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Know Your Neighborhood: Historic Duckpond

Moving to Gainesville or Tampa?

Moving can be a stressful. On top of all the packing and planning, you probably feel a little anxious about moving to a new area. After all, It takes time to get a adjusted to a new home and a new neighborhood.

We want to make moving easier for you. That’s why we’re making lists of all the neighborhoods in Gainesville and Tampa that make them great cities to live in. We’ll be keying you in on the hot restaurants, attractions and all the things that make these neighborhoods awesome.

Know Your Neighborhood: Historic Duckpond

Gainesville’s Historic Duckpond neighborhood is beloved by its residents for its history and Old Florida charm.

Duckpond’s old, Colonial style homes, scenic beauty and proximity to downtown make it a favorite neighborhood for many. It’s worlds away from university life – making it a favorite among professors – and it has a unique and warm atmosphere, making it a great neighborhood to live in.

Here are some things to know about the neighborhood if you’re planning to move to Gainesville’s Historic Duckpond.

Culture

moving to gainesvilleThe Thomas Center

Nestled in the heart of Duckpond is the Thomas Center. Built in 1928 as a Mediterranean-Revival style hotel, the Thomas Center now reflects Gainesville’s history and culture through permanent galleries, period rooms, and other historical exhibits.

Make sure you take time to enjoy the serene beauty of the Thomas Center Gardens, which make up the Center’s grounds.

The Thomas Center also serves as an events hall and venue.

History

homes in historic duckpondArchitecture

Throughout Duckpond you’ll find the neighborhood’s most iconic features (and maybe the reason you’re moving here): historic, Colonial-style homes. Residents lovingly care for their homes and take great pride in them.

They represent Gainesville’s rich and vibrant history as a city – even before it was known as a college town.

Recreation

Outdoor Activities

Duckpond is a great neighborhood for recreation. Duckpond’s bounty of majestic, Live Oaks and historic homes provide a scenic backdrop for most any outdoor activity.

Sweetwater Branch Creek, which flows through Duckpond, provides an idyllic setting for a walk, jog, or bike ride. And yes, there are ducks in the pond…

You’ll also quickly find that residents of Historic Duckpond are incredibly friendly! If you’re out and about, don’t be surprised if you’re greeted with smiles and waves. You should probably be ready for be ready to make some friendly conversation too.

Convenience

Another plus for living in Duckpond is its closeness to downtown Gainesville. You’re just a short walk away from most great downtown shops, restaurants, and bars.

Welcome Home!

We hope this gives you a small taste of what’s waiting for you in your new neighborhood! You can check out the Duckpond Neighborhood Association for more info on living in Historic Duckpond and other community events.

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Know Your Neighborhood: Tampa Heights

Moving to Tampa or Gainesville?

Moving can be a stressful. On top of all the packing and planning, you probably have felt a little anxious moving to a new area. It takes time to get a adjusted to a new home and a new neighborhood.

We want to make moving easier for you. That’s why we’re making lists of all the neighborhoods in Tampa and Gainesville that make them great cities to live in. We’ll be keying you in on the hot restaurants, attractions and all the things that make these neighborhoods awesome.

Know Your Neighborhood: Tampa Heights

Tampa Heights is one of Tampa’s oldest neighborhoods. Centrally located and steeped in history, Tampa Heights has been enjoying a recent resurgence of interest.

Some of Tampa’s hottest food and drink spots are situated in Tampa Heights. The neighborhood is also an easy distance from the downtown core, Ybor and Seminole Heights allowing for plenty of things to do.

Here some things to know about the neighborhood if you’re planning a move to Tampa Heights.

Food and Drinks

Tampa Heights has a flourishing foodie scene. Tons of great restaurants and bars call this neighborhood home. Here are some of our favorites:

tampa heightsUlele

Opened 2014, Ulele has become one of the hottest spots in Tampa – for its fabulous food and in-house brews and its prime location. Ulele sits not only on the Hillsborough Riverfront, but it also shares its property with a natural spring (from which the restaurant gets its namesake), providing an unparalleled dining backdrop.

Ulele is another concept by Richard Gonzmart’s Columbia Restaurant Group (Goody Goody’s, Columbia), so you know the food is great. They  focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients – with a preference towards local, when possible – to bring their flavors.

With in-house microbrews, signature cocktails and homemade ice cream, Ulele is a perfect spot for dining, happy hour or desert.

tampa heights breweriesHidden Springs Ale Works

Just down the street from Ulele is Hidden Springs Ale Works. A cornerstone of the N. Franklin St. refurbishment project, Hidden Springs is serving up awesome craft brews that reflect the funky charm and culture of Tampa Heights.

