The Best Cities in the USA for Sports in 2018 Ranked

Jason C.
0 comments
Dallas, Maps, Seattle

The World Series, Super Bowl, and Stanley Cup are among the pinnacles of sports. These championship events give way to heightened emotion, excitement, and, ultimately, victory or defeat. The larger cities across the country normally have a healthy amount of sports teams and fans. Others, not so much. Which cities are the best for sports? Wallet Hub put together 2018’s best cities for sports.

Adam McCann explains the methodology in picking the best cities. In a nutshell, he writes, “each sports category was assigned a weight corresponding with the total percentage of adults in the U.S. who claim to follow that particular sport, according to The Global Sports Media Consumption Report”.

The sports we are going to highlight are football, basketball, baseball, hockey, and soccer.

Mapping the Best Cities for Sports

Source: WalletHub

Wallet Hub ran the data to create a visualization of what their findings look like on a map. As you can see, circles—some larger than others—dot the landscape. The larger circles indicate best sports cities that overall rank lower on the list. The smaller circles, like Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles, indicate cities that are the best of the best when it comes to sports cities.

At a quick glance, it looks like the best cities listed are more or less in tune with the general population size. For example, circles are found up and down the east coast stretching all the way to the Midwest. After that, there are cities few and far between until arriving on the west coast. On the east coast, California has the most of these best cities for sports.

The Best Cities for Football

The Philadelphia Eagles won 2018’s Super Bowl and the city ranks 8th on the list of best cities for football. Green Bay (Packers) has the top spot. The New England Patriots are an honorary mention because they competed in the Super Bowl five times in the last ten years. Out of five games, they won twice.

Here are the top 30 best cities for football:

Green Bay, WI
Pittsburgh, PA
Dallas, TX
Boston, MA
New York, NY
Los Angeles, CA
Glendale, AZ
Philadelphia, PA
Oakland, CA
Cincinnati, OH
Atlanta, GA
Seattle, WA
New Orleans, LA
Washington, DC
Indianapolis, IN
Miami, FL
Kansas City, MO
Minneapolis, MN
Charlotte, NC
Nashville, TN
Buffalo, NY
Cleveland, OH
Baltimore, MD
San Francisco, CA
Detroit, MI
Tampa, FL
Chicago, IL
Denver, CO
Houston, TX
Jacksonville, FL

The Best Cities for Basketball

The Golden State Warrior (San Francisco, CA) won 2018’s NBA Finals; however, the city only ranks 108 in the best cities for basketball. The Warriors also won in 2015 and 2017. Perhaps these wins will result in San Francisco moving up in the ranks!

Here are the top 30 best cities for basketball:

Los Angeles, CA
Boston, MA
Oakland, CA
San Antonio, TX
Salt Lake City, UT
Miami, FL
Oklahoma City, OK
Chicago, IL
Cleveland, OH
Philadelphia, PA
New York, NY
Washington, DC
Dallas, TX
Houston, TX
Atlanta, GA
Indianapolis, IN
Orlando, FL
Portland, OR
New Orleans, LA
Sacramento, CA
Milwaukee, WI
Detroit, MI
Chapel Hill, NC
Lawrence, KS
Memphis, TN
Minneapolis, MN
Durham, NC
Charlotte, NC
Denver, CO
Lexington, KY

The Best Cities for Baseball

The Boston Red Sox won 2018’s World Series and ranks at number 8 in the best cities for baseball. The Red Sox have competed in the championship game twice in the past 10 years. They won both times.

Here are the top 30 best cities for baseball:

New York, NY
Los Angeles, CA
St. Louis, MO
Atlanta, GA
Chicago, IL
San Francisco, CA
Cincinnati, OH
Boston, MA
Pittsburgh, PA
Arlington, TX
Oakland, CA
Minneapolis, MN
Detroit, MI
St. Petersburg, FL
Baltimore, MD
Milwaukee, WI
Cleveland, OH
Philadelphia, PA
San Diego, CA
Kansas City, MO
Phoenix, AZ
Houston, TX
Denver, CO
Seattle, WA
Washington, DC
Miami, FL
Buies Creek, NC
Spokane, WA
Annapolis, MD
Durham, NC

The Best Cities for Hockey

The Washington Capitals won 2018’s Standley Cup and the city ranks at number 10 in the best cities for hockey. The Chicago Blackhawks are notable because they won the championship game three times in the last ten years.

Here are the top 30 best cities for hockey:

Boston, MA
Detroit, MI
Pittsburgh, PA
New York, NY
Chicago, IL
Newark, NJ
St. Louis, MO
Buffalo, NY
Anaheim, CA
Washington, DC
Philadelphia, PA
San Jose, CA
St. Paul, MN
Denver, CO
Sunrise, FL
Tampa, FL
Los Angeles, CA
Las Vegas, NV
Dallas, TX
Glendale, AZ
Nashville, TN
Raleigh, NC
Columbus, OH
Ann Arbor, MI
Durham, NH
Grand Forks, ND
Lewiston, NY
Hamilton, NY
Hanover, NH
Orono, ME

The Best Cities for Soccer

Toronto FC is 2018’s MLS Cup winner. While a North America Soccer team, Toronto is not applicable to the best cities map because it only covers the United States. The top spot for soccer is held by Los Angeles whose team, LA Galaxy, has won the MLS Cup three times in the last ten years.

