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10 Top Cities Attracting Americans Today

Tampa, FL

Americans move for a multitude of reasons and their choices for new hometowns can be based an array of factors – family, career, health, love, etc. But each year, a handful of cities top the list of movers’ destinations, no matter the reasons involved. While major urban hubs often prove popular, the past few years have seen American migrating to areas that are bustling with business, arts, social and recreational opportunities, but aren’t necessarily the big city spots you might expect.

According to research from Realtor.com and the US Census Bureau, Americans increasingly are choosing these 10 mostly Southern locales over the past few years:

  1. Tampa, Florida: Median Home Price, $230,000; Unemployment Rate: 4.4%
  2. Jacksonville, Florida: Median Home Price, $272,400; Unemployment Rate: 4.4%
  3. Charlotte, North Carolina: Median Home Price, $257,500; Unemployment Rate: 5.1%
  4. San Antonio, Texas: Median Home Price, $275,000; Unemployment Rate, 3.7%
  5. Austin, Texas: Median Home Price, $399,000; Unemployment Rate, 3.1%
  6. Las Vegas, Nevada: Median Home Price, $260,000;Unemployment Rate, 6.0%
  7. Orlando, Florida: Median Home Price, $262,400; Unemployment Rate, 4.3%
  8. Nashville, Tennessee: Median Home Price, $315,000; Unemployment Rate, 3.2%
  9. Raleigh, North Carolina: Median Home Price, $297,200; Unemployment Rate, 4.6%
  10. Portland, Oregon: Median Home Price, $416,300; Unemployment Rate, 4.6%

If you’re planning a move to or from the Washington DC metro area, we can help make sure it’s a smooth one. Call McKendree Moving & Storage 800-530-2626 to schedule a consultation.

10 Best States to Retire, Grow Old Together

Attractive older couple

With the kids long grown and out of the house and retirement parties over, America’s senior citizens often pack up and move. Reasons abound. Seniors may move for a lower cost of living, a milder climate, better benefits, closeness to family and friends, or simply an overall higher quality of life.

To help them choose the best spot, Caring.com performed an exhaustive nationwide study, ranking states based on factors including quality of life in a given area for residents over 55, quality of healthcare, availability of long-term care, support for seniors and family caregivers, and affordability of senior care. Data sources included Genworth’s 2015 Cost of Care Survey, the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, and the Long-term Scorecard, a joint effort by AARP, The Commonwealth Fund and The SCAN Foundation.

When all the numbers were crunched and all the qualitative factors carefully considered, researchers released the list of the best 10 states in which to spend your sunset years. And you might not believe it, but Florida didn’t even crack the top 10:

  1. South Dakota
  2. Iowa
  3. Minnesota
  4. Alaska
  5. Oregon
  6. Colorado
  7. Hawaii
  8. South Carolina
  9. Nebraska
  10. Wisconsin

Ready to retire and make your move? Call McKendree Moving & Storage at 800-530-2626 and ask about our specialized residential moving services tailored just for seniors.

 

Top Cities for Tech Types in 2016

moody st bridge waltham

Silicon Valley has long been considered the mecca for tech types in America and, perhaps, even internationally. But a new survey shows it’s by far not the only locale that promises success for technology-oriented entrepreneurs, job seekers and investors.

Aided by strong public-private partnerships, centralized hubs that foster connections and innovation, and capital provided by established businesses, a crop of cities outside the Golden State are proving new standouts for those looking to build IT companies and careers.

Researchers recently conducted a survey that looked at nearly 20,000 private tech companies not based in California or New York, and at cities with at least 30 companies that meet those criteria. In choosing the most promising locales for IT, researchers considered financial stability, affordability, and tech business success and growth.

Here’s how the top 10 tech cities stacked up:

1. Waltham, MA

Finance Score: 68

Growth Score: 100

Overall Score: 100

2. Jacksonville, FL

Finance Score: 99

Growth Score: 42

Overall Score: 99

3. Provo, UT

Finance Score: 96

Growth Score: 85

Overall Score: 97

4. Overland Park, KS

Finance Score: 100

Growth Score: 22

Overall Score: 96

5. Irving, TX

Finance Score: 86

Growth Score: 91

Overall Score: 95

6. Redmond, WA

Finance Score: 91

Growth Score: 84

Overall Score: 92

7. Durham, NC

Finance Score: 77

Growth Score: 93

Overall Score: 89

8. Charleston, SC

Finance Score: 97

Growth Score: 54

Overall Score: 88

9. Milwaukee, WI

Finance Score: 95

Growth Score: 35

Overall Score: 86

10. Oklahoma City, OK

Finance Score: 85

Growth Score: 62

Overall Score: 85

 If you’re considering a move between the Washington, DC metro area and one of these tech-centric cities soon, call McKendree Moving & Storage 800-530-2626 to ensure a smooth move.

