With the sociopolitical climate being what it's been lately, I'm pretty sure a ton of you dear US readers have grumbled (some more seriously than others) about potentially moving to Canada.
Have you ever wanted to talk to someone who actually did it and get their take on it? Now's your chance ... or at least as much talking as an awesomely informative Reddit thread can be.
Reddit user Therubikmaster asked:
Interestingly, almost everyone was happy with the decision - even the people who came back to the states. There are the expected answers - like the cold is really, really hard to deal with. But there are also things here that many of us wouldn't even consider ... for example the total lack of access to a decent avocado and how relatively bland the food can be. So here we go; the good, the bad, and the bland about moving to Canada as told by Americans who made the journey.
Civility And Healthcare
Just moved to Ontario a few months ago.
Two really positive things, so far:
- I am amazed by how civil everyone is on the roads. People actually merge calmly and sensibly. Yeah...there are a few aholes, of course, but generally speaking--the stereotypical niceness is real.
- My husband broke a bone on a Saturday. We were at the hospital for less than a full hour before he was ready to go home. Total cost (no healthcard for us) was about $50. NOT $50 copay and 250 bill for radiology later. Actually just $50. Even without access to the health care that Canadians get, it was still faster and cheaper than any hospital visit we've had in the states.
A Cold Blessing
My friend moved, reluctantly, to Canada because his visa renewal didn't get approved about a year ago. Now says it was damn blessing in disguise that it happened. They had some health issues and they are all taken care of pretty much for free. The only complaint he has is the cold climate but he says the pros outweigh the cons by a large margin.
Cost Of Living
Been here since 2002. Am generally very happy to be here. People are kinder, less religious nutbars, more respectful in general. My son was born with rare disorder and we did not pay one penny for his nicu stay. After any baby is born a nurse comes to your house to check on how things are going and will come back if you need a bit of help (maybe this was because our child was more fragile). Friends in the states were blown away by this. families get a child benefit subsidy based on income (even moderate incomes get this extra $)
Excluding healthcare, cost of living is higher. Gas, food, booze, housing. Big discounts in shops (like bargain racks with 50-75% off stuff) are few and far between. Wages don't always keep up compared to U.S. I live in border area so I can always do some cross border shopping.
We have a housing crisis where I live but at least here I feel there is political will to do something about it unlike most cities in the US where they seem paralyzed by competing interest groups.
It has always bothered me that in the states people who struggle in any way are looked upon as moral failures instead of a reflection of a failed society and in need of support.
We Sit Here And Laugh
Wonderful. Have run into a few health problems since moving up here that would have left me bankrupt in the US. And, for the record, no, there is not a months and months wait to see a doctor here. There is no real longer wait than what you'd get in the US. Wanna know how easy it was to get my healthcare card? I walked into the non-government run registry place, waited maybe 5-10 minutes, showed proof of residence and my visa, they said, ok, here's your temporary card, a permanent one will be mailed out to you soon. And a few hours later I went out and used that temporary card with absolutely zero issues. Talk about no stress. Wonderful experience.
Would definitely recommend.
And we get to sit here and laugh at everything happening down there.
More Freedom In CanadaGiphy
I moved in 2008. I'm now a citizen.
Warning: Generalizations ahead.
My reason for moving is I felt better in alignment with the Canadian culture than the US. I feel there should be safety nets, we should pay into a medical system everyone can benefit from, we should have programs to help those in need. I work, I make money, I pay taxes. I want some of those tax dollars to help the people who can't work or can't make a living wage (for whatever reason). Morally, this feels like the right thing to do. .
Honestly, moving was the best thing I've ever done. There is a cultural respect and freedom in Canada I never really felt in the US. In the US I always felt like I was moving 2 steps forward and 3 steps back. Some of this was due to the ever growing cost in healthcare (seems like I was forever in debt for past medical or avoiding getting medical attention because I felt I couldn't afford it).
I've been through both healthcare systems in the US and Canada. Canada has some problems (some provinces more than others) but I will take Canada any day of the week over the US. Here is a good example: I had to get an MRI in the US and I got one in Canada. Both were for non-emergency reasons. In the US my insurance provided for pre-approved MRIs. The doctor submitted the request, we had to wait for the insurance to OK it, we did the MRI, insurance was billed, they billed me back the full amount, and I spent quite some time on the phone with insurance sorting it out. At the end of the day I think it cost a few hundred. In Canada, I probably waited an extra month or two over the process to be approved in the US, I got the MRI. Done. That was it. Simple. Easy.
If I needed the MRI for an emergency reason, I would have one that day.
My aunt lives in Canada. She waited about 4 months for a new hip. She has no waiting when they thought she had cancer - which she did and they successfully treated. Total cost, zero.
A month after I moved someone rear ended me rather severely. I remember arguing with the EMTs on scene about getting in their ambulance and going to the ER. I didn't know how the system worked and I was more concerned with crippling debt over a possible spinal injury. There is something very, very, wrong with this mindset.
Before someone says "yeah, but you pay more in your taxes for it". No. No, I don't. I did the math. My taxes, medical insurance, and copays in the US were more than just my taxes in Canada. My overall overhead is lower here. The cost of living is a bit higher, but so is my wage.
