Because summer vacations aren’t complete without a trip to the beach, the idea of owning real estate along the coastline is a very compelling consideration. And why not? A beach home is real estate gold; it can serve as both a getaway for anybody inclined to get some sand beneath their toes and an investment property to obtain secondary income. While owning your own personal Margaritaville may seem like an expensive proposition, there are still bargains to be had at the beach — believe it or not.
RealtyTrac, a comprehensive housing data company, has released a special report ranking the top 10 best bargain beach towns for summer, analyzing more than 1,400 cities in coastal counties. The list, which only used cities bordering the ocean and with a population of 50,000 or fewer, was filtered down based on a bargain beach index composed of median home prices including prices relative to the home price bubble, average summer temperatures, air quality and density of registered criminal offenders, and . Cities were then given an index score from 0 to 500 with 500 being the best possible score.
“Buying a second home or investment property in a beach town can help families save on summer vacations for years to come and also potentially generate vacation rental income,” said RealtyTrac Senior Vice President Daren Blomquist.
“While real estate close to the ocean tends to be pricier, bargains are still available particularly in smaller towns off the beaten path where home prices have been slower to bounce back from the housing downturn. We picked the highest-ranked bargain beach town from each state to provide a good sampling of the diverse beach town experiences available across the country,” said Blomquist.
Best Bargain Beach Towns: Summer
The latest rankings doesn’t represent the name-brand beach towns most people think of, but rather their affordable counterparts. (A good option when buying a home in summer.) According to RealtyTrac, these are the 10 best beach towns to buy real estate in:
10. Bethany Beach, DE
Located in the incorporated town in Sussex county, Delaware, Bethany Beach is one of the more underrated beach towns on this list. Although typically only home to a population of 1,060, Bethany Beach during the summer months is a hotbed for visitors — receiving approximately 15,000 vacationers per year.
9. Florence, OR
Named after a sailing vessel that wrecked along the Oregon Coast in 1875, the town of Florence is a coastal city in Oregon situated between Coos Bay and Newport.
8. Madison, CT
This beach community was incorporated in 1826 and named after President James Madison. Madison was once an epicenter for fishing, shipping, shipbuilding, farming, and crayon manufacturing.
7. Dauphin Island, AL
Known as the sunset capital of Alabama, Dauphin Island is located in Mobile County on a barrier island at the Gulf Of Mexico. The town has become a major vacation spot, offering an authentic taste of the Gulf Coast.
6. Emerald Isle, NC
Emerald Isle is a secluded and tranquil slice of heaven located in Carteret County, North Carolina. Located on the Bogue Banks, Emerald Isle is also part of the Crystal Coast, making it a great place to live, work and play.
5. Palm Beach, FL
Palm Beach needs no introduction. This incorporated town in Florida is lined with palm trees and legendary resorts, mansions and historic landmarks.
4. Riverside, RI
3. Crisfield, MD
Situated in the southernmost town in Maryland, Crisfield is a beach-lover’s real estate dream. With a good part built on oyster shells, Crisfield boasts one of the largest marinas on the East Coast, and hosts various events including the annual National Hard Crab Derby.
2. Mastic Beach, NY
For those searching for low-cost beachfront property, Mastic Beach in New York is your answer. With a median home price below $100,000, this coastal town located in the southeast part of the Brookhaven in Suffolk County is a bargain.
1. Keansburg, NJ
Complemented by an astounding skyline view of New York City, Keansburg is a bayside community situated in Monmouth County, New Jersey. In terms of home prices and style of living, Keansburg is the best bargain beach town in America.