They also have a rotating list of guest taps as well as bottled beverages and wines.

tampa heights pizzaLee’s Grocery

One of Tampa Heights’ hidden gems. Nestled on a quiet, shaded corner on Central Ave., Lee’s Grocery offers handcrafted pizza and craft brews in a hip, casual setting.

Despite its low-key appearance, Lee’s has been a vital part of the Tampa Heights community. It’s history as a neighborhood grocery store for migrant works dates back to the 1880’s! Though it’s since been converted into an eatery, it keeps the original name.

A great place to stop in for a beer and, if you’re hungry, this is seriously some of the best pizza you’ll have in Tampa. You can even by beers-to-go; their cooler has an extensive collection of local, regional and national craft beers, ciders and meades.

History

Tampa Heights is one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods. This is still reflected today in the homes and businesses that make up this neighborhood.

You’re sure to find Old Florida charm among the oak trees and bungalows. Tampa Heights also has a high concentration of historic landmarks and structures:

Woodlawn Cemetery

Tampa’s 2nd oldest and its largest, Woodlawn sits in the middle of Tampa Heights. It is open to the public and features headstones dating back to Tampa’s founding.

tampa heights churchesArchitecture

Pre-century, red-brick structures can be found scattered throughout the neighborhood. Some of the most beautiful examples of this architecture are found in the historic churches found around Tampa Heights.

Welcome Home!

We hope this gives you a small taste of what’s waiting for you in your new neighborhood! You can check out the Tampa Heights Civic Association website for more info on community events or to learn how you can get more involved.

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Tampa’s Housing Market Ranks Healthiest in the Nation

Tampa's housing market

The housing market has rebounded since the 2008 economic recession and it’s safe to say that Tampa’s housing market has rebounded right along with it. In fact, the Tampa Bay area is enjoying some of the healthiest market ratings in the nation, according to Investopedia.

The past couple of years have been good to Tampa real estate, especially single family homes.

The reason? Tampa Bay is becoming a major economic generator for the state, with major growth factors contributing to its success

The Facts on Tampa’s Housing Market

Here are some of the current figures highlighting the strength of Tampa’s housing market right now:

  • Job Growth
    • Year-over-year, job growth in the metro-area is up 3.1%
    • Consistent 2-4% growth over past 5 years
  • Housing Market
    • Home values for existing homes in the Tampa Bay area have increased to 13.1%
  • Population Growth

Moving to Tampa?

If you’re considering a move to Tampa, there really isn’t a better time. Strong job growth and population growth have made Tampa Bay a stable market and allowed home values to rebound. Right now, every economic factor is in alignment to position Tampa’s housing market as one of the strongest in the nation.

Plus, the Tampa Bay area has tons to offer residents in terms of recreation, entertainment and culture. Geographically, Tampa is well-positioned within the state. With major highways and interstates connecting through Tampa, it is easy to get anywhere in the state. Plus rail lines, an international airport and a shipping port, it is a great travel hub.

Want to Know More

We’ve got a great archive of attractions and things to do in Tampa on our blog. Check it out! If you’re interested in finding out more Tampa’s housing market and stats, check out this Metro Study report.

 

 

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10 Life-Hacks to Make Moving Easier

moving life-hacks

Moving… It’s something no one likes to think about, let alone do.

Whether you’re leaving home for the first time or a life-long renter, moving is never fun… and it never seems to get any easier. First, there’s going through the house and taking inventory of what we need and don’t need – if you’re like me, then the need pile always seems to get bigger. Then there’s the packing and loading, and inevitable house cleaning that follows – and let’s not forget having to schedule a move or organize truck pick-up…

As professional movers, we’ve seen the stress that moving can cause on people. In an effort to save people some of the aggravation associated with moving, we’ve put together this list of 10 life-hacks to make your next move easier.

