Guest Post: Best US Cities for Europeans


Moving from Europe to the US usually feels like moving to a different planet. People who grew up in Europe have a specific lifestyle, and there are some things that will suit them in America, and some things that will not. Finding the perfect place across the ocean for people from the old continent is a real challenge. An ideal city would have to be just enough American to intrigue you, with a pinch of Europe so that it feels like home. We have done a research and tried to figure out which would be the best US cities for Europeans.

Before you hit the road

You should be really excited about this amazing new chapter of your life. Although culture shock will be big, moving to the US is an experience that will teach you so much. Not to mention a job market that is much wider than the one in Europe and really gives you an opportunity to build a carrier and make an impact. Before you hit the road, make sure that you have all the technical issues under control. You need dependable long distance movers to take care of your documents, regulations and safe transfer of your belongings. But try to travel light. You will certainly do a lot of shopping in your new city, so there is no need to bring your entire household. Try to find storage units in your area before you move so you can bring only the necessary things with you. This way, your relocation will be cheaper and you will have more space for the new things you will buy.


The city of Pella in Iowa gives you the feeling you are in the Netherlands.

Kansas City – Spain in the middle of the US

Kansas City has that amazing Spanish ambiance. Along with a great number of amenities and job opportunities, Europeans can find a better life here without feeling homesick. Its residential neighborhood and shopping district were architecturally designed to mimic the city of Seville. You will enjoy its vivid architecture. The towers, ornate tile roofs, and sprawling courtyards give you the feeling that you are in Spain while having all the benefits Americans have. In your spare time, you can go for a romantic gondola ride on Brush Creek or take a horse and carriage ride, which feels a little like New York as well, so everyone will find something for themselves. Walking through Kansas City, you will see street performers and hear the music that will lend further authenticity to the place.

It’s a small town, but has a lot to offer. There is a wide variety of places where you can eat, drink, have fun and, of course, work. And don’t forget to go shopping and enjoy local January sales. You can actually order tapas plates basically everywhere you go. And when you are really hungry, remember you are in BBQ country.

Pella, Iowa, or maybe the Netherlands?

This beautiful city in Marion County, Iowa was founded by immigrants from the Netherlands, which explains its scenery. It sits forty miles southeast of Des Moines and it is the home of Central College, as well as several manufacturing companies, such as Pella Corporation and Vermeer Manufacturing Company. Not many people know about this hidden gem – one of the best US cities for Europeans. Its Dutch-style architecture lines the streets giving the impression you are in the middle of Amsterdam. The famous windmill called Vermeer Mill is located next to Central Park, and it’s the largest structure of its style in the United States. You can spend a night in the Royal Amsterdam Hotel, preferably in May, when their Tulip Time festival takes place. During this festival, the streets are flooded with traditional Dutch attire, food, dancing, parades, and, of course, dozens of tulips. Don’t miss to stop by the Vander Ploeg for a cream horn and some Dutch apple bread.

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Ride the famous San Francisco cable car.

San Francisco, the city Europeans will love

‘’If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair’’ says the song. Do you know why? It’s because San Francisco is where the hippie movement started back in the 1960’s. In many neighborhoods, such as Haight Ashbury, you can still feel that hippie atmosphere. And this is just one of the faces this city has. Its residents like to say that it has something for everybody. In some of the huge skyscrapers of its business downtown, called the Financial district, you can find some job opportunities for yourself. Silicon Valley is famous for its thriving tech industry and enormous companies that are growing and hiring more and more people every year. Do you like to walk or jog? You can do that for hours along the famous Embarcadero Street and enjoy the ocean view. And if you are a real outdoor enthusiast, you will be glad to hear that you can spend an entire day in Golden Gate Park, and still not see all of it.

Everybody’s favorite city

There are so many different neighborhoods that offer so much diversity that you get the impression they are small towns. China and Japan town, Castro district and Central Market, Marina, Fisherman’s Warf and North Beach are just some of San Francisco neighborhoods. And when you want to grab a bite, you can find anything from vegan sushi to burgers, from Indian to Italian food, and everything else you can imagine. I think you are starting to get why San Francisco is one of the best cities for Europeans. Most importantly, its diversity will make you feel at home in the blink of an eye.


When in NYC, you can accomplish anything.

New York, one of the best US cities for Europeans

The main reason for moving to another city, country or continent is usually the desire to improve the quality of life. Therefore, when Europeans move to NYC, they are mostly looking for a better life. New York is a unique combination of the economic strength of the USA and the biggest ethnic diversity in the world. And here are some reasons that make NYC one of the best US cities for Europeans.

