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Old 02-10-2014, 05:48 PM   #21
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But you live in New Orleans!! Try dealing with 6 degrees outside and a foot of snow every few days for thirteen weeks....it sure will "make up one's mind" on where to spend three months a year!
Ya beat me to it!

While I don't like 100 weather either, given the choice of 0 or 100 I'll take the 100 in a heartbeat. At least I can still go outside without having to bundle up like the Michelin Man. And I can still enjoy being outside even if I cut it short because of the heat. There's just no cure for cold weather.
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Old 02-10-2014, 05:54 PM   #22
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Well, that is why I don't live in, say, MAINE.... Breathtakingly beautiful state, maybe the most beautiful in the country from photos that I have seen (never been there), but too much snow and ice for me. A little snow and ice would be OK, but not that much!
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Old 02-10-2014, 07:08 PM   #23
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"You might consider the Virgin Islands...."

Ugh. Lived there for almost 10 years, albeit while working and living on the corporate dime with no mortgage or rent. So for us life was pretty easy and I still begged to come back to the mainland. MAKE SURE YOU RENT FOR AT LEAST A YEAR before making a decision to buy. Real estate is VERY illiquid, and at least in the case of St. Croix, the economy is declining big time with the elimination of the primary employer. VERY LARGE CULTURAL DIVIDE. Buyer be ware. THE TRUTH ABOUT THE ISLANDS WILL BE OBFUSCATED BY THE PR OF THE ISLANDS.

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Old 02-10-2014, 07:11 PM   #24
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"I guess I don't understand the psychology of snowbirding. To me, it seems like the ultimate, expensive consequence of not being able to make up one's mind."

Heh. I think it is more about having one's cake and eating it too!

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really looking forward to traveling during the too cold winter, kayaking/fishing/hiking during the glorious spring/summer winter
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Old 02-11-2014, 08:33 AM   #25
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I guess I don't understand the psychology of snowbirding. To me, it seems like the ultimate, expensive consequence of not being able to make up one's mind. But then, a lot of people do it so I suppose it must have its appeal.
Agreed. It personally seems like a lot of work and a lot of expense to keep up a property you don't use for half the year.

If I were in that situation I'd probably be one of those "halfbacks" who settled on a place in the Carolinas.
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Old 02-11-2014, 08:45 AM   #26
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Well, that is why I don't live in, say, MAINE.... Breathtakingly beautiful state, maybe the most beautiful in the country from photos that I have seen (never been there), but too much snow and ice for me. A little snow and ice would be OK, but not that much!
That's the thing. Northern states have some beautiful, fantastic stuff but it's inaccessible/unusable for 5 months of the year (winter sports aside).

A perfect summer day up north can be better than a day anywhere else, but you might get only four or five of them a year!

I had to leave FL and go back to Boston for three days last week...just in time for a foot of snow and delayed flights...I said out loud "Man, this s*cks!" It really does.
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Old 02-11-2014, 10:26 AM   #27
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I'm planning to be a snowbird in retirement. The thing is that MN can be PARADISE (or close to it in summer and fall. I love it here in many ways: life is easy during those months, people are great, wonderful bike and nature activities, etc. etc. So I think snowbirding from December-March would be ideal, just to escape the difficult months.

For me renting would be optimal, partly because my plan is to rent in a variety of places: Arizona, Florida, California, possibly overseas. I would not want to feel obliged to keep going back to the same location.
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Old 02-11-2014, 11:33 AM   #28
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While I don't like 100 weather either, given the choice of 0 or 100 I'll take the 100 in a heartbeat.
To each his own.

I'm enjoying the snowy weather much more now that I'm retired. Since I control my schedule, if it's bad driving weather, I just stay inside. Conversely, if it's a beautiful day like today I can go out and enjoy the bright(!) sunshine and enjoy the pretty snow. Sure it's 10 but I keep my car in a warm garage and the car stays warm.