Here are the top 30 best cities for soccer:

Los Angeles, CA
Orlando, FL
Seattle, WA
Portland, OR
New York, NY
Salt Lake City, UT
Washington, DC
Kansas City, MO
Atlanta, GA
Chicago, IL
Houston, TX
Columbus, OH
Cary, NC
Minneapolis, MN
Boston, MA
Dallas, TX
San Jose, CA
Denver, CO
Philadelphia, PA
Piscataway, NJ
Cincinnati, OH
Louisville, KY
Sacramento, CA
Charleston, SC
Miami, FL
Richmond, VA
St. Louis, MO
Bethlehem, PA
San Antonio, TX
Tulsa, OK

Dallas, Seattle, Las Vegas, Kansas City, and Chicago

If you’be been following our blog, you know that these cities are great places to live for various reasons. Where do they stand as the best cities for sports? Check them out below.

Dallas—Football: 3; Basketball: 13; Baseball: 177; Hockey: 19; Soccer: 16
Seattle—Football: 12; Basketball: 83; Baseball: 24; Hockey: 450; Soccer: 3
Las Vegas—Football: 197; Basketball: 198; Baseball: 89; Hockey: 18; Soccer: 43
Kansas City—Football: 450; Basketball: 450; Baseball: 450; Hockey: 450; Soccer: 45
Chicago—Football: 27; Basketball: 8; Baseball: 5; Hockey: 5; Soccer: 10

Featured photo is a screenshot of Wallet Hub sports map by RPS Relocation

All sports photos by CC0 Creative Commons on Pixabay

Map of  best sports cities is embedded from WalletHub

How the USA Uses Its Land

Jason C.
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Data Visualization, Maps

The United States has one of largest land masses of any country in the world. Our country has vast mountains, plains, deserts. Puerto Rico—a territory of the United States—is home to the only tropical rain forest in North America. What is all of this land used for? Bloomberg pulled data from a number of sources to determine to answer this question.

Sure, a percentage of land is allotted for residential or business use. With the amount of traffic in some areas, it can seem as if our country is overpopulated; however, as Bloomberg learned from the data, that’s not the case.

Six Land Types

Bloomberg authors Dave Merrill and Lauren Leatherby write, “Using surveys, satellite images and categorizations from various government agencies, the U.S. Department of Agriculture divides the U.S. into six major types of land. The data can’t be pinpointed to a city block—each square on the map represents 250,000 acres of land. But piecing the data together state-by-state can give a general sense of how U.S. land is used”.

These six land types are:

  • Pasture/range
  • Forest
  • Cropland
  • Special Use
  • Miscellaneous
  • Urban

The map clearly shows urban areas are a minority compared to the rest, just by looking at the colored squares. Miscellaneous and special use areas have fewer squares than forest, cropland, or pasture and range zones. Bloomberg was able to collect the acreage for each land type.

Acreages of the Land Types

Imagine if you were able to view each land type together on the map. That’s what you get in the photo above. Here, it’s proven that urban areas are indeed the smallest and pasture and ranges are the largest. How many acreages does each land type contain? Here’s the breakdown:

  • Urban: 69.4M acres
  • Miscellaneous: 68.9M acres
  • Special Use: 168.6M acres
  • Cropland: 391.5M acres
  • Forest: 538.6M acres
  • Pasture/range: 654M acres

“Four in five Americans live, work and play” in urban areas, write Merrill and Leatherby. Given this fact, most Americans would be able to fit in a relatively small area of the country, in theory. Urban areas are growing quickly, however. Merrill and Leatherby continue, “The U.S. is becoming more urban—at an average rate of about 1 million additional acres a year. That’s the equivalent of adding new urban area the size of Los Angeles, Houston and Phoenix combined. U.S. urban areas have more than quadrupled since 1945”.

Food Production and Land

Around one-fifth of the land in our country is agricultural land and most of it is located in the Midwest. However, only a small percentage of agricultural land is currently used to feed Americans. Some of the land is used for ethanol production or livestock feed. Other land is used to cultivate crops with the goal of exporting them to other countries. Here’s a breakdown of what our cropland is used for:

  • Livestock feed: 127.4M acres
  • Food we eat: 77.3M acres
  • Other grain & feed exports: 62.8M acres
  • Idle/fallow: 52M acres
  • Ethanol, biodiesel: 38.1M acres
  • Wheat exports: 21.5M acres
  • Cotton/non-food: 13.6M acres

Here’s a photo of this data visualized:

Let’s zoom in on the food we eat. In the photo below, you can see wheat, non-citrus fruits, vegetables, rice, sugarcane, and a few other types of foods. Wheat, soybeans, peanuts, and oilseeds appear to be about half of what we eat. Barley, maple syrup, potatoes, and citrus are among the least of what we consume.

