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"Never let a computer know you're in a hurry." ~Author Unknown

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Town Snapshot:

Surfside Beach, Texas

South of Houston in southeastern Texas, little Surfside Beach is a mellow seaside village with a four mile long white sand beach and a boathouse as its city hall.

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How You Can Benefit from a Reverse Mortgage

If you are looking for a way to have a more comfortable retirement, a reverse mortgage may be a way to finance it.

If you are age 62 or better, own your own home, have enough equity in it and plan to stay in it during retirement, then you can probably qualify for a reverse mortgage, letting you elimnate your current mortgage payment and receive tax-free money for retirement (or anything else). You keep ownership of your home until you leave it and continue to pay taxes and insurance on it.

A reverse mortgage is not for everyone - fees can be high and there are a few other downsides - but for many people, this mortgage product can be a financial lifesaver. Talk to a HUD representative or reputable mortgage lender to see if a reverse mortgage is right for you.

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Short Review:

Buffalo, Wyoming

Buffalo is a quaint, authentic, high-altitude town tucked along Clear Creek at the foot of the rugged Big Horn Mountains in north central Wyoming and is often called "Mayberry of the West."

Town Snapshot:

Panama City Beach, Florida

On the Florida Panhandle's Emerald Coast, Panama City Beach is famous for its 27 miles of mesmerizing white powdery beaches and sparkling blue-green waters.

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Town Snapshot:

Oak Island, North Carolina

Popular with tourists, Oak Island is a classic, unhurried beach town on a barrier island along the southern North Carolina shore and has a 10-mile stretch of white sand.

Town Snapshot:

Swarthmore, Pennsylvania

Lovely Swarthmore, home to small, prestigious Swarthmore College, has a cute downtown and a low key collegiate vibe.

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Five Types of Mortgage Loans

Fixed Rate Loan - The most common type of conventional loan, a fixed-rate loan has one interest rate and a fixed monthly payment for the length of the loan, which is usually 15 or 30 years.

Adjustable Rate Loan - These mortgages have a lower, fixed rate for a set period of time, usually five or 10 years. After that, the rate adjusts once a year according to current interest rates. The monthly payment goes up or down accordingly.

FHA Loan - This government-backed loan lets a buyer put down as little as 3.5% of a home's purchase price verses the normal 20% required with a conventional loan.

VA Loan - This mortgage loan is for people who have served in the military and requires no down payment or mortgage insurance.

Reverse Mortgage - A reverse mortgage is for people age 62 or better who have equity in their home, want to take it out in the form of tax-free cash and eliminate their mortgage payment.

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Town Snapshot:

Fallbrook, California

Nestled in rolling hills and orchards, sleepy Fallbrook is known for its avocados. In fact, it is the "Avocado Capital of the World."

Town Snapshot:

Largo, Florida

Sandwiched betweeen Tampa Bay and the Intracoastal Waterway on Florida's Gulf Coast, Largo is dotted with lakes and has a bustling downtown. Nearby beaches include Maderia Beach and Redington Beach.

In Depth Review:

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Popular with artists and historians, Santa Fe is sophisticated, understated and is known for its unique architecture, rich heritage, top notch restaurants, art galleries and hint of mysticism.

Town Snapshot:

Queen Creek, Arizona

Queen Creek is outside of Phoenix in sunny southern Arizona and is clean, growing and peppered with master planned communities.

Short Review:

Mount Dora, Florida

Known as Florida's friendliest small town, picturesque Mount Dora has a pretty lakeside setting and is reminiscent of a quaint New England village.

Town Snapshot:

Hawaiian Ocean View Estates, Hawaii

Sprawling, rural Hawaiian Ocean View Estates is on the island of Hawaii and bordered by water and a forest preserve. It boasts ocean views and has reasonably priced homes.

Town Snapshot:

White House, Tennessee

Originally a stagecoach stop on the Louisville and Nashville Turnpike, comfortable White House is a rural residential place, peppered with tall trees and green spaces.

Town Snapshot:

Indialantic, Florida

Laid back and quiet, Indialantic sits on a barrier island on Florida's Space Coast and has a long stretch of beach with a fun boardwalk.

Town Snapshot:

Conroe, Texas

On the shores of Lake Conroe outside of Houston in southeastern Texas, Conroe has wooded neighborhoods, a nice downtown and a country vibe.

Town Snapshot:

Gearhart, Oregon

Romantic Gearhart is on the northern Oregon coast and has a long, often empty beach with breathtaking ocean vistas.

Town Snapshot:

Alachua, Florida

A quiet country town with deep agricultural roots, Alachua is outside of Gainesville and has a charming tree-lined downtown and nearby natural springs.

In Depth Review:

Swansboro, North Carolina

Homey, laid back Swansboro sits between the Intracoastal Waterway and the White Oak River on the North Carolina mid-coast and has a cute downtown, clean beaches, unspoiled boating areas, reasonable costs and more.

Town Snapshot:

Horseshoe Bay, Texas

A scenic town on the shores of Lake Lyndon B. Johnson in central Texas, Horseshoe Bay is home to the Horseshoe Bay Resort and boasts lovely homes.

Town Snapshot:

Estero, Florida

Estero is a mellow waterfront town in southwestern Florida and has abundant wildlife, plenty of recreational opportunities and nearby pretty beaches.

Town Snapshot:

Petoskey, Michigan

Petoskey is an engaging resort community on the banks of Lake Michigan's sparkling Little Traverse Bay and is bordered by deep forests and rushing rivers.

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Where Are All the Inexpensive U.S. Beach Towns That Don't Have Hurricanes?

Not all U.S. beach towns experience hurricanes or tropical storms, but inexpensive U.S. beach towns are hard to find. Some are somewhat reasonably priced with prices below the national average, but few are cheap - most have costs above the national average. So a cheap beach town with no hurricanes exists primarily in the imagination.

Choosing a Great Place to Retire

When looking for great places to retire, we consider a number of factors, including cost of living, medical facilities, climate, transportation, crime rates, cultural amenities, education levels, shopping venues, infrastructure, recreational opportunities, housing options, the poverty rate and more. We weigh all of the evidence to decide if a town has enough going for it to make it a top place to retire. We are not affiliated with any of the places that we review.

What is the Difference Between Average Home Price and Median Home Price?

When searching for a place to retire, housing costs are a top concern. So what is the difference between the average home price and the median home price? The average home price is determined by adding together all the prices of homes sold during a specific timeframe and then dividing that amount by the number of homes sold. On the other hand, the median home price is the middle sales price of all the homes sold. In other words, a median price means that half of the homes sold at a price below the median and half sold at a price above the median.

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