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10 States That Pay Teachers the Most

Teacher helping students

Teachers arguably are among the most important people in our lives, whether you realized it or not while growing up and mucking your way through the academic and social rigors of elementary, middle and high school. Yet, they’re also among the lowest paid of all college graduates. In fact, according to a recent study by the Economic Policy Institute, teachers earn just 77 percent of what other college graduates are making on a national average.

Thankfully, teaching also remains a popular career choice, probably because it’s largely a labor of love. But love won’t pay the bills, so if you’re considering a career in education, you’ll want to seek out locales that offer the best pay.

According to the EPI study, these are the 10 states where you’ll make the most as a teacher:

  1. New York – Average teacher salary $77,957
  2. Massachusetts – Average teacher salary $76,981
  3. Washington, DC – Average teacher salary $75,810
  4. California – Average teacher salary $72,842
  5. Connecticut – Average teacher salary $72,013
  6. New Jersey – Average teacher salary $69,330
  7. Alaska – Average teacher salary $67,443
  8. Maryland – Average teacher salary $66,482
  9. Rhode Island – Average teacher salary $66,197
  10. Pennsylvania – Average teacher salary $64,991

If you’re a teacher, first let us say “thank you!” And if pursuing your education career means a move to or from the Washington, DC area, McKendree Moving & Storage can help. Call 800-530-2626 to schedule a consultation.

Three US Locales Make Food & Wine Magazine’s List of World’s Most Romantic Cities

shutterstock_113405296

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. If you’re looking to woo your significant other with a quick getaway, or perhaps considering a move to a new locale for a new start in life and love, check Food and Wine magazine’s recent listing of the world’s most romantic cities. You’ll find the list includes iconic international favorites like Paris, Rome, Buenos Aires, Shanghai and Edinburgh, Scotland. But also making the cut are three idyllic cities right here in the United States:

  • San Francisco, CA: This West Coast favorite offers gorgeous vistas, rolling hills, charming row houses, and a mind-boggling array artisanal food and beverage options including fair-trade coffee shops, the Choux Bakery and the famous Ferry Building farmers’ market. Stroll through the Garden of Shakespeare’s Flowers or the Palace of Fine Arts; share a tandem bike ride or a sunset seaplane flight; then end the day with a nighttime picnic with a view of the 25,000 white light installation along the Bay Bridge.
  • New York City, NY: It’s arguably the nation’s capital of food, fashion, art and culture. But it also has a plethora of romantic features. Consider a walk through Central Park or the Brooklyn Botanic Garden; a ride on the beautifully restored Janes’ Carousel, a kiss in the Cloisters and, if things are getting serious, perhaps a stop at Tiffany & Co.
  • Charleston, SC: Charleston is synonymous with Southern charm, thanks in large part to its antebellum architecture and deep history. But it also offers top-rated restaurants, bars and boutiques. Take in a show at the Dock Street Theatre, enjoy a sunset stroll on Sullivan’s Island, sail aboard the Schooner Pride or tour the city on a Palmetto Carriage ride.

If you’re considering relocating for love, and your move will take you to or from the Washington, DC metropolitan area, call McKendree Moving & Storage at 800-530-2626 to schedule a consultation.

Four Top Tips for Choosing the Right Roommate

"Need Roommate" sign

Moving to a new home or apartment often means finding a new roommate – and that’s not always an easy task, particularly when your new digs are in a whole new city. McKendree Moving & Storage offers these four fail-proof tips to help assure that your roommate search will be a safe, smooth one.

  1. Get references: Topping all other roommate rules is to do your homework. Ask for and follow up with references including past roommates and past landlords. Former roommates can give you a feel for your prospective roomie’s personality and reliability. Former landlords will be able to confirm histories of on-time payments and property conditions.
  2. Get a credit check: While talking with a former landlord is a great start, performing a credit check can lend more assurance when it comes to a prospective roommate’s financial background and his or her ability to make rent and utility payments on time. This is particularly important if you plan share costs for phone, cable, internet services or utilities like water and power.
  3. Look over the lease: Before bringing a new roommate into your home or moving into their home, make sure to take a thorough look at the lease. You’ll need to make sure that adding a roommate is allowed and understand any financial or property damage risks you’ll be expected to accept.
  4. Get some face time: Agreeing to room with someone sight unseen is never a good idea. Plan to meet several times at a safe, neutral location like a nearby restaurant, coffee shop, library or park so that the two of you can get to know each other. If you plan to move into a home that already houses multiple roommates, be sure to meet them as well. A little face time will quickly reveal whether your personalities click.

