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.

3 Types of Lease Agreements

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When you’re searching for a place to lease, you’ll typically find three types of apartment lease agreements. What are those three types? And which is best for you? The right lease agreement for you will always depend on your unique circumstances and what you’re looking for in a home. The right arrangement for you may be completely different from the right arrangement for someone moving at the same time to the same place.

To help you make the best choice, here’s a look at the three types of apartment lease agreements and what to expect from each.

Periodic Leases

When you hear about a month-to-month lease, that’s what a periodic lease agreement is. This is a perfect lease agreement if you’re dealing with an uncertain situation. Perhaps you’ve taken a temporary job or you travel a great deal for work or you think you’re going to buy a home in the not-too-distant future. In each of these cases, the flexibility of a month-to-month lease might be just what you need.

If a periodic lease is so great, why not always opt for one? Well, first of all they tend to be more expensive. You’ll typically pay less in monthly rent the longer your lease agreement is. And a lease provides protection for both the tenant and the owner. When you have a periodic lease, the owner can tell you it’s time to move out at any time.

Fixed Leases

A fixed lease is the most common type of lease. These typically run between six months and a year, and there will be penalties if you need to break the lease for some reason. Penalties for breaking a lease typically amount to anywhere between one month’s rent and the total of payments due over the balance of the lease. In other words, it can get pretty expensive to break this type of lease.

Subleases

A sublease is related to a fixed lease in one way: If the tenant in a fixed lease needs to break the lease but can’t afford the penalty, they will look for someone to sublease. A sublease essentially means someone else takes over a lease on your behalf. Not all landlords will approve a sublease, and it’s important that you do get approval before moving forward with one.

When it’s allowed, a sublease is a helpful tool to assist you with getting out of a fixed lease before the term is up.

Long-Distance Moving Storage

No matter the type of lease you want or need, you will often require moving and storage assistance when choosing a new apartment. At Mid Atlantic Van Lines, we provide long-distance moving storage and other services that are designed to make your life simpler when moving from place to place.

GET A FREE QUOTE

Use the tips above to ensure you’re getting the right type of lease for your unique needs, and remember to use Mid Atlantic Van Lines to ensure you have the long-distance moving services that you need. Contact us today for help with your move.

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If you are looking to shift to a new house or want to renovate your existing one, the first thing you will need to think about is the painting. While it may be tempting to hire a professional to do it if you have never painted before, it will cost you a lot of money. Painting your own house allows you to experiment with something new and will help you save thousands of dollars.

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