When cold weather comes to the north, senior snowbirds flock to Arizona. Arizona has private single family homes, condo living, RV parks and 55 and older age-restricted senior communities, so whatever accommodations a snowbird is looking for, Arizona has something that will meet their needs.
Rentals in Affordable Destinations
Arizona is a big state so, it's best to decide where you'll be the happiest before you search for the perfect home. Tripping, the world's largest and most comprehensive search engine for vacation homes, lists the 24 Most Affordable Snowbird Destinations in Arizona. Listed among the 24 are the towns of Green Valley, Surprise, Mesa and Sedona. These cities boast a variety of activities, venues and accommodations.
Green Valley is one of the top five most affordable snowbird destinations in the U.S., and it has one of the largest active adult communities in the world. It's noted for its 13 different recreation centers with access to golf courses, swimming pools and fitness.
Examples of snowbird rentals in Green Valley include:
- This one bedroom, 600-sq-ft. condo which includes a large living room, an efficient kitchen with dinette, full-sized fridge, an extra-large pantry, Wi-Fi and cable television. The minimum stay is one month, and the rate is $33 per night.
- Located in West Villas, this charming two bedroom, one bath property boasts southwestern décor and has comfortable, stylish furniture. It's situated next to a green space, close to laundry facilities and it is nearby one of the four wonderful West Villas pools and laundry facilities. It's also pet-friendly. The minimum stay is 14 nights, but you can stay up to 90 nights, and it rents for $30 per night.
Surprise is a small town located about 45 minutes from downtown Phoenix. Nestled in the mountains of the Sonora Desert, it's a charming family community surrounded by mountain parks and a regional lake. It's the spring training home of the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers. So, if you're a senior who likes Sundays in the park with live music, kids, picnics and baseball, this little gem will surprise you with its All-American charm.
Examples of snowbird rental properties typically available in Surprise:
- Located in a nice neighborhood and close to the center of town, this 750-square-foot condo has one bedroom, one bathroom, and includes everything you'll need for a long stay. Pets are welcome, but smokers are not. It has nightly, weekly and monthly rates and the minimum stay is three days, but you can stay up to 90 days.
- This lovely house, located in a 55+ Golf Community, features two bedrooms, two baths, has a minimum stay of 30 days at the average rate of $67 per night. The house is fully furnished and you'll have the use of the community pool and spa. However, the cost of golf, internet and cable TV are not included.
Mesa is a mecca for arts, culture and entertainment. It's also the spring training home of the Chicago Cubs and Oakland Athletics. It has plenty of restaurants, bars and museums and it is one of the west's top historical neighborhoods. If you're a senior who enjoys a more cosmopolitan lifestyle, you'll enjoy snowbirding in Arizona's third largest city.
Examples of typically available rentals in Mesa include:
- Located in one of Mesa's beautiful gated communities, this colorful two bedroom, two bathroom 1,056 square foot condo is close to mountain biking, golfing, hiking, fine dining and shopping. The minimum stay is three nights and the average rate is $113 per night.
- If romantic bungalows are more to your liking, how about this cozy studio apartment in the middle of the top historic neighborhood in downtown Mesa. This beautiful property features a private entrance, has all the amenities, plus a balcony for outside dining. It's less than a 10-minute drive to both the Chicago Cubs and the Oakland Athletic spring training facilities and it is situated within walking distance of Mesa's Center for the Arts. The minimum stay is four nights, and it rents for $75 per night.
Sedona, "a cathedral without walls," is known for its many "vortexes." As such, it has been America's new age capital since the 1980s. If you're an aging hippie, have a metaphysical view of life, enjoy meditation, yoga or just getting in touch with the Universe, you'll love your winter stay in Sedona.
Rental properties typically available in Sedona:
- this property features two large bedrooms each with a full bath, every amenity you could want, and it is only minutes away from great hiking and stunning scenery. It rents for $1600 a month for a one month stay, but it's a little cheaper for longer stays.
- This two bedroom, two bath 1,512 sq. ft. home is located in a quiet, tree-shaded neighborhood and is close to parks, restaurants, golf, hiking, biking swimming, performing/arts venues and shopping. It has a wood-burning fireplace, and a recreational room with cable television, DVDs and a large screen TV. You can rent this home for $131 per night and the minimum stay is three days.
Sun City, Arizona the "Original Fun City," is an active adult retirement community that has been around for almost 60 years. It's filled with 55 and older active, fun-seeking adults. It offers unending choices of leisurely activities and recreation for its residents. Plus, it has seasonal winter rentals for snowbirds.
Examples of Sun City Rentals:
- This Sun City home has two bedrooms and baths and is located within one-half mile of several golf courses, the Sun City Recreation Centers, shopping malls and Spring training facilities. It is also only 10 minutes away from Diamond Casino and the University of Phoenix Stadium. The house is fully equipped, has a huge outdoor covered patio and a large private backyard with several citrus trees. It rents for $110 a night and long-term renters are welcome.
- This two bedroom, two bath Sun City condo backs on the Willowbrook golf course. If you're a golfer, you'll be pleased by the number of public courses that are available nearby. Long-term guests may receive a guest pass to the Sun City recreation centers. The average rent for this condo is $75 per night.
Looking for Arizona Snowbird Rentals
Snowbird rentals are located in every part of Arizona and can accommodate any snowbird's lifestyle. Each listing describes the property, has pictures and includes pricing, amenities and other features.
