Canadian U.S. Relocation Guide
Fun Facts & Practical Info for Canadians
Thinking about leaving Canada and moving to the United States? You aren’t alone. According to a Gallup poll, 150 million adults worldwide would love to make a permanent move to America, and many of them are your fellow Canadians. In fact, the U.S. holds the undisputed title as the world’s most desired relocation destination. When asked why, most folks will say it’s the opportunities America offers. We agree wholeheartedly, and we’d add to that the abundance of choices available here. While we couldn’t possibly include them all in this short space, we have assembled a short list of our favorite things and places, along with a few fun facts and a bit of practical info. So come on in. Whether you’re moving here for employment, retirement, to join family members, education or just for a change of scenery, we’d love to welcome you home to the USA!
Homeownership -The American Dream
One of the first and biggest decisions you’ll need to make is exactly where in this huge country you want to settle. Let’s see if we can make it a little easier for you to narrow it down.
Homeownership is a big deal in the U.S.—so much so, that the federal government lets taxpayers deduct the interest on their home mortgages from their annual income tax return. Right now, home mortgage rates are extremely low, which means you may find it cheaper in the long run to buy a home rather than rent.
Our company, Taylor Morrison, builds homes and communities in a range of styles and prices in some of the country’s most sought-after locations. You’ll find Taylor Morrison homes in Northern and Southern California, Arizona, Colorado, Texas and Florida. Each location has its own special charms and advantages. Below are just a few highlights for each.
Yes, the weather is great pretty much year-round, making this a popular choice if you love the outdoors. The state is a peninsula, surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean and the Atlantic, and crisscrossed by rivers and waterways. If you’re into fishing, boating or watersports, you’ll love it here. It’s also home to some of the world’s top attractions including Epcot Center, Disney World, Universal Studios and SeaWorld. On the practical side, Florida has no individual income tax and offers a generous property tax benefit if you purchase a home in the state and declare that it is your primary residence.1 We have new homes including many that are move-in ready in communities in and around Orlando, Tampa, Fort Myers/Naples, Sarasota and Jacksonville. Take a look at the selection here.
With low unemployment rates, booming job growth and a business-friendly government, no state tax on personal income, good schools, friendly people and attractively priced real estate, Texas has been one of America’s biggest success stories over the past few years. If you idea of the state is wild west and cowboys, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the range of cultural attractions, especially in the largest cities. There are world-class opera, ballet and symphony companies, museums and art galleries, great universities and some of the world’s finest medical facilities. There’s also a vibrant music scene, major league and college sports, dazzling shopping centers and some of the finest food you’ll ever eat. Check out our new Texas homes in and around Austin (the state capital) and Houston.
Colorado is filled with breathtakingly beautiful natural wonders and its citizens are zealous about protecting them. Diverse terrain ranges from the snow-capped Rockies and its world-famous ski-resorts to the Great Sand Dunes Natural Park, Grand Mesa, the largest flat-topped mountain in the world, and the 486-mile Colorado hiking trail from Denver to Durango which crosses eight mountain ranges, seven national parks, six wilderness areas and five river systems. Denver, the state capital, is also the state’s largest city with a strong, diverse economy that placed it fourth on Forbes 2014 Best Places for Business List. It has ample cultural attractions, too, including the Denver Art Museum and Performing Arts Complex, the world’s largest after New York’s Lincoln Center. There are over 200 parks and 29 rec centers within the city limits, and about 300 days of sunshine each year to enjoy them.2 See Taylor Morrison new homes for sale in and around Denver.
With 250 days of sunshine, low tax rates and an abundance of outdoor activities, Arizona consistently ranks high on lists of best places to retire. Winter temperatures are like summer in the U.S. southeast, but without the humidity or pollen counts. But if you like cooler temperatures and more rain, you can always head to Arizona’s mountains. One of the most attractive and affordable areas is Phoenix and the surrounding Valley of the Sun. The state’s capital has over 200 golf courses, 189 parks, 200 miles of trails and 33,000 acres of desert preserves. Along with the deserts and mountains, Arizona boasts a variety of lakes and rivers for boating, fishing, skiing and rafting. There are plenty of cultural and historical attractions, major league sports, excellent medical facilities and world-class health spas. If Arizona sounds like the place for you, check out our new Taylor Morrison homes in and around Phoenix.
For many people around the world, California is the ultimate dream destination, living up to its nickname, The Golden State. But within a state that measures nearly 900 miles long and over 250 miles wide, you’ll find a variety of California’s. The state includes Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the continental U.S. and its lowest point, Death Valley. There are lakes, rivers, a huge, a fertile valley running down the middle of the state, deserts, farmland, ranch land, rocky shoreline, sandy beaches and some of the world’s greatest cities. There’s the world’s finest zoo and largest urban park in San Diego, the world’s most famous bridge in San Francisco, the world’s most famous theme park in Orange County, and the entertainment capital of the world in Los Angeles -- the list of firsts and bests you’ll find in California could fill a book. Taylor Morrison has new homes that put you close to many of them. Take a look at our new homes in and around Southern California, the Bay Area and Sacramento.
