Finding the best property starts by nailing down the ideal location. For many of us living in a beachside community is at the top of our bucket list. Living in a coastal city is like perpetually being on vacation. Time seems to move a little slower and everyone appears to be in good spirits when they’re near the water.
If you’ve ever taken a beach vacation you may think living the dream of an oceanfront lifestyle is way too expensive unless you have an upper-class income. While that may be true in some coastal cities, there are many communities that offer affordable living for the middle class. Make your coastal living dream come true in one of these affordable beach towns.
Corpus Christi, TX
For a sizable city, Corpus Christi, TX is actually quite affordable, even though it’s right next door to popular Padre Island. There are a number of things that make Corpus Christi an inexpensive coastal city. For starters, Zillow estimates that the average home price is just under $200,000. The area is also deregulated, which means you can compare electric rates Corpus Christi providers currently offer to find the most cost-effective plan. It’s a big money saver in the hot months of summer. Another consideration is that Texas doesn’t have a state income tax, which offsets the cost of higher home insurance rates on the coast.
Crystal Beach, TX
This city has been noted for being one of the nation’s most affordable oceanfront communities, it’s got the home prices to prove it. With a median home price of just $153,500, it’s easily one of the least expensive cities on our list. Having a population of just 1,600 means Crystal Beach is also an intimate and quiet place to kick back and relax. Plus, a free ferry can take you the short ride to Galveston Island for additional fun in the sun.
Matlacha is one of the few areas of south Florida that is fairly affordable. This old-school fishing community has maintained its character and flair over the years and the vibe has often been compared to the Florida Keys. But instead of paying more than $565,000 for a home you can get a colorful row house for around $185,000.
If you prefer a slightly larger city that’s lively Pensacola, FL is a fantastic option. The city has been called an affordable alternative to Palm Beach, and with home prices that hover around $125,000, it’s definitely more budget-friendly. In addition to miles of white sandy beaches, Pensacola also has a variety of shops, restaurants, and a vibrant nightlife.
Gulf Shores, AL
Alabama doesn’t have as many miles of coastline as other states, but the little bit it has is quite impressive. So are the home prices, especially in the lively coastal city of Gulf Shores. The area is noted for having 32 miles of white sandy beaches, beautiful blue-green water, historic sites and first-class golf courses. At just over $230,000 for the average home, Gulf Shores is a popular spot for retirement or buying a vacation home.
Myrtle Beach, SC
Hilton Head may be a hot spot for golfers and vacationers, but locals know to home shop in Myrtle Beach where a dollar goes a lot further. The popular beach town boasts 100 golf courses in the area, over 1,700 restaurants and 60 miles of beachfront.
Old Orchard Beach, ME
Maine isn’t known for its beaches, but there is one place that’s been a coastal vacation destination for years. Old Orchard Beach comes to life when the weather warms up. There’s a seven-mile strip of beach, a historic pier and an amusement park right on the water. For less than $300,000 you can get your own piece of the “garden by the sea”.
Crescent City, CA
Bet you didn’t think you’d see a California city on the list. Crescent City is in the northern part of the state close to Oregon. It’s a combination of rocky shores and sandy beaches, but there are a variety of aquatic activities to enjoy in the spring and summer. With median home prices at about $250,000, this is one California coastal city people can actually afford. While this may seem like a hefty price tag it’s far less than California’s median home price of just over $490,000.
The next best thing to the ocean is a great lake. The tiny village of Empire, MI is situated on Lake Michigan, and it’s one of the areas that’s known for its unspoiled beaches. Believe it or not, the dunes can reach 400 feet and the waves are sometimes big enough to surf. A big benefit of living on Lake Michigan is your home insurance will be a fraction of the cost to cover a beachfront property.