The most affordable beach towns revealed (2024)

The most affordable beach towns in the US have been revealed - with the birthplace of famed beach bum Jimmy Buffett sailing into the top spot.

The research compiled by Realtor.comranked cities across the country based on median property prices for single family homes, including condominiums.

The top ten locations rangefrom gambling destinations out east to picturesque, pre-war towns along the Pacific - with some more surprisingthan others.

And with prime beach town real estate typically eye-wateringly expensive, each location offers shoreline access at comparably bargain prices.

Realtor.com has compiled a list of the US's most affordable beach towns, and entries range from 'Las Vegas of the East Coast' Atlantic City, to the birthplace of the late Jimmy Buffet. The Atlantic City skyline is seen here, in full aerial panorama

1. Pascagoula, MS. Median home price: $164,900

Mississippi's Gulf Shore is more affordable than most, and with this in mind, Pascagoula stole the number-one slot.

A coastal city with a population of some 22,000, itis the birthplace of the late Buffet, who passed away last year at the age of 76 due to complications from a rare form of skin cancer.

The city even named its main public beach after the 'Margaritaville' singer, and hosted him in 2015 for a concert and bridge dedication.

In addition to Buffet Beach and Buffet Bridge, Pascagoula features plenty of other attractions including apublic fishing pier anda nine-hole regulation golf course - perfect for giving those sea legs a break if you plan on living there permanently.

And that's especially applicable considering the city is not a typical place for second homes, said Bernie O'Sullivan, a senior loan officer who has lived in Pascagoula for more than six decades.

She told Realtor.com the hangout is mostly home to owner-occupied primary residences, which, on average, cost about $164,900 for a single-family home.

'We're a small town, where everybody knows everybody else,' she said.

'We have a huge beach park where they bring in music several times a year. It's a very laid-back town, with beautiful sunsets.'

A short ride away is Petit Bois Island, a federally protected wilderness area.

O'Sullivan also noted what a remarkable bounce back the town has seen after being devastated by Hurricane Katrina nearly two decades ago, with a slew of bars, restaurants, and shops opening up, per Realtor.

Mississippi 's Gulf Shore is more affordable than most, and with this in mind, Pascagoula stole the number-one slot

A coastal city with a population of some 22,000, it is the birthplace of the late Buffet

The singer - seen here at the bridge dedication - passed away last year at the age of 76 due to complications from a rare form of skin cancer

Buffet's childhood home is seen here, in a town where single-family domiciles typically cost about $164,900

2. Atlantic City, NJ. Median home price: $239,000

This year's runner-up is a famed South Jersey hotspot known for its boardwalk and abundance of casinos: enter Atlantic City.

Perhaps better known for its gambling haunts than beaches, the city still sports an impressive shoreline - one fitting of the nautical body for which its named.

Flanked by the city's seminal boardwalk, the beach is among the region's best in the summer, and often plays venue to concerts and other gatherings year-round - with a cost-of-living that's a bargain considering its location.

The average one-family home there costs about $239,000, Realtor.com found - in a place that's not too far from Philly or New York.

The seaside resort town is therefore often dubbed the 'Las Vegas of the East Coast', and lives up to its nickname with its wealth of entertainment options.

The city's famous footpath is also filled with dining and shopping options - for sure a crown jewel of the Jersey Shore.

This year's runner-up is famed South Jersey hotspot Atlantic City - known for its boardwalk and abundance of casinos

3. Deerfield Beach, FL. Median home price: $239,950

The only settlement in the Sunshine State to make the list,Deerfield Beach can be found about halfway between Miami and Palm Beach.

Not as well known as its neighbors, it sports the samesoutheast Florida climate and many of the same amenities - at a fraction of the cost.

This, Realtor.com found, made it stand out above its fellow Florida forebears, costing just $239,950 on average to buy a home.

That's still well below the US median price for existing single family homes as of March, currently at alevel of $397,200, according to the government's latest report on housing affordability

That's up from $388,000 last month and higher than $379,500 a year ago, in a trend that many say will continue.

The coastal location boasts a wide range of water sports and activities, and is also home to an impressivefishing pier, boardwalk and arboretum.

There is also Deerfield Island Park, a county-run nature refuge accessible only by free boat rides from the mainland, available every weekend.

