We Have SNOW (birds) in Florida!

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Frank Verna, PA 602495

Ahhh...the season is upon us, time for family, friends, fun and lots of food. It also means for those of us that live here permenantly that it's time for increased traffic, long waits at local restaurants, higher gas prices (okay well we all have that one), no parking spaces and of course crowded beaches.

The hurricane shutters are coming down, windows are flying open to allow the ocean breeze flow through. As an agent these temporary residents offer us an opportunity to turn over some inventory as well.

Temporary residents (snowbirds) use all sorts of goods and services just like permanent residents. They shop at grocery stores, go to movie theaters, fill up their cars with gas, put wear-and -tear on the roads and add to traffic congestion. It's important to have some idea of the number and characteristics of these people for planning purposes, whether you're trying to plan for the provision of your condo or a real estate agent trying to sell a listing.

The typical temporary resident in Florida fits the stereotypical image of the snowbird, the retiree who spends winters in Florida and summers elsewhere, typically in cooler climes, They tend to be healthier and better off financially than Florida's permanent residents and most of them do not work.

New Yorkers account for 13.1 percent of Florida's temporary residents, followed by Michiganders at 7.4 percent, Ohioans at 6.7 percent, Pennsylvanians at 5.8 percent and Canadians at 5.5 percent studies say. The average length of stay is five months.

I have started a direct mail campaign to target that ideal market in New York and other cold states. Time will tell if this is a viable marketing plan but I have high hopes of success. My particular market are is Jupiter, Florida. A mix of some of the most wealthy families down to the guy that lives in his car and just comes for the fishing.

Jupiter, Florida offers many fun and relaxing recreational things for you to enjoy. Situated along Florida's famous Gold Coast, Jupiter boasts near perfect temperatures year-round, breathtaking natural beauty and an abundance of activities. Area beaches showcase nature at its loveliest, and options for outdoor recreation abound. Spend a morning at an orange grove, taste homemade chocolates at a real chocolate factory or count alligators while skimming across the nearby saw grass prairie on an airboat ride. Shop at internationally famous designer stores along Worth Avenue in Palm Beach. Once said to be the MOST expensive street inthe world.

You can dine in casual comfort or black-tie elegance at one of many fine restaurants, then take in a show, visit trendy Clematis Street in West Palm Beach or stroll along a moonlit beach. You can view wildlife up close, go on turtle walks and see nesting areas, take guided trips through swamps and marshes and go bird watching at one of the many nature centers and refuges that adorn Jupiter and the Palm Beaches.

I love living here, it's like a small town but has big city life just down the street. So, while I will tolerate the traffic and the beaches and the long lines, I do love the Snowbirds. For us, it brings opporunity and prosperity for a few months each year. Share your comments or stories if you have a market like ours, I'd love to hear how seasonal markets in other areas of the country are doing.

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Rainmaker
96,163
Sam White
Zweiacker & Associates - College Station, TX
Brand Manager, Realtor - Bryan College Station, Tx

Hi Frank,

We have the same thing in South Texas. Many speak poorly of our snowbirds. I am happy to welcome them, take their money, and send them home HAPPY at the end of the season so they'll come back with their friends.

Nov 21, 2007 06:38 AM #1
Rainer
406,159
Sean Allen
International Financing Solutions - Fort Myers, FL
International Financing Solutions

Hey Frank,

Great article and ohhh so true. The Snowbirds are a vital part of our economy and traffic jams.

Sean Allen

Nov 21, 2007 06:39 AM #2
Rainmaker
574,889
Neal Bloom
Keller Williams Properties, Weston FL - Weston, FL
Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate

Frank,

I deal with snow birds all the time..we have sold quite a few condos in retirement communities and we see this all the time...plus my in-laws are the typical snowbirds. By the way...I know you from a deal we did a few years ago when you were with REMAX...I couldn't remember until I saw your name pop up in the Rain.

Nov 21, 2007 06:44 AM #3
Anonymous
Anonymous
Frank, I am the Gardens and I see the traffic increasing and the Restraunts getting full again. I have to say it is very nice to see. Let it snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow up north..:-)
Nov 21, 2007 06:48 AM #4
Anonymous
Anonymous

Frank,

Seems the beaches are more crowded this time of the year.