If your next move takes you to or from the Washington, DC metro area, call 800-530-2626 to schedule a consultation with McKendree Moving & Storage. We can’t help you find the right roommate, but we can assure that your relocation will be a smooth one.

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.

Five Items Most Likely to Break During a Move

home with artwork

A top source of stress during a move is the worry over whether your household items are safe and sound – and with good reason. Movers know there are certain items that are far more likely than others to be damaged during transport. Here are the five most commonly broken items we see, particularly during DIY moves:

  1. Electronics: Because of their numerous delicate components, electronics such as computers and television sets are easily damaged. Even if the damage isn’t outwardly visible, one bump too many can displace functional components, causing these items to fail when you press the on button.
  2. Tables: Tables and table legs are among the most commonly damaged items, primarily because they’re simply awkward to move. A top tip is to remove the legs, pack and move them separately. Tables with tops made of heavier material, such as marble, are of particular concern because of the sheer force involved when they’re dropped.
  3. China, mirrors and other glassware: The most common culprit is a lack of sufficient padding. The more fragile the material, the more you’ll need. Let your pillows do double duty as padding for large mirrors. And don’t forget your wine and liquor selections. Damage happens not only in the way of broken bottles and stains on items packed nearby, but also in spoiled beverages caused by intense temperature changes, particularly during long moves.
  4. Artwork: Pierced canvases, broken frames and smudged paint are all too common. At highest risk are ornate frames with detailed surfaces and canvases packed near items with sharp corners or edges. Also keep in mind that long periods of high temperatures can mar paint.
  5. Appliances: After all, they’re heavy, difficult to carry and, like smaller electronics, have lots of inner components that can affect functionality. Front-loading washers are most easily broken. That’s because most fail to realize that spinning drums must be properly suspended throughout a move.

Also at risk are various features of the homes you’re vacating and moving into. Inexperienced or clumsy movers can leave behind dented walls and door jambs, broken stairway rails, scuffed floors and torn carpet. And remember – you’re at risk, too. Improperly handled moves have sent many a victim to the hospital or emergency room with broken bones, pulled muscles, skin lacerations and aching backs.

Why risk breaking your most used or cherished items? Trust your move, your health and your sanity to professionals. If you plan a move to or from the Washington, DC metropolitan area, call 800-530-2626 and schedule an appointment with McKendree Moving & Storage

Five To-Dos Before Making a Career-Prompted Move

Confident business man looking over new area

If you’ve been offered a great new job or simply know that a particular city will afford you better opportunities, making a move for your career can prove effective and exciting. It also can prove distressing without a plan for a smooth transition. McKendree Moving & Storage offers these tips:

  1. If you’ve got a job offer, ask your new employer about relocation benefits: Many businesses, particularly larger ones that regularly recruit new employees, have relationships with moving, storage and relocation companies that offer a range of discounts and other financial benefits. These may include coverage of moving expenses and closing costs, or even providing a buyout option if your current home doesn’t sell before your move date.
  2. Check out your new locale: As soon as you’ve decided to make the move, begin researching your new city and community, both via the Internet and in person. Research the local economy and housing market so that you know what you’re in for financially. This information may prove useful in negotiating your new salary and benefits. You’ll also want to know particulars such as great coffee shops near your new workplace where you can hold offsite business meetings.
  3. Test the commute: Arrange a visit to your new city to make the trip from your prospective new homes to the workplace during both the morning and afternoon rushes. Knowing which routes will help you avoid an excruciating commute may prove incredibly useful in choosing whether to live downtown or in the suburb.
  4. Make your travel and move arrangements: Topping the list is choosing a reputable mover to pack, load, transport and deliver your furniture and other household items. Then, decide how you, your family and your pets will make the move. Will you drive your own vehicles or fly to your new town and have a mover deliver your vehicles? Whatever you choose, know that making travel arrangements as early as possible will help minimize costs and your stress level. However, because moving can involve lots of variables, make sure that your travel plans have some flexibility – the ability to change flights inexpensively, for instance.
  5.  Attend to transition details: Arrange to have your utilities, internet connections, etc. turned off at your old home, and on at your new home. Make sure you’ve stocked up on prescription medications and have copies of all medical records for both your family members and pets. If you have school-age children, be sure to have their academic transcripts sent to their new schools and check into local school immunization requirements, which may differ from those in your old locale. Complete a change-of-address card at your post office and notify banks, credit card companies and other important contacts of your new address. And, update any business-related social media profiles to help assure a great start in your new position. ‘

