Guide to your best places to stay

ARIZONA

Welcome to a place where it’s so easy to make friends and savor the relaxed lifestyle you have always dreamed of. It is time for you to enjoy the warm weather and sunshine that comes with life in Arizona.

Arizona also has the beauty of nature in some of the West’s most beautiful areas. Many snowbirds find Arizona hard to resist. There are activities that are readily available such as golf, hobby interests of all types, cutural events, water sports, gambling, sports of all types, bird watching at it’s best, and more shopping that you ever imagine.

Arizona has it all! Natural unparalleled scenic splendor, serenity and tranquility, idyllic landscaped, all wrapped in a vast, endless blue sky. Arizona has the beauty of nature in some of the West’s most beautiful areas, and the unique lifestyle that can add an interesting and fascinating element to your snowbird experience.

Many snowbirds actually purchase homes, pay their taxes and consider an area of Arizona to be their residence for 6 months each year. Winter residents reside in Arizona for an average of 4 months. Winter residents inject 1.1 billion dollars of consumer spending into the Arizona economy.

Arizona has a bright future as host to increasing numbers of winter residents, particularly aging baby boomers itching to spend their retirement years traveling. Remember, you don’t outgrow playgrounds, they just get bigger with time.

An estimated 400,000 snowbirds enjoy Arizona each year. Mohave County, is a sparsely populated area the size of Massachusetts with a population of only 200,000 full-time residents. More than 80,000 snowbirds arrive each winter.

RV INFORMATION

RV Information Planning to spend the winter in the sunbelt? If you’re thinking about going south in your RV when the snow starts to fly, you need to do a little advance planning. A snowbird trip may last anywhere from a few weeks to six months and problems on the road are just not fun. Generally, 41 percent of winter visiotors spend eight weeks or more each year away from home and nearly 30 percent least 12 weeks.

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If you know the park you are headed for, advance reservation are a good idea. The RV snowbird population is growing faster than new parks are being built. Add to that the most recent trend that the number of younger RV goers is increasing quickly.The good life is not reserved for those 55 and older. Many snowbirds rejoice with the trend as it brings a new life and vitality to many RV parks and destinations.

Check the age of your tires. How old is too old? As a rule of thumb, the average life of an RV tire is six years. Factors such as load, the tire’s inflation, sun damage, ozone pollutants, your driving speeds, and frequency of use are just a few of the causes that age a tire. In most cases, motorhome tires need to be replaced because of age rather than wear.

The “birthdate” of each tire is molded into its sidewall. Find a string of characters that begins with “DOT.” The last four digits indicate the tire’s date of manufacture. The first two digits indicate the number of the week, starting with week “01” in January and ending with week “52” in December. The last two digits represent the year.

Does your RV engine need a tune-up? A tune-up will save you fuel. Belts and hoses should be checked and replaced if old or cracked. It could save you a breakdown along the road. Replace old windshield wipers in case you run into rain or snow.

Check all your lights. A burnt out tail-light can cost you a ticket, and it is also a safety factor. If your pulling a vehicle or trailer, make sure the connection is tight and will not separate as you drive down the road.

Know your motorhome or trailer weight. A motorhome’s weight, cargo distribution, and tires all play a role in your well-being while on the road. Make sure the vehicle you use to pull a trailer is sized to the trailer.

Recent data indicates that 51% of RVs exceed one or more safety ratings. Exceeding Gross Vehicle Weight Rating and/or Gross Axle Weight Rating can lead to suspension failures, handling problems, difficulty stopping, and tire failures.

Make plans for homesitting. Find a business or trusted friend to to provide qualified home sitting. Some somebirds want their home occupied and cared for during their absence. Others just want it checked on once in awhile.

Check your medical coverage. You need to read how your insurance coverage will pay, and for what, and most importantly where. Some policies are very restrictive on where you can receive assistance.

DO NOT select your park by price alone. Be aware of nearby construction and traffic noise that reduce you livability enjoyment. Take a hard look at the services offered, and if their are any hidden costs. I have heard that many parks really hike the cost of electricty as one of their best profit zones.

Plan to slow down and smell the roses. The trip to and from your primary destination should as much fun as the time you spend where your going. Try going a different route as often as you can, it is time to see some new country. There are many festivals, parks, attractions and resturants to check out along the way.

Snowbirds are pretty special people and most cannot wait to get on the road again. At the first tinge of fall, many have their roadmaps out and are planning a new adventure.

After they have been south for awhile snowbirds start to check the weather forecast up north and slowly develop an itch to go back. I guess that is what snowbird migration is all about.

GOLF INFORMATION

Golf is an outdoor game in which players hit a small hard ball with specially designed clubs including a driver, a putter, and irons that consist of a metal shaft and a wooden or a metal club head. The object is to strike the ball with the club so that the ball goes into a cup that is sunk in the ground and marked with a flag.

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 Ever since the first time that golf courses were built or golfers picked up a golf club, players have been trying to better their game. There have been technological advances in everything from golf balls to golf clubs.

