5 Best Beach Towns To Buy Property In

AAA

For the most part, beach properties have held up pretty well since the property bubble for residential real estate burst in the United States between 2007 and 2009. Based on Zillow.com's affordability index, which measures the price of property in a city and compares it to the annual income levels of its residents, property remains firmly depressed in many beach towns. Below is an overview of some of the more affordable locales these days.

Lakeland, Fla.

Though officially slightly inland from the beach town of Clearwater, Fla., as well as Tampa Bay, Fla. and St. Petersburg, Fla., the short drive may be worth it as Lakeland, Fla. is currently one of the most affordable home markets in the country. The low range of its historical price to income ratio is more than 40% below its historical norms. A perusal of the available real estate in the city shows a number of properties for well below six figures. Orlando, Fla., which is slightly east, also has a high number of affordable and beaten-down houses for sale following the bursting of the housing bubble.

Jacksonville, Fla.

Situated right on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, Jacksonville, Fla. is also among the most affordable real estate markets in the United States right now. Its affordability index is right around 40% below its historical average. Houses right on, or very close to, the waterfront are currently listed for around $100,000, with some going for less. New homes are also an option, thanks to plenty of remaining real estate available for building.

Fort Myers, Fla.

Sticking in Florida may be the best strategy for snagging an affordable beach property. Fort Myers, Fla. has a reputation for some of the worst hit real estate as a result of the housing bubble. The affordability index is similar to that of Jacksonville, Fla. at just below 40% its historical average. Homes right on the waterfront currently list for a couple of hundred thousand or more, but there are still deals to be had and cheaper homes slightly inland. Sanibel Island, Fla., which is just a short drive across the Causeway Boulevard, remains pricey with home prices closer to a cool million. A number of foreclosures still exist in the area.

Mobile, Ala.

Heading slightly west and tucked right into the Mobile Bay on the Gulf of Mexico, Mobile, Ala. is right around the national average with an affordability index 35% below its historical average. On an absolute level, very few houses are listed above six figures and that means a location right on the water could be very affordable. Highly motivated sellers are wanting to move a number of the properties.

San Diego, Calif.

Moving out west and to well above the national average, certain San Diego real estate is still 20% below its historical affordability index average. Smaller properties not far from the Pacific coast go for a couple of hundred thousand, which isn't that bad if being close to the beach is a high priority. A condo right on the beach is also currently going for less than $300,000, though it is only 638 square feet.

Conclusion

Combined with record low mortgage rates, a beach-front property is well within the reach of many U.S. citizens. Foreigners have also gotten in on the mix and have largely bought up the properties in international destinations such as Miami. Those with the funds could be sitting pretty in the next decade.
Related Articles
  1. Budgeting

    Vacation Property Walkthrough: Reasons To Purchase Vacation Property

    The National Association of Realtors (NAR) 2011 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey indicates that the typical vacation-home buyer in 2010 was 49 years old, had a median household income ...
  2. Budgeting

    Vacation Property Walkthrough: Considerations When Choosing A Vacation Property

    LocationAs with other real estate purchases, location is the single most important factor when choosing a vacation property. Many vacation home buyers may already have an area in mind when deciding ...
  3. Real Estate

    Economics of Owning a Vacation Home

    Discover the financial factors behind owning a second home and how weighing your options can determine if a vacation home is right for you.
  4. Home & Auto

    Strategies To Buy The Perfect Vacation Home

    Ask yourself these six questions to make the right decision about a vacation property.
  5. Budgeting

    Vacation Property Walkthrough: Introduction

    Many homeowners look forward to purchasing a second home that can be used for vacation purposes, rental income, investment purposes or as a primary residence during retirement. Finding and purchasing ...
  6. Budgeting

    Vacation Property Walkthrough: Financing A Vacation Property

    A vacation property comes with all of the expenses of a primary residence, including mortgage principal and interest, property taxes, homeowners insurance, association dues, utilities, and costs ...
  7. Real Estate

    Beach House Investing: Best Beach Towns in California

    Discover the best towns in California for investing in a beach house. Learn about the few remaining areas to invest in a vacation beach home.
  8. Budgeting

    Vacation Property Walkthrough: Conclusion

    People purchase vacation homes for getaways, income and retirement. A growing number of people are looking outside their home country for vacation properties to take advantage of lower home values, ...
  9. Personal Finance

    5 Best Beach Towns To Buy Property In

    These locales offer vacation homeowners scenic views and plenty of ammenities. The home prices can't be beat either.
  10. Options & Futures

    Tips For Renting A Vacation House

    Follow these nine steps to get a picture-perfect summer shack at a great price.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Cost Of Debt

    The effective rate that a company pays on its current debt. This can be measured in either before- or after-tax returns; ...
  2. Yield Curve

    A line that plots the interest rates, at a set point in time, of bonds having equal credit quality, but differing maturity ...
  3. Stop-Limit Order

    An order placed with a broker that combines the features of stop order with those of a limit order. A stop-limit order will ...
  4. Keynesian Economics

    An economic theory of total spending in the economy and its effects on output and inflation. Keynesian economics was developed ...
  5. Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications ...

    A member-owned cooperative that provides safe and secure financial transactions for its members. Established in 1973, the ...
  6. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles - GAAP

    The common set of accounting principles, standards and procedures that companies use to compile their financial statements. ...
Trading Center