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Port Salerno, Florida

Founded by Italian immigrants in the 1920s, Port Salerno sits along the St. Lucie River Inlet and straddles the Manatee Pocket, a quiet, scenic bay, in southeastern Florida. The town is a commercial fishing hub and popular with recreational fishermen as well.

Ship builders, marinas, fishing charter companies and seafood eateries populate the colorful waterfront. The Fish House Art Center is home to artists and their galleries. The Chapman School of Seamanship offers classes to professional and amateur mariners alike.

The annual seafood festival is a town highlight and brings in foodies and others from around the area. The Port Salerno Green Market is open year-round and is pet-friendly.

The nearby St. Lucie Inlet Preserve Park, which is directly east of town, has white sand beaches and important sea turtle nesting areas. The Anastasia Rock Reef extends along the Park's waters and is ideal for snorkeling or SCUBA diving. A boardwalk wanders from the Park's dock to the beach.

Port Salerno home styles are mostly frame ranch rambler, concrete block ranch rambler and Florida cracker.

Cost of Living

Port Salerno has an overall cost of living 10% less than the national average.

The median household income is $50,095.

Real Estate

The median home price is $280,660. This is a 17% increase over the previous year. For comparison, the national median home price is currently $341,600.

Estimates are that Port Salerno real estate prices will increase by 4% over the next year.

The median rental price is $930 per month (varies by season).


Port Salerno has 11,500 residents and has grown by 7% during the last decade. It is popular with "snowbirds."

The median age is 50. For comparison, the median age of the U.S. population is 38.

There is no local hospital, but the Cleveland Clinic Martin North Hospital is about three miles away in Stuart.

The crime rate meets the national average.


The county sales tax rate is 6.5%.

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 Port Salerno is .94%. The annual taxes on a $280,660 home are approximately $2,638, 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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