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How does "Snowbirding" work?
Old 05-13-2017, 06:38 PM   #1
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How does "Snowbirding" work?

Do you own two homes?
Do you have a car both places?
Friends in both places?

This is all new to me as I live in CA. I like the concept but I'm wondering how you would maintain friendships and 2 lives.

Do your friends get jealous that you go somewhere else?

I would love to hear how this all works. How long you have done this. How you get connected in a new community. What you do with your home while you are gone. Would it work to reverse snowbird?

Thank You!
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Old 05-13-2017, 06:52 PM   #2
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Own a home in Illinois and condo in Arizona. Last year we did Il April- Oct and Thanksgiving through Jan 1. Did Az Nov and Jan-Mar.

Used to have a car at both places, but the Arizona car sat for 6 months of summer and had to replace battery once a year in the fall - so I drove it to Il. We're going to drive back and forth from now on.

Lots of friends in Il. No real friends in Az. Our Az development (mostly seniors) has a big turnover.

We maintain friendships and 2 lives very easily. The 2 lives are quite diverse. But we have different friends visit about once a month from Jan through March.

We have owned the Az condo since 2002. At first, I spent about 5 days a month in Az. After retirement, we have 2 trips a year for a total of about 4 months in Az.

We have relatives watch our home when we are gone and we have security cameras, driveway gate, alarm.

I don't have any reverse snowbird experience, but I assume it would work just fine.
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Old 05-13-2017, 06:57 PM   #3
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My arms get tired

If you live in CA there is no need to snowbird.
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Old 05-13-2017, 07:01 PM   #4
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Here is another example of a fellow I know.

He lives in Canada, so come beginning of Dec, he winterizes his home, hooks up his pickup to a 30 foot travel trailer and drives it to FL.
There he rents a spot with a bunch of other travel trailer folks for 4 months. Then he drives back to Canada and opens up his house.
He doesn't have friends in FL, more like seasonal acquaintances.
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Old 05-13-2017, 07:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunset View Post
My arms get tired

If you live in CA there is no need to snowbird.
+1000
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Old 05-13-2017, 08:18 PM   #6
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I agree. You can change your weather and scenery anytime, just drive 2 hours.
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Old 05-13-2017, 08:29 PM   #7
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I was trying to figure out why a Californian would be asking about snowbirding as well. Where is it snowing in California?
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Old 05-13-2017, 08:36 PM   #8
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I was trying to figure out why a Californian would be asking about snowbirding as well. Where is it snowing in California?
I like the idea of adventure someplace else!
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Old 05-13-2017, 09:02 PM   #9
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I know of people in Nor Cal who snowbird to Palm Springs in the winter. I know multiple people who do that.
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Old 05-13-2017, 09:05 PM   #10
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We retired six years ago and worked 20 hours a week in an Arizona state park in exchange for our motorhome campsite. We did this for three years, Jan-March. By April 1 each year, that motorhome felt pretty small.
Then we rented a house for three winters, same three months. We discovered we could rent a house for what the motorhome cost in gas traveling to and from Arizona. This year we took the plunge and bought a home out there. We closed in late March, stayed in the house a couple weeks, painting, etc. Have met some darn good neighbors, they are watching our new home. Plans are to leave a car in the new garage and fly out each year a couple times. It costs us $1K round trip to drive out and back. We can fly cheaper than that. New home is in a Del Webb community and we'll have lots of activities to choose from.
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Old 05-13-2017, 09:29 PM   #11
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I was trying to figure out why a Californian would be asking about snowbirding as well. Where is it snowing in California?
I am not that familiar with California but I do know the Winter Olympics have been hosted in Cal.
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Old 05-13-2017, 09:54 PM   #12
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So far the approach we like is to rent in different places but maintain our primary home in CA. We used to own a place in Palm Springs but found second home ownership to be expensive and limiting for us. We retired about 7 months ago and intend to travel extensively. So far we've entertained visiting relatives for 2 weeks, gone to FL to visit other relatives for 1 week, and we're currently spending 3 months in the Virgin Islands. Later this summer we're spending some time in British Columbia. That will probably be enough travel for us this year as we do want to enjoy time in CA too. We considered establishing a primary residence outside of CA due to taxes and overall COL but love living in CA too much so we just worked longer to make it affordable.
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Old 05-13-2017, 10:23 PM   #13
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So far the approach we like is to rent in different places but maintain our primary home in CA. We used to own a place in Palm Springs but found second home ownership to be expensive and limiting for us. We retired about 7 months ago and intend to travel extensively. So far we've entertained visiting relatives for 2 weeks, gone to FL to visit other relatives for 1 week, and we're currently spending 3 months in the Virgin Islands. Later this summer we're spending some time in British Columbia. That will probably be enough travel for us this year as we do want to enjoy time in CA too. We considered establishing a primary residence outside of CA due to taxes and overall COL but love living in CA too much so we just worked longer to make it affordable.
Are you renting in the Virgin Islands or staying in a hotel?
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Old 05-13-2017, 10:24 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the information. I love reading about how other couples make retirement fun!
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Old 05-14-2017, 01:22 AM   #15
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We have a home in PA and a condo in SE FL on the ocean. We have a couple of friends from PA that snowbird, so we bought our condo last year very close to theirs. We drive down in November and return north in April. We are currently having our condo remodeled and came to FL to check on the progress, staying in our friend's place while they're on a west coast trip. I'll probably come down again next month again. We do have a third car we are currently bringing back north for the summer. Since condo parking is in the basement, we're a little nervous leaving the car during hurricane season. Our condo is on the eighth floor, so flooding is not of concern for that.
Our condo is 20 minutes from a major cruise port, so we love that convenience.
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Old 05-14-2017, 02:54 AM   #16
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We maintain a primary residence in the Pacific Northwest. Rent in Arizona (using VRBO or Airbnb) for a couple of months in the fall. Just lock the house and leave it, with friends and neighbors checking it occasionally and a motion detecting camera sending messages if it sees anything. We drive down so that we have a vehicle, sometimes taking our time and camping along the way.