The ability to have vacations was huge. It wasn't until I moved did I have two weeks off IN A ROW. In the states there was always this pressure to not take vacations because if the employer could do without you for 2 or 3 weeks, then they don't need you. Also, no fighting for time off. If you need a day for a family emergency, need to go to a dentist, vote, or take care of some other personal thing you can arrange it. I've never had an employer in Canada give me sh*t about it.
Something I didn't expect after I moved, but getting away from the guns was huge. Guns are a way of life in the US. Hell, I even had them when I lived there. Guns just aren't a thing up here. I know people who have guns and go shooting, but it isn't cultural necessity. That fear of needing a gun is gone. I guess since I grew up under it, didn't realize it until after I was away from it. Americans carry around a ton of fear. It's a huge weight off your shoulders to not be afraid all the time.
There is a more relaxed feeling up here. People are more interested in the pursuit of happiness than this weird crab bucket mentality in the states. Up here it's "I got mine, and you should have yours as well" where the states feels more like "I got mine, fuck you." That's a wide sweeping generalization, I know. But if I have to generalize an average population, that's sort of how I read it. Yes, there are wonderful, fantastic, warm people in the states, but you do have Trump as a president, with 40% support, and that says a lot.
Canada has it's fair share of weirdo idiots as well. We are not immune to this. I know a couple of Canadian Trump supporters. The nice thing is these people brag about not voting - which I don't argue with.
Overall, I work, I pay taxes, I'm starting my own business soon. I own a house. I'm a functional member of the society I live in. I want to contribute to the society I agree more with.
Moving was the best choice I've ever made. When in Canada, I feel like I'm home and not just crashing on someone couch.
I Don't Miss Anything
I moved to Canada in 2011 from California and received my citizenship two years ago. I don't regret it at all. Of course the healthcare situation is nice, I've never had a problem getting the care I need. Most of all, people are lot calmer, less religiously zealous, and there are fewer people who have gone off the rails due to their political beliefs. I honestly don't miss anything in the US, all the family I cared about in the US are now dead, I had no real job prospects until I came up here, and I married the love of my life here.
I Will Never Go Back
10/10. I will NEVER go back to live in the US. Looking at relinquishing my US citizenship but that's like $2500+.
I moved here in 2010 at age 18. Met a really great guy. Later on we had two kids and one has a medical condition requiring 24hr monitoring (t1d). Because of the medical care alone, I will never move back. I remember paying $40 copay, $2500+ deductibles and that was on my parents plan (which they paid an insane amount for).
I also received maternity leave for a full year (both pregnancies) with a bi-weekly pay of $1000ish. I think the amount has increased, I'm not 100% though.
I can walk in to most clinics and get an appointment, the longest I've had to wait in the ER was like 3 hours? It was for severe flu, so not a big emergency. But I remember waiting 7 hours to get seen in Houston so NBD.
Cannabis is booming. My spouse is a Sr. PM at a large LP and makes bank.
Also, my favorite part - I had a coworker complaining about immigrants (I guess she assumed because I'm white, I would take her side?) and how they didn't pay taxes, didn't work, and just wanted to live here for free. I told her I was technically an immigrant and the look on her face was priceless.
Anyways, Canada is awesome. Move if ya want. It's cold as balls And I have yet to see a bag of milk.
Not Utopia, But Still Trying To Get Back
I left when I was 18, lived there for 10 years. I've been back in the States for about eight years.
It was a great decision that gave me the best years of my life (so far). I intend to move back. However, it isn't at all what my extremely idealistic and liberal younger self expected. There's this idea that Canada is like a liberal utopian version of the U.S., hence the stereotype about moving to Canada when a Republican gets elected.
Canada is not a utopia. There's poverty, racism, crime, and despair; just like everywhere else. Furthermore, thinking of Canada as "a ______ version of the U.S." also fails completely, because it's very much uniquely Canada. My love for it is stronger now, because it's stood the test of realizing that utopia doesn't exist, and because I discovered such profound and solemn beauty in nature, the people, the culture, and my own sense of isolation there.
If we're being honest, I think of myself as half Canadian. I apparently speak with a noticeable GTA accent, even after all this time. It's difficult to really describe my relationship with the place, but thinking about it never fails to make me smile.
Life Before Was Inadequate
Good decision. Mine was less America vs. Canada and more about living in Flyover Country vs. a cosmopolitan, bilingual, and Urban city (Montréal). The experiences I've had here make me realize that living life the way I used to seems inadequate. Wouldn't trade it for anything.
Interior British Columbia Weather
I moved from Florida to the central interior of British Columbia 17 years ago. Considering that I only get more liberal as time passes and I love the health care... 9/10, would do again.
The only reason that it isn't 10/10 is because winters are balls cold and summers can be smoky due to wildfires.
No Good Avocados
I moved to Toronto but returned to US. Here's the stuff that pops into my mind when I think about the experience:
-People are almost always polite (but not genuinely nicer than folks in the US- that's a myth.)
-Healthcare was mostly free but poorer quality vs having good insurance in the US... Lots of hoops to jump through. And prescriptions are VERY expensive without Rx insurance (which no one tells you.)
