Investing in a second property near the beach doesn’t have to cost a fortune. But adding together low median home prices and crime, moderate climates and good air quality can take more time than most have — so RealtyTrac did it for you, with its list of bargain beach towns in 15 coastal states.

  • Daren Blomquist of RealtyTrac says investment properties near the water can save on vacation expenses and generate rental income throughout unoccupied months.
  • Mastic Beach on Long Island has mild summer temps (67 degrees) and a median home price of less than $100,000.
  • South of San Antonio, Port Aransas was ranked the top affordable beach town in Texas with a median price of $304,570.
  • In Fort Bragg, California, the median home price is $310,000 – 144 percent higher since 2006.

Investing in a second property near the beach doesn’t have to cost a fortune. But adding together low median home prices and crime, moderate climates and good air quality can take more time than most have — so RealtyTrac did it for you, with its list of bargain beach towns in 15 coastal states.

Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at RealtyTrac, says investment properties near the water can save on vacation expenses and potentially generate rental income throughout unoccupied months.

“While real estate close to the ocean tends to be pricier, bargains are still available, particularly smaller towns off the beaten path where home prices have been slower to bounce back from the housing downturn,” Blomquist said in a statement. “We picked the highest-ranked bargain beach town from each state to provide a good sampling of the diverse beach town experiences available across the country.”

Affordable beach towns

RealtyTrac evaluated ocean-bordering cities with fewer than 50,000 residents and an average June-to-August temperature between 60 and 80 degrees. The study also reviewed air quality reports from the EPA and Homefacts data, a subsidiary of RealtyTrac, for criminal registration density.

RealtyTrac recorded scores between 0 and 500, with 500 being the highest possible grade.

Affordable beach towns near big metros

Mastic Beach on Long Island has mild summer temps (67 degrees) and almost 95 percent of good air quality days. The 2016 median price is just $99,000, making it an affordable beach town for coastal homebuyers, especially near pricey New York City.

Palm Beach was ranked in the top 15 affordable beach towns, with an average summer temperature of 77 degrees and a high number of days (96.4 percent) with good air quality.

Palm Beach contains just .02 percent criminal offenders per capita, according to the study, and a median price of $497,500 – an increase of 180 percent from 2006. Palm Beach received an index of 323, placing the Atlantic Coast city fifth among affordable beach towns.

South of San Antonio, Port Aransas was ranked the top affordable beach town in Texas, with a median home price of $304,570, which has jumped 70 percent since 2006.

Port Aransas fishing pier / Flickr user NixBC

Port Aransas fishing pier / Flickr user NixBC

Port Aransas offers a moderate average temperature of 75 degrees during the summer, and only .08 percent of criminal offenders per capita. Bordering the Gulf of Mexico, this Texas community also has good air quality 95.2 percent of the year.

In Mendocino County north of San Francisco, Fort Bragg has an average summer temperature of 67 degrees. The median home price this year is $310,000, which is 144 percent higher from home prices in 2006. Plus, a mere 0.1 percent of the population are registered criminal offenders, and the area posts good air quality 98 percent of the year.

Email Jennifer Riner

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