(Topic ID: 333368)

Thinking about becoming a snowbird and looking for advice

By pinmister

1 year ago


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  • 35 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by mechslave
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    There are 62 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
    #1 1 year ago

    As we get older the wife and I talk about trading in pine trees for palm trees during the winter months. We are considering a second home to escape to in the cold winter months and wonder if any fellow pinsiders have any advice or recommendations on good locations that we may want to look at? Any advice or information on becoming a snowbird is appreciated.

    #2 1 year ago

    If you are considering Florida, Vero Beach and north of that is still okay, I'm in Port St. Lucie and it has gotten way too crowded in the last couple years. South of me is worse.

    #3 1 year ago
    Quoted from beepnutz:

    If you are considering Florida

    We have been looking in Florida, and California so far.

    Palm Springs has been attractive to me. Love the Frank Lloyd Wright style architecture with some of the older properties. Lots of unique properties. This one I found was interesting(for living in the past)...
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    #4 1 year ago

    St Augustine vs. Sarasota?

    #5 1 year ago

    I like both, I'd probably choose St Augustine, cool city, historic, less crowded. Sarasota has the red tide at the moment, can't go the the beach. My cousins in California are leaving after 55 years, taxes, bad government, crime and too many people. They were thinking Lake Tahoe, but that's out of reach now, headed further east.

    #6 1 year ago

    We have a ton of snowbirds here in the Phoenix area. Our winters are beautiful, lots of golf & that mid century architecture that you posted above. Tons of pinball out here too with several tournaments every week. Also more affordable than California or Florida.

    #7 1 year ago

    We were looking from Ft. Myers to Sarasota. We chose Homosassa, FL. It’s still small and quiet compared to southwest Florida. Lots of boating/fishing. Both Crystal River and Homosassa have springs where manatees winter. There’s nothing like getting fresh seafood right off the boat either.

    I’ll add - coming from Wisconsin, there are plenty of bars, many with early evening and weekend afternoon live music. We’re headed to Old Homosassa right now for Shrimpa-palooza, just another spring festival.

    But, no pinball in the area - except the three in my shed.

    #8 1 year ago

    My dad has an house by the canal in pompano beach. He recently obtained his green card to live permanently in the us. It’s quite busy by the beach during winter time and on the road.
    Hes happy with the move.

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    #9 1 year ago
    Quoted from Pin-Bob:

    Tons of pinball out here too with several tournaments every week

    Probably something I need to consider is the local pinball scene. I have family that lives in Hawaii but the pinball scene is not that great and the cost to fly back and forth is not cheap.

    I went to ASU for a year and love the Mesa/Scottsdale area. It was really hot in the summer months and I remember trying to open my car door handle in the heat was entertaining. I guess that would not be an issue if I am a snowbird

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    #10 1 year ago
    Quoted from Paseb:

    My dad has an house by the canal in pompano beach

    Man that picture makes me jelly

    This winter has been rough-I need some palm trees in my life

    #11 1 year ago

    I moved to Naples full time last August and love it. I'm on the 15th floor in a high rise and the views and sunsets are amazing. I was sick of Massachusetts and left the snow behind for good.

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    #12 1 year ago
    Quoted from Pinballmike217:

    I was sick of Massachusetts and left the snow behind for good.

    As I get older I am realizing I really do not like the cold. The artic blast this year made it difficult and I keep saying to myself-this is too damn cold and I don't like it!

    #13 1 year ago

    I’m old school. I wasn’t meant to do anything else but winter hibernate/work. Summers are for winter prep.

    I like visiting warmer climates but long term my life would never feel right.

    #14 1 year ago
    Quoted from underlord:

    I’m old school

    I do enjoy the seasons with trees changing but it seems like what I really like is the spring and the fall. The winter months have me feeling like I am trapped inside and having to go to the gym because it is too cold to do anything. Then all of the sudden the oven turns on in the summer and it is almost too hot outside to do anything and you are chasing A/C. May need to look at a place up north like Madison(hang with Hilton) and a place down in Florida for winter?

    Ideally I want to live in a low crime area that I feel safe having my kids walk the streets, good recreation and good shopping/entertainment close by.

    #15 1 year ago
    Quoted from pinmister:

    As I get older I am realizing I really do not like the cold. The artic blast this year made it difficult and I keep saying to myself-this is too damn cold and I don't like it!

    Ditto! Last couple of years I've been feeling like I'm turning into sort of a human popsicle and all this cold weather and rain in So Cal is not helping matters. Now I take baths & showers in water so friggin' hot I could cook lobster in it!

