Though the harshest winter months are now behind us, more and more retirees are planning for their snowbird lifestyles for the following winter season. These snowbirds flock to warmer states within these months to properties that they rent or own in some cases. These locations are meant to provide respite through the harsh winter months and perhaps serve as a location to settle down in once they sell the home in their native state. These properties help snowbirds maintain their connection with their friends and family at home all while being able to escape their ordinary routines to enjoy warmer weather and new scenery for a few months out of the year. Throughout this post, the ways in which these snowbirds can prepare for this transition will be broken down in detail.
First and foremost, all of the time spent out of your home in the winter months will require a winterizing of your home. Meaning you’ll likely have to suspend services like cable and internet, but more importantly your water to avoid any flooding or water damage risks in your property. Turning down the heat is also recommended, but do not turn it off for extended periods of time. With the heat off, your water pipes may freeze in the coldest months. Consider asking a close family member or friend to occasionally check on the house as well.
Snowbirds will also want to pay particular attention to vehicles and other appliances being left in a winter home prior to leaving. For example, clearing out the fridge prior to departure is highly recommended, as any perishables will begin to decay depending on duration of your travels. Snowbirds may also want to leave the doors of the fridge open to avoid mildew build up. In addition to this, unplugging the fridge and other appliances to reduce electricity costs is also recommended.
Anytime these snowbirds are leaving their winter properties, unless maintenance was already scheduled recently, should consider calling someone in to take a look at the heating system. A professional will be able to determine if the system is suitable to cover the home for the duration of any stay and can recommend the best ways to keep the home warm throughout these snowbirds time away. They may also recommend unplugging any electronics around the home to avoid any fire risks.
Snowbirds will also want to forward mail and stop any regular deliveries, such as newspapers, magazines or subscription boxes to their winter home. This can easily be accomplished through the USPS website. Select the option that allows them to forward any mail to the summer home. For snowbirds with long-standing relationships with their neighbors, it’s worth mentioning plans of extend leave as well. These neighbors will be able to keep the closest eye on these snowbirds’ homes while they’re away and make sure no suspicious activity is taking place while they’re away.
Every snowbird’s last step should be confirming they’ve packed all necessary medications, prescriptions and any other medical devices with them just prior to leaving. It’s also worth considering contacting the local police force of any extended departure as they can add the home to their rounds and alert snowbirds of any suspicious activity. Though it may seem overwhelming, it’s a great relief when these snowbirds are finally able to reach their summer homes and get the needed vacations they deserve. To learn more about how to simplify this transition for any potential snowbirds in your life, be sure to continue reading on to the infographic paired alongside this post, courtesy of Transport Advisers.