Where Vancouver’s Empty Homes Are

Joe Youngblood

The city of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada just announced a new empty homes tax which is projected to impact about 5% of the homes in the city. This move comes as the city fights high housing prices along with other measures like increasing the Foreign Buyer tax from 15% to 20% in hopes of keeping non-Canadian real estate investors out of the city.

61% of the empty houses in Vancouver are Condos with another 6% belonging to other types of multi-family housing such as townhomes, apartments, and duplexes. Almost 25% of all empty homes are located in Downtown Vancouver making up the largest volume of empty homes with the West End neighborhood coming in second place. In percentage of empty homes per neighborhood West End and Shaugnessy are both tied for the top spot with 8% of homes in both neighborhoods reported as empty.

This map of Vancouver neighborhoods breaks down where the empty houses in Vancouver are located.

vancouver empty homes map

If you’re looking to move to Canada from Seattle or Dallas or relocating from anywhere, or just want to invest in the Canadian real estate market, this map will be useful in understanding Vancouver’s new housing laws and housing markets.


Featured Photo by Gabriel Santiago on Unsplash

Where in the USA Renters Spend More Than Half of their Income On Rent

Joe Youngblood
Maps, Moving News

If you’re one of the estimated 40 million Americans moving this year, there’s a good chance you might end up renting a new apartment, condo, townhome, duplex, or house. One issue that’s been getting more attention lately is how much of their income renters are spending on rent instead of saving or spending on other things. The more that is spent on rent, which doesn’t help consumer’s credit scores, the less that is able to be placed into long-term savings, paid on education loans, invested in markets, or spent on consumer items.

Based on a new map you may want to consider moving into a lower populated area if possible. The map was made by Reddit user /u/academiaadvice and shows counties in the USA color-coded by where residents spend x% of their income on rent. The red and dark red areas indicate where a population spends over 25% of their income on housing rent, something most financial experts advise not to do. These counties almost perfectly line up with population density maps showing the more congested an area is, the more likely a renter is to pay a larger percentage of their monthly income in rent.

Out of all of the states California appears to be the worst for renters along with New York, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, and Florida. Some of the more affordable states include Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Utah, Montana, and Missouri.

where renters spend more of their income on rent


Neighbor vs. Neighbor: Man gets sued by neighbors over his garage

Joe Youngblood
Home Ownership

A man has been fighting a lawsuit and legal trouble caused by his neighbors for years, all because of his garage. It’s cost him over $25,000 so far. Watch the video and decide what’s going on for yourself.


The neighbors claim that his garage violates county codes, is dangerous, is an illegal business, and is an eye sore. The man claims he just uses his garage to help friends work on their cars. As the video shows the story starts to unfold and we see the ban scoot passed the camera on his wheelchair, a twist we’re unaware of, he’s handicapped. The man and the neighbors both agree on one thing, the council won’t do anything about the issue. So far they’ve sided with the man and said that his garage does not violate any codes.

The neighbors are still fighting claiming they want to take him all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to have them tear down his garage.

Top Misspelled Word In Each U.S. State

Jason C.
Moving News

Not everyone has won a Spelling Bee Competition and this is made apparent by the type of popular misspellings in each state. Keeping this in mind, ABC News has reported on which word is the most misspelled for each state. And they collected the information from Google. “Google pulled data from its search trends to reveal the top word most people have trouble spelling in each state. Using search queries that began with ‘how to spell’ and then the word in question, Google was able to determine the most troublesome words for people in all 50 states.” Take a look at the map below and read which is the top misspelled word for each state.

Observations from the Map

A picture is worth a thousand words and this map shows us some misspelled ones. The map is broken down by the number of times a certain word is repeatedly misspelled. For example, “definitely” is the most misspelled word in two separate states; therefore, those states are colored blue. Here’s the breakdown:

  • The top misspelled word in one state is yellow.
  • The most misspelled word in two states is blue.
  • The top misspelled word in three states is purple.
  • The most misspelled word in four states is red.

Yellow, Blue, Purple, and Red

There are 19 states where the misspelled word is unique to that particular state. For example, “niece” is only the top misspelled word in Texas. “Tomorrow” is the most misspelled word in Florida. Amusingly, “Hawaii” is the top misspelled word in Alaska which is the only other non-contiguous state.

There are 14 states where the top misspelled word is unique to two states. That means there are 7 words shared by two states each. For example, “appreciate” is the most misspelled word in both Illinois and Georgia. “Definitely” is the top misspelled word in both Oregon and Louisiana.

There are 9 states where the most misspelled word is unique to three states. That means 3 unique words are each shared by 3 states. For example, “gray” is the top misspelled word in Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Michigan. In another example, “pneumonia” is the most misspelled word in Washington, North Carolina, and Missouri.

Finally, there are 8 states where the most misspelled word is unique to four states. That means there are 2 words shared by 4 states each. For example, “desert” is the top misspelled word in California, Idaho, Indiana, and Connecticut. The other word, “cancelled”, is the most misspelled word in Rhode Island, Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. It’s interesting that the word “cancelled” is the top misspelled word in states found only on the East Coast.