    #16 1 year ago
    Quoted from underlord:

    I’m old school. I wasn’t meant to do anything else but winter hibernate/work. Summers are for winter prep.
    I like visiting warmer climates but long term my life would never feel right.

    I'm kinda the same way - i look forward to it getting dark at 5pm and just lighting a fire and watching tv and cocooning. No yard work.

    Cant say I'm a fan of the cold - I don't snowmobile or ski, but I find that after a few months of hot weather I look forward to the change in seasons.

    I wouldnt mind a winter or 2 in a warmer climate though, could change my mind!

    #17 1 year ago

    Any pinheads in Palm Springs?

    #18 1 year ago

    We bought a condo last year near the Orlando area for eventual 6+ month hibernation. We've been back 4 times in the last 12 months. I can't take the Wisconsin winters anymore, and I've had enough of the lifestyle/mindset of the midwest.

    Thing is - everybody and their sister is coming to FL. Tons of people and the main interstate that cuts the state in half I-4 is a nightmare.

    One thing to consider, is it is a red state and it's apparent. If blue is more your color, you definitely want CA as your home base. Weather there is fantastic too.

    #19 1 year ago
    Quoted from Methos:

    Thing is - everybody and their sister is coming to FL.

    This is one of my main concerns. I do not want to sit in traffic all the time and always battling congestion. I like Huntington Beach area but I always told myself you would have to work close to where you live or be retired and not have to travel much. Getting around LA is almost a nightmare at times and that was why I was looking at Palm Desert/Palm Springs area.

    St. Augustine seems like the traffic and congestion is minimal and the cost of homes is affordable. Always wonder-well what about the people? I was in line at McDonald's in Pensacola once and had a panhandler knocking on my window in the drive thru line-it blew me away and made me think about how things are different than where I live.

    #20 1 year ago

    I spent a few winters in Palm Springs before buying in Arizona. No regrets, life is short! Do it!

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    #21 1 year ago

    So when I am looking for greener grass and potential places to live I use realtor.com

    -Start exploring your new habitat

    https://www.realtor.com/

    #22 1 year ago

    We always envisioned AZ for 5 months a year, but after visiting several years, I just can't do it. I need to stay busy, and not having my shop to work/goof off in drove me nuts. I'm 63, don't golf anymore, hate traffic, don't like crowded areas, and the Suprise to Phoenix area checked all those negative boxes for me. Of course, if youre from a city, these things won't bother you like they did me.

    #23 1 year ago
    Quoted from Hayfarmer:

    I need to stay busy, and not having my shop to work/goof off in drove me nuts.

    I have several projects in my garage but my motivation to work on them in the cold garage has me delaying those projects until it warms up. It is too flippin cold in the winter to do anything. I would like to do more fishing, golfing, get into pickleball?, and perhaps do some volunteering?

    #24 1 year ago

    Lots of great deals on homes in Texas and the Carolinas/Tennessee area, etc. My main concern for those areas is the growing climate changes and the unpredictable extreme storms that tend to cause major havoc. I do not want my house ripped apart by a tornado in the middle of the night or deal with major storms. -Really good deals on homes though

    #25 1 year ago

    Palm Desert / La Quinta area is beautiful Oct-May. Lots to do. Hiking, golfing, concerts and you’re close to the mountains if skiing is your thing.

    #26 1 year ago

    Please don't.

    #27 1 year ago
    Quoted from Pinballmike217:

    I moved to Naples full time last August and love it. I'm on the 15th floor in a high rise and the views and sunsets are amazing. I was sick of Massachusetts and left the snow behind for good.
    [quoted image]

    If you’re a morning person, east coast. Evening person, west coast. Undecided, panhandle.

    #28 1 year ago
    Quoted from beepnutz:

    Sarasota has the red tide at the moment, can't go the the beach.

    Ugh, I discovered this firsthand during our trip last month. Nothing like going to the beach and coughing non-stop and not knowing why until someone explains what "red tide" is. Might as well call it Red Lung.

    #29 1 year ago

    In this market , I'd go rent for a few months before I dropped 5 or 600k on a house. Make sure you like the area,

    #30 1 year ago

    Went for a late night swim in the pool and decided to turn on the lights, before jumping in.

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    #31 1 year ago
    Quoted from Hayfarmer:

    In this market , I'd go rent for a few months before I dropped 5 or 600k on a house. Make sure you like the area,

    This is really good advice. An area may seem great visiting but you'll never truly know until you spend a season living in it. Unexpected things can change your mind.
    Sign a 6 month lease. Decide if you like it. 3 months in you should know.

    #32 1 year ago

    This is so up to personal preference.

