I consider myself a Florida local. I’ve lived here for a number of years and although I do occasionally go back ‘home’ in winter, I’m pretty much here year round.
In the beginning, I probably thought of spending half my time in Florida and half back home, but I liked it too much here to ever want to leave. I’ve built my house in Florida, I’ve worked hard on it, I’m settled and happy and I’m a Florida local.
But there are a lot of Florida snowbirds. The first thing I like about them is the nickname! We call people in Florida who come and go Snowbirds.
They leave the cold of their home and they come to the warmth of Florida. And when it warms up back home again, they pack up. They’re snowbirds, there are a lot of them and this is what we think about them!
1. They are winter visitors.
A snowbird is a winter visitor. They leave their winter and they come to ours. They love our warm Florida weather and we love them for that.
We like our winter visitors and despite what many may think, we welcome them. They bring bustle, they bring employment, they bring something different and they sometimes bring slow traffic too. But we won’t mention the traffic.
2. Most of our International Snowbirds came from Canada.
We love Canadians, they’re polite and always have good manners. We don’t only have American snowbirds but we have snowbirds from all over the world. Canadians make up 10% of our international snowbirds and they always greet us in the streets. We greet them back.
3. A snowbird often becomes a sunbird.
You could call me a sunbird. I came here with the idea of being a snowbird. But then I built my house, I loved the process, I met my neighbors, I felt really settled and I decided to stay. I am now a permanent Sunbird, a local of Florida and I know that the same thing will happen to a lot of other snowbirds.
4. Snowbirds sometimes start off a little tense.
Until you’ve got into Florida life, you don’t really understand it. We locals are very relaxed. We don’t hurry. We know that things get sorted out and we let things happen slowly.
Snowbirds often arrive with lists – tax, insurance, lights, water, security, etc. They bring with them the pressure of crazy cold big city life. Once they’re here, they learn to let go.
5. Snowbirds are getting younger and younger.
Snowbirds are getting younger and it’s not because they’re using Botox or having facelifts. A lot of young people are choosing to be seasonal visitors too. Younger snowbirds are fantastic.
They come with a vibrancy and energy that used to be missing here. They play sport, they ride bikes, they skateboard too. And they, like the Canadians, are also always polite.
6. Snowbirds prefer some areas to others.
I was a snowbird that came here, bought a property and renovated it. I would highly recommend this, young or old, rich or poor. But there are snowbirds who come in their large RVs and park their RVs in special RV snowbird parks. They stay all winter and create their own little community.
7. Snowbirds create employment.
When snowbirds come here, more people get jobs. More dog walkers are needed, more handymen are needed, more groceries get bought and more shopping is done. They’re good for the economy and we wouldn’t want it any other way.
8. Snowbirds rent out their homes.
Snowbirds help tourism too. Often when they’re not here, they rent out their homes, either for long-term rentals or as Airb&b. And if they’re not here, they employ Home Watch companies and security and they still do good for the economy.
9. Snowbirds make good neighbors.
I know this because I have snowbirds for neighbors although I am hoping they become sunbirds too.
10. Snowbirds are the new healthy.
Snowbirds are escaping their winter. They’re escaping a few months where they get snowed in and sit around all day eating chocolate. Well, not quite but you get the drift.
By coming here, Florida snowbirds can still be active and they are. They’re usually out in the sunshine, jogging or cycling and they tend to eat well too. Our vegetarian restaurants love the snowbirds, but then, so do our burger joints!
11. Florida snowbirds often pretend they’re Florida sunbirds.
It’s funny but everyone wants to be local. We can tell a snowbird a mile off but that’s because we’re pro. When people get here, they fall in love. They fall in love with the weather, the people and the lifestyle. Of course, they want to belong and so they pretend that they do belong. Until one day, they really do.
Snowbirds work hard at their houses. Even if they’re only spending a few months of the year here, those that have homes work hard at maintaining them. They do a lot of building, they often renovate and they ensure that their gardens and pools always look good. Even when they’re not here.
Are you a snowbird or do you have anything to say about snowbirds? I know that I love chatting to them about houses and refurbishments, as well as about maintenance. I completely get into the conversation about air conditioning, gutters and gardens. Maybe they humor me but I think they enjoy those conversations too.
So, are you a Florida snowbird or a sunbird? And if you’re neither, what are you waiting for? Florida is a perfect place to live and a perfect place to buy or renovate a home. And I can give you all the advice you need on what to do in the months when you are here. And when you’re not here. I’m a local, after all.