Can You Afford to Live in Two Places Every Year? Many people do not enjoy cold weather, they dislike it so much that they choose to live in one area during the summer and another during the winter. The term for people who choose to do this is a snowbird. Most often snowbirds choose to live in the northern part of the country during the summer and migrate south during the winter.
When most people think of a snowbird they think of a retiree that splits their living time between two dream destinations during the year while dodging extreme weather with the ability to not impact their job. Now with more and more jobs continuing to offer remote work options, the snowbird lifestyle is looking promising to more and more Americans.
People that work from home or own their business may be able to more easily make the option of migrating south for the winter a reality. It is more challenging to live this lifestyle with young children, but there are homeschool and virtual school options that are making that a possibility as well.
One major question to ask before hopping on the snowbird lifestyle is: Can you afford to live in two places every year? Owning two homes or owning one and renting another can be expensive. Being a dual-homeowner means a lot of maintenance that needs to be attended to during harsh weather when you are not there, making for an added cost as well. To be a snowbird it is wise to extensively look at the costs of it before jumping in beak first.
Running the Numbers Can You Afford to Live in Two Places Every Year?
The first number to run will be what type of property you plan to live in. Do you plan to stay in your current home and find a timeshare in the other one? Rent a short-term rental? Purchase a second home? Will you move to a less expensive home here?
Now it’s time to incorporate where you plan to live in each spot and the cost of purchasing or renting there into your daily budget. Most financial experts and long-term wealth portfolio advisors will tell you that housing should cost no more than 30% of your income so that you can continue to live comfortably.
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There are some ways you can help to offset the costs if you plan to own one or two properties you will live in. The first one that many snowbirds use is renting out the property they own during the time of year in which they will be living in the other place. But, keep in mind this does come with some risks of damage to the home and the cost of having someone manage it while you are away and help attend to renter needs and maintenance.
Another way to address the issue of maintaining a home while you are away for a large chunk of time is to allow a trustworthy house-sitter to stay there while you are away and take care of things in exchange for a lower cost rent than the competing market.
Chances are if you really want to make the snowbird lifestyle work for you, there are some creative ways you can do so, especially right now. Living the snowbird lifestyle may just be the change in life you are needing right now.