Most affordable beach towns offer surprising deals on vacation homes

Real estate shoppers may be surprised at home prices in these beach communities

Owning a vacation home is a dream for many Americans, but one which may seem unattainable.

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But for the aspiring bargain hunter who doesn’t mind a fixer-upper, cold water or a great lake instead of an ocean, there are some deals to be found.

These communities may not have all the notoriety or big-name vacationers as some of the most expensive beach towns, but there are some shockingly low prices out there, meaning even those who aren’t millionaires might be able to find a private escape from the daily grind.

These beach towns are located in the “least expensive vacation home counties,” according to the National Association of Realtors.

5. Ashland, Wisconsin

This small city sits on Lake Superior. It’s home to 20 murals depicting local history, according to the chamber of commerce, and the area boasts bass fishing, award-winning breweries and boutique shopping.

The city also hosts annual summertime events like a July 4 parade and a “bay days” festival.

The median sale price in Ashland County was $78,864 in 2018, according to the National Association of Realtors.

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4. Belfast, Maine

Sitting at the mouth of the Passagassawakeag River, Belfast features a historic downtown with a working waterfront.

The small city offers hiking trails and hosts a number of festivals celebrating arts, Celtic heritage and wiener dogs.

The median sale price in Waldo County was $70,000 in 2018, according to the National Association of Realtors.

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3. Tawas City, Michigan

Known as “Michigan’s sunrise coast,” the Tawas Bay is located on Lake Huron.

The lake is home to lake trout and walleye, and there’s plenty of spots for kayaking and other outdoor recreation. The area also features Tawas Point Lighthouse, which locals say is the only working Victorian-era lighthouse still operating.

The median sale price in Iosco County was $66,379 in 2018, according to the National Association of Realtors.

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2. Au Gres, Michigan

Also located on Lake Huron is Au Gres, a city of fewer than 1,000 people as of the last census but offering a marina, three golf courses, camping, fishing and more.

The downtown also includes a mix of shops, restaurants and pubs.

The median sale price in Arenac County was $57,500 in 2018, according to the National Association of Realtors.

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1. Jonesport, Maine

This fishing village is located in the easternmost county in the U.S.

The community sits on Maine’s sculpture trail and hosts annual lobster boat races on July 4. The area is known for its blueberries, as well as its lobster, and there are several state parks, nature preserves and wildlife refuges nearby.

The median sale price in Washington County was $45,000 in 2018, according to the National Association of Realtors.

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