• 5 Ideal Home Maintenance Projects for Fall

    by Patrick Redmond | Sep 12, 2014

    fall home maintenanceMost people equate summertime with home improvement projects. When the kids are out of school for a few months and the weather is willing, it seems like a good use of time to tackle a few of those maintenance issues you’ve had lined up on your to-do list. Unfortunately, the extreme temperatures of summer don’t always lend themselves to intensive home improvements, and you may find that you’re much too busy enjoying the beach to worry about renovations.

    These five home projects are ideal for the cooler, more accessible temperatures of fall. As the kids head back to school and the leaves start to change, it’s your chance to improve your house and get ready for the colder months.

    1. Seal the Driveway: Concrete and asphalt always suffer the worst when winter rolls around. Cracks in the driveway can expand in the ice and snow, and you may notice bigger gaps and more wear and tear every spring. Fall is a great time to paint the driveway with a commercial sealer to extend the life of your home’s exterior.

    2. Clean the Carpets: The carpets in your home should be deep cleaned at least once a year, making this a perfect annual fall project. Because the kids are in school and life is probably settling into a more predictable routine come September, you can plan better and ensure that your floors have enough time to properly dry before they start getting used. 

    3. Brighten the Interior: If the cloudy, colder weather gets you down this time of year, you’re not alone. Many people find the transition from summer to winter to be a difficult one, especially as the days grow shorter. Beat the winter blues before they arrive by choosing a room in your home to paint in a bright, vibrant hue. A Caribbean blue or sunny yellow paint can really help lift your spirits—and your home’s overall value.

    4. Plant the Grass: Most landscaping experts agree that spring and/or fall are the best times to sod or seed your yard. Too much sun and heat in summer makes it difficult to keep the yard damp enough to foster growth. Although you might have a shorter planting season in fall than you might in the spring, this is still a good time to boost your lawn to a lusher, greener look.

    5. Winterize Your Home: Okay, so this one might not sound like very much fun, but fall is always the best time to winterize your house. Re-caulk the windows, upgrade your water heater, clean the chimney, reverse the ceiling fan direction, have your HVAC system inspected…anything that will help keep you warm this winter and lower your monthly heating bills is worth a second look.
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  • Preparing for a Relocation to India

    by Patrick Redmond | Sep 09, 2014

    moving to IndiaAny time you relocate to a country that has a vastly different infrastructure from your own, there are likely to be a few barriers to making a smooth transition. India’s unique way of life—when combined with an enormous population and high rates of poverty—can make for quite a few culture shocks. Of course, it can also make for an incredible experience, as well.

    If you’re getting ready to relocate to India, here are a few things you should remember while you’re packing up your home.

    > Most of your electronics have too much wattage. India doesn’t have the power structure the United States does, and there are about a billion people trying to tap into it. Even if you get a converter to use Indian outlets, there’s a good chance that even your smallest appliances will have too much wattage. Expect to buy most of your appliances when you arrive or to downgrade to more old-fashioned methods. Even then, you may experience occasional power outages, so prepare to have to do without your coffeemaker from time to time.

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    On the topic of electronics, ovens are a rare commodity. In India, few dishes are baked the way traditional American meals like turkey and pot roast are. Instead, most things are cooked on stovetops or individual burners, so you might want to leave most of your cookware at home. Although you can buy an oven once you arrive, don’t expect there to be one waiting for you—and when you do get one, expect it to be smaller than you’re used to.

    >
    Take your furniture with you. The cost of living in India is considerably lower than most U.S. cities, but furniture doesn’t fall into that category. Quality pieces tend to cost quite a bit of money to buy new, so you may want to make arrangements to have your bed, dining room sets, and couches shipped.

    > Bring your medication (at least to start). In larger cities, Indian medical care (from private hospitals and providers) is similar to what you’ll find back home. In more rural spaces, it could be more difficult to find providers you’re comfortable with. Until you’re comfortably settled and you have all the insurance kinks worked out, try to have a generous supply of your regular medications with you.

    > Pets aren’t always welcome. India has a huge homeless animal population, and it’s not uncommon to find cats and dogs on your doorstep at all hours of the day and night. While you can bring in your own animals (with the right microchips, vaccinations, health checks, and an Indian-issued No Objection Certificate), you may want to consider relocating your four-legged friend instead of contributing to the animal overpopulation.

    It’s also a good idea to focus on making your home your castle right from the start. Because it can be so overwhelming to take on an entirely new way of life, it’s a good idea to put your focus on making your home a place you want to spend quite a bit of time. Splurge on decorations and a calm, comforting setting. Take the time to settle in properly. You’ll love having somewhere warm and inviting to come home to every day.

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  • Moving to New York, NY

    by Patrick Redmond | Sep 03, 2014

    moving-to-new-yorkThere is no city in the United States quite as famous as New York, New York. The Big Apple, NYC, The City that Never Sleeps—there are almost as many nicknames for this city as there are people who live here.

    Considered the economic and cultural seat of the entire country, New York is where people go to pursue their dreams and enjoy a fast pace of life found nowhere else in the world. Whether you’re moving here for school, work, or to experience a way of living like no other, New York has something to offer everyone.

    Living and Working in New York

    With a population of eight and a half million residents spread out over five boroughs, life in New York is exactly the high-energy, diverse environment you’d expect it to be. People from all over the world move here hoping to take advantage of its personal and professional opportunities, settling in one of the many areas with its own distinct way of life.

    > Manhattan: The most famous of all the boroughs, Manhattan is what most of us picture when we think about the city of New York. The cost of living is high, traffic is wall-to-wall, and there’s something going on every hour of the day. This is also where you’ll find most of the financial district, including the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ.

