For most potential home buyers around the country, the season to buy a home is behind them. Their kids are settling into school and they are preparing for the holiday season. They are thinking of buying presents, family gatherings, holiday party plans…. but not thinking about buying a home. Most of us in the business realize that for buyers, this is a great time to buy a home. The demand is not as great so it puts the buyer in a great position to make a good deal. BUT this is story for another blogpost!…….
Lets Talk About Snowbirds…
Here in the Southwest, it is a different story. The Snowbirds are already starting their migration to the warm climate areas. Phoenix and Tucson are big draws but jut about anywhere you will find a vacation motor home and trailer park, you will see the spots filling up with Snowbirds.
Most of the Snowbirds come from the cold climate zones in the midwest or Canada. Some of these snowbirds come to Sedona as well! Even if they aren’t staying here for the winter, they make it a point to check it out and spend some time here. Times shares are a popular option to see the red rocks.
Snowbirds – Other Things You Should Consider….
1. Rental or Hotel Cost & Availability
Spring Training, baseball’s Cactus League, has changed the entire dynamics of the Phoenix Metro area. Hotels are double or triple the “summer rates” during February thru April. So, book early! For those who come back for months at a time, you may want to consider renting well in advance or buying a second home or condo that can be rented out when you are not here. In Sedona, rentals are hard to come by during the Fall, Winter and Spring; even during the summer months, rentals are sparse. So buying an income property that you could use might make sense.
2. Closing Up Your Home
Don’t forget simple things like your utility bills and mail. Fortunately, most tasks and bills can be paid by credit card or on line. But you may have to decide what to do with your mail. Do you want to forward it? Or do you have someone to look over your home when you are gone. Do you live in an area that has a freezing climate which may require winterizing pipes and sprinkler systems? Does your home need a minimum amount of heat supplied while you are gone. What about turning off the water? Make sure you turn off your water heater if you are going to turn off your water. Your water heater could burn up if there is no water inside.
I would not personally turn off my water to the house. I have a water recirculating system that keeps the water flowing back to the water heater. I set it to a minimum amount. I will turn off the water to the washing machine to prevent flooding if a hose fails. I also have stainless steel reinforced hoses to prevent a failure as well.
Unplug all unnecessary appliances. These appliances can have a slight drain that will add up over time. Include your TV and computers, but don’t unplug your refrigerator!
3. Adjust Your Insurance and Other Services
If you are going to leave a car home and not use it for 6 months, call your insurance and let them know the car is in storage. This could be a huge savings for you. Most other services such as garbage, newspaper, cable may have vacation settings that keep charges low while not in use. Again, I personally do not reccommend disconnecting these services. The inconvenience of re-connecting the services and the fees, to me, are just not worth it.
4. Don’t Forget About Your Pets
Make a decision on whether they are going to come with you or stay with friends or family. Pet sitters can be very expensive over time. Remember that areas like Sedona have wildlife that roam. Coyotes will look for cats and dogs. We also have Javelina, deer, and you may see an occasional bobcat. Do your homework and check for the wildlife in your area. Personally we have had all types of animals around our home and never worried about any interaction… we also don’t let our cat outside!
5. Your House Should Look Lived In
Have some lights on timers. It is a good idea to get a neighbor to watch your house. Have an easy way for them to get in touch with you. I watch both my neighbors when they leave for long vacations.
Red Rock Fever
Once those Snowbirds come to roost, they start exploring the area. some enjoy the hiking or the tennis. Others play a few rounds of golf. They spend some time in the art galleries. They may even get sidetracked and take a trip to Jerome or Main Street Cottonwood or if they are feeling adventureous, the Grand Canyon or Lake Powell may be a destination. BUT, There is a well known malady called Red RockFever that many of these snowbirds seem to get. The only cure for Red Rock Fever is spending more time around the red rocks. So buying Sedona real estate becomes an option. It may not cure your Red Rock Fever, but it does offer a panacea to alleviate the anxiety when you have to leave the proximity of those majestic red rocks!
The Sun Shines Close to 300 Days A Year!
The southwest offers great weather options. Up in Sedona we get all four seasons but it is normally sweater weather in late fall and winter. Very few days does it get cold enough to bundle up. We get the pretty white stuff but it melts the next day. We have had only 12 days below 50 for the high in 2014 and only 8 days so far in 2015. For Sedona weather go to http://sperryr.com/sedona-weather/ and scroll to the Hi-Lo Weather Stats Comparison tab to see all the stats by month and year from 2011.
Some more pics……
Broken Arrow Trail – Pink Jeep maintains the trail for all to use…
Oak Creek Canyon up near West Fork Trail – super busy now through November with less parking on 89A for your safety
A Residential Street in West Sedona
Golf – All Year – A Snowbird’s Delight!
Yes! We have fishing…This is Oak Creek Canyon – Fly Fishing
West Fork Trail