-Weather was absolute garbage (not much can be done about that.)
-Food is very bland, on average; this aspect is hard for Americans/ other expats who like spicy or even just really complex, flavorful food. Even when eating ethnic cuisine it is tempered to appeal to the Canadian pallet. Unfortunate, but true.
-Good avocados are rare. Most Canadians don't seem to like them.
-Liquor is heavily regulated and expensive.
-Dairy is expensive but regulated in a good way because they don't do a bunch of terrible things to the cows (by law.) The milk is really fantastic. No need to buy organic!
-Catholic schools are funded by the government, which seemed amazing to me.
-Traffic was a nightmare and housing was insanely expensive. What you see on HGTV... Those prices are real. And so is the panic over finding a decent house in places like Toronto or Vancouver.
-There seemed to be far more smokers, which was disappointing. Canada is 15-20 years behind the US on a few things- this is one of them.
-To most Americans, the taxes on everyday items (even groceries) would seem astronomical.
-It is very safe... That was an outstanding benefit of living there.
-Great municipal recycling and composting programs; on average people seemed more concerned about being "green"
-Wonderful 1 year long maternity leave!
-Canadians are proud of their country... And for good reason. It's a pretty nice place for the most part.
Lots of pros and cons. HOWEVER... If you live in a nice, safe US city with good weather and you've got excellent health insurance... You may find that moving to Canada is a significant step back. If you don't currently have these perks and you can live without decent avocados (only kind of joking)- Canada might be for you!
A Breath Of Fresh AirGiphy
Oh neat. Something that applies to me. I moved from Memphis, Tennessee to Toronto three years ago, and the change has been like taking a breath of fresh air. In general everything just feels more comfortable and higher quality. And going to the doctor when I sick, instead of trying to ride it out, is just amazing.
I only wish it were warmer. And that people wouldn't ask me where I'm from so much because of my accent. lol
This is the second best decision I've ever made, the first being marrying my Canadian girlfriend.
Commercial Downgrade, Cultural Upgrade
I moved to Montreal to go to university in 2016, and I'm now transitioning into a work permit.
I love it here. The United States feels so...intense compared to here. There's so much pressure there, while here, people my age are far more relaxed and focused on enjoying themselves and doing the best they can yet being able to forgive themselves for their failures.
Also, I'm gay, so the social infrastructure is way more beneficial to me personally.
I'm probably not moving back to the US anytime soon, but I do miss having access to the same quality and quantity of goods/services. Here, places close at relatively odd times and the closest thing to 24/7 Walmar's or Meijers are small pharmacies or convenience stores. Everything commercial feels like a bit of a downgrade.
Also, my experience with the medical care is okay...I didn't need to wait as long for specialized doctors in the US, though I lived in a very small city. Here, I had some pelvic pain and the doctor referred me to get an ultrasound which would take 3 months or I could pay 300 dollars for a private clinic to conduct one. I didn't wanna pay 300 dollars, so I waited but after 2 months the source of the pain was revealed as a cyst that burst and I had to be hospitalized overnight because there was so much bleeding. I didn't pay a dime, but the hospital was a different experience to those in the US. Like, I had to wait in a big waiting room in excruciating pain for 3 hours while they tried to organize an ultrasound, I didn't get a bed or anything until they found out how much blood I was losing, then they gave me a recliner to sit in that was still in a big waiting area with lots of other lounge chairs around. Didn't get my own room until I had to spend the night. I'm not complaining, but in the US, it would've been a pretty different experience.
And...the taxes are insanely high.
Earned, Not Bought
American to Montreal here. Diversification is amazing: all races are more accepted here, the melting pot here is a true one (though you always get a bit here and there). The health system is lower in quality BUT at least it's complimentary.
My daughter is not of school age but from what I see so far, as long as she works hard: she'll be whatever she wants without the heavy burden of school loans I've acquired as an American. Education here is earned, not bought like the US.
Coming from NYC, stress level is a lot lower from day to day and one thing I noticed moving here is they don't sell fear on TV as much as the states. I feel it's a method to drive economy in the US.
One thing I truly hate about Montreal is there roads. Most 3rd world countries have better roads.
I Wanna Hold Your Hand
My partner rates it 11,000/10. They said it's because they finally feel like they're in a place where they can hold my hand.
Worth The Immigration Hassle
I'd say it was worth the hassle of immigration. I moved here 9 years for school, stayed for work and met my fiancée. I work in home care and serve people of different cultures, age groups, and tax brackets but they all get the same services. In the US, your healthcare is largely dictated by your health insurance and income. 10/10 would do again.
A Few Complaints
I moved temporarily to take advantage of cheap undergrad tuition at McGill University (as a dual citizen) and don't regret it. Headed back stateside after 3 years in Montreal, but I have very few complaints.
Here they are: In terms of healthcare, it took a while to find a family doctor but once I found one it was alright. No urgent care clinics kinda sucks, but it's okay I guess. Other inconveniences include the fact that online shopping is more expensive and has less selection. Also, liquor costs more here. That's not the end of the world though, especially living in a large city like Montreal. Also, the winter sucks, but that is probably a function of my upbringing where winters weren't awfully cold. One of the bigger problems is the taxation situation for US citizens abroad. Sucks to have to file in both countries.
