Moving to Pennsylvania

Filled with rich American history, stunning landscapes, affordable living options, superb educational opportunities, and chocolate galore, the state of Pennsylvania is a national treasure. Whether you’re looking for a great place to retire, start a business, or raise a family, this Northeastern state is an ideal location to partake in everything the East Coast has to offer. Enjoy proximity to NYC and Washington DC along with the magic of four distinct seasons and the natural beauty of the Appalachian Mountains.

Are you considering a move to Pennsylvania? Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned expert in moving, there’s a lot of info you should know beforehand. To make the process easier, Great Guys Long Distance Movers has created this PA moving guide to help you out. It includes the following sections:

  1. Things to Know Before Moving to PA
  2. The Top 8 Places to Live in the State
  3. A Handy Interstate Moving Checklist
  4. A List of Our Quality PA Moving Services
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Living in Pennsylvania: What to Know Before Moving to Pennsylvania

Ready to make a new home in Pennsylvania? If so, it’s the perfect opportunity to get to know the 5th most populous (12.8 million residents) and 33rd largest state (46,055 square miles) in America.

Pros and Cons of Living in Pennsylvania

Want to know the good, bad, and the ugly of living in Pennsylvania? Here are the top pros and cons to know ahead of your move!

Pros:

  • Cost of living: Your dollar goes a long way here, especially in the city. Rent can be up to 50% lower, while real estate prices are currently two-thirds lower than in New York City.
  • Sale tax exceptions: Though many goods are taxed, items that are not subject to sales tax include food, clothing, amusement parks, parking lots, and even tattoo services.
  • High quality of life: The long list of benefits includes breathtaking nature, rich history, four distinct seasons, world-class education, greater career fulfillment, and much more.
  • Central location: Known as the Keystone State – a keystone is the central component of an arch that locks everything into place – the state offers prime access to the rest of the East Coast.
  • Education: K–12 education in Pennsylvania is topnotch! Not to be outdone, there are 85+ institutions of higher learning, including the prestigious University of Pennsylvania.
  • Job opportunities: Once an economic powerhouse in steel production, Pennsylvania is now attracting droves of young professionals and entrepreneurs to Pittsburgh and other PA cities.
  • Chocolate capital of America: Hershey, PA is “the sweetest place on earth,” and for a good reason! It’s home to Hershey chocolate, Hersheypark, and Hotel Hershey.

Cons:

  • Snow: Loathe it or love it, be prepared for frigid winters with plenty of snowfall. Weather can also vary wildly, one day sunny and the next cold and snowy.
  • Property taxes: Coming in at #12 in the nation (more on taxes below), Pennsylvania’s effective property tax rate is quite high. Public education funding is also expensive.
  • Traffic: Due to its proximity to Washington DC and New York City, parts of the state can experience miserable traffic congestion daily.
  • Finding a job: Those moving here without a job lined up might be in for a shock. If you don’t have a lot of experience in your field, it may take some time to find employment.
  • Tolls: If you travel on the Turnpike, paying tolls are inescapable. Since fees depend on mileage, you’ll want to do yourself a favor and purchase an EZ Pass.
  • Accents: This isn’t necessarily a con, but it’s good to note that there’s a variety of difficult-to-understand dialects. Regional vernacular includes a mixture of English, Dutch, and Swedish in Philly.

Tax Rates

  • Property Tax: 1.58%. The effective real-estate tax rate is the 12th highest in the US.
  • Sales Tax: 6%. Combined with local taxes, the total tax rate can top out at 8%.
  • Income Tax: 3.07%. Pennsylvania employs a flat personal income tax rate.

Housing Market

Cheaper to Buy or Rent? Pennsylvania offers an extremely reasonable cost of living. As opposed to a lot of other states, it is a better option to buy a home in Pittsburgh, Philly, and throughout the state.

  • Median Home Value: $173,100 (According to Zillow)
  • Median Rental Expense: $830 (1BR) and $1,027 (2BR)

Cheapest Places to Live in Pennsylvania

  1. Turtle Creek
  2. Munhall
  3. Schuylkill Haven
  4. Pottsville
  5. West Mifflin
  6. Greenville
  7. Oil City
  8. Brentwood
  9. Vandergrift
  10. Bradford

Cost of Living

Currently ranked #32 in the United States for the cost of living, the state of Pennsylvania offers an extremely reasonable cost of living compared to several other states (cost of living index is 101.7 according to MERIC’s 2019 Cost of Living Data Series).