Moving Life-Hacks

  • Create a Schedule or Timeline
    • Make it as strict or loose as you like, but having a written plan in place really really helps to cut down on the amount of stuff to keep track of.
  • Get Your Supplies Together
    • A week or two before your move, start getting together the packing supplies you will need. Make sure you have enough boxes, tape, plastic wrap, moving blankets, etc. before your moving day.
  • Take Pictures of Your Electronics
    • This will save you the headache of trying to remember how your stereo, cable box and television were all plugged-in.
  • Use Your Drawers as Moving Boxes
    • Instead of emptying all the clothes out of your drawer or bureau and putting them in a box, you can save time and space by keeping everything in them and wrapping them completely in plastic wrap.
  • Keep Your Packing Organized
    • Don’t start throwing things from your bedroom into boxes for the living room. You’ll go insane unpacking after the move trying to find where you put everything. It may help to label, or list the contents of your box
  • Put Screws and Bolts in Bags
    • If you need to dismantle anything, make sure to keep screws and bolts organized in clearly labeled bags so you don’t lose them.
  • Use Soft Padding Around the House for Packing
    • Instead of buying bubble wrap or saving up newspaper, you can use soft items around the house for packing, like towels, jackets, blankets and pillows.
  • Use Paper Towel Rolls to Prevent Tangling
    • You can string electronics cords and wires through paper towel rolls to keep them from tangling during moving. Toilet paper rolls can also be used for necklaces and jewelry to prevent tangling.
  • Update Utilities and Addresses
    • Switch over your internet and turn on utilities for your residence before moving. Make sure any mail subscriptions or online accounts are updated with your new address.
  • Pack a 1st Day Box
    • Pack a dedicated box of items you will need immediately after moving: clothes for the week, toiletries, quick meals.

An easier move.

While moving is never totally stress-free, these tips will definitely make your next move a lot easier. Don’t forget, professional movers are here to help. We take the utmost care in moving our clients, whether it’s a residential or commercial move. Let us handle the stress, contact us before your next move.

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7 Moving Tips for a Safe and Smooth Move

Moving Tips

Save Money. Be Protected. Enjoy a Smooth Move.

We know everybody’s moving situation is unique. We train our Gainesville movers and Tampa Movers to adapt to whatever special circumstances are needed, however, the more uniform the situation, the more likely the smoothest possible relocation will take place. Below are some tips to ensure that your experience with 2 College Brothers, or whichever mover you choose, is the best move you have ever had!

  1. Book your move as far in advance as you can, as early in the day as possible.

  2. Most movers can only guarantee the start time of the first job of the day. Your mover will shoot to always be on schedule, however, sometimes prior jobs take longer than expected, and inclement weather, particularly afternoon thunderstorms, can become a factor. 2 College Brothers moves close to 2,000 people per year, which means there will be multiple jobs each day, especially during peak season, so keep this in mind!

  3. Provide as many details about your move as you can.

  4. Oftentimes people think they will save money by under reporting the items needed to be moved. Because most local moving companies charge on an hourly basis, this generally results in the price going above the estimated total. By letting your mover know as many details about the move as you can, they can give you the most accurate estimate to budget for, and it ensures that we will be properly equipped with the right sized truck, amount of movers, protective materials, and special equipment or tools that will help expedite the process and protect your items. Details to look for include:

    • List of furniture and number of boxes being moved
    • Anything requiring assembly or disassembly
    • Anything particularly heavy, valuable, or fragile
      • Pianos, pool tables, armoires, artwork, electronics, etc.
    • List any special circumstances such as:
      • Gate codes
      • Long hallways
      • Difficult to find locations
      • Extra stops
      • Extra garage, attic, or storage space
  5. Notify management of any pets or potentially hazardous conditions.

    Some people are allergic to pets and nobody likes their furniture sneezed on! It’s ok if something isn’t clean, that’s part of why you are moving! Just let your mover know so they can bring gloves, masks or anything else to protect the health of their team members.

  6. Have everything packed and ready to go!

  7. Good movers are happy to provide packing services, however this may result in an additional charge. Unless you specifically request packing services, your movers may not know to bring the materials needed to do the job right. Small or awkward items are difficult to stack safely inside of a truck if they are not packed into boxes, and several small items means more trips back and forth to the truck, causing the job to take longer, costing more money!

    Pack the heaviest items like books, canned goods or files into small boxes. Boxes should never weigh more than 50 pounds, as this can jeopardize the integrity of the box. Make sure fragile items are individually wrapped in boxes, and packing paper or peanuts are used to fill in open gaps.

  8. Save money by being organized!

    • If you have all boxes in a central location, your movers can work as quickly as possible
    • If boxes are labeled, your mover will know exactly which rooms they go in
    • Break down beds, dressers, couches, desks, etc. It is no problem if you do not know how, or do not have time, a good mover has the tools to do so, but this will save them time, and save you money!
  9. Transport any small, awkward, fragile and sentimental items yourself.

  10. These items may take extra time and cost securing and protecting. If something small like a laptop, heirloom, or piece of art is extremely important to you, it just makes sense to transport it yourself. Make sure to be very clear with the movers of the item’s significance if you would still like them to transport it. Depending on the item and situation, they may have you sign a release of liability.

