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Tampa, Florida is currently the number one city in the US seeing a major influx of new residents. This amazing city offers the perfect combination of a chill, laid-back beach vibe coupled with all the makings of a fast-paced, exciting city for those after the next big career move! Here’s a look at why the gorgeous coastal city of Tampa Bay is welcoming in the migrants, and why you may want to consider a move there.

Jobs

There are a lot of jobs in Tampa, and the job creation is really strong. In fact, the city as a whole is really into staying innovative, and through unique partnerships with companies like Foursquare, they are aiming to offer one of the best lifestyle options for career-driving people. One of the most important factors when it comes to relocating for your career is making sure the environment suits you, so if the great scenery, endless entertainment and lifestyle activities, along with the excellent job market are your idea of a grand place to live, Tampa will surely feel like home.

Dream Home

While Tampa, (and all of Florida in general) is still slowly (but surely) recovering from the Great Recession, the housing market is extremely attractive. Due to the fact that there are less foreign buyers nowadays, and that the housing market is pretty loaded with available houses, prices are great so those looking to purchase have a lot going in their favor.

Food Culture

The food culture in Tampa is rockin’. Whether you fancy yourself a foodie, always aiming to challenge yourself to new tastes, or are just the type of person who loves super fresh seafood, Tampa may be the ideal city for you! Unique cafes, food trucks, gastropubs that zero-in on satisfying fare, farm-to-table offerings; Tampa’s got it all to keep your tastebuds happy!

Whether you’re local; as in living in the State of Florida, or are located elsewhere in the country and are considering a long distance move, Tampa is one of the best locations offering a wealth of options; both for business and pleasure. Between the gorgeous scenery, fabulous weather, and the fact that there is always something to do (shopping, nightlife, sports events, watersports, cultural stuff) Tampa offers a good level of quality of life. If you’re going to be moving there, or are considering a move there, we highly suggest you get connected with American Van Lines to make your move go as smoothly and as hang-up free as possible. We manage local, as well as long distance moves, so allow us to help you make that next chapter a smooth one!

The post Tampa – Why People From Everywhere are Moving There appeared first on American Van Lines.

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Home inspections are one of the last steps to get completed when purchasing a home, however they can be among the most stressful. Inspections are unavoidable; they have to be done, and generally, they will come back with at least one issue. While many problems are no big deal, and getting them fixed prior to purchase should not be a problem, other difficulties are really not a good idea to deal with, and may warn you of impending catastrophe if you decide to proceed with ownership. If any of the following items appears on the inspection of the home you’re looking at, be prepared to jump ship, if not, proceed extremely cautiously from that point on.

  • Aluminum Wiring: Used as a cheaper alternative to copper in the 1970’s, aluminum wiring presents a range of dangers, one of them being causing fire because it is known to expand and contract when exposed to heat. If a home is found to have aluminum wiring, it needs to be completely re-worked/ replaced with copper, and this expense costs thousands of dollars.
  • Foundation Issues: Dealing with foundation problems can be extremely costly, and can take an enormous amount of time to repair, making them one of the greatest deal-breakers for potential homeowners. If foundation issues are indicated, hire a licensed structural engineer for proper examination, to fully understand what lies ahead.
  • Upgrades Done Without Permits: Done without proper permits from the city and/ or county can result in errors that won’t be covered on the home insurance policy, so try to get as much information as possible regarding all repairs and improvements that have been done.
  • Plumbing with Polybutylene Pipes: These pipes were popular in the 1980’s as a low-cost alternative to copper pipes, but they degenerated quickly because they could not hold up against chlorinated water, resulting in catastrophic leaks and flooding. The problem is, is that many homes still have these pipes in use because an issue has not occurred yet. However, in these cases it’s not a matter of if, but when, and when it happens, the cost to replace all piping will run in the vicinity of over $10,000.
  • Underground Oil Tanks: These used to be a common (yet dangerous) source of energy for heating homes back in the day, and they were filled with propane. In some cases, these tanks still exist, and they can be a potential hazard waiting to happen. In the event of leaks, the cost to remove these tanks can run in upwards of $10,000, so be warned!

