“Snow birds” are traditionally thought of as people who spend their winters in Florida and their summers in the North and upper Midwest states. But, did you know that there are actual snow birds which are birds that spend summers in the Northern parts of Canada and their winters in Florida and Mexico
These little birds, no bigger than a common Chickadee, will fly thousands of miles to get out of the cold.
Like these birds, many retiring baby boomers are making a pilgrimage to warmer Southern states like Florida and Arizona. With over 77 million retiring boomers making a snow bird rush to the South, it can get very confusing and hectic to find a reliable moving and storage company to help with the transition. Here are three ways to beat the crazy snow bird rush to the South.
- PLAN AHEAD
Many retiring snow birds will need to sell their main home, find a smaller “downsized” home in the North and a home in the South (mostly Florida). This will take time and planning. Often the main home is filled with collected items from 35 years of living in the North, so before listing the home with a realtor, sort out these items, decide what is worth saving, decide which items you would like to have in your new southern home and get rid of everything else. Then when the home sells, you are not burdened with the pressure of the sorting process while selling your main home, finding another ‘downsized” Northern home and a Southern snow bird home.
- SELECT A RELIABLE MOVING AND STORAGE COMPANY
Most snow birds rushing South will inevitably need to move some items and will likely will need some storage during the transition from the 35 year main house. With 10,000 baby boomers reaching retirement age each day, getting a reliable moving and storage company will be harder than ever. The demand is far greater than the
supply so many “fly by night” moving companies have sprung up everywhere, to take advantage of un-suspecting snow birds who are rushing South.
When searching for the most reliable moving and storage company you should:
- a) make sure they have been in business for several years
- b) tour their storage facility (note: schedule a tour with us here)
- c) not chose them strictly because of what you see on a splashy website.
Almost all fly by night movers have not been in business very long or are actually “third party brokers” who do not actually do the moving. They also will likely not have their own storage facilities which are safe, secure and climate controlled. And, they always will have top rated websites on page one of a Google search because they spend a lot of money to be there.
The horror stories for snow birds rushing South after selling their main home are endless. From lost, broken and stolen items to the entire shipment being stolen (yes…entire households can disappear when hiring the wrong moving and storage company). Some of the more common disappointments are: surprise charges before the crew will unload, delays in arriving to pick-up the items to be moved, not being able to fit everything onto the truck, and delays in delivery of the items…sometimes weeks!
- TRAVEL ON THE WEEKENDS
After downsizing the house, finding a winter residence and getting a reliable moving and storage company (William C
Huff Companies is a great choice by the way!) you will need to travel South with a car and some of your personal items such as jewelry, coin collections, guns etc. Choosing when to travel during this big snow bird rush iscritical. I-75 and I-95 are major corridors from North to South and timing is everything, if you chose these direct routes.
Leaving on an early Saturday morning is best. Not dealing with 9-5 commuter traffic will save a lot of delays and traffic jams going through major metropolitan cities like New York, Atlanta and DC. With two solid days of weekend travel, the snow bird rush south can be a bit less stressful.
Since Florida is the number one destination for snow birds rushing out of the North and Midwest, it also is advisable to make sure to secure a home sooner than later. Inventories of available and affordable homes is getting thin and it is definitely a “sellers” market in Florida, for snow birds who want to escape the long, cold northern winters!