Owning two homes or even renting in two different areas for a portion of each year is a great way to enjoy the best seasons of the north and the south. Many retirees, entrepreneurs and other workers capable of working in two different areas spend the summers up north and the winters down south. If you want to avoid spending much time in cold weather, here are a few tips to help:
Things to Consider When Living in Two States
- Choosing the States
The most popular area of the United States for snowbirds (those avoiding the cold of winter by moving south) is Florida. Many people spend the colder months in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Fort Myers and other areas of South Florida. In fact, the winter months up north are considered the prime months in Florida. Typically, the second state for snowbirds is near family and they will keep a primary residence there.
- Juggling Your Living Situation
If you can’t afford to own two homes, you may want to consider using a 6-month lease in Florida. This can allow you to enjoy the best months without paying a second mortgage payment. You can even rent your primary home during the months you don’t plan to live in it to cover some of the costs of the lease in Florida. Another part of juggling your living situation is dealing with furniture and the things you will need.You could just rent a furnished apartment or condo, but these tend to be very expensive and hard to find. One way to deal with this is by using a local self storage company. For example, if you live in Fort Lauderdale for the winter months and in Michigan for the summer months, you can store all your furniture in a storage unit, so that it’s waiting there for you next year.
- When to Move
Those depending on specific employment may not get to choose when they move from a northern state to Florida and back. However, if you work for yourself or you’re retired, you get to choose. The best month to move to Florida is October. This is the end of hurricane season and when it begins to cool off quite a bit. Of course, you may need to make trips back north for the holidays.Moving back up north will depend on where your primary residence is located, but most snowbirds leave Florida in May. This is when it starts to get very hot and the state moves into the rainy season. It’s also when northern states begin to warm up and move into the late spring and early summer months.
- Financial Plan
It’s also important to put together a budget you can work with, if you want to live in two states throughout the year. Working for yourself will require clients in both areas or online work you can do from anywhere. An emergency fund of three to six months of expenses and the right insurance can provide you with some peace of mind. If you’re retired, you may want to consider buying a second property outright and just budgeting for the maintenance and property taxes.
There are many fun benefits to spending the winter months in Florida. You won’t have to scrape ice from your windshield, shovel snow or deal with the cold weather at all. Instead, you can spend your winter months on the golf course, at the beach or out on the water, while enjoying the warm Florida sunshine.
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