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Three Healthiest Cities in the United States

Rochester MN Skyline

Life expectancy in the United States has steadily risen over the past decades, thanks in large part to medical advancements, increased health information via the internet and a boost in interest in healthy lifestyles. If you’re a bit of a health nut, you’ll be in good company with a move to one of the nation’s top healthiest cities, as determined in a recent 24/7 Wall St. special report.

The report ranked country’s 25 healthiest cities based on a range of criteria, the top factors being each areas’ premature death rate, adult obesity rate, percent of adults without insurance and the median household income. The lower the former three and the higher the latter, the healthier the locals.

Here are the three healthiest cities, along with information on those four crucial factors:

1. Rochester, MN: While it’s home to one of the main locations of the famed Mayo Clinic, but there are lots of options for medical care – Upward of 180 primary care physicians for every 100,000 area residents. That figure reflects more doctors per capital than any other US city. Adults living in Rochester say they have an average of just 2.4 physically unhealthy days per month and are more likely to be physically active than those in other areas.

Premature death rate: 229.7 (per 100,000 residents)
Adult obesity rate: 25.1%
Pct. adults without health insurance: 5.4%
Median household income: $64,210

2. San Jose-Sunnyvale Santa Clara, CA: Topping the reasons for average great health in this area is financial stability. Households there earn upward of $92,960 per year, the highest median household income of any US metro area. This makes it all the easier to afford healthy food options. Plus, more than 98 percent of the population enjoys regular access to public parks, recreation centers, walking paths and other features that promote physical activity.

Premature death rate: 200.6 (per 100,000 residents)
Adult obesity rate: 19.6%
Pct. adults without health insurance: 7.1%
Median household income: $92,960

3. Ames, IA: Ames (tied with Fargo, North Dakota) boasted the lowest unemployment rate of any US metropolitan area in 2015 – an enviable 2.4 percent. That low unemployment rate translates to a high insured rate. In fact, just 5.9 percent of the population too young for Medicare lacks insurance – half the national rate of 11.7 percent.

Premature death rate: 214.3 (per 100,000 residents)
Adult obesity rate: 25.6%
Pct. adults without health insurance: 5.9%
Median household income: $51,270

Visit 24/7 Wall St.’s website to see the full list of the nation’s 25 healthiest cities. And if you’re considering a move to one of them from the Washington DC metro area, call 800-530-2626 to schedule an appointment with McKendree Moving & Storage.

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

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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.

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.

 

10 States Where You’re Sure to Find Success

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Feeling stuck in your career? Got an idea for an entrepreneurial venture? Thinking about relocating your company to new digs? Well, you know what they say – The key to success is “location, location, location.” So, if you’re considering making a move for a career boost, you’ll be interested in the results of a recent study by financial services provider GoBankingRates.

The recently-released report ranks the nation’s wealthiest and most successful states, based on these factors:

  • Average income of the top one percent
  • Average income of the bottom 99 percent
  • Poverty rate
  • Percentage of population in the upper, middle and lower classes
  • Number of millionaires and billionaires
  • Ratio of millionaires to total households

Topping the list – Connecticut. Dubbed the Constitution State (because it’s believed that ideas for the writing of the US Constitution were drawn from the state’s first constitution), it’s home to a upward of 101,000 millionaire households and 12 billionaires. In fact, the average income of the top one-percenters in Connecticut is an enviable $2.4 million. But even those not drawing seven figures are doing relatively well. The average income of the other 99 percent there is a very respectable $56,445.

“Living in a state that offers families a richer life and boasts a fair share of people who are thriving financially might help you achieve the financial success you’ve always wanted,” GoBankingRates says.

So, where should you make your next career move? Here are the top 10 most successful states:

  1. Connecticut
  2. Maryland
  3. New Jersey
  4. Massachusetts
  5. New Hampshire
  6. Washington, DC
  7. California
  8. Alaska
  9. North Dakota
  10. Virginia

No matter where you’re seeking success, if you plan a move to or from the Washington, DC metro area, McKendree Moving & Storage can help. Call 800-530-2626 to schedule a consultation or visit us online to request a free quote.

Nashville Tops America’s 15 Friendliest Cities List

Nashville, TN Skyline

When choosing a new city to live, work, find love or raise a family, friendliness can prove a major decision point. To that end, Travel+Leisure magazine annually compiles and releases its list of America’s Favorite Cities, including those that offer the highest friendliness factors.

This year, the highly read publication asked readers to rank 38 of the nation’s major metropolitan areas for sought-after features such as great pizza joints, swanky wine bars, eclectic coffee houses, pedestrian-friendly streets, luxury shopping districts with cool, independent boutiques and picnic table-equipped food truck pods.

Dominating the 2016 list are metro areas in the country’s heartland, plus an artsy Southwest locale and one tropical island destination. Did your current or future hometown make the list? Here’s how the top 15 finishers played out:

  1. Nashville, Tennessee – The country music capital known as the Athens of the South
  2. Salt Lake City, Utah – The Crossroads of the West
  3. Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota – The Twin Cities
  4. Kansas City, Missouri – The Jazz and BBQ capital known as the Paris of the Plains
  5. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Quite aptly known as The Big Friendly
  6. Charleston, South Carolina – The Big Sweet Grass Basket
  7. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – The City of Bridges
  8. New Orleans, Louisiana – The Big Easy
  9. Albuquerque, New Mexico – The Duke City
  10. Austin, Texas – Hippie Haven
  11. Houston, Texas – Known as The Big Heart for welcoming and assisting victims of Hurricane Katrina
  12. Honolulu, Hawaii – The Big Pineapple
  13. Louisville, Kentucky – The City of Beautiful Searches
  14. Portland, Oregon – City of Roses
  15. Atlanta, Georgia – Hot ‘Lanta, the Empire City of the South

If you’re considering a move between one of these amiable areas and the Washington, DC metro area, call 800-530-2626 to schedule a consultation with a relocation expert with McKendree Moving & Storage.