Living on the coast is notoriously expensive in the United States. Homeowners can expect to pay $1 million or more for a beachside home and the cost of living in these areas almost always exceeds the national average. If you're dreaming of a beach lifestyle for a reasonable price, however, a variety of coastal regions offer towns to choose from.
You can enjoy gorgeous beaches at a reasonable cost of living in Pensacola, Florida. TripAdvisor lists the long stretch of the Pensacola Beach coastline as the fifth best beach in the United States. If you're an aviation enthusiast, Pensacola is home to the National Naval Aviation Museum and the Pensacola Naval Air Station is located here as well. The median home price in Pensacola is $112,500 as of 2015 and the cost of living index is 95 -- five less than the national average. The population was approximately 52,703 in 2013.
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Corpus Christi, Texas
Residents of Corpus Christi can enjoy surfing, camping, biking and jetty fishing at any of the area's numerous beaches and coastal state parks. Whitecap Beach is full of deserted dunes, while North Beach offers views of the city. The average list price for a home in Corpus Christi is $261,762 as of 2015, but the cost of living index in the area is only 87. The population in Corpus Christi was estimated at 316,381 in 2013.
Ocean Shores, Washington
A Pacific Coast lifestyle doesn't have to cost you millions if you forsake California and Oregon. Washington's Ocean Shores has 23 miles of canals running through it, along with 70 miles of waterfront. Nearby Duck Lake is stocked for year-round fishing. The median home price of a home in Ocean Shores is a mere $123,600 as of 2015, although the cost of living in the area is a little high at 102. The population of this small town is 5,615.
It's hard to find an affordable beach town on the rugged shores of New England, but they do exist. If you're willing to put up with colder winters, Maine's beach towns are more reasonable than other states in the Northeast. The idyllic town of Eastport, Maine has a robust fishing community and scenic coastal state parks. The average listing price of a home is only $162,757 as of 2015, the cost of living index is 93 and the population is around 1,300.