    Personally, I would *never* move to Florida because high humidity gets old real fast (as in after a day on vacation, where all I do is lounge at the pool). I actually prefer cold weather over that impossible 85F 99% humidity swamp.

    For me, the ideal climate and scenery is Big Sur, CA but I would only move there if I won the powerball lottery.

    A compromise is somewhere in New Mexico. I’d check out Santa Fe or Albuquerque. Those can get chilly but are still sunny by default. And the heat is truly dry.

    #33 1 year ago

    Did my first year of training in Tampa/Clearwater area about 25 years ago. I'm *very* familiar with most of Florida, especially the Gulf coast, but also have been to the Jacksonville area, Daytona, Ft Lauderdale, Miami and the Keys.

    I am also pretty familiar with the Phoenix area, Hawaii, and much of California.

    You are welcome to PM me for more extensive thoughts or discussion on any of these.

    But my brief advice is to visit and scouting any of these areas you are seriously considering *in the summer time*. The Gulf coast, as with much of Florida, and Phoenix, is a sweat-box in the dead of summer. People behave almost like it is winter -- staying indoors during the day, and many times even at night (at least in Florida) it can be sticky-hot. March and April in any of these areas are usually picture-perfect. But, if you are going to live in any of these areas year-round, you want to experience the extreme weather and be sure you can handle it. "Cabin-fever," under the right circumstances, can be a real thing for some people by August or September after a long hot summer.

    Finally, wherever you go, if you are aging, be sure to know you are living near a good healthcare center/hospital system. Things have improved a lot on the gulf coast of Florida over the last 25 years, but the healthcare quality can still be spotty. Some doctors and nurses gravitate to nice areas to enjoy life too much sometimes, or they want they want to take things easier close to retirement. In my single year of training I saw some horrendous things that bordered on the practice of medicine in a 3rd-world country. Happy to give advice to you or anyone else about how to best avoid this. Shoot me a PM.

    Best on your decision!

    #34 1 year ago
    Quoted from pinmister:

    I have several projects in my garage but my motivation to work on them in the cold garage has me delaying those projects until it warms up. It is too flippin cold in the winter to do anything. I would like to do more fishing, golfing, get into pickleball?, and perhaps do some volunteering?

    A better heating system for your garage will cost less then second home!

    https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/redtide.html Ewww.

    #35 1 year ago
    Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

    Went for a late night swim in the pool and decided to turn on the lights, before jumping in.
    [quoted image][quoted image]

    Beautiful creatures. Wish there were more of them and less humans in FL.

    #36 1 year ago
    Quoted from FrankJ:

    We were looking from Ft. Myers to Sarasota. We chose Homosassa, FL.
    But, no pinball in the area - except the three in my shed.

    You’ve got a hotbed of pinball south of you if you drive an hour - hour and a half to Replay and Reboot in Tarpon Springs/Dunedin. Straight shot down US19 from you.

    To the OP - Florida is becoming more expensive and crowded by the day with no signs of slowing down. If you were to invest down here I would do it sooner than later.

    #37 1 year ago
    Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

    Went for a late night swim in the pool and decided to turn on the lights, before jumping in.
    [quoted image][quoted image]

    That’s a big boy there. Damn. Time to upgrade the fences!

    #38 1 year ago
    Quoted from Taygeta:

    You’ve got a hotbed of pinball south of you if you drive an hour - hour and a half to Replay and Reboot in Tarpon Springs/Dunedin. Straight shot down US19 from you.
    To the OP - Florida is becoming more expensive and crowded by the day with no signs of slowing down. If you were to invest down here I would do it sooner than later.

    I’m not complaining, but there hasn’t been a day crappy enough to justify spending a day inside.

    #39 1 year ago
    Quoted from Taygeta:

    To the OP - Florida is becoming more expensive and crowded by the day with no signs of slowing down. If you were to invest down here I would do it sooner than later.

    I drove to Orlando a few months ago and came in from the north- off the interstate - around the Horizon West area.

    Holy shit - I have never seen so much construction in my life. As far as the eye could see - there were land movers working on both sides.

    Our realtor told us they estimated 1k people were moving to Central Fl ever two weeks. In 40 years - it will be all built up. Kind of sad.....

