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Whether you're moving, getting ready to move or just day dreaming about what it would be like to move to a new place you'll want to check out our moving section for tips, how to guides and checklists. You'll also find articles on the latest real estate trends, hot housing markets and best places to live. 

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Reasons to Move to O’Fallon, MO

Reasons to Move to O’Fallon, MO

Affordable, safe, fun and tasty – this city outside of St. Louis is the whole package.

By Kevin Litwin on Mon, 09/18/2017 - 12:12

Positive thinking? O’Fallon has many positives, including a household income that averages $80,000 and reasonable home prices averaging $190,000. The median age is 36, the typical commute time is 25 minutes, and about five percent of the city’s adult residents work from home. Here are some more positive reasons for moving to O’Fallon:

Patriotic Population

The residents of O’Fallon participate in an annual “Support Our Troops Supply Drive” that collects tons of personal care items for troops serving overseas. Items include snacks, batteries, eye drops, sunscreen, shampoo, deodorant, nail clippers, Q-tips, cough drops, disposable razors, etc. BTW: Also in O’Fallon is a Veterans Memorial Walk that was dedicated in 2001 following 9/11.

Safe to Say

The National Council of Home Safety and Security lists O’Fallon as one of the 100 Safest Cities in America. The organization is made up of home safety and security industries, and the Council reviews FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics. O’Fallon is the only Missouri city on the current list.


Here are the Best Things to Do in O'Fallon, MO


Sounds of Summer

A free O’Fallon Jammin’ Concert Series occurs every Tuesday evening from 6:30-9 p.m. throughout the summer months at Civic Park. The family-friendly event features local and regional bands playing music from Top 40, rock, country, R&B and Motown, and past acts included FatPocket, Elevation, Dance Floor Riot and PowerPlay.

Good Interstates

Residents and visitors to O’Fallon have convenient access to Interstate 64 and Interstate 70, and the city is within easy driving distance of St. Louis.

Plenty of Parks

Want fresh air? Places to exercise are abundant in O’Fallon, including Dames Park that has three football fields and a fitness course, and Fort Zumwalt Park has a fishing lake, disc golf course and playgrounds. Knaust Park features a playground and walking path, O’Fallon Sports Park is a soccer complex with 12 fields, and the Ozzie Smith Sports Complex has seven baseball/softball diamonds.


Discover Why O'Fallon, MO is a Great Place to Live


Multiple Choices

Good academic options are available to students (and their parents) in O’Fallon, including satellite campuses of Lindenwood University and Webster University. Three public school systems also serve the city – Fort Zumwalt School District, Wentzville R-IV School District and Francis Howell R-III School District. St. Dominic High School is a private Catholic school, and Christian High School is a non-denominational Christian secondary school.

Justice Served

The city continues to keep up with the times and its infrastructure with the opening of a new O’Fallon Justice Center in late 2017. The center is on Bryan Road, a quarter-mile south of Veterans Memorial Parkway.

Close to St. Louis

Within a 30-minute drive of O’Fallon is St. Louis, a city defined by music, performing arts, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Gateway Arch. Diners can delight in several top-notch STL restaurants, while nearby University City is known for its variety of shops, restaurants and unique arts options all within walking distance.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kevin Litwin is the author of Crazy Lucky Dead and a freelance feature writer with a career spanning more than 20 years. He was previously an editor for a small-town newspaper for 10 years, and is now...

8 Reasons to Move to Reno

8 Reasons to Move to Reno

Tech Industry and data giants are the driving forces behind the area's economic and population growth.

By Jim Hoehn on Tue, 09/12/2017 - 08:26

Once primarily known as a gaming destination for California tourists, the "The Biggest Little City in the World” is riding a wave of tech investment that is bringing jobs and economic growth to northern Nevada’s largest city.

The New Tech Epicenter

In the automobile industry, few things symbolize innovation more than Tesla, and Elon Musk’s electric vehicle maker has made a significant commitment to the Reno area with its gigantic Gigafactory battery-making facility, about 25 miles from downtown Reno at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center, the largest industrial park in the world. Already operating, the Tesla facility is being built in phases, eventually becoming what the company expects to be the biggest building in the world.

