Where is the cheapest lakefront property in America?

Monday, 18/12/2023 | 01:55 UTC-5

Cheap lakeside real estate in the U.S. can offer an appealing lifestyle for those looking to live near water without breaking the bank.

Where is the cheapest lakefront property in America

Lakeside properties often provide scenic views, recreational opportunities, and a sense of tranquility.. Factors related to affordable lakeside real estate in the U.S.:

  1. Location: The cost of lakeside properties is influenced by the location. In some areas, such as the Midwest or parts of the South, lakeside real estate may be more affordable compared to popular tourist destinations or coastal areas.

  2. Property Size: The size of the lake and the amount of waterfront footage can impact the cost. Lakes with a larger shoreline or less demand may offer more affordable options.

  3. Seasonal Fluctuations: Prices may vary based on the season. Lakeside real estate tends to be more in demand during the summer, potentially affecting prices. Consider exploring listings during the offseason for potential deals.

  4. Local Economy: The economic conditions of the surrounding area can influence property prices. Lakeside communities with a lower cost of living may have more affordable real estate options.

  5. Property Condition: The state of the property, including whether it needs renovations or updates, can affect its price. Consider properties that may need a bit of work if you're looking for more budget-friendly options.

  6. Access to Amenities: Properties with direct access to the lake or desirable amenities may be priced higher. If you're willing to compromise on certain features, you may find more affordable options.

  7. Research and Negotiation: Thorough research and negotiation skills can play a crucial role in finding affordable lakeside real estate. Work with local real estate agents familiar with the area for insights and potential deals.

Where is the cheapest lakefront property in America?

1. Danville, IL

Lake Vermilion, IL(Photo courtesy of Jeff McIntire via Google Maps)
Median list price: $154,900
Median list price per square foot: $76
Population: 29,534

Danville, a relatively small town in east central Illinois along the Indiana border, is home to Lake Vermilion. The human-made reservoir provides drinking water for the city, but it has also become a popular fishing and boating location. Cabins and docks line its forested edge.

The median home listing within a half-mile of Lake Vermilion over the past year had a price tag 65% below the national median list price of $445,000 in June. A three-bedroom home within walking distance of Lake Vermilion, with hardwood floors, a garage, and a big yard, goes for $120,000. And for just over $100,000, home shoppers can find a two-bedroom condo about as close to the lake.

2. Rogers City, MI

Lake Huron, MI(Getty Images)
Median list price: $140,000
Median list price per square foot: $79
Population: 2,838

Rogers City is the smallest of any of the spots on our list of affordable lake towns, just shy of 3,000 residents.

Situated on the banks of Lake Huron, about 45 minutes from Cheboygan, Rogers City residents have quick access to multiple parks along the lakeshore. They include Harbor View Park on the southern corner, Seagull Point Park on the northern tip of the town, and several in between, including the Rogers City Yacht Harbor and Lakeside Park.

It’s also home to the Great Lakes Lore Maritime Museum and the Presque Isle County Historical.

A large three-bedroom home with a garage and a brick fire pit in the backyard can be found for $165,000, a short walk from Rogers City’s North Shore Park and beach.

3. Dunkirk, NY

The Dunkirk Lighthouse on Lake Erie in Dunkirk, NY(tourchautauqua.com)
Median list price: $122,750
Median list price per square foot: $83
Population: 12,651

The western tip of northern New York state, in the Chautauqua-Allegheny region, is known for its lakeside getaway culture. And although some of the area’s real estate is quite pricey, the lowest home prices within a half-mile of a lake can be found in Dunkirk at the edge of Lake Erie.

Dunkirk has multiple beach parks, and it hosts several summertime events, including an annual strawberry festival, arts and music festivals, and a “Fly-In Breakfast,” which welcomes pilots from all over to the small lakeside town.

Buyers will find the most listings just before and after prime lake season. Sellers know they can find buyers looking forward to the summer in April and May. Meanwhile, other sellers will list in September and October after they used their homes for the summer.

4. Fairmont, MN

Fairmont, MN sits on a string of five small lakes.(fairmontlakesfoundation.com)
Median list price: $129,900
Median list price per square foot: $86
Population: 10,465

Minnesota is called the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” for a reason: The state has 11,842 of them.

So don’t drop your oar in the water when you hear that Fairmont, a small town in southern Minnesota near the Iowa border, sits on a string of five small lakes. These include George Lake, in the northern part of Fairmont, and Budd Lake, near the center of town.

All five offer boating and fishing—and there is very affordable real estate near two of these bodies of water.

The median home that was listed over the past year near both Lake George and Budd Lake is less than half the national list price. The real estate near Budd Lake is a little pricier, due to its proximity to the center of Fairmont, and a couple of developed parks along its edge.

For those who want to live and work near the water year-round in the “City of Lakes,” Fairmont’s local economy is driven by the local Mayo Health System hospital, two small colleges, and a couple of modern industrial companies.

5. Cherokee Village, AR

Cherokee Village, AR(discovercherokeevillage.com)
Median list price: $126,900
Median list price per square foot: $91
Population: 4,977

Cherokee Village, a small town in central northern Arkansas about 20 miles south of the Missouri border, boasts seven lakes in total.

Lake Cherokee, the smaller of the two lakes where we found low-priced homes, has a park and private docks. Meanwhile, Lake Thunderbird, the town’s largest lake, has a public marina and the town’s public recreation center, which has two swimming pools and a minigolf course.