The good things? The exchange rate is marvelous and has been for a few years now, so transferring saved-up American money into Canadian money has been great. Montreal itself is one of my favorite cities because there's always something to do and it feels quasi-European. Plus, rent here is insanely cheap, which isn't the case in Toronto or Vancouver. Canadians, in general, are indeed friendly (albeit less so in Quebec). McGill was a great university with lots of opportunities. The summers here are wonderful and the city really comes alive.
I'd rate my 3 years in Canada an 8/10.
7/10. Awful healthcare, extreme and appallingly open racism against the first nations, lots of passive aggression. However, did make some good friends and the land is beautiful.
A Gateway DrugGiphy
I did my research before and as a result wasn't too surprised at how superior it was with regard to politics, general human decency, accessible healthcare (yes, it's as easy as walking in with your card, getting what you need, and leaving..just hope your private plan covers anything outside of the urgent care/ER that your default plan sure as hell won't.) Couple things stand out though:
There seems to be a general condescending tone about the neighbo(u)rs to the south. While a fair amount of this is warranted, it's to the point where I don't mention this upbringing in casual conversation anymore until I trust the person. To me, it's hypocritical to make sweeping generalizations about a people that you hate for being racist, bigoted, etc. Attack the issues, not the population.
It's not exactly some kind of cradle of intellectualism, either. Like anywhere else, there are smart people, dumb people, everything in between. It just seems better on average [than the US] as there's a different starting point in society, some kind of privilege, if you will. By not being born and having to deal daily with the mess and socioeconomic challenge that is living the US, it's of course easier to form opinions about how poorly everything is being operated. Issues still exist here too, from poorly maintained infrastructure, monopolistic phone companies, not-so-subtle genocidal activities toward natives. Same fallible people, different issues.
Changing gears: One of the many reasons I wanted to move was that I thought I was going to be among my people with respect to embracing harsh winter weather. All the propaganda sold how cold and scary and snowy it was. I grew up in the southern US where snow was occasional but not terribly common. This seemed like a heavenly transition...but lordy jaysus everyone here is a little wuss. Just pick a random Canada twitter account or Facebook page about the most trivial of weather and everyone complains like they've never seen it before. It's embarrassing. Hell, while the southern infrastructure couldn't handle snow as well, they were at least far less cowardly about it. I get the inconvenience thing but this seemed to be a deeper-rooted hatred which is toxic for the cozy winter weather lover.
A couple of things I do miss: as a scientist--the lack of free data exchange..those with ready access to US government data don't know how good they have it. Another perk is tech and media in general (understandably less robust than the place with access to Hollywood and numerous tech research facilities).
All in all, however, I don't regret much; for whatever problems exist here are greater in number back south; I like to think of it as a EU Lite® where it still has some of the same issues the US does, just not as great in intensity or number--It's a good gateway drug for those considering full evil socialist European living.
Finally, one I can answer! Immigrated summer of 2017, moving from New York City to Toronto.
The good: Almost everything! People are nicer; I'm significantly less anxious given the social safety here, lots of great food and fun things to do and I love the culture up here.
The bad: No good Tex-mex (not "Mexican") food. Really bad drivers. Utility costs
Overall: 10/10 would immigrate again. I started a family here and have no intention of ever returning to America.
No More "Me First"
Moved to Quebec and never plan to return to America. I love it here. It's safe, even major cities like Montreal. It's super multicultural here, and people embrace it (for the most part, racism exists everywhere). I don't worry about my future children's safety when they will go to school. I have been sick many times, including bilateral pneumonia and have never paid a dime for treatment.
I work at a job that is dangerous for my unborn child so I am on leave for the entire 9 months of my pregnancy with 90% of my salary. After the baby is born I will take 18 months of maternity leave. Honestly, the social benefits are just so incredible.
Why in the world would I want to move back to a society that values a "me first" and "I've got mine, so screw you" mentality. Of course there are people who don't feel that way, the government and those who put them in power certainly do.
Moved Without A Job
I moved to Vancouver in 2015 and ended up returning to the States. Couldn't find a job and nothing was working out. The taxes were killing me and the cost of living is higher. Was not the best decision.
Great - Except The Lack Of Hot Cheetos
I moved to Canada from California to be with my boyfriend a month after we met, It has been over 5 years and we will be getting married on July 13 next month. I didn't expect much when I moved to Canada, I thought I would be living in a pile of snow. Boy was I wrong!! I love Canada even more than the US.
The best part of Canada is its stunning scenery. Banff and Jasper are the most beautiful places I have ever seen in my life. Banff has glaciers, very large mountains, a thick coniferous foliage covering the landscape, emerald and sapphire lakes, lots and lots of wildlife (bears, eagles, cougar, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, wolves, foxes...even more so in the Yukon, bears are like squirrels). Yosemite isn't nearly as pretty in comparison, it is blown out of the water. The only thing California has over banff are the redwoods.
