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Thoughts on this Wintering strategy
Old 04-19-2016, 06:35 PM   #1
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Thoughts on this Wintering strategy

We're in our mid 40s and believe that I'll work another couple years and my wife will work another 7 years (most will half time) as a school teacher. So, we'll both have summers off to travel or do whatever beginning in 2 or 3 years. We live in michigan and do not enjoy the winters too much. Summers are great though.

The plan in 7 years or so is to live 9 1/2 months a year in our full time residence.

Take two weeks each summer and spend it in northern michigan on one of the big lakes. I know this rental market pretty well ... roughly $5K for those two weeks.

We would spend January and March in two separate warm weather climates. We would drive to florida in a beach setting for one of those weeks. And the other could be in Mexico, Florida or off the beach and go someplace else in the U.S. We would be targeting to 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms condo. I'm not sure how much to budget but I'm thinking in today's dollars, we should put aside $12K ($6K each).

Questions -- We like smaller beach towns and places on or across the street from the beach. We can do the larger cities as well ... clearwater, foyt meyers, Cocoa Beach, are all ok. Love fishing towns with small downtowns, etc. Any thoughts on cheaper rental areas of florida?

Thoughts on the plan? Anyone try this type of strategy? Pros / Cons?

TIA
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Old 04-20-2016, 11:34 AM   #2
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We looked at it. We travelled extensively throughout Florida and the Texas coast areas. Decided that we did not want to buy or commit ourselves to one area. We killed two birds with one stone. We travel to all the warm places/countries on our bucket lists during our cold winter months. Two more winter vacations in the hopper. Not certain when we will return to Florida.
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Old 04-20-2016, 12:47 PM   #3
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I am interested in the replies you get regarding the towns in Florida (or other places) that might fit your travel needs.

We will be retiring this year and will be looking for similar towns to spend the winter months. I just reserved a rental house in Arizona that would work for the winter but the rates are higher than we would like to pay once we retire.

One thing we do when we vacation is drive around to cities/areas near the place we want to rent. Usually if you get out of the tourist area the rental prices are more reasonable and you can long term rent for less money.
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Old 04-20-2016, 12:56 PM   #4
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What is your idea of warm? we are here in central MN and if it's not snowing or much below freezing we are good with it.it's all about the value to you personally.

Now if you take the 6K you will spend on your lake vacation you can rent for 2 months in in one of our favorite areas, St George, Utah.I'm looking at some 3 bed-3.5 bath condos in a new complex with heated outdoor pools and a stocked fishing pond for 3000 bucks a month including taxes and fees. Nice rentals anywhere in Florida will cost quite a bit of money in season.We have had a couple of posters lately saying it's cheaper to buy and pay the carrying costs then to rent in high demand Florida areas.
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Old 04-20-2016, 03:43 PM   #5
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You say "January and March"...where will you be in February?

Sounds like a good plan otherwise, but beware that Florida condos are often hard to rent due to:
1) many places have 3 month rental minimums
2) it can be hard to find a place as a most folks re-new their rental year after year. At the least you need to start looking in September (if not the year before)
3) a beachfront 2b/2b in Fort Lauderdale can run about $4-6K per month with a 3 month minimum. Less popular areas and smaller towns can be cheaper.

Something like Airbnb might be a better angle if you're looking for a week here and there.
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Old 04-20-2016, 05:46 PM   #6
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What is your idea of warm? we are here in central MN and if it's not snowing or much below freezing we are good with it.it's all about the value to you personally.

Now if you take the 6K you will spend on your lake vacation you can rent for 2 months in in one of our favorite areas, St George, Utah.I'm looking at some 3 bed-3.5 bath condos in a new complex with heated outdoor pools and a stocked fishing pond for 3000 bucks a month including taxes and fees. Nice rentals anywhere in Florida will cost quite a bit of money in season.We have had a couple of posters lately saying it's cheaper to buy and pay the carrying costs then to rent in high demand Florida areas.
Yea, I always thought we would buy but the more we talked about it, we think we like new areas to see. Maybe if we found the perfect place, then we would hunker down and buy.
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Old 04-20-2016, 05:50 PM   #7
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You say "January and March"...where will you be in February?