To give you a better sense of how much it costs to live here, we’ve utilized the Family Budget Calculator to calculate the individual expenses of a family of four in two Pennsylvania metro areas.

First up to bat, Pittsburgh:

  1. Housing = $884
  2. Food = $751
  3. Childcare = $1,414
  4. Transportation = $1,173
  5. Healthcare = $832
  6. Other necessities = $660
  7. Taxes = $850
  8. Grand total = $6,564 per month or $78,769 per year

Next, Philadelphia:

  1. Housing = $1,182
  2. Food = $800
  3. Childcare = $1,574
  4. Transportation = $1,137
  5. Healthcare = $1,110
  6. Other necessities = $800
  7. Taxes = $1,077
  8. Grand total = $7,680 per month or $92,163 per year

Weather & Natural Disasters

Although mainly within the humid continental zone, Pennsylvania’s climate varies depending on elevation and region. Southeast and southwest areas experience warmer weather. The rest of the state (including the Northern mountainous region) sees colder winters and cooler summers.

Pennsylvania, for the most part, experiences four seasons. Average temps range from a high of 83 degrees in summer to a low of 19 degrees in winter. The state sees an average of about 40 inches of snowfall (US average is 28 inches) and 44 inches of rain (compared to the national average of 38 inches).

Natural Disaster – Threats & Risks:

  1. Floods
  2. Fires
  3. Winter storms
  4. Tropical storms
  5. Tornadoes
  6. Windstorms
  7. Earthquakes
  8. Landslides
  9. Subsidence (gradual caving or sinking)
  10. Dam failure

Economy & Job Market

With the 6th largest GDP in America, Pennsylvania is an industrial and agricultural powerhouse (including mushroom production). The state also ranks #13 in opportunity and #10 in affordability, according to US News. Over the last decade or so, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia have become havens for creative entrepreneurs and thriving startup scenes.

Top Industries:

  1. Agriculture
  2. Manufacturing
  3. Mining
  4. Healthcare & Life Sciences
  5. Energy
  6. Financial & Business Services
  7. Information Technology
  8. Robotics & Artificial Intelligence
  9. Cyber Security
  10. Advanced Manufacturing (Additive Manufacturing)

Top Employers:

  1. Walmart
  2. City of Philadelphia
  3. University of Pennsylvania
  4. US Postal Service
  5. Giant Food Stores
  6. Department of Defense
  7. Penn State
  8. School Districts of Philadelphia
  9. UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside
  10. UPS

Looking for work in Pennsylvania? Here are several useful resources:

  1. PA.gov page: PA Employment
  2. Job search: Indeed, LinkedIn, CollegeRecruiter, CareerBuilder
  3. Resume help: Monster, TopResume, ResumeRobin

Traffic and Transportation

According to a study on the world’s worst traffic congestion, Pittsburgh ranks #7 and Philadelphia ranks #9 in America for congestion. In these cities, residents lose approximately 127 hours and 112 hours sitting in traffic each year, respectively.

The interstate highway system has 23 interstate highways. Nearly a quarter of all traffic occurs on the Pennsylvania interstate system.

Major PA expressways and highways include:

  1. Pennsylvania Turnpike
  2. Interstate 70
  3. Interstate 76
  4. Interstate 79
  5. Interstate 80
  6. Interstate 83
  7. Interstate 376
  8. Interstate 476
  9. Schuylkill Expressway
  10. Delaware Expressway

Things to Do

Looking for fun in Pennsylvania? Check out our top picks:

