John's Florida Real Estate Blog


"Snowbirds" Flocking Back to Zephyrhills, Florida for the 2010-11 Winter Season

Snowbirds Returning - Gov Pub Domain As regular as the sunrises in the east, a major wave of arrivals from the north has begun. This always happens just after Thanksgiving. Many "snowbirds" like to celebrate that holiday with their families up north.

But there is now "frost on the pumpkins" and the trees have dropped their leaves. That tells our winter residents it is time to  head south to warmer climes and sunnier days. We are ready for them!

People like to winter in Zephyrhills because here it is not like going to a resort with a lot of strangers, but it is more like "coming home again" to see friends and neighbors after a summer's absence.

Many people rent winter residences or own mobile homes/RVs on rental lots. These look very cheap to begin with, but often end up costing more as those rental fees add up. And in rental parks, the owners of the parks make the rules you follow and decide when your monthly fees go up.

Of course, since I am a real estate agent I do not deal with most of the rental people since the state considers any mobile home on a rental lot to be a vehicle, not real estate. At this point in time, I know of no real estate brokerages in Zephyrhills that have auto dealer licenses. So, when those owners sell they have to do it themselves or see if the park management will help them.

Sign 1 That said, there are many affordable real estate options here for Snowbirds. We have subdivisions with mobile homes in them. Others that have single-family houses, villas/patio homes, and condos. Since you own the land, all of these, even the mobile homes, are considered to be real estate. And a plus here is that they normally appreciate like regular homes do. Most also have nice amenities like: clubhouses, pools, whirlpool spas, shuffleboard courts, etc. Homeowner fees are low ranging from around $25/month to $60/month.

Did I mention the social activities that abound, especially during the winter season when everyone is in residence? There is a real sense of community in these subdivisions. You might recognize the names of some of them:

  • Colony Hills Community (Mobiles)
  • South Hills (Mobiles)
  • Driftwood (Condos/Villas/Single-Family Houses)
  • Oaks Royal I, II, III (Mobiles)
  • Zephyr Shores (Mobiles)
  • Tippecanoe (Mobiles)
  • Orange Blossom Ranch (One-Story Condos)
  • Green Hills Estates (Mobiles)
  • Gem Estates (Mobiles)
  • Spanish Trails (Mobiles)
  • Casa del Sol (Mobiles)
  • Wedgewood (Single-Family Houses)
  • Terrace Park Estates (Mobiles)
  • Timber Lake (Mobile Homes)
  • Grand Horizons (Mobiles)

Pool To check and see if any of these are on the state's registry of 55+ parks, you can click on the following link: 55+ Registry of Florida 

Street Views The prices in these areas will vary depending on the age, size, condition, updating, special features, etc. This year there are some good deals out there in most of these subdivisions. Ask me about them.

Of course, in the winter there is no lack of things to do. There is a tourist club in town that always seems to have a full slate for visitors. And each of the 55+ subdivisions usually has bingo nights, potluck dinners, holiday get-togethers, dances, card nights, and on-and-on. Can wear you out if you are not careful. Often these activites are open to outsiders, not just residents. Everywhere you'll find plenty of family-style restaurants where the staff often know your names when you visit. Try to find that in a big city.

Add to that the large number of fraternal organizations like The Moose, The Elk, The Masons, The Eagles, etc. Then the service groups like the DAV, American Legions, VFW, and AMVets offer friendship and support for their members.

Hillsborough River State Park Photo 1 If you want to get out of the house and explore even more, you have an abundance of city, county, and state parks at your disposal. The following links can help you find out more about these venues:

Easily within a few hours drive are the attractions like Busch Gardens, Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World, EPCOT. Even the Kennedy Space Center is well within reach for an overnight trip. When the shuttles go up on clear days, we can even see the smoke or fiery tails in Zephyrhills.

Just to the west are the beaches on the Gulf of Mexico. Crystal clear and unaffected by the recent oil spill problems in the northern gulf.

So, lots to offer in our little part of the Sunshine State! If you are looking for a place where you can buy a piece of paradise at a fraction of what a similar home would cost you up north, why not check out Zephyrhills. You might be surprised at all that you find here. About all you will not get is a lot of snow and ice. Bet you won't miss that much!

If I can be of further service, you can call me at: 813-783-4444 or e-mail me at:  I also invite you to stop by my main webpage at: and my 55+ Bulletin Board Page at: 

John Elwell - REALTOR at CENTURY 21 Bill Nye Realty, Inc.

John Elwell - REALTOR


Bill Nye Realty, Inc.


Licensed in Florida


Comment balloon 2 commentsJohn Elwell • November 27 2010 08:26PM
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