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Marco Island, Florida

Balmy, seductive Marco Island sits on an island, also called Marco Island, at the northern end of the Ten Thousand Islands. It is one of the last bits of civilization before the southwestern Florida coast is overtaken by subtropical wetlands and mangrove stands. Even so, Marco Island has a trendy vibe and draws vacationers from around the country.

The six miles of gleaming white sand beaches on the west side of the island are nestled against mesmerizing blue waters. Shiny condominiums line the beach, and wild bobcats occasionally nap in the sand. Neighborhoods are laced with 100 miles of inland canals and waterways. Many homes sit next to the water and have a boat slip.

Eateries range from low key sub shops to elegant white linen establishments. Shopping venues are in good supply and include the Marco Town Center Mall and the Esplanade Shoppes. The three golf courses are private, but a public course is four miles away in Naples.

Residents enjoy a boat parade each December and a farmers' market from November through April.

Cost of Living

Marco Island has an overall cost of living that is 50% above the national average.

The median household income is $86,215.

Real Estate

The median home price is $643,775. This is a 16% increase over the previous year. For comparison, the national median home price is currently $380,000 (Realtor).

Estimates are that Marco Island real estate prices will increase by 6% over the next year.

The median rental price is $1,635 per month.


Marco Island has 19,000 residents. The population has grown by 6% within the last decade.

The median age is 65. For comparison, the median age of the U.S. population is 38.

There is a medical center, but the nearest hospital, Physicians Regional, is 10 to 15 miles away in Naples.

The crime rate is well below the national average.

Marco Island has both public beaches, open to all, and private beaches, open only to residents. The Jolley Bridge connects the island with the mainland, and a high speed ferry runs to Key West.

Hurricane Irma caused damage in 2017. Another hurricane is always a possibility.


The combined 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 actually 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 (the annual tax payment as a percentage of median home value) in Marco Island is .69%. The annual taxes on a $643,775 home are approximately $4,442, 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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