  • Attractions & Activities: AACA Museum, The Amish Village, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Cherry Crest Adventure Farm, Choo Choo Barn – Traintown USA, Claws N Paws Wild Animal Park, Clyde Peelings Reptiland, Dauphin County Parks & Recreation, DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Lancaster, Dutch Wonderland Family Amusement Park, Harley-Davidson Vehicle Operations Factory Tour, The Horse Soldier, Lake Tobias Wildlife Park
  • History & Heritage: Gettysburg Battlefield Bus Tours, The National Civil War Museum, Penn Wells Hotel & Lounge, Pennsylvania Trolley Museum, Strasburg Rail Road, 10,000 Soldiers Fight at Monterey Pass Story Stop, 1180 Murray Hill Avenue, 1753 Bachmann Publick House, 9-11 Memorial Gardens of Reflection, Abolitionist John Brown Boards in Chambersburg Story Stop, Adams County Courthouse, The 1788 Inn Bed & Breakfast, Buhl Mansion Guesthouse & Spa
  • Outdoor Recreation: Bushkill Falls, Crystal Cave, Forest Ridge Cabins, The Nature Inn at Bald Eagle, Penn’s Cave & Wildlife Park, Visit Clearfield County, Wapiti Woods – Guest Cabins, One Thousand Steps Hiking Trail, 2 River Junction, Above the Poconos Skydivers, Action Track USA, Adventure Campground at Whitewater Challengers, Adventure Sports (Stroudsburg), Aire Ventures Balloon Rides, Al Bradley Pennsylvania Fishing Guide, The Alleghenies, Alleghenies Bike Tours
  • Shopping: 13th Moon Creations, 14 East King Antiques, 16:62 Design Zone, 539 Art & Framery, 700 Shop, A Basket Full, A Bee Company, A&M Wine & Beer Supplies, ACTIONTOYMAN, Adam’s Antiques & Collectibles Market, Aimee & Daria’s Doll Outlet, Akulina’s Antiques, Alden, Alechia’s Unique House of Country, Alice & Hamish, All Occasion Florist, Allen Stoneware, Almost Amish
  • Events & Festivals: Gettysburg Ghost Hunt, Hamilton: The Constitutional Clashes that Shaped a Nation, Amazon Fulfillment Center Tours, Lila Liberty’s Hero Quest, Nicholas Bervinchak: Social Realist Artist of the Coal Mines, Philadelphia Scavenger Hunt, Farmers Flea Market (Dillsburg), Hellerick’s Aerial Adventure Park, Magic & Wonder: Imagine, Summer Wine Concert Series, Mason Dixon Farmers / Flea Market / Craft Show, Eagleview Town Center Farmers Market, Live at the Falls
  • Resorts & Sports: Hidden Valley Resort, Refreshing Mountain Retreat & Adventure Center, Seven Springs Mountain Resort, 3 Lakes Golf Course, Allegheny GeoTrail, Altoona Curve Baseball Club, American Legion Country Club, ATA Martial Arts, Beaver Stadium, Pittsburgh Steelers (NFL), Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL), Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB), Philadelphia Eagles (NFL), Philadelphia 76ers (NBA), Philadelphia Phillies (MLB), Philadelphia Flyers (NHL), Philadelphia Union (MLS)
  • Arts & Culture: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, Whitaker Center for Science & the Arts, The Art Gallery (operated by the Hanover Area Art Guild, Inc.), 1812 Productions, 20*20 House Gallery of the Lansdowne Arts Board, 321 Gallery, A.W. Robertson Arboretum, Abington Art Center, Academy of Social Dance, Academy Theatre, Act II Playhouse, Actors’ NET of Bucks County, Afro-American Music Institute, Albright College Center for the Arts, All An Act Theatre, Allegheny Ballet Company
  • Cool & Unusual: Mutter Museum, Eastern State Penitentiary, Mount Moriah Cemetery, Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, Centralia, The Sonorous Stones of Ringing Rocks Park, The Seven Gates of Hell, Wagner Free Institute, Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site, Cave of Kelpius, Shofuso Japanese House & Garden, Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike, Trundle Manor: House of Oddities, Tiffany Glass Mural, Penn’s Cave, Masonic Temple of Philadelphia, Randyland

Schools and Universities

Recently ranked 8th best state for education by USA Today, Pennsylvania is home to some of the best K–12 schools and colleges in the country. Public schools are well-funded ($15,291 per pupil), with approximately 95% of PA public school students benefiting from above-average funding. Several prestigious universities are also found here, particularly in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

Top PA Colleges:

  1. University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)
  2. Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh)
  3. Villanova University (Villanova)
  4. Lehigh University (Bethlehem)
  5. Swarthmore College (Swarthmore)
  6. Pennsylvania State University (University Park)
  7. University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh)
  8. Drexel University (Philadelphia)
  9. Temple University (Philadelphia)
  10. Duquesne University (Pittsburgh)

Top PA Public School Districts:

  1. Tredyffrin-Easttown School District (Wayne)
  2. Radnor Township School District (Wayne)
  3. Mt. Lebanon School District (Pittsburgh)
  4. Lower Merion School District (Ardmore)
  5. Wallingford-Swarthmore School District (Wallingford)
  6. North Allegheny School District (Pittsburgh)
  7. Upper St. Clair School District (Pittsburgh)
  8. Unionville-Chadds Ford School District (Kennett Square)
  9. Central Bucks School District (Doylestown)
  10. Fox Chapel Area School District (Pittsburgh)

How to Become a Pennsylvania Resident

To qualify as a Pennsylvania resident, you must be able to show proof of physical presence in the state for 184 days (or at least a portion of 184 days), in addition to maintaining an abode (house, apartment, studio, etc.) during the corresponding tax year.

