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Ocean Shores, Washington

Spread across the Point Brown Peninsula on Washington's scenic mid-coast, salty Ocean Shores was once a favorite destination for Hollywood jetsetters. Today it is a popular weekend tourist destination, accessible via just one road.

With six miles of flat, windswept saltwater beaches and 23 miles of interlocking freshwater lakes, marshes and canals, the area is a rife with outdoor activity opportunities. Kayaking, canoeing, kite flying, beachcombing, fishing are all popular with locals and visitors alike.

There is no true town core, but the busier part of Ocean Shores has some fast food places, a post office, a hardware store, a grocery store, some gift shops and such. The Quinault Beach Resort and Casino is also here.

Neighborhoods are wooded and low density with A-frames, cabins, bungalows, beach houses and more. Residents enjoy a golf course, parks and a marina. North Bay Park on Duck Lake has a boat launch and fishing dock.

The Coastal Interpretive Center has exhibits and lectures. The Oyhut Wildlife Recreation Area on the southern end of the peninsula has tidal flats and world-class bird watching.

Cost of Living

Ocean Shores is a reasonably priced town with an overall cost of living 2% less than the national average.

The median household income is $46,110.

Real Estate

The median home price in Ocean Shores is $298,505. This is a 20% increase over the previous year. For comparison, the national median home price is currently $323,000.

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

The median rental price is $985 per month.


Ocean Shores has 6,900 residents and has grown by 8% during the last decade.

The median age is 62. For comparison, the median age of the U.S. population is 38.

There is no local medical center, but Grays Harbor Community Hospital is about 20 miles away in Aberdeen.

The crime rate meets the national average.

Summers are crowded, squeezing roads, shops and services.


The combined sales tax rate is 9.1%. This is the total of state, county and city sales tax rates.

Washington has no income tax so no retirement income is taxed.

The average effective property tax rate in Ocean Shores is 1.04%. The annual taxes on a $298,505 home are approximately $3,104.

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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