Featured photo by CC0 Creative Commens on Pixabay

Bloomberg data map photos are screenshots by RPS Relocation

The Green Energy Map of the USA

Jason C.
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Maps

Energy helps makes the world turn. Maybe that why every state in our country produces it; however, not all energy is equal when it comes to being green and environmentally friendly. Reddit user Dr_Engineerd shared a map of the United States. Specifically, the map details the percentage of electricity produced by non-fossil fuel sources. The data comes from U.S. Energy Information Administration. Let’s take a closer look at the map!

The Non-fossil Fuel Energy Map

Each state on the map is depicted by a certain color. The redder states are those which have a low percentage of non-fossil fuel energy production. The bluer states, on the other hand, of those which have a higher percentage of non-fossil fuel energy production.

Most of the states in the Midwest, with the exception of Illinois and South Dakota, lean towards the red end of the color spectrum. This means the electricity of those states is produced by a higher amount of fossil fuel energy. The northern states on both coasts trend bluer. The electricity there is produced by more non-fossil fuel energy.

Highest and Lowest States by Percentage

A cursory glance at the map will give you an idea where each state stands. After all, the color of the state indicates the type of fuel sources it uses (fossil fuels versus non-fossil fuels). To get a better idea of fuel sources, it’s best to get the actual percentage of electricity produced by non-fossil fuel sources. Below are the states which have the most, and least, percentages of electricity produced by non-fossil fuel sources.

Top 5 non-fossil fuel states:

  1. Vermont (99.6%)
  2. Washington (85.55%)
  3. Idaho (81.8%)
  4. New Hampshire (77%)
  5. Oregon (75.1%)

Bottom 5 non-fossil fuel states:

  1. Delaware (1.6%)
  2. West Virginia (4.6%)
  3. Rhode Island (4.8%)
  4. Indiana (6.2%)
  5. Kentucky (6.9%)

Comments and Thoughts

Reddit user Dr_Engineerd explains the types of non-fossil fuel energy sources. Solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, and hydroelectric are common types of green energy. Nuclear energy also falls into this category in part because it’s emission-free.

Dr_Engineerd also shared what the map would look like without including nuclear. See it below.

Another Reddit user, jswynn5, has an interesting take on the energy product of Texas. Jswynn5 writes, “Side note, I used to live in Texas, they are the largest wind energy producers in the US. Unfortunately it doesn’t come close to how much fossil fuel energy they produce. Just interesting facts”.

Featured photo by Pixabay on Pexels

Non-fossil fuel energy map and Reddit comments are screenshots by RPS Relocation

The Green Energy Map of Canada

Jason C.
0 comments
Maps

How green is Canada’s energy? When it comes to energy, let’s just say it depends on the province. Like the individual states in the United States, the provinces in Canada are diverse next to each other. Reddit user PaulsEggo posted an image visualizing how green each province is.

The Province Map

The provinces vary in color from red to light orange to light green to green. The red provinces are those which have a low percentage of electricity produced by renewables and uranium. The green, on the other side of the spectrum, are provinces which have a high percentage of electricity produced by renewables and uranium. Here are exact percentages for each color:

  • Red: 0-20%
  • Light Orange: 21-40%
  • Light Green: 41-94%
  • Green: 95+%

Territorial Statistics Chart

Reddit user PaulsEggo created the map visualization; in addition, he created the following provincial and territorial statistics chart.

It’s important to note that uranium and nuclear energy are considered clean energy. The chart is based on the data PaulsEggo collected from the National Energy Board (NEB). NEB writes, “Canada is rich in energy supply. From the hydroelectric reservoirs of British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec to the hydrocarbon resources of western Canada and offshore East Coast. From the uranium deposits in northern Saskatchewan to the abundant wind and solar potential across the country. This wealth of resources ranks Canada as the fifth largest natural gas producer, sixth largest crude oil producer, second largest hydro producer and sixth for share of renewable electricity generation.”

Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Geography

Alberta and Saskatchewan are among the provinces colored in red in the map. One Reddit user, Tamer_, commented “They’re still burning 87% of the coal and 72% of the natural gas used for power in Canada”.

Another Reddit user, kylethsmith, commented how geography plays a role in having clean energy. They write, “The map is purely a result of geography. The vast majority of the green energy reflected in this map is hydro power, which is abundant in places like BC and Quebec. Ontario has some great hydro electric assets, too, along with the population density to make building a large nuclear plant viable. Saskatchewan is flat. There aren’t a lot of waterfalls on the prairies to use for hydroelectricity. It is also sparsely populated, making the investment of tens of billions of dollars in a nuclear plant uneconomical”.

