Tag Archives: moving house

Would the New Zealand School System Be Better For My Kids?

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile 

students-in-class-with-teacher-reading www.ilmicrofono.it

students-in-class-with-teacher-reading www.ilmicrofono.it

Making sure your children are in a good school is a key objective of most parents. When the whole family is moved abroad this becomes even more important – if the kids aren’t settled, how can you be?

In August 2016, 39,600 people arrived in New Zealand with work visas. Most of those came from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Australia. For Brits, New Zealand is the fifth most popular country for them to take up residence.

New Zealand sells itself as a great country to move to thanks to the great opportunities it offers for lifestyle, job opportunities and quality of life. But what about education? Would your children be better off learning their ABCs in a New Zealand school?

The Leaning Curve report by Pearson Education ranked the UK sixth in terms of countries which have the best schools. New Zealand is ranked 16th. But other rankings based on maths and science, at the age of 15 were also collated and showed that New Zealand stood at number 17 in the world, with the UK coming in at number 20.

Making the grade it seems is a complicated process and there are plenty of facts and figures that support both countries as good places to educate your children.

The Pearson Education report also showed that the UK spends 12.72% of public expenditure on education as % of total government expenditure whilst in New Zealand it’s 18.67%. Could it be that the New Zealand system is more efficient and more modern? You could reasonably deduce that in New Zealand education is more valued than in the UK but is that the real story?

The school system in New Zealand is in some respects similar to the UK one. Students in New Zealand must attend education between the ages of 6-16, although most enroll on and around their fifth birthday. Children work their way through primary and secondary school before moving onto further education. In both countries this can be vocational or tertiary education. There are obviously variations in the schooling and curriculum but the general flow of education would be familiar to expats.

In fact, it’s within tertiary education that New Zealand really stands out. A report called Education At A Glance 2015 produced by the OECD showed that New Zealand students were a third more likely to go onto gain a degree than those in the UK. In fact, over 90% of the New Zealand school population have gone onto the gain a masters, whereas in the UK this figure is below 60%. To add fuel to the fire, all of New Zealand’s eight universities were ranked within the top 500 QS World University Rankings for 2015/16.

The decisions around where and how to educate your children is a complicated and personal business. New Zealand offers many opportunities in terms of scholarly attainment coupled with opportunities across a broad base of lifestyle choices which for nearly 40,000 people a year is a huge draw. But is it the right choice for you?

If you are considering a move to New Zealand PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 34 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

House hunting in Canada – what can you expect to buy

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

Heidi G, Sunshine Yellow  Edmonton, Cloverdale

Heidi G, Sunshine Yellow
Edmonton, Cloverdale

Choosing Canada as your new home offers you a wide range of exciting lifestyle changes. One of the biggest will be buying a property in the city or town of your choice. As you’d expect the bigger cities tend to have the highest prices however, in Canada the annual weather, in particular the winter, dictates costs. On the west coast, which has milder weather house prices are higher than the colder east coast.

In June 2015 the average price of a house in Vancouver was  $922,000, which was a 12% increase year on year. Toronto was slightly cheaper at $639,000, whilst you could bag yourself a bargain if you move to Montreal which has house prices at $341,000.

Once you’ve chosen your location, based on your budget and requirements, you’ll need to find a money lender to help you purchase your home and a real estate agent to help you find your home.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) recommend that you find a mortgage broker in the following way:

– Make sure they are a member of the Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals and are an Accredited Mortgage Professional (AMP) visit www.caamp.org

Remember as a newcomer to Canada you will need to prove your credit and work history. Your previous credit history may not be relevant to Canadian lenders, so you may need to start from scratch.

A reliable and trustworthy real estate agent is essential if you want to find the home of your dreams. They too can be found in a number of ways. Initially look around in the neighbourhood in which you’re wishing to buy. See whose ‘For Sale’ board is positioned outside homes you would like to live in and go from there. Alternatively talk to work colleagues, friends or your mortgage broker who may be able to help with a suggested contact.