Healthcare is a big one. I am still surprised it costs nothing when I got to the hospital, even feel very guilty for some reason. I severed all the tendons in my pinky finger when I was chopping vegetables and I got hand surgery and 20+ physiotherapy sessions free. Most I paid was 20 dollars for the cast. The waiting times are the same as in California. Literally noticed no difference at all. I was raised in a highly conservative seventh day adventist family and was convinced when I lived in the US that the healthcare was perfect and "lazy" minimum wage workers didn't deserve to be healthy. Living in Canada has left me much more open minded and compassionate. There are a lot less stupid billboard advertisements about jesus stuff and less churches.
I find the tuition to my university is much much cheaper in comparison to California, although the campus isn't nearly as pretty.
Mcdonald's also tastes much better, no gray patty.
Weird stuff about Canada: slightly racist sentiment against indigenous people. LOTS AND LOTS of Ukrainians (my fiance is one), everyone seems to love Kraft dinner (WHY!!!), they have an obsession with slurpees (no Icees!), only two seasons here: construction and winter, NOT ALL STORES CARRY HOT CHEETOS!!!
The sense of safety - from crime, from medical and student debt, from the weird political whims of the US government - is what really stands out for me. I lived in Canada for 13 years and became a citizen. It was so good to me.
The US Is A Better Option
I moved to Canada (Toronto and Vancouver) for a while and eventually came back to the US.
In Toronto and Vancouver, I think there's more of a sense of community than what I've experienced living major US cities like NYC, Chicago, SF. The people are a bit less self centered and more aware of their surroundings, and that manifests in the little things like doing a better job of cleaning up after themselves, being more courteous on the roads and on public transit, and just being a bit more friendly and helpful to strangers.
Stuff was definitely more expensive in Canada. Even considering I've lived in expensive US cities such as NYC and SF, non-housing things in Toronto and Vancouver were more expensive, like groceries, clothes, plane tickets.
Canada lacks a creative energy compared to what I've experienced in the US. Everything from the music, food, visual art, architecture, and fashion felt dull. A very sterile, generic feel overall.
People seem healthier and well rested in Canada. I'm sure that has to do a lot with having a proper healthcare system in place and more adequate paid time off (still bad in regards to PTO, but better than the US). I've always had a lot of PTO in my jobs in the US and it's been years since I've had any health concerns that a Costco-branded allergy pill or ibuprofen couldn't handle, so that didn't really affect me. But yea, the people as whole just seem healthier and happier.
Internet speeds in Canada are absolutely terrible. Both residential/commercial internet and data connections on phones. It's not great in the US either, but Canada's is a downright joke.
Salaries and overall job opportunities in my fields (tech/biotech/research) are very limited compared to the US. The top innovators by and large aren't in Canada so if you want to work with the best, you're likely not going to be in Canada. I felt similarly about most European countries (UK/Germany excluded) when I've looked at jobs there too.
I'm glad I did give Canada a shot and I don't regret it one bit. It's a really wonderful country that I could happily live in, and I think the majority of Americans would probably be happier in Canada than they are in the US just due to healthcare, PTO, and better education. But for me personally, the US is the better option.
I'm a dual-citizen who's spent about half my life living on either side of the border. In my opinion, Canada is significantly better for many reasons including healthcare, culture (dumb, uneducated rednecks are few and far between) and natural beauty.
The only reason I reside in the states right now is because Canada (specifically Vancouver, where I grew up) is incredibly expensive. Their housing market is out of control and everyday items are more expensive. That being said, if/when Vancouver's housing market crashes I will likely try to move back.
If you don't have any experience with construction, it can be pretty interesting to watch those reality HGTV shows (I know I'm addicted at this point). Some of the best episodes can be the one's where they open up the walls to find the builder didn't do anything right, causing a huge blow to the budget. The drama!
As someone who doesn't know much about building, and is dreaming of homeownership, Redditor Vast_Recognition_682 asked a question I wish I had thought of first.
Redditor Vast_Recognition_682 asked:
"Home inspectors of reddit, what are some horrible things that almost went unnoticed?"
Here's some horror stories that shed a little light on the home owner unknowns.
Behind the closet wall.
"Going through a home with [the] home inspector, didn't find any issues, bring my dad in to look through the house too and he was [incessantly] checking everything. Looks at the Zillow listing with the floor plan, measures the basement, finds out the actual measurements smaller than the floor plan which led us to go looking in a closet and realize they finished a wall and closet around the old oil tank, never decommissioned it, never planned to tell anyone about it, and we would have had to rip walls out to get to it to remove it. It was a non starter and we walked away. So happy to have my dad's sharp eye while home shopping."
If you need a good prank idea when you're renovating, here's one:
"I saw a post once, this guy said his dad's house had a diagonal outer wall and he was installing a combination wall and bookshelf to square the room. Since there was a small dead space on one side, the dad (who was a doctor), got a life-size plastic human skeleton from work and tossed it in there."
"So if someone tore the wall out to remodel in 30 years or whatever, they'd see it and freak out."
Man cave mayhem.
"Not a home inspector, but I did ask our home inspector what crazy stuff he had seen over the years. He had two stories."
