• Moving to the South

    by Patrick Redmond | Oct 20, 2014

    Southern StatesAny time you move from one city to another, you’re going to feel a bit of culture shock at the change. After all, every town (and even every neighborhood) has its own way of doing things; from the food served in restaurants to preferred outdoor activities, no two locations are exactly the same

    Of course, some changes are a little more drastic than others—and no location is quite as unique as the South. If you’re making the transition from a northern state to the warm, welcoming world of the South, here are a few changes you can expect in your overall lifestyle.

     > Diverse Economy: In terms of economics, there is no single way to define the South. The large cities tend to have fast-paced and bustling job markets, and are home to some of the top Fortune 500 companies in the world. As you move out to smaller towns, however, you’ll find lower incomes and a more relaxed approach to life. This kind of variability is more marked in the southern states than it is in northern ones, and it shows in the homes and city centers in each region.

    >  Lots of Driving Time: When compared to the Mid-Atlantic States, the South is a huge, sprawling area with a spread-out population. Instead of hopping on a train and commuting a half an hour to the next big city, you’ll probably be located a few hours away from your metropolitan neighbors. Expect to live and play in the same area where you work—and to find plenty of room to spread out and enjoy your surroundings.

    > Warm Weather, Summer Heat: In other parts of the United States, your outdoor recreation activities probably follow a pattern of skiing in the winter and water sports in the summer. The South doesn’t make it quite so easy to set a schedule. The summer weather is often too hot and humid to really enjoy being outside, but a mild winter day might find you out enjoying hikes with your family in perfect comfort.

    > Cost of Living Decreases: Overall, the South offers a lower cost of living than the rest of the United States. While there are exceptions (especially if you’re looking at large cities or the more affluent suburbs), you’ll most likely spend less on everything from groceries and health care to housing, transportation, and utilities. You can expect comparable costs on things like private education, though.

    > Conservative Politics: The South is considered a conservative area when it comes to things like politics and religion, and this outlook seeps into the overall lifestyle here. From the companies doing the hiring to the neighborhood associations where you live, people here tend to place the empowerment of the individual above that of the collective.

    Moving to the South is something that many families undergo for school, work, and to improve their quality of life overall. Although it may take some getting used to, there is much about this area to make you feel welcome. Take some time to get to know your neighbors and the unique lifestyle here—chances are, you’ll feel like you’re home in no time.

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  • What to Know Before Moving to Brazil

    by Patrick Redmond | Oct 16, 2014

    Moving To BrazilLife in Brazil is unlike anything else you’ll experience in this world. The tropical location lends itself to plenty of outdoor fun and recreation, while large urban centers provide great opportunities for professional growth. Plenty of families decide to put down roots and stick around because the people here are some of the friendliest you’ll find in South America

    Because of the vast size of the country, however, there is no one-size-fits-all guide to moving to Brazil. If you’ll be going to one of the major cities, you’ll find a much different way of life than if you take up residence in a small coastal village. Here are some tips for navigating your way around this large and vibrant international destination.

    > Secure a Residence Visa First: In order to do most things in Brazil (including opening a bank account, renting a home, or getting a cell phone), you’ll need a visa first. Always make sure your paperwork is in order before you make the move.

    > Have Employment Lined Up: Good jobs are hard to come by in Brazil, so it’s best if you have employment lined up and ready to go before you arrive. Not only will this allow you to establish a budget ahead of time, but you can also find a residential neighborhood close to your job to cut back on transportation costs.

    > Always Visit Before You Lease/Buy/Rent: Although Brazil is emerging as an economic powerhouse, the country is not without its problems. There is a large disparity among the rich and the poor in the country, and the real estate proves it. Always explore an area by foot (and both during the day and at night) before you move in, so you know for sure what to expect from your community.

    > Cost of Living Differences: The cost of living in Brazil is actually much higher than most people anticipate. Because this large country has such a huge population living in poverty, it seems to outsiders as though living there would be less expensive than living in a regular U.S. city; however, this is rarely the case if you want to maintain your current standard of living. In fact, three of Brazil’s major cities (Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Brasilia) are listed among the 50 most expensive cities in the world. Expect rent/mortgage costs to take up the largest portion of your monthly income, followed immediately by transportation costs and private school (if you have children).

    > Pets are Welcome (With the Right Vaccines): Pets that are cats and/or dogs can be brought into Brazil as long as they have the proper International Health Certificate from a veterinary professional. Any other animals will need a special import permit from the Ministry of Agriculture in Brazil.

    > Make your Healthcare Plans Now: The healthcare system in Brazil isn’t always equal to the care in the United States, but it can be. Public hospitals tend to be crowded and busy, and may not meet your usual standards. Private facilities, however, are some of the best you’ll find in South America, though the costs are steep. It’s usually best to set up private insurance to access these facilities ahead of time.

    Life in Brazil can be everything you want from an expat experience you won’t soon forget. With the right planning and preparation, you can enjoy your stay—no matter how long you plan on making it.

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  • northAmerican works with the Gary Sinise Foundation

    by Ryan Cox | Oct 15, 2014

    Gary Sinise Foundation
    See northAmerican on Fox News Wednesday October 15

     

    northAmerican Van Lines will be part of a featured news segment on wounded warrior SSG Travis Mills and the Gary Sinise Foundation, which will air Wednesday 10/15, at 7pm Eastern Time on the Fox News program “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.”  The program will focus on SSG Mills and the Gary Sinise Foundation “Smart Home” he received this week in Maine.  northAmerican agent Cord Moving and Storage transported the new “smart furniture” for SSG Mills’ home, and northAmerican Van Lines General Manager Andy Kroll will be participating in the official dedication of the home on Wednesday, October 15 in Maine, along with planned notable attendees and Governor of Maine Paul LePage.

