For many homeowners, thoughts of warmer weather and sunnier days grow stronger as their nests empty and retirement approaches. Even as they look at their options, many may still want to maintain roots in the community they’ve long been a part of and where their families and friends remain. As you work with these “snowbirds,” here are a few things to keep in mind as you help them achieve their goal of belonging in two places.
1. Entertain the Idea
When your clients are considering a second home, ask them to think about how they intend to use it. Do they envision staying there for the entire fall and winter? Will they host holidays? Do they have young grandchildren that will be visiting often? The answers to these and other questions can help you narrow your search to homes and communities that will provide a fit.
2. Match Amenities to Interests
One of the big attractions of warmer climates is the opportunity to stay active and spend more time pursuing beloved pastimes. From golf courses and swimming pools to gardening clubs, learn more about how they’re hoping to spend their time in both locations to better understand their housing options.
3. Location Matters
Some snowbird clients may not be thinking about location past how far their new home is from a beach. However, there are practical considerations that might need to come into play. For instance, some clients may need to have certain health care facilities nearby. Still others might want to be situated close to an airport if they’re still working or have family that they plan to see frequently.
4. Maintaining the Lifestyle
Another important factor for them to consider is what it will take—both in terms of effort and cost—to maintain both homes. For warm-weather properties, this includes keeping up with landscaping, pool cleaning, and pest and mold control. Meanwhile, homes located in colder areas may require snow removal, ensuring plumbing works in freezing conditions, and maintenance of furnaces, fireplaces, and chimneys.
5. Downsizing for Ease
Some snowbirds might decide that maintaining their large family home while also keeping up a warm-weather property isn’t worth the time and effort. In this case, they may want to consider downsizing to a house that offers simpler upkeep. This allows them to keep a place where they can still see and entertain family and friends during the milder months in the community they’ve always known and then migrate back to warm weather in winter.
6. To Rent or Not to Rent
A second home can also mean an additional source of income for those who are interested in renting out either property when they aren’t using it. Marketing your expertise in helping snowbird clients navigate the ins and outs of becoming a landlord, particularly in a different state, can boost your own business while strengthening your client relationships.
Becoming a snowbird is really the best of both worlds for many retirees. They get to maintain a familiar lifestyle in a northern climate in milder months and enjoy the perks of warm-weather living during the colder months. As a Real Estate Agent, you can play a crucial role in helping them live the dream.