The town ranked well primarily due to the city's abundance of moderately priced condos, according to Realtor.com, which explained how such residences are typically priced lower than single-family homes.

This brought down the median list price substantially, researchers wrote - adding that condominiums' somewhat notorious monthly homeowner association fees were not included in their calculations.

The only settlement in the Sunshine State to make the list, Deerfield Beach can be found about halfway between Miami and Palm Beach

4. Dennis Port, MA, Median home price: $277,500

In fourth place was the first entry from New England - a scenic, seaside outpost in otherwise costly Cape Cod.

Known as Dennis Port, the village not only made the site's top ten, but the top five.

An upset of sorts considering Cape Cod's often upscale inhabitants,Dennis Port's performance was credited to the myriad small, World War II-era cottages found along its beaches, which are modestly priced considering their location.

While many have been expanded or replaced with larger, more contemporary homes, the long-standing bastions have managed to bring down the community's average property price to $277,500 - over $100,000 less than the national number.

That said, on a square-footage basis, they are still comparatively pricey, with contractors commonly building homes quite a bit smaller in those days.

Some one-bedrooms sport square-footage in the 300s - a size more applicable to Manhattan than suburban Massachusetts.

However, those homes are commonly priced in the $100,000s - often with an ocean view bolstered by a spacious outdoor patio, sometimes bigger than the house itself.

Moreover, the beach is just a two-minutes' walk away, making it the perfect place to live for the most avid of beachgoers.

In fourth place was the first entry from New England, Dennis Port - a scenic, low-cost outpost in otherwise expensive Cape Cod

5. Myrtle Beach, SC. Median home price: $299,500

One of the more recognizable names to grace the list, Myrtle Beach, has long been a stronghold of coastal South Carolina.

Set in one of three states that sport seaside cities but aren't as populated as metropolises further north and south, it's also home to an abundance of resorts and golf courses - as well as bunch of condos.

Like Deerfield Beach, this brought the median home price down substantially to a relatively affordable $299,500.

Compare that with the cost of a home in neighboring Charleston and Wilmington, and you'll be saving at least $100,000 or more.

Set in the midst of an uninterrupted 60-mile stretch of beaches, the town also offers an abundance of amusem*nts likeRipley's Aquarium, the Hollywood Wax Museum, and a 187-foot tall Ferris wheel known as the SkyWheel - reminiscent of the227-tall attraction found in Atlantic City.

Like the runner-up, Myrtle Beach also boasts an impressive board walk, one that offers impressive views of this scenic segment ofSouth Carolina's Grand Strand.

Another to make the list was Myrtle Beach, which has long been a stronghold of coastal South Carolina

6. Corpus Christi, TX, Median home price: $315,000

The lone entry from the Lone Star State, Corpus Christi, is another one of the more well-known towns to make the top ten.

Located along the Gulf of Mexico, it's tucked into a bay that boasts nine distinct beaches, and is thus often referred to as 'the Florida of Texas.'

Almost an island if not for a small stretch of land that links the coastal city to a wide expanse of marshes, many are drawn to the community due to its affordability and laidback lifestyle, which exudes an unmistakable 'I'll get to it tomorrow' feel.

Despite this 'Five O'clock Somewhere' mentality, the city of more than 316,000 sports an impressive economy - one fueled by its local art scene, abundance of farmers markets, and the preeminent Port of Corpus Christi.

There, fishing poles and sailboat masts are commonplace, as are the headquarters of the litany of energy companies that have invested in development that line the popular port in recent years.

City limits include parts of Padre Island and Mustang Island, both of which are destinations for beachgoers in the Lower 48's biggest state.

Those who can afford it prefer to live in those areas, well as the city's Southside, dueto better access to the water.

In-betweenthough, you'll find hundreds of modestly sized homes located a short drive from the beach, which, along with countless beachfront condos, brings the city's home-price average down to$315,000.

As a result, it is a popular place for retirees, but sports a younger demographic as well - thanks in large part to Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi andthe city's eponymous US Naval Air Station.

The lone entry from the Lone Star State, Corpus Christi was another one of the more well-known towns to make the top 10

7. Sunset Beach, NC. Median home price: $340,000

To find number seven, one would need to drive about 4,000 miles northeast back to the East Coast to a little known town in North Carolina called Sunset Beach.

