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Top 10 States for Millennials

Group of millennials taking a selfie

According to the National Association of Realtors’ recently released 2016 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report, millennials (the generation of people who reached young adulthood around 2000) have been the largest cohort of home-buyers for the past three years, making up 35 percent of total buyers.

If you’re a millennial on the move and looking to buy or rent a new home, certain states offer more than others when it comes to money matters. MoneyRates.com recently released a list of the top states for millennials, based on factors including affordable education, career opportunities and cost of living. The goal was to identify the states where this age group, primarily those age 20-14, can best balance budgets that likely include low wages and high student loan payments.

Results show the top locales for millennials are:

  1. North Dakota: An economic boom means jobs are plentiful and the cost of living is reasonable. College tuition and rental costs are lower than average and the state has the nation’s lowest unemployment rate (4.6 percent compared to the 10.7 percent state average) for 20- to 24-year-olds. Plus, North Dakota is among the top 10 states for access to high speed broadband and the number of nightlife options per 1,000 young adults.
  2. South Dakota: This state has the nation’s lowest average home rental rates and one of the lowest rates of unemployment among young adults.
  3. Nebraska: The Cornhusker State boasts the nation’s second lowest unemployment rate for young adults.
  4. Iowa: The Hawkeye State also had a low unemployment rate among millennials – just 5.8 percent.
  5. Montana: Known as “Big Sky Country,” Montana claims the nation’s second-lowest tuition rate for in-state students at four-year public colleges. And when class is out, Montana also ranks in the top 10 for the highest concentration of both health clubs and nightspots relative to its millennial population.

Rounding out the top 10 states for 20-somethings are Louisiana, Indiana, Kansas, Wyoming and Texas.

If you’re considering a move to or from the Washington, DC metro area – no matter your age group – we can help assure a smooth transition. Call McKendree Moving & Storage at 800-530-2626 or request a free quote online.

Eight Great Tips to Help You Sell Your Home Quickly

Home with for sale sign out front

If you’re planning a move and looking to put your current home on the market, you’ll want to make sure prospective buyers see it in its best light. A great presentation can help assure you’ll get top-dollar offers. Luckily, there are multiple quick and effective fix-ups that won’t bust your budget.

  1. Make sure your lawn is trimmed, flower beds weeded and freshly mulched and shrubs pruned. Take an edger or weed eater to edges of driveways and walkways and use weed killer on weeds or grass growing out of pavement cracks. Also, clear the yard, driveway and walkway of clutter including tools, toys and trash.
  2. Clear gutters of leaves and other debris and make sure soil isn’t washed out around the downspouts. Reinforce any gutters that may be sagging.
  3. Power wash your fence and give it a fresh coat of paint.
  4. The front door is a powerful symbol, so make sure yours is as welcoming as possible. A fresh coat of paint, new welcome doormat and a potted plant can do wonders. Be sure to tighten loose doorknobs, oil squeaky hinges and make sure the doorbell is in working order.
  5. Replace burned out or dim lightbulbs, give lighting fixtures a good dusting and consider replacing dated fixtures with modern ones, particularly in the most visible locations like the foyer, den, bathroom and kitchen. While you’ll want to go easy on the artwork (prospective buyers will want to picture spaces with their own art) consider installing indoor track lighting to accentuate a few key pieces. Also use landscape lighting to spotlight interesting architectural features.
  6. Your home’s inside entry is critical to a prospective buyer’s first impression. Make sure it’s spotless and consider hanging a large decorative mirror to make the space appear larger.
  7. Clear all clutter from and polish kitchen and bathroom countertops, including chargers and cords. Leave only a few decorative pieces such as a scented candle, attractive canister or bowl of fresh fruit (no family photos, as prospective buyers will be picturing their own). Replace damaged or discolored caulking and repair or replace leaky faucets.
  8. Clear out as much of your belongings as you can from your closets, garage, attic and basement and organize the remaining contents. Consider investing in few color-coordinated storage boxes for these areas. This will help make closets and storage spaces appear larger.

Once you’re ready to plan your move to or from the Washington, DC metropolitan area, contact McKendree Moving & Storage. Call 800-530-2626 to schedule a consultation.

10 Top Places to Retire on Social Security

Elderly couple preparing to move

Statistics from the US Social Security Administration show that upward of 84 percent of retirees in the United States qualify for Social Security payments and for most – 61 percent – those payments make up at least half of their income. In fact, for a third of retirees, Social Security is their only major source of income in retirement.

It’s no news flash that living on a Social Security can be tough, considering that the average monthly SS payment was $1,341 as of January 2016. For a married couple, both receiving SS checks, that means an average combined retirement income of just $32,184, adjusted for inflation each year.

The good news is that there are ways to help stretch that benefit much further – including choosing the right locale to spend your golden years. A recent US News analysis of 104 major metropolitan areas, using data from the US Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics, found that couples receiving average SS payments would have enough money to cover all the basics – housing, food, transportation, health care and utilities – in two-thirds of major cities.

But covering the basics doesn’t necessarily mean a high quality of life. To help pinpoint areas that offer the best chances for a safe, comfortable and happy abode, researchers dug deeper into a myriad of quality-of-life factors including crime rates, access to health care and recreation opportunities. Their efforts revealed the top 10 recommendations for retirement living on SS benefits:

  1. Boise, Idaho: Low housing costs, beautiful 25-mile greenbelt and senior discounts to the Boise Art Museum, Zoo Boise, Bogus Basin ski area and many Boise State sporting events.
  2. Cape Coral, Florida: Affordable waterfront property, mild winters and no state income tax.
  3. Colorado Springs, Colorado: Breathtaking mountain views for bargain-basement costs if you’ve paid off your mortgage.
  4. Dayton, Ohio: One of the best spots for access to health care, and US Air Force retirees love the National Aviation Hall of Fame and the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park.
  5. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Relatively low housing costs, a booming healthcare industry and an impressive arts scene.
  6. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Another great spot for relatively low housing costs, plus the nation’s 12th ranked best hospital (UPMC Shadyside) and a sports fan’s paradise.
  7. Richmond, Virginia: Several well-regarded hospitals and a favorite, lower-cost spot for retirees jettisoning northern Virginia and the Washington, DC area.
  8. Rochester, New York: Low housing costs, a highly rated hospital (Strong Memorial Hospital) and several major colleges for retirees who’d like to return to studies. Granted, the winters can be tough, but you’ll love celebrating the arrival of springtime at the annual Lilac Festival.
  9. San Antonio, Texas: Low housing costs for renters and no state income tax. Plus, it’s a pure delight for history buffs.
  10. Spokane, Washington: A top spot for active retirees who love the outdoors.

If you’re a retiree looking to move to or from the Washington DC metro area, McKendree Moving & Storage can help with special services and rates tailored for seniors. Call 800-530-2626 to schedule a consultation today.