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U.S. Cities with the highest cost of living

Big cities: they’ve got the lights, the glamour, the stars, the shops, the opportunities -and also the highest price tags. And not just on rent – on clothes, on groceries, on gas and most distressingly– on parking tickets. Yet, if life in the city is your glass of bubbly, you might as well go for the gold, right? After all, the most expensive cities in the United States are expensive for a reason.

At Colonial Van Lines, our national moving company has been all over the US, from coast to coast, north to south, and state to state. So, if you’re looking to dwell where the action is always on and the stores are always open, we can point you to some of the cities with the highest living costs.

Top Cities with the Highest Cost of Living

Looking for life in the fast lane? Here are some cities that put the pedal to the medal.

  1. New York City When Frank Sinatra crooned, “If you can make it there, you’ll make it anywhere,” he hit in right on the nose. The home of over 8.4 billion people takes first place on our list, with the cost of living in Manhattan at a mighty 154% above the national average. The median cost of a home in the five boroughs is about $652,700, and a house in Manhattan easily exceeds $1 million. But if you’ve got the big bucks to live in the Big Apple, you will be in good company. Celebrities who live in New York include Gigi Hadid, A-Rod and J-Lo, Lady Gaga, and Meryl Streep.
  2. San Francisco, California: “I can walk down the streets of San Francisco, and here, I’m normal.” That’s quite a compliment coming from the late Mork from Ork (Robin Williams). Yes, San Francisco is known for making the weird feel welcome, but these days, the weird are the wealthy. In the Golden Gate city, median homes approach $1.4 million, and a family of four would need to bring in $103,200 to get by. Even so, the unemployment rate remains at the low end: 1.8% as of December 2019. San Fran celebs include Mark Zuckerberg, Nicholas Cage, Patricia Arquette, and Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett.
  3. Honolulu, Hawaii That “Little Grass Shack” in Honolulu just got a bit more expensive. Coming in 3rd on our list of cities with the highest cost of living, is tropical Honolulu with groceries running at about 64.4% above the national average and utilities at about 72.5% higher. To put that into perspective, a dozen eggs that you’ll pay $1.40 for in Iowa will run you $2.60 in Honolulu. Guess that’s not a problem for Beyonce and Jay Z, Emma Stone, and the Obamas, all of whom own secluded Honolulu havens.
  4. Boston, Massachusetts: Traditionally well known for its educational environment and booming technological industry, Boston is becoming equally well known for its high cost of health care and groceries. With prices exceeding the national average by 22% for health care and 14% for food, Boston ranks at number 4 in our cities with the highest cost of living. Boston’s median home value is around $632,000, while the household income is about $65,900, which means a family of four will need an annual household income of $84,905 to make ends meet. Celebrities living in Boston include Elizabeth Warren, Noam Chomsky, and John Malkovich.
  5. Washington DC: It’s a high price you pay for a front-row seat to history, but it’s not a bad investment. Besides the drama of Capitol Hill, Washington DC offers numerous government and private sector employment opportunities. And while the median home value stands at approximately $636,000, the median income of $82,600 makes Washington, DC solidly affordable. Celebs from the district include the politically conscious Stephen Colbert, Al Gore, Louis Ck, and Dave Chappell.
  6. Oakland, California: Not the Bay Area bargain it once was, Oakland comes in at a formidable six on the list of most expensive cities in the United States. With a median home price of $765,400 and a median rent at $3000, you’ll need an annual income of $80,000 a year to make it in the city “on the bright side of the Bay.” Oakland celebs include Tom Hanks, Clint Eastwood, Zendaya, and Green Day frontman, Billie Joe Armstrong.
  7. San Jose, California: When Dionne Warwick sang, “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?” the Silicon Valley was just a gleam in Frederick Terman’s eye. Now one of the leading tech hubs in the United States, San Jose ranks a cool number 7 on the list of the nation’s most expensive cities, with the median house price topping 1 million dollars. Celebrities born in San Jose include Steve Wozniak, actor Josh Holloway, and Motley Crue bassist Nikki.  

High Cost of Living, Low-Stress Moving

At Colonial Van Lines, we say chase your dream first, and the rest will follow. So, if you’re chasing your dreams to one of the most expensive cities in the United States, we want to help get you there, quickly, easily, and affordably. As the Nation’s Top Moving Company, we stand by our customers from the beginnings to the ends of their moves. And whether those moves are to the most expensive cities in the United States or to the smallest apartments in Buffalo, New York, we’re happy to lend our support.

A Full-Service Moving Company

When we say we’ll stand by you from the beginning to the end, that includes every step along the way. From planning to packing to transport to unpacking, we’re here to assist with every aspect of your move. And with 50 years of experience and a mission to provide excellent customer service, we have the skillset, mindset, and toolset to make your move hassle-free.

Packing Services

Whether it’s full pack, single item pack, or kitchen pack, our movers have the expertise to pack your belongings quickly and correctly.  Count on them to wrap your furniture in high-quality blankets and your breakables in our specialized bubble wrap. And, most of all, count on them to handle all your items with the  care that comes with decades of experience.

Storage Services

If your move requires storage, look no further than our ‘triple S’ (secure, spacious, and state of the art) facilities to accommodate your needs. Our clean climate-controlled units are available for long and short-term storage at your service and according to your requirements.

Customized Packages and Free Rate Quotes

At Colonial Van Lines, we know our business revolves around our customers.  So, when we create a moving plan for our customers, we think it should revolve around them as well. When you work with us, you tell us your budget, and we’ll come up with a customized package that works for you. We’ll do everything we can to make sure your moving experience is tailored to your schedule, your budget, and your lifestyle.

Whether you’re chasing your dreams to the most expensive cities in the United States or to the simple pleasures of the great wide open, Colonial Van Lines is here to help you get there. Contact us today for a free rate quote, and we’ll have you moving on up, coming on down, or just straight ahead.

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