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Spanish Fort, Alabama

Spanish Fort sits across from Mobile on Mobile Bay's eastern shore and mostly is suburban. It dates from 1712 and started out as a French trading post.

Local boat ramps provide access to the bay or lower delta, bank anglers catch fish from numerous piers. Meaher State Park, just across the Blakeley River, has a beautiful beach and a boardwalk that snakes through the wetlands. Blakeley State Park maintains old breastworks and fortifications from Spanish Fort's early days.

High school sports are a town highlight. The football and baseball teams have been state championships in recent years.

Eastern Shore Centre is an outdoor regional shopping hub and "lifestyle center" with box stores and entertainment venues.

Neighborhoods have wooded lots, small ponds and well-kept brick ranch ramblers and raised ranch ramblers.

Cost of Living

Spanish Fort has an overall cost of living 14% lower than the national average.

The median household income is $77,080.

Real Estate

The median home price is $300,200. This is an 11% increase over the previous year. For comparison, the national median home price is currently $380,000 (Realtor).

Estimates are that real estate prices will increase by 3% over the next year.

The median rental price is $1,125 per month.


Spanish Fort has 8,600 residents. The population has grown by 20% over the last decade.

The median age is 38. For comparison, the median age of the U.S. population is 38.

There is no local medical center, but Thomas Hospital is 12 miles away in Fairhope.

The crime rate meets the national average.

The tornado risk is 77% higher than the national average, and hurricanes are always a possibility. In fact, Sally caused some damage in 2020.


The sales tax rate is 8.5%.

Alabama does not tax Social Security or private or public pension income. It does tax income from retirement accounts such as IRAs and 401(k)s at a rate of 2% to 5%, depending on annual income.

The average effective property tax rate (the annual tax payment as a percentage of median home value) in Spanish Fort is .31%. The annual taxes on a $300,200 home are approximately $962.

Mortgages for Retirees

As people live longer and mortgage rates are at historic lows, more and more retired folks are considering obtaining a mortgage rather than paying cash for a new home. You are never "too old" to get a mortgage, thanks to the Equal Opportunity Credit Act, as long as you have the means to do so.

Having said that, retirees face some unique challenges when it comes to qualifying for a mortgage. Most mortgage lenders will look at the same criteria as they would for a young first time homebuyer, including your credit history, debt to income ratio and monthly income. The good news is that Social Security benefits and distributions from 401(k)s, IRAs, and other retirement accounts count as income.

However, because retirement accounts become depleted over time they have a defined expiration date. As a result, a mortgage lender will want to know that the distribution income will continue for at least three years after the date of the mortgage application.

It is also important to keep in mind that if your retirement accounts consist of stocks, bonds, or mutual funds or other "volitle" investments, mortgage lenders will only use 70% of the value in the retirement accounts to determine your mortgage qualifcation.

And while Social Security counts as income, if you are drawing on a family member’s record, such as survivor benefits or spousal benefits, then the income must be documented as payable for at least three years from the mortgage application date.

If you cannot qualify for a traditional mortgage, then a reverse mortgage might be an option. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac also have programs that can make home buying easier. Check with a reverse mortgage lender or these goverment agencies to see loans and programs available to you.



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