Imagine the scene: you're sitting back and relaxing as you enjoy the calming roar of ocean waves with golden sand between your toes.
If you're dreaming of owning a home on the beach, you might think that dream is far out of your reach. But the reality is that there are plenty of places where you can find gorgeous, affordable beachfront homes.
While dipping your toes in the water or meandering along the sand, consider choosing a piece of property that can bring you income, too. Rental properties in beach areas always have a higher rate of return.
This guide will explore five of the best places to find the beachfront house of your dreams so you can turn that image of sun, surf, and sand into a reality.
Whether you love surfing, swimming, or sunbathing, these five incredible locations can give you everything you want at an affordable price.
1. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach combines the classic charm of a Southern town with a laid-back coastal vibe. In terms of cost, you'll find some of the best values anywhere in the country if you're looking for a beachfront home.
The history of Myrtle Beach goes as far back as the 1500s when Spanish explorers first came upon its shores. Over the years, this beautiful South Carolina city has become home to athletes, artists, and business owners.
The name Myrtle Beach is derived from the thousands of wax myrtle trees that once lined the beach and gave it its distinctive look. Today, the main drag of the beach is known as the "Grand Strand" because it's a large area that borders the ocean.
The city has recently undergone some major changes to make it even more appealing to both tourists and longtime residents. With new boardwalks and plenty of activities, there's never a lack of things to do.
A Beloved Oceanfront City
Myrtle Beach currently has approximately 60 miles of undeveloped oceanfront property, which means you have an opportunity to get in from the ground up. The median home value here is just $167,000 which makes this coastal town extremely affordable.
Golf fans will love it here thanks to 100 golf courses and an impressive 1,700 restaurants. And, if you don't consider yourself a pro, Myrtle Beach is home to more mini-golf courses than anywhere in the country. The area has several golf courses designed by celebrities, making it a popular place for golfers to visit.
The white sandy beaches combine the beauty of nature with the amenities of an active coastal city. You'll find plenty of quality hotels throughout the area. The first hotel in Myrtle Beach was built in 1901 and was called the Seaside Inn.
Whether you plan to purchase your forever home or just need a vacation getaway, this beachy town is extremely affordable. Look for classic older homes or explore some of the new construction throughout the area.
2. Pensacola, Florida: Affordable Beachfront Homes
You can enjoy the beauty of Florida living without the high price tag in Pensacola. In comparison, a beachfront home located in Palm Beach can set you back upwards of $800,000.
To the contrary, homes in Pensacola are offered at a fraction of the price. There are lovely homes to be had in this area priced at around $115,000. But - prices are on the rise thanks to low inventory.
Sales of condos and homes in Pensacola remain steady, which means it's a good idea to shop as soon as you can if you find a property you like. In fact, in the last few months, sales have been higher than they have been for the last 10 years.
Part of the allure of Pensacola is its sugary white sand and crystal blue waters. This makes it a famous destination for vacationers and those who just want to get a glimpse of its beautiful shoreline.
Pensacola boasts miles of snow-white beaches that are completely unspoiled so you can enjoy the relaxing sounds and sights of the ocean without interruption. And, if you need things to do, Pensacola has plenty.
Plenty to do in Pensacola
This area features a busy downtown with tons of great restaurants, cafes, and boutiques. There are also several theaters for entertainment.
TripAdvisor recently voted Pensacola Beach as one of the top 25 beaches in the United States. You can find higher-end homes for around the $190,000 price range, which is still extremely affordable.
If you have an active lifestyle, this area is prime for cycling, kayaking, and surfing. With the longest stretch of protected seashore in the US, it's no wonder so many beach fans call Pensacola home.
With a young population and a decent median income, beachfront homes in Pensacola also make terrific rental properties. Consider renting your beach condo or home to bring in some extra cash.
3. Mobile, Alabama
Located near the Gulf of Mexico and Mobile Bay, this charming town has plenty to offer. This beautiful area of Alabama was once referred to as "Paris of the South" thanks to its grand homes and rich culture.
Mobile is located right on the shores of Mobile Bay and is the only saltwater port in the entire state. Just 40 miles from the Florida border, it brings a combination of classic Southern culture and ocean living together in style.
Mobile is home to a plethora of historical places including the Battleship Memorial Part and a really unique Mobile Carnival Museum. This museum offers a history of the area's famous Mardi Gras celebration. Mobile was the first place to celebrate Mardi Gras in the new world, even before New Orleans!
If you love entertainment, there's plenty in Mobile. Enjoy the sights and sounds of their annual BayFest music festival with live performances and plenty of delicious food.
You'll also discover plenty of museums in Mobile including a Historic Complex with over three landscaped acres and beautiful antebellum-era homes that truly showcase its Southern roots. There are also plenty of incredible art museums including the Mobile Museum of Art, the largest of its kind anywhere on the Gulf coast.