Five Fab Pre-Move In Clean Up Tips

Close-up ?

So you’ve closed on the deal and you’re headed to your new digs soon. Of course, a clean start should begin with a clean house, so get yourself into spring cleaning mode and try these five fab pre-move tips from McKendree Moving & Storage.

  1. Clean first, then move: Cleaning an empty house is a whole lot easier, faster and more effective than attempting to clean while climbing over and maneuvering around furniture and stacks of moving boxes. Schedule accordingly.
  2. Start at the top: Begin your cleanup with a long-handled duster, hitting the ceiling, light fixtures, topsides of ceiling fans, door and window trim and other raised flat surfaces first. Dust and dirt that your duster doesn’t trap will fall to the floor and can easily be swept or vacuumed along with whatever’s already mucking up your new floors.
  3. Hit the “Big 3” first: Moving is exhausting and, in case you don’t get through all your cleaning in one fell swoop, you’ll want to make sure to first cover the basic Big 3 – the places where you’ll seat, sleep and do your business. The kitchen, the master bedroom and one full bathroom are the upfront musts, particularly if there’s a chance the whole family will be roughing it the first night or two.
  4. Go deep: A deep clean includes moving and cleaning beneath any and all large appliances already in the home. That great refrigerator, dishwasher and laundry set that came with the home are great, but you’ll want to clear away any previously accumulated gunk before you start adding your own from daily use of your new appliances.
  5. Do the right thing: And by “the right thing,” we mean cleaning up after yourself, so whomever moves in after you can start with a clean slate, too. Sure, they’ll likely do their own cleaning, but if you’re a believer in karma, you’ll rack up a few points by making their job easier. Plus, if you’re renting your current space, it may mean the difference in getting your security deposit back or losing it.

Moving to or from the Washington, DC metro area? Call 800-530-2626 and speak with a McKendree Moving & Storage moving specialist today to help assure a smooth, stress-free move.

How Many Homes Will You Own in Your Lifetime?

Couple standing in front of a new home

Phone psychics, palm readers and Main Street Madame Rubys make a killing doling out predictions, possibilities and straight-up pretenses about just how your future will (or most likely, will not, after all) play out.  But we here at McKendree Moving & Storage offer one prediction that’s based on pure, cold, hard statistics. According to our real-life studies, turns out most people can expect to own three homes during their lifetimes.

  • Home #1: Statistics show the average age at which Americans purchase their first home is 27. Your Realtor will call it a “starter home” and it’s likely you’ll make this momentous move a few years out of college and into your career. Play your financial cards right and chances are your credit will be relatively strong, not having taken too many run-of-the-mill hits yet. If you’re at the starter-home stage, look for one that has equity-building potential that you can leverage when you’re ready to buy your second home.
  • Home #2: About five more years into your now-rock solid career, you’ll likely be ready for new digs, especially if you’ve taken a walk down the aisle and are ready to hear the pitter-patter of little feet. You’ll need another bedroom or two, depending upon how many little ones you plan to raise and how often (and how long) Gram and Gramps intend to visit. If did a respectable job building equity in your starter home, you can sell it for the down payment. But here’s the key – unless a job transfer or other life-changing decision throws a wrench into your residential plans, make sure your second home is one that will keep you happy for the next three decades, as that’s about how long it will take you to get all the kiddies grown and out on their own.
  • Home #3: Ultimately, you and your spouse will find yourselves empty-nesters. Once the initial shock wears off, an overwhelming sense of “holy cow, we’re free!” will overtake the both of you and you’ll be ready to throw caution to the wind and take that cross-country drive or European backpacking trip you dreamed of when your kids were teething and Little Leaguing and prom queening. Hopefully, by this time, your second home is paid off thanks to your career success and awesome money management skills. That, combined with the equity you’ve built up in home #2 will have made you golden in the financial department. So, you’ll have no problem buying that cute, downsized abode that you’ll retire in. Condominiums and co-ops are a top option, as you’ll be spending less time at home and more time traveling, finally learning to swing dance and enjoying random empty-nester shenanigans. You’ll want to opt for the 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage because, after all, you won’t live forever and you really don’t want to leave your kids dealing with a probate nightmare. You’ll also want to secure a great life insurance policy to help pay any applicable estate taxes.

