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Thinking about moving to California?

California Dreaming?

Moving to California is a concept as American as apple pie. Here is a guide to make it more than just a dream.


Moving Advice

Before moving to California, you should know one thing: there are a lot of people living here. At last count, almost 38 million. This isn’t to say that you’ll have to learn to fight for elbow room just to get around.

In fact, there are many places in the state where you can lead a life with plenty of breathing (and elbow) room. And if you’re coming from a sizable metropolitan area elsewhere in the nation, you might not even notice much of a change.

If, however, you’re moving to CA from a comparatively sparsely populated region, you’re likely to take one look at the vast freeway-bound throngs and wonder how more people don’t succumb to ochlophobia (fear of crowds).

If you’re moving to California and headed for one of the state’s bigger metro areas like San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego or Los Angeles, you’ll do well to arrange your schedule around the high probability of freeway traffic.

You’re not always guaranteed to run into gridlock, but the occasional traffic jam can even be found on Sunday nights. Here are a few insider tips to help make your migration to California go smoothly.
  • Heaviest freeway traffic occurs between the hours of 6AM and 9PM in the morning, and 3PM to 7PM in the afternoon.
  • Carpool lanes are established to allow vehicles with more than one passenger access to a more free-flowing traffic lane; however, many of them are only carpool lanes during certain hours of the day. Pay attention to this.
  • An adult riding with a child is considered a carpool.
  • Due to California’s pervasive “car culture,” there are very few places within the state that can’t be accessed via paved road.
  • San Francisco’s hilly streets are known the world over for their unusual layout, but if you’re moving to CA with your sights set on Fog City (or a city with a similar, hilly orientation), be sure you know in advance what the parking situation adjacent to your new home will be.
  • Moving van permits aren’t required, but are a smart thing to have in order to secure a temporary “no parking” zone where you or your movers can unload easily. Requirements vary throughout the state. To obtain a moving permit, contact the city offices or police department of the city you’re moving to for more information on fees and availability.
  • California’s state university system is the biggest in the country, with close to 450,000 students. If you are moving to California, it may be wise to seek housing that’s located outside the immediate vicinity of its most densely populated universities: the City College of San Francisco, UCLA, CSU Fullerton, CSU Long Beach and San Diego State University. You can find more information on the various universities in California here.
  • With a climate that can vary greatly depending on your location, be sure to check weather forecasts ahead of your planned move-in to avoid the possibility of heat exhaustion and dehydration in the hot, dry areas of the state, and to avoid snow delays or cold exposure at higher elevations.
  • Complete a change of address form with the USPS a week prior to your move to allow for the 7- to 10-day lag that can often accompany the necessary completion of paperwork.
  • When hiring a moving company, always check the company’s record with the Better Business Bureau, and be on the lookout for the possibility of frequently perpetrated moving scams.

CMSA President Elected to AMSA Board

Congratulations Steve! 

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CMSA President, Steve Weitekamp has been elected to the AMSA Board of Directors. He takes the place of Patricia McLaughlin, executive director of the Illinois Movers’ and Warehousemen’s Association, who announced her retirement from the board. Weitekamp has been a strong advocate for the association’s almost 400 members on state regulation and compliance issues.

San Diego Members Donated Services to Village

CMSA members in San Diego have rolled up their sleeves to assist Operation Homefront Village, a nonprofit organization that provides transitional housing to military personnel and their families, relocate from Oceanside to Mission Viejo. Moving companies donated moving services for the organization from July through September. CMSA members who donated their services include Atlas Transfer & Storage Co., Covan WorldWide Moving, Ace Relocation Systems, Republic Moving & Storage and Priority Moving. Operation Homefront Village residents and staff had nothing but glowing reviews about their experience with CMSA members: “The movers have been amazing! It has been such a long day and they have been so positive and fast.” “The movers were great! Professional and quick.” “The movers were here bright and early, and they were great throughout the entire day.” Operation Homefront Village provides transitional housing to wounded or ill military members leaving the service and their families. In addition to providing free rent, utilities and furnishings, the organization also offers financial planning, employment coaching and a support network for service members and their families to lean on in hard times.

7 Best Places to Successfully Age

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What makes a city perfect for successfully aging? Researchers from the Milken Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, set out to find the answer. But they were quick to note the following cities that top its list for successful age have nothing to do with retirement.

Read more: Why Age 61 is Important to Real Estate

Instead, its 2014 survey is based off of more than 84 indicators among eight categories, from financial to health care to community engagement for Americans over the age of 65. The indicators include such items as the average wait time in a hospital emergency room, special needs transportation availability, the number of local movie theaters, and the cost of adult day care.

“The common theme among the winners is: economic strength, an abundance of health care services, an active lifestyle, access to amenities and intellectual stimulation,” says economist Anusuya Chatterjee, who developed the survey’s methodology.

Madison, Wis., topped Milken’s list of best large cities to successful age. Milken says that Madison boasts high employment growth and low poverty rate for older adults; low crime rate; quality health care; low rates of smoking; and an abundance of recreational and fitness activities.

Here’s the list of the top big cities to successfully age, according to the Milken Institute:

  1. Madison, Wisc.
  2. Omaha, Neb.
  3. Provo, Utah
  4. Boston, Mass.
  5. Salt Lake City, Utah
  6. Jackson, Miss.
  7. Des Moines, Iowa

Here are Milken’s picks for top small cities to successfully age:

  1. Iowa City, Iowa
  2. Sioux Falls, S.D.
  3. Columbia, Mo.
  4. Bismarck, N.D.
  5. Rapid City, S.D.
  6. Ames, Iowa
  7. Rochester, Minn.