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Brooksville, Florida

Brooksville sits about 60 miles north of Tampa and roughly 15 miles inland from Florida's Nature Coast. It is a rural, friendly, slightly overgrown place and reminds many people of what Florida used to be before the developers arrived.

The authentic downtown boasts moss-covered trees and cute retail shops with hand-painted murals on the side. Large historic homes line canopy, brick lanes in adjacent neighborhoods. Farther out, areas vary from nicely tended with single story Mediterraneans to a little bedraggled with manufactured homes.

The city maintains an art gallery, a Saturday market, and a railroad museum. A cycling classic, live music, barbecue cook-offs, and Civil War reenactments are a few city-sponsored events. The north campus of Pasco-Hernando State College, one mile from the town's core, hosts cultural workshops and bi-annual poetry readings.

The public nine-hole golf course is sculpted from an abandoned mining pit, and the private Southern Plantation Golf Course includes a spa and a clubhouse. The nearby Withlacoochee State Forest stretches through Cypress groves and along 13 miles of winding river, providing opportunities for fishing, hiking and picnicing.

Cost of Living

Brooksville is an affordable town with an overall cost of living 20% less than the national average.

The median household income is $32,410.

Real Estate

The median home price in Brooksville is $204,100. This is a 19% increase over the previous year. For comparison, the national median home price is currently $323,000.

Estimates are that Brooksville real estate prices will increase by 5% over the next year.

The median rental price is $875 per month.


Brooksville has 9,100 residents and has grown by 1% during the last decade.

The median age is 47. For comparison, the median age of the U.S. population is 38.

Brooksville Regional Hospital is the local medical center.

The crime rate is above the national average, but residents say that they feel safe here.


The county sales tax rate is 7%.

Florida does not tax Social Security or any other retirememt income.

Florida's property tax homestead exemption reduces the assessed value of a home by $50,000, so a residence that is really worth $100,000 is only taxed on $50,000. Residents age 65 and older who meet certain income limits may receive an extra homestead exemption of up to $50,000.

The average effective property tax rate in Brooksville is .87%. The annual taxes on a $204,100 home are approximately $1,774, without a homestead exemption.

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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