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Old 12-02-2016, 05:38 PM
 
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The 3-month snowbird idea is very appealing to my husband and me, but I do worry about closing up the house and leaving it during the worst weather of the year. I suppose we could hire someone to look in on the place regularly.
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Old 12-03-2016, 10:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by LoriNJ View Post
The 3-month snowbird idea is very appealing to my husband and me, but I do worry about closing up the house and leaving it during the worst weather of the year. I suppose we could hire someone to look in on the place regularly.
I worry about that, as well. If you don't have family members that you can entrust with watching your property, or even hire a service, or buy a monitoring system, it's concerning. But, whether you own a second home elsewhere, or leave to travel in an RV, it is the same scenario. One can't stay home all the time just to watch "the stuff". Perhaps others who have faced this can give us advice on options to give us peace of mind while away and how it works for them. Btw,selling everything is not an option! lol
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Old 12-03-2016, 06:46 PM
 
1,194 posts, read 665,506 times
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Originally Posted by alikelysuspect View Post
I worry about that, as well. If you don't have family members that you can entrust with watching your property, or even hire a service, or buy a monitoring system, it's concerning. But, whether you own a second home elsewhere, or leave to travel in an RV, it is the same scenario. One can't stay home all the time just to watch "the stuff". Perhaps others who have faced this can give us advice on options to give us peace of mind while away and how it works for them. Btw,selling everything is not an option! lol
My parents went to FL every winter for many years. They had a plumber come to the house to "winterize" the pipes - not sure what this entailed but frozen pipes are what you want to avoid. Cabinet doors were left open where there were indoor pipes.

They also had their driveway plowed after snowfalls so it would look as though they were at home. Their mail was forwarded to them. All their neighbors knew they were gone and since they lived in a quiet neighborhood they never worried.

The furnace was, of course, kept at a lower temperature. I'm sure there must be multiple types of checklists online which would give many more tips. There are now also apps connected to your security system where you can view the inside of your home.
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Old 12-03-2016, 07:31 PM
 
3,455 posts, read 2,334,002 times
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Originally Posted by alikelysuspect View Post
I worry about that, as well. If you don't have family members that you can entrust with watching your property, or even hire a service, or buy a monitoring system, it's concerning. But, whether you own a second home elsewhere, or leave to travel in an RV, it is the same scenario. One can't stay home all the time just to watch "the stuff". Perhaps others who have faced this can give us advice on options to give us peace of mind while away and how it works for them. Btw,selling everything is not an option! lol
My sister and BIL have a house in SC that they are planning to retire to. My BIL has video cameras inside and outside, and can check them (and the thermostat) on his phone. I'm not sure; I wonder if it would make me anxious to be checking a far-away video camera all the time, or maybe I would start to become obsessive about it. LOL
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Old 12-04-2016, 12:50 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,638 posts, read 40,010,157 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alikelysuspect View Post
I worry about that, as well. If you don't have family members that you can entrust with watching your property, ...Perhaps others who have faced this can give us advice on options to give us peace of mind while away and how it works for them. Btw,selling everything is not an option! lol

this works for us...
  • house / pet / plant sitting (many great web listings for those who can help, or those who need help)
  • Second living space (due to 34 yrs as a caregiver... ALL our homes have 2 living spaces + we own 2-3 home nearby as rentals (usually next door... in 3 cases)
  • rent out / have 'boarders' who take care of the place while you are gone.
  • rent out the BIG house and YOU stay in cottage on property (Great for cash flows, and DOWNSIZING) tough on missing the big house / entertaining guests.
  • Have nice neighbors (we share / help each other a lot!!!) live a bit in boonies (5 min from town, but in a 'national park' setting) ... few neighbors and NO more allowed to come, (federal restriction).
  • Have an RV spot at your home and have someone stay there while you are gone. (church / civic group can help you get connected. )
  • hire a daily drop in person one neighbor is OCD and MUST have their place checked daily, so are willing to pay to have that done, ($10/day)

We were gone for nearly all of 2016 and 2 months of 2015. No significant issues, tho we own 9 rural places each on wells / septics / need for fire mitigation (mowing), brush clearing, harvest...and some crazy weather (floods and drought) snow plowing, freezing pipe potential, down power lines, MONSTER trees (250'+)....
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Old 12-04-2016, 02:30 PM
 
7,037 posts, read 7,000,939 times
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Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post

this works for us...
  • house / pet / plant sitting (many great web listings for those who can help, or those who need help)
  • Second living space (due to 34 yrs as a caregiver... ALL our homes have 2 living spaces + we own 2-3 home nearby as rentals (usually next door... in 3 cases)
  • rent out / have 'boarders' who take care of the place while you are gone.
  • rent out the BIG house and YOU stay in cottage on property (Great for cash flows, and DOWNSIZING) tough on missing the big house / entertaining guests.
  • Have nice neighbors (we share / help each other a lot!!!) live a bit in boonies (5 min from town, but in a 'national park' setting) ... few neighbors and NO more allowed to come, (federal restriction).
  • Have an RV spot at your home and have someone stay there while you are gone. (church / civic group can help you get connected. )
  • hire a daily drop in person one neighbor is OCD and MUST have their place checked daily, so are willing to pay to have that done, ($10/day)

We were gone for nearly all of 2016 and 2 months of 2015. No significant issues, tho we own 9 rural places each on wells / septics / need for fire mitigation (mowing), brush clearing, harvest...and some crazy weather (floods and drought) snow plowing, freezing pipe potential, down power lines, MONSTER trees (250'+)....
Glad you enjoy your situation, but it sounds exhausting...
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Old 12-05-2016, 06:42 AM
 
77 posts, read 72,445 times
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Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post

this works for us...


