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Best Family-Friendly Neighborhoods in the Phoenix-Scottsdale Metro Area

moving-to-phoenix-scottsdale-az

Almost always warm and sunny, the city of Phoenix, AZ, is located in the Salt River Valley, surrounded by the McDowell, White Tank, and Superstition Mountain ranges. Recently, this desert oasis has started attracting more families because of the economy, affordable cost of living, and successful school districts. If you are thinking about relocating your family to this sun-drenched haven, we’ve done a little research for you with the help of local moving company Cheap Movers Phoenix, the #1 source for finding affordable Phoenix moving companies.

Looking at real estate in the Phoenix-Scottsdale metropolitan area can get confusing when you’re trying to balance proximity to city centers and workplaces with finding a neighborhood that’s also family-friendly and suburban. The list below highlights some of the best family-friendly neighborhoods.

Queen Creek

Located in the far southeast corner of the metroplex, beyond Gilbert and Chandler, the community of Queen Creek is about a 45-minute commute to downtown Phoenix, but only about 30 minutes from Mesa. Thanks to its location on the outskirts of the Phoenix metropolitan area, the cost of living in Queen Creek is reasonable. The average home value in the area is $253,000, which is more affordable than other parts of Phoenix. Most children go to one of the schools in the Queen Creek Unified School District, though private school options are available. Some of the neighborhood highlights include the Barney Family Sports Complex offering athletic activities; the Performing Arts Center, which hosts both local and national shows; and Schnepf Farms, a local gem that hosts numerous festivals throughout the year.

Chandler

A little closer to central Phoenix, Chandler also sits in the Southeastern part of the Phoenix metropolitan area. This prominent suburb with a population of almost a quarter million is known for its entrepreneurial spirit and age-old traditions. Average home prices range between the low-200s to mid-300s, depending on the zip code. The range of prices and variety of housing options in this area make it easy for families to find what they’re looking for. Chandler has a great public school district and a bustling downtown. Families can enjoy various holiday festivals, like the Tumbleweed Tree Lights Ceremony and the Cinco de Mayo Chihuahua Races, or fun events like the annual Ostrich Festival. Chandler is a growing area that could be perfect for your family!

Chandler has a number of fun festivals throughout the year to keep families entertained.

Chandler has a number of fun festivals throughout the year to keep families entertained.

Anthem

Anthem, Arizona also made the list due to its ability to present as a suburb, but entertain like a city. Located north of the city, along the I-17 corridor, Anthem is ideal for those who might work in Deer Valley, North Mountain Village, or another area in North Phoenix. Just 30,000 people call this suburb home, which has also been named one of the best places to raise a family by Parenting magazine. The local community center offers a variety of youth sports, while family-friendly festivals like the city’s annual Java and Jamming event, offer fun for the whole family. Anthem is served by the Deer Valley Unified School District and boasts a number of charter and private schools as well.

Gilbert

Finally, the suburb of Gilbert also makes our list. Situated close to Chandler, Gilbert is known for its wide variety of outdoor activities, such as hiking at the Riparian at Water Ranch. The historical downtown area boasts many boutique shops, cafes, and art galleries. To cool off from the oppressive Phoenix heat, adults can enjoy brews at the nearby Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company or take their kids to enjoy splashing in the Mesquite or Greenfield swimming pools. If your family is into healthy living, then Gilbert is the place to be!

Gilbert has reasonably priced homes and lots of hiking trails, making it the perfect place for the outdoorsy family to call home.

Gilbert has reasonably priced homes and lots of hiking trails, making it the perfect place for the outdoorsy family to call home.

The Phoenix-Scottsdale metropolitan area offers families affordability, great schools, a multitude of outdoor activities, and easy commuting. With the neighborhoods listed, your family can have the all the perks of living in the suburbs, with proximity to the amenities of the city.

 

 

What It’s Really Like to Move to Los Angeles

What it's like to move to California

Are you wondering about what your future life might be like if you were to move to Los Angeles? If you’re picturing life the glitzy, sun-kissed life depicted by Real Housewives or in Hollywood movies, then you might want to think again. While L.A. is an exciting city with much to offer its residents, it also has its cons. Here are some insights about what it’s really like to move to the City of Angels.