The post Home Inspection Red Flags appeared first on American Van Lines.

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If you are renovating your home with the intention of selling at some point in the future, you may be looking at a variety of different improvement options. Want to know the best areas to concentrate on? Here’s a deeper look:

  • What’s Necessary: If you want to get your home sold, it should be in great condition, nothing major should be lacking, the roof should be in top condition, your landscaping should ideally be groomed, and every last square inch should be spotless. Appliances and other fixtures could do with modern updates, so long as they are not unnecessarily upgraded. Going for as blank of a canvas as possible is also smart, because even though you’d love to show off your killer skills when it comes to design and decor, the potential buyers should be able to envision themselves in the space and able to make their own mark on the home; not acclimate into your customized, and highly-stylized settings. Basics in great condition are necessary; fanciful upgrades not so much.
  • The Kitchen: This is the room most people and families spend the most amount of time in, and as long as your renos aren’t overkill, they’re typically very much worth it to have a functional, spacious, well-updated, beautiful kitchen. New cabinets and attractive counters are big selling points.
  • Appliances: Great appliances will typically get you close to what you paid for them in a sale, so don’t skimp on quality there. Appliances are a major part of your kitchen, which is one of the most important rooms in the home. They don’t have to be ostentatiously high end models, but good, newer, modern, yet basic units will do you a few favors in the long run. They add to the home’s move-in quality; something many buyers are aiming for.
  • Fresh Paint: A fresh coat of paint does so much for a home, and it should always be done right before listing your home. It will enhance the overall freshness of a home, and make it more inviting. This is one of the most cost-effective measures you can take, so do not ever slack on it.
  • What’s Not Worth it: In-home movie theatres, built-in humidors, decked out custom closets, decorative pedestal sinks, elaborate chandeliers in modest homes; unless you’re okay with not recovering most of money you spend, these types of upgrades will not appeal to the broad array of people checking out your home. The appraised value will not be anywhere near what you’ve spent, so keep it simple, unless you don’t mind spending. Think functional and attractive; potential buyers will be more interested in useful spaces than overly styled decor.

The post Renovations You Need and Renovations You Don’t appeared first on American Van Lines.

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This is just a friendly public service reminder, wishing you a fantastic Labor Day Weekend. Who doesn’t love a three-day weekend, courtesy of our nation, thanking us all for the hard work bestowed upon our country, benefitting our economy? Always a great weekend spent with friends and family, at the beach or barbeque, a little extra time off to chill and recoup is always a blessing.For many people throughout the USA, Labor Day marks the end of summer, which can be a bittersweet send off to the best season of the year, and if you are among them, I highly encourage you to get outdoors and enjoy it because you’ve got three more seasons to get through until summer comes around again!

The Central Labor Union of New York City was certainly onto something when they started this holiday, set for the first monday of September, back in 1882. There is some mixed factual info regarding the actual history of the holiday, however it is most commonly known to have been instituted in an effort to appease American laborers who were vying for better treatment on the job, as well as better rights in regards to their time off. In addition to the justices they won, the American people were then granted an extra day off on behalf of their contributions to this great nation.

I am personally a big believer in time off. Yes, I am very much a hard worker, and believe it is necessary to give your work your all the majority of the time, however time off is exceptionally valuable, and essential to great performance. You cannot run at full-speed, 90-miles-an-hour permanently. Work hard, but remember to make an effort to reset; make the time to turn off all the devices, step away from the email, turn off your work brain for a short time and just live for a little while. You’ll work better as a result, you’ll think more clearly because your stress will have been minimized, and you will perform overall more effectively because you will not be daydreaming about being elsewhere.

So, this Labor Day Weekend, I hope you take the whole weekend to yourself, enjoy your family and friends, and have yourself a really fun time. Reward yourself for all the hard work you put in, and just live in the moment for a while. Everything important can wait until Tuesday. Stay safe, and have a great Labor Day!

