5 Cool Beach Towns Where You Can Buy a Home for $250,000 or Less

Vieques, Puerto Rico.

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As mortgage interest rates continue to rise, home affordability is increasingly becoming a challenge for buyers. (You can see the lowest fares you could qualify for here.) The good news? We’ve found some cool beach towns across America where you can still buy a house for under $250,000. Of course, you have to consider issues like the risk of flooding and hurricanes and the high costs of home insurance in many beach towns.

If you want a weekend home near New York: Villas, New Jersey

Located on the southern tip of New Jersey, where Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean, Villas has a rural town feel while offering plenty of beach access. The city itself has attractions such as the Cox Hall Creek WMA, a nature preserve with plenty of hiking trails, and Miami Beach, which is a nice place to watch the sunset. Plus, it’s just under three hours from New York City.

Just nine miles east of town is Wildwood, which is located on the Jersey Shore and is home to a 38-block boardwalk with rides and roller coasters, as well as access to swim in the ‘Atlantic Ocean. Expect traditional pub fare in the Villas at eateries like Jake’s Bar & Grill and Castaway Café, with more options for fine dining eight miles south of Cape May. A budget of $250,000 will give you plenty of options in villas including this newly renovated 600 square foot two bedroom home and this cozy home with a beautiful yard just over three blocks from Miami Beach, New Jersey.

Median home value: $314,295
Population: 9,134
Cost of living: 10.5% lower than the American average

Sources: Zillow; The best places in Sperling

If you want a scenic seaside experience: Apalachicola, Florida

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Apalachicola is a small town nestled in a system of estuaries on the Florida Panhandle. The city prides itself on its historic district, which boasts more than 900 historic homes dating back to the 1830s, as well as a plethora of art galleries, shops, restaurants, and music venues. Spend your days lounging on the white sand beaches of St. George Island, which is the barrier island that protects Apalachicola from the gulf, or take a boat out in the freshwater rivers surrounding the town to fish and To watch the birds. Sample local shrimp and oysters at Station Raw Bar in the Historic District before heading to the Olde Time Soda Fountain for ice cream served in an original 1950s interior. a a three-bedroom house with a back patio or a two-bedroom house in need of repairs for well under the $250,000 budget. Like most parts of the Gulf, Apalachicola is hurricane-prone and suffered extensive damage from Hurricane Michael in 2018.

Median home value: $250,728
Population: 2,572
Cost of living: 13.9% lower than the American average

You can see the lowest mortgage rates you could qualify for here.

If you want southern hospitality: Pascagoula, Mississippi

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Birthplace of singer Jimmy Buffett, this town, located on the Gulf Coast about twenty miles east of Biloxi – and halfway between Pensacola and New Orleans – is home to a bustling shipping industry, as well as the Chevron’s largest American oil refinery, and a Rolls Royce factory. Enjoy fishing and swimming at Pascagoula Beach Park, or cycle the Historic Pascagoula Bike Trail, which takes you to see the Round Island Lighthouse and the town’s many historic homes, including the place where Jimmy Buffett lived as a child. Sample locally caught seafood at Bozo’s Seafood Market and Fat and Happy Oyster House. For less than your budget, you’ll have plenty of options, including this big three-bedroom brick house with wooden shed, or a five bedroom house in a family neighborhood. Prepare for very hot and humid summers, as well as an active hurricane season.

If you want a literal paradise: Median home value: $119,909
Population: 21,732 22,010
Cost of living: 21.1% lower than the American average

If you want relaxing beaches and a remote feel: Vieques, Puerto Rico

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Located off the coast of Puerto Rico, Vieques is home to incredibly beautiful white sand beaches, hidden coves, wild horses and Mosquito Bay, the brightest bioluminescent bay in the world. You will really feel like you have entered paradise once you arrive, by plane or boat, from the mainland of Puerto Rico. The island offers a myriad of beaches, and you can go horseback riding or grab a cocktail on the rooftop of El Blok, a concrete-lathed architectural marvel just steps from the beach. Sample local seafood and traditional Puerto Rican dishes at restaurants such as La Gran Parada and El Resuelve. A budget of $250,000 will allow you to buy a three concrete chambers lodge with distant ocean views, or this charming one bedroom home just blocks from the beach. Be prepared to pay more for basic necessities such as groceries due to the remoteness of the island, and be aware that some beaches are still inaccessible to the public due to Vieques being used by the military as a live ammunition target for over 60 years.

Median house value: $235,000
Population: 8,249
Cost of life: 6.22% lower than the US average (for all of Puerto Rico)

If you want a piece of Texas: Port Isabel, TX

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Just north of the US-Mexico border, Port Isabel is located at the end of the causeway that leads to South Padre Island, the only tropical island in the state of Texas. The city has ample access to the white sand beaches of the Gulf, as well as the lagoons, wildlife refuges and canals that make up the region’s geography. For less than $300,000 you can buy a waterfront home on one of the city’s many deep-water canals, including this a bedroom with a large covered patio, and this a newly renovated room. In addition to golf courses, beaches, watersports, and waterfront dining, the town also offers a historic lighthouse, as well as a flea market and history museum. Sample delicious local seafood at Los Tortugo Seafood Market and Joe’s Oyster Bar, but beware the area is prone to hurricanes.

Median home value: $238,724
Population: 5,094
Cost of living: 24.5% lower than the national average

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