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As a country founded by immigrants, the thousands of people move to the USA every year,  in search of the American Dream. The country is simply too large to make general statements about its’ landscape, people and climate, so suffice it to say that the third-largest country in the world isn’t called a ‘melting pot’ for nothing. It’s as if everyone either loves or hates the United States of America; the ‘land of the free’ seems to evoke strong feelings in just about anyone.

There’s always more people who want to move to the USA than the American government allows to enter. And, of course, there are many reasons why one would want to move to America, among them are high-quality healthcare, a safe living environment and many economic opportunity for those looking to work in a multinational corporation or for those who are looking to start their own business.

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Moving to the USA

In a country that has every imaginable landscape, from red rock to green plains and from snowy mountains to white beaches, there’s a dream home for anyone. However, if you’re planning a removal to the United States, do take into account the seasonal weather changes that you may encounter (think tornados, blizzards etc.). In most cases, homes in the United States are more spacious than what most immigrants are used to. Major cities all expanded outwards into so-called suburbs, with similar detached and semi-detached houses that extend as far as the eye can see. These usually come with at least a small piece of land and a garage.  These adjacent areas are usually well connected with city centres, if not by train then certainly by highway. However, expats without children who would like to be a little closer to the action will be more at home in an apartment block. Fortunately, most American cities are fairly young and are therefore designed in a way that leaves plenty of room for large green parks where people can go to escape the stress and the noise of the big city.

After the property price plummet of 2008, the real estate market in the United States is quickly on its way to recovery. Prices have nearly reached pre-recession levels, although some experts fore-cast a double dip. Needless to say, prices peak around the metropolitan areas on the East Coast, the urbanized coast of California and the Southernmost tip of Florida. But especially in the so-called ‘Mid-West’ and the ‘Deep South’ of the United States, expats should be able to find affordable property in an area that suits them.

Almost all of the home-owners in the USA have mortgages, and it is common to require home buyers to deposit a significant sum of money with an escrow agent to demonstrate that they’re committed to the deal. For people moving to the United States, the services of a reliable real estate agent is highly recommended. They have knowledge of the local properties and can ensure that things run smoothly. An agent may well prove his/her worth by saving you time and preventing unpleasant surprises throughout the process. However, be wary of agents that charges fees upfront – there’s plenty of agents that only charge a commission after you’ve signed all the paperwork for your new house.

When renting accommodation, it perfectly possible to search for a suitable place yourself. In all almost every city in the USA room sharing is quite common and living space may be advertised by agencies, landlords or occupants themselves. Differences in rent for furnished and unfurnished apartments may vary significantly, and the period for which it is rented may also play a role.

Shipping Furniture to the USA

Whether shipping furniture to the USA from another continent or you are planning on moving within the boundaries of the USA, it is a complicated process. International moving companies could inform you that shipments to destinations further inland are more expensive. No matter the volume of the goods, international moving companies would be willing to understake your shipments. For smaller shipments (approximately 30 boxes) to those regions, one could consider shipments by air. Do keep in mind that airfreight is usually more expensive than seafreight. It is wise to consult international removal companies that are experienced in your destination. As always, it is wise to take out insurance for goods that are being transported to another continent. Most international moving companies will be able to help you with that. Important to note is that if you do the packing yourself there may be special insurance policies applied from the international removal companies.

It’s unwise to include alcohol beverages in unaccompanied shipments, as these are subject to complex taxes and may therefore cause your shipment to be delayed when discovered. The good news is that you can move furniture to the USA free of tax and duty, provided that you can prove that you have the legal right to reside within the USA and that the goods have been owned and used by you for at least one year before. To ensure everything is implemented in a correct way one should contact international removal companies familiar with the procedures. Some personal belongings may not be exempt from duties (for example, clothes and some electrical equipment). Also, American customs appreciate a very detailed packing list although the exact rules are not always strictly followed. You may want to get a sample packing list, which is usually provided by the US embassy. Some of the international removal companies could also have it ready for those who use their services.

Moving to Florida

Think of Florida, and words such as white beaches, palm trees and cocktails come to mind. Indeed, the sunshine state is the favourite retreat of many wealthy American families enjoying an early retirement. Indeed, the coastal areas of Southern Florida could easily be confused with a random holiday resort in the nearby Caribbean, with its pearly white buildings and pervasive presence of Spanish speakers. In Miami Beach, one will find many exotic sports cars parked in prominent spots in front of luxurious houses and apartments. Nontheless, expats moving to Florida who look past all the wealthy pensioners trying to outdo the nouveau riche will find a very tolerant and multicultural society, full of beautiful and tolerant people fond of sports, fashion and health. Social life in Florida has a very relaxed pace and largely takes place outdoors, which means that newcomers will never have to be lonely or homesick. And since this flowery state is also home to the largest national park in Eastern USA and an abundance of gigantic animation parks, boredom won’t be a problem either. However, expats should take great care in choosing the area where they wish to live, especially in Miami, as the quality of education and other state facilities may vary greatly between neighbourhoods.


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