Our economy depends so much on tourists,which carries over to people purchasing second homes.

Nov 21, 2007 06:51 AM #5
Rainmaker
147,916
Jay LaGace
RE/MAX Realty Team - Cape Coral, FL
Cape Coral Real Estate - 239-443-8795

Frank, I am in Cape Coral and we are seeing the increase of Traffic & Lines at the Eateries also... Love it..

 

Nov 21, 2007 06:52 AM #6
Ambassador
2,469,242
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Very intresting and this particular "buying season" in Florida may give us some insight into how the next year will turn out for the nation's real estate market. 

Are the snowbirds going to buy this year, or wait "for the bottom" as are many in other areas.  Or, are prices in Florida at a level where they will buy?? 

We'll see.  Keep us posted about traffic.  I've considered Florida a sort of "bell weather" for the condition of the 2008 real estate market since we have a buying season just beginning when ours isn't until Spring.

 

Nov 21, 2007 06:53 AM #7
Rainer
232,293
BLR Guy
BLRGUY(Beach & Luxury Realty Inc) - Saint Pete Beach, FL
Frank,as you know,we have quite a few snowbirds on this side of the state too....this year,I am sure,the real estate community is very welcoming!;)
Nov 21, 2007 07:08 AM #8
Rainer
86,440
Ron Parise
LocateHomes.com - Cape Coral, FL

we have two state birds here in Florida...The Snow Bird you speak of and The Early Bird. The early bird is  a varity of snow bird that comes out to eat at 4pm and the male of the species is brightly colored  (plaid pants). In order to entice these birds many restaurents offer early bird specials.   

 Here in Ft Myers and Cape Coral we see two rush hours in the morning, one is when all us locals are driving to work, and the other when the snow birds are driving to the mall or golf club, or the beach.  My wife and I have all but given up on eating out in the winter....which is just fine...I dont have time, this is our selling season

Frank

will you be directing any of those letters to Canada. Many of them are watching the currency market as close as real estate. This may be the year for them to buy, the Florida Real Estate market is down and their dollar is up. And it gets cold there.....seems like a win-win-win situation

Nov 21, 2007 07:19 AM #9
Ambassador
791,534
Charlie Ragonesi
AllMountainRealty.com - Big Canoe, GA
Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros

Love the Jupiter area almost moved there about 10 years ago. Interesting you are targeting the snowbird market. We target you as the half back market

Have a great thanksgiving

Nov 21, 2007 07:21 AM #10
Rainmaker
21,487
Frank Verna
Frank Verna, PA - Jupiter, FL
Broker / Owner

Neal - Of course I remember you! It's good to see you are still working well I hope. I know so many of the "big" agents ion town that have just disappeared. Keep in touch.

Lenn - Interesting perspective, I had not consdidered the national implications. Prices here are still dropping but some select areas are holding up, even down to specific streets that are afiring better than others in the same subdivision. I will keep you posted on the results.

BLRGuy - You ain't just whistling Dixie!

Ron - LOL, LOL, LOL!!! I think the Early Bird is native to the area though, your thoughts?

Charlie - Another great post, I had not considred that effect either. I once sold a house to an exec at Jasper Engines (NASCAR), is that the same town where they are based? I know about halfbacks, I know about fullbacks but has anyone ever heard of a quaterback? Would that just be someone who moves across the street?

Nov 21, 2007 07:59 AM #11
Ambassador
1,804,191
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi & Corinna Birgit Cromartie
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Palm Harbor, FL
Palm Harbor & Dunedin FL Residential Real Estate
Thank Heaven for the Snowbirds - or those of us that are year round residents would be out in the fields picking tomatoes or oranges, depending on the season-
Nov 21, 2007 08:28 AM #12
Rainer
125,567
Dawn Lewis
New Dawn Realty - San Diego, CA
Realtor - San Diego

Frank,

I now many New Yorkers who are snowbirds. The top destination for them is always Florida. Iv'e been to West Palm Beach about 25 years ago and I remember it being very nice. Enjoy the great Florida weather and your snowbird guests.

Mike Lewis

Nov 21, 2007 12:15 PM #13
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Rainmaker
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Frank Verna

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