According to TopRetirements.com, winters have been so rough lately, more and more people are considering becoming snowbirds. An interesting statistic from Trulia confirms that whenever there is a temperature drop of 10 degrees, there is a 4.4% increase in the amount of online searches for homes in warmer climates. If you're thinking about heading south for the winter (what are you waiting for) but seriously - here are a few things to consider before you make the trek! Living in two places is inevitably more expensive - even if you choose a more modest accommodation for your second living space. A more affordable option instead of buying down south to avoid a double set of taxes, maintenance, utilities, and insurance is to rent. You'll still have the rental amount but will avoid the hassle of owning another place. Plus, if you own you then still have to figure out what to do with your place when you're not there over the summer months. Of course, you could always rent out your place while it is vacant. The next thing to consider is who will take care of your home when you're not there. If you own an apartment or condo, you can most likely turn the heat down, shut off the water, and have a trusted friend check on your house. On the other hand, if you own a home, you will need a more hands on approach. Paying someone to keep an eye on your property would probably be the easiest approach. These are not things to deter you from becomming a snow bird - only things to make sure you consider! Additionally, how long of a "snowbird season" are you looking for? Just because a place is "down south" temperatures and the length of the season can very from location to location. And, how far away are you willing to travel? Would flying be a problem or are you going to drive? To determine this it is important to think about how much "stuff" you are bringing with you. Also, your age and your driving skills should come into consideration as well! Let's not forget your furry friend! If your per is too big or too precious to ship, you may need to look into a service that will actually drive your car, belongings, and your pets for you! Living in two places during a year will not only divide your time, but will also create a different dynamic for friendships! Some view this with pure excitement while others struggle with feeling left out. Consider your obligations and whether or not you are willing to miss half of monthly meetings, for instance. Something that may come across your mind is depending on how long of a stay you plan, you may need to choose between states where you want to be a resident of. The good news is - you may have the opportunity to become a resident of a more tax-friendly state. Make sure to check into the requirements so you don't miss anything! Another exciting aspect, is all the new friends you can make in your new winter community! Having a plan for activities you want to get involved in can help you avoid the shock of moving to a new place without knowing anyone. There are so many great perks to being a snow bird, but also many things to consider. Plan your stay out, and you are sure to enjoy a winter away from the cold. When in doubt, rent before you buy! Check out our available rentals for your home-away-from-home this winter!