You could also visit the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) website at www.mls.ca. It details all real estate agents and thousands of properties for sale across Canada. Alternatively The Canadian Real Estate Agent has a Find a Realtor section and allows you to search for professionals in your area.

You are likely to find a number of different properties for sale in the area you choose. Some terminology will be familiar to house buyers around the world, but others may be a little confusing.

– A condominium is similar to owning a flat or unit within a shared building. In these properties you own the living space but not the building or outside land.

– A townhouse sees you purchasing a home much like terraced housing. You have your own front door but the property is attached to other similar buildings.

– Semi-detached and detached homes either have just one other building attached to them (semi) or are free standing (detached) within their own plot of land.

Once you have found your dream home you will be expected to make an offer. A period of negotiation will then follow, in which the price will go up and down. When the offer is eventually accepted – the ‘Offer to Purchase’ – you’ll need to find a lawyer and request a home inspection report to check out your new property. House sales usually go through within a 30-60 day time frame and the day you sign the legal documents is called ‘Closing Day’. At this time you may also be expected to pay your legal and other fees.

For detailed information about how to purchase a home in Canada visit http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/odpub/pdf/66687.pdf and http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/odpub/pdf/66144.pdf

If you are considering a move to Canada PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 33 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey.

That’s What I Call Canadian Entertainment

For other useful articles and tips on moving to new countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile.

 

Peter Fagerbacka, listen to the music, 2013-08-16

Peter Fagerbacka, listen to the music, 2013-08-16

When it comes to the entertainment industry, it’s all very international these days, and Canada is definitely part of the whole ‘North American’ business.  Entertainment as a whole is huge in Canada and you will never have a dull moment!  But despite the global influences, Canada manages to retain its character and is even a major force in its own right.  There will be lots that will be familiar in Canadian entertainment but you will have fun discovering the world-class talent that originates from there too.

TV – what Canadians are watching

A lot of the TV shows will be known to you: Big Bang Theory for example is the most watched TV show in Canada, and has been for the last five years, and you will also see Big Brother and Game of Thrones.   Netflix Canada also has content that you will you know – House of Cards and True Detective and you may spot some familiar faces – Colin and Justin are big in Canada, with their show ‘Cabin Pressure’.    However, there are lots of original shows too, and this list from the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, details the current top award-winning shows.

1.  Orphan Black

2.  Call Me Fitz

3.  The Amazing Race Canada

4.  Rocket Monkeys

5.  UNSUNG: Behind the Glee

6.  Bomb Girls: Facing the Enemy

7.  Vikings

8.  Income Property

9.  Degrassi

10. Our Man in Tehran

 

Music – what Canadians are listening to?

As with TV, there is a lot of international common ground.  There will be many singers and bands that you will have heard of – Taylor Swift is huge in Canada, as is Mark Ronson (with his hit Uptown Funk) and Justin Bieber.   But don’t worry if the mainstream isn’t your thing – the music scene is very vibrant in Canada with rock and jazz being popular.  If you are particularly interested in checking out Canadian artists, this is a good place to start, but these are the Top Selling Albums in Canada in 2014 from all artists.

1 1989 – Taylor Swift
2 Frozen – Soundtrack
3 In The Lonely Hour – Sam Smith
4 X – Ed Sheeran
5 Ghost Stories – Coldplay
6 Pure Heroine – Lorde
7 Where I Belong – Bobby Bazini
8 Serge Fiori – Serge Fiori
9 Four – One Direction
10 The Endless River – Pink Floyd

 

Books – what Canadians are reading?