For just under $250,000, a homebuyer can get a 1,200 square-foot, two-bedroom house with a backyard dock on Lake Thunderbird. For those looking for homes costing less, just across the street from Lake Cherokee, a two-bedroom townhome can be found for as little as $100,000.

6. Sheffield, AL

Lake Pickwick in Sheffield, AL(Photo courtesy of Brett Ferguson via Google Maps)
Median list price: $169,900
Median list price per square foot: $95
Population: 9,305

Pickwick Lake, a popular boating and fishing destination, was created by the Pickwick Landing Dam on the Tennessee River near where Alabama, Tennessee, and Mississippi meet.

The lake is known for record-size smallmouth bass and catfish. Local fishing guides say 2- or 3-pound smallmouth bass are the norm—and catches of 5 to 6 pounds are not uncommon.

History lovers will also appreciate the small town of Sheffield. It became a major wartime aluminum smelting location in the 1940s, boosting the nation’s aircraft production. It’s also the hometown of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

7. Lorain, OH

The Lorain Harbor Lighthouse on Lake Erie in Lorain, OH(Getty Images)
Median list price: $135,000
Median list price per square foot: $96
Population: 65,440

Lorain is a small city on Lake Erie, in the far western corner of the Cleveland metro area. Like the other Great Lakes locations on our list, Lorain was once an industrial production mecca, dominated by steel.

“The lake’s always been a big draw for us,” Swanzer says. “You’ve got kayaking, boating, fishing, swimming—you’ll see Jet-Skis on the water and parasailing.”

8. Two Rivers, WI

Two Rivers, WI(Photo courtesy of Sandra and Dave via Google Maps)
Median list price: $139,900
Median list price per square foot: $97
Population: 11,276

Two Rivers is uniquely situated on Lake Michigan, such that it remains cooler than nearby areas on hot summer days—earning the town its nickname “Cool City.” It became a summertime destination for folks looking for a reprieve from the heat.

Summer activities include swimming and sunbathing at Neshotah Park & Beach, and hiking and camping in Point Beach State Forest, just north of town. There’s also boating and fishing on Lake Michigan and the town’s—you guessed it—two rivers. It’s also only about 30 miles southeast of Green Bay, offering relatively quick access to a big city nearby.

But what’s especially cool about Two Rivers for us is the low price of homes near Lake Michigan. Take this recently listed two-bedroom home with an updated bathroom and floors about a block from Lake Michigan, priced at just $134,000.

9. Augusta, KS

Lake Augusta in Augusta, KS(Photo courtesy of John Sobonya)
Median list price: $185,000
Median list price per square foot: $106
Population: 9,299

About 30 miles east of Wichita is Augusta and its 190-acre human-made lake on the north end. Augusta Lake, lined with parks, grassy embankments, and walking trails, is a community center of sorts. There are Little League tournaments, concerts, disc golf, and the town’s Fourth of July celebration, in addition to the standard lake activities like fishing, boating, and kayaking.

The town is known for its historic buildings, many of which have been added to the National or State Register of Historic Places.

Of course, we’re interested in the home prices, which are inexpensive, even for a relatively affordable state like Kansas. A three-bedroom, ranch-style home six doors away from Augusta Lake can be found for just $150,000.

10. Hartsville, SC

312 Kenwood Ave, Hartsville, SC 29550
This home is currently for sale for $289k and is just a ten minute walk to Lake Prestwood.(Realtor.com)
Median list price: $285,000
Median list price per square foot: $125
Population: 7,565

Homes within a half-mile of Prestwood Lake are the most expensive of any place on our list of affordable lake towns—but they’re still about 35% less expensive than the national median list price.

The small South Carolina town, about an hour northeast of the state capital of Columbia, is a tight-knit community. Word of someone selling their home can lead quickly to an offer from another local looking to get closer to the water.

FAQs:

What state has the most affordable lakefront homes?

Real Estate Market 2023: 10 Affordable Lake Towns Across the US

  • Dunkirk, New York.
  • Fairmont, Minnesota. ...
  • Cherokee Village, Arkansas. ...
  • Sheffield, Alabama. ...
  • Lorain, Ohio. ...
  • Two Rivers, Wisconsin. ...
  • Augusta, Kansas. Median home list price: $185,000. ...
  • Hartsville, South Carolina. Median home list price: $285,000. ...

Where is the cheapest waterfront property in USA?

Top 8 list of most affordable US beach towns for homebuyers in...

  • Gulfport, Mississippi. Median price within 1 mile of a beach: $224,900. ...
  • Newport News, Virginia. ...
  • New London, Connecticut. ...
  • Grand Isle, Louisiana. ...
  • Corpus Christi, Texas. ...
  • Atlantic City, New Jersey. ...
  • Navarre, FL. ...
  • Crescent City, California

Where are the most affordable lake homes?

The data team at realtor.com ran the numbers to come up with these affordable lake towns.

  • Glen Arbor, Michigan.
  • Chelan, Washington.
  • Gouldsboro, Pennsylvania.
  • Vermilion, Ohio.
  • Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin.
  • Spirit Lake, Iowa.
  • Ely, Minnesota.
  • Hot Springs Village, Arkansas.

What state has the most waterfront property?

Top 8 States for Lake Property Listings

  • Texas–14,669.
  • Florida–8,745.
  • Tennessee–5,906.
  • North Carolina–4,653.
  • Georgia–4,166.
  • Minnesota–4,165.
  • Alabama–3,792.
  • Michigan–3,647.

 

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