Moving to Pennsylvania DMV

Acquiring a new driver’s license:

A new resident with an out-of-state license must obtain a PA driver’s license within 60 days.

Steps to get a non-commercial driver’s license:

  1. Have a physical exam by physician, chiropractor, or registered nurse practitioner
  2. Complete Form DL-180R
  3. Apply in person at a Driver License Center
  4. Show proof of ID and residency, along with social security card
  5. Take vision-screening test
  6. Surrender out-of-state license
  7. Have photo taken
  8. Pay applicable fees

Vehicle registration:

New PA residents must begin the titling and registration process within 20 days of moving to the state.

Requirements:

  1. Provide a valid form of PA identification
  2. Have available: valid title, proof of PA insurance, tracing of vehicle identification number (VIN), funds for applicable fees, completed form MV-1L (for a leased vehicle only)
  3. Fill out MV-1 form via an authorized agent and surrender the out-of-state title
  4. Complete vehicle safety inspection within ten days of the registration date.
  5. Pass emissions inspection (depends on county)

To qualify to vote, you must be:

  1. A US citizen for at least 30 days before the election
  2. A resident of PA and your election district for 30 days before the election
  3. At least 18 years old on the day of the election

There are four ways to register: online, by mail, at your county voter registration office, or through PennDOT or another government agency. For more info, check out the Votes PA page.

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Best Places to Live in Pennsylvania

Here are our top recommendations for places to call home:

Western Pennsylvania

Mount Lebanon

Population: 33,000
Median Home Value: $277,800

Arguably the best suburb of Pittsburgh – it is consistently voted as one of the Top 10 places to live in Pennsylvania – Mount Lebanon checks a lot of boxes. With an emphasis on a family-friendly community and topnotch education, Mount Lebanon has virtually everything you could ask for in the Greater Pittsburgh Region. Most residents own their homes and tend to be liberal.

Affectionately nicknamed Lebo, the town is a mixture of small-town charm and sophistication. If you’re looking for a great place to eat, shop, and hang out, Lebo’s attractive commercial district (known as Uptown) is full of cafes, shops, fine dining options, small businesses, and more. You get a sense of warmth and safety walking around, and there are plenty of amenities: ice rink, public swim center, golf course, tennis courts, St. Clair Hospital, SpringHill Suites, and a First Fridays concert series.

Are you looking for great academic options? Top public schools include Mount Lebanon Senior High School, Foster Elementary School, Hoover Elementary School, Jefferson Middle School, and Howe Elementary School. Top private schools include Seton LaSalle Catholic High School, St. Bernard School, Mount Lebanon Montessori School, and Jubilee Christian School.

If you’re looking for a great suburb to raise a family that’s close to Pittsburgh, Mount Lebanon should certainly be at the top of your list.

Pittsburgh

Population: 305,000
Median Home Value: $144,500

Steel City, The City of Bridges, Blitzburgh, City of Bridges, The Burgh, City of Champions. Once a steel-producing powerhouse, Pittsburgh has reemerged as one of the most livable cities in America. Though steel still plays a big role here, new industries have taken center stage. These include tech, education, and healthcare. Looking at how the Appalachian city has transformed itself, it’s easy to see why so many young professionals and families alike have been drawn to the city of approximately 300,000.

Known for its diversity and culture, Pittsburgh offers eclectic neighborhoods, a booming culinary scene, a vibrant art scene, professional sports (Go Steelers, Penguins, and Pirates!), rich history (with world-class museums such as the Carnegie Museum), and a variety of attractions & activities. Home to several Fortune 500 companies (including PNC, Kraft Heinz, Alcoa, PPG Industries, WESCO Distribution, and United Steel), Pittsburgh has also become an incubator for leading startups and creative entrepreneurs.