Featured photo by Daniel Joseph Petty on Pexels

Canada visualization map, statistics chart, and Reddit comments are screenshots by RPS Relocation

Dallas Map Startup Shows Critical Data in One Place

Jason C.
0 comments
Dallas, Data Visualization, Maps

Knowledge is power! And in our Information Age, data is the new form of knowledge. This data is being used to make humanity better. Technological advances are moving at the speed of Moore’s Law which sees computer power doubling every two years.

Data can be used to improve the lives of people at the federal, state, and local levels. One of the ways to determine where data will encourage positive action is to actually see the data. This can be accomplished by creating a data visualization on a map.

For Dallas, Texas, this such data visualization has become a reality. A substantial number of data sets have been collected with the goal of making the city better. This visualization is called TheMap. D Magazine gives us some background of how the map came to be.

Improving Dallas with a Map

Robert Mundinger, a longtime resident of Dallas, noticed problems in the areas he lived in. Matt Goodman of D Magazine wanted to learn more about TheMap from Mundinger.

Matt writes, TheMap is “an open-source, interactive web portal that allows users to access an array of data sets that can help people better understand all sorts of things about Dallas. The data sets can be used to generate maps. It’s all exportable. “A kid’s educational outcome is dependent on education and crime and health and access to food, access to internet, libraries,” Mundinger says. “All these variables affect each other so much that there needs to be one place where people can look at them together and analyze them.”

What Mundinger wants to achieve in simple: Highlight at-risk areas of the city. In addition, and while he was at it, Mundinger went ahead and included more data set that might be of use.

There are neighborhoods in Dallas which have a high concentration of poverty. This is included in the map visualization. There are intersections that have more fatal pedstrian crashes than others. This is also included in TheMap. There’s even data about where there are working females over the age of 16. The information contained within TheMap is comprehensive!

Let’s take a closer look at the data sets available for viewing.

Data Sets in TheMap

Police stations, fire stations, neighborhood associations, poverty areas—these are some of the data sets that are included in TheMap. Take a look at the column on the left to see them all. TheMap defaults to Popular Maps whe you visit the website.

You can otherwise click on Education, Civic, Housing, or other major types of data sets. Check out the row near the top to see more.

Once you click a data set, the information will be uploaded to the map. Let’s say you click on police departments. Pinpoints of every police department in Dallas will show up on the map. You can click them individually to get the name, address, and more information about the particular police department.

Bus Stops in Dallas

One of my favorite visualizations in TheMap is seeing where DART bus stops are. DART—which stands for Dallas Area Rapid Transit—seemingly has bus stops all over the city. A quick glance shows what can be estimated to over 100 bus stops.

This data set is surely important to Mundinger. After all, he’s concerned with increasing the access of public services to all residents of Dallas, including those below the poverty line. With TheMap, Dallas city officials can combine areas of poverty with bus stop locations. If there’s an area which is lacking of public transportation, DART could add a new bus stop there.

Combining Datasets in TheMap

One of the most powerful and helpful features of TheMap is the ability to combine and layer multiple datasets. To do this, you’ll need to create an account which only takes a minute.

Let’s say I want to see the locations of libraries and recreation centers. People considering a move to Dallas may enjoy both of these placs and want to live near them. See the screenshot of TheMap to see how it looks when you combine data sets.

Notice that recreation centers and libraries are shown on the left side. In the screenshot, they’re both toggled as being “Visible” in TheMap. You can toggle either of them on or off to show their exact locations. Or, you can click on each pin to gain further information.

Final Thoughts on TheMap

Robert Mundinger has done a great, free public service to the city of Dallas. City officials should be using TheMap before they make decisions that will affect the residents of the city. For example, a new police station can be built near an area of high crime.

Dallas isn’t the only city that can benefit from using TheMap. Mundinger, or people inspired by him, can take this idea and apply it to virtually any city. It would all be in the name of improving the lives of residents over an extended period of time.

Featured photo by Aksonsat Uanthoeng on Pexels

TheMap photos are screenshots by RPS Relocation

A Majority of Americans Say Renting is More Affordable Than Owning a Home

Jason C.
0 comments
Moving News

Is it better to rent or buy a home? It’s a simple question; however, there are many factors involved. Your situation is different from a great number of people. Income and age play a role in answering that question. Interest rates and location also play a role. Near term and long term goals have to be taken into consideration. Will you be in the area for a year or two? Or will you plant your feet for a decade or more? Numerous organizations—Freddie Mac, Forbes, and others—have studied this age-old question.

Let’s take a deeper look at the findings of Freddie Mac and Forbes.

Current Surveys and Research

Freddie Mac—otherwise known as the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation—commissioned Harris Poll to conduct a survey of people in the housing market. The survey was conducted online from August 13-15, 2018. This is the second such survey that was conducted this year (the first being from January 30-February 1, 2018). This recent survey took the pulse of 4,040 people over the age of 18. It also included 1,059 renters. Let’s read some of the results.