Sounds like a good plan otherwise, but beware that Florida condos are often hard to rent due to:
1) many places have 3 month rental minimums
2) it can be hard to find a place as a most folks re-new their rental year after year. At the least you need to start looking in September (if not the year before)
3) a beachfront 2b/2b in Fort Lauderdale can run about $4-6K per month with a 3 month minimum. Less popular areas and smaller towns can be cheaper.

Something like Airbnb might be a better angle if you're looking for a week here and there.

The plan is to go back to Michigan in February .... catch up on all the house stuff and see the kids (assuming they're in the midwest). We don't want to do a week to week stuff. Good info. on the florida market. Airbnb is an interesting angle. thanks!!
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Old 04-22-2016, 06:52 AM   #8
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We liked Melbourne Beach area, Ormand Beach and the St Augustine areas. Also liked some areas near Clearwater.
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Old 04-22-2016, 07:17 AM   #9
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....Sounds like a good plan otherwise, but beware that Florida condos are often hard to rent due to:
1) many places have 3 month rental minimums
2) it can be hard to find a place as a most folks re-new their rental year after year. At the least you need to start looking in September (if not the year before)
3) a beachfront 2b/2b in Fort Lauderdale can run about $4-6K per month with a 3 month minimum. Less popular areas and smaller towns can be cheaper.

Something like Airbnb might be a better angle if you're looking for a week here and there.
+1 It is hard to find a condo in many parts of FL in January to March for short periods. Many condo associations have a one month minimum and some a three month minimum. Ditto with owners... they prefer to rent for 3-4 months and once renters find a place they like they get preference to renew and are always at risk that the owner's plans may change and they have to find another place. Also, rentals for less than six months a 10-12% tax is imposed... some owners don't charge for this and some do... if you rent through a realtor then it is charged which increases your cost...rumor is those that do charge for tax just pocket it. Plus you have the risk of being scammed by a vapor rental.

We bought to avoid all of that.... plus the carrying costs (HOA fees, property taxes, insurance, electricity, monitoring, etc.) annually are about 2-3 months rent so between the rental savings and potential appreciation we should come out ok.... and if some year we want to travel during the winter months we can always rent it and cover our carrying costs and then some.
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Old 04-23-2016, 06:31 PM   #10
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MIL has a beach front condo in Daytona Beach Shores for $2400 a month. North of Orlando is considered "off season" in January. If you're happy with 60 degrees, then you can save a lot of money.

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Old 04-24-2016, 04:45 AM   #11
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Old 04-24-2016, 09:22 AM   #12
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Old 04-24-2016, 10:13 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by green night View Post
We're in our mid 40s and believe that I'll work another couple years and my wife will work another 7 years (most will half time) as a school teacher.
Quick question as my DW is also a teacher. Where you live do you (wife) have the option of using her unused sick time to purchase months of medical coverage when you retire? We do here, and the kicker is, it is based upon your status when you retire and if you retire part-time, your sick leave value is less than half. Good formula, but can't retire at part time here as a teacher or you get get hit hard for a loss. We just found that out a couple years back and made changes to our plan accordingly. Maybe you have a better teacher plan.

Okay back on topic........
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Thoughts on this Wintering strategy
Old 04-24-2016, 09:35 PM   #14
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Thoughts on this Wintering strategy

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Originally Posted by Johnora View Post
Quick question as my DW is also a teacher. Where you live do you (wife) have the option of using her unused sick time to purchase months of medical coverage when you retire? We do here, and the kicker is, it is based upon your status when you retire and if you retire part-time, your sick leave value is less than half. Good formula, but can't retire at part time here as a teacher or you get get hit hard for a loss. We just found that out a couple years back and made changes to our plan accordingly. Maybe you have a better teacher plan.



Okay back on topic........

I don't know but will look into it. I do know her pension is 1/4 of what a full time pension is, if she doesn't work 3 years full time during her career.

Thanks and I'll reply back after learning.



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