No matter which home/life stage you’re at, if you’re planning a move to or from the Washington, DC metro area, call 800-530-2626 and speak with a McKendree Moving & Storage moving specialist today.

 

20 Items to Toss Before You Move

Mom and son decluttering

If you’re planning a move to a new home, one of the top ways to ease the process is to declutter before you begin packing. After all, new digs mean a new start, and there’s no reason to hang on to anything that won’t have an active role in your new life.

To help you get started, McKendree Moving & Storage recommends these 20 items to toss or donate today:

  1. Items still in boxes from your last move
  2. Magazines or books you’ve never read or wont’ read again
  3. Clothes that you haven’t worn in a year
  4. Never-worn clothes that still have price tags
  5. Clothes your kids have outgrown
  6. Toys your kids haven’t played with in ages
  7. Gifts you received but never used
  8.  Projects you started but never finished
  9. Expired food items
  10. Expired medications
  11. Tax-related paperwork and receipts more than seven years old
  12. Anything broken, torn or otherwise busted
  13. Anything you’ve got too much or too many of
  14. Anything that won’t fit the style of your new home’s décor
  15. Old product boxes
  16. Takeout menus, especially if you’re moving to a new town
  17. Cheesy specialty coffee mugs
  18. Outdated technology (You know you still have a floppy disk or cassette tape hanging around)
  19. Knick-knacky souvenirs and touristy t-shirts
  20. Rusty tools

Let us help make your move to or from the Washington, DC metro area a smooth one. Call 800-530-2626 to schedule a consultation at our Waldorf, Elkridge or La Plata location today.

Top 20 Cities That Promise a Fat Paycheck

san jose california dtAmong the top reasons that individuals, couples and families pack up and move to new cities is a new job, promotion or job transfer that promises a bigger paycheck and higher quality of life. If you’re considering a career move that means relocating to another city, the US News & World Reports’ latest ranking of the best places to live in America offers a few suggestions.

Researchers gathered data on the 100 most populous US cities, ranking them from top to bottom based on a variety of factors including cost of living, quality of schools and healthcare, and access to well-paying jobs. For purposes of this blog post, however, we looked primarily at each city’s media annual salary to help you best pinpoint a potential new hometown with the highest chances of a paycheck boost.

Here are the top 20 cities, along with their median annual salary figures:

  1. San Jose, California – $75,770
  2. San Francisco, California – $64,990
  3. Washington, DC – $64,930
  4. Boston, Massachusetts – $60,540
  5. New York City, New York – $59,060
  6. Seattle, Washington – $57,370
  7. Hartford, Connecticut – $55,580
  8. New Haven, Connecticut – $53,350
  9. Denver, Colorado – $53,060
  10. San Diego, California – $53,020
  11. Los Angeles, California – $53,000
  12. Baltimore, Maryland – $52,460
  13. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota – $52,080
  14. Sacramento, California – $51,970
  15. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – $51,740
  16. Worcester, Massachusetts – $51,330
  17. Houston, Texas – $50,830
  18. Portland, Oregon – $50,710
  19. Chicago, Illinois – $50,410
  20. Santa Rosa, California – $49,800

If you’re considering a residential move and/or planning to relocate your business to or from the Washington, DC metropolitan area, call 800-530-2626 and speak with a moving specialist with McKendree Moving & Storage’s Waldorf, Elkridge or La Plata locations.

Top 10 States for Prospective Home Buyers in 2016

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Renting a house or apartment is one thing. But for most, buying a home is a major investment and a long-term commitment. On average, an individual or couple owns just three homes during their lifetimes – a small starter home in the early adulthood years, a larger home to accommodate children, and often, back again to a downsized abode after the children have moved away and it’s time to relax and enjoy the retirement years.