On the other hand, when it's hot and humid I'm really uncomfortable. I really hate to sweat.
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Old 02-11-2014, 12:11 PM   #29
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Though I haven't investigated it much yet, the weather here in N TX is almost unbearably hot from late July to mid/late Sept, and sometimes unpleasantly cold and gray in Jan and Feb. So, rather than snowbirding per se, I'd like to follow the moderate temps, so norther/higher in summer, and souther in winter.
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Old 02-11-2014, 12:31 PM   #30
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Though I haven't investigated it much yet, the weather here in N TX is almost unbearably hot from late July to mid/late Sept, and sometimes unpleasantly cold and gray in Jan and Feb. So, rather than snowbirding per se, I'd like to follow the moderate temps, so norther/higher in summer, and souther in winter.
Renting via places like VRBO.com would work well for you. Places that normally cater to skiers would be off season in summer and cheaper. I don't like it hot at all, so I will probably target SC for my winter escapes. Prices are very reasonable and vacation rentals happy to rent for a couple of months on the cheap when they are not likely to get weekenders. I would love sweater weather year round.

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Old 02-11-2014, 05:39 PM   #31
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"You might consider the Virgin Islands...." Ugh. Lived there for almost 10 years, albeit while working and living on the corporate dime with no mortgage or rent. So for us life was pretty easy and I still begged to come back to the mainland. MAKE SURE YOU RENT FOR AT LEAST A YEAR before making a decision to buy. Real estate is VERY illiquid, and at least in the case of St. Croix, the economy is declining big time with the elimination of the primary employer. VERY LARGE CULTURAL DIVIDE. Buyer be ware. THE TRUTH ABOUT THE ISLANDS WILL BE OBFUSCATED BY THE PR OF THE ISLANDS. IP
Surely InParadise your opinion of St. John is different than the other two. I go there every year, and I would live there if I could afford it. Just have to stay healthy there and do not catch "rock fever".
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Old 02-11-2014, 05:48 PM   #32
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One thing I should mention.......Our decision to buy was largely driven by our love for dogs. We have 3 and renting would pose a challenge.

Someone also mentioned sb'erders would not get the homestead exemption on taxes. Not so for us, we will be there a little over 6 months and make that our primary residence.
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Old 02-11-2014, 06:04 PM   #33
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Starting points... contrast: Large anonymous, Small young active, affordable

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1.-100 interesting facts about The Villages

2. -Tanglewood Sebring

Spend some time on each and then use them as baselines, rather than trying to look through 5000 retirement communities.

Biggest mistake retirees make is trying to decide between places they visit, and the physical "houses" rather than looking at the people and the lifestyle.

If happiness is a house... go anywhere. If people are more important it takes a little longer.
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Old 02-11-2014, 06:07 PM   #34
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Head South. When you finally see the ocean, you've probably gone far enough.
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Old 02-11-2014, 06:08 PM   #35
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We live in Florida so we have the reverse problem. Most of the time the weather is great but it really gets HOT and HUMID here during the summer so we like to head up north to Maine or Canada for awhile. Although we would like to stay north about 3 months that just isn't possible for us. But having our home and living here most of the year then vacationing during the summer makes more sense to me. However, I wouldn't want the added expense and headache of a second home up north. I wouldn't want to be locked into one place for a "getaway during that time either. Plus we get away from all the summer tourists.

Cheers!
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Old 02-11-2014, 06:25 PM   #36
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Hi Guys,

Wonder if I could pick your brains on the topic of Snow Birding. DW and I currently live in NY and have decided that we are going to start looking for a place in Florida for the winters. We have 17 months left before we officially retire but we are sick of the winters here and are concerned that if we wait too long, the prices are going to escalate.


I am 55 and DW is 54. We are looking for something South of Lake Okeechobee as we were told that the weather is typically better there during the winters. I do not yet have a coastal preference. I have never owned a condo before and am a bit concerned about privacy, but I don’t need another 4000 SF alligator to feed. I would like something maintenance free if possible.