    #40 1 year ago
    Quoted from FamDocKevin:

    Did my first year of training in Tampa/Clearwater area about 25 years ago. I'm *very* familiar with most of Florida, especially the Gulf coast, but also have been to the Jacksonville area, Daytona, Ft Lauderdale, Miami and the Keys.
    I am also pretty familiar with the Phoenix area, Hawaii, and much of California.
    You are welcome to PM me for more extensive thoughts or discussion on any of these.
    But my brief advice is to visit and scouting any of these areas you are seriously considering *in the summer time*. The Gulf coast, as with much of Florida, and Phoenix, is a sweat-box in the dead of summer. People behave almost like it is winter -- staying indoors during the day, and many times even at night (at least in Florida) it can be sticky-hot. March and April in any of these areas are usually picture-perfect. But, if you are going to live in any of these areas year-round, you want to experience the extreme weather and be sure you can handle it. "Cabin-fever," under the right circumstances, can be a real thing for some people by August or September after a long hot summer.
    Finally, wherever you go, if you are aging, be sure to know you are living near a good healthcare center/hospital system. Things have improved a lot on the gulf coast of Florida over the last 25 years, but the healthcare quality can still be spotty. Some doctors and nurses gravitate to nice areas to enjoy life too much sometimes, or they want they want to take things easier close to retirement. In my single year of training I saw some horrendous things that bordered on the practice of medicine in a 3rd-world country. Happy to give advice to you or anyone else about how to best avoid this. Shoot me a PM.
    Best on your decision!

    It's funny, I don't know how many times I've heard "Florida is too hot in the summer". Massachusetts also got unbearably hot in the summer at times as well. The best part about summer in Florida is that there are no snowbirds and very little traffic. Restaurants are begging for business and the beach is empty. I love it. I'd rather stay inside with AC in Florida and look out at the sun in the summer than be in the dark and cold in winter in New England. For me the long dark days were worse than the cold, just depressing. It's also a great idea to rent before you buy. I was familiar with the area I purchased in so it was a long time goal to get here. I'll still visit my old home from time to time but I was no longer able to support two homes so I chose the better one.

    #41 1 year ago

    I'm sure some people will say this is a bad idea but have you looked into one of the better reviewed timeshares / vacation clubs such as Holiday In Vacation Club? My wife's grandparent have belonged to Holiday Inn Vacation club for 20 years and spend Jan - early April in Florida. Basically they leave after Christmas and are home before Easter. They have the ability to go to a bunch of different properties across 14 states that are all fairly nice, Vegas, Scottsdale, multiple locations in Florida, etc. Sure its not cheap but you never have to deal with maintaining the property beyond the year maintenance fee's and have the ability to go to multiple locations. For some people it works out better then buying a dedicated home or condo, others the opposite. Resale value however is squat which is where a home or condo will always win. You can buy existing timeshare weeks pretty cheap but there's often catches with that.

    If you want to stay in one location I would steer clear of the option above and buy the secondary home or condo. One thing a few family members have told me about buying a second home / condo in Florida is that their insurance rates are insane. I'm talking if you are paying $1k a year for home owners insurance in the midwest for a 1,500 square foot home don't be surprised if it's $7k - $10k a year in Florida for a secondary home. One of my family members dropped their homeowners insurance in Florida as it became too expensive. Another friend of mine had a home in Fort Myers he inherited, it was destroyed in last years hurricane and he didn't have home insurance as it was too expensive.

    Someone else brought up a good point regarding health care difficulties when traveling to another state for an extended period of time. One of my family members had to return to Michigan twice over a 4 month period while staying in Florida as his insurance wouldn't cover the treatment in another state. He had to book two separate flights just to get the care he needed.

    #42 1 year ago
    Quoted from Pinballmike217:

    I moved to Naples full time last August and love it. I'm on the 15th floor in a high rise and the views and sunsets are amazing.[quoted image]

    I love the views/sights/sounds of my city. The people on the other hand….

    #43 1 year ago

    South FL is a nightmare cause of snowbirds frankly. Every year, it's road rage hell and traffic galore cause of the snowbird influx. If you are thinking FL, perhaps stick to the more northern cities which are a bit more spread out and not as congested. Daily commutes double during the winter periods in SoFlo and it's already crowded as heck right now even when it's not snow bird season.

    And as someone noted, FL is becoming insane for it's property taxes and insurance is some of the worst in the US. Insurance companies keep fleeing this state, rates keep going up, and the local government is doing jack all to fix it. We are prime hurricane destination, insurance companies hate it here, and the state funded insurance folks depend on cause many wont be covered by anyone else is at a breaking point. I had two properties in FL whose insurance went up 30% this past year.

    Housing prices are also insane, SoFlo is at capacity essentially with little to no room for new housing to be built, which has demand at all time highs. Even with how bad mortgage rates are, housing prices aren't budging in the South. Central is a little better as they have room to grow still, lots of new homes still being built in central. North will offer some better prices, though the North of FL is not as desirable cause it can be a bit barren for.... well anything to do.