The post Enjoy Your Labor Day Weekend! appeared first on American Van Lines.

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There is a huge amount of information out there about moving, and coming from an industry expert and professional, I’m telling you straightforwardly: don’t believe it all. Because I’ve done this for over 25 years, I’m going to share a few words of wisdom with you. Here is my take on moving myths, and the reality behind them.

Myth 1: Free Boxes are the Best Boxes

Not necessarily the case. New boxes come with the benefit of being new; they haven’t been used, put through the ringer carrying 55 lbs of bananas, won’t come stained, dirty, or have their reinforcements compromised from use. I’m not saying don’t use used boxes, but for fragile items, heavy things, or when you want to fit as much stuff into the largest box possible, go for new. Plus, new boxes come with the advantage of having been made and designed specifically for moving.

Myth 2: Packing at the Last Minute is Best

Tempting though it may be, it’s the worst idea ever unless you live in a single room, don’t have more gear than will fit in your hatchback, and are not going to be dealing with a lot strategizing to make that move happen. For the rest of us, moves need to be planned very well because there is so much involved in moving homes. Start arranging your move 2 months out, and pace yourself accordingly on a week-by-week basis.

Myth 3: Friday is the Best Day to Move

Not necessarily, and depending on your schedule and the move schedule, and all the other variables involved, don’t discount those other 6 days. Moving on a Friday, the most common day of the week to move, is a misconception, and moving company rates can often be drastically higher. Yes, you get the benefit of spending your weekend unpacking, but you’ve got plenty of options. Middle of the week moves will put you in prime time to slowly start unpacking before the weekend, and you may not have to spend your entire weekend unpacking; you may actually be able to enjoy some downtime in your new home before heading back to work on Monday.

Myth 4: A Marker is a Marker

No, definitely not. When packing your boxes, be sure to have an available assortment of high-quality permanent markers ready to go. They’re better for writing on cardboard, and you can be sure they won’t be smearing or running if your box gets water or rain splashed on it.

You can’t say you haven’t been warned. Moving done right, and avoiding the misinformation can make things much less stressful and time consuming. Pay attention to these little details; they can add up big time for your benefit!

The post Moving Myths Busted appeared first on American Van Lines.

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Social media is one of the most dynamic channels of communication in today’s day and age. It covers every sector imaginable, and allows you to market in so many different yet specific areas. Whether it’s on a personal level involving staying in touch and sharing selfies, or it involves complex marketing strategies that enable you to target millions of customers in a variety of areas, social media presents unlimited ways of building business relationships and honing your technical, professional skills.

To take advantage of all the opportunities available through social media, here are three questions you can ask yourself to start carving out a proper direction.

What am I Aiming to Learn?

In what ways are you trying to expand your knowledge? Are you wanting to learn more about your own industry from other angles, or in a deeper way? Do some research, if you don’t already have names in mind, of those you admire. Industry leaders are exceptionally important in terms of gaining insight and following by their wise example. This is one of the best channels to see what types of hashtags are being used in your industry, and can open up new doors to different resources available. If you’re using Twitter and LinkedIn, which are the best social platforms for maintaining business relations, resharing the useful content you’ve found can be an excellent way of connecting with others in the same areas and community.

What Kind of Time Can I Allot for Learning?

Finding the time can be challenging, because everyone needs more time. Here’s where multitasking skills can come in mega-useful. If you have a long commute, spend a few hours a week at the gym or jogging through the neighborhood, or even while cleaning the house or washing the car, listen to relevant podcasts during those boring chunks of wasted time by maximizing them.

Who do I want to Learn From, and With?

Community is essential to our existences and many people learn best when immersed in a group of like-minded individuals. Luckily, social media is perfect for this because it is an excellent way to participate in active learning; there are endless communities on Facebook and LinkedIn, and it all comes down to networking. Start chatting, and one great way to begin is by start asking those you know personally if they’re in any communities online dedicated to business development.