As we are somewhat “young” retirees, I would like someplace where the average age is not 150. We would like to meet other like minded couples down there and was hoping to get some ideas from you kind people on the subject. It does not need to be the end game for us, but we wanted to lock into today’s real estate prices. We would love something on the water, and or near a golf course and not too far from a major airport. We have looked at Miami and West Palm Beach. Not a fan. We thought they were too pretentious. We are looking at Hallandale now but have not visited there yet. We don’t want to spend more than 300-400k which we will pay outright or self finance with our HELOC. This affords us the opportunity to act quickly when the time is right. We can wait until the summer to look if we can get a better deal. Any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks in advance for your help.
Have you considered the panhandle? We leased for a year on Navarre Beach ... loved it. Over the bridge from the beach is the community of Navarre which is mostly a military and military-contractor community. Lots of retirees around -some military, some snowbirds. Friendly folks. Navarre Beach itself is very quiet for a beach having no nightclubs, tourist attractions, and only three restaurants. It's also sandwiched in between military property & Gulf Islands Natl Seashore. Reasonably priced too for beach property. Even if you are over the bridge from the beach in Navarre you are still only five to ten minutes from the beach.

We now live 20 miles inland though.

I warn though ... the humidity can get pretty unbearable (for some) here in the summer --- and some areas can be a bit, shall we say, "rednecky."
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Old 02-11-2014, 06:28 PM   #37
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One thing I should mention.......Our decision to buy was largely driven by our love for dogs. We have 3 and renting would pose a challenge.

Someone also mentioned sb'erders would not get the homestead exemption on taxes. Not so for us, wil will be there a little over 6 months and make that our primary residence/
As long as you are a resident of Florida you can claim the exemption .
FL Dept Rev - Property Tax Exemptions and Discounts
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Old 02-11-2014, 08:05 PM   #38
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Surely InParadise your opinion of St. John is different than the other two. I go there every year, and I would live there if I could afford it. Just have to stay healthy there and do not catch "rock fever".
St John is a lovely place to visit. The best use of ST Thomas is to get to St. John. It is it's one redeeming factor. Remember vacationing some place and living there is a very different thing. Owning property down there has it's own set of issues. Wonder what will happen to the islands with the refinery shutting down and not having much success finding a buyer.
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Old 02-11-2014, 08:31 PM   #39
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St John is a lovely place to visit. The best use of ST Thomas is to get to St. John. It is it's one redeeming factor. Remember vacationing some place and living there is a very different thing. Owning property down there has it's own set of issues. Wonder what will happen to the islands with the refinery shutting down and not having much success finding a buyer.
I agree about STT. I don't think my liver could survive the daily $1-$3 happy hours on STJ! One of the major issues of owning property on STJ is the outrageous costs. A 400 square foot "house" with no electricity or cistern, nowhere near the ocean that was unlivable based on the description and pictures was almost $200,000. I have never been to St. Croix but was dissuaded to go based on online opinions. I almost got the impression if you want to get shot, go there and hang out in one of the two "towns" after dark.
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Old 02-11-2014, 11:50 PM   #40
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As long as you are a resident of Florida you can claim the exemption .
FL Dept Rev - Property Tax Exemptions and Discounts
Word to the wise about Homestead Exemption in Florida. It's not like it was in Texas where you pretty much just filled out a form at the Assessors Office and they took your word for it so long as you had no other Homestead filed anywhere else in Texas.. They are on to snowbirds filing Homestead Exemption down here in FL. It's not so easy.

We just recently filed Homestead on our new home here in Florida. They required a personal appearance of all adult household members, Florida Driver Licenses, at least two separate utility bills, proof of previous residence, and all Florida vehicle registrations must show the same address (and they double check the registrations to see if you have any others.) I was amazed they were so picky. (I've noticed Florida seems to have a virtual Army of State government clerks.)
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