If your move will take you to or from the Washington, DC metro area, McKendree Moving & Storage should be your first call. Reach us at 800-530-2626.

 

Top 20 Pet-Friendly Cities

Cat in moving box with styrofoam peanuts

If you’re a true pet lover considering a move, no doubt you’re seeking new hometown that’s as great for Fido and Fluffy as it is for you. According to results of a recent survey by American Pet Products Association, pet ownership in the US is booming. In fact, a record 65 percent of American households today own a pet. That figure reflects upward of 79.7 million homes with four-legged family members.

To help assure you make the best choice for you and your furry loved ones, check out results of WalletHub’s most recent compilation of the nation’s most pet-friendly cities. Researchers pored over multiple metrics including availability of a wide range of pet services and products such as professional pet walking and gourmet pet food; average costs of pet ownership as it relates to veterinary care, licenses, grooming and apartment pet deposits and related fees; and the presence of businesses designed for or open to pets, such as dog parks and restaurants that allow your pet to join you for lunch or dinner.

So here they are – The top 20 pet-friendly cities in America for 2016:

  1. Orlando, Florida
  2. Birmingham, Alabama
  3. Tampa, Florida
  4. Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky
  5. Scottsdale, Arizona
  6. Reno, Nevada
  7. Colorado Springs, Colorado
  8. Cincinnati, Ohio
  9. Las Vegas, Nevada
  10. St. Louis, Missourri
  11. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  12. Boise, Idaho
  13. Henderson, Nevada
  14. Atlanta, Georgia
  15. Plano, Texas
  16. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  17. St. Petersburg, Florida
  18. Portland, Oregon
  19. Gilbert, Arizona
  20. Albuquerque, New Mexico

Make sure your move goes smoothly for you and your pets. Call 800-530-2626 to schedule a consultation with McKendree Moving & Storage.

 

Tips for Moving Your Prized Vinyl Collection

Vinyl Record Collection

For vinyl album holdouts – and yes, there are many of them across the United States – the notion of a long-distance move can be a sad, sad song, indeed. But you need not be singing the blues. McKendree Moving & Storage has a few tips that can help assure the safe transport and arrival of your prized collection to a whole new vinyl frontier.

First, head your nearest vintage vinyl shop and stock up on acid-free paper liners and poly sleeves. Take your records out of their cardboard jackets and place them in or between the paper liners. Then, place the jackets in poly sleeves. This will help to protect your records from dust, heat and moisture and your jackets from all sorts of outside wear, including discolored, depressed ring imprints of the vinyls themselves.

Next, choose your moving boxes wisely. Make sure they’re sturdy and have dimensions of at least 14″ x 14″ x 14″ (used wine boxes are a great option if you’ve got them). Bungobox and the Container Store offer boxes designed and sized specifically for moving or shipping vinyl records. Line the bottom and sides of boxes with bubble wrap or Styrofoam to provide a bit of shock absorption during the ride.

When packing them in boxes, stand your records and jackets vertically, side by side rather than stacking them. This helps to protect jackets from bending on the edges and from ring wear and other superficial nicks and scrapes. Be sure to pack them snuggly, but not so tight as to risk warping. Fill any leftover space in the box with bubble wrap to assure they won’t slide or get jostled around.

Once packed, make sure boxes are securely closed and mark which side is up to help assure movers know just how to handle and place them. For your own post-move sanity, also mark them alphabetically, by genre or however you’ll organize them on the shelves of your new place. Also make sure that your boxes will remain out of direct sunlight throughout the duration of the move.

From Stravinsky to Sinatra to Skynyrd, if you’re planning a move to or from the Washington, DC metropolitan area, we’ve got you covered. Call 800-530-2626 to schedule a pre-move consultation with McKendree Moving & Storage.