  • Top public schools: Allerdice High School, Pittsburgh Science & Technology Academy, CAPA – Creative & Performing Arts, Paynter Elementary School, and Environmental Charter School at Frick Park.
  • Top private schools: Winchester Thurston School, The Ellis School, Central Catholic High School, Oakland Catholic High School, and Bishop Canevin High School.
  • Top colleges & universities: Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh, Duquesne University, Chatham University, Carlow University, La Roche College, Point Park University, Robert Morris University, and Community College of Allegheny County.
  • Top neighborhoods: Squirrel Hill North, Regent Square, Point Breeze, Squirrel Hill South, and Shadyside.

Are you a creative, student, entrepreneur, aspiring medical professional, or family looking for a great city to call home? This Goldilocks city – not too small, not too big – offers the right balance of big-city feel, small-town affordability, and sky’s-the-limit opportunities.

Bethel Park

Population: 32,200
Median Home Value: $203,100

Our final pick in Western Pennsylvania is the municipality of Bethel Park. Situated about seven miles southwest of Pittsburgh in Allegheny County, the welcoming suburb offers a plethora of reasons to make it your home base. The majority of residents own and tend to be politically conservative. The community is friendly, and the public school system is stellar.

Known for being quiet and close-knit, the community is clean, roads are well-maintained, and there are plenty of green spaces for kids to play. As the biggest municipality in the state, it offers several amenities: easy access to public transportation, outdoor recreation, a community center, shopping (South Hills Village), parks, malls, and libraries. Top employers include Industry Public House, Applied Health Physics, and UPMC – East.

Have children? If you’re looking for a great public school, consider the following: McMurray Elementary School, Peters Township Middle School, Neil Armstrong Middle School, William Penn Elementary School, and Benjamin Franklin Elementary School. In the market for a private school? Check out Hillcrest Christian Academy, St. Thomas More Elementary School, and KinderCare Learning Center. Those in search of world-class higher education are just a short commute to Pittsburgh.

Filled with green spaces and an idyllic suburban vibe, Bethel Park offers a cost of living well below the national average, superb education, great housing options, and low crime.

Central Pennsylvania

Hershey

Population: 14,800
Median Home Value: $233,400

Hershey, also known as ‘Chocolatetown, USA,’ definitely earns its reputation as the sweetest place on earth. Located in South Central Pennsylvania (14 miles east of the state capital of Harrisburg), the community has earned itself the honors of being both the Chocolate Capital of America and one of the Top 3 places to live in Pennsylvania. Most residents own and lean on the conservative side.

Home to America’s top chocolate brand, Hershey’s, the community of less than 15,000 offers a peaceful, suburban feel coupled with a stellar education, low crime rates, and a reasonable cost of living. On the downside, the employment rate and level of diversity have room for improvement. Hershey is a tourist magnet, and it is home to many shops, campgrounds, restaurants, playgrounds, top public schools, Hershey Park, Chocolate World, and Hershey Museum.

Public schools are highly rated here. Prime examples include Hershey High School, Hershey Primary Elementary School, Hershey Middle School, Hershey Intermediate Elementary School, and South Hanover Elementary School. Looking for private education? Consider Milton Hershey School, St. Joan of Arc Elementary School, Tender Years Child Development Center, Kindercare Learning Center, and Children’s Creative Learning Center (CCLC). Hershey is also home to Penn State College of Medicine.

As one of the top communities to call home in Central PA, Hershey has a vibrant history and sweet amenities ideal for commuters and growing families.

State College

Population: 42,300
Median Home Value: $322,300

Home to Penn State, this Central PA college town located in Centre County has a friendly vibe with a median age of 22. It can be a little wild during football season (go Nittany Lions!), but the town offers peace, quiet, and natural beauty during breaks and summer. The majority of residents are renters and tend to be politically liberal. And, of course, the area is known for its excellent academics.

As part of the so-called Happy Valley, State College is home to dozens of restaurants, shops, markets, libraries, parks, and bars (most of which are located downtown along Beaver Avenue and College Avenue). The population is highly educated. On the downside, diversity is low (82% white), employment opportunities are lacking, and the town is relatively isolated. Nonetheless, it is a great place to learn and grow while being surrounded by sprawling nature and farmlands.

If you’re in search of some of the best education in Pennsylvania, look no further. Top public schools include State College Area High School, Radio Park Elementary School, Corl Street Elementary School, Ferguson Township Elementary School, and Houserville / Lemont Elementary School. Top private schools are State College Friends School, Our Lady of Victory Elementary School, Grace Lutheran Preschool & Kindergarten, Bennett Family Center, and Our Children’s Center. Last but not least, State College is home to Penn State and South Hills School of Business & Technology.

