October 15, 2019 - Updated April 29, 2022
Are you considering the snowbird lifestyle? It makes sense! Many adults are desiring more months of mild weather to enjoy golfing, hiking, fishing, motorcycle riding, pickleball, and other outdoor activities. Plus, amenity-rich communities like The Village by Simple Life offer low-maintenance, lock-and-leave homeownership opportunities that make jumping into the snowbird lifestyle a breeze. It’s an attractive choice; and to make the transition even easier, we’ve compiled some key considerations to help you design the snowbird lifestyle of your dreams.
Do you prefer a warm summer climate or a mild winter climate? Not all snowbirds are lovers of super-hot weather! In fact, some seasonal residents prefer to winter in areas that still get cold but don’t get overwhelmed by snow. Western North Carolina is a great example of this type of climate. Explore a few places to see what type of snowbird weather suits you. The Village has several turn-key, quick move-in cottages available starting at $105,900 offering the perfect opportunity to move into your snowbird home in as little as one week!
Decide which home will be your primary residence. Eventually, you may spend the majority of your time at your “snowbird” home and you may wish to make it your primary residence. According to IRS policy, you can have only one primary residence at a time. If you own or live in more than one home, you have to apply a “facts and circumstances” test to determine which property is your main home. The most important factor is where you spend the most time, but there are other factors — including your U.S. Postal Service address and the address on your voter registration card, your federal and state tax returns, and your driver’s license or car registration.
Consider your medical care needs in your snowbird home. To find a physician in your new location, you can ask for recommendations from your community or check with your insurance company for the names of physicians in the area. Most insurance companies are familiar with popular snowbird destinations and will have some great resources for local medical care to share. For those 65 and older, original Medicare covers you in any state. If you’re not yet 65 years old and you have commercial health insurance, check your health insurance policy to determine the terms of your coverage area. Commercial policies will typically cover you while you are living in your snowbird home, but your out-of-pocket costs may be higher.
Consider a long-term plan to move fully into your snowbird cottage. Typically, a seasonal snowbird home is smaller than a primary home, which makes it perfect for downsizing possessions and lightening your material load. With this thought in mind, many snowbirds put in place long-term plans to transition fully into their second home over several months or years. Owning a smaller home and slowly sorting your possessions to fit into it can relieve the overwhelm of downsizing all at once and make the process enjoyable and even fun!