Next door to the Gigafactory, data giant Switch opened the first building in its Citadel Campus data center in early 2017. The initial building at 1.3 million square feet, was the largest single data center in the world, according to the company, with planned expansion making it the world’s biggest data campus center.

In April 2017, Google purchased more than 1,200 acres in the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center. A month later, Apple announced a $1 billion plan to double the size of its data center in the nearby Reno Technology Center.

Most of the tech and data innovators are placing an emphasis on renewable energy and sustainability

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Bolstered by the infusion of tech, data and digital companies, Reno’s unemployment rate has dropped from double digits to the lowest metro area number in the state and below the state and national averages. Reno’s unemployment rate, which increased steadily over half a decade to a high of 13.9 percent in January 2011, was down to 3.9 percent in May 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The largest employers in the city are the Washoe County School District; University of Nevada, Reno; Washoe County; and Renown Regional Medical Center. Nevada was ranked fifth-best in the 2017 State Business Tax Climate Index by the Tax Foundation.

Location

Reno sits in the shadow of the stunning Sierra Nevada Mountains, making it a desirable destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The Truckee River runs through the city, including the half-mile Truckee River Whitewater Park. Lake Tahoe and it’s year-round tourism offerings is about an hour drive south to the northern shore. Carson City, the state capital, is about 30 miles south, while the glitz and glamor of Las Vegas is about 450 miles southeast. San Francisco is a little more than four hours to the west, which makes Reno attractive not only to Bay Area tourists, but also to Silicon Valley companies.

Reno-Tahoe International Airport is serviced by most major carriers. Reno also is stop on Amtrak’s California Zephyr route.


Don't Miss These Fun Things to Do in Reno, NV


Schools

The city is home to the University of Nevada, Reno, which offers a wide selection of undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs for more than 18,000 students. The Wolf Pack athletic teams compete in the Mountain West Conference. The Washoe County School District encompasses Reno and nearby Sparks, with more than 63,000 students. The high school graduation rate has grown steadily from 62 percent in 2010 to 77 percent in 2016. The metro area also has several highly regarded private schools.

Housing

The median price for a single-family home in Reno was just under $366,000 in June 2017, according to the Reno/Sparks Association of Realtors. The median price in nearby Sparks was $299,000. With the influx of new employment opportunities, the existing housing inventory is stretched thinner in an active real estate market. Rental prices increased about 11 percent between 2015 and 2016. With the recession in the rear view mirror, builders are ramping up to keep up with demand.

Take It Outside

Lake Tahoe offers a multitude of year-round recreational opportunities. Kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, canoes and sailboats are available for rent from a variety of vendors. The surrounding mountains also offer mountain biking and hiking trails for participants of all levels. The Lake Tahoe Bicycle Coalition and the Tahoe Rim Trail Association are excellent sources for maps and other information. Tahoe also is world-renowned for its snow skiing resorts. Mt. Rose is the closest resort to Reno, about a half hour away with a shuttle service to downtown. Other nearby ski resorts include Diamond Peak and Northstar at Tahoe.


Discover Why Reno, NV is a Top 100 Best Place to Live


The Truckee River Whitewater Park in downtown Reno features a half mile course for kayaks, canoes, rafts and inner tubes. Hunter Creek Trail, less than 10 miles from downtown, offers a six-mile hiking trail with a scenic waterfall, and there are numerous other local hiking trails.

A Festive Atmosphere

From music to food, Shakespeare to self-discovery, Reno offers a variety of festivals for almost everyone – including those filled with hot air.

The colorful Great Reno Balloon Race, held each September, is the largest free hot-air ballooning event in the world.  Also in the fall, Reno is home to the National Championship Air Races. The Burning Man Festival, which includes radical self-reliance and radical self-expression among its 10 principles, is about a two-hour drive from Reno, the closest major airport to the desert event.