If you’re considering purchasing a home, there’s good news. Real estate experts say home prices in 2016 are expected to rise at just half the pace they did in 2015 and that homes are expected to remain on the market for longer periods of time. This means more available homes to choose from, more competitive financing options and more time to consider all factors and make the best decision for you and your family.

Still, some locales are more buyer-friendly than others, according to a recent study by GOBankingRates, an online resource for personal finance content news and tips. Researchers plied through information on all US states, ranking each on five top factors – housing affordability, renting costs compared with buying costs, year-over-year home value changes, average annual percentage rate for mortgages and property tax rates.

And the top 10 winners are:

  1. Maine
  2. Colorado
  3. Arkansas
  4. Missouri
  5. Tennessee
  6. Kansas
  7. Iowa
  8. South Dakota
  9. Florida
  10. Indiana

To get the lowdown on just where your prospective new home state ranks and why, check out the full analysis on GOBankingRates’ website. And if your next move takes you to or from the greater Washington DC metro area, call McKendree Moving & Storage at 800-530-2626 or request a quote online.

 

20 Safest Cities in America

Happy family

When considering a move, a top factor, particularly for single women and families with children, is safety. To help you make an informed decision, Neighborhood Scout, a division of SaaS, a Worcester, MA-based location-based data and mapping firm, issues an annual report of America’s 100 safest cities.

Each year, researchers pour over a plethora of violent- and property-crime data statistics on violations including burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, armed robbery, aggravated assault, rape and murder reported to the FBI in cities nationwide with 25,000 or more people. Once all the data is analyzed, the top 100 cities are ranked according to safety.

This year’s top 20 winners are:

  1. Ridgefield, CT
  2. Winona, MN
  3. Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
  4. Franklin, MA
  5. Bergenfield, NJ
  6. Lake in the Hills, IL
  7. Shrewsbury, MA
  8. Bartlett, IL
  9. Zionsville, IN
  10. Aliso Viejo, CA
  11. Weston, FL
  12. Needham, MA
  13. Parkland, FL
  14. Florence, AZ
  15. Pleasant Grove, UT
  16. Lexington, MA
  17. Ballwin, MO
  18. Buffalo Grove, IL
  19. Ridgewood, NY
  20. North Ridgeville, OH

If you’re a parent, you’ll be happy to know that these cities also tend to have the best school systems and the highest college graduation rates. To see the fill list of America’s 100 safest cities, visit Neighborhood Scout’s website.

If you’re considering a move to or from the Washington, DC metropolitan area, it’s never too early to start planning. Call McKendree Moving & Storage at 800-530-2626 to schedule a consultation at our Waldorf, Elkridge or LaPlata locations.

5 Reasons Not to Ask Your Friends to Help You Move

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We’ve all received or (admit it) made that dreaded phone call – The one that promises pizza and drinks in exchange for a few hours of help moving a buddy’s entire lot of earthly possessions from one locale to another. Best case scenario, this typically involves a pickup truck, lots of rope and bungee cords and a few bruises. Worst case, you save a few bucks but bust a years-long friendship for good.

Here at McKendree Moving & Storage, we’ve heard all the horror stories and humbly provide these these five top reasons NOT to ask your buddies to help you move:

They’re not reliable: Seriously. You love your buds to the moon and back. But if they’re not getting paid with a stack of bills, they’re likely to call in with any of a range of creative excuses – a busted alarm clock, a surprise headache or a demanding girlfriend who needs you to fix her leaky faucet instead.

  1. They don’t have what it takes – literally: A safe, timely and properly handled move takes a certain variety of equipment and supplies including dollies, furniture straps, panel carts, etc. Chances are your friends don’t have them and the costs to buy or rent them can add up quickly.
  2. They don’t have insurance: If they damage your stuff, you’re left with the cost.
  3. They can hurt themselves: Speaking of insurance (or the lack thereof), you may be on the hook legally and financially if a friend suffers an injury while helping you move.
  4. They’ll expect payback: Oh, yes. A friend may forget every other poignant moment of your years-long relationship but will remember helping you move for eternity. And when he or she decides to move, too – you’ll be the first to get that reciprocal phone call.

Clearly, having your buddies help you move may save you a few bucks in the short run, but could end up costing you big should a mishap occur. Save some time, stress and your friendship by calling in the pros instead. Call McKendree Moving & Storage at 800-530-2626.