Living in America - The Basics
- The United States of America is 3,794,083 square miles (including water). It’s the world’s third largest country by total area after Russia and Canada.
- There are about 316 million citizens and legal residents in the U.S.
- There are 50 states in the union. In terms of area, the largest state is Alaska and the smallest is Hawaii, but within the Continental U.S. the largest is Texas and the smallest is Rhode Island.
- The flag is often referred to as Old Glory or the Star Spangled Banner, which is also the title of our national anthem. We honor the flag with the voluntary Pledge of Allegiance.
- National symbols include the bald eagle and Uncle Sam.
- The national mottos -- you’ll find them on all the money -- are E Pluribus Unum (out of many, one) and In God We Trust.
- The nation’s capital is Washington D.C. That’s where you’ll find the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court—official seats to the country’s three co-equal branches of government: Executive, Legislative and Judicial.
- Throughout the year, we celebrate a lot of national holidays beginning with New Year’s Day and Martin Luther King Day in January, Presidents’ Day in February, Memorial Day in May, Independence Day on July 4, Labor Day in September, Columbus Day in October, Veterans’ Day and Thanksgiving in November, and Christmas Day in December. Easter Sunday is also considered a national holiday.
- We never adopted the metric system, so you’ll have to get used to measuring gasoline and milk in gallons, body weight and groceries in pounds, distance in inch, feet, yards and miles, and temperatures in degrees Fahrenheit.
Working in America
- Americans work hard -- in fact, we work about 137 hours more per year than Japanese workers, 260 more hours than British workers and a whopping 499 more hours than French workers.
- The 40-hour work week is the standard, but 85.8% of men and 66.5% of women routinely put in more than that.3
- Despite our reputation for giant corporations, the vast majority of companies are small businesses. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, of the approximately 5.7 million employer firms in the U.S., 99.7% have fewer than 500 workers and businesses with fewer than 20 workers make up 89.8%. There are also an estimated 10 million self-employed people. It’s all proof that American is still the land of opportunity where you can start small and prosper. Hey, one out of every eight Americans has worked for McDonalds at some point.4
Playing in America
- It’s not all work in the U.S. We do plenty of playing and relaxing, too. On an average day the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates we devote about 5 hours to sports and leisure, including 2.8 hours watching TV, 26 minutes surfing the web or playing computer games, 19 minutes reading and 18 minutes participating in sports, exercise or recreation.
- We LOVE professional sports. Baseball is still the national pastime, but the football comes in a close second. Basketball is big, too. Soccer is coming on strong. And, so you won’t feel too homesick, you’ll be happy to hear that of the 30 teams in the National Hockey League, 23 are in the U.S., many of them in sunny places like Florida, Texas, Arizona and California!
- If you want to participate in sports, you’ll have your choice of about 15,500 public golf courses, countless tennis and volleyball courts, bowling alleys and softball fields. Plus there are thousands of miles of biking, hiking and horseback riding trails. And then there are all those lakes, rivers, waterways and about 95,471 miles of ocean coastline for surfing, fishing, boating, swimming and skiing.
The United States covers four times zones and about 24.5 degrees of latitude, from Lake of the Woods, Minnesota to Ballast Key, Florida. And that doesn’t include Alaska and Hawaii. With that much territory, you’re going to run into every kind of climate and a range of weather conditions from blustery winters to sizzling, humid summers to hot, arid deserts, snowy mountains, cool coastal zones and everything in between. Since the news rarely reports normal weather patterns, chances are you’ve only heard about the unusual and the extremes. In reality, most of the time, nationwide, the weather is just great.
Of course, if you’re fleeing Canadian winters, you may want to put down roots in one of the states that meet the “best weather” criteria of comfortable temperatures between 63 and 86 degrees seven or more months per year, less than 60 inches of rain per year and sunshine at least 60 percent of the time. Among the top states for that are California, Texas, Arizona and Florida.5 But, if you’re not quite ready to give up on snow altogether, Colorado might just be the place for you.
Fabulous Food & Drink
True, Americans eat about 100 acres of pizza each day, and McDonald’s sells 17 Big Macs and seven Happy Meals every second of every day6, there’s more to American cuisine than fast food. Our country is a melting pot of fabulous ethnic cuisine, homegrown regional dishes and five-star fine dining. Barbecue is big in America but so are sushi and curry. In fact, we’ve become a nation of “foodies” with firm opinions about where to find the best of everything from steaks to chowders to pastries. Wherever you settle down, there’s likely to be a Farmers’ Market nearby with a mouthwatering selection of fresh, locally grown produce, even in the middle of winter.
Care for a beverage with your meal? Have a craft beer from one of the more than 3,000 U.S. breweries,7 sip wine made in California, the Pacific Northwest, Texas and the Great Lakes region, or knock back some Kentucky bourbon, America’s contribution to the world’s whiskey choices.
Ready to make the move? Here are a few resources to help you.