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SELECTING SNOWBIRD HOUSING IN THE U.S.

Our Latest Book

You have lots of choices when considering housing options in the U.S. as a snowbird. The most popular choices are mobile home parks, RV parks, manufactured homes, and condominiums in retirement lifestyle communities.

Some of the advantages of include the opportunity to live and socialize in a homogeneous community of like-minded active people in the 50+ set; planned social activities such as bingo, dancing, crafts, card games, trips, and educational programs; recreational facilities such as tennis courts, exercise rooms, a swimming pool, hot tubs, and gold and shuffle-board areas; services such as maintenance services and shopping and transportation facilities; and religious services nearby. Security is another reason for the popularity of retirement communities. Many have 24-hour security services, which keep watch on the residences and check all visitors when they enter or leave.

Retirement communities have some drawbacks however. For example, some communities are becoming crowded and increasingly costly. Some people don’t enjoy planned activities. Others feel too isolated in communities that may be far away from urban centres.

By identifying your own needs and wants, speaking to others, and doing your research, you will quickly determine what choice is the right one for you. The best approach in the first year in a particular area of your choice, is to rent for several months or the whole season. You will then have a better sense if that type of housing and community is the right fit for you. You can do most of your preliminary research using the Internet, by typing in keywords of your interest, eg by using www.google.com, and see what comes up. You want to use the services of a local real estate lawyer to protect your interests, if you decide to buy.

If you are considering buying a mobile home, condo or manufactured home (eg like a pre-fabricated home in a subdivision), here are some general tips to consider.

General Tips When Looking for a Home

Location. How close is the property to cultural attractions, shopping centres, recreational facilities, community and religious facilities, and transportation? How attractive is the present development of the area surrounding the property?

Pricing. The pricing of the property you are considering should be competitive with that of other, similar offerings.

Knowledge of Home and Neighbourhood. Surveys have shown that the average homebuyer spends 17 minutes looking at a home before making the purchase decision, often making a decision on an emotional basis. Look at the property on several occasions to get a fresh perspective, and at different times of the day or evening or weekends. Bring a friend or relative with you. Take pictures inside and out to enhance your recall if you are seriously interested in the place. Drive around the neighbourhood to get a feeling for the appearance and condition of other homes in the vicinity. If you are placing an offer, get a professional home inspector to check it out as a condition of purchase.

Crime Rate. This is an obviously important issue. Check with the local police department for crime statistics in your area of research, and talk with neighbours on the street. As if there is a block watch or neighbourhood watch in the area.

Climate. Certain areas of a city or community may have more rain and higher wind than others, depending on the climate pattern. Check with a local, state, or national weather bureau.

Services in the Community. Depending on your needs, you will want to check on the different services available in the community. Is there adequate police, fire, and ambulance protection? Is there a hospital in the area? Are there medical and dental offices nearby? How often is the garbage collected and are the streets maintained? Is mail delivered to your door, or is there is a central mailbox location on your street? If you wish to join an organization or club, is it close? Does the area cater to seniors or snowbirds? Are there community centres or public parks nearby? What types of businesses, stores or services are nearby?

MORE HELPFUL INFO FOR YOUR RESEARCH !

To help your research and save you time and hassle, check out our free checklists and forms on our "Worksheet" section, as well as the stats, surveys, and reports, useful links, etc, on our "Helpful Info" section, both shown on the index on your left.

Copyright © 2017 , Douglas Gray, LL.B. All rights reserved. Any reproduction of the material contained in this website is strictly prohibited. E&OE (Errors and Omissions Excepted). Please refer to Copyright and Disclaimer at bottom of website page. Refer to Books section for related information.

 

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