Canadian literature is going through an extremely buoyant patch (creatively if not financially!) and many prominent Canadian authors published new work last year: Margaret Atwood, Joseph Boyden, Lisa Moore, Lynn Coady, Eleanor Catton and Andrew Pyper to name but a few.  The chances are you have already read work by their home-grown authors but once you are there, you will be pleasantly surprised by just how vibrant the scene is.  Here is a Top Ten list of current acclaimed work to get started with:

1. All My Puny Sorrows – Miriam Toews

2. Sweetland – Michael Crummey

3. This One Summer – Mariko and Jillian Tamak

4.  Will Starling – Ian Weir

5.  For Tamara – Sarah Lang

6. The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion – Meg han Daum

7. 10:04 – Ben Lerner

8.  Men: Notes from an Ongoing Investigation – Laura Kipnis

9.  Can’t and Won’t  – Lydia Davis

10. Every Day is for the Thief – Teju Cole

Here is an extract from this list where you can find another ninety books that should grace your bedside table at some point.

If you are considering a move to Canada PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 33 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

Planning Your Perfect Move

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

 

 

Shadowman39, Lego House

Shadowman39, Lego House

 

The responsibility of moving your life and household belongings to the other side of the world can seem overwhelming, but with careful planning and the right international removals company by your side, it doesn’t have to be as bad as you first feared.

So how do you go about planning the perfect move? Giving yourself plenty of time, if the move allows, is one way to make it a little smoother. Even before you’ve got your visas confirmed, at PSS International Removals we recommend using our free, no obligation, removal quote service. We can also send one of our experienced estimators to visit you free of charge, ideally between 3 to 6 months before your intended departure. It’s quick and simple to organise, with either a free online international removals quote or a free estimators appointment.

If you’re planning to send either part or all of your household contents overseas, this is classified as a removal. This can range from just one wardrobe and 20 cartons, a lounge suite and 40 cartons, right up to a full household move including all your furniture and effects such as beds, tables and chairs, curtains etc. Consolidating the household contents and your car inside one container is also classed as a removal.

At PSS we can help you pack or you can do this yourself. Either way, once you’ve agreed to the quote, we will assign you a move coordinator who has extensive knowledge of the international removals business, and will be able to help you every step of the way. They’ll draw up a list of goods that you are taking with you and base your quote and the move on this list. It’s not fixed and you can change your mind along the way, but it gives everyone something to work with.

No move is without risks, but at PSS we adhere to the highest international standards. These include, FAIM Accreditation, which is only independent Quality Assurance standard for the International Moving Industry; Membership of the FIDI Global Alliance, which sets a quality benchmark for its members; Membership of the British Association of Removers Overseas Group. BAR OVERSEAS is covered by the I.M.M.I. Advance payment guarantee scheme for your financial protection.

As the moving date looms you’ll probably have plenty of questions and at PSS we can help with these too. If you want to know about putting your pet into quarantine or what you can and can’t take with you, we’ll be able to point you in the right direction. We’ll also be on hand if you’re concerned about what documentation you need for customs checks or how to arrange shipment protection. If you’ve thought about it, PSS probably have too. If we don’t know, we will find out.

If you’ve agreed to pack your own goods, PSS will send over everything you need to make sure your belongings are carefully stored for the duration of the journey. You’ll be given boxes, cartons and protective wrap. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to pack as it always takes longer than you think. Finish one room at a time, giving yourself deadlines along the way. There is nothing worse than throwing everything in at the last minute. Careful planning means you’ll minimise the stress of the removals lorry arriving while you’re still organising boxes.

On removals day, PSS will arrive at an agreed time and begin to put your belongings onto the container. If we are doing the packing, a team will arrive to carefully wrap and store everything correctly. Once the removal is complete you’ll be given a list of what’s gone and then the container will return to the depot or onto the demarkation port. This will be the last you see of your belongings until they arrive at your new destination.

Hopefully by using PSS International Removals the process will have been as stress free as possible. Bon Voyage!

If you are considering a move overseas PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 32 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

How to resolve family issues abroad

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

 

Loren Kerns, Day 73: Kerns family self portrait {about me}

Loren Kerns, Day 73: Kerns family self portrait {about me}

 

Packing up and moving away can, in many instances, be a fresh start. The opportunity to create a better life somewhere new and exciting. Unfortunately it can also throw up problems: What do you do about schooling? What happens if an elderly relative falls ill and you’re thousands of miles away?