Los Angeles Traffic

The difference in traffic patterns is the primary change transplants from small-town America must get used to when they first arrive in Los Angeles. L.A. streets and freeways are extremely congested during rush hour. Here, it’s not uncommon for a 25-mile trip to take an hour and a half during peak traffic times.

You also can’t count on traffic to clear when rush hour is over as maintenance is often performed during non-peak hours. If you travel on L.A.’s freeways in the middle of the night, you may find that several lanes are closed, resulting in a trip that takes just as long as an outing during rush hour. In Los Angeles, which has the worst traffic in the U.S., you can’t count on ever being able to take a quick trip anywhere.

finding-cheap-moving-companies-LA

Los Angeles is notorious for terrible traffic and usually lives up to its reputation.

Housing in Los Angeles

If you want to buy a home, expect to pay a premium for housing in L.A. right now. Los Angeles currently has a hot housing market, with home prices currently at their nine-year peak.

The L.A. Job Market

The Los Angeles job market has lots to offer job seekers, particularly in the high-tech sector. Currently, corporate jobs with large companies are more readily available than jobs with smaller, privately owned companies. However, there are ample opportunities for talented people in many different organizations.

The Cost of Living in Los Angeles

The cost of living in Los Angeles is notoriously high. The most recent data available from the Los Angeles consumer price index indicates that the cost of living is up 2 percent over last year. Specifically, you’ll have to budget more for food and energy, particularly for electricity, than you would have had to a year ago. Overall, the city ranks as the 7th most expensive place to live in the U.S.

You’ll also have to budget for some expenses that might not be as obvious. The following are a few examples:

  • Parking tickets: No matter how hard you try to avoid parking violations in Los Angeles, you’re probably going to get parking tickets from time to time. Each infraction will set you back anywhere from $25 – $363. Parking fines often cost $60 or more. To avoid as many parking tickets as possible, be sure to park with your wheels facing in the correct direction when you leave your car parked on a hill, particularly in West Hollywood.
  • Water filtration or bottled water: Ordinary tap water in Los Angeles is undrinkable by New Yorkers’ standards. You’ll likely be paying a higher water bill for water that’s of lesser quality than what you’re accustomed to at home.
  • Registering and smogging your car: At home, you may not have to pay for smog inspections, but you’ll have to in Los Angeles. Car registration is also more expensive in California than it is in many other states in the USA.

Not everything in Los Angeles is overpriced. There are a few surprisingly affordable things in L.A. For example, used cars cost less in L.A. than they do in many other areas of the USA. Used furniture, used clothing and collectibles can often be found at bargain prices in L.A.

From apartments to groceries, the cost of living in LA is on the high side.

From apartments to groceries, the cost of living in LA is on the high side.

Making the Move to Los Angeles

We hope these insights are helpful to you as you ponder whether you’d like to move to Los Angeles. One of the top ways you can save money if you do decide to make the move is by getting a good deal on moving services. With Cheap Movers LAX, you can easily shop rates from the best LA moving companies in one convenient location. Get free quotes from licensed and insured movers and save as much as 35% off your upcoming move. Trust us, your wallet will thank you.

 

Best Neighborhoods for Millennials Moving to DC

moving-to-washington-dc

A diverse, melting pot of opportunity, careers and educational opportunities, Washington DC is becoming increasingly attractive to Millennials looking to further their education and develop as young professionals. With so much to offer Millennials students and professionals, just what thriving neighborhoods will meet your educational and career needs? Look at the top neighborhoods in the DC metro where Millennials are flocking to settle.

In DC, it's easy to get around using public transportation since Metro stations are in just about every neighborhood.

In DC, it’s easy to get around using public transportation since Metro stations are in just about every neighborhood.

1. Ballston, VA

Although Ballston, VA hasn’t always been a hot spot among young people, this up-and-coming region is now known for its affordable new construction. While the availability of reasonably-priced housing may be one vital piece of the puzzle for you as you consider a DC move, Ballston also boasts a central location, just a few Metro train stops from the nation’s capital. In addition, with the boom in housing and the influx of a younger generation, better schools, restaurants, shopping, and bars have been popping up all over this fun neighborhood. As a bonus, the Ballston Common Mall is being completely redone with a completion date of 2017 holidays.