The National Bowling Stadium also hosts a variety of national events and attracts bowlers from across the country. The Reno Aces, the Triple-A baseball affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, play their home games at Greater Nevada Field.

Quick Facts

Reno has a population of about 245,000, up from slightly more than 226,000 in 2010, an increase of 8.5 percent according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The median household income was $47,012 as of 2015, with no state income tax. Temperatures range from the mid 40s in December and January to the low 90s in July and August. Average rainfall is about 7.39 inches over 50 rainy days, according to U.S. Climate Data. Despite recent economic diversification, Reno still is a gaming destination with about 20 casinos.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jim Hoehn is a career journalist, author and songwriter who splits his time between Milwaukee and Seattle. He has covered  everything from plane crashes to murder trials to the Super Bowl - and o...

8 Reasons to Move to Littleton, CO

8 Reasons to Move to Littleton, CO

Just a short drive from Denver, Littleton is becoming a top destination to live and raise a family in Colorado.

By Lynsey Elve on Tue, 08/29/2017 - 08:46

Coined as one of the five best cities for families to live in Colorado, Littleton is just a short drive from Denver but it feels like a different world entirely. From the historic downtown and tree-lined streets to impressive arts and culture options, great weather and plenty of outdoor experiences, Littleton is in-demand.

Here are eight reasons to move to Littleton, CO:

1) Historic Downtown

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Nataly Kochina under a CC 2.0 license.

Experiencing Downtown Littleton feels like you’re traveling through time. The streets are lined with turn-of-the-century buildings with art galleries, antique shops, specialty shops, clothing boutiques and restaurants galore. Also, located downtown is Littleton Museum, an award-winning establishment showcasing the town’s culture and history. The museum even has an 1860s-working farm to show what life was like on the homestead.

2) Outdoor Experiences

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reid.neureiter under a CC 2.0 license.

Littelton is a mecca for the outdoor enthusiast. From top notch golf courses including Arrowhead Golf Club and Club at Ravenna to exploring the trails of Roxborough State Park and the South Platte River to climbing Waterton Canyon, there’s no shortage of hiking, biking and exploring in Littelton.

3) Weather

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Marissa Garza under a CC 2.0 license.

A big surprise to most is the mild Colorado weather and Littleton is no exception. Winters are mild with an average daily high temperature of 45 degrees Fahrenheit and days reaching 60 degrees are not uncommon. This climate makes for perfect skiing in the cold months and supreme weather for hiking, biking and fishing in the warm months.


Discover the Best Things to Do in Littleton, CO


4) Location, Location, Location

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Keith under a CC 2.0 license.

Just 20-minutes outside of Denver, Littleton feels like another world entirely. With its tree-lined streets and quaint, historic downtown it’s much different than Denver’s tall buildings and big city feel. You can get to Denver easily by hiking or biking along the Platte River Trail or riding the RTD light rail.

5) Culture

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DenverDwight under a CC 2.0 license.

Littleton may have a small-town feel, but the arts and culture experiences boast big city dedication. The Depot Art Gallery, a restored 1888 train station, is a top city attraction. It includes monthly juried art exhibits as well as workshops, programs and art classes – all including free admission. Another community staple is the Town Hall Arts Center, what was once Littleton’s first City Hall is now a cultural center, live theater and art gallery.


Find the 5 Best Cities for Families in Colorado


6) Culinary Delights

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wadehiner under a CC 2.0 license.

If you like to eat (and drink), you’ll like Littleton. The city has five different breweries, one of those being the famed Breckenridge Brewery. Top restaurants in the city include Pierre Michel French Bakery (it feels like you’re basically in Pairs), Jakes Brew Bar (the best coffee and draft beer!), Italian favorite Bacco Trattoria and Merles, an automotive themed restaurant.

7) Home Sweet Home

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Jeffrey Beall under a CC 2.0 license.

People living in Littleton stay put. Case and point, it’s real estate market has the third highest average sale price among comparable cities, which is said to be driven by limited inventory. However, if you’re able to score a new home in one of Littleton’s top neighborhood you’ll get a bit of a discount in comparison to purchasing in the Denver metro area. Littleton’s single family price per square foot is on average $144 compared to the metro area average of $194.

