If you are a snowbird with two nests, you know it takes meticulous planning and organization to maintain your northern home and your Florida home. We’ve compiled a list of easy tips for snowbirds to refine, divide, and conquer the issue of splitting your time between two homes.
- Stocking – Certain items like important paperwork, medications, clothing, and other essentials will travel with you between homes. You will need to stock both homes, however, with living necessities like furniture, televisions, appliances, bedding, and other items that aren’t easy to transport back and forth. We suggest keeping your favorite furnishings at the home you spend the most time. To lower expenses, consider browsing second-hand stores, yard sales, or auctions to help furnish the home where you spend less time.
- Allocating – It is also economical to divide some household items between your two homes. Before buying two of everything, think about where certain things fit best. For example, if you have only used your blender to make margaritas, then perhaps it is best stored at the Florida home where you often enjoy sunset drinks on the lanai.
- Securing – Extensive security measures are especially important for snowbirds leaving their homes for extended periods. Always lock windows, turn off water valves, unplug appliances, and secure doors when leaving one property for the other. Also, consider making your homes less attractive to thieves by installing extra locks, security lights, motion-sensors, cameras, and other security systems you can monitor from afar.
- Maintaining – Certain utilities, mailing services, subscriptions, security systems, garbage services, cleaning services, pest control, and lawn care services will require logistical starting and stopping as you move between homes. This will require efficient administration on your part to keep things in working order. We find that snowbirds in the Greater Tampa Bay area greatly benefit from owning condominiums or homes with the convenience of HOA services like lawn care and pool maintenance. That way the homeowners’ association keeps everything up-and-running while you are up north.
- Decorating – Having two places can be double the fun in terms of décor. Many snowbirds love being able to get creative in decorating their Florida homes in a completely different style than their Northern homes. It is often not worth the hassle and high-cost to move northern furniture down south, especially considering it may not be a good fit. Additionally, northern furniture can be darker and heavier, while Florida furnishings tend to be lighter in color and design. In Florida, many people go wild with palms and tropical birds, while others enjoy an elegant coastal vibe. From choosing new paint colors to situating the furniture, the ideas are endless for interior design.
- Stowing – Keep those snow shovels and winter coats stored up North, but you could stow your lighter items down south. Rather than keeping that attic in Ohio stuffed to the ceiling, consider bringing a few things to the Florida home for storage. For example, many snowbirds spend the December holidays in Florida, which means you could transfer those boxes of decorations to Florida. As for family photos, on the other hand, we suggest storing those up North where there are fewer damaging effects of heat, pests, and high humidity.
- Reducing – Regardless of the size of your northern and southern homes, it’s always wise to get rid of anything you don’t need, such as outdated clothing or old décor like lamps and vases. Consider donating items, hosting a garage sale, or holding an auction for larger collections of unneeded items or furniture.
With a bit of flexibility and planning, you affordably can enjoy time spent at both of your nests. Our real estate team specializes in helping Floridians downsize or move between homes. We also enjoy helping to connect our customers with other experts in home matters. Contact Dick and Karla Nielsen at 813-294-5786 for expert advice on downsizing, home buying, home sales, and investing in properties across Florida.