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Each Winter in a different warm place
Old 04-17-2007, 09:56 AM   #1
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Each Winter in a different warm place

DW and I have dreamt of an ER that includes living at home in the Northeast during the milder months and escaping to warmer climates durin the colder ones. Is it reasonable to expect that we can rent reasonably priced housing in warmer climates (in the U.S.) for only a few months each year? We have been thinking of leaving the Northeast just after Christmas and returning in early May. Each year we would pick a differnt area of the country to live in for the four months (TX, AZ, FL etc.). Are any of you doing anything like this? Is there a reasonably priced way to do it? Any suggestions? Are we being naive in thinking that it can be done? If we fell in love with an area, we might consider something more permanent.
thanks, still dreaming!
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Re: Each Winter in a different warm place
Old 04-17-2007, 10:06 AM   #2
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Re: Each Winter in a different warm place

Some folks I know own a mobile home in "the valley" - the southern tip of TX that they use as a winter home. I suspect it's pretty low cost. They have a double-wide which really makes a nice home. And they are in a very nice >55 "mobile home community" type neighborhood - very upscale. No "white trash" around here. These neighborhoods are all over the valley. I'm thinking it's an extremely economical way to go.

And then, of course, there are the snowbirds (in TX they are called "winter texans") who come down in their RVs. All the way from Canada even. It's very practical and there is a large infrastructure set up in all the popular states to accommodate these winter visitors. With and RV you can try a different place each winter. If you use something like a 5th wheel which is only moved once or twice a year, you maxmize your living space while still being able to move your home. A lot of folks even keep their RV stored in the south over the summer so they don't have to pull it all the way back north.

Lots of options. Lots of retirees living the two-locations-each-year lifestyle.

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Re: Each Winter in a different warm place
Old 04-17-2007, 10:34 AM   #3
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Re: Each Winter in a different warm place

As a fulltime RVer, we vote for the RV as well.....so much simpler, you have all your own stuff, you can take it wherever you like, and the RV communities you will find everywhere in snowbird country will supply community, friends, and lots of interesting possibilities.

And, if you enjoy it, who knows? You might want to do some traveling in the warm parts of the year as well. Lots of beautiful country to see.

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Re: Each Winter in a different warm place
Old 04-17-2007, 11:07 AM   #4
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Re: Each Winter in a different warm place

The last two winters, we've joined friends from Wisconsin for two weeks in Texas. They spend Dec through March renting on the waterfront in Hill Contry. It seems the locals think 50 - 60f weather is too chilly for fishing and other water sports, so resorts rent at very, very attractive monthly rates to attract "winter Texans" to fill accomodations that would otherwise be empty.

I have some family obligations keeping me from being gone all winter right now, otherwise DW and I would go for the whole winter. The place we stayed at on Lake LBJ had great accomodations, a nice covered dock for the boat, pool, hot tub, etc., etc. The other winter Texans, primarily from Wis, Ill and Mich, were a friendly crowd. And we were within an hour of both Austin and San Antonio so there were plenty of non-outdoors things to do too.
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Re: Each Winter in a different warm place
Old 04-17-2007, 11:10 AM   #5
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Re: Each Winter in a different warm place

if i didn't have the same plan but in the opposite direction we could trade houses. or i've got a spare room so if you have one too & think us compatible we could be seasonal housemates.

i haven't embarked on summers away yet and might not start until next year (funds might still be tight this year) but i've been studying the situation and it looks real possible. most longer-short term rentals seem to want three to six months. under three months might get a little pricey but 3 months at a time seems real doable either through sublets or outright rentals.

do a craigslist search of apartments/housing or sublets/temporary (not vacation rentals) in or near your town of interest. then in the search box type in "furnished". this seems to bring up available temporary housing situations.
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Re: Each Winter in a different warm place
Old 04-17-2007, 12:37 PM   #6
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Re: Each Winter in a different warm place

That is the exact plan DW and I have talked about. We are in the NE also. We don't want to buy a second home in warmer climate. Don't want the bother of owning two homes and don't want to be locked into the same loation every winter. I have searched for a place in Hawaii for our first winter 2 years from now. Looks like you can get a small bungalow near the water for about $3000 per month. Of course there is the issue of transportation in Hawaii also (can't drive there). Would look to rent a car part of the time. Less expensive Florida rent can be had for $1500 or so. Since Hawaii is on the high side for our budget, we would limit our stay and make it shorter, say 2 months instead of 3. When we find a less expensive rent in a local we would stay longer. My concern is will I be able to be away from my home for long periods of time even though I am begiinning to hate winters more? Only way to know is to try it. I don't think I could be cooped up in an RV for more than 2 weeks.
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Re: Each Winter in a different warm place
Old 04-17-2007, 01:28 PM   #7
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Re: Each Winter in a different warm place

This is a great question and it's what the wife and I are doing. We ERed, sold the house, bought a motorhome and have been touring the U.S. As far as winter goes, we've spent two in Florida and one in Arizona. Next year we will probably be out west and pick AZ, NM or TX.

