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Freeport, Texas

Freeport (population 12,500) is seaport on Texas' Gulf Coast, about an hour south of downtown Houston. It is part of an area called Brazosport, which includes a handful of other towns, and is an outdoorsy, laid back place. The downtown has several blocks of early-1900 structures surrounding a nice park.

The main draws are the three nearby wildlife refuges, the Justin Hurst Wildlife Management Area, the San Bernard National Wildlife Reguge and the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge, which has 40,000 acres of wetlands with boardwalks, hiking trails and a wide variety of birds, animals and plants. The annual Freeport Audubon Christmas Bird Count brings in birders from around the region.

The three and a half mile beach, Bryan Beach, is in its natural, unspoiled state and a quiet spot for camping, birding, sunbathing and fishing. The city has a nice marina and a protected harbor. Deep sea fishing charters run year-round. Freeport is also the launching point for the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, home to 300 acres of coral reefs, loggerhead turtles, manta rays, octopuses and sea horses.

Cost of Living

Freeport is a reasonably priced town with an overall cost of living 15% less than the national average.

The town is 3% less expensive than Jacksonville, Florida, 24% less expensive than Camden, Maine and 28% less expensive than Orange Beach, Alabama.

The median household income is $36,300.

Real Estate

The median home price in Freeport is $119,400. This is a 10% increase over the previous year. For comparison, the national median home price is currently $270,400.

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

The median rental price is $825 per month.

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Growth and Drawbacks

Freeport has maintained its population during the last decade. The poverty rate is above the national average (but the crime rate meets the national average).

Taxes

The combined sales tax rate for Freeport is 8.6%. This is the total of state, county and city sales tax rates.

Texas imposes a 6.25% sales tax on vehicle purchases.

Texas has no income tax so it does not tax retirement income or Social Security.

The property tax rate is approximately $1,993 per $100,000 in assessed value. The state offers a $25,000 homestead exemption for all homeowners and a $10,000 exemption for people age 65 or better. The annual taxes on a $119,400 home are approximately $2,370 without the 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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