Summer Home - Winter Home

Discussion in 'Retirement & Leisure' started by Ken Anderson, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    7,453
    Likes Received:
    9,813
    My oldest brother, who is about twelve years older than me, retired from teaching several years ago, as he was offered a good early retirement package. Their home is in Menominee, Michigan, not far from where we grew up.

    At first, he and his wife bought a few timeshares, and they would drive to Florida during the winter, stretching out their timeshare points as far as they would go, then staying in hotel rooms. Then, because hotel rooms are expensive, they rented a trailer at a trailer park in Florida. Living there, they became aware of a very small home that was on a lot in the trailer park (not a trailer, but a small frame home) was for sale pretty cheap, so they bought it.

    Each fall, they drive to Florida, and live in their little home there. They both do seasonal work at Disney World, and have been for quite a while. Some weeks, they might not work at all, but they are kept busy on other weeks. As long as they get a certain number of hours in each season (150, I think), they get big discounts on Disney stuff, which includes some area golf courses, and I think they can get into the park for free (or with a very good discount), and bring two guests.

    So while they are in Florida, their kids will come and spend a couple of weeks there, and they can take them to Disney World, or golfing, without much of an expense. I'd think they wouldn't be much interested in Disney World, seeing as they work there, but they work underground, at a restaurant for employees, I think, so they don't see the park itself much while they are working. Plus, it's fun to show other people around. I got into Disneyland for free while I lived there, yet there were still things to do and see that I enjoyed, and Disney World is much bigger than Disneyland.

    In the spring, they drive back to Michigan, and the trailer park management leases their little home out to summer visitors, which pays their park fees.
     
    #1
  2. Ina I. Wonder

    Ina I. Wonder Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2015
    Messages:
    3,468
    Likes Received:
    5,592
    Reading your post @Ken Anderson reminded me that I still own a timeshare with the Silverleaf ... Other than dues, which we paid up for five years last time, it's been paid off for over 10 years, and it has more than paid for itself. I got tired of trying to keep up with when it was due, and it was just easier to pay them forward for a long period of time. :confused:

    It was going to be a large part of our retirement, as it was one that would allow us to go to almost any country. Micheal wanted to show me the different parts of the world that he visited while in the Marines.

    I guess it's time to sell it, I have no need of it now. Plus it was an investment, and the resale value is up again.

    If I think of where to live in this country, and If I could afford it, I would live anywhere from Massachusetts on up the east coast. I could live there from spring through fall, and winter here. I would not mind the label of Snow Bird at all. :p

    Now if I could live abroad it would be in Scotland or Ireland. I grew up reading about the history of both countries. :) That pot of gold had my attention at about the age of 8. :D
     
    #2
  3. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    7,453
    Likes Received:
    9,813
    If I could get our camp set up with a well, and solar power, I'd like to live there in the spring, summer and fall. Since I have friends and know my way around the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, that might be an option for the winter months. Port Mansfield might be nice. It's a nice little town with houses on stilts.

    port-mansfield.jpg
     
    #3
    Ina I. Wonder and Yvonne Smith like this.
  4. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    3,124
    Likes Received:
    2,557
    We know two couples that are "snow birds". Have property in Florida and one has main house in Michigan while the other couple's main house is in PA. But, the husbands are getting very good pensions, plus SS. Unfortunately, not everyone can, or wants to, stay on a job and retire from it. Just like, not everyone who enlists in the military wants to stay in an retire.........I didn't.
    One thing we do know, it takes money to be a "snow bird" and maintain two properties.
     
    #4
  5. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    4,825
    Likes Received:
    6,954
    I don't think that I would like the trekking back and forth twice a year between homes, although it would be nice to be where the climate is best for each season of the year.
    As you have pointed out, @Cody Fousnaugh , it is also expensive to own and maintain two homes, and you would have to be concerned about security for the home that was sitting empty.
    The humidity here in the summer makes it pretty hard to be outside and enjoying the summer like you can do in the climates where the humidity is lower. I usually have to get up when it is barely getting daylight and do the outside watering of the flowers and garden, then any necessary shopping, and back in the house with AC before the heat of the day is too hard to be outside.
    However, if we still lived in Idaho, then we would have to deal with the below zero temperatures, snow, and ice on the roads, all winter long. Then, it would be the opposite way of doing things, and only going outside in the warmest part of the day.
    What I would like the best would be to live along the Pacific Coast, where the weather is mild, not too cold or too hot normally, and close enough to go to the ocean when we wanted to go there. One place would have a livable climate all year around.
     
