Urban Living and the ABCs of a Successful City Move
In June 2002, several years before the peak of the housing boom, President George W. Bush asserted that owning a home was the American dream. At the time, construction works across the nation were preparing for a surge of residential building. At the same time, banks were starting to give flaky mortgages to Americans eager to become homeowners.
Today, however, the American dream is shifting. For more and more Americans, the vision of owning a big house with a two-car garage, white picket fence and sprawling park around the corner is being replaced in favor of renting a downtown penthouse with a stellar view and a short walk to work. The allure and convenience of life in the city has resulted in moving trends from the suburbs to busy urban centers. While many people would love to own homes in the city, exorbitant prices often make that dream challenging. So, they purchase condos or rent apartments in order to live proximate to work, and enjoy all the wonderful things that city life has to offer, from cafes and cultural events to restaurants and night life.
Recent housing data reveals that there is a decrease in traditional, single-family suburban home construction. Since the last recession, single-family homebuilding has been lower than it is in decades. Census statistics also show that fewer people are purchasing single-family homes as well. Conversely, there has been a rise in construction of residences with five or more apartment units such as multiplexes, condominiums, and high-rises.
Who is Moving to the City?
According to Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America, “the multifamily building trend is happening everywhere”. He says that the current market is “driven much more by people who are either choosing to live in the city or in the near-in suburbs, particularly people who are just getting their first job or don’t have confidence that their job is going to last long enough to warrant buying a home.”
Young college graduates often head to urban centers to begin their careers. Some reject the suburban ideal while others are simply in no hurry – or no financial position – to buy a home. Chief economist for the National Association of Homebuilders, David Crowe, explains that “there’s been a surge in urban apartment building…The 25- to 34-year-old age group is focused on living near their peers. They want be socially engaged and live near work. They want to reduce their automobile use. All of those things aim at high-density, urban-type living.”
Back in 2005, multifamily housing accounted for 17% of new construction. By 2013, it accounted for 33% of new construction. Those numbers continue to rise! The reason for this is simple: people are migrating to the cities. Urban centers across the nation such as Austin, Texas and Seattle, Washington are growing at a faster pace than the rest of the country. Millennials are saying goodbye to suburban life that their parents idealized; instead, they are drawn to the vibrant, convenient life that downtown offers. This sentiment is echoed by Ellen Dunham-Jones, professor of architecture and urban design at Georgia Tech, who explains that “Unlike their parents, who calculated their worth in terms of square feet, ultimately inventing the McMansion, […] this generation is more interested in the amenities of the city itself: great public spaces, walkability, diverse people and activities with which they can participate.” It is no wonder that the city is attracting an influx of young, ambitious professionals and families. They want a different kind of life – an active, urban life that the suburbs simply don’t offer.
Even those that still idealize suburban life and home ownership move to the city, at least temporarily, because the cost of housing is so high. They delay buying a home because they have no choice but to do so. Banks have made their lending standards more rigorous, so purchasing a new property isn’t as easy as it once was. With a difficult job market and the burden of student loans, new graduates see the sensibility of renting at least until they are on more solid ground financially.
Whether or not millennials will ultimately flock back to the suburbs to purchase homes and raise children remains to be seen. However, for the time being, it is clear that young people prefer city life. With apartment building construction at an all-time high, it appears the mass migration to the cities will not decrease anytime soon.
Are You Moving to the City?
People move to the city for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you were recently offered a fantastic new job at a company based in the city or want to shorten your long, tiring commute to work. Maybe you have grown tired of the quiet suburbs and want to live closer to the “action”, with amazing cafes, restaurants, bars, concerts, cultural events, shopping and more at your fingertips. Whatever your reason for being attracted to urban life, once you have decided to move to the city there are some things you need to know that will help ensure your move is as successful and stress-free as possible.
Book Your Preferred Movers and Moving Date of Choice.