Though relatively more expensive, State College offers a reasonable cost of living (especially compared to many other US college towns) and a lively university environment perfect for students and families.

Eastern Pennsylvania

Bethlehem

Population: 75,700
Median Home Value: $168,600

The first stop on our tour of Eastern Pennsylvania is the hidden gem of Bethlehem. Known for being especially enchanting during the fall season, this beautiful valley town is nestled in Lehigh Valley in Northampton and Lehigh counties. Schools are above average, and most residents own their homes and lean on the politically moderate side.

Extremely welcoming and tight-knit, Bethlehem is one of the oldest cities in the United States. It is home to numerous historic buildings, high-end shopping, restaurants, churches, festivals, small businesses, foodie culture, a casino, boutiques, breweries, and museums. If you want to get out of town, places like the Jersey Shore, New York, and Philly are within driving distance.

Looking for a K–12 public school? Check out The Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts, Saucon Valley Senior High School, Asa Packer Elementary School, Spring Garden Elementary School, and Liberty High School. What about private options? Consider Moravian Academy, Bethlehem Catholic High School, Notre Dame of Bethlehem School, St. Anne School, and Moravian Academy Middle School. Colleges and universities include Lehigh University, Moravian College, and Northampton Community College.

Are you searching for a mix of urban amenities and small-town charm? Bethlehem warrants serious consideration, particularly for those looking to raise children or attend school.

Chesterbrook

Population: 4,700
Median Home Value: $320,100

Moving on, we have Philadelphia’s best suburb. Voted as one of the Top 10 places to live in America (and #1 place to call home in Pennsylvania by Niche), Chesterbrook is located in Chester County about 23 miles away from Philly. Many retirees and families live here, most residents own their homes, folks are politically moderate, and the public school system is highly rated.

With a population of less than 5,000, Chesterbrook is a planned community great for dog owners and lovers of green spaces. Though small, it is considered one of the safest places to live in the state. If you’re looking to commute to Philadelphia, there’s easy access via Route 202. On the downside, the cost of living is high compared to other parts of the state. The median household income is $108,000, and the median home price hovers above $300,000. It also lacks in diversity.

Have school-age children? Top public schools include Conestoga Senior High School, Valley Forge Elementary School, New Eagle Elementary School, and Valley Forge Middle School. Chesterbrook is also home to the private school Chester Academy. An assortment of colleges and universities are within a relatively short commute to Philly and other surrounding areas.

In the market for a small, safe, and family-friendly community that offers first-rate outdoor recreation, safety, public schools, and commuting to Philly? Chesterbrook checks all those boxes and much more.

Philadelphia

Population: 1.58 million
Median Home Value: $154,000

Of course, we couldn’t have a list of the best places to live in PA without Philadelphia. As the 6th most populous city in America, The City of Brotherly Love is the crowning jewel of Eastern Pennsylvania. Our forefathers drafted both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution here. No doubt, the historical significance of the city is undeniable, but Philly is also a place of forward momentum.

As a city filled with fun, opportunities, culture, and history, Philadelphia is too hard to encapsulate in a few paragraphs. Offering much cheaper living than many other US cities (including NYC), Philly is a unique blend of historical, modern, edgy, and sophisticated elements. You’ll encounter an array of amazing murals, mosaics, theaters, museums, music venues, restaurants, shops, and art galleries – all of which carry the definitive culture and vibe of this unique metropolis.

  • Top neighborhoods: Fitler Square, Bella Vista, Graduate Hospital, Washington Square West, and Queen Village.
  • Top colleges & universities: the University of Pennsylvania, The Curtis Institute of Music, Temple University, Drexel University, and Saint Joseph’s University.
  • Top public schools: Julia R. Masterman Secondary School, Lower Merion High School, Central High School, Science Leadership Academy, and Springfield Township High School.
  • Top private schools: Germantown Friends School, William Penn Charter School, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, Friends Select School, and St Joseph’s Prep School.

Philadelphia is a family-friendly city that offers so many benefits: low cost of living, plenty of activities for everyone, diehard sports culture (go Eagles, 76ers, and Phillies!), hip art & music scenes, rich American history, top foodie scene (from cheesesteaks to pierogi), and so much more.

