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Nokomis, Florida

Between Venice and Sarasota on Florida's southeastern coast, the unincorporated little beach town of Nokomis reminds many people of what Florida used to be, sun-soaked, relaxed and not terribly crowded. The local motto is, "No shirt, no shoes, Nokomis!"

Beach shacks mingle with upscale homes in neighborhoods dotted with with palm trees, live oaks and pine trees. There is no real downtown. There are, though, plenty of great restaurants, many with water views because Nokomis is triangle-shaped with water on two sides. The Legacy Trail, a walking/biking path, is the place to see foxes, rabbits, turtles and other wildlife.

At the end of nearby Casey Key, a narrow eight-mile-long barrier island with gorgeous homes and celebrities, beautiful Nokomis Beach boasts pristine white sand, crystal clear water, a boardwalk and free parking. It is where surfers come to surf, fishermen come to fish and everyone else comes to soak up rays and enjoy gorgeous ocean views.

Cost of Living

Nokomis has an overall cost of living that is 10% above the national average.

The median household income is $52,010.

Real Estate

The median home price is $433,000. This is a 25% increase over the previous year. For comparison, the national median home price is currently $385,000 (Realtor.com).

Estimates are that Nokomis real estate prices will increase by 7% over the next year.

The median rental price is $1,525 per month.


Nokomis has 3,400 residents. The population has remained steady during the last decade.

The median age is 52. For comparison, the median age of the U.S. population is 38.

Nokomis does not have a hospital, but Venice Regional Medical Center is about five miles away.

The crime rate meets the national average.

Residents often travel to Venice for services and shopping.


The combined sales tax rate is 7%.

Florida does not tax Social Security benefits 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 Nokomis is .84%. The annual taxes on a $433,000 home are approximately $3,637, 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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