Affordable

10 of the cheapest U.S. beach towns to buy a home

You don’t have to spend half a million dollars on a beach house — if you know where to look.

Typically, waterfront homes are worth twice as much as their landlocked counterparts. In California and New York’s Long Island Sound, that means many millions. But in parts of Florida, which boasts some of the more affordable waterfront property in the nation, that could mean less than $150,000.

Of course, it may not stay that way for long. The saying among real estate agents, “They don’t make waterfront property anymore,” is no joke. Thanks to limited available waterfront property and escalating insurance costs, there’s simply less available, affordable property to go around.

So if winter is making you dream of ocean views and tropical temperatures, check out these 10 towns around the U.S. where the median home sale prices is under $250,000, or even less.

Editor’s Note: Since this piece was published, Hurricane Harvey caused significant damage to Corpus Christi, Texas and LaPorte, Texas.

Pensacola, Florida

Median home sales price: $105,600 *
Population: 52,703**
Average temperature: 67.6 degrees Fahrenheit ***

Florida’s Pensacola Beach is one of the Top 25 beaches in the U.S., according to TripAdvisor, and it’s actually pretty cheap to buy property there. Cyclists and kayakers are lured by the longest stretch of protected seashore in the country, and families come for seafood and fun in the sun that doesn’t cost a fortune.

This three-bedroom, two-bathroom home near Perdido Key is on the market for $190,000. It has a breakfast bar, two-car garage, screened swimming pool, hot tub, spa-like master bath, sun room, open floor plan, fireplace, skylight and an attic.

Mobile, Alabama

Median sales price: $80,000
Population: 194,899
Average temperature: 66.7 degrees

Mobile is located near Mobile Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, offering waterfront access without a ridiculous price tag. Once called the “Paris of the South,” it’s also the home of the Battleship Memorial Park, the Mobile Carnival Museum (which provides a history of the community’s famed Mardi Gras celebration) and the BayFest music festival. Though beachfront homes are definitely pricier than other real estate, beach lovers don’t have to spend big bucks.

This two-bedroom, two-bathroom Mobile cottage is listed at $149,900. It features a remodeled master bath, walk-in closet, fireplace, breakfast nook, backyard deck, shed and double porch swings.

Delray Beach, Florida

Median home sales price: $121,000
Population: 64,072
Average temperature: 74.8 degrees

Delray Beach, which calls itself “Florida’s village by the sea,” was named the most fun small town in America by Rand McNally’s Best of the Road in 2012. Its Atlantic Dunes Park, Delray Municipal Beach, golf, tennis and arts community lure around 1 million tourists each year, according to the Downtown Development Authority.

This one-bedroom, one-bathroom co-op near the water is currently on the market for $265,000. It has a porch, tiled floors and access to a pool and putting green.

Corpus Christi, Texas

Median home sales price: $175,000
Population: 316,381
Average temperature: 71.8 degrees

The Corpus Christi Bay area sits behind the Padre and Mustang islands. The region’s McGhee and North Beaches were both winners of the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association’s Best Restored Beach Award in 2012. Visitors and residents also enjoy easy access to the Texas State Aquarium, South Texas Botanical Gardens and the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History, among other attractions.

This two-bedroom, two-bathroom home near Corpus Christi Bay in the Padre Island subdivision is listed at $149,000. It has a breakfast bar, enclosed patio, laundry room and laminate flooring.

Deerfield Beach, Florida

Median home sales price: $123,250
Population: 78,041
Average temperature: 75 degrees

Deerfield Beach’s “Blue Wave” waterfront got its name from the Clean Beach Council based on its clean water, good beach conditions, habitat conservation, safety services and public information. The Quiet Waters Park also offers opportunities for fishing, camping, skating and “cable skiing,” a popular local sport combining surfing, skiing and wakeboarding.

This three-bedroom, two-bathroom ranch house in the Commonwealth Manor subdivision is on the Deerfield Beach market for $169,900. It features granite countertops, stainless steel kitchen appliances, a laundry room and tiled flooring.

Biloxi, Mississippi

Median home sales price: $159,900
Population: 44,820
Average temperature: 67.2 degrees

The Mississippi Gulf Coast offers an inexpensive alternative for white, sandy beach lovers. Beach Boulevard, which runs along Biloxi’s coast, offers views of the beaches, most of which are public. But homes line the Back Bay and Mullet Lake, and ocean-facing condos are easy to find. For rainy days, the city offers a number of casinos, while the city is not far from New Orleans, Mobile, Alabama, and Pensacola, Florida.

This modern 1,250-square-foot condo is on the market for $189,000. It is located right on Beach Boulevard, with front-deck views of the ocean, while the beach is just a few feet away. It has two floors, two bedrooms and two bathrooms and is just a mile from the Beau Rivage casino.

Titusville, Florida

Median home sales price: $69,900
Population: 44,206
Average temperature: 71.6 degrees

Titusville sits along what is known as Florida’s “Space Coast,” within striking distance of the Kennedy Space Center. But the area also offers its own unique opportunities for surfing, fishing, swimming and boating along the seashore and even manatee-watching in the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. Plus, it’s the least expensive market on this list, with a median home sale price that’s more than six figures less than in the U.S. overall.

This waterfronttwo-bedroom, two-bathroom condo offers a large, screened-in balcony for watching the sun rise. It include a kitchen, living room, in-unit laundry and a dining room, and is on the market for $104,900.

Hobe Sound, Florida

Median home sales price: $228,000
Population: 11, 521
Average temperature: 73.1 degrees

Hobe Sound, Florida, located along the Atlantic Coast, has about 10 beaches to choose from, including Jensen Beach, Bathtub Reef Beach and Santa Lucea Beach. It attracts tourists and local nature-lovers with its Blowing Rocks wildlife preserve, Hobe Sound Nature Center and Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge.

For $220,000, you can buy this three-bedroom, three-bathroom house near the actual Hobe Sound. The Hobe Hills subdivision property features a balcony, spiral staircase, finished basement and patio.

Bay St. Louis, Mississippi

Median home sales price: $103,870
Population: 10,822
Average temperature: 66.8 degrees

Bay St. Louis may be only 60 miles from busy New Orleans, but this coastal town is a bit quieter and more folksy. According to CoastalLiving.com, it’s the perfect spot for people “with a penchant for old architecture and affordable renovation spaces.” Its main sandy attraction is the aptly named St. Louis Bay Beach.

This four-bedroom, three-bathroom contemporary home near the Bay St. Louis waterfront is listed for $199,900. It has an eat-in kitchen, backyard pond and patio, two-car garage, fireplace, and stainless steel kitchen appliances.

LaPorte, Texas

Median home sales price: $152,950
Population: 34,654
Average temperature: 69.5 degrees

LaPorte near Galveston Bay and the Houston Ship Channel, is the oldest town in Texas’ East Harris County. The historic site is home to Sylvan Beach, along with many other parks and recreational areas where visitors and residents can hike, play golf or bike.

This four-bedroom, three-bathroom Victorian house in the Bay Front La Porte subdivision close to Galveston Bay is on the market for $182,000. It features hardwood flooring, a deck, breakfast bar, four-car garage and an attic.

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