How Cost of Living Is Determined in Your Region

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Where is your dream place to live? Are you imagining somewhere tropical? Somewhere urban? Somewhere rural and mountainous? Before you get too excited about the prospect of living elsewhere, it’s important to consider the cost of living in any given location. It’s often going to cost more to live in tropical and urban areas than it is in rural areas.

But cost of living is more nuanced than that, which is why we have tools like cost of living calculators to help us make decisions before taking new jobs or making big moves. Here’s a look at how cost of living is calculated and how it can be interpreted.

What Is Cost of Living?

In simple terms, cost of living is the difference in how much products and services cost across different cities and regions. You can find many different cost of living indexes, and each will have its own methodology. But each cost of living index seeks to express how much common goods cost in one area. These usually include housing, food, healthcare, utilities, clothing, education, entertainment and more.

A salary of $50,000 will go a lot farther in a place like Louisville (with a low cost of living) than it will in a place like Los Angeles (with a high cost of living). Salaries and other compensation in high-cost-of-living-areas tend to be higher than those in low-cost-of-living-areas.

How Cost of Living Is Calculated

Most cost of living indexes use what’s known as a “basket of consumer goods.” These indexes track how much a collection of common goods costs at any given time. The types of goods in a basket change over time to reflect shifts in consumer behavior. The cost of a basket of goods in one location can be compared to that same basket in another location — which highlights differences in cost of living.

The County’s Most Affordable Places

It’s probably no surprise that the most expensive places to live in the United States are large urban areas like New York City, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. But what are the most affordable places?

Topping the list of most affordable places to live in the United States among the largest 100 cities is Des Moines, Iowa, where less than 25% of income is spent on living expenses. Other affordable places to live include Omaha, Indianapolis, Grand Rapids and Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Mid Atlantic Van Lines: Your Cross-Country Moving Company

No matter where you’re moving — and no matter how much it costs to live there — Mid Atlantic Van Lines can help ensure that your belongings arrive safely. We are the cross-country moving company that uses experience, knowledge and integrity to get your things from one place to another without stress so you can focus on what matters most.

Moving can be tough. But when you choose Mid Atlantic Van Lines, we make things as easy as they can be as your move to your new home.

Contact us today about serving as your cross-country moving company.

Homeowner’s vs. Renter’s Insurance

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Navigating the insurance world can be challenging. There are so many different types of insurance, and none of them are free, unfortunately. How can you know what kind of insurance you need?

Here’s some good news: Both renter’s and homeowner’s insurance can offer wide-ranging benefits that help in areas that may seem unrelated to your home. Take a look at the differences between homeowner’s and renter’s insurance, as well as what to expect from each of them.

Renter’s Insurance

Renter’s insurance is not generally required — it’s something you choose for yourself. But it’s often a very good choice to make, since it’s extremely affordable. Renter’s insurance is designed to protect against the loss of personal property. When you’re applying for renter’s insurance, the insurance provider will ask about the cost to replace all of your personal property if it’s lost for any reason. This type of insurance has nothing to do with the actual structure — that’s insurance your landlord would take out.

One added benefit of renter’s insurance is that it may cover personal liability. For example, if you get sued for some reason, your renter’s insurance policy may cover a portion or all of your legal expenses. This is a helpful benefit that is also available with many homeowner’s insurance policies.

Homeowner’s Insurance

Homeowner’s insurance is something that’s required — you can’t own a home without it.

Unlike renter’s insurance, a homeowner’s policy will cover the actual property and any attached structures like garages, as well as personal property. Since you don’t have a choice on whether or not to get a homeowner’s insurance policy, you can shop around based on price and benefits. In short, you’re looking to get the most value out of your investment in homeowner’s insurance.

It’s always a good idea to start with your auto insurance provider — to see about bundling your policies for a discount — and then get quotes from several other providers. That should provide enough of a snapshot to help you make the right choice.

Like renter’s insurance, a homeowner’s insurance policy will also cover personal liability. No one ever anticipates getting sued, but that’s why you need insurance — it’s there for the unexpected.

Know going in that homeowner’s insurance tends to be far more expensive than renter’s insurance. Why is this? Because your homeowner’s policy is covering a whole lot more. Renter’s insurance is an incredible deal because it typically costs only a few dollars a month. That’s not the case for homeowner’s — but it’s still worth the protection it provides against damage to your home and property.

Count on Mid Atlantic Van Lines

When you’re ready to move, make sure you have the right interstate moving company to get your belongings from one home to another. At Mid Atlantic Van Lines, we work with both renters and buyers to ensure that their things are taking care of on long journeys between cities and states. Let us take care of your move so you can focus on other important tasks, like finding the right renter’s or homeowner’s insurance policy for your new place.

Contact us today about serving as your reliable, trustworthy interstate moving company.

5 Tips to Help Sell Your Home Fast

for sale sign in front of house

Are you wondering how to sell your home fast? No one wants their home to linger on the market, especially when they’ve already made an offer on a new house.

Not only is it difficult to plan a move with an active listing on the market, but a home that’s been for sale for weeks and weeks (or months and months) begins to look questionable. Buyers may wonder what’s wrong with it to make it linger on the market for so long.