8) Family-Friendly

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Kat Grigg under a CC 2.0 license.

Littleton is a great place to raise a family. It was ranked #4 on Livability’s “5 Best Cities for Families in Colorado” list for its proximity to Denver, arts, culture and community activities. However, the education is Littleton is top notch. The city received an 8 out 10 rating from GreatSchools.org. Littleton Public Schools was awarded the designation of Accredited with Distinction by the Colorado Department of Education in 2016, the only school district in the Denver Metro Area to have earned the top rating six years in a row.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lynsey Elve is a PR professional by day and a freelance writer by night. She is a self-proclaimed news junkie, avid bookworm and sometimes long-distance runner living in downtown Chicago with her husb...

8 Reasons to Move to Minot, ND

8 Reasons to Move to Minot, ND

With heritage, jobs and many things to do, Minot, ND tops the list of great places to live.

By Brett Smith on Tue, 08/22/2017 - 08:10

Minot is one of the cities that saw a massive influx of jobs and investment due to the North Dakota oil boom. While oil prices have fallen off of their peaks a few years back, Minot still has a rather sizeable fossil fuel industry.

More importantly, there’s a lot more going on in Western North Dakota than just oil and natural gas. Below are a few reasons why you should consider moving to Minot.

More Major Industries

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Photo: Courtesy of Sam DeLong under a CC 2.0 license.

While Minot may have made headlines for its energy industry, the town also has robust logistics and agricultural sectors. Furthermore, North Dakota is quickly gaining a reputation as a state for aerial drone development and Minot has successfully leveraged its local US Air Force base to be a major destination for this emerging industry.

North Dakota State Fair

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Photo: Courtesy of Minot Air Force Base

With rides, competitions and mountains of fried food, the North Dakota state fair draws hundreds of thousands of attendees and features major musical acts. This year’s state fair headlines were Paramore, Fergie, Little Big Town and Jason Aldean.


Discover Some of the Other Best Places to Live in North Dakota


Norsk Høstfest and Scandinavian Heritage

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Photo: Courtesy of Minot Air Force Base

Also held at the State Fairgrounds, the Norsk Høstfest is North America’s biggest Scandinavian festival. The event features authentic Scandinavian cuisine and culture, and draws tens of thousands of people from all over the world each year.

The annual event makes sense when you consider the amount of Scandinavian immigrants living in the region and the Scandinavian influence on local food and architecture.

Low Crime Rate

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Photo: Courtesy of Neil Turner under a CC 2.0 license.

North Dakota regularly ranks among the lowest crime rates in the US, and Minot is regularly found to be one of the safest cities in the state.

If you’re sick of looking over your shoulder every time you walk down the street or rolling up your car windows whenever you drive through a bad part of town, you’ll find Minot to be a refreshing change.


The 20 Greatest Things About Living in the Midwest


Sportsman’s Paradise

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Photo: Courtesy of James Johnstone under a CC 2.0 license.

Minot and the surrounding region is well-regarded among outdoor enthusiasts.

Minot is along one of North America’s main corridors for waterfowl migration, making the area one of best places to hunt Canada Geese and Snow Geese. Minot is also situated near an abundance of stocked fisheries including Lake Sakakawea, one of America’s biggest man-made reservoirs and a walleye-fishing hot spot.

The Badlands

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Photo: Courtesy of Qfamily under a CC 2.0 license.

Just a couple hours’ drive away from Minot, The Badlands are rugged, striking geologic formations and a national treasure. This part of the country is also a hotbed for paleontology, with fossils of nautiloids, fish, marine reptiles, camels and three-toed horses all found in the region.

Bakken Shale

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Photo: Courtesy of Tim Evanson under a CC 2.0 license.

Although recent low oil prices have affected the energy industry in and around Minot, The Bakken Shale isn’t going anywhere and oil prices have a tendency to rebound. Boom times could be back once the price of starts creeping back up.