    #5
  6. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    3,124
    Likes Received:
    2,557
    I've read that San Diego, Calif. has the most perfect year-around weather in the U.S., for those that can afford to live there. One thing I do know, San Diego weather was darn near perfect during the years I was stationed there in the Navy.

    Our friends, who live both in Florida (winter) and Michigan (summer), was advised by their one son, on the phone and who lives permanently in Michigan, (close to his parents house), that their basement had flooded. The husband had to fly back, fix a couple of things that caused the flooding and throw out some water-damaged things. If it wouldn't have been for his son living close to the house and checking on it, who knows how bad it could have gotten.

    Yes, there is good and bad to being a "snow bird".
     
    #6
    Ina I. Wonder likes this.
  7. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    7,453
    Likes Received:
    9,813
    We refer to ourselves as snow birds when we stay up north in St. Agatha, Maine during the spring, summer and fall, then come three hundred miles south to Millinocket, Maine for the winter. There are those who go a little further south though.
     
    #7
    Holly Saunders and Ina I. Wonder like this.
  8. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2016
    Messages:
    5,414
    Likes Received:
    6,885
    IMG_1924.JPG
    This is our summer home and our winter home. :) And weather wise it works for us year round too. If we had material weath along with spiritual wealth I think we would enjoy a cottage on a fishing lake or at the beach for the winter months and a log cabin up in the mountains on a lake for the Spring and summer months. Since this is a dream and money would not be a problem we would also have a driver for our RV to drive us anywhere we felt like living for the summer or winter! :p
     
    #8
  9. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2016
    Messages:
    3,834
    Likes Received:
    3,426
    @Ken Anderson
    A good deal, for your brother! If I recall correctly, Menominee is pretty far north, definitely cold country in winter! We "lucked-out" after buying our place in rural Missouri in 1999, 90 acres with a livable old farmhouse for $40K. Our dirt county road bisected the property east-west, the southern part having a crystal-clear stream flowing parallel to the road. We loved it there, but heating strictly with firewood was becoming difficult. Along came an OTR trucker, came to our front door, wanted to know if we would sell him some of our land. We did. Carried the loan for him, his $500/month allowed us to snowbird in AZ two winters, during the depth of the recession, always looking at foreclosures and short sales, while living in a nice condo. No way could we have done it without that continuing additional income. Finally, he decided to take us up on buying the remaining 40 acres, which had the farmhouse.

    Thus, we wound up desert-dwellers, again!
    Frank

    Our creek in the Ozarks.
    [​IMG]

    Our little farmhouse, home for 13 years, away from the madness that was Phoenix. In the middle of Mark Twain National Forest which has 7,000,000 acres, our drive for groceries was 23 miles one way, 3 miles off pavement, winter-time 4X4 a necessity, steep hills.
    [​IMG]
     
    #9
  10. Missy Lee

    Missy Lee Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2017
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    422
    We did the summer/winter thing for a few years after hubby retired as we enjoyed spending summers in central ontario in a seasonal trailer.

    It just never worked out as things would not be taken care of properly with the house while we were up north. Neighbors contacted me to report grass being a foot high, mail left stuffed in the mailbox. All this in spite of the fact that we were paying good money for the services but when they know you are gone they will take advantage.

    Of course those you hire make darn sure everything is in apple pie order before they know you will return so it turns into whose word you go by.
     
    #10
  11. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2016
    Messages:
    5,414
    Likes Received:
    6,885
    I'd definitely feel right at home there too @Frank Sanoica. :) I don't think I could trade the home above for one in the desert though.
     
    #11
    Frank Sanoica likes this.
  12. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2016
    Messages:
    3,834
    Likes Received:
    3,426
    @Babs Hunt
    Positives vs negatives, Babs! Wintertime, get up 2 to 3 times during thenight to add wood to the 2 stoves. Couldn't go away for longer than a day, as pipes would freeze; no furnace or means to maintain heat. When we snowbirded, I blew out all the plumbing with compressed air, came back 5 months later, one line was frozen, cracked, under kitchen sink. Summertime was different, of course! Ticks, Chiggers, hordes of Mosquitos, blood-sucking horseflies and green-headed flies, swarms of hornets, one suddenly swooped down out of nowhere and stung me right on top of my head!

    None of the above Denizens exist in the Desert. Nasties are Scorpions and Rattlesnakes, which we thus far have not experienced. Innocuous lizards, ants, Quail, and Rabbits abound. Of course, nothing can ever freeze here, but 6 months out of the year are HOT. Definitely a vastly different kind of existence than this 30-year resident of Chicago was used to. And the, there are the beautiful mountains........
    Frank
     
    #12
    Yvonne Smith likes this.
  13. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    7,453
    Likes Received:
    9,813
    That's what keeps me from switching over to wood. That and the fact that I don't know if I want to spend that much time falling trees, cutting them, and hauling them. With several acres of woodland, I could save money if I used that as fuel, though. I do want to get a wood stove to supplement our oil stove when it's convenient, though.
     
