John's Florida Real Estate Blog


The Snowbirds Arrive in Zephyrhills, FL for the 2014 Winter Season!

Snowbirds Returning - Gov Pub Domain Canadian License Plate - JTEMy My cousin's wife sent me a picture of the thermometer on their porch and it read ZERO degrees yesterday. While here in Zephyrhills, I was out hanging up my laundry in shorts and a T-shirt. Not too shabby.

Since Christmas and New Years, there has been a great increase in traffic, more out-of-state license plates, and a even a longer wait at the Golden Corral, ha ha!

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

Park Model Mobile JTEThere are people who rent winter residences or own mobile homes/RVs on rental lots. These look very cheap to begin with, but they often end up costing more as those rental fees add up. And in rental parks, the owners of the parks make the rules you have to follow and they decide when your monthly fees go up. Homes on rental lots also normally depreciate rather than appreciate in value like mobile homes on their own lots do.

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 Front BestThat 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 Hill Estates (Mobiles)
  • Gem Estates (Mobiles)
  • Spanish Trails Village (Mobiles)
  • Casa del Sol (Mobiles)
  • Wedgewood (Single-Family Houses)
  • Terrace Park (Mobiles)
  • Timber Lake (Mobile Homes)
  • Grand Horizons (Mobiles)
  • Forest Lake Estates (Mobiles)
  • Shady Oaks (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 

Teaberry Loop - Ray Marks 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. They can wear you out if you are not careful. Often these activites are open to outsiders, not just residents. All around you are 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 you have the service groups like the DAV, American Legions, VFW, and AMVets that offer friendship and support for their members. We even have a VA clinic in town.

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.

Lake and Walk Snow surrounding house = Laura MixnerSo, 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, cold wind, and ice. Toss the windshield ice-scraper and snow shovel in the closet! Bet you won't miss then much!

If I can be of further service concerning your real estate needs, you can call me at: 813-783-4444.  I also invite you to stop by my main webpage at: and my 55+ Bulletin Board Page at: Licensed in Florida

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

John Elwell - REALTOR


Bill Nye Realty, Inc.


Licensed in Florida


Comment balloon 1 commentJohn Elwell • January 05 2014 04:53PM


I wish I was a snowbird .. it has been so cold up here!

Posted by James Downing - Metro DC Houses Team REALTORS®, CRS, GRI, ABR,MRP, MilRes, When Looking to Buy or Sell - Make the Right Move (Real Living | At Home) about 6 years ago

This blog does not allow anonymous comments