Originally Posted by Sue
I wonder if all the loony news coming out of Arizona is affecting the flight of the snowbirds to that State. Over the last few years in particular there has been a real push to attract older Canadians to retire, or at least spend a lot of their retirement time, down in Arizona. If this was something I could foresee doing in my "golden" years I know I'd be thinking twice about Arizona!
There's no "push". There's no explicit "pull" either. It isn't about attracting "like-minded" Canadians to the "conservative frontier" of Arizona. It's all about their money.
The truth is threefold - property value are down in the US, property values are *not* down in Canada, and the Canadian dollar is very near par for the US dollar. What does that mean? Well, it means that you get way more for a vacation or investment property down here in the US, compare to investing it in a house in Canada.
The real-estate agents do not, and have not been marketing specifically towards Canadians, because they don't really care where they get the money for these bank-owned, foreclosed, short-sale, and vacant properties. Some banks may become more well-versed in the process for Canadians, but in general there's no preference. No "push". No "pull".
Believe me - I live here. I have snowbirds living across the street from me. The fact that they pack up and leave for six months of the year with nary a care is very interesting. It'd be near impossible to shut off the power and water to your house in Canada without some risk of pipes freezing in the winter. But that's what they do here. And when you suspend your electricity use, or turn off your incoming water, there's no minimum charge. In fact, the only things people keep paying for while they are gone, is property tax and HOA fees.
That is the appeal of Arizona for "seasonal" residency - you can leave your house here and be very confident that it is still standing, much the way you left it, when you come back. No rain or snow - no severe weather (like tornadoes or hurricanes) - and for the most part, no flooding. Have the place sprayed for bugs and there are no creepy surprises. (Termites being the one that puts the structure at risk.) With the proper type of exterior landscaping, a house here can be maintenance free for months. Property taxes too are low, and in some places, non-existent. You can't find that in an investment or vacation property anywhere in Canada.