There, homes on average cost about$340,000, Realtor.com found - despite the multi-million-dollar price tags found on many homes along its seminal beach.

It is also part of the Wilmington Metropolitan Statistical Area, and is not far from the more popular Myrtle Beach.

While most of the homes sat directly on the shore will cost you an arm and an leg, a short drive further inland will reveala range of attainably priced single-family homes within walking distance of the coast.

The community also sportsa number of condos - another contributor to the not-so-costly median list price.

One of the region's many barrier islands, the locale sports some impressivesunset views year-round.

It was originally named 'Bald Beach,' but was bestowed its more current name in the 1950s by a developer impressed by such sites.

Attractions include the Ingram Planetarium and an impressive fishing pier, as well as nearby Bird Island, where tourists and locals alike can take in a sprawlingnature preserve.

If a slice of coastal South Carolina life stokes your interest, the town could be your next home - at a price some $200,000 less than the state's more popular seaside settlement, historic Charleston.

To find number seven, one would need to drive about 4,000 miles northeast back to the East Coast, to little known Sunset Beach

8. Grand Isle, LA: Median home price: $375,000

Another entry located on a remote barrier island,Grand Isle, can be foundon a picturesque stretch of Louisiana’s Gulf Shore.

Like other towns on this list, it is renowned for its respectable roster of beaches.

It also sports an impressive surf and a wide array of wildlife, including migratory birds that only visit once a year.

That said, the town is also a hotspot for hurricanes - hence its relative affordability when compared with other coastal towns.

Because of this, even the most grandiose ofhouses located on the island cost under half a million dollars, with the overall cost, on average, being less than $400,000.

That, however, does not include the flood insurance that almost every expert recommends, which will cost a great deal extra.

For those who don't mind taking a big risk, the lush green island offers some scenic shores, a state park with a fishing pier, and no shortage of seafood.

As the latter suggests, there's plenty of fishing as well.

Another entry located on a remote barrier island, Grand Isle, can be found on a picturesque stretch of Louisiana’s Gulf Shore

9. Newport, OR: Median home price: $399,950

One of two West Coast towns to make the top ten, Newport is located in coastal Oregon.

It is located toward the center of the state, surrounded by either ocean or dozens and dozens of miles of nature.

It is home to Nye Beach, a historic spot that's attracted travelers since the19th century.

Other attractions include the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, the Devils Punchbowl State Natural Area, and the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

As indicated, it was the highest-ranked West Coast town to make Realtor.com's list.

Newport recorded a median home price of$399,950 - a number achieved again because a co*cktailof beachfront and smaller homes not directly on the coast,

That said, they are still within minutes of of the town's shores, by foot, and oftensit on the many luscious bluffs that overlook Nye Beach.

To illustrate these homes' affordability, Realtor.com provided an example of two-bed, 912-square-foot cottage situated as such for just $389,900 - a bargain considering its surroundings and the fact it's $10,000 less than the town average.

One of two West Coast towns to make the top 10, Newport, can be found in coastal Oregon

10. Ocean Shores, WA: Median home price: $425,000

Last and definitely not least, the town of Ocean Shores has some 6,700 residents, and can be found a few hundred miles up the Pacific Coast in Washington.

The small coastal town boasts direct shoreline access to the ocean and Grays Harbor, an estuarine bay 45 miles north of the mouth of the Columbia River, in the southwest part of the state.

The piece of land is calledthe Point Brown peninsula, which was used by local tribes hundreds of years ago as a trading outpost prior to the arrival of the Europeans.

Attractions include hiking, horseback riding, and a public golf course, as well as a resort that doubles as a casino.

Last and definitely not least in terms or price, the town of Ocean Shores has some 6,700 residents, and can be found a few hundred miles up the Pacific Coast in Washington

Somewhat smaller than many of the other entries, it sports a total area of just over 12 square miles.

Oddly, it was awarded the distinction of 'richest little city' in the country, per capita, in 1969 - after it was granted city status due to an assessed valuation of $35million from 900 permanent residents.

The city experienced a slump during the decade after - the result of a recession that affected most of the state - but has since recovered, with a slew of homes and businesses introduced since.

And one of those homes could be yours, Realtor.com writes - for a price of, on average,$425,000.

The most affordable beach towns revealed (2024)

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