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Pinellas Park, Florida

Pinellas Park (population 52,000) was founded in 1911 and is a few miles west of Tampa Bay and east of the Gulf of Mexico in west central Floria. The beaches of Clearwater and St. Petersburg are about 20 minutes in each direction.

The city boasts a Creative District that includes galleries and artist studio buildings. The Pinellas Park Art Society holds classes and contests in the Park Station building. Municipal events range from small food fairs to a large country music festival. A 500-seat performing arts center hosts the Matinee Opera Players, the Sunsation Show Chorus, and the Pinellas Park Civic Orchestra. The city is also home to the Tampa Bay Automobile Museum and Park Boulevard, an eclectic shopping thoroughfare.

Locals enjoy numerous parks, a canoe/kayak launch and trails. The Helen Howarth Park Equestrian Center connects to the trail network and sponsors riding and speed shows. Sawgrass Lake Park contains one of the coast's largest maple swamps and is popular with bird and butterfly watchers.

Cost of Living

Pinellas Park is a reasonably priced city with an overall cost of living 6% less than the national average.

The town is 3% less expensive than Sarasota, Florida, 7% less expensive than Cody, Wyoming and 22% less than Chapel Hill, North Carolina

The median household income is $41,887.

Real Estate

The median home price in Pinellas Park is $199,207. This is a 7% increase over the previous year. For comparison, the national median home price is currently $270,400.

Estimates are that Pinellas Park real estate values will stay steady over the next year.

The median rental price is $925 per month.

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Growth and Drawbacks

Pinellas Park has grown by 6% in the last decade. The crime rate is slightly above the national average.

Taxes

The combined sales tax rate for Pinellas Park is 7%. This is the total of state, county and city sales tax rates.

Florida has a 6% state sales tax on vehicle purchases.

Florida does not tax Social Security or any other retirement income.

Florida's property tax homestead exemption reduces the assessed value of a home by $50,000, so a residence that is really 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 property tax rate is approximately $1,040 per $100,000 in assessed value. The annual taxes on a $199,207 home are approximately $2,071 without a homestead exemption.

Desire a Nicer Home Without a Mortgage Payment?

If so, consider a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) for Purchase. This is a reverse mortgage that lets people age 62+ purchase a new home by using a reverse mortgage.

How does it work? Buyers must put down approximately 45% to 62% of the new home's purchase price, depending on the buyer's age and other factors. This money usually comes from the buyer selling his current home. The rest of the purchase funds come from the HECM loan.

For example, a person sells his home and nets $250,000 from the sale. With a HECM for Purchase Loan he can then buy a new $450,000 home by putting down $225,000 (50%), keeping $25,000 cash in his pocket and financing the remaining $225,000 home price with the reverse mortgage loan. Best yet, the buyer will have no monthly mortgage payments.

Talk to a reputable reverse mortgage lender for more information.

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