Boomer Markets: Retiree Havens See Steep Price Cuts

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retirement planningEven if you're a decade or more away from quitting time, you may be thinking about buying a retirement home right now.

The prices for condos in popular retirement areas like Napa, Calif., and Naples, Fla., have come down 44 percent or more since the boom, substantially more than the average 32 percent that home prices have fallen nationwide, according to the latest data from Fiserv. And mortgage rates recently hit record lows once again.

For baby boomers in particular, "Many realize that they'll never see this scenario again in their lifetimes," says Jim Gillespie, CEO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate.

If you vacation in the same place several times a year and can pay for some or all of a property in cash, owning might not cost much more than hotel stays, especially as you get closer to chucking your briefcase and use the place more frequently.

Still, no matter the price, buying now isn't a no-brainer. The costs of owning two properties can be greater than you'd expect, even if you plan to rent one out most of the time. Before you shop, answer the following questions.

Can you truly afford it?

You should be socking away the max in your 401(k)s and IRAs, particularly during your prime earning years. If a second home makes that impossible, don't buy, says Grand Rapids financial planner Ryan Sheffer.

Moreover, the true cost of home ownership doesn't end with the mortgage payment, taxes and insurance. You'll probably spend several thousand dollars a year on everything from regular lawn care to ongoing utility bills.

Read the full story on CNNMoney.

More on CNNMoney:
Delaying Retirement: 80 Is the New 65
Retirement Savings: Withdraw More Early On Without Running Dry
I Bought My Dream Retirement Home -- Cheap!
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Boomer Markets: Retiree Havens See Steep Price Cuts

Mean Housing Value: $63,000
Mean Property Taxes: $1,260
Sales Tax Rate: 7.75 percent
Max Income Tax Rate: 0 percent
Summer/Winter Temperature: 84/55

Pictured left is a new traditional home for sale in Gregory, Texas, listed at a price above the town's mean home value. 

See more homes for sale in Gregory, Texas.

Mean Housing Value: $141,000
Mean Property Taxes: $846
Sales Tax Rate: 6.5 percent
Max Income Tax Rate: 0 percent
Summer/Winter Temperature: 81/58

Pictured left is a ranch home for sale in Holly Hill, Fla., listed at a price close to the town's mean home value. 

See more homes for sale in Holly Hill, Fla

Mean Housing Value: $160,000
Mean Property Taxes: $800
Sales Tax Rate: 7 percent
Max Income Tax Rate: 5 percent
Summer/Winter Temperature: 84/48

Pictured left is a ranch home for sale in Long Beach, Miss., listed at a price close to the town's mean home value. 

See more homes for sale in Long Beach, Miss.

Mean Housing Value: $103,000
Mean Property Taxes: $2,163
Sales Tax Rate: 8.25 percent
Max Income Tax Rate: 0 percent
Summer/Winter Temperature: 84/55

Pictured left is a home for sale in Ingleside, Texas, listed at a price close to the town's mean home value. 

See more homes for sale in Ingleside, Texas

Mean Housing Value: $49,000
Mean Property Taxes: $490
Sales Tax Rate: 6 percent
Max Income Tax Rate: 0 percent
Summer/Winter Temperature: 84/66

Pictured left is a condo for sale in Pembroke Park, Fla. listed at a price close to the town's mean home value. 

See more homes for sale in Pembroke Park, Fla.

Mean Housing Value: $185,000
Mean Property Taxes: $1,850
Sales Tax Rate: 6 percent
Max Income Tax Rate: 0 percent
Summer/Winter Temperature: 84/66

Pictured left is a three-bedroom for sale in Margate, Fla. listed at a price close to the town's mean home value. 

See more homes for sale in Margate, Fla. 

Mean Housing Value: $153,000
Mean Property Taxes: $1,530
Sales Tax Rate: 7 percent
Max Income Tax Rate: 0 percent
Summer/Winter Temperature: 82/60

Pictured left is a remodeled home for sale in Largo, Fla., listed at a price close the town's mean home value. 

See more homes for sale in Largo, Fla.

Mean Housing Value: $123,000
Mean Property Taxes: $2,583
Sales Tax Rate: 8 percent
Max Income Tax Rate: 0 percent
Summer/Winter Temperature: 84/52

Pictured left is a traditional home for sale in La Porte, Texas, listed at a price close to the town's mean home value. 

See more homes for sale in La Porte, Texas

Mean Housing Value: $189,000
Mean Property Taxes: $1,134
Sales Tax Rate: 7 percent
Max Income Tax Rate: 0 percent
Summer/Winter Temperature: 82/60

Pictured left is a single family home for sale in Port Saint Joe, Fla. listed at a price close to the town's mean home value. 

See more homes for sale in Port Saint Joe, Fla.

Mean Housing Value: $61,000
Mean Property Taxes: $976
Sales Tax Rate: 8.25 percent
Max Income Tax Rate: 0 percent
Summer/Winter Temperature: 85/58

Pictured left is a home for sale in San Benito, Texas listed at a price close to the town's mean home value. 

See more homes for sale in San Benito, Texas.

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