Tripping shows all the listings from the vacation home sites of VRBO, HomeAway, VacationRentals and OwnersDirect, as well as links to Airbnb and Bookings.com. It's like a one-stop shopping spot for vacation rentals. Once you've chosen your desired location in Arizona, go to Tripping and enter your destination as well as the dates you'll need the property. Then, click search and you'll be redirected to hundreds of homes at various prices in that area.
To refine your search enter the amenities you want, what you're willing to pay, and keywords such as, "condo." To select your condo:
- Scan through the images of each home.
- Select the property you like.
- Click on the image and you'll be redirected to another web page for booking.
- Book online or call for assistance.
Connecting Owners With Renters
There are also online sites that connect the owners of properties with potential renters. These services are free to renters, and sometimes by connecting directly with an owner, a renter can negotiate lower rates for longer stays.
A Snowbird Beaches website, Arizona Snowbird, specializes in bringing together the owners of Arizona vacation rentals and snowbirds who are interested in renting winter housing in the state.
Examples of properties available at Arizona Snowbird:
- If you enjoy gambling, this three bedroom manufactured home in Bull Head City is only six miles from the Laughlin, Nevada casinos. Its amenities include Dish Network to all three TVs, wireless internet and two bedrooms with king size beds. It rents for $1150 per month, but if you rent it for four months, you'll receive a $400 discount.
- This one bedroom, one bath condo sits on the Colorado River. It's a second-floor unit with a furnished balcony that allows for a full view of the river. It has two TVs, a DVD player and a stereo system. The unit includes all utilities, but there is no phone or internet. It rents by the month for $1100.
To locate winter rentals on Arizona Snowbird, just enter the name of the city where you'd like to find housing and use the filtering tool to view properties that meet your needs. You can specify features such as the number of bedrooms and baths you prefer, or whether you need rental accommodations that are pet-friendly.
Airbnb is a popular online marketplace for rentals. At Airbnb you put in your dates, confirm how many are in your party, say whether you want an entire home or a private room, use the filter for other requirements, select a home and book. Airbnb has 300 listings in Arizona.
- This cute and cozy semi-rural, one bedroom attached guesthouse has a private entrance, full kitchen and bath, and a peaceful yard with a relaxing koi pond. It's within walking distance of Cathedral Rock and a few miles from Red Rock State Park. The length of stay can vary and the rate is $79 per night.
- This lovely one bedroom, one bath guest cottage boarders Prescott National Forest, is surrounded by wildlife but is only five minutes from Prescott town center. There is a two-night minimum, and the rate is $119 per night.
When snowbirds use Airbnb they should research, weigh the pros and cons, and speak directly to the owner.
Snowbirds on Wheels
It's estimated out of the 300,000 people who become semi-permanent residents in Arizona over the winter months over half reside in RV parks. That's a lot of snowbirds on wheels! If you're a snowbird on wheels or you want to rent a park model trailer, RV or travel trailer, Snowbird RV Trailer is a great source. Sections of the Snowbird RV Trailer website provide rental listings and informative articles on how to make sure your winter home is safe, choosing the best RV park, and how to care for an RV.
Examples of Arizona's RV Resorts:
- The Silver View RV Resort is close to Laughlin Casinos with a beautiful view of the Colorado River. Silver View has a year-round heated pool, a restaurant that delivers, Wi-Fi access, a clubhouse, recreation hall, convenience store and deli. They have three price levels of parking spots and the longer you stay, the lower the rate. The rates range from about $30 a day for a standard site to $2200 for a five-month stay at a Premium Plus spot.
- Wild West Ranch & RV Resort, originally part of legendary actor John Wayne's famed cattle ranch, this destination is Maricopa, Arizona is about one hour south of the Phoenix area. It has 125 oversized and manicured sites with full hookups that rent for $400 per month.
- Cal-am Resort has 12 fun-filled resorts six of which are in Arizona. Cal-am provides all sorts of activities for snowbirds on wheels. Whether you like line dancing or live concerts, there is something you'll enjoy on each day's agenda. Activities include things like early bird breakfasts, movie nights and bingo. The resorts also have a swimming pool, tennis courts, a putting green and even a computer lab. Again, the rates vary depending on site and length of stay.
Home swapping connects people in different parts of the country or world that want to swap homes. Each owner privately lists their homes and then shops around for a swap. Home swapping might be a good choice, especially if your home is in an area of the north that is a "go to" place for winter sports or is in one of America's Prettiest Winter Towns.
Of course, it does cost to join an exchange, and it's probably best for those who only want to spend two to three weeks thawing out, but once you find someone in Arizona that wants to do a swap there's no rent to pay so you can save hundreds of dollars, and there's plenty of swaps available in Arizona.
Home swaps that are typically available:
- Located in Mesa, this luxurious two story home on one-half acre in resort style community is near Tonto National Forest. There are lots of walking, hiking and biking trails, as well as a pool and backyard with spectacular views of city lights and mountains. The owner is open to any dates and the exchange can be simultaneous or non-simultaneous.
- This unique Sedona home has a view of classic Cathedral Rock. It has three bedrooms, two baths, an outside kitchen and a gas fire pit. The owner is open to any dates and a car exchange is negotiable.
As USA Today points out, there are pros and cons to house swapping, so make sure you are an informed consumer.
Wintering in Sunny Arizona
Getting away from the cold, harsh winters of the North would be a pipe dream for many seniors without the many varied Arizona snowbird rental accommodations available. Whether you are looking for affordable housing options, a resort style retreat, or a place to park your RV, chances are there is the perfect winter rental waiting for you in the Grand Canyon state of Arizona.