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How to Move to Pennsylvania

A move to Pennsylvania doesn’t have to be overwhelming. By following this interstate moving checklist, you’ll be on your way to a much smoother transition.

Plan Your Move Early On:

  • Give yourself at least 8 to 12 weeks to plan and execute your PA relocation.
  • Create a list of things to do. If you have people helping you, assign them tasks that they can comfortably perform — place list on the fridge or another highly visible area.
  • Grab an organizer folder to keep all relevant documents, paperwork, and receipts. The more organized you are, the more likely things will be less stressful.
  • Comparison shop for a reputable Pennsylvania moving company. Great Guys makes this super easy. All you have to do is request a free estimate and choose the right fit!
  • Make sure to hire a moving crew as soon as possible. This proactive approach will help you secure affordable rates and convenient availability.

Notify All Important Parties ASAP:

  • Do you rent? If so, don’t wait until the last minute to notify your landlord. Delaying notification can result in extra fees and even place your security deposit in jeopardy.
  • Are you a homeowner? Arrange for a real estate professional to help you find a renter or place your home on the market. Again, procrastination is not your friend.
  • Give your neighbors, co-workers, friends, and family a heads up. You’d be surprised at how easy it is to forget. Don’t be that person.
  • Finally, give home services and employees ample notice (at least one month, if possible). This time will give them enough time to adjust and find new work.

Look at Storage Options:

  • Whether you’re not quite ready to move into your new place yet or another reason, finding secure and clean storage is paramount.
  • Many PA moving companies provide storage options. We can connect you with an all-in-one moving service or find you a standalone storage solution. Contact us today!

Update Your Address:

  • You can either fill out a change-of-address at your local post office or on the USPS site.
  • Don’t forget to update your address and other info for box subscriptions and online services.

Perform the Purging Process:

  • This step is the way to go if you’re looking to declutter, decrease your moving footprint, and save money.
  • Begin by sizing up your haul. Go from room to room, taking note of what each space contains.
  • Next, one room at a time, begin to go through every item. Label or sort into piles the possessions you either want to discard or keep.
  • Once ready, you’ll have several options to get rid of disused items: sell (online or yard sale), donate (local charities or thrift stores), or recycle.
  • Make sure to properly dispose of any hazardous materials, including gas, oil, aerosol cans, etc.

Start to Pack:

  • If you decide to pack yourself, make sure you have the time and ability to properly wrap, pad, and box all of your belongings, including valuable or fragile items.
  • First, grab quality packing supplies. These can include cardboard boxes (preferably two sizes for better stacking), packing materials (bubble wrap, packing peanuts, and so on), and tape.
  • With supplies in hand, pack a couple of boxes at a time. Place heavier items at the bottom. Fill spaces with packing material. Properly label and tape each box.
  • Continue to pack over the next few weeks. Don’t leave it to the last minute!
  • Remember, you can always tap the pros to help. From a handful of items to an entire household, our packing partners are ready to tackle any job.

Turn Off & Turn On Services:

  • Schedule to have utilities turned off the day after you move.
  • Create a list of subscriptions and services you’ll need at your new PA residence.
  • About one month out, arrange to have new services activated.

Prepare Kids, Pets, and Yourself for the Move:

  • Have kids? Take the time to explain the move. Be clear and considerate. Try to maintain their routine during the moving process. If doable, take a trip to your new town or city.
  • Take your furry friend to the vet. Make sure to check local and state pet laws.
  • Schedule any important checkups for yourself and family members.
  • Transfer any vital records, documents, and prescriptions (including medical and school records).
  • Refill meds and prescriptions. Make sure you have enough of everything during your move.
  • Plan for daycare, playdates, or pet sitting on moving day to ensure your little ones are safe.

Take Care of Travel Arrangements:

  • Driving to PA? Take your vehicle in for service. This tune-up includes oil change, tire rotation, and AC check. Also, plan out your driving route.
  • Are you flying to PA? Buy tickets ASAP for best rates and availability — double check flight times and luggage / cover-on requirements before heading out.
  • Plan to arrive at your home ahead of your moving truck.
  • In Pennsylvania, new residents have 20 days to title and register their vehicle.

Take Care of Food & Prepare Appliances:

  • Get rid of any leftover or surplus food. Eat it (and save a grocery trip or two), offer to family members and neighbors, or donate canned foods to a local charity.
  • Once you’ve taken care of the food, thoroughly clean your appliances. Wipe down and disinfect fridges, freezers, and so on. This step will help to prevent mold from developing during transit.