Social media is such a major part of our world nowadays that being connected to others, especially those who share similar values, goals, desires, and can help in the exchange of learning and information is one of the greatest benefits to our mobile world. In terms of ongoing professional development, few avenues offer greater benefits than social media, especially in regards to networking and your long term career goals.

The post Social Media in the Business World: It’s Not Just Social appeared first on American Van Lines.

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The US is vast and wide, and each state seemingly has its own distinct culture, even though it is part of a sprawling union. As movers, we are always hearing discussion on where people think the best places to raise a family are, and it is certainly true that many people relocate with this in mind.

So where are the best places to raise a family in the US? It depends on your interests, needs, and wants, however according to a recent report done by the Annie E Casey Foundation, in which a variety of factors are totalled up, some states are just better than others. Determining factors included overall child health and well-being, economic well-being, education numbers, and the quality of communities.

Of course, different lifestyles abound across the map, and what suits one family may not be the best for another. However, according to CNN’s research, these are the best places in America to raise a family.

  • 1. Minnesota
  • 2. Massachusetts
  • 3. Iowa
  • 4. New Hampshire
  • 5. Connecticut

The states that came in at the bottom of the list, as the worst in the country to raise a family include:

  • 46. Alabama
  • 47. Nevada
  • 48. Louisiana
  • 49. New Mexico
  • 50. Mississippi

The Northeast has long maintained positive numbers as an excellent place to raise children, however it is very interesting that in the past 10 years, the Midwest has seen such improved conditions that is really challenging the status quo of the Northeast. With comfortable economic well-being, health, decent quality education, and communities, living in states such as Minnesota, (the top of the list) and Iowa, #3, are certainly excellent options for raising a family comfortably and happily. In the Northeast, states that commonly hold top honors such as Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire additionally round out the top five for their high quality of life in regards to children.

Are you looking to make a move that will benefit your children best? Consider the top five states. Of course, this is completely subjective and in no way a guarantee that it will be a choice move for your family, but certainly consider your options if you’re looking to make a change on behalf of your children.

The post Best States to Raise Children in appeared first on American Van Lines.

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When it comes to packing up your home when it’s time to move, do you get excited? Is it something you relish in doing? Can’t wait for the next time you have to go through every last minute detail in your home and bundle bubble wrap around every single glass, and put your entire lifetime’s worth of possessions into boxes to haul off to another location? Yeah, so does everyone.

Sarcasm aside, packing and staying on top of every room, and every item you own is a grueling task, and no one looks forward to it. It’s tedious, time-consuming, frustrating, and complicated. Along with everything else that needs to get done in order to move, packing is among the most annoying, yet essential. So, that’s where we come in. We are experts, and if you’d like, we can handle all of the packing for you. Seriously; why not leave the packing to your movers? Here’s a look at all the reasons we’ll have it under control easily.

  • Experience: It counts for a whole lot, and while you may be overwhelmed with the move, professional movers have the know-how and experience to get the whole house packed properly and efficiently.
  • Insurance: Of course, it all depends on the circumstances surrounding your individual move, however many moving insurance companies will not cover boxes you pack yourself for the sake of liabilities. There is also always the possibility of damaging your goods by unintentionally packing your items incorrectly, so here’s another great reason to let someone else handle it.
  • Security: Trusting experts to manage all of your items, including delicate and fragile pieces can be a lifesaver because it saves you the stress of making sure they are properly protected. While we cannot vouch for the services of others, at AVL, our movers are highly trained, highly experienced individuals who are able to pack all varieties of delicate items securely. Whether it’s expensive gaming equipment, fragile china or ceramics, keepsakes, large breakables, or anything else you have in your home of which you are unsure about risking the loss on, these things are much better in the hands of pros who know exactly how to pack them to secure against damage in a moving environment.