“According to the survey, 78 percent of renters believe renting is more affordable than owning – up a stunning 11 points from just six months ago in February 2018. This is the case even as the majority of renters (66 percent) reported difficulty affording their rent at some point over the past two years. The survey found nearly 9 in 10 renters employed in the essential workforce, such as health care and education, had significant difficulty affording the rent over the past two years.”

The fact that most renters believe mortgages are most expensive shouldn’t be surprising. What is surprising, however, is the fact that this belief jumped by 11 points in the past six months! Rising interest rates may be to blame. After all, the 30 Year Mortgage Rate jumped from 3.95% in January to 4.86% in November 2018. If mortgage rates continue to rise homes will become less affordable; however, renters will feel the squeeze too.

Best Cities for Renting or Owning

There are certain areas around the United States where it’s better to rent. On the other hand, there are places where it’s better to own. Forbes took a magnifying glass to this issue and found out where these cities are.

Amy Dobson included a visualization of rent gaps in the 33 largest metropolitan statistical areas. See it below.

Amy writes, “So what does this chart mean? The numbers listed here are percentage points—so for the San Francisco example, the difference between the percentage of salary a renter would spend versus a buyer is about 45 percentage points difference. The chart shows percentages of income. Looking at San Francisco, a buyer would have to spend 79.68% of the median income on monthly housing payments whereas a renter would spend only 35.66% of median income. Of course, most people aren’t spending nearly 80% of their income on housing (let’s hope not), but the statistic is a useful way to compare rents versus mortgage payments just to see how big a jump it takes to become a homeowner in some of the largest cities in America.”

This means the cities at the top of the visualization are the ones where it’s cheaper to rent a home. The cities at the bottom of the visualization are the ones where it’s cheaper to have a mortgage.

Income Required for a Mortgage in Cities

Prices of the housing market are vastly different depending on which area of the country to you live. For example, buying homes is more expensive in San Diego than buying a home in Pittsburgh. Forbes listed in the 33 most expensive major cities for having a mortgage. Here they are in order:

  1. San Francisco, CA
  2. San Jose, CA
  3. San Diego, CA
  4. Los Angeles, CA
  5. Miami-Fort Lauderdale, FL
  6. Seattle, WA
  7. Riverside, CA
  8. Denver, CO
  9. Portland, OR
  10. Sacramento, CA
  11. Las Vegas, NV
  12. Boston, MA
  13. New York, NY
  14. Orlando, FL
  15. Phoenix, AZ
  16. Washington, DC
  17. Dallas-Fort Worth, TX
  18. Tampa, FL
  19. Houston, TX
  20. San Antonio, TX
  21. Chicago, IL
  22. Charlotte, NC
  23. Baltimore, MD
  24. Atlanta, GA
  25. Minneapolis, MN
  26. Columbus, OH
  27. Kansas City, KS
  28. St. Louis, MO
  29. Cincinnati, OH
  30. Philadelphia, PA
  31. Cleveland, OH
  32. Pittsburgh, PA
  33. Detroit, MI

The cities listed above are in order based on mortgage cost rank. To better understand their placement, see the full visualization below. Amy also writes the chart below “shows the share of median income each city would require to buy a home. Researchers assumed a thirty-year mortgage, 3.5% down payment, 4.57% interest rate and property tax and insurance rate at 1.75% of the home’s value.”

In addition to the cost of mortgages, the chart also lists cities where it’s most expensive to rent. Los Angeles is the most expensive city to rent a home in. From the list, St. Louis is the least expensive city for renters. See more below.

Feature photo by David Jakab on Pexels

Forbes rent gaps photo and cost of mortgages photo are screenshots by RPS Relocation

Uhaul Prices Are Wildly Different Between Dallas and San Francisco

Jason C.
0 comments
Dallas, Moving News

uhaul dallas san francisco prices

Prices for the same goods and services are not normally far apart; however, prices in some areas of the country are vastly more expensive than elsewhere. Case in point: The cost of living in California is generally more than it is in Texas. This is true for home prices, child care, medical care, and even the price of renting a Uhaul.

Uhaul prices are vastly different in the two states, actually. KXAN—a Texas news outlet—wanted to dig a little deeper regarding this disparity in their article “Why it’s 4x as much to rent moving truck from CA to TX than reverse“.

Examining the Prices

You can already see from the article title that prices for Uhaul rentals are more expensive in California. Chris Davis—writer of the article—shared that KXAN used Uhaul’s online estimate tool to determine price differences between renting a vehicle from San Francisco to Austin, and back.

Chris writes, “The cost to get a 26-foot truck (enough to move a house full of stuff) to San Francisco from here is $1,150; the reverse trip costs close to four times as much, at $4,380. The cost from Los Angeles to Austin is almost five times as much.” These prices are a factor to people considering a move to Los Angeles from Austin or from Austin to Los Angeles. It’s the same factor as with people moving from San Francisco to Dallas, as shown above.