Once you have decided to move, the first step is to search for a reputable moving company experienced executing moves in the city where you will be moving. If you are moving to the city, you want to ensure your top choice moving company is available on your preferred moving date. This is especially important if you are moving to the city to start a new job or if your old lease is up and you need to move your possessions out of your new place by a specific date. Once you have an ideal moving date in mind, secure that date with your moving company of choice. That way, you won’t have to comprise by going with your second choice or a sketchy third-rate mover. When you work with movers without stellar reviews and recommendations, you run the risk of your home, furniture and belongings sustaining damage due to lack of proper training and equipment. You also run the risk that your movers won’t be insured or will charge you through the roof because they know you’re in a pinch.
All Jersey & Storage recommends that you try to book your moving date a minimum of a few weeks in advance, especially during high season. We understand that sometimes you simply don’t have the luxury of planning your move in advance. Family issues, new jobs, illness, and natural disasters are some of the possible issues that necessitate a last minute. Mortgage setbacks, home improvement hold-ups, title issues, or delays with a certificate of occupancy can also force you to change your moving date unexpectedly. At All Jersey Moving & Storage, we understand that “life happens” and sometimes you have to move in a hurry. That’s why we do everything in our power to accommodate last minute moving requests and weekend moves whenever possible.
Take the Pressure out of Parking.
Trying to navigate the always-busy streets and side streets of an urban center is challenging enough in a small car, never mind a large moving truck. Luckily, experienced movers like All Jersey Moving & Storage can get your valuable items to your destination safely and on time. That said, it's important to consider where your movers will park once they've neared your destination. Find out if the city you’re moving to provides parking permits to movers.
Loading and Unloading Cargo.
If you're moving into an apartment, speak with your building manager to see how moves are typically handled and where cargo can be unloaded safely and without penalty. In addition to being able to park close to your home or building, your moving company will require use of the freight elevator. Familiarize yourself with any restrictions there may be involving when you can execute your move using the elevator.
Be Conscious of Space.
If you’re moving from a home or townhouse to a city-sized condo or apartment, you may not be able to take all your furniture and possessions with you. Try to look at the positive – it’s an opportunity to let go of things you no longer use, want or need and maybe even purchase some contemporary appropriately sized pieces for your new urban home. Ensure that you have the accurate room dimensions of your new place so you can measure your furniture and see what will realistically fit. Start the packing process as soon as possible so you have plenty of time to sort through your belongings. Decide what you want to keep, give away or sell. Consider having a garage sale, giving or selling items to friends and family, selling furniture on Craigslist or donating unwanted possessions to families in need via a local charity. Keep in mind that each of these tasks takes time, so start as early as possible to avoid creating added stress. If there are items you want to keep but don’t have space for, consider putting them in storage.
All Jersey Moving & Storage has a New Jersey-based containerized storage facility. Clients appreciate that they don’t have to coordinate logistics between their movers and storage facility. Unlike at a self-storage facility, furniture and boxes at our containerized storage facility aren't simply stacked on top of one another. This ensures your valuables aren’t damaged, dented, scraped or crushed while in storage. Our storage facility also has racks so your sofas and loveseats can remain on their feet. When these items are stacked in self-storage facilities, they are often left with permanent indentations or even tears in the upholstery. Click here to learn more about the benefits of containerized storage.
Hire a Professional Mover you can Trust.
All Jersey Moving & Storage has helped thousands of professionals and young families move to urban centers in New Jersey, New York, Boston, and Washingston D.C. and across the country.
*Packing and unpacking services. Packing is one of the moving tasks that people dread most. If you’re moving to a new apartment or home and don’t have the time to pack and unpack your belongings, our movers can undertake the task for you.
*Last minute moving. Whether you receive a fantastic job opportunity or finally find the perfect apartment, sometimes you don’t have the luxury of planning your move far in advance. We do our absolute best to accommodate last minute and weekend moves.
*Containerized storage services. Downsizing to a city-sized apartment or condo? If you need to store your extra furniture and belongings, we offer reliable, convenient residential short-term and long-term containerized storage. Our team takes every step necessary to give you peace of mind that your goods and furniture are professionally wrapped and safely packed away until you're ready to access them.
Contact us today for a free moving estimate.