So, why take unnecessary risk and stress yourself over the most difficult task if you have a support team ready to go, and ready to handle the most difficult aspects of moving for you? Let the experts do the packing. Moving is hard; American Van Lines is here to help make it easy!

The post Why Trusting Experts to do the Packing is the Best appeared first on American Van Lines.

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When moving, especially when using American Van Lines as your preferred moving company, you most likely expect things to be done efficiently, and with expert care. We take pride in handling the hardest parts of your move, because as you open this new chapter, you need to be present to handle the important stuff; like making sure your kids are comfortable. You should be able to use your time effectively so that you can transition smoothly, and do what’s necessary to ensure that your life will be able to continue with as minimal interruption as possible.

However, before you embark on your move, and before you enlist the services of a professional moving company, you should be aware that there are some things you’re going to have to handle on your own. No matter how qualified and excellent your mover is, the following items will not be permitted to be moved by them. Here is a look so that you can prepare properly ahead of time.

  • Your Pets: our movers will not move your pets. They are living, breathing animals; not items, so you must arrange moving them in a proper manner, on your own. If you’re really lost on how to handle it, contact your vet for suggestions on professional pet movers. They exist.
  • Firearms: All sorts of legal issues can be run into with firearms, so never, ever expect your mover to handle yours. If you’re going to be crossing state lines, make sure you have all the appropriate paperwork you’ll need, and be sure to know ahead of time all possible rules and regulations ahead. And as always, be sure everything firearm related is out of the reach of children.
  • Plants: Movers, generally, will not handle anything that is alive; houseplants included. The issues can range from liability to transporting insects and other matters of a biological nature. Infestations can be the result, and introducing non-native species to other areas they would not naturally exist is another. Some states even forbid movers to handle/ move houseplants, so get this straightened out ahead of time.
  • Valuables: These are just always safest in your own possession, so be sure to keep anything of a high value, sentimental value, personal value with you at all times. This will keep your mind at ease, and prevent any issues in case anything disappears.

The post Cover Your Tracks: What Your Mover Will Not Move appeared first on American Van Lines.

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Lading, binding, flight charges, PBO, consignor, what? If you’re working with a mover, you may be caught off guard a little by their seemingly strange moving-speak. Here’s a look at the most common moving lingo, deciphered, along with descriptions so you have a firm understanding of what we’re talking about, right from the start. However, in the meantime, here are terms you are most likely going to hear, and what they mean.

  • Bill of Lading: Yes, this is derived from a very old school term, but it has stuck around in our industry. Basically, lading means to load onto a cargo ship, and the term originated centuries back during the age of international maritime shipping. Currently however, it’s meaning is a little different. It is a term used to describe the agreement between the individual and the moving company, usually indicating that all items of possession will be loaded onto a moving truck, and delivered to a specific location. It also will serve as your receipt, so be sure to examine it thoroughly upon your move.
  • Binding Estimate: This is the guaranteed cost given by a moving company that is based on your home’s inventory. The binding estimate works in such a way that if the actual weight of your shipment exceeds the written estimate, you will be entitled to pay only the amount quoted on the binding estimate. Keep in mind that these are very different from non-binding estimates.
  • Dunnage: Yet another old school term that dates back to the days of shipping, Dunnage refers to the items used to protect your home’s furniture and valuables during the move.
  • Flight Charge: If your move involves flights of stairs in either location (the one you’re moving into, or out of) this is something to keep in mind, because you will probably be charged for it.
  • PBO: This stands for Packed by Owner, and literally, that’s exactly what it means; the items you have packed yourself.
  • Consignor: It translates to “shipper” in the moving industry, and it goes along with “consignee” who is the receiving party of the goods.

How was that moving-language lesson for today? Feeling better about communicating with your moving company? We hope that’s the case! Of course, when working with American Van Lines, you can feel free to ask questions, inquire, or request that we explain something at anytime because we value your communication as well as concerns, whether you speak moving lingo or not!

The post Moving Lingo appeared first on American Van Lines.

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