourhoods for the past 18 months, Kitsilano, or Kits as the locals (soon to be me!) call it, is a laid back, trendy, former hippy enclave south west of Downtown.  As Lonely Planet aptly put it ‘the hybrid SUV was invented for the kind of people who live here’ – better buy some ‘yoga pants’ then[1].

Our building…check out the sea to the right (via Google Street View)

My apartment is one block from the high street and three blocks from the beach, which makes the $1300 (£800) monthly rental great value, particularly as gas, hydro (electricity), water and wi-fi are included.

I found the apartment on craigslist under the ‘sublets and temporary’ category (it’s available from January to July) and emailed the landlady introducing myself and my boyfriend, and asking to be considered as tenants.  I didn’t expect to hear back as I assumed the apartment would be snapped up straight away, but it turns out she couldn’t find a local to take it for the full six months so offered it to us!

Negotiating the rental agreement by email from a country over 5,000 miles away with a time difference of eight hours was not easy, and don’t get me started on international money transfers, but we were lucky enough to have an incredibly generous friend of a friend view it for us.  The wonders of Google Street View also meant that we were able to see the building, neighbourhood and even our local Starbucks first hand.

As of this week it’s officially ours to move in on January 12th 2011 – five weeks and six days time.  Now where did I put that to do list…?

[1] John Lee, Lonely Planet Vancouver City Guide 4th edition, (2008)


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About MarmitetoMaple

I'm originally from the UK and have been working and living the dream in Vancouver, BC, since January 2011. I am a firm believer in travel, good cheese, volunteering and community engagement.

7 responses to “There’s no place like home…”

  1. kateshrewsday says :

    What a fabulous blog! And what a wonderful moment to find it! I am envious beyond words of that beautiful little apartment. It sounds as things are really beginning to shape up…I look forward to the next episode!

  2. Nick says :

    That looks awesome. Of course you’d find a place with a picture of a tiger fighting a naked lady. That’s destiny.

  3. Heather says :

    Congrats on the apartment — has to be so rewarding and comforting to know that big piece is already taken care of!!!

  4. Ross says :

    Loving this blog! It’s been so helpful l as I myself am moving to Vancouver for a year long working holiday in the next few days. Housing is the first main thing I am concerned about. Would you recommend craigslist as a good place to find accommodation? Also are there any areas of Vancouver I should avoid or aim for? Thanks!

    • marmitetomaple says :

      Hi Ross, thanks for reading and for the comment!

      I hope all is shaping up well for the big move, Vancouver is an amazing city so I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as I am. I absolutely recommend craigslist as the place to find accommodation, it’s the only site I know of both landlords and tenants using. Anywhere central in Vancouver is a safe bet (Downtown, West End, Kitsilano, Dunbar, Mount Pleasant) and I would avoid going much further East than Commercial Drive before it gets a little sketchy/far out.

      Best of luck with the move! 🙂

  5. Ewa Monteith-Hodge says :

    Leaving Scotland January 21st to head West and beginning to go a bit crazy with worry and nerves…any tips!?

    • marmitetomaple says :

      Congrats on making the decision to pack up and go! I can definitely relate to the going crazy with worry…I’m a big planner and I like to know what I’m heading into, which was pretty impossible as I’d never been to Canada before. It sounds so cheesy but my main piece of advice is just to be open minded. And also remember that over 5,000 people make the move each year from the UK alone, so you’re in great company! It also means that there are so many people in the same situation as you which helps as you will find each other…it’s like an expat club out here! Everything WILL work out fine, I have yet to meet someone who regretted their move, so just try and enjoy the experience 🙂

      Let me know how you get on!

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