A group of friends goes there at the same time - we play baseball tournaments together. Sometimes other friends come and visit part of the time. And there are other friends from our permanent residence area that are there for most of the winter, so we visit them as well.
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Old 05-14-2017, 03:34 AM   #17
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I live in the Philippines. I love the weather here except for the heavy rain season which is July, August and September where I live. Even the rainy season can be pleasant at times, but I try to arrange my travel to be during the rainy season when possible.

This year I plan to spend 6 weeks in the USA and 2 or 3 weeks in Japan during that time. Last year I traveled to the USA and the Middle East during the rainy season.

I don't maintain a secondary residence. I am visiting family and friends when I am in the USA, and most of the time I am staying with one of them or we are going on vacation together (this year it's Mt. Estes in Colorado for a week). In Japan I will be a regular tourist traveling around with a friend.
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Old 05-14-2017, 03:50 AM   #18
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Live in Midwest, have place down south. South home is used Dec-early April. Fly back every month for a couple of days to check up on MW house (pretty cheap to fly if booked early). We drive south due to taking dog. We also take 3-4 mini vacations to South home during the year-that allows us to check up on that place.

No car in South home, but it is located 1 mile from the city bus line. We can bus from airport to bus stop for just over $1 each, then walk the mile home. We only take backpacks on mini vacations since we have "snowbird" clothes there. Once there, we walk or ride bikes everywhere (1 mile to restaurants, 2 miles to grocery store.) The buses have bike racks so the combo bike/bus allows us to go most anywhere locally (including the beach) for cheap. Weather is great nearly every day, so not a problem.

Kept a car at our former South home. Cost us about $3,000+ a year to maintain and in depreciation-to use 3 months a year-too expensive. Not having a car forces us to walk/bike more. If we ever really "need" a car (moving furniture, day trip out of the area, etc.), we rent one. I also rent one for the couple of trips back up north in winter, since we only own the one vehicle. It is a pretty cheap way to go.

BTW, have 3 great friend neighbor couples down south. Look forward to seeing them each year!

My favorite seasons are Spring/ summer, early fall and spring/summer!! Works for us!
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Old 05-14-2017, 05:01 AM   #19
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We spend May through December North of Boston. January through April in Fort Lauderdale. Granddad bought a good sized place there back in the late 1950's on the water and now it's ours.

We do find ourselves flying back and forth a few times during the season for doctors, lawyers, family issues, etc. We stay up north until after Christmas mostly for DW's family who are snowbound.

We have friends, cars and boats in both places.
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Old 05-14-2017, 06:14 AM   #20
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Someone mentioned snow birding with a dog. Anyone use VRBO with a pooch?
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