"He inspected a modest three bedroom house and found that were very strange structural cracks in the walls. The area where the house was built is primarily clay soil which leads to a lot of foundation issues, but these were really abnormal cracks. He headed to the attic to wrap up his inspection; it was located over the garage so there was absolutely no structural support there. He poked his head up into the attic and couldn't believe his eyes: the owner had a fully furnished man cave in the attic over the garage. It had a couch, big screen tv, weight set, and a huge gun safe. He said he had no idea how in the world all of that stuff didn't come crashing down through the garage ceiling or how the guy had managed to get the giant gun safe up there without some sort of elaborate winch system. He said it was only a matter of time before the house collapsed."
"The only other weird thing he encountered was a cistern (an old well) in a crawlspace underneath a house. He said he was crawling along on his stomach when he almost fell into it; it was left uncovered."
A rats nest of wires.
"I'm sure there will be some stories about wiring above drop ceilings. When I was looking at houses, I saw (not the home inspector) one once where like 10 different wires came into one rats nest of a cluster. To make it even better, there was a regular lamp cord that ran from it to power the hanging kitchen light above the table. And if you want whip cream and sprinkles on that.... the power came into that mess through knob and tube."
"I am an apprentice electrician and this comment just made my soul cry."
"I found an uncapped steel conduit with live wires behind my sink while remodeling. There wasn't even a cap on the wires."
"While ripping out our old kitchen we cut the old crappy countertop with a sawzaw, to our surprise saw a spark and blew a breaker. some mother f**kers who previously renovated this kitchen ran the wiring for a new outlet on the wall around the studs in a crevice in the back of the countertop...."
"My family flipped a house a few years ago. There were four ceilings, each a couple inches lower than the one before, and all but one had old wiring in it. It was like cutting into a weird lasagna, trying to find the studs in that house."
"Grandma was shrinking with old age, but her kids didn't want her to realize."
"Not me, but one I spoke to. Place almost passed, until out the corner of his eye... bam... jack stand holding up a beam under the house."
"Same with a house daughter was interested in. The place was a flip and totally redone. Beautiful. And down in the basement was a brick holding up a big beam."
This inspector had a full list.
1. "Furnace exhaust flue inlet at the attic furnace disconnected and a dead bird below it. Would have dumped all the furnace exhaust straight into the attic area. Obvious safety implication."
2. "Long time vacant house in a very secluded area. Reeked of cat p*ss and burnt plastic. No cats or cat feces in sight and no entry point for cats. Found small balloon in the corner of the floor where the fridge would be. Picked it up (with gloves) and white powder came spilling out. We came to the conclusion there was possibly the presence of methamphetamine in the home at some point and in some fashion."
3. "5 year old house, nice neighborhood, great shape, vacant. Everything looked good visually. In the attic, just after it had started raining heavily, a slight but constant drip was noticed from the roof sheathing in one area. Got lucky on that one. Sunny day, there would have been no evidence of any issue whatsoever."
4. "Homeowner DIY replaced the microwave and thought it would be 'clever' to run the exhaust vent into the wall cavity between the kitchen and adjacent laundry room. Just dumped the moisture into the wall. Mold city after a while if you do a lot of cooking while using the exhaust fan."
5. "60s house, well renovated. Range was a gas/electric dual fuel setup. Noticed broiler took forever to even start to warm up and never got hot enough that I couldn't touch it real quick (they usually glow red after like 30 seconds). Found out the range was plugged into a 110v outlet (enough to power the control panel and light) and not the proper 220v outlet (not even present). Oven was essentially useless. That one also had an incomplete drain line from a bathroom sink dumping everything directly into the crawlspace."
6. "New build. Got into the attic and just a quick 360° scan, something was off. Looking closer found a truss web beam that was completely gone, just ripped out (gusset plates bent to hell). Probably knocked out by the framing crews crane or something and they thought no one would notice. Time is money right? Lol"
They saved the day with this good catch!
"I used to work in a hospital, in IT. We were in a back corner of the oldest building. I used an out of the way stairwell, that had a 4 inch cast iron sprinkler main running through it."
"One day when I was leaving, I noticed a little tiny bit of water on the outside of the pipe. I went back to my desk, called maintenance, and asked them to send someone down so I could show them what I noticed. Walked the guy down to the stairwell and showed him, went on home."
"The next day I get to work and there's a letter on my desk. I open it, and it's from the director of maintenance. Seems that they shut down and depressurized the sprinkler line, and when they went to disconnect the section with the leak, the pipe just crumbled. They figured that my call prevented a major flood in materials management (which backed up to the stairwell on the floor below us) as well as a FD call-out, as the alarm would have gone when the pipe ruptured and water started flowing. The director sent me a very nice thank-you, and referred the situation to the cost-saving committee to see if they could get me a bonus based on preventing an accident."
The internet might just save homeowners on a whole lot of money by taking a closer look during the inspection. Thank goodness for this Ask Reddit post shedding light on the horror stories of homeownership and renovation mishaps.
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Unless you've been a member of the armed forces, you may only know drill sergeants as uncompassionate leaders who yell at privates all the time.
War Face GIF Giphy
"Drill instructors, what is the funniest thing you have seen a Private do?"
The following examples were utterly humiliating, but valuable lessons were learned.
"Had 2 guys get in a fight in our bay during basic. The drill sergeant made them hold hands and pretending to be on a date all week. Only time they could let go of each other's hands was rack time. They ended up becoming pretty good friends."
