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Gulfport, Mississippi

Gulfport (population 73,000) is a working seaport on Mississippi's mid-coast. Thanks to its seven miles of white sand beaches and the popular Island View Casino Resort, it is also a tourism destination.

The small craft harbor has slips and easy access to the Gulf. Ferries and excursions can be booked from Gulfport to neighboring Ship Island.

Residents enjoy two golf courses, one of which, the Great Southern Golf Club, overlooks the ocean. The Celtic Music Festival and Scottish Highlands Games, View the Cruise and the Sugar Plum Festival are a few of the fun local events. Mardi Gras is celebrated with gusto every February.

Wide streets with palm trees and office buildings run through downtown. Fishbone Alley is a quirky area with restaurants, bars, colorful street murals and a music series.

The city has its share of large, elegant antebellum and plantation homes, but many neighborhoods are modest with ranch style residences.

Cost of Living

Gulfport is a reasonably priced small city with an overall cost of living 18% less than the national average.

The city is 35% less expensive than Flagstaff, Arizona, 19% less expensive than St. Augustine, Florida and 20% less expensive than Dallas, Texas.

The median household income is $36,665.

Real Estate

The median home price is $130,200. This is a 6% increase over the previous year. For comparison, the national median home price is currently $285,101.

Estimates are that Gulfport housing values will decline by 1% over the next year.

The median rental price is $825 per month.

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Growth and Drawbacks

Gulfport has grown by 7% during the last decade. The violent crime rate is below the national average, but the property crime rate is above the national average.

Taxes

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

Mississippi auto sales are taxed at 5%.

Mississippi is a very friendly state when it comes to retirement income taxes. Social Security benefits are not taxed, and neither is income from IRAs, 401(k), public pensions or private pensions.

The property tax rate is approximately $862 per $100,000 in assessed value. For homeowners 65 and better or totally disabled, the state offers an exemption on the first $75,000 of value. Without the exemption, the annual taxes on a $130,200 home are approximatley $1,120.

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 has no monthly mortgage payments.

Talk to a reputable reverse mortgage lender for more information.

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