2. Del Ray, VA

Despite older housing, this neighborhood in the heart of Alexandria offers residents a funky and unique vibe with convenient proximity to the hot job market of DC. The shopping, coffee shops, yoga studios and delicious bites in this sweet neighborhood are reminiscent of what you might find in cities like Portland, Oregon or Austin, Texas. Imagine Saturdays spent strolling main street, buying fresh produce at the farmer’s market, and dining al fresco on flower-lined sidewalk patios.

3. Georgetown

Another local business hot spot, Georgetown has a plethora of art, food and outdoorsy fun to cater to Millennial tastes. In addition to all the neighborhood’s delicious restaurants and unique boutiques, there are lots of nearby trails for the avid runner, as well as educational opportunities at nearby colleges and universities. While housing here is a bit steeper, the convenient location might just be worth it. The area offers fast access to downtown, the metro, and the thousands of job opportunities in the District.

4. Foggy Bottom

Like Georgetown, Foggy Bottom offers easy access to education so you can earn that Master’s degree you’ve been thinking about getting, with George Washington University just blocks away. While you’re taking a study break or off from work for the weekend, explore the multitude of art galleries and museums in this popular neighborhood or play a little “beach” volleyball near the Potomac River.

Georgetown is a great neighborhood for both students and professionals, and it's conveniently and centrally located.

Georgetown is a great neighborhood for both students and professionals, and it’s conveniently and centrally located.

5. U Street

You work hard to climb that corporate ladder. U Street will give you the immediate access to play hard, right in your own neighborhood. Despite the booming nightlife, you’ll enjoy the rich, diverse history of U Street, which was once home to movie stars, Jazz musicians and more. Feast at restaurants, bars, and clubs that were once filled with historic musicians who changed the course of the music industry. The best part: with U Street near the center of it all, your commute to work and entertainment will probably be short (if not non-existent).

Looking for DC Area Movers?

With so many up and coming neighborhoods and a transportation system that makes getting around a breeze, navigating the nation’s capital will extend bountiful career options, schools, great food and drinks, a rich history, and weekends filled with sites and shopping. While you focus on finding the right neighborhood for you, why not leave the logistics of your move up to the professionals? Here are some of the area’s best moving companies:

Cheap Movers DC
3509 Connecticut Avenue NW #10028
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 774-9296

Matthew’s Nationwide Moving
6110 Redwood Ln
Alexandria, VA 22310
(571) 276-7024

A Few Good College Men Movers
8616 Dakota Drive
Gaithersburg MD 20877
(202) 557-4000

 

Why Austin is One of the Fastest Growing Cities in the Country

austin

Over the years, people from all around the United States have been flocking to the city of Austin, Texas, and it’s easy to see why! With countless job opportunities, family-friendly neighborhoods, and a unique, eclectic vibe, Austin has all the appeal for both individuals and families alike. Read on to discover what makes this southern state capital one of the most popular and fastest growing US cities.

Mild Winters

If you live in any Midwest or mid-Atlantic states that have snowfall and below-freezing temperatures during the winter months, you probably fantasize about living in a place where you don’t need to bundle up and grab a shovel to get out of your driveway. In Austin, the average temperature in December, January, and February doesn’t drop below 42 degrees! Living here, you can say goodbye to salting the sidewalks and buying expensive winter tires for your car, as Austin has sunny weather all year long.

Goodbye dreary winter skies! Austin has beautiful weather all year round.

Goodbye, dreary winter skies! Austin has beautiful weather all year round.

Music Scene

The city of Austin holds the title of “Live Music Capital of the World” and attracts many different kinds of music enthusiasts. With an extensive selection of great venues to choose from, such as the Frank Erwin Center and the 311 club, Austin is the ideal destination for those who enjoy listening to tunes during their after-work hours. One of the best representations of Austin’s vibrant musical scene is at the annual South by Southwest Music Festival, where thousands of bands from all over the world come to play in Austin. Other popular festivals include the Austin City Limits and the Fun Fun Fun Fest.

