August 28, 2014

Severe Weather Preparation Tips

Severe weather

Are you prepared for severe weather?  When we move to a new home, severe weather or other disasters are not usually top of mind. But it’s also important to have a plan to ensure your family stays safe.

Be sure you to add severe weather preparation to your to-do list while you are getting settled into your new home. Here are a few tips on how to be prepared when severe weather comes your way:

1. Build a kit: Flashlights, batteries, a weather radio, first-aid supplies, water and non-perishable food are just a few of the important items you should have ready to go. Be sure to put the kit somewhere easily accessible and everyone knows where it is.

2. Have a family plan: Your family may not be together when severe weather strikes. Have a plan in place so everyone knows where to meet or how to communicate in advance.

3. Designate a shelter: Sometimes severe weather escalates into something more dangerous like tornadoes or flash flooding. Identify the safest spot in your house during these types of weather events – usually a first-floor interior closet or bathroom away from windows.  

Do you have any severe weather tips? We want to hear from you! Stop by our Facebook page and share with us and our online community.

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March 11, 2014

Boston Relocation 2013 Infographic

2013 Moving Trends for the Boston Area INFOGRAPHICToday's installment of "Where We Go and Why We Go There" looks at beautiful Boston, Massachusetts. This New England metropolis is rich with history and happenings, while simultaneously existing as modern force in the worlds of commerce, education, and industry. However, like every city, Bean Town sees its fair share of departures and arrivals, as people move to and from Boston throughout the year.

Based on the top five destinations for people leaving Boston, one might conclude that the grey Atlantic weather has given them the blahs. Florida occupies four of the top five spots (Orlando, Tampa, Naples, and the South Florida Area), with the California Bay Area sneaking in at the #4 spot. Most people relocating from Boston seem to feel an affinity for the Atlantic Ocean... they just want to live near a warmer part of it.

However, when we look at points of origin for people moving to Boston, it helps to compare the stats. What specifically seems to be drawing people towards the Massachusetts capital?

  1. Washington, D.C. Nearby Washington, D.C., has a cost of living that's almost two-fifths higher than the national average. Couple that with an unemployment rate of 10.2%, and it's no wonder the D.C. Area sends a higher percentage of its residents to Boston than any other city in the country.

  2. Denver, Colorado. Long commute times and a too-hot-to-handle housing market are a few reasons why people are moving from Denver to Boston.

  3. Southern California. California falls into the list twice, with the #3 spot going to the southern part of the state (Los Angeles, San Diego, etc.). The cost of living in SoCal is 6.25% higher than the national average, and unemployment is currently at 8.9%.

  4. California Bay Area. Just a little bit farther up the California coast we find our #4 entry, the California Bay Area (San Francisco, San Jose, etc.). The Bay Area boasts an unemployment rate similar to its southern neighbors (8.9%), but also has a cost of living that's a whopping 99% higher than the national average.

  5. Pensacola, Florida. Rounding out the list at #5 is the only East Coast entry -- Pensacola. This Florida city has an unemployment rate similar to that of the D.C. Area (10.2%), but is also currently experiencing a negative job growth rate (-2.17%).
With an unemployment rate 2.2% lower than the national average, a property tax rate almost two dollars less than the national average, and an estimated rate of job growth expected to top 33% by 2022, it's no surprise that Boston is such a popular relocation option for so many. It can't just be for the baked beans.

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February 28, 2014

Relocation WrapUp 2013 INFOGRAPHIC

2013 Moving Trends for the St Louis Area INFOGRAPHICLast year was a big year for moving. More than 35 million people relocated in the United States in 2013. In fact, Americans move more frequently than the vast majority of the world. The only country with a more "nomadic" population than the U.S. is New Zealand.

Of those 35 million movers last year, over 17 million of them were considered long distance. The abundance of more affordable and flexible moving options made relocating across the country a much easier prospect. Services such as moving containers and full-service moving companies, both of which take the actual driving burden off the client, were popular choices.

But those options come with a price. The average cost for a professional household move came in at just over $12,000. Contributing factors to that final number included square footage of home, weight of belongings, distance of move, and client involvement (whether or not the customer packed, loaded, and unloaded their own boxes).

It's not surprising that customers were willing to pay extra in order to avoid the usual hassles of moving. Studies have shown that unpacking and packing are considered the most stressful parts of the entire moving process, which is an impressive claim, given the inherent stress of the entire process itself.

Some movers were able to save money by adjusting their timetables. The most popular relocation month in 2013 was August, with Friday being the most popular day of the week to load. Experts agree that, by avoiding these "peak" moving times whenever possible, customers can shave a little bit off the overall cost of the move. Only 18% of all the moves in 2013 took place during the winter.

The research also shows that moving is very much a young person's game. Americans ages 18-34 moved more than any other demographic in 2013. And we may be moving more: the average American moves 12 times in their entire life, up from 11 as little as a few years ago.

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