    > The Bronx: The northernmost of all the New York boroughs is the Bronx. More residential in its makeup than the other boroughs, the Bronx is also most famous as the home of the New York Yankees.

    > Brooklyn: Brooklyn is the most populated borough of the five, and is in fact large and strong enough to be its own city (if it were to be an independent city, it would be the fourth largest in the country). In addition to finance, which provides a strong economic base for all the boroughs, Brooklyn employment is centered on technology, entertainment, and accounting.

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    Queens: Like the Bronx, Queens is more residential than many of the other boroughs, and its location to the east of the city means it has a little more space to spread out and provide room for families to grow. It is the location of two of the three New York airports as well as the New York Mets.

    > Staten Island: The least populated borough, Staten Island doesn’t always take the spotlight when it comes to New York, but it has plenty to offer area residents. Popular among tourists for the ferry views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, it’s also the home of the Staten Island Zoo and a living history museum.

    Welcome to New York!

    If you’ve never visited the city before, you’re in for a big surprise as your moving van rolls in. New York can be overwhelming to first-time visitors and residents, but it’s important to remember that there’s a reason so many people consider this the best place to live in the entire world. 

    An economic stronghold, one of the richest cultural resources you’ll find anywhere in the United States, and full of opportunities in education and entertainment, New York is almost like a country unto itself—and one that over eight million people consider the best in the world.

    If you are planning a move to New York City and any of its boroughs and surrounding region, stay tuned all month as we share important information and resources for new New York residents.  You can also reach out to North American Van Lines for a free price quote and more information on a potential move the New York.

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  • Five Ways to Show Your NFL Team Support

    by Patrick Redmond | Aug 29, 2014
    Friday_Favorites_NFL-fansOne of the side effects of moving that few people stop to consider is how difficult it can be to continue supporting your favorite football team in your new surroundings. Team spirit is one of those things that tends to grow stronger the closer you are to the home field advantage, so moving across the country can put a serious kink in your game day celebrations.


    Here are a five fun ways to keep showing your NFL team support regardless of where you and your family will be moving.

    1. Fly Your NFL Banner High: Make your mark in a highly visible way by hanging a team flag outside your new home. This can be especially fun in a neighborhood where sports fervor is high, and you can break the ice by also drawing out a friendly rivalry.
     
    2. Decorate Your Man Cave: A new home means new opportunities in decorating and renovation. Make the most of your football fandom by setting up your basement, garage, or den in classic “man cave” mode. Since you have a fresh canvas to work from, you can go all out in paint colors, furniture, and team paraphernalia. 

    3. Join a Local Fantasy Football League: Making friends and meeting new people can be difficult as an adult in a new city, but sports fandom can help put you out there. Find a fantasy football league at work or in your community as a way to get to know others who share your passion for sports (even if it’s not for your team).

     4. Make a Tour of Sports Bars: Want to get to know your area on a more personal level? Make it a goal to visit different sports bars in your new city. Go on game days to make the most of the atmosphere, or visit the bars during off-times to find out who is more likely to accept your non-local team spirit.

     5. Throw a Game Day Barbeque/Tailgate Party: If getting to know your new neighbors is one of your goals, consider throwing a game day barbeque or outdoor party. Nothing brings neighbors together quite like a block party, and you can also use this time as a way to have an official housewarming gathering.

    Sports have a way of breaking barriers and making it easier to get to know locals. If you want to make the most of your team spirit, turn your love of football into a way to meet new people—and enjoy game day in the process!

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  • Moving to San Diego: Online Resources for New Residents

    by Patrick Redmond | Aug 28, 2014

    Moving to San DiegoOne way to get to know the San Diego region is to head toward the beach with a book and a towel, and see what happens. So many of the city’s top activities take place on or near the ocean, and if water sports are your thing, you’ll never run out of things to see or do.

    Of course, that doesn’t mean that sun, surf, and sand are all that San Diego has to offer. If you’d like to delve a little deeper, get to know your new city with these helpful websites.

    San Diego Blog: If you’re new to the area, it might be a good idea to start at this tourism website for the city. Get information on everything from family attractions and parks to arts and culture events here. (SanDiego.org is another good one to try.)

    San Diego Eater: Eat your way through the city with San Diego Eater, which highlights restaurants in all the major neighborhoods and communities. From fine dining to beachside shacks, there’s something here for every palate and every budget. (For a more personalized look at cuisine, try a foodie blog like Kirbie Cravings.)

    San Diego Streets: Get a closer, neighborhood-by-neighborhood look at the city at San Diego Streets. You can learn about new developments and get to know the local culture all in one convenient location.

    San Diego is Awesome: As the name of this website suggests, San Diego is a pretty amazing place to live. Bookmark this site for information and updates on what’s going on locally.

    San Diego Parks & Recreation: From pools and parks to community events, many of the outdoor entertainments that make this area so much fun can be found at this official city site.

    San Diego Sports Commission: If you’re a fan of sports, you may want to stop by the SD Sports Commission. This website features professional league games as well as amateur and junior tournaments and events, so there’s something for everyone.

    San Diego History Center: If you wanted to spend an entire year visiting historical sites and museums in San Diego, it would be easy to fill each day with something new. Start your look into local history at the official history center website.

    San Diego City Beat: Get to know a more local San Diego by heading underground to the indie music scene, local arts culture, and music and theater events. The city beat can point you toward events and gatherings to help you get in touch with your artistic side.

    No matter where you end up in this amazing city, you’ll be sure to find plenty to keep you busy. History and culture, surfing and food, music and shopping—in terms of entertainment, San Diego has more to offer than almost any other city out there!

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