Spelling Massachusettes

Besides “Hawaii”, there’s only one additional state as the top misspelled word in a given state. This is Massachusettes. For the amusement of readers everywhere, the state where Massachusettes is the most misspelled word is this: Massachusettes. This just goes to show that difficult names of states can be hard to spell, even in their home state! It’s a good thing most email clients and word processors have built-in spelling checks.

Featured image by Pixabay on Pexels

Massachusetts image by Wikimedia on Wikipedia

How To Move a Motorcycle

Joe Youngblood
Moving Guides

A guide on how to load up and move your motorcycle(s) with a moving truck

Imgur user Turbovez and his wife took their 2 old motorcycles on a 2,000 mile journey across the American Southwest. From California through Nevada, Colorado, Arizona the 4 Corners Region, Native American Reservations, and the Grand Canyon they rode on battling dirty and sandy roads, heat advisory, and mechanical failures along the way. The couple took in scenic views of America everyone should strive to see as they made their way through each state. Eventually, they had to resort to renting a moving truck as one of the bikes broke down and the summer heat in Arizona became too much to risk riding in.

how to move your motorcycles
[click photo to enlarge] [image credit to turbovez]

Both motorcycles were loaded into the back of the moving truck and strapped in. Turbovez took a great photo which shows how the two bikes were held in place for the their trip back to Joshua Tree, California where their journey started. Each bike is first pulled into the back of the moving truck 1 by 1 and parked with their kickstand down and front wheel tilted to the left, as you would normally park a bike. The two bikes are then held in place with 3 tow straps. The bike furthest to the left of the truck has two tow straps attached to the left wall rail and one tow strap attached to the right wall rail. The bike furthest to the right has two tow straps attached to the right wall rail and one tow strap attached to the left wall rail.

This configuration kept their motorcycles safe and sound on the over 5 hour drive from Camp Verde, AZ back to Joshua Tree, CA and should work well for you if you’re moving one or two motorcycles. Of course that means you’ll need to rent a moving truck. You should be able to use this same technique on a flatbed trailer or in the bed of a regular pickup truck, you’ll just need three tow straps per bike and a ramp of some sort to get the bike or bikes into the truck bed or onto the flatbed trailer. If you’re moving other stuff in a moving truck along with your motorcycle we’d recommend adding your motorcycle to the truck first, then waiting on the engine too cool off before placing boxes and other items around it.

View the entire gallery of photos from their trip here: Couple Takes a trip across the American Southwest on Motorcycles

Seattle is the Number 11 City in the USA for Digital Startups

Joe Youngblood

If you’re looking to make a move so you can be the founder and CEO of your own startup or work at a hot new tech company. Then Seattle, WA might be where you want to go. Moving to Seattle can be a bit of difficult task for some people. To make your move easier check out our list of moving tools and our ultimate moving checklist.

A recent report on American cities and communities ranked Seattle #11 in the top cities for digital innovation. The report, Innovation that Matters, is an annual research publication which seeks to see how cities and  communities are working to support the move to a more digitally based economy. The reports authors, venture capital firm 1776, gave out high marks for the number of people moving to Seattle with tech skills and for having relatively even presence in the 4 major tech sectors; Education, Energy, Health, and Smart Cities. Seattle scored highest in the startup-Education sector, established-Energy sector, startup-Health sector, and the startup-Smart Cities sector. The survey concluded that hiring talented digital workers in Seattle would be pretty easy naming it the #2 city for ha skilled work force and the #4 overall top talent pools for startups in the country powered in part by the presence of Amazon and Microsoft in the region and the long-term impact the general I.T. industry has had on the city and it’s economy.

seattle ranks high for incoming workers with tech skills

The talent base in Seattle is thriving. The city (home-base for tech titans Amazon and Microsoft) has been vaulted into the upper echelon of U.S. tech hubs. Additionally, the city’s robust population inflows, educated millennials and skilled tech workforce make it a powerhouse when it comes to attracting top talent. – 1776, Innovation that Matters report

However, the researchers also concluded that there were disconnects in the startup industry as to how well the startup scene is spread around the city and metro area. Most digital startups are located in the same part of Seattle, Downtown which makes it feel like a strong dense community to the startups but not to everyone in the city. This is important because startups need more than just their friends next door to support them to be successful, they need more people in local business communities to be involved as well, Seattle ranks #24 in this regard. The city ranks #21 (out of 25 cities/areas) in the number of mentors, #22 in cheerleaders, & #22 in engaged citizens as well.

seattle vs. raleigh north carolina startups

The tech startup scene in Raleigh-Durham vs. Seattle from 2011-2015

The researchers point to this lack of community engagement and assistance as the top hurdle for the startup community in Seattle moving foward and the biggest reason the area ranks lower than others on the list.

