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Kure Beach, North Carolina

Kure ("Curry") Beach is a casual barrier island town on the southern North Carolina coast. The Cape Fear River is to its west and the Atlantic Ocean is to its east.

The beach is long and clean, paralleled by private homes and vacation rentals. The Atlantic Coast's oldest fishing pier and Ocean Front Park's boardwalk provide places to stroll, fish and catch some sun.

Locals enjoy a good choice of eateries, including ones with seafood, BBQ and Italian menus. Specialty stores cater to shoppers looking for beachwear, ice cream, coffee and more. Festivals include a chowder cookoff, a car show and a surfing show.

Neighborhoods are compact. Many homes sit on stilts, have two stories and double balconies.

Nearby Fort Fisher State Recreation Park has pristine stretches of beach and is home to more than a dozen endangered species.

Cost of Living

Kure Beach is has an overall cost of living 25% higher than the national average.

The median household income is $75,400.

Real Estate

The median home price is $520,000. This is a 20% increase over the previous year. For comparison, the national median home price is currently $385,000 (Realtor.com).

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

The median rental price is $1,975 per month (varies by season).


Kure Beach has 2,200 residents and has grown by 40% during the last decade.

The median age is 58. For comparison, the median age of the U.S. population is 38.

There is no local hospital, but Wilmington, 25 miles away, has several hospitals.

The crime rate meets the national average.

In 2018, Hurricane Florence flooded parts of town.

Winters are quiet.


The combined sales tax rate is 7%.

North Carolina does not tax Social Security but it taxes other retirement income withdrawls at a flat income tax rate of 5.25%.

The average effective property tax rate (the annual tax payment as a percentage of median home value) in Kure Beach is .71% The annual taxes on a $520,000 home are approximately $3,692.



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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