When we checked on October 29th, 2018 here’s what the prices looked like:

San Francisco to Dallas

  • 10 foot truck: $2,031.00
  • 15 foot truck: $2,138.00
  • 20 foot truck: $3,206.00
  • 26 foot truck: $4,275.00

Dallas to San Francisco

  • 10 foot truck: $974.00
  • 15 foot truck: $1,026.00
  • 20 foot truck: $1,128.00
  • 26 foot truck: $1,282.00

We were able to determine that prices for Boston, MA, which is roughly as far away from Dallas as San Francisco (Boston is 1,768 miles away vs. San Francisco at 1,732 miles away), are much cheaper. Currently a 26 foot UHaul truck from Boston to Dallas is $1,797 or $2,478 less expensive than moving to Dallas from San Francisco with the same UHaul truck.

Why is there such a difference in prices? KXAN reached out to Uhaul for an explanation. They didn’t get a breakdown; however, KXAN received an indication why there are such large price differences. Chris writes, “U-Haul did not provide anyone for an interview about the price difference but told KXAN in an emailed statement that supply and demand plays a big role in how much it costs to get from place to place.”

I suppose the question is this: Why is the demand so high for Californians to move to Texas? Texas Senator Ted Cruz thinks he has the answer.

Ted Cruz’s Theory and Migration of the California Population

Senator Cruz is currently running for reelection in Texas. His opponent, Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke, is advocating for policies similar to those that can be found in California. Cruz, on the other hand, wants to preserve many of the policies that Texas currently has as well as move in a more conservative direction.

Senator Cruz is “advocating for low taxes and low regulation, comparing Texas to California, when he said the Golden State is “hemorrhaging population”. It’s widely known that the cost of living is higher in California, taxes are higher, and there is more regulation on businesses and markets.

Whatever the motive for UHaul’s pricing, the official numbers do prove people are leaving from California and migrating to Texas. Chris writes, “Texas gained more than 1,000 people per day again last year, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics released at the end of 2017, a population gain of 1.4 percent. Most of those were what the agency calls a “natural increase” — babies being born — but 189,580 people migrated here, a total of 79,163 from other states. California, meanwhile, lost a net of 138,195 people to other states last year, though international migration still boosted the state’s overall population.”

It’s not just Texas either. When we look at UHaul prices for moving away from the bay area to cities in a similar distance away from San Francisco we see similar pricing for renting their trucks. Here are prices and distances for other cities in Mid-America roughly the same distance from San Francisco.

26 foot UHaul truck

  • Kansas City, MO (1,803 miles away): $4,277.00
  • Oklahoma City, OK (1,627 miles away): $4,100.00
  • Omaha, NE (1,665 miles away): $4,245.00
  • Minneapolis, MN (1,974 miles away): $3,671.00

Perhaps Ted Cruz is right and high taxes and a high cost of living are a couple reasons why people are moving from California to Texas and why the cost of moving via UHaul out of San Francisco is so expensive. However, the data seems to show that just like living in San Francisco, leaving it will cost you a lot, no matter when you’re going.

Have you ever rented a vehicle from Uhaul? If so, head over to our reviews page and rate them! We’re curious what you have to say.

Featured photo by Bruce Mars and highway vehicles photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels

Best Cities in the USA for Foodies to Live in

Jason C.
0 comments
Dallas, Moving News, Seattle

Some cities are better than others when it comes to food. More specifically, some cities are better for “foodies”. Foodies are those who explore new flavors and learn about different types of foods. WalletHub put together a comprehensive list of the best cities in America for foodies. They ranked the top 182 cities, to include the 150 most populous. Let’s explore some of these cities more in detail.

The Top 25 Cities

Topping the list is Portland, Oregon. Portland is well known as a “hipster haven” whose residents reach for the authentic. That includes food. Voodoo Donuts, Moonstruck Chocolates, Salt & Straw Ice Cream—theses are some of the food establishments Portland is known for.

The top 35 cities are as follows:

  1. Portland, OR
  2. San Francisco, CA
  3. Miami, FL
  4. New York, NY
  5. Los Angeles, CA
  6. Orlando, FL
  7. Las Vegas, NV
  8. Seattle, WA
  9. San Diego, CA
  10. Austin, TX
  11. Atlanta, GA
  12. Tampa, FL
  13. Chicago, IL
  14. Denver, CO
  15. Washington, DC
  16. Sacramento, CA
  17. Philadelphia, PA
  18. Houston, TX
  19. Oakland, CA
  20. Charleston, SC
  21. San Antonio, TX
  22. Cincinnati, OH
  23. Richmond, VA
  24. Milwaukee, WI
  25. Fort Lauderdale, FL
  26. Honolulu, HI
  27. Pittsburgh, PA
  28. Santa Ana, CA
  29. Albuquerque, NM
  30. St. Louis, MO
  31. Dallas, TX
  32. Rochester, NY
  33. Louisville, KY
  34. Minneapolis, MN
  35. Tucson, AZ

California and Texas: The States for Foodies

Of the 182 best cities for foodies, Califonia has 29 of them and Texas has 16. Granted, those two states are the two largest in the country, population wise. California is known for In-N-Out and avocado toast while Texas is known for Texas BBQ, Tex-Mex, chicken fried steak, and Texas chili. These famous food options are extremely simplified and one can find all types of lesser-known delights in these states and others.