Infrastructure

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Photo: Courtesy of Jerry and Pat Donaho under a CC 2.0 license.

Minot has a robust infrastructure system that makes the city well-connected to the region and the greater United States. Three major highways run through the city: US 2, Us 52 and US 83. Two major railways are connected to Minot, the BNSF Railway and the Canadian Pacific Railway, and Amtrak connects the city to Chicago, Portland and Seattle. The Minot International Airport has daily flight from four airlines.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brett Smith is a freelance journalist based in New York State. A graduate of the State University of New York - Buffalo journalism program, he also has more than seven years of experience working in a...

8 Reasons to Move to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

8 Reasons to Move to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Food, health, beauty and activities come together to make this quirky town a great place to live.

By Brett Smith on Sat, 08/12/2017 - 11:21

If you’re thinking about moving from a warm-weather state to up near the Canadian border, you aren’t crazy – and you aren’t alone.

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho is gradually filling up with Californians who have grown weary of the Golden State and many are finding the Northern Idaho town to be a better fit for their lifestyle.

Minimal traffic, great dining options and closeness to nature are just a few reasons are why transplants are loving life in Coeur d’Alene, and why you might too.

Nature

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Photo: Courtesy of Leonardo Stabile

In the summer, Coeur d’Alene residents enjoy hiking, camping, boating, fishing and bird watching. In the winter, there’s skiing, ice skating, and snowmobiling.

So no matter what the season, the ability to enjoy nature in and around Coeur d’Alene is just minutes away. Specifically, locals prize Lake Coeur d’Alene, where many residents pursue water-based passions.

Personal Fitness

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Photo: Courtesy of Raniel Diaz under a CC 2.0 license.

All of those nature activities generally require some kind of physical exertion, and all that moving around translates into a healthy body. Furthermore, the town is very walkable, which means less time spent sitting in a car.

The community itself is also very fitness-minded, regularly holding 5k races and fun runs.


Discover the 5 Most Affordable Cities in Idaho


A Tight-Knit Community

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Photo: Courtesy of Raniel Diaz under a CC 2.0 license.

With a population just above 50,000, according to the latest US Census, Coeur d’Alene is a small community where business owners know their customers on a first-name basis and families look after each other in times of need.

If you’re looking for a community where people actually have a relationship with their neighbors, you might want to look at Coeur d’Alene.

No Traffic

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Photo: Courtesy of Paul Sableman under a CC 2.0 license.

If you live in a major city, you’re probably spending a lot of your time everyday sitting in traffic. That’s not an issue in Coeur d’Alene.  The lack of traffic also means cleaner air than what you’ll find in big cities.

Temperate Climate

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Photo: Courtesy of Daxis under a CC 2.0 license.

While winters in Coeur d’Alene can get quite cold, the town doesn’t get bitter cold for long stretches anymore, thanks to climate change. The town also has less than the US average for annual rainfall (24 inches) and the average annual snowfall is just 6 inches more than the national average (32 inches).


Making the Move? Here are the Basics of Moving to Idaho


Delectable Dining

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Photo: Courtesy of Loren Kerns under a CC 2.0 license.

Despite having a modest population size, Coeur d’Alene still has a lot of choices when it comes to dining. The Dockside Restaurant offers affordable American fare and waterfront views, Satay Bistro has modern upscale fare and Crafted Tap House + Kitchen is a great place for beer nerds to get their fix.

Many Newcomers

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Photo: Courtesy of Greg Goebel under a CC 2.0 license.

For reasons that aren’t quite clear, many people are moving up to Coeur d’Alene from California. Anecdotally, people say lower taxes and a more conservative culture is what draws Californians to the region.

Near Spokane

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Photo: Courtesy of John Crowley under a CC 2.0 license.

Although you may want to move to Coeur d’Alene to get away from an urban metropolis, Spokane is around 30 minutes away by car, which means big city amenities and a major airport are quickly accessible.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brett Smith is a freelance journalist based in New York State. A graduate of the State University of New York - Buffalo journalism program, he also has more than seven years of experience working in a...