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Life by the Ocean Without Breaking the Bank: The 25 Most Affordable Beach Towns for Homebuyers

With summer in full swing and scorching temperatures driving city dwellers to try to escape urban heat islands, we analyzed home prices in towns and cities with beaches to see which are the most affordable...

With summer in full swing and scorching temperatures driving city dwellers to try to escape urban heat islands, we analyzed home prices in towns and cities with beaches to see which are the most affordable options for homebuyers looking to move or buy a second home. We ranked towns by the local median price per square foot to avoid results being skewed by larger local median home sizes.

The South Takes the Lead in Affordable Beach Towns

Looking at the 25 best-priced beach towns and cities, it’s clear that homebuyers looking for easy access to ocean waters and beaches will have an easier time finding an affordable option in the South. Specifically, 24 of the 31 communities in our top 25 are located in the South: In particular, Florida, Mississippi, and Texas contributed the most with nine, seven, and five locations, respectively. Alabama joined them with two beach destinations.

The remaining seven spots were occupied by East Coast communities. Notably, the West Coast was completely absent due to significantly higher prices.

Most Affordable Beach Towns in the South

Let's dive into some of the most affordable beach towns in the South.

10. Biloxi, Miss.

Biloxi Median price per sq. ft: $109 | Median home size: 1,949 sq. ft | Median sale price: $212,073

Biloxi is an attractive option for homebuyers looking for affordable home prices and beach access. That’s because it offers the conveniences of urban living without the fast pace of large cities. It also has a dynamic entertainment scene thanks to its active casino resort industry. Additionally, Biloxi may prove especially attractive to buyers with a passion for sportfishing, as the city stands at the center of the Fertile Fisheries Crescent.

9. Bowers, Del.

Bowers Median price per sq. ft: $107 | Median home size: 2,083 sq. ft | Median sale price: $223,085

One of just two communities on the East Coast among the 10 most affordable beach towns to buy a home in, Bowers may appeal to retirees looking to avoid Florida’s sweltering summers, as the median age here is 60.7 years. Considered one of Delaware’s best-kept secrets, the quiet beach town of just over 300 residents is a favorite among locals looking to avoid the crowds at more popular destinations, like Rehoboth Beach. Historic homes dot the landscape, and fresh seafood is still sourced locally. Plus, on Memorial Day weekend, locals and visitors can enjoy the family-friendly Buccaneer Bash pirate festival.

8. Brunswick, Ga.

Brunswick Median price per sq. ft: $105 | Median home size: 2,066 sq. ft | Median sale price: $216,442

Brunswick is a year-round resort community with art galleries, theaters, Victorian mansions, and one of the busiest ports in the country. Buyers looking for education opportunities have the local Coastal College of Georgia, while one of the two local high schools is Glynn Academy — the sixth-oldest public high school in the U.S. Fishing opportunities abound in the former shrimp capital of the world, and white sandy beaches can be found locally or on the nearby Golden Isles.

7. Port Richey, Fla.

Port Richey Median price per sq. ft: $104 | Median home size: 1,857 sq. ft | Median sale price: $192,900

Although commute times in Port Richey are generally higher than the national average, this Florida beach community is within 45 minutes of downtown Tampa, Clearwater, and St. Petersburg. The city boasts a lower-than-average cost of living and affordable home prices that are rapidly appreciating. As a result, buyers looking for mild winter temperatures can secure a home here for a median $104 per square foot in a city that was once home to country legends Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash.

6. Corpus Christi, Texas

Corpus Christi Median price per sq. ft: $102 | Median home size: 2,147 sq. ft | Median sale price: $219,032

By far the most populous city in our ranking with 326,000 residents, Corpus Christi also boasts the largest median home size (2,147 square feet). House hunters with an interest in sports can enjoy one of the best destinations in the country for kiteboarding, kite flying, windsurfing, and sailing. Corpus Christi is also one of the best spots in the U.S. for birding per the Audubon Society. Additionally, the many local and state parks — as well as the famed Padre Island National Seashore — offer ample hiking opportunities.

6. Mobile, Ala.

Mobile Median price per sq. ft: $102 | Median home size: 1,771 sq. ft | Median sale price: $180,920

The second-largest city in our top 10, Mobile presents an affordable option for homebuyers with an eye for arts and culture. Considered one of the top cultural centers on the Gulf Coast, the city of 190,000 residents boasts ample historic architecture and no less than 11 historic neighborhoods. Mobile also has its own symphony orchestra and ballet company, a host of museums, and one of the oldest Mardi Gras festivals in the U.S.

5. Gulfport, Miss.

Gulfport Median price per sq. ft: $94 | Median home size: 1,949 sq. ft | Median sale price: $183,158

Gulfport is one of three Mississippi beach communities where the median price per square foot is less than $100. Watersports, fishing, and golf are popular here, and visitors and locals alike enjoy nearly seven miles of white sand beaches. Buyers can choose to live in a historic home or in one of the many historic neighborhoods, like the Broadmoor Place Historic District. With a local median age of just 35, Gulfport may be an option for younger buyers who can enjoy the city’s entertainment and shopping scene.

The Most Affordable Beach Town on the South Coast: Port Arthur, Texas

Port Arthur Median price per sq. ft: $65 | Median home size: 1,339 sq. ft | Median sale price: $87,235

Easy access to birding, fishing, state parks, waterways, and a rich cultural heritage of historic sites and museums — including the famous Museum of the Gulf Coast — as well as the multicultural Faith Trail are some of the highlights of living in Port Arthur. Those with a passion for boating can find a community on Port Arthur’s man-made Pleasure Island with its state-of-the-art, 70,000-acre marina and weekly boat races. The city is also home to the largest oil refinery in the U.S., centering the oil industry and port activities at the heart of its economy.

Conclusion

These affordable beach towns offer a great opportunity for homebuyers to enjoy coastal living without breaking the bank. Whether you're looking for a quiet and laid-back community or a vibrant city with plenty of amenities, there are options available across the South. Soak up the sun and enjoy the beach life without compromising on affordability.

To explore the complete list of the 25 most affordable communities for U.S. homebuyers, refer to the image below:

Complete List

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