Hire Professionals to Clean:

  • Own? Restore your place to its former glory for a great house showing.
  • Rent? Hire pros, so your landlord doesn’t deduct cleaning services from your deposit.
  • The optimal time for cleaners to come in is right after the movers have left.
  • The new homeowner or renter will greatly appreciate your efforts.

Celebrate Before You Move Out:

  • Take the time to say your goodbyes properly.
  • Schedule to meet up with friends and family members.
  • Plan one-on-one time, a group affair, or a going-away party.
  • Keep in mind this can be an emotional time for everyone, so be kind.

Stuff to Do on Moving Week:

  • At least a few days before your scheduled move, touch base with the moving company.
  • Pack a first night box. Fill it with essentials (meds, bedding, snacks, etc.) for the first 24 hours.
  • If possible, stay in the night before moving day. Relax, eat well, and get plenty of rest.

Final Things to Do on Moving Day:

  • Have some snacks and water bottles ready for movers. This nice gesture goes a long way.
  • Be present in your old place to confirm everything with your moving team.
  • Once everything’s loaded, perform a walkthrough. Look out for any missed items or messes.

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Quality Moving Services from Pennsylvania Movers

Don’t leave your Pennsylvania move to just anybody! Great Guys connects you with fully vetted moving professionals that perfectly fit your budget and needs.

Long Distance Moves

Who says an out-of-state move must be stressful? With the right help, you can enjoy a drama-free transition to Pennsylvania. We can find you fully-equipped, experienced, and reputable long-distance movers at an affordable rate.

Intrastate & Local Moves

Moving across town or state? Either way, we can hook you up with local movers at a price that won’t break the bank. From custom crating to furniture arrangement, our moving partners offer everything you need to move into your new home easily.

International Moves

Relocating to another country can be tricky. Whether you’re in the military or moving for a new corporate position, Great Guys can supply you with competitive quotes from top-rated international moving companies. Overseas moving has never been easier!

Small Load Moves

Moving to or from a one-bedroom apartment, dorm, or studio? Save yourself the hassle by hiring one of our highly efficient small load movers. Save money and time while they quickly and safely transport your belongings to another part of the state or country.

Piano Transport

Have to move an organ or piano to a church, music venue or new home? We’ve got you covered! The key to damage-free transit is paying attention to the details. Our piano moving specialists are highly trained and knowledgeable, ensuring a safe journey for your beloved instrument.

Art Shipping & Transport

Whether you have a collection of fine art, collectibles or antiques, you want to ensure your most prized pieces are in capable hands. How can you know for sure? With our assistance, you can rest assured that your private collection or gallery is being expertly transported by specialized art shippers.

Furniture Shipments

Regardless of the type or amount of furniture you need to relocate – leather couches, antique chairs, curio cabinets, etc. – our reliable furniture movers are ready for any challenge. Save yourself from back strain and property damage. Hire the pros!

Storage

Need more time to unpack? Traveling? Renovating? No sweat. We provide cheap short-term and long-term storage solutions. Our Pennsylvania movers have quality storage facilities. Consolidate your move and reap the financial and time-saving benefits of hiring a full-service moving company.

Last Minute & Short Notice Moves

In a bind? We completely understand. When faced with a moving emergency, it’s easy to become super stressed. If you require a quick move, contact Great Guys. We can find local short notice movers that can get you out of a jam in no time.

Residential Moves

Moving into a new home? Congratulations! Now, the fun part *rolling eyes*. In all seriousness, it can feel like you’re being buried alive by moving logistics. Give yourself a break. Focus on what’s most important to you while top residential movers relocate your entire household

Packing Services

Looking forward to packing? At first, you may think you’ve got everything under control. But as soon as you start filling that first box, you may have second thoughts. Instead, leave the wrapping and boxing to our tireless packing professionals. From partial packing to covering it all, we have a service for you.

Commercial and Office Moves

Moving a store or office takes special care. To limit downtime and extra costs, let Great Guys connect you with top commercial moving specialists in Pennsylvania. Whether relocating to another building or state, our logistics experts, moving coordinators, and office movers are the best in the business.

Need a hand with your PA relocation? Request free quotes today. We make moving easy!

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Movers you can trust. Pricing you can afford.

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