My latest road trip a couple of weeks ago started with a visit to friends in South Palm Beach. For the last two years, my friends lived in Ohio or Massachusetts for eight months and rented a condo in South Palm Beach for four months.
I am reluctant to call them snow birds, as I grew up in South Florida, and the snow bird migration was an annual blight and they were to be made fun of.
But my friends ARE snow birds. I just have to get used to having snow bird friends.
The first winter, January through April 2011, they rented a fabulous two bedroom condo on a high floor with a grand view of the intracoastal.
During their four month stay, they noticed that many units in their complex were never occupied. They asked the property managers and learned that many owners were unable to rent nor wanted to stay in their units.
So, because of economic conditions, people are not renting incredible South Florida (and worldwide) apartments.
Savvy, flexible people, however, like my friends are getting great deals.
Before leaving their first condo stay in April 2011, they lined up an oceanfront condo for January to April 2012.
AT THE SAME PRICE!!!
Two full bedrooms and baths. Full kitchen, dining area, living room. Large balcony. Oceanfront.
Anyone would be lucky to find a comparable hotel room for under $300.
My friends rate for one month is less than what a comparable hotel costs for probably five nights.
And, still, this unit had not been rented or even occupied for over two years.
And, still, I saw properties up and down the Atlantic coast of Florida with more than half of their units shuttered.
And, incredible lunch places, like Old Key Lime House, were relatively empty.
How about four months of sunrises and gorgeous weather? Would you like that?
Perhaps I am changing my attitude about snow birds…
© 2012, Charles McCool