    #13
  14. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2016
    Messages:
    5,414
    Likes Received:
    6,885
    I can definitely see that the negatives ended up outweighting the positives as you have posted this Frank. :) But I can't imagine living in the desert either although I've often heard it would be better for my allergies. Maybe if you posted some pictures of those beautiful mountains and some greenery I could image living in the desert a whole lot better. :)
     
    #14
  15. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2016
    Messages:
    3,834
    Likes Received:
    3,426
    @Ken Anderson
    Here is our Elmira Cook-stove, Ken. Made in Canada, bought brand new in 1983, as we prepared for a new life, unemployed not by choice, on our 40 acres in Northern Arizona. Plenty of firewood, our only energy source. Bought in Pinetop, AZ, it followed us back to Phoenix, then to Missouri, where it remains today, sadly. The trucker who bought our place stipulated (jokingly), the deal was off if the stove didn't stay. We took $500 for it. My wife was tearful. Thanksgivings, she pulled a perfectly roasted turkey from the oven. She was masterful at using that old-fashioned design to utmost advantage.

    Best choice of a wood-burning stove, IMO. Frank
    [​IMG]
     
    #15
    Babs Hunt and Ken Anderson like this.
  16. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    7,453
    Likes Received:
    9,813
    #16
  17. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2016
    Messages:
    5,414
    Likes Received:
    6,885
    I agree that it is a beautiful stove @Frank Sanoica...but to be honest...at this season in my life I would hate having to cook on that stove. :p
     
    #17
  18. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2016
    Messages:
    3,834
    Likes Received:
    3,426
    @Babs Hunt
    Why? Winsome nostalgia takes me back to my Grandma, whose wood cookstove followed her and the family throughout 12 moves from state to state, my Grandpa being torn between his trade of Tailor (in the big city) and farmer, always seeking a little farm somewhere. Hers was a Majestic, likely of WWI vintage. I even used it in her little place after she passed away.

    Cooking on such a stove requires a bit of experimentation, but results can be amazing. Unlike a single flame or burner, there is an infinite range of temperatures always available, from hottest to just warm. You move the cookpot to just the right heat desired.
    Frank
     
    #18
  19. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2016
    Messages:
    5,414
    Likes Received:
    6,885
    I'm not up to experimentation on a stove these days Frank. :) At my age and after all the meals I have cooked on stoves in my 66 years of life I want a stove that is simple to use and that I can turn on and off with a touch of my finger. :) In my younger days I would have loved experimenting with that stove though.
     
    #19
  20. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    4,825
    Likes Received:
    6,954
    I have both heated and cooked with a wood stove, and I am happy not to have to use one for either reason anymore. While it is true that there is an infinite amount of heat temperatures possible, you have to be right there , hovering over the little fire box, and putting in small (kindling size) pieces of wood to maintain the correct temperature when cooking in the oven.
    I had one of those little thermometers that showed what the heat in the oven was, and then had to either add more wood, or open the oven door for a few seconds if it started getting too hot.
    One of the things about using wood for heat, is that it is a lot of work, even if you buy the wood from someone already cut into chunks that will fit into the wood stove. It still has to be stacked in the woodpile, then brought in to be burned when needed. Bugs and spiders (and even snakes) hide in the woodpile, and when you bring the wood in for the night, you are also hauling in bugs that will soon be crawling around your house.
    No matter how careful you are, soot is going to escape when you open the door to put more wood in the stove, and eventually, everything has a coating of soot, including your lungs. It is not a clean heat in this respect.
    I love seeing a fireplace burning on a cold night, and feeling the heat; but I really do not want to have to go through all of the work of having either a wood stove or a fireplace anymore.
     
    #20
  21. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2016
    Messages:
    5,414
    Likes Received:
    6,885
    Now, even with the fireplaces you can just flip a switch to see some fake logs burning...that's the kind of fireplace I like in this season of my life. :)
     
    #21
    Yvonne Smith likes this.
  22. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2016
    Messages:
    3,834
    Likes Received:
    3,426
    @Yvonne Smith
    Understood, but given our circumstances, (no other heat source), we made out the best we could. Surprisingly well, actually. A nice, Nubian milk goat, provided well over a half-gallon daily, which my wife used to make small loaves of bread, every day, and home made cheese as well.....Frank
     
    #22
    Ken Anderson likes this.

Share This Page