Many family issues won’t go away simply because you’re in Australia or New Zealand. Coping with them can be incredibly difficult as you may not know where to turn when a problem arises.

With this in mind, here’s our advice for resolving your problems while overseas.

Where do you send your children to school?

If you have school age children coming with you a prime consideration is where they’ll be educated. You will have to decide whether you want to put them into an International School, or a local one. An International School will provide a familiar curriculum and language and if they are in their teens and at a crucial stage of their education, this could be the best choice. However, if your kids are younger, going to a local school could be a great learning experience. See this website for detailed information about schooling in numerous countries: https://www.gov.uk/browse/abroad/living-abroad/help-for-british-nationals-living-overseas

What if your children don’t like their new home?

Moving away from family and friends is a big deal and even harder for children who may have had very solid friendship groups back home. There will of course be a period of transition for everyone but children in particular will need help to adjust. A new school may provide friends but they may also need a nudge towards a favourite sport or hobby. Check out local websites such as http://goodsports.com.au/find-a-club/ to find something of interest for your child.

An elderly parent falls ill back home, what do you do?

If you have parents back at home there’s a chance that they may fall ill while you are away. Other family members may be able to help if there is an emergency, but you can’t rule out jumping on a plane at some point to deal with a crisis. Don’t forget to have some money set aside if you suddenly need to buy a flight. Time differences can make communication difficult so schedule in appointments for any discussions and organise your Skype (https://support.skype.com/en/faq/FA79/how-do-i-install-skype?) and FaceTime https://www.apple.com/uk/ios/facetime/ accounts to keep cost to a minimum.

How will you pay for your healthcare?

If you are going to be living in another country it’s important to have all your healthcare plans in order from the beginning. Every country has a different way of doing this (and paying for it), so do your research carefully. http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcareabroad/movingabroad/Pages/Introduction.aspx has lots of helpful information.

What happens if your relationship looks to be heading for trouble?

Moving to another country can put a strain on relationships as the stress of living with new challenges can prove too much for some couples. Statistically expat marriages are more likely to run into trouble. If the worst does happen remember that laws overseas regarding separation, divorce and child custody vary enormously so take expert advice. Check out http://www.family-lawfirm.co.uk/how-we-help/international-expat-divorce/international-divorce-questions

Thinking of moving abroad? PSS International removals is a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receive a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 32 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance in ensuring that our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

Contact us now for a free estimators survey, online moving and baggage quote.

 

 

 

International Removals – The Easy Way

 

PSS MEN

 

For other useful articles and tips on moving to new countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile.

Whether you’re taking your entire household belongings with you when you move abroad or just a car and a few boxes, PSS International Removals offer a streamlined service, at competitive rates. Is your move happening quickly? No problem. Time is not an issue for PSS. We can send your goods through our express service, taking the stress-free approach to moving thousands of miles away.

So how do you go about arranging your removal service? Getting a quote for the shipment couldn’t be easier. First you need to visit the PSS website www.pssremovals.com and pick from one of the many options available, be it International Removals, Excess Baggage or Car Shipping. You will receive a competitive quote within 60 seconds. Alternatively you can speak to one of our Baggage Consultants to talk through your requirements. Call 0800 988 3711 for more information. There is even an option on the website to request a call back.

Excess baggage is easy to accommodate and especially handy if you just have a few boxes of belongings you want to take with you. The boxes come in different sizes and we can also arrange for unusually shaped items such as guitars and skis to be shipped separately. This is a great value option for smaller shipments. No need to pay for a container when all you need is partial space within it.

If you are sending a full or part household we will call you to arrange, a free, no obligation home survey. A consultant will then arrive to run through the whole process, informing you of how our service works and what to expect from moving day. Once the booking is finalised you will be allocated a PSS Move Manager who will request all the relevant paperwork and arrange the shipping details.

