Periodic Contributor

Help me become a Florida Snowbird

Looking for the most economical (I'm cheap Smiley Frustrated) way to winter in Florida or other warm weather locale. Must be in an area that is diverse and accepting. I would love your suggestions. Thanks!

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I have a slightly related question, I have often been told that the place we pick to retire must have good health care facilities.


What criteria does one use to determine "good health care" facilities? Is it better to be in a town that has a teaching hospital or is this a bad thing?


And how does places like Naples/Fort Myers/Ocala/Tampa fare in this regard?



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As I believe, LGBT should be 'truly' all inclusive and an 'H', for those who appreciate and support 'loving' relationships, I'd suggest a little community called Edgewater / New Smyrna Beach.
Maybe, by a mobile home, in a park and just pay lot rent.
Buy a 'used' trailer, move it to your lot.
put in electric and septic and get bottled water. Do a little work and improve the trailer. IF it blows away, you have your improved lot, and NOT out that much.
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My husband has been residing in Florida in the winter months since 2006; I have been going since 2011 when we were married.  We reside from the end of the November through sometime in April.  We own a fifth-wheel and leave it parked in an Equity Lifestyle RV resort community in Lutz, Florida, in the Tampa Bay Area.  We are 30 miles directly north of the Tampa Airport and 30 miles east of Clearwater Beach, and right off of Interstate 75.  Our area has become known as "little Tampa" as it is growing by leaps and bounds.  Our community is comprised of about 200 RV's, and permanent "park-model" homes. We sit in the middle of everything that is going on in the development of this area.  We are within 30 miles of 3 major shopping malls, lots of new restaurants, and close to anywhere you would like experience...stage productions, art/science museums, etc.  Living in our community is pretty inexpensive compared to owning or renting a condo...on average, we pay a total of about $650 per month, year-round, to leave our fifth-wheel in the park.  I would recommend that you try renting one of the park-owned homes for a month or two next winter (I know that they fill up fast so do not wait if you decide to do this) and then decide if this is the right fit for you.  We have a lovely community of people from all walk's of life and locations, including Canada and the UK.  We have a community clubhouse, with an activity director, pool area, and two lakes.  Our resort manager is on her 3rd year and has made so many wonderful improvements!  Google us and check it out at Equity Lifestyle/Winter Quarters Pasco.


I spend 3-4 1/2 months in Fort Myers. Have been going south for 7 winters now. We rented the first 2 winters but then bought so we wouldn’t be facing the chore of finding a rental every year. You go to Florida to enjoy life not worry about next years accommodations. We own in a gated community of 850 manufactured homes. There are tons of activities and we’ve made some great friends. The golf coast, is inour opinion, is not as crazy with overcrowding, traffic and spring break crowds as the Atlantic side. The Orlando area comes with its own set of crowd issues, but to be honest can be down right cold in January and early February. Naples is nice, but expensive. If you want to be on the beach, expect to pay big bucks. In our area, which is not on the beach, expect to pay $2500-$3000/month, with a 3 month minimum (+11% state tourist tax). Homes in our park go for $45K+ and there’s a monthly lot rent of ~$800/month. If you want to own your land expect to pay $150K+. BTW from Dec 28/2018 to April 18/2019 I don’t think there was a single day when the temp was 92, and I don’t recall a single mosquito and Fort Myers is generally 8-10 degrees warmer than The Orlando area at that time of year.


We spend the winters in a small community just 15 minutes from Gainesville Florida (North-Central Florida), nice weather (not too hot, cool evenings and sometimes cool days in January), terrific access to the many, many arts, cultural and sports events in Gainesville and associated with the University of Florida. We attend inexpensive sports, art, nature and culture events, visit local state parks to see the natural springs and manatees, paint (I am an exhibiting artist) and just chill on the porch.  Gainesville is a nice size city, and the small towns and villages around it offer inexpensive housing and low taxes. Gainesville is a Democratic oasis in an otherwise Republican state, more accepting of diversity of persons and thought.


You need to take a trip to Florida and figure out where youd  like to stay. Some people love the Atlantic side, some like it along the Gulf of Mexico and some like it in the middle part of the state or in the Florida keys. We spent the winter of 2017 near Sebring FL and hated it! Too hot 82 to 92 degreez everyday, mosquitos at dark eat you alive, if the RV park you stay in has their own well water the water stinks like sulfer and the air stinks from the orange blossoms or rotting oranges. So take a vacation to All regions of FL to see if you even like it there. So much traffic near both coasts it is a snails pace to get to beach and many car accidents. Grocery, restaurants and etc are very crowded. Tons of housez, mobile homes and motels to rent. Hope you like it in FL! Good Luck finding a rental!  

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