Affordability

Many people move to Austin because they crave the warm temperatures and culture of Los Angeles, but can’t afford the expensive real estate and cost of living in California. Austin’s average monthly rent is a mere $1,300 for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,600 for a two-bedroom apartment. For big city living, these prices are relatively low when compared to places like L.A. or New York City.

Austin has affordable real estate prices and a relatively low cost of living.

Austin has affordable real estate prices and a relatively low cost of living.

Job Market

Austin has one of the strongest job markets in the country, making it the ideal destination for anyone looking to start fresh in a new career. With employment opportunities such as information services, business, medical, and construction, there are many different fields to choose from when relocating to this city. Austin also has a very low rate of unemployment (3.7 percent) and a high average monthly starting salary ($3,150). It even offers employment opportunities for the disabled, with 45.6 percent of disabled Austin citizens having jobs.

Planning Your Move to Austin

From music festivals to warm weather to an abundance of job opportunities, the capital city of Texas is a one-of-a-kind place. Whether you’re considering moving here to escape the high prices of other metropolitans or to pursue a new career path, there are lots of reasons to move to this fast growing city. Before you pack up and relocate, make sure to think ahead. Take a trip to explore Austin’s varied neighborhoods to find the one that’s right for you. Read up on housing, jobs, schools, healthcare, and more from publications like Austin Relocation Guide and Austin 360. Then find help from a local moving company, like Apple Moving (about.me, google+), that knows the area to smooth your transition and help you get settled into your new hometown. With a little planning, you too could live the dream life of calling Austin, TX home.

 

Trendiest Cities in the U.S.

minneapolis

The United States boasts some of the most enticing cities in the world. With countless attractions, entertainment venues, and friendly neighborhoods, it’s easy to see why so many people are eager to move into one of these appealing towns. If you’re looking for a fresh start in a new and exciting environment, here are some of the trendiest cities that the U.S. has to offer.

Salt Lake City, UT

This state capital is known for its beautiful mountain views and quiet town atmosphere. You can enjoy many of the city’s attractions that include hiking in the majestic Rocky Mountains, attending the famous Sundance Film Festival, and vacationing at the ski resorts of Snowbird or Deer Valley. With a friendly atmosphere, Salt Lake City is a perfect destination for both individuals and families alike.

With stunning scenery and a small town feel, Salt Lake City is a one-of-a-kind destination.

With stunning scenery and a small town feel, Salt Lake City is a one-of-a-kind destination.

Richmond, VA

The historic city of Richmond is full of cobblestone streets, colonial monuments, and has become an engaging center of modern culture. With many music venues, restaurants, and shopping districts, Richmond offers a vibrant city life that attracts a younger crowd. It also boasts of natural beauty, which you can find by taking a stroll in the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, King Dominion, or Williamsburg Park.

Pittsburgh, PA

Well-known for its culture, you’ll find plenty of art galleries, jazz bars, and breweries in most of the streets of Pittsburg. The city also features an amazing food scene that offers everything from southern fried chicken to food truck street cuisine. And with attractions that include the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and the Andy Warhol Museum, this city is an excellent place for you and your family to appreciate the arts.

Pittsburgh has amazing views and an even more amazing food scene. Who could ask for more?

Pittsburgh has amazing views and an even more amazing food scene. Who could ask for more?

Minneapolis, MN

This snowy, northern city has something for everyone all year round. Families love visiting the Science Museum of Minnesota and the exciting Underwater Adventures Aquarium and can hike, fish, and bike in one of the many campgrounds located just outside of the city. The famous Mall of America is a paradise for the shopping addict and contains many attractions and fine dining experiences inside.With so many activities and fun attractions, Minneapolis is an ideal city for anyone to enjoy.

Cincinnati, OH

Cincinnati is the third largest city in Ohio and is considered one of the trendiest and least expensive cities in the country. With massive street painting parties, evening glow-art decorations, and a restored riverfront, the city draws in people from all around the U.S. Cincinnati also has a German heritage, and has many different pubs and breweries located around the city.