Florida was a great choice this year. I like to look at the colorful weather maps in USA Today. Often FL and CA were the only states not in some shade of blue (cold) at various times this winter. AZ was warm last January (2006) but had 10 degree days this year.

In future years, we will check out the South Padre Island area of TX. It's supposed to be quite nice, but windy there.

Winter in a different warm place is a heck of good plan for those us tired of shoveling!

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Re: Each Winter in a different warm place
Old 04-17-2007, 01:37 PM   #8
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Re: Each Winter in a different warm place

Regarding renting in different climes - you may wish to check out Vacation Rentals By Owner - VRBO.com. Lots of locations and price ranges.
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Re: Each Winter in a different warm place
Old 04-17-2007, 01:55 PM   #9
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Re: Each Winter in a different warm place

we live in texas and will be doing the opposite, spending our summers some place cooler. Texas winters, (Houston's for example) are really outstanding. One thing a friend of ours mentioned to us, was looking at corporate housing, executive suites, etc. They often are available for sublet in big cities at really reasonable rates. he found a place in Durango CO in summer for $1500 per month (penthouse suite type apartment). We're hoping to find more rural rentals. Our first summer (next year) will be spent in Europe where we can stay reasonably as we have many friends there.
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Re: Each Winter in a different warm place
Old 04-17-2007, 06:14 PM   #10
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Re: Each Winter in a different warm place

This sounds like what we would like to do also. I am tired of winter. I have been saying for years that when I retired, I wanted to move someplace warm. My DH would immediately say, I am not moving to FL. (Sorry to those living in FL.) I think that he immediately thinks of "old" retired people in FL. Funny thing is, we are now getting older also and DH, who has always loved all 4 seasons, is getting very tired of winter. He has complained more about winter this year than ever before. He told me that the day he retires, he wants to walk out of his building at quitting time and get into a U-Haul truck and drive to someplace warm. We still have family close by and our 2 children are living here now, so it would be very hard for me to move, but I would definitely like to go to different places to explore during the winter months.
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Re: Each Winter in a different warm place
Old 04-17-2007, 07:57 PM   #11
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Re: Each Winter in a different warm place

On the beach, 3 bed/2 bath condos can be rented in Gulf Shores/ Orange Beach Alabama for $1500 a month for winter months. Cheaper than similarly situated condos on the Florida side of the Panhandle. My mom spent the last 2 winters there and many days were in the 60s and 70s, and you just can't beat the view. Tracy
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Re: Each Winter in a different warm place
Old 04-17-2007, 08:02 PM   #12
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Re: Each Winter in a different warm place

I think if you get creative you can go south for the winter and save a lot.For example Northern Florida ( think Destin ) is cheaper in the winter than say Sarasota.Plus there are still some relatively unknown areas on the coast which are probably cheaper .Ever hear of Englewood
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Re: Each Winter in a different warm place
Old 04-17-2007, 09:13 PM   #13
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Re: Each Winter in a different warm place

Renting a few months out of the year instead of buying really does make financial sense. I've run the numbers on a spreadsheet and it's the most economical way to handle a "second" place. On the other hand some folks just want a place they can call their own. My wife is one of them, thus we're in the market for a winter place in South Carolina. No amount of arguement will convince my wife otherwise and I figure that my wife has put up with nearly 40 years of my nonesense so I might as well give in on this issue.
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Re: Each Winter in a different warm place
Old 04-17-2007, 10:31 PM   #14
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Re: Each Winter in a different warm place

hawaii can be had for a lot less than $3k/month. well, at least if you are single, don't require much space and don't want to live in miami, um, i mean, honolulu.

i've found lots of places on the big island where i'd prefer to be for around $1500/month. here's a totally cute studio for $1k/month http://tinyurl.com/3yzh7u

also (i don't have link handy but) i've found auto long-term rentals aka short-term leases for about $600/month. so for a little more than $6k you got yourself 3 seasonal months in paradise.

qualification: i've been looking for summer rates to get out of florida humidity. winter rates to escape northeast snow might be higher.
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Re: Each Winter in a different warm place
Old 04-18-2007, 05:07 PM   #15
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Re: Each Winter in a different warm place

Quote:
Originally Posted by CATAMAN
DW and I have dreamt of an ER that includes living at home in the Northeast during the milder months and escaping to warmer climates durin the colder ones. Is it reasonable to expect that we can rent reasonably priced housing in warmer climates (in the U.S.) for only a few months each year? We have been thinking of leaving the Northeast just after Christmas and returning in early May.
My grandparents did this for years. For a long time it was FL, then AZ, then back to FL. They tended to find mobile home parks they liked, and there were always people living there who were going to be gone for the summer, so there was always a rental available. This doesn't sound quite as varied as what you're suggesting, but they never had any trouble. I suppose this might not work if you're not 55, as I think the communities they were in were 55+. Not sure what the cost was, but they were very LBYM, so I'm sure it was reasonable.
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Re: Each Winter in a different warm place
Old 04-18-2007, 11:25 PM   #16
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Re: Each Winter in a different warm place

Well it snowed most of the day here today...now it is windy and cold. I am getting the RV ready for our first major trip and had to turn on the heat to keep from freezing...yesterday I started up the sprinkler system because it has been warm and dry for several weeks. I am sick of winter, snow, cold and wearing a coat.