We were gone for nearly all of 2016 and 2 months of 2015. No significant issues, tho we own 9 rural places each on wells / septics / need for fire mitigation (mowing), brush clearing, harvest...and some crazy weather (floods and drought) snow plowing, freezing pipe potential, down power lines, MONSTER trees (250'+)....
Now, that is impressive. The organizational ability you must have to manage this list is well above the average homeowner, so kudos to you. Some of your suggestions are invaluable, and if one can anticipate well in advance, could work well.

For example, Not obtaining any pets or plants is easy enough to plan for in retirement.

Having someone live in another property on the premises could work if the renter understands that one of the requirements for living there is to watch your place. If they don't want to or aren't able to, then it could be a problem, but it's easily adjusted by finding someone that will do it. That could work for a lakeside property, for example, if a detached garage is outfitted as a rental unit. I like that suggestion.

The RV setup on the property is another good one, but most neighborhoods will not allow it. But, if one lived in the country, away from zoning ordinances and association bylaws that prevent such an arrangement, it would be a less intrusive way for someone to live on the property, while you are gone, without living in your house.

I live in a city with a major university. Many professors that do sabbaticals rent their homes out for the months that they will be gone. Some look for grad students who are more responsible, and will rent to them at a lower monthly rate than they could normally get, so the student will care for the place. I knew a young grad student with a family that would perform this, as a service, to professors. They stayed in several homes while he was getting his Masters degree. Perhaps there are people out there in your area that will do the same-- a young professional starting out, a teacher, for example?

Last edited by alikelysuspect; 12-05-2016 at 06:55 AM..
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Old 12-05-2016, 08:14 AM
 
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Originally Posted by shamrock4 View Post
If you are not trying to establish another residence for tax reasons, I think your plan is the way to go.

We owned a condo at the beach for a decade but it was just too much worry and we felt the expense was not worth it. We do know several folks from NY who have a second home in FL for 6 months and they enjoy their time there, but it is also for tax reasons.

My parents simply rented 3 months a year in FL and that worked out great for them as they had friends who returned every year. I think it extended their lives to be able to get out of the ice and snow and enjoy outdoor activities all winter.
I think that is exactly what I want to do. Sounds like others do the same thing. Sounds a lot easier, for me at least, than dealing with two homes.
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Old 12-05-2016, 08:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by alikelysuspect View Post
I have a similar mindset about staying, yet vacating for 3 months. We have friends that return, time and again, to their timeshare in Cozumel. We went with them a three times and I was surprised at how livable it is for American retirees. I talked to some folks from the Midwest, where we also live, that have returned to rent for 20 years, the last 10 in the same house, from January through the end of March. They love it, and want for nothing more than to do just that. Their comfort level and their feeling of security is very positive. The Mayan people are very lovely and family oriented.

So, we will try that in the future, for 1 month. We are thinking about trying different locations throughout SA each year, based on the advise of those that we will meet that already do that. The pull for me is the bluest water and for my husband is the opportunity to speak Spanish. Not thinking of buying, just renting.

I've talked to folks about the RV, those who have done it and given it up. It's a lot of money, up front and can be very tiring, but it does get you "out there". I thought about doing that around the Great Lakes in the summer with a small trailer, but I'm not sure about that. I would rather put the money toward renting something each year in a place quite unlike what I already know and love "up north".

I know some folks that think that Hilton Head is the center of retirement universe, because they golf. Other than golfing, they do little else. We don't golf, so if one doesn't, it's probably not the best place to be.
I think the RV thing is probably not ideal for me.


1) It's still a lot of money up front to get something I'd want to live in for 3 months a year.
2) I'd probably get to a point where pulling it around and maintaining it would be a pain and expensive.
3) So if I did an "RV", it would probably be something I just leave at a park year round. A park model. But then I'm paying rent year round. And that defeats the purpose of seeing different thing.


An $50,000 RV is a lot of 3 month rentals.


I'd lean more towards a small RV that I can use to pull around in the summers back in PA for long weekend trips and such.


I've been to Hilton Head a bunch. You are right- golf is king there. But so is biking and tennis. It's nice, but I think I'd like it more in the summer than the winter which is the feeling I get from my neighbors.
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Old 12-05-2016, 08:32 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,614 posts, read 17,598,460 times
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To me, December through February (and March depending on location) sucks most anywhere in the country aside from coastal CA, Florida, south Texas, and along the Gulf Coast.

It's supposed to be 32/17 here Friday. In Chicago, it's 26/10. We will get back in the 50s for a bit next week, but it's cloudy, overcast, and wet (which we need due to the droughts).

Honestly it's not much different here than Michigan in the winter aside from the snow totals - too cold to do much outside, and damp/worn out dead ground.
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