Make sure your home sells as quickly as possible when you follow these five tips:

  1. Landscaping: One fast way to ensure your home looks its best and makes a great first impression is to improve your landscaping. You can spend just a little bit at a nursery to secure plants and greenery that can pay big dividends in selling your home quickly.
  2. Small Updates: You don’t need to remodel your home to help it sell quickly. Moving your home off the market fast can be a matter of making just a few small updates — like new paint. At most, consider ripping out and replacing old carpet. These small updates may come at a cost, and they may not seem like they would make a huge difference, but it’s all about making a first impression — and these updates can help you do that.
  3. Staging: You want to help your home feel lived-in without feeling too personal. That is, make sure it’s warm and inviting, but stay away from plastering family photos and kids’ arts and crafts projects all over the home. Also, clear away the clutter and thin out your closets to make the home feel larger than it really is.
  4. Marketing: It’s no longer effective to just put a sign in the front yard, throw a listing on the MLS and hope for the best. People are looking for houses online more and more, so make sure your home is well-documented online. Professional-quality photos of your home are a must, and so are video features like virtual walkthroughs. Help prospective buyers fall in love with your home before they ever see it in real life.
  5. Pricing: Take a look at comparable properties that have sold in the area — and ones that have lingered on the market. How is your home different, unique and better? Be sure to use these comparable properties as guides for how to price your home. There’s one truth in real estate, and it’s this: An appropriately priced home will sell fast. You have to determine what the appropriate price is and whether you’re willing to accept it.

Once you’ve sold your home and found a new one, it’s time to find a professional packing and moving service. At Mid Atlantic Van Lines, we work with individuals and families each day to ensure they move successfully from one home to another while taking care of their belongings.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you with this new chapter of your life.

The Pros and Cons of Renting Out Your Old Home

It’s an easy thing to ponder when you’re thinking about moving: Should I rent my old home? There’s a certain attachment to the old home, which makes renting it that much more attractive. There’s also the idea of a steady stream of income that accompanies renting your old home.

But like so much else in life, there are benefits of renting your old home just as there are drawbacks. To help you make the best decision for your unique situation, here’s a look at some of the pros and cons of renting your old home.

Pros of Renting Your Old Home

There are some investors who swear by real estate. Few things in life are sure to appreciate quite like a good piece of property. When you choose to invest in real estate, you’re choosing an investment that’s going to help you build wealth over the long term.

The key with any renting situation is to create enough revenue to cover the principal and interest on any existing loan as well as your taxes, insurance, repairs and maintenance. That’s a tall order. But keep in mind that even if you don’t make enough in rent to cover all of those expenses, you’re still building equity and maintaining an asset that will almost surely appreciate in the years to come.

Rental properties may also present certain tax benefits, depending on the specific situation.

Cons of Renting Your Old Home

Okay, so it’s definitely not all upside. There are a number of cons, too, and each should be carefully considered before you jump into renting out a property. First of all, you’re still on the hook for maintenance and repairs. This can be both costly and inconvenient. You can find a go-to source for maintenance and repairs, but this only increases the expense over doing it yourself.

There’s also the issue of occupancy. It’s great to see rent payments roll in when the property is leased — but what about when it’s not? You’ll still be responsible for mortgage payments, taxes and insurance, but you won’t have any of the revenue to help offset those costs. Not everyone can afford to cover these expenses in the absence of revenue.

Finally, there’s the hassle of finding the right tenants. You certainly don’t want to get caught up in a situation where your renters are making late payments or damaging your property. But that can happen without a comprehensive application process.

Mid Atlantic Van Lines: Your Moving and Storage Company

Is renting your old home right for you? Only you can answer that question. Take a look at your financial situation and take the time required to weigh these pros and cons before making a decision.

And, when you need a moving and storage company to help with the move to your new home, remember Mid Atlantic Van Lines. We can make life easier by taking care of your belongings and ensuring they arrive safely at your new abode.

Contact us today about serving as your moving and storage company.

Must-Have Essentials on Your First Day Moved Into a Newly Built Home

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So, the big day is almost here. You’re about to move into your new home and you want to create a to-do list that includes everything that needs to be done before you arrive. What exactly should be on that list?

You don’t have to wonder anymore, because we’ve taken care of the details for you. First thing’s first: if you’re moving from state to state, you need a long-distance moving and packing company. And then, on your first day, you’ll need the following:

  • Utilities: Make sure everything is set up beforehand. You don’t want to walk into your new home only to find the electricity isn’t on, the water isn’t running or the gas isn’t connected. Call your utility providers ahead of time and set up an activation for the day before you move in. This will ensure that everything is ready to go on Day One.
  • Cable/Internet/Phone: Call a few weeks in advance of your move to schedule cable, internet, and phone installation for your move-in day. These are creature comforts that most of us have come to fully rely on, and you’ll want to have them up and running as quickly as possible. There’s no better time for this than move-in day. Consider an afternoon installation so you’ll have the morning to get things organized.
  • Appliance Delivery: Are you ordering new appliances for your new home? This is fairly typical for new homeowners. Go ahead and schedule delivery for the day of your move-in. Unlike with your cable, try to schedule for the morning rather than the afternoon. It’s easier to get your appliances into place before your home is full of boxes and other items that will surely find themselves strewn about the house. Having appliances squared away ahead of time just makes everything easier.

Moving provides enough stress on its own. That stress is only heightened the farther you move from your old home to your new one. When you have your utilities, cable, internet, phone and appliances all scheduled and taken care of well ahead of time, that stress is reduced as much as it possibly can be. You can better handle all of the unexpected things that are sure to come up on moving day.

Choose Mid Atlantic Van Lines

Securing a long-distance moving and storage company for your big day is a great way to reduce the stress — choosing a dependable and reliable company to care for your belongings and help you get moved in. At Mid Atlantic Van Lines, we are that company. Let us take care of the moving so you can focus on the many other things that demand your attention.

GET A FREE QUOTE

Contact us today about securing Mid Atlantic Van Lines for your long-distance move.