The 10 cities that topped Seattle in the list are:

  1. Boston
  2. San Francisco (Bay Area)
  3. Denver
  4. Raleigh-Durham
  5. San Diego
  6. Austin
  7. Los Angeles
  8. Philadelphia
  9. Washington DC
  10. New York

Seattle beat out 4 other cities in the list of 25. This includes some that are growing in population and infrastructure quickly such as Dallas, Kansas City, and Houston. The full list of cities topped by Seattle’s tech startup scene are:

  • Chicago
  • Portland
  • Pittsburgh
  • Nashville
  • Minneapolis
  • Salt Lake City
  • Baltimore
  • Dallas
  • Houston
  • Atlanta
  • Miami
  • Phoenix
  • Kansas City
  • New Orleans

seattle wa performs well in tech sectors

Read the full Innovation that Matters 2016 report from 1776 here: http://www.1776.vc/reports/innovation-that-matters-2016/

The Future of Moving

Joe Youngblood
Moving Technology

In the future you’ll hire robot owners to command their robots or use your own automated technology and gadgets to help you move. Drone aircraft, self-driving cars, autonomous furniture moving robots, rfid tags, nfc, and other moving technology will make the move of the future faster, more efficient, cheaper, and a lot less stressful.

Self-Driving Cars

In the fairly near future you’ll be able to pack your car full of boxes and send it to your new home where another person or even robot are waiting to unload the boxes before the vehicle returns to pickup more boxes. If Self-Driving Cars of the near future are built like ours your could feasibly fit a lot of your clothes and small boxes into the trunk and interior seating areas and send the car to your waiting roommate or spouse at your new place. If moving a small apartment within the same city this could enable you to move cheaper than hiring a moving company.

Moving Drones

Moving drones will pick up small to medium sized boxes and carefully move them to your new home setting them down on a landing pad that contains a homing beacon. The multi-copter drones will be able to lift nearly 200 lbs and transport your belongings in specially designed crates. The creates will clamp onto the bottom of the drone using 4 electromagnetic locking clamps. These clamps will not be released until the drone has safely planted it’s cargo on the ground using a mixture of signals from the Moving Drone Beacon Pad. It finds the beacon pad via homing signals and uses a built in on-board camera to look for the specially designed markings on the top of the pad. Only when a drone is positive that it can see the markets and has the right pad will to lower down and only once it has touched down will it release it’s cargo.

Already this year a drone broke the weight-lighting record for a drone aircraft by lifting a historic 130lbs into the air. If advances continue these craft could be available within 5 years time.

Moving Drone Beacon Pad

The Moving Drone Beacon Pad is a beacon pad placed near your new home in a small clearing that allows the Moving Drone to home in on its location. The pad is thin, lightweight, flexible, and durable. Before a moving drone is given cargo to move it’s bound with a MDBP via a bluetooth like signal. A pad can be bound to one or more drones at a time. The moving pad is equipped with the ability to access cell phone towers and gps. Once laid down the mover presses a button that activates the pad, when active the pad accesses GPS satellietes and obtains its GPS coordinates. It then accesses a nearby cellular internet or wifi service and tells the drones bound to it where it is. This allows the drones to home in on it’s relative location. Once hovering above the beacon pad the drones camera scans to ensure that the pad’s markings are clearly visible and that there is nothing on the pad to ensure safety. If the pad is clear the drone begins to slowly lower keeping the markings within it’s camera sights. As it lowers the drone begins to pickup NFC signals to better ensure that it’s in the right location and keeps lowering. When the drone has lowered the cargo all the way to the ground it trips a pressure switch in the pad which signals the drone to release its clamps. The clamps release and the drone flys up and away ensuring it doesn’t hit buildings or other drones in the process. Once finished with moving the moving drone beacon pad can be switched off and rolled up and given to the last drone to fly it back to the moving company’s base.

Furniture Moving Bots

Big furniture such as your bed, couch, washer and dryer, and dressers will be moved by a team of furniture moving bots in the future. First the bot handlers will wrap the furniture with plastic wrap then the bots will lift it and store it in a box truck. Once at the location the bots will place the furniture inside where it needs to go.

Purpose built for different types of furniture, FMB bots will have sturdy stucture and tread covered wheels but still be lightweight enough to carry and not cause damage to wooden or carpeted flooring. The mattress moving FMB will be two platforms connected with

FMB’s could possibly get their directions from your smartphone app or a virtual reality app on your Oculus, Gear VR, or other device.

Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality – you’ll have virtual reality or altered reality programs like Microsoft Hololens, META, Samsung Gear VR, or Occulus Rift that allows you to place your furniture in your new place. The virtual reality program will interface with your moving robots so that they know where to place your furniture.

Moving Apps – hopefully in the near future utility, cable, and internet companies will all have api’s that will allow you to update your new address with the touch of one button. State’s will update your home address, banks will update your banking address, and the USPS will update your address.

RFID Tags / NFC Tags – in a few years time RFID or NFC tags will be cheap enough that we’ll have label makers which print out these radio frequency tags to easily mark a box of goods without writing on it. The tags can be read by various autonomous bots and in-home appliances and smart phone apps to identify.

In-Home Appliances – nest, echo, and other in-home appliances need to know what room their in. These devices will be able to read RFID / NFC tags in moving boxes to understand when they enter a wrong room or are back in the room they belong in.