While some Texans won’t be surprised at how well Austin and Houston ranked, they might be confused by Dallas ranking #31 on the list well after San Antonio and even lower than Albuquerque, NM. Ouch.

How These Cities Were Chosen

Adam McCann writes, “In order to determine the best and cheapest local foodie scenes, WalletHub compared 182 cities — including the 150 most populated U.S. cities, plus at least two of the most populated cities in each state — across two key dimensions, “Affordability” and “Diversity, Accessibility & Quality.”

Having these dimensions is important for a few reasons. With affordability, it was important for WalletHub that the food be accessible to the general population. For example, not everyone can afford a $100 meal, even if the taste is out of this world. Affordability doesn’t negate the lack of quality; instead, having affordable, quality food strikes a balance. The diversity of food within a city touches on the exploratory aspect of a city being known as a foodie haven.

Other Considerations

Cost of groceries, average alcohol prices, restaurants per capita, and coffee shops per capita are among additional factors that were taken into consideration.

Texas has 4 of the top 5 cities—Laredo, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, and Houston—for the lowest priced groceries. The other city is Knoxville, TN. For the highest-priced groceries, the cities from the list consist of New York, NY, Seattle, WA, Juneau, AK, Honolulu, HI, and Pearl City, HI.

Alcohol is cheapest in Indianapolis, IN, Detroit, MI, Toledo, OH, Milwaukee, WI, Boise City, ID, and Nampa, ID. It’s most expensive in Portland, OR, Vancouver, WA, Anchorage, AK, New York, NY, Juneau, AK, and Seattle, WA.

What’s striking here is that while Portland is number one on the list, alcohol is the most expensive in the city. Portland also has the highest number of breweries per capita which is something WalletHub also took into consideration.

Featured photo by Chan Walrus on Pexels

Map photo and best groceries photos are screenshots by RPS Relocation

Dallas City Bond Projects Map

Jason C.
0 comments
Dallas, Maps

The size of Texas is massive and the entire southeastern part rests on the Gulf of Mexico. Cities like Corpus Christi, Galveston, and Houston have felt the wrath of hurricanes. Given the central location of Dallas, one might assume flooding isn’t a major issue; however, it has been at times. To combat this, Dallas Reports detailed how the city is working on a number of flood prevention projects.

Projects in the Works

The projects are made possible from the passage of Dallas’s 2017 bond package. Specifically, these projects are covered under Proposition D. Jesus Jimenez of Dallas News writes “the city of Dallas has 84 projects in the works to improve flood protection, storm drainage, and erosion control.”

It’s important to remember that flood protection is only one aspect of minimizing potential damage to structures. Storm drainage and erosion control are equally important. For example, as an area takes on a large amount of water, there needs to be a mechanism in place for that water to be routed somewhere. Erosion control mitigates the instances of land, coastal, and construction disappearance.

Jesus Jimenez continues, “Sarah Standifer, assistant director of stormwater operations for the city of Dallas, said that while the last bond package sought to address citywide improvements, Proposition D of this bond package focuses on more neighborhood-specific improvements.” This tells me, without delving into the results of the last bond package, that citywide improvements were through to be sufficient. That’s why Dallas is now moving on to neighborhood-specific improvements. But which neighborhoods will be chosen? Let’s take a look at that next.

Dallas’ Flood Prevention Map

Google Maps has created a snapshot of areas where flood prevention projects are taking place. This map allows residents of Dallas access to track the progress of the ongoing projects.

Click on one of the blue pins to get a description of the work being done. For example, I clicked on Turnpike Distribution IV IH30-Commerce. The description says “Design and construction of connection of the improved channel in the Turnpike Distribution Center”. For another example, I clicked Teakwood Elmridge Drainage Relief. The description says “Design and construction – Replace existing system at the Teakwood and Elmridge area with a 100-year system.”

How Project Locations are Chosen

Do neighborhoods in and around Dallas get an equal amount of flood prevention aid? That’s not how it’s outlined in Proposition D. Jesus Jimenez writes “The process to identify projects funded through Proposition D included analyzing calls to 311, flood studies, community calls and emails, system inspection, and drainage master plans.”

This is the most logical way to determine which neighborhoods should get flood prevention aid. After all, places that have no history of flooding or aren’t vulnerable shouldn’t get chosen over places that have a history of flooding. Departments of the city keep records of areas that have been impacted by flooding. They use these records to determine which neighborhoods will be getting the flood prevention aid.

The decision rested with more than only what areas have flooded in the past. Jesus Jimenez continues, “Projects then went through a two-step evaluation involving technical criteria with a focus on public safety, and balancing criteria with a focus on supporting economic development and enhancing quality the of life.”