"Ex British Army officer here."
"A corporal went on a nine week mortar course and was accommodated (obviously) while he was away. It turned out he knew one of the DS teaching the course and was invited, regularly, to dine and drink in the Sergeant's Mess."
"The month after coming back from the course, he brought his payslip to me with a puzzled look on his face and, embarrassed, explained he didn't understand what it meant and could I help him?"
"It emerged that the Sergeant's Mess had a chitty system - you didn't pay for your drinks at the time, but signed for them and the total bill was deducted from your pay."
"This legend had managed to drink more than his monthly salary both months he'd been away and his payslip was a negative balance."
"I'm sorry Smith, I'm afraid you owe the Army £235 ($327.50) this month."
Asking For An Advance
"Former European Anti-Air Trainee here."
"Recruit spent his first check on alcohol and sex workers, asked his commander for next months check in advance the next day. Instead of having a good excuse prepared to actually succeed in that proposal he blankly told him in front of 80 other recruits why he'd need it."
"I saw a guy post about how he was like 6'3 and his DS was like 5'2, so whenever he messed up the DS would go up to him face to chest and yell 'Elevator!' and the guy would bend down to eye level with the DS and say 'Ding!' and the DS would proceed to look him in the eye while he chewed him out."
Some experiences were downright hilarious.
"Not an RDC, but in boot camp I was over the laundry crew. One recruit sh*t himself because he thought he couldn't leave his rack after taps. It was funny at the moment before I realized I had to wash it."
"This was the funniest f'king thing I ever read from u/odomotto"
"Recruit fired all his blank ammo during 'ambush training.' He crawled in ditch opposite where the aggressors were, and started throwing rocks at them. DI came running in middle of the road blowing his whistle and screaming 'what the f'k are you doing?' Recruit screamed back, 'throwing hand grenades drill sergeant!' Without missing a beat, the DI screamed 'out f'king standing.' And walked away."
"My sides hurt and I was wheezing laughing so hard at this when I first heard it!"
These punishments made no sense. And that's why they're memorable.
"When I was in basic, a kid we called 'Albino' shot off a blank round accidentally in the field. The sergeants were pissed and took his weapon away and replaced it with a broomstick for the remainder of the week in the field."
"Man I remember some dude didn't put the sheet on his bunk the right way and had to wear the sheet as a cloak and go to all the other barracks dancing around sing about how he was the 'Catch Edge Fairy' or something. It was pretty silly, he owned it though. He was doing twirls the whole time. This was Navy bootcamp."
Despite how they are depicted on film, drill instructors are people who care.
Like, Beals – a drill sergeant at Fort Knox, Kentucky – who said:
"We provide more than just physical, mental and emotional guidance for them. You are a father, a preacher, a financial advisor, a counselor-you provide so many different services to the Soldier that the regular public doesn't see on day to day basis."
"They see what they see in movies and what they hear about by word of mouth. But you are fulfilling so many roles other than just being a trainer and teaching an individual how to be a Soldier in the Army."
And occasionally, they are having a laugh at the crazy things their trainees do.
Sometimes, it becomes extremely clear that it's time to leave.
That goes for short term situations like a bizarre social moment, or longer term commitments like work or relationships.
Whatever the context, there is typically a tipping point moment when all the variables appear to suggest things have become unsafe, wildly uncomfortable, or maybe even a tad illegal.
It's those moments when all you can think about is the door.
Redditor Thotus_Maximus asked:
"What was your biggest 'I'm out' moment?"
Many people talked about the times they went to parties that turned out to be very different from what they had in mind.
"Went to a friend of a friend's 35th birthday party. There were like 3 people there when we showed up. Birthday boy says everyone's in the basement. Okay cool."
"We go down to the basement. Someone's DJing, they've got cool lighting, there's like 30 people dancing. After a minute or 2 we realize everyone in the basement is like 13. Nope Nope Nope."
THAT Kinda Party
"Lived in a hotel for a while when I was 18-19. One day a bunch of people I've met at the pool wanted to go up to this dudes room and party. I thought we were gonna drink, smoke, and have a conversation, but that's not how it went."
"While everyone went up there, I had to go back to my room and change clothes. When I finally went to join them, I walked in and saw this dude injecting hard drugs. I sh** you not, this dude turned completely blue and dropped to the ground like a rock. When I saw that, I just dipped."
"He got picked up by an ambulance and survived. When I saw him in the elevator the next day, he seemed like a completely different person. Seein' stuff like that (that wasn't my first time witnessing od's), I think kept me away from the drugs that can kill you easily."
The Great Escape
"I was at a party when I was a teen. Cops turned up. I was stuck upstairs. But there was a balcony and underneath a pool. And beyond the pool a gate leading to an alley."
"So I jumped in the pool."
"But when I resurfaced there were already two cops standing there looking at me."
Other Redditors recalled the times they encountered strangers that did not appear to have their best interest at heart, to say the least.
"Was approached by someone and we talked about how we went to the same college and I showed him some of my art work, he thought it was pretty cool and offered me an opportunity and wanted to talk more later because I was at work at the time."