When it comes to removal day, our team will arrive to collect your cartons (if you’ve decided to pack for yourself) or start packing your goods, if this is the service you’ve chosen. They will also use a customs seal on your packages. This means that your container will not be opened until it arrives at your destination.

Once loaded onto the lorry, your goods will be driven to a UK port, where the documentation and customs seal will be checked before being loaded onto the vessel. After arrival in the new country, the goods may need to be checked by the official authorities, who will clear goods if they do not contravene agricultural, forestry or fisheries laws in the destination.

Soon after you arrive in your new home, PSS will call to arrange the delivery of your goods to the location of your choice. It really couldn’t be any easier.

For more information about PSS International Removals and our services contact us now at https://www.pssremovals.com

You can also watch this brief video to understand a little more about how PSS International Removals can help: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXPZaiLpd1U

PSS International Removals is a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receive a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 32 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance in ensuring that our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

What’s more PSS International Removals are fully bonded members of the British Association of Removers (BAR Overseas), IMMI (International Movers Mutual Insurance), FIDI (Global alliance) we have also been awarded with FAIM accreditation which is the international removal industries quality standard.

 

 

 

 

House hunting in Australia – what can you expect to buy?

 

Phillip Capper, Sydney Harbour domestic 1, 26th. Nov. 2010

Phillip Capper, Sydney Harbour domestic 1, 26th. Nov. 2010

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

Moving to Australia and finding a new home complete with swimming pool, large free-flowing interiors and a BBQ area for many is the ultimate property dream. As in all other parts of the world, where you want to live will determine the size and style of your home. It will also determine the price.

Australia is not a cheap place to call home. In fact, its been listed as the third most expensive country in the world. See here for more details. Prices clearly differ across the country but if you are hoping to move into one of the major cities, such as Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth or Canberra than you can expect to pay premium rates. Sydney is the most expensive city in the country, and prices continue to rise – up 13% year-on-year. Other cities including, Melbourne, was up 4.7%, Brisbane, 3.9% and Adelaide, 2.5%.

Expect to pay a median price of $752,000 in Sydney, $569,000 in Melbourne and $549,900 in Canberra. Other city house prices can be found here.

Australia has strict rules on migrants buying homes and it’s not as simple as some might hope. In most cases migrants need to approach the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) and apply for permission to buy a property. They have very clear criteria for who can buy houses, what kinds of homes they can purchase and guidelines surrounding application. More information can be found here.

Once you have approval you’ll need to start searching for that house. Many searches can be done online and websites such as Real Estate, Real Estate View and Domain are the most popular.

You’ll find a vast array of different styles in Australia. Large open-planned houses with back-yards, swimming pools and air-conditioning are of course popular choices and apartment living is also on-trend in the larger, vibrant cities. The ‘Queenslander’ represents the style many associate with Australia, and are raised off the ground (particularly useful in flood areas). Others include Californian style bungalows, Edwardian brick or weatherboard houses and of course, those that are more contemporary in design. Whether your house has seaview is down to your budget.

Typically a house sale can take as little as six weeks. Mortgages can be obtained through most Australian banks, which have migrant specialists. You’ll be expected to pay at least a 20% deposit and will need to put aside fees to cover the house purchase.

There are a few different ways to buy a home in Australia. Once choice would be to get a buyer’s agent who will find, negotiate and complete the house sale. To find a reputable agent visit REBAA. If you make an offer on a property, you will get a short cooling off period, although contractually the house is yours and you’ll need to secure its purchase by paying a deposit. Alternatively, an auction is a popular choice for many Australians. Before bidding at an auction you’ll need to check whether you need to be registered. In some states it is a requirement and helps stop ‘dummy’ bidders pushing up auction prices. A successful bid will mean the signing of contracts, which are then legally binding. There’s no cooling off period, so make your choices wisely. The HSBC Bank Australia has some helpful auction tips here.

If you are considering a move to Australia PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 32 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.