  • A huge job market – the best companies worldwide have their offices in NYC.
  • The most diverse cultural, sports and art scene.
  • Neighborhoods for all tastes – from peaceful to urban, with houses or condos.
  • An exceptional transportation system.
  • Lots of free ways to have fun.

But probably the most important reason why people come to NYC is the feeling that you can accomplish anything. And where everything is possible, dreams are coming true! Maybe the Big Apple is not just one of the best US cities for Europeans, maybe it’s the best for everybody.



Aaaaannnnddd….We’re Off!


Guess where we’re going! We’ve got a holiday planned in the States and we’re so excited about going! We thought that for our 1st wedding anniversary, we should take a trip to where it all began. We had such a wonderful time in the USA last year and would love to see/do some of the things we missed when we were there. (You know, its difficult to see the sights when you’re planning a wedding). So we’re off!

Prepare yourselves for some …OK, ALOT of vacation pics! 😀

I wil be checking in with reviews and taking the opportunity to send my version of a picture postcard.

So excited! Talk again soon!


*Photo sourced via Pixabay

What Makes an Old House a Historic Home? Guestpost by Gary Ashton


I am very pleased to introduce you to Gary Ashton. He is the CEO and owner of The Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX Advantage in Nashville, Tennessee and I am thrilled that he was willing to share some of his expertise with us!

As many of you know, I myself purchased an aging home so I think this piece is quite intriguing from the standpoint of an old home owner. Unfortunately, I realize that my place is not quite up to par to hope for a historical home status. But hey, who knows? Maybe in 20 or 30 years…right??

Without further a-do, ‘What Makes and Old House a Historic home’ ladies and gentleman!


What Makes a House a Historic Home

Existing homes make up the largest segment of today’s real estate market, by far. In fact, according to statistics released by the National Association of REALTORS® for 2015, there were more than ten times the number of existing homes sold as newly constructed homes. With 5.24 million of these homes sold and countless more in existence, it is a sure bet that there are a number of historic homes among them. If you are wondering what makes a home historic or why it even matters, the following information will help to answer your questions.

What Criteria Makes a Home Historic?

The definition of an historic home can vary. In most cases, these homes will fit one of the following examples:

  • a home that has been occupied by an historically famous person or where an historic event has occurred in the past
  • homes that are examples of architecture associated with a certain period of history, such as Victorian era homes or those built by an historically significant architect, such as Frank Lloyd Wright
  • homes that are more than 50 years of age are technically considered to be historic, although this is only one of the criteria needed for a home to receive an official designation as a historic home
  • farms that have been continuously operated by the same family for 100 years or more are recognized as historic in some states and officially designated as such

In most cases, homes that were occupied by historically significant people or were the site of an historically significant event have been turned into museums to help preserve their history. Homeowners who want to discover the history of their home should contact the The National Trust for Historic Preservation for more information. Homeowners who discover documentable historic facts about their home may be able to have it officially recognized and designated as an historic home.

Are Historic Homes More Valuable?

In general, homes that have some sort of proven historic significance can be more valuable than other homes, because of their unique historical significance. But there can also be additional costs and complications involved with owning this type of home.

For instance, homes located in some historic districts may require special permit processes for repairs and maintenance, as well as being required to use only approved materials when work on the home is needed.

What are the Best Ways to Market Historic Homes?

To start, any special marketing considerations for the type of property should be followed – e.g. if you’re selling a historic farm home, you’ll want to market it correctly as a farm first, and then figure out how its historical significance can help. Just the fact that there is a very limited supply of historic homes can be a strong selling point, but there are additional marketing tips that homeowners can use to enjoy higher offers on these homes.

The first is to make the home authentic to the reason for its historical significance. This might include making sure it is correctly staged and decorated to reflect its historical era and making sure that any improvements do not deter from its historical value.

If the home has received actual designations documenting its historical significance, these should be noted in all marketing materials and displayed during showings and open house events. Another good marketing tool is to find historical photos and information about the home and incorporate them into the marketing in both web and print media forms.

When selling a historic home, it is also important to understand that most buyers want the look of a historic home along with modern convenience, so it is important to also market these updates. Sustainable updates and green appliances are almost always a good idea.

In closing, make sure the home meets all criteria to be considered a historic home. Don’t just assume. Check the market and see exactly how many historic homes are available in the area. Look at prior sales as well, this might even give you ideas on how to market it more effectively. And above all else, consult a licensed real estate agent


Gary Ashton is the CEO and owner of The Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX Advantage. His real estate team is #1 in Tennessee, Nashville and now #4 in the world.