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Port Angeles, Washington

On the stunning Olympic Peninsula in northwestern Washington, salty Port Angeles is a deep water port, open to cargo ships, fishing vessels and pleasure craft. The town sits in the shadow of wondrous Olympic National Park and is home to the Park's headquarters.

Visitors come from around the region to explore the Park's amazing variety of ecosytems, everything from ancient glaciers to temperate rainforests. Mount Angeles offers breathtaking views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and surrounding peaks.

Port Angeles' downtown is authentic with a touristy bent. Red brick structures house cafes, bookstores, eateries and antique shops.

The Port Angeles Symphony conducts a busy season of pops and chamber concerts, and the Port Angeles Community Theater has been producing plays for more than 50 years.

Peninsula College offers classes to all ages. Several highly-rated wineries are in the area, too.

Home styles are eclectic and include Cape Cod, bungalow, Craftsman, raised ranch and more.

Cost of Living

Port Angeles has an overall cost of living 2% less than the national average.

The median household income is $42,977.

Real Estate

The median home price is $331,294. This is a 15% increase over the previous year. For comparison, the national median home price is currently $341,600.

Estimates are that real estate prices will increase by 5% over the next year.

The median rental price is $875 per month.


Port Angeles has 20,000 residents and has grown by 2% during the last decade.

The median age is 39. For comparison, the median age of the U.S. population is 38.

Olympic Medical Center is the local hospital and receives good reviews.

The crime rate is slightly above the national average.


The sales tax rate is 8.8%.

Washington does not have an income tax so no retirement income, including Social Security, is taxed.

The state offers a property tax exemption for people age 61 or better whose annual income is less than their county's threshold. For people who qualify for the exemtion, their property's assessed value is frozen as of their application date, reducing future taxes. They may also deduct up to $70,000 of their home's value if they meet certain income requirements.

The average effective property tax rate (the annual tax payment as a percentage of median home value) in Port Angeles is .91%. The annual taxes on a $331,292 home are approximately $3,015, 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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