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Charlotte Park, Florida

Quiet Charlotte Park is on the southwestern Florida coast and is nearly surrounded by the city of Punta Gorda. Although many people think Charlotte Park is a part of Punta Gorda, it is actually an unincorporated town that Punta Gorda would like to annex.

About half the homes in Charlotte Park sit next to a canal and have a boat dock. The canals are lined by palm trees and eventually lead to Charlotte Harbor, which feeds into the Gulf of Mexico. Residences are not fancy - many are modest ranch ramblers and manufactured homes - but neighborhoods are tidy with tropical landscaping.

Small businesses are here and there, but most, including banks and restaurants, are on the northern end of town. The Riviera Marina has a public boat launch. Other amenities are in Punta Gorda or across the bridge in Charlotte Harbor.

Cost of Living

Charlotte Park is a safe, affordable town with an overall cost of living 15% less than the national average.

The median household income is $35,445.

Real Estate

The median home price in Charlotte Park is $225,400. This is a 5% increase over the previous year. For comparison, the national median home price is currently $323,000.

Estimates are that Charlotte Park real estate values will increase by 3% over the next year.

The median rental price is $945 per month.


Charlotte Park has 2,100 residents and has grown by 16% during the last decade.

The median age is 65.

Charlotte Regional Medical Center is the local medical center.

Many Realtor sites list Charlotte Park homes as having a Punta Gorda address.


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 1%. The annual taxes on a $225,400 home are approximately $2,254, without a homestead exemption.

Mortgages for Retirees

As people live longer and finance 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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