Are you an Arizona-bound snowbird trying to save money without sacrificing your warm winter nest? It’s not easy or cheap to maintain two homes in separate states. In addition to paying bills in two places, you also need to handle more repairs than most homeowners.
Is the cost of maintaining two homes making you think about giving up your nest? Don’t act just yet. There are far too many activities you can only enjoy in warm weather and your winter getaway is worth keeping.
When giving up your warm winter nest is out of the question, these money saving tips can help.
1. Have a list of licensed professionals you can call
Always keep the names and numbers of licensed plumbers in both locations. Never rely on a friend to perform DIY repairs for you, especially plumbing and electricity repairs. DIY repairs are more likely to be done incorrectly and will therefore cost more money to fix.
To condense your need to call around for various repairs, find a company that specializes in multiple repairs. For example, Tucson, Arizona plumbers from Intelligent Design service heating and cooling units as well as solar power setups.
Once you use a company’s services, you’ll start to establish a relationship with that business. When you have a relationship with a repair business, you might get a better deal on rates. At the very least, you’ll get exceptional service you can count on and you won’t need to risk using a new company for every repair you need.
2. Put your bills on hold when you’re away
Most of your regular household services can be put on hold for a short period of time; you just have to ask. You can usually pause standard services like garbage pickup and electricity. In some cases, you might need to pay a small fee to maintain your services, but it will be a much lower rate than normal.
If you have a Wi-Fi enabled security system, see if your provider will pause your TV and home phone while maintaining your internet. If not, it’s an expense worth keeping.
3. Turn off your water and drain the pipes in winter
The last thing you want to deal with is a broken pipe and water damage while you’re away. If you don’t have anyone to manage your property while you’re gone, you might need to fly back to your home to handle the problem. By the time you get to your home, the damage could be significant.
When you leave your winter abode and head out to Arizona, be sure to turn off the water and drain the pipes. Water expands when it freezes. When frozen water expands in a pipe, the pipe might burst, causing a major leak when the ice thaws.
4. Leave the heater on in your home during the winter
This tip should only be followed when you have someone taking care of your home in the winter in your absence. If you have someone (like a neighbor) who can check on your home regularly, keep your thermostat on or keep a small infrared space heater set to a temperature of 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit.
Keeping your home warm in the winter is especially important if you choose not to drain your pipes and turn off your water. A broken pipe is a costly repair, especially when you’re not nearby.
5. Rent your home while you’re away for the winter
The best way to save money is to generate more money. Believe it or not, there is a demand for Airbnb rentals in the winter. People travel for all sorts of reasons and you never know who might need a place to stay for a few days even when it’s cold.
You’ll need someone to help you run an Airbnb rental from another state. These people aren’t hard to find. Many people have made a career out of preparing other people’s Airbnb rentals just like a hotel hospitality worker would.
If you do this, be sure to lock up your treasured belongings and anything people might break. Although most Airbnb guests are respectful, there’s always a chance you might get a renter who causes damage.
If your home isn’t easily converted into an Airbnb rental, consider only offering your home as a temporary rental to a single person or family.
Downsize one of your homes as a last resort
If you can’t seem to save enough money with the above tips, consider downsizing one of your homes. Keep the home you enjoy most and downsize the other house. You won’t regret downsizing, but you will regret giving up your warm Arizona winter nest.
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