  11. If loading a rental truck make sure to provide blankets and tie downs.

  12. Because you will be moving out of the area, you must provide your own pads and tie downs as the local mover you hire will not be able to get their own back. They should still bring out stretch wrap, but you will want max padding for a long distance move. The mover may not be responsible for any damages that may result in transportation of a truck not driven by its team. Once you are satisfied with the load up and sign off, the mover is no longer liable, so make sure the crew has everything they need to pack the truck safely. You can rent moving pads and other equipment from the truck rental facility.

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Quick Moving Tips for Your Success

moving-success

Moving Tips

3 Steps on How to Move Into Off-Campus Housing

If you’re going into your sophomore year at a university, chances are, you’ve had enough of the “social benefits” provided by dorm life and are ready for a little more independence. Although apartments and houses offer a ton of benefits that dorms do not provide, the process of selecting the right housing and making the move can be difficult. Here are a few tips that will make the process as easy as possible.

  1. Hunt for off-campus housing before the beginning of the school year.
    If you live in a college town, like Gainesville, students inhabit the majority of housing. To get ahead of the game, make sure to start looking way before you are planning on making your move. There are a variety of aspects you’ll need to look at when choosing off-campus housing.The location of the housing in proximity to where you go to school is a major factor for consideration. If the housing you are looking at is very close to your university, it will be the first to get booked for the upcoming school year. Don’t be left without a place to live and make moves early.
  2. Inspect the contract
    Although students have a tendency to skip over fine print, these are details you’ll want to look over when signing a lease. Ask questions. Will there be a cap on electricity? Are utilities included in your monthly rent? Are pets allowed? Asking questions and reading the fine print will allow you to make sure you are choosing the housing that provides you with everything on your checklist.
  3. Note the move-in dates
    Major apartment complexes in college towns are notorious for being an unorganized muddle on move-in day. Make sure you know what your move-in date will be ahead of time. This way, you will be able to book your move-in with 2 College Brothers ahead of time. If you’re trying to plan your move, chances are, there are thousands of other students trying to do the same. Eliminate the stress involved with leaving your cozy dorm and let 2CB do the job for you.

5 Tips on How to Have a Stress-Free Moving Day

  1. Don’t bring more than you need.
    Consider having a garage sale before your move to clear out items you no longer need. Charitable organizations like Goodwill, Children’s Home Society, and the Salvation Army will also take clothing, furniture, and other household items you no longer need.
  2. Do all of your packing BEFORE moving day.
    There’s so much craziness on moving day that the last thing you want is the added stress of packing last minute.
  3. Do a quick walk through with the movers before getting started.
    Inspect your furniture to make sure the inventory sheet is correct. Make sure the movers agree on the condition of the furniture before proceeding.
  4. Keep pets and kids away from the movers.
    It might be a good idea to have your pets and kids out of the house on moving day. This will protect the movers, your kids/pets, and belongings from any accidents. Your focus should be on the moving process, not distractions.
  5. Make sure you have a charger.
    The last thing you want on moving day is a dead phone. Your movers and family will need to contact you.

We will make your commercial or residential moving experience in Gainesville, FL the best one yet! Don’t procrastinate this busy day, we’re ready to help make it a quick and easy move.

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How to Choose the Best Moving Company