We are headed west to the central coast of CA after a few days in sunny Las Vegas for some well earned RnR for me and some rest for DW. We will do some sightseeing but mostly thawing out and sleeping. We are also looking at what to do next winter (after Christmas). We are wanting to scout out AZ but won't have the time until August...not a good time to be in AZ....but.....it is a DRY HEAT; so is an oven and we know what that does to meat. :P

I would be interested in options from the Full/Part timers on the board. We are getting our ducks in a row for the Snowbird season and already have the snowplowing, mail forwarding, bill paying and house checking arranged. Now all we need to do is find a few places to stay for 3-4 months. We want to move around rather than just "park" somewhere for a month at a time. Our rig is just not big enough for THAT much togetherness.
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Re: Each Winter in a different warm place
Old 04-19-2007, 12:01 PM   #17
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Re: Each Winter in a different warm place

I have a home in Florida and Arizona. Both places have a huge influx of winter snow birds during the Dec-April prime season. The only problem is that these months command very high rents. In both locals you are looking at a minimum of $2,000 per month for something nice.

I rent my home in Arizona out to winter visitors each year to help defray the costs of keeping house. It is a 1600 sq. ft home with 2 car garage. Rents for $2,000 a month during those months. As an example: My house is actually a bargain as most much smaller condo's with no garage go for the same rents. Same here in Florida. So my point is, the word "inexpensive rental" during these prime months is a fictional dream.

Perhaps in other areas that don't have the great weather that Florida and Arizona do in the winter, you could rent much cheaper. There might be places that have "milder" winters than your home town.

Even if you had an RV and wanted to park it in a nice resort type place in either Florida or Arizona, you will find the rents during "the season" are much higher.

Probably your least expensive alternative would be purchasing something older in a nice RV park in one of these locals, and using it for yourself in the winter. I am talking of one like Billy and Akisha talked about on this board earlier this year.

It would not give you the abillity to try out different places, so you would have to do that first to see where you like living best.
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Re: Each Winter in a different warm place
Old 04-20-2007, 06:05 AM   #18
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Re: Each Winter in a different warm place

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveR
I would be interested in options from the Full/Part timers on the board. We are getting our ducks in a row for the Snowbird season and already have the snowplowing, mail forwarding, bill paying and house checking arranged. Now all we need to do is find a few places to stay for 3-4 months. We want to move around rather than just "park" somewhere for a month at a time. Our rig is just not big enough for THAT much togetherness.
We don't tend to stay anywhere that long - a month is our limit, and that long is quite rare. In the winters we tend to wander. Your Casita can handle pretty cold weather, so you shouldn't be worried about a few nights that reach the 20s. Take a few simple precautions is all.

During the winter we tend to wander from state park to state park (plus Corps of Engineers) in the warmer climes. These tend to have stay limits, so that keeps them from getting filled by snowbirds. We very rarely make reservations. I might check on line to figure out if a particular state park is almost fully booked over a weekend and if so reserve (just for the weekend), but that's usually not necessary. If you are willing to be flexible and occasionaly invoke a backup plan, wandering around without reservations is very freeing - it's a lovely way to travel.

Winter is a great time to wander and explore. If you can handle a few freezing nights now and then, you can cover a wide range, enjoy several states, etc.

Audrey
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Re: Each Winter in a different warm place
Old 04-20-2007, 11:43 AM   #19
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Re: Each Winter in a different warm place

SteveR.....remember that altitude is everything. If you're looking to be in AZ in August, remember that different areas of the state have very different temperatures.

In northern AZ, in such areas as Flagstaff, summer temps are often in the high 70s to low 80s in August.

We spent last summer volunteering at a fish hatchery twenty miles east of Payson AZ. We were at 6,500 ft elevation, slept under wool blankets every night, and used our airconditioner a total of four hours all summer. Yet we were only a bit more than an hour's drive from Phoenix, and furnacelike temps there.

Just a hint........

LooseChickens
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Re: Each Winter in a different warm place
Old 04-20-2007, 11:15 PM   #20
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Re: Each Winter in a different warm place

Thanks for the advice.

We are still too new at this RVing to feel comfortable going without reservations. Call me chicken but at this early stage I want to know I have a place to park the Beast. DW is also adjusting to RVing and her disabilities etc. make full hookups a very strong desire right now. Maybe after a few trips and a couple of nights without them she will adust. One problem with a smaller RV is smaller holding tanks so water conservation is a very real issue.

We have sort of looked at some of the parks in the Bullfrog area in western AZ. After ER we will have a lot more time for some wandering trips and will do so to start to get the feel for the different areas and what they look like. No real plans yet..just talking about it.

Altitude is indeed a huge factor in temperatures. Our house is near 4900 feet...the cabin was 8000 feet so we fully understand the abdiatic (sp?) temperature changes. 3 degree drop for every 3000 feet of elevation. The most striking place to feel this is at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. The campground we were in was around 85 during the day but the bottom of the canyon was well over 95 just a few hundred feet horizontally but a bunch of feet vertically.
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