Economic development areas are just as important to keep safe as it is to keep neighborhoods safe. If business areas are wiped out, people may not be able to afford their homes; therefore, there has to be a balance between sending aid to neighborhoods and business areas.

Featured image by Pixabay on Pexels

Dallas city bonds projects map is a screenshot by RPS Relocation

Worst U.S. Cities for Fall Allergies in 2018

Jason C.
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Dallas, Moving News, Seattle

Allergies—a health condition whereby the immune system is negatively impacted by foreign particles or substances—are a public nuisance. These substances can be found in cities across the nation; however, some places have a significantly higher amount than others.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) conducted a comprehensive study to identify where allergies are the worst during the Fall season. The actually listed 100 cities, which you’ll see at the end of this article.

AAFA’s Criteria for Inclusion

How did the AAFA determine which cities made the cut, and which didn’t? They describe it in detail: “The ranking is based on analysis of data from the 100 most-populated Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) in the contiguous 48 states. The three (3) individual factors analyzed for the 2018 rankings are: seasonal (Fall) pollen score, medication use (allergy) and number of allergy specialists. For each factor, AAFA used the most recently available calendar year data. Weights are applied to each factor; factors are not weighted equally. Total scores are calculated as a composite of all three factors.”

Tips for Allergy Prevention

The AAFA provides actionable tips which will help you avoid or reduce your allergies. The recommend wearing sunglasses outdoors, removing shoes in the home, and keeping windows closed. If you have carpeting, regular vacuuming will reduce allergens in your home. Bed sheets should also be cleaned on a regular basis.

The AAFA also recommends “CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly” products such as cleaning supplies. You can also find allergy-friendly bed mattresses and HVAC filters. The more allergy friendly products you own, the better chance you have at mitigating the presence of allergies in your home.

The Top 100 Cities with Fall Allergies

The cities below are ranked from worst to best as the “most challenging places to live with fall allergies”.

  1. McAllen, TX
  2. Louisville, KY
  3. Jackson, MS
  4. San Antonio, TX
  5. Dayton, OH
  6. Providence, RI
  7. Memphis, TN
  8. Syracuse, NY
  9. Oklahoma City, OK
  10. Toledo, OH
  11. El Paso, TX
  12. Springfield, MA
  13. Baton Rouge, LA
  14. Knoxville, TN
  15. New Orleans, LA
  16. Wichita, KS
  17. Buffalo, NY
  18. Richmond, VA
  19. Akron, OH
  20. New Haven, CT
  21. Little Rock, AR
  22. Chattanooga, TN
  23. Hartford, CT
  24. Detroit, MI
  25. Dallas, TX
  26. Birmingham, AL
  27. Philadelphia, PA
  28. Columbia, SC
  29. Columbus, OH
  30. Tulsa, OK
  31. Greenville, SC
  32. Albany, NY
  33. Grand Rapids, MI
  34. 21 Cleveland, OH
  35. Pittsburgh, PA
  36. Charleston, SC
  37. New York, NY
  38. Scranton, PA
  39. Miami, FL
  40. St. Louis, MO
  41. Bridgeport, CT
  42. Austin, TX
  43. Allentown, PA
  44. Las Vegas, NV
  45. Omaha, NE
  46. Greensboro, NC
  47. Winston-Salem, NC
  48. Augusta, GA
  49. Virginia Beach, VA
  50. Cape Coral, FL
  51. Houston, TX
  52. Jacksonville, FL
  53. Fresno, CA
  54. Tucson, AZ
  55. Madison, WI
  56. Cincinnati, OH
  57. Nashville, TN
  58. Chicago, IL
  59. Rochester, NY
  60. Riverside, CA
  61. Charlotte, NC
  62. Indianapolis, IN
  63. Orlando, FL
  64. Des Moines, IA
  65. Los Angeles, CA
  66. Modesto, CA
  67. Lakeland, FL
  68. Minneapolis, MN
  69. Harrisburg, PA
  70. Kansas City, MO
  71. Albuquerque, NM
  72. Tampa, FL
  73. Durham, NC
  74. Worcester, MA
  75. Oxnard, CA
  76. Atlanta, GA
  77. Milwaukee, WI
  78. Baltimore, MD
  79. Bakersfield, CA
  80. Phoenix, AZ
  81. Boston, MA
  82. Palm Bay, FL
  83. Washington, DC
  84. San Diego, CA
  85. Spokane, WA
  86. Stockton, CA
  87. Daytona Beach, FL
  88. Sarasota, FL
  89. Raleigh, NC
  90. Sacramento, CA
  91. Salt Lake City, UT
  92. San Francisco, CA
  93. Ogden, UT
  94. Colorado Springs, CO
  95. Seattle, WA
  96. San Jose, CA
  97. Boise, ID
  98. Portland, OR
  99. Provo, UT
  100. Denver, CO

Featured image by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels

AAFA city allergies chart photo is a screenshot by RPS Relocation