Storage Units in Gainesville FL

10 Things You Must Ask a Moving Company

Choosing the Best Moving Company

  1. Are you a licensed, bonded, and insured moving company?
    When looking for movers, this question is the most essential. If you hire a moving company that is not licensed nor insured, you run many risks such as: them not showing up (which happens all the time), breaking items, theft, etc. Before moving, do your homework. Research the movers. Call around and investigate.
  2. Is there a number I can call to reach a moving coordinator at any point throughout the moving process to address any question or concern?
    This is always good to have. You want to have a point of contact in case your movers are running late, you want to make a change, or if you just have a question. You will feel more at ease knowing you have someone you can contact directly for anything related to your move.
  3. How long have you been active in the moving business?
    How long a moving company has been in business is a direct reflection of their expertise. This question will be more relevant depending on the size and complexity of your move. Other questions that can help you hire the right movers. 2 College Brothers is going on 5+ strong years in the business.
  4. Will you come out to my property to look at my items for a moving quote?
    When moving locally or long distance, this is probably one of the most important questions to ask. About 80% of miscommunication between movers and clients would have to be on the conditions of the move. If your mover says they can’t make it out to you, or simply want to give you a moving quote over the phone, this should raise an eyebrow. 2 College Brothers will come out to your property free of charge and perform a complimentary in-house estimate to avoid any confusion down the road.
  5. Do you ask for a deposit? If so, how much?
    There is nothing wrong with a moving company asking for a deposit to reserve the date and time. Busy moving companies have a lot of moves and movers all over the place. The moving company wants to make sure you are serious in your decision and putting your move into the schedule. The thing to look out for is if the moving company asks you for a large deposit. 50% is a large deposit. At that point you may need to step back and research a little more. A fair deposit for your move can be anywhere in the ballpark of 5% to 15% of your moving job. So if your move costs $400, anywhere between $20-$60 is a fair deposit.
  6. What happens if something were to break during the move?
    This is a question many movers don’t like to hear or will avoid. But when hiring a moving company, make sure to have this answer beforehand. Hopefully nothing will go wrong, but at the end of the day movers are just people and accidents do happen. Ask your movers about their insurance policy, and if it’s possible to purchase extra insurance.
  7. What happens if the movers arrive late, or simply don’t arrive to the move?
    Make sure you have a time frame for when to expect your movers to arrive at the site. If your movers don’t arrive at all, you should ask to speak to the moving company’s upper level management. If you’re being toyed with over the phone, call the county and report a complaint. Of course, this shouldn’t happen if your mover is licensed and insured.
  8. How do you charge? Hourly or flat-rate? Are there extra fees or surcharges?
    It’s always good to know exactly what your mover will charge you. If it’s a flat-rate, make sure its binding agreement, meaning it cannot go over the calculated moving quote. If given an hourly moving quote, make sure the moving estimate is the final one, and that it will not be altered for any reason. Ask your moving company if they charge extra for stairs, longer hallways, fuel, travel time, etc. Other questions to ask: Do you provide moving pads or blankets, shrink wrap, and other protective materials to accomplish the move?
  9. You provide me with a written document stating all prices, details, inclusions, and exclusions?
    This is highly important for a consumer. You want to make sure that everything about the move is stated on black and white: moving quote, date and time, fees, materials, amount of movers, etc. Require your moving company to provide you with a written estimate with all the details of your move.
  10. What can I do, as a client, to make this move as smooth as possible?
    A moving company’s favorite question. There are many simple yet effective and time efficient things you can do to make it a smooth and affordable move. For example, rather than having clothes scattered all over the place, have your stuff ready to go in plastic bags or wardrobe boxes. This will reduce the labor time and in some cases reduce your final cost. Disassemble items if that’s what is necessary to move them through narrow doors or hallways. The biggest thing is to have everything packed and ready to go so that when the movers arrive they can quickly load the moving truck and be on their merry way.

Before making any costly choices with an inexperienced moving company make sure to give our moving company a shout!

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Should I Hire a Moving Company or Just Do it Myself?

Benefits of Hiring a Professional Moving Company

Are you wiling to do the heavy lifting or hire a company?

Deciding to go with a reputable moving company is usually more cost effective than people think.

Looking for just ANY Help, Won’t Help

Here’s an example: Let’s say the Smith family is moving in Gainesville, FL. Mr. Smith calls several moving companies and finds that the average estimate for a one-bedroom move is $250. Realizing that’s more than he wanted to dish out to a moving company, he decides they’ll make the move happen on their own. Mr. Smith thinks to himself, “All I need is a truck and some dudes. Maybe I’ll hire a few guys standing outside of Home Depot.”

OK, sure, no problem…

“I’ll buy them lunch and throw them a few extra bucks.”

Comparing Costs and Benefits

The Smith family needs to rent a truck; let’s assume the daily rate is $40. WRONG. Don’t forget the mileage rate, mandatory insurance, and refilling the gas. So now we’re looking at $75 at least. Next, unless you’re superman, the Smiths will need to rent a hand truck and dolly to move boxes and furniture around as well as some extras like furniture pads and cling wrap to make sure nothing gets damaged. Another $45 or so in materials. The Smiths are now ready to get moving. Their cost is already between 50%-70% of the initial quoted price for the move, but now they’ll have to worry that the “movers” won’t damage, brake, scratch, or drop your belongings. They have zero experience maneuvering around stairs, narrow hallways, elevators, etc.

Finding Relief in a Trusted Company

Eliminate the hassle. If you’re moving near Gainesville, FL or need a long distance moving quote within Florida contact 2 College Brothers. A qualified moving consultant will provide you with a complimentary in-house estimate. Our experienced movers will take it from there providing you, the valued client, with a smooth, successful, and stress-free moving experience.

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