    For more information, visit:

    www.travismills.org

    www.garysinisefoundation.org

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  • Best College Hometowns

    by Patrick Redmond | Oct 10, 2014

    Friday-Favorites-Best-College-HometownsOne of the reasons people pack up and move to a new town is because of college—and we don’t just mean the students. If you work for a college or university as part of the faculty, administration, or even grounds crew, you may find yourself facing a relocation. From large public universities known for their medical training to small private colleges with hundreds of years of prestige paving the way, colleges are a great place to put down roots and build a career.

    College towns are also great places to live. When so many people work at, attend, or have ties to the school, there’s a great sense of community that results. Here are five college towns that embrace the collegiate spirit and provide a great lifestyle while they do it!

    > Cambridge, MA: If you take into account neighboring Boston, the “town” of Cambridge isn’t all that small. However, the college spirit is strong here, with such notable schools as Cambridge College, Episcopal Divinity School, Harvard University, Hult International Business School, Lesley University, Longy School of Music, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. With so many schools in such a concentrated area (the town’s 100,000 population is made up of 1/3 students), you can’t go far without running into a reminder of the college vibe.

     
    > Corvallis, OR
    : Home to Oregon State University, this quintessential college town offers a great taste of the Pacific Northwest lifestyle. Corvallis is known for its commitment to green living, sustainable lifestyles, and outdoor adventure—something both students and faculty members here embrace.

    > Iowa City, IA: If you want a great literary scene, an engaging night life, and a beautiful setting all rolled up into one, Iowa City is the place for you. The annual writer’s conference and book festival here are some of the most well-known in the country, giving the entire city of 70,000 residents an intellectual vibe.

    > Ithaca, NY: When you close your eyes and picture a “college town,” chances are you’re visualizing a place just like Ithaca. Both Cornell and Ithaca College are found here, which means the city population of 30,000 residents is mostly made up of students—all of whom enjoy a good music scene and restaurants/bars that cater to their preferences. The upstate New York setting also provides the seasonal beauty and isolation most people associate with academics.

    > College Station, TX: As the name suggests, College Station is all about Texas A&M University, which makes its home here. The school is noted for its incredible research projects (funded and run by institutions like NASA, the National Institute of Health, the National Science Foundation, and Office of Naval Research), as well as its football team, the Aggies.
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  • A Guide to Atlanta Suburbs

    by Patrick Redmond | Oct 08, 2014

    Moreno Valley MoversAtlanta isn’t just a city—it’s a huge, sprawling region with hundreds of neighborhoods and suburbs. There are 242 neighborhoods within the city itself, with hundreds more spread out through the region. In fact, more than half of the “metro Atlanta” area lives outside of the city limits, making their homes in both incorporated and unincorporated suburbs. This is great news for anyone who wants to work in Atlanta without living in the urban center—but it also means that finding the best suburbs in Atlanta could take some time.

     
    Here are a few of the more popular and up-and-coming areas that reside in and around the downtown center.

     > Alpharetta: This Atlanta suburb is located to the north of the city, and is ideal for those who enjoy the outdoors. Known for its parks, equestrian centers, and great trails for biking and jogging, this is an area where families are encouraged to be healthy and active. It also has the home prices to match, with the average somewhere in the $300,000 region.

    > Buckhead Village: Located within the city proper, Buckhead Village (or Buckhead) is considered one of the best neighborhoods for urban living and walkability. Homes here tend to be much more urban (think condos and apartments), though there are a few mansions to break things up. Life here is defined by the access to hundreds of restaurants, clubs, and shops nearby.

    > Castleberry Hill: Just south of the main downtown center, Castleberry Hill is one of the more historic neighborhoods in the area. The condos and lofts are popular among artists and young professionals on their way to the top.

    > East Atlanta: As the name suggests, East Atlanta can be found on the east side of the city, near Georgia State University. One of the first areas to recover after the decimation of the Civil War, this area is filled with history and older homes, including fifties bungalows, candy-colored Victorians, and Craftsman homes. Although East Atlanta contains several different neighborhoods worth checking out, one of the more popular is the artsy, youth-oriented East Atlanta Village (EAV).

    > Flowery Branch: The name of this suburb outside of Atlanta might conjure up images of parks and tree-lined streets, but it’s most famous as the training site of the Atlanta Falcons. Still, the name fits, and you’ll find a small-town feeling with good public schools and low home prices for young families.

    > Johns Creek: For affluent living with access to local country clubs, golf courses, and Blue Ribbon schools, you’ll want to explore an area like Johns Creek.

    > Kennesaw: One of the most historic suburbs you’ll find outside Atlanta, Kennesaw is home to a state university and several museums highlighting its role in the Civil War. The city was selected by Family Circle magazine as one of the 10 Best Towns for Families.

    > Mariettta: Marietta is one of the largest Atlanta suburbs, although its distance so far north of the city makes it less than ideal for daily commuters. However, if you want access to the city but would prefer to live in a smaller city of under 60,000 residents, Marietta offers affordable real estate and a charming backdrop.

    Because Atlanta is so large and so diverse, it’s always a good idea to see these neighborhoods and suburbs for yourself before you purchase a home. It’s also smart to hire a local real estate agent who can help you navigate your choices so you find the perfect place to call your own.

    Do you currently live in an Atlanta suburb? Share with us the name of your suburb and what it has to offer.  We want to hear from you.

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