Is the Snowbird Lifestyle Right for You?

by Steve Robinson 09/29/2019

Whether you're an active senior or have a mobile job, heading to warmer climes in the winter, or cooler temperatures in the summer offers unique challenges and advantages. Buying a second home in your favorite locale, rather than living in an RV or rental, could be the perfect decision for you.

Be close to family

When your adult children take jobs that move them across the country, looking for a second home to spend time nearby—to see those grandchildren, for example—for holidays, the summers, and other special times makes perfect sense. After all, just because you want to be close by sometimes doesn’t mean you want to be there full-time.

Eventually, however, you may want to relocate near to family permanently as you age and find travel between your homes cumbersome. If you purchase your snowbird home with the future in mind—being mindful of stairs, access to exceptional healthcare and other age-related issues—your transition to living there full time will be smoother. 

Be fiscally astute

Second homes in tax-advantaged areas—states that do not have an income tax—may reduce your tax liability. Several states including Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming fall into this category. In addition to income tax savings, some areas have a lower property tax than others. The savings on property tax in one state might offset its income tax and vice versa. Before buying property in one of these states for tax advantages, speak with a qualified tax consultant about how it might affect your bottom line.

Be investment wise

One question you may have about a second home is “Can I earn income with it when I’m not using it?” The answer is “yes” and “no.” Online rental portals make the idea of a holiday rental more attractive than when you marketed it with a For Rent sign in the window. But, they don’t always make enough to pay for themselves. Coveted rentals in holiday destinations have high seasons, low seasons, inclement weather, and generally off years and the cost of maintenance and turnover between renters, general repairs and damages might outweigh the value. Unless you intend to rent out your property during the high season, which means you can’t use it then for yourself, you might make enough to break even, but most experts warn that your holiday rental income may not cover your mortgage. If you decide to rent your snowbird home, don't rely on the property to pay for itself.

If you've seriously considered buying a second home and wonder about the advantages and disadvantages, consult a local real estate expert for information on second homes in your desired location.

About the Author
Author

Steve Robinson

Hi, I'm Steve Robinson and I'd love to assist you. Whether you're in the research phase at the beginning of your real estate search or you know exactly what you're looking for, you'll benefit from having a real estate professional by your side. I'd be honored to put my real estate experience to work for you.

Transitioning to selling real estate came naturally for me, having successfully invested in many of my own real estate deals over the past 35 years. I know how to find a property that is a good purchase, whether it’s for you personally or for investment purposes. I also have experience selling homes and getting the maximum value for them. I am a skilled communicator and negotiator, and I focus on getting the best deal for my clients. I also have a keen eye for what work needs to be done to a home and the cost involved as you seek to either stage your home or inspect a home that may need work. I am completely committed to serving my clients; going above and beyond what is expected to make sure you enjoy top-notch results.

My background? I raised three great kids and they are almost through college now. For twenty years, I taught history at an independent school, as I invested in real estate on the side. In addition, I coached three state champion mock trial teams, and honed my communication skills as a part of that work. I have a masters from the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University in diplomatic history, which helped me to understand the world and relate to people of all backgrounds and cultures. My hobbies include skiing, sailing, hiking and biking. I decided recently that as much as loved teaching, I wanted to finally commit to the world of real estate full-time. It’s in the family blood, since both of my brothers are professional real estate investors, and real estate is like breathing to me.

I look forward to serving you and helping you to find the best deal possible.