A standard golf course is divided into 18 holes, each with a tee, where the initial stroke is made; a grass fairway; and a green, a smooth grass surface where the cup is located.

Each player attempts to reach the green and hit the ball into the cup using as few strokes as possible. Obstacles — such as water, tall grass called rough, or traps filled with sand — may be found near the green or fairway. As many as 14 different types of clubs may be used depending on the length of shot required or the terrain.

The distance from tee to cup varies greatly, but generally it is from 100 to 600 yards. The length and difficulty of the hole determine the par, the number of strokes that a good golfer would need to put the ball into the cup. After 18 holes, the player with the lowest number of strokes is the winner of that round.

Traditionally, a golf hole is either a par-three, par-four or par-five; some par-six holes exist, but are not usually found on traditional golf courses. A hole is classified by its par, the number of strokes a skilled golfer should require to complete play of the hole.

For example, a skilled golfer expects to reach the green on a par-four hole in two strokes, one drive from the tee and another, second, stroke to the green, and then roll the ball into the hole in two putts for par.In every form of play, the goal is to play as few strokes per round as possible.

Golf balls are famous for “dimples”. These small dips in the surface of the golf ball decrease aerodynamic drag which allows the ball to fly further. Golf is also famous for the use of flags. These show the position of the hole to players when they make their first drive and are too far away from the hole to aim accurately. When all players in a group are within putting distance, the flag is removed by a “caddy” or a fellow competitor to allow for easier access to the hole.

Golf is played in an area of land designated a golf course. A course consists of a series of holes, each consisting of a teeing area, fairway, rough and other hazards, and the green with the pin and cup. A typical golf course consists of eighteen holes, but many smaller courses have only nine.

Players can walk or drive in motorised carts over the course, either singly or in groups of two, three, or four, sometimes accompanied by caddies who carry and manage the players’ equipment and give them advice.

The first game of golf for which records survive was played at Bruntsfield Links, in Edinburgh, Scotland, in A.D. 1456, recorded in the archives of the Edinburgh Burgess Golfing Society, now The Royal Burgess Golfing Society. The modern game of golf spread from Scotland to England and has now become a worldwide game, with golf courses in the majority of countries.

Golf has increasingly turned into a spectator game, with several different levels of professional and amateur tours in many regions of the world. Sponsorship has become a huge part of the game and players often earn more from their sponsorship contracts than they do from the game itself.

REAL ESTATE INFORMATION

Many real estate options are available for winter visitor snowbird.

Rental accommodations provide opportunities to visit the surrounding areas to find the perfect location of your snowbird dream home. Snowbirds tend to puchase a home or property in their perfect area soon after making a couple trips to explore the options of the many states.

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Most snowbirds also maintain a home elsewhere, and budget concerns must be taken into consideration. During your first several seasons you will be able to determine whether you want to continue renting or purchase a place.

Condo Leasing – Some snowbirds feel it is a good idea to rent to “try things out.” A great way to spend the winter in a spectacular property is to look for private individuals renting out a condo for your desired time period.

Internet listings and checking local newspapers in the area you interested in can provide you with leads on the perfect place to rent. Condos offer snowbirds a low-maintenance way to rent.

Make sure to get as much information as you can about the accommodations and the person renting the home. Make a solid effort to verify all information and make sure that the accommodation is a legitimate offering prior to sending money.

Basically, there are two types of leases. Short term rentals or leasing for just a few months usually demand higher monthly rental rates than a 12-month lease. Unfurnished short term rentals can be problematic since you will need to acquire furniture.

Condo Purchasing – Buying a snowbird condo might be a great investment, and provide perfect accommodations for your ongoing snowbird lifestyle. The condo grounds are taken care of by the management which makes it attractive.

You most likely will want to buy in a 55+ community. Check for access and parking. Does the unit your looking at have an elevator? Stairs may not be a problem now, but what about in 5 years? Is the parking convenient to your unit? Do you have assigned parking. And what is the crime like in the neighborhood?

Home Leasing – A great way to spend the winter in a spectacular property is to look for private individuals renting out a home for your desired time period. Make sure to get as much information as you can about the accommodations and the person renting the home. Make a solid effort to verify all information and make sure that the accommodation is a legitimate offering prior to sending money.

Home Purchasing – Buying a snowbird home might be a great investment, and provide perfect accommodations for your snowbird lifestyle. There are many choices in size and location to be made. Remember to consider the down-sizing factor you may be wanting and will your furniture work in a retirement enviroment? Be sure to check several areas of the country before you commit to a purchase.

Timeshare – Time shares seem like an attractive option for the snowbird. A timeshare is a form of ownership or right to the use of a property, or the term used to describe such properties. Timeshare properties are typically resort condominium units, in which multiple parties hold rights to use the property.

Timeshares may be on a part-ownership or lease/”right to use” basis, in which the sharer holds no claim to ownership of the property. A timeshare can be both economical and luxurious.

Much lauded is the idea of owners exchanging their week, either independently or through several exchange agencies, to stay at one of the thousands of other resorts worldwide.