You can also visit Battleship Memorial Park, home to the USS Alabama. For the kids, be sure to check out the Gulf Coast Exploreum, a really cool science center with tons of unique exhibits.
Home Shopping in Mobile
While a modest home in Mobile will cost more than a few other areas of the state, they're still affordable. In fact, some two-bedroom, two-bathroom models can cost you as little as $149,000.
On the other hand, rents seem to be staying steady or increasing, with the average cost at about $1,000 per month as of 2017. If you can find a home at a good price, you stand to make some great money if you choose to rent it out.
For true beachfront living in the Mobile area, check out Dauphin Island at the mouth of Mobile Bay. This sandy shoreline offers you the quiet feeling of a Southern town combined with breathtaking ocean views.
With its diverse population and rich Southern history, Mobile has something for everyone. Browse their current selection of homes and you're sure to find a place that will fulfill your dreams, and don't be afraid to explore areas just outside the city.
4. Deerfield Beach, Florida
Deerfield Beach is just three miles south of Boca Raton, and about 20 miles north of Fort Lauderdale. The town was named for the large population of deer that used to graze along the Hillsboro River.
Once a farming town, tourists began to flock to Deerfield Beach thanks to the area's beautiful oceanfront. Soon, hotels and motels sprung up, and the rest is history for the visitors and residents here.
It's no surprise that another Florida town has made the list since this state has a plethora of seashore. If you're looking for a pristine place, Deerfield Beach is a perfect match.
This area is known as the "Blue Wave" and it got its name thanks to clean water, excellent beach conditions, and a focus on habitat conservation. This makes Deerfield Beach a popular choice for those who appreciate the beauty of nature.
The city also prides itself on providing residents and visitors with excellent safety services and quality public information. It's a great choice if you're planning to bring children to live here.
The Excitement of Deerfield Beach
For those who love outdoor activities, be sure to check out Quiet Waters Park. This beautiful natural area provides a plethora of things to do including camping, fishing, and skating.
You can also participate in "cable skiing," which is an extremely popular local sport. Cable skiing combines surfing, skiing, and wakeboarding for those who love to live life on the edge.
In terms of housing costs, you can find a wide variety of inventory. A three-bedroom, two-bathroom ranch can be had for around $170,000 in Deerfield Beach.
The median home cost is surprisingly low, with houses starting in the $111,000 range. If you're looking for an affordable place to call your own, Deerfield Beach is an excellent choice.
5. Gulfport, Mississippi
The city of Gulfport is the second-largest city in Mississippi behind the capital of Jackson. With such a large population, you might think that finding an affordable beachfront house would be difficult.
The fact is, Gulfport is one of the most affordable beachfront towns in the nation. Home values are quite low with a median cost of about $118,000. At this price point, you'll definitely get more bang for your buck.
It's important to note that the size of homes in this charming town is typically smaller than its other beachfront counterparts. But, if you're looking for a vacation home or trying to downsize, Gulfport might just be perfect for your needs.
Once a lumber town, Gulfport has grown significantly with almost seven miles of white, sandy beaches right along the Gulf of Mexico. Major employers include the US Navy, hospitality, and Memorial Hospital.
This area of the state is filled with fun things to enjoy like the Gulf Islands Water Park and plenty of shopping and golfing. Whether you love to splash in the water or spend some time on the putting green, Gulfport is a fabulous choice.
Plenty of Perks in Gulfport
If you plan to purchase your home as a summer home only, you can still expect decent rental prices during the off-season. When you rent the home to visitors, you can easily offset the mortgage cost and still enjoy the home during summer.
And, if you're looking to explore, this part of the country has more bottlenose dolphins than anywhere else on the planet! Book a dolphin-watching excursion or use your own boat to head out and see if you can spot some.
Gulfport isn't just a place for retirees. This burgeoning city has a few great craft breweries that hipsters love. It's also a prime spot for oyster and shrimp, so expect plenty of delicious seafood while you're here, too.
One key perk to living in Gulfport is its laid-back vibe. No matter your age, this town offers an abundance of amenities coupled with that chill beach feeling for a relaxing place to retire or vacation.
Beachfront Living on a Budget
From the sandy shores of South Carolina to Florida's white beaches, you can find affordable beachfront homes that won't break your budget. Whether you plan to make this your forever home or visit during summer, these homes will give you that coastal culture you crave.
Any property located on or near a beach is also a great source of revenue. Consider renting your property as a vacation spot to help offset your costs whenever possible.
Visit our website for more on gorgeous Myrtle Beach rentals, condos, and information about this beautiful area so you can start your beachfront home search today.