"I met up with him and his girlfriend and he told about what he mentioned. As I say there listening, it sounded familiar and BAM! It hit me. It was a pyramid scheme, it had nothing to do with art or any job prospects, I told him I wasn't interested many times in the nicest way possible l, but boy did they look pi**ed."
"I got stuck in an airport overnight as my flight was cancelled due to weather and I was starving because all the stores were closed. Some employee offered to show me where to get food so I followed him."
"He then opened a door to outside in the parking lot and motioned outside. I quickly said 'no thanks' and walked away."
And finally, some talked about when it became very clear that their work situation needed to end, like yesterday.
Quotas Reign Supreme
"I got buried by heavy packages while loading a truck for Fedex. It took 3 people to get me out. I was bloody, bruised, and had trouble lifting my arm."
"My manager came over and chastised me for my package count being too low. Walked out immediately."
Leaving Him a Stressful Day
"I worked in a contact centre several years ago. It was super busy and calls didn't stop coming. For some reason, my stupid boss removed everyone else from the queue for some stupid training, leaving me alone to handle all the calls. I messaged him a few times on Microsoft Teams, asking what was happening with no reply."
"After two hours, I shut down my computer and walked out of the company. I just recently withdrawn my last salary, so no regret whatsoever."
Corruption At Its Finest
"I worked for a blood analysis lab machine company for about 6 months. Hated every minute of it because I was working well over 60 hours a week every week. I wouldn't be leaving some hospitals until after 11pm sometimes. The management would never support the techs, the customer is always right, that BS."
"So one week at during the over the phone team meeting, the manager actually asked on of the younger techs to complete paperwork and submit it. Which is normal, but the manager was having him submit the repair paperwork and schedule the repair when they got around to it. He wanted the tech to pencil whip documentation we submit to the FDA so he could a quarterly bonus."
"Managers who's group hits all the pm's, gets a very nice size check. Had the tech done that and the machine failed before it was serviced, somebody could have died and he might have gone to jail. I left that job the next day."
Out With a Bang
"I walked out of a job two hours into a shift and left them without anyone who could do my job."
"As a parting gift, I threw the manual I'd written in the rubbish and didn't bother removing or giving anyone my passwords to stuff so they couldn't do anything."
Years ago I had a classmate who was a total daredevil... so much so that he would often injure himself. He once drove a bike in the direction of oncoming traffic, just for the hell of it. He got out of that episode unscathed––luckily. By contrast, I prefer keeping all my limbs, and still have them all. I wonder where he is now. Hopefully not too banged up. I did do some stuff unwittingly––like the time I stuck a fork into an electrical socket. I thankfully wasn't shocked too much. I was young and naive.
People told us all about the dangerous things they did when they were younger after Redditor Not-an-Ocelot asked the online community,
"What's the most dangerous thing you did as a kid without realizing?"
"My chore was to wash the floors. I would mix all sorts of chemicals together, not realizing they don't mix. Like bleach and ammonia with other cleaning products."
This is very easy to do––and so dangerous! Thankfully you didn't harm yourself.
"I used to walk..."
"I used to walk on a frozen river when walking home from school. I was about 7 at the time."
Seen too many movies about people stuck under the ice.
"We would sneak up..."
"I used to do parkour. We would sneak up onto the rooftops of condo buildings when they were washing their windows (the staircases leading to the top floor would be unlocked). We would then go roof hopping.
Literal roof hopping like in Grand Theft Auto. We would jump from a 12 storey apartment building's roof to an adjacent 10 storey apartment building's roof, etc."
How are your knees? That's bound to do some damage, no?
"I picked up..."
"I picked up a baby copperhead snake and gave it to my mom as a present when I was 6 or 7."
You must have really hated your mom.
"There was a railway crossing..."
"There was a railway crossing on my walk to school, and the train would often be blocking my path so I would always wait until it stopped moving and then climb on top of it and jump off the other side so I could keep walking and not be late."
"Played inside an old broken refrigerator that was outside….not knowing it could have locked or tipped over."
Yes, it could have! Thankfully it didn't. There's a really frightening scene in The Leftovers involving a character who nearly suffocates in a fridge.
No thank you.
"Like most Florida kids..."
"Like most Florida kids I swam where I shouldn't have and I'm very lucky I didn't get eaten by alligators."
"After seeing videos..."
"Playing with fireworks. After seeing videos of kids blowing their fingers and hands off, I would never let my kids play with them, without lots of supervision."
"We are super lucky..."
"Getting on a boat with my then-boyfriend and not telling our parents where we were going. The boat ended up sinking during a storm and we had life jackets and floated on the ice chest. Only reason we are alive is because a ship that was coming in heard us screaming during the storm and called the coast guard. We were out there for a total of 15 hours and had severe hypothermia. We are super lucky to be alive."
This is pretty terrifying.
Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.
Yes, thankfully, you're alive.
"When I was about..."
"When I was about 9 or 10 a friend and I rode an air mattress down a river. Neither of us knew how to swim and we didn't tell our parents so when we came back cops were looking for us."
Well... these were a read.
If you'll excuse me, I'll stay indoors and wrap myself in bubble wrap. The outside world is scary.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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