    #44 1 year ago
    Quoted from PanzerFreak:

    I'm sure some people will say this is a bad idea but have you looked into one of the better reviewed timeshares / vacation clubs such as Holiday In Vacation Club?

    Run from these!! Seems like a great idea until you actually try to get out of one. Makes much more sense to just book hotels or AirBnb's than make a commitment to a timeshare or vacation club.

    #45 1 year ago

    I think the unwritten rule is if you live east of the Mississippi river then you go to Florida. If you live west of the Mississippi river then it is Arizona.

    #46 1 year ago

    There was a great thread a few years back on this on "where is a good place to live" with hundreds of people with your same outlook on life answering the questions. https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/wheres-a-good-place-to-live

    My vote based off or your question would be to consider The I-35 Corridor in Texas Specifically between Austin and San Antonio. Check out the area this summer and float down the river.

    #47 1 year ago
    Quoted from BMore-Pinball:

    Run from these!! Seems like a great idea until you actually try to get out of one. Makes much more sense to just book hotels or AirBnb's than make a commitment to a timeshare or vacation club.

    I've considered snowbirding, generally hate timeshares, but never thought of combining the two. IF it were substantially cheaper than staying at a hotel for a month, it might make sense. But so far, I haven't found a timeshare that makes mathematical sense.

    #48 1 year ago
    Quoted from arcyallen:

    I've considered snowbirding, generally hate timeshares, but never thought of combining the two. IF it were substantially cheaper than staying at a hotel for a month, it might make sense. But so far, I haven't found a timeshare that makes mathematical sense.

    it's not worth any potential monthly savings to be locked into that contract

    #49 1 year ago
    Quoted from pinmister:

    As we get older the wife and I talk about trading in pine trees for palm trees during the winter months. We are considering a second home to escape to in the cold winter months and wonder if any fellow pinsiders have any advice or recommendations on good locations that we may want to look at? Any advice or information on becoming a snowbird is appreciated.

    One more thought on this. My wife's aunt and uncle did the thing where they moved to rural Tennessee to retire because it was cheaper. They had 3 adult kids, and one of them followed them to the area and... married into the Clampets with all sorts of family drama that entails. Meth is a powerful drug. If you have adult children that may follow you, consider their dating/life prospects in the area.

    Nothing against rural Tennessee... I'm about 3 generations out of it myself.

    #50 1 year ago
    Quoted from BMore-Pinball:

    Run from these!! Seems like a great idea until you actually try to get out of one. Makes much more sense to just book hotels or AirBnb's than make a commitment to a timeshare or vacation club.

    Quoted from arcyallen:

    I've considered snowbirding, generally hate timeshares, but never thought of combining the two. IF it were substantially cheaper than staying at a hotel for a month, it might make sense. But so far, I haven't found a timeshare that makes mathematical sense.

    All timeshares are different. The one my wife's grandparents have owned at for 20 years is Holiday Inn Vacation Club. If they want to get out of it at anytime it's a $1,000 fee, or you can just basically give your weeks away for free and someone will take them. Buying existing weeks often come with a bunch of restrictions and you will still need to pay to get the same original owner benefits (like using time / points at other properties).

    My wife and I are going to take over the HIVC timeshare from her grandparents once they no longer want to travel. Right now they stay in a large 2 bedroom remodeled unit (so family can stay with them as an option) with a full size kitchen, two bathrooms, and a patio for 6 weeks for $4,000 a year (the maintenance fees). This is at a really nice place with multiple pools, bars, golf courses, and restaurants. A similar Air B&B and especially hotel would be significantly more. 6 weeks at $4,000 is around $665 a week. What type of remodeled two bedroom place with a full size kitchen Air B&B or hotel room can you get during prime time months for $665? Likely none or one no where near as nice.

    Now if they want they could get a single bedroom unit for 10 weeks at that same $4k a year maintenance fee price, that's $400 a week. What type of equivalent Air B&B or hotel can you stay at for $400 a week during Jan - March in a nice area of Florida for example? There likely isn't one. One thing I'm not mentioning is the initial cost of the timeshare. This is expensive and if we were not going to take over one we wouldn't do it as we are not close to retirement age. However, if you get a lot of use out of it over say 10 - 20 years like my wife's grandparents have it more then pays for itself over time.

    The whole staying at another property thing is another story in itself. Basically you have an annual set of points at the property you buy at and can then allocate them to any of the other HIVC properties. Each property has a different points cost that changes based on the dates you stay and the type of room you select. For example you could stay 10 weeks in Florida for 400,000 points from Jan - March or spend 20 weeks at the same rate during the 100+ degree summer in Scottsdale lol.

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