Mortgage Professionals Should be Optimistic About the Future

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Th e M Rep o RT | 9 Department Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Cost of Living Percentage Below National Average: 8.5% Population 65 or older: 17.7% Median Home Sale Price: $126,979 Hot Home: The exterior of this $3.75 million, two-story home overlooking the city's skyline has more angles than a protractor and the interior is about as 21st-century as you can get. There's nothing retiring about the amenities: a 1,800-bottle wine cellar; a kitchen with bar; an upstairs office suite and conference room for the only semi- retired; and a gym, sauna, and pool. Feeling frisky? Try the dance floor with its own DJ booth. For retirees, Pittsburgh offers easy access to a number of hospitals and health centers. To get to them, seniors can ride the city's public buses and trains for free. Tampa, Florida Cost of Living Percentage Below National Average: 7.6% Population 65 or older: 17.97% Median Home Sale Price: $197,250 Hot Home: The $5.7 million, six-bedroom Mediterranean- style bayside mansion offers much more than grand waterfront views. Like to have over old friends? Knock yourself out. There's 15-car garage, a pool with a hot tub and swim-up bar, a game room, stairway access to the roof, a six-hole backyard put- ting green, and a dock with a 10,000-pound covered boat lift along with two other lifts for Jet Skis. While Florida has the long-held reputation as the nation's retirement Mecca, Tampa has a fairly broad age range. Then again, you're only as old as you feel. Clarksville, Tennessee Cost of Living Percentage Below National Average: 7% Population 65 or older: 9.35% Median Home Listing Price: $159.900 Hot Home: If you've socked away enough in your 401K to cover the $2.9 million asking price, then you can pick up this 5,522-square- foot Volunteer State villa. Built on 27 acres, it sports a brick circular drive with a fountain centerpiece, a pool and hot tub, a theater, an outdoor barbecue area and fireplace, landscaping remi- niscent of a Mediterranean hideaway, and archways galore. You can keep a lot of whatever remains of your nest egg after buying this place. Tennessee doesn't tax income from Social Security, salaries, IRAs, or pensions. Aiken, South Carolina Cost of Living Percentage Below National Average: 6.8% Population 65 or older: 21.9% Median Home Price: $140,950 Hot Home: Priced at $2.45 million and built around 1815, This house, known as Crossways, is considered the oldest residence in this tiny town just outside Augusta, Georgia. If you ever felt like tapping your inner Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara, then you've found your Tara. Sitting atop a beautifully landscaped 4.58 acres of gardens and grounds, this traditional Southern home has been restored and reno- vated from top to bottom. Aiken is big-time small-town living. But retirees yearn- ing for peace and quiet can enjoy golf, riding, tours of historic homes, and strolls through the park. Alexandria, Louisiana Cost of Living Percentage Below National Average: 4.9% Population 65 or older: 14.06% Median Home Listing Price: $159,900 Hot Home: Built in 1932, this 9,497-square-foot, $2.2 mil- lion home is a mix of styles. Walk through the white- columned front portico and you may feel downright presidential. Walk out to the back porch and you might think you've arrived at a high-toned waterpark with an expansive backyard pool. Inside, the large rooms run from rustic to refined, with decors to match any mood. Heading into town, you'll be surrounded by woods, rivers, and lakes. Once you get there, you'll find that Alexandria offers a strong economy, low assisted-living costs, and plentiful public transportation. Sources: Milken Institute, Zillow, City of Aiken, and 6 7 8 9 10

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