Snowbird Rentals for Next Winter – Going, Going, Gone!

Category: Retirement Real Estate

May 28, 2014 — We hear a lot of anecdotal information about snowbirds having problems finding a rental for the upcoming 2014-2015 winter season. The issue mostly goes back to the harsh winter we just ended, which has motivated more people to look for a winter break down south. Exacerbating the problem is a bumper crop of retiring boomers who are entering the rental market.

We know of one couple who gave up looking in Bonita Springs (FL) because they couldn’t
find a 1 month rental (owners are typically holding out for 3 month rentals, at least). Those friends opted for St. Pete instead. Another friend got lucky in West Palm Beach when he ran into someone on a tennis court who was looking for a tenant – but he had to go for

Blizzard in Duluth courtesy of Wikipedia and Gandydancer

Blizzard in Duluth courtesy of Wikipedia and Gandydancer

a 3 month rental. Our friend Pat in Key West is renting the same place she did last year, but which she found only after careful searching (all of her searches are recorded carefully on a spreadsheet). Our brother, who started looking for a South Florida rental in February but then didn’t act until April, found that the rental market had been picked over in just two months. Elsewhere the market seems to be tightening up, with supplies short and prices higher.

What is your experience
This is where we are hoping our members will fill in with their experiences. If you a snowbird renter, what is your experience this year? Where are you looking, and what are you finding in terms of prices and availabilities? How are you going about finding a place? Have you been tempted to buy to solve the problem – and what is that market like? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the Comments section below.

For further reading:
How to Find a Great Snowbird Rental for the Winter

Posted by Admin on May 28th, 2014

19 Comments »

  1. There are many snow bird rentals in The Villages and the surrounding area. or outside of Oralndo

    by Dianne — May 28, 2014

  2. We have friends that own a home in Sun City Anthem in Florence, Arizona. We wanted a rental in that location for January-March 2015. There was nothing available. I had no idea rentals would be “scooped” up so fast. Rentals in that particular area are reserved into January 2016.

    by Craig Hamilton — May 28, 2014

  3. We have found that it is necessary to commit to the next year immediately upon arrival the year before. More condos in our area on the Florida East Coast are being taken off the market by owners who do not rent.

    by Mary — May 28, 2014

  4. We also had a bit of a hard time in Hilton Head, SC. Most people will opt in for the same property for the following year but it seems the landlord won’t show it until they commit at the end of their stay at the end of March. You need to see the rental & lock in for the next year. We were able to find a nice townhouse, see it & leave a deposit for winter 2015 before we left this year.
    We too found that many of the owners use their places for the winter.

    by Karen F. — May 28, 2014

  5. Act quickly and early. After renting a house in downtown Orlando this year, told our landlord that we would rent for 3 months next year. Because we are renting for 3 months our rent was reduced. We put a $500 deposit down then. The lease says that we can get our deposit back by oct 1 if necessary. If you find it go for it!

    by Bill Yoder — May 29, 2014

  6. I rented a condo that I found on the Internet last winter. Condo hadn’t been lived in in years,the decor was mid 80’s including the microwave. Before I left April 1st I made a deposit on a mobile home in an over 55 park. I will pay $2,000 less for my 6 month stay, and I rented for only 4 months last winter!

    by Mike Brennan — May 29, 2014

  7. We should mention that you should always be on the alert for scams. We know of people who rented a place (usually a short vacation) and showed up to find out the owners weren’t renting – it was all a scam by some crook. You should check references and be alert to any red flags – don’t want to pay a rental and not get to stay there!

    by Admin — May 29, 2014

  8. I tried looking when I was in Cape Coral, Florida in February. No news on availability until current renters left. Started looking in April. Absolutely nothing available for January-March. Could find October-December. Started looking at properties for sale. Anything that’s reasonably priced needs a lot of updating.

    Just got a call from my sister–a man who owns a duplex down the street from her lost his snowbird tenant on the one side. He was looking for a 6-month renter. Perfect! His price is reasonable and the property is large and on a main canal.

    Here’s what I’m hearing from the realtor. Many snowbirds bought property there last winter. Many condo complexes want to discourage renters and are limiting the number of times one can rent one’s unit. Normally a minimum of a 3-month lease. Some prohibit rentals entirely.

    So it’s a tough market. At least in SW Florida. Last winter put a lot of folks over the edge as far as staying up north or northeast.

    by Linda — May 29, 2014

  9. We manage 55+ communities across the state of Florida and most of our communities already have a waiting list for the 2015 season. It’s a good idea to start looking the summer before for the next year, since most people start looking well in advance!

    Some people choose to do rentals year after year, but many more are starting to purchase homes in the communities they love. This prevents them from dealing with the stress of finding a place to stay each winter season.

    by Newby Management — June 10, 2014

  10. I am looking for a rental property in the Sarasota, Venice, Bradenton area for January, February, and March. I have a well behaved 8 year old Corgi dog. I like to play golf, bike, play card, and just have fun. I would accept a mobile home, condo, apt. or house. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

    by Sonya — June 19, 2014

  11. Has anyone looked for a summer rental in New England?

    by Maggie — June 20, 2014

  12. This request came in from Susan

    I am looking to rent from 1 Dec. – 31 March a furnished one bedroom condo or studio in a safe area of downtown Sarasota or West Palm beach within walking distance to supermarket, shops, sea, etc. I am not sure where to look for such property and would appreciate your feedback.

    Editor’s note: See this article and the link it contains to the other Snowbird rental. Try also our FL State Directory for the towns you are interested in. Although those listings are mostly for sale or long term lease, it will give you ideas about communities you might want to consider
    http://www.topretirements.com/active_adult_communities/Florida.html

    by Admin — October 23, 2014

  13. Try VRBO.com, HomeAway.com, or VacationRentals.com

    by Gail — October 24, 2014

  14. We are interested in an apt or condo in the cocoa beach, merritbisland, port canaveral area for feb and march 2016 and are having a hard time being able to talk to someone.

    by Margaret Baleno — January 8, 2015

  15. This comment came in from Louise and we have reposted it here:

    These links are interesting for snow birds or those looking for inexpensive housing whether to take time looking for a home or to buy one in a 55+ atmosphere.

    http://www.isnowbird.com/Types_of_FL_Housing/Manufactured_Homes.html

    http://www.villageflorida.com/

    by Admin — January 25, 2015

  16. Hello . I am looking for a 1 BR ground floor (due to recent surgery) furnished rental unit for the period Nov 1, 2015 – Apr 30, 2016 (or longer, if required).

    I’m 73 years old veteran,retired, single, no pets. I’m a home-owner in Wyandotte, MI wanting to spend the winter in FL. Any and all information you can provide me is greatly appreciated. A referral if you have nothing available
    is also appreciated. Thank you so much. ~ Joe Machnik, Wyandotte, MI

    by Joe Machnik — July 26, 2015

  17. Joe, I think you will find that one bedrooms are rare to nonexistent. How much are you looking to spend per month for a six-month rental? I can recommend one (although I’m not sure whether it’s already rented or not). You’re pretty late to the party for this winter.

    by Linda — July 27, 2015

  18. I have a great 2/2 double wide with many new renovations , furnished and for sale today but would do a rent to own this 2015 season . If interested call 207-357-9466 of email for info and pics

    by Judi — October 17, 2015

  19. Hi Judi,

    Where is your mobile home?

    Thank you

    by Debbie — October 18, 2015

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