Monday, October 7, 2013

8 Best Places to Buy a Beach Home

The economy is improving, and many Americans are tweaking their portfolios to set themselves up for the next opportunity to grow their money.  Mortgage rates are at historical lows and banks have gotten their lending standards back to a reasonable point. This intersection with a recovering housing market has made vacation home real estate a tempting investment for many. Vacation homes are plentiful, but not every market will give you the biggest bang for your buck. Based on searches on national real estate site Trulia, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the most searched for vacations spots and converged that information with median prices to give you the most popular places to buy a vacation home.  We, of course, are focusing on the best beach towns to buy a vacation home.

Cherry Grove Beach, SC

Considered a neighborhood of nearby Myrtle Beach, Cherry Grove has more older homes and fewer high rise hotels, which makes the town more quaint, desirable town for those looking for that "sleepy town" feel.

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Panama City Beach, FL

The appeal of this beautiful city is, of course, it's pristine beachfront.

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But for investors, it is the Spring Break rental opportunities that is the real draw. During Spring Break the beach looks like this:

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For those who prefer lakes to ocean for their beachfront property, the next two picks should appeal. With countless outdoor recreation activities and moderate temperatures almost year round, these western vacation spots might appeal to those who appreciate the change of seasons and are not always in search of a hot beach vacation.

Lake Arrowhead, CA

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Big Bear Lake, CA

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Marco Island, FL

Is a secluded island your thing? Marco Island, a short drive from the city of Naples, is described on the city's website as a "a sun-drenched jewel on the edge of the Gulf of Mexico." Its property is in high demand, but there are still vacant lots available, if building a vacation home is what you had in mind.

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Ocean City, MD

This east coast beach is one of the few unique beaches that offers both oceanside and bayside properties, and you'll find anything from major hotel chains to bed-and-breakfasts in your search for the perfect piece of real estate.

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For instance, both of these beauties are for sale, currently ... and the price gap between them is in the millions.

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North Wildwood, NJ

Having been spared the worst of Hurricane Sandy, this oceanside city gets lots of attention because of the affordability of its real estate. Most places that are farther than a block away can be snatched up for less than $500,000.

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Ocean City, NJ

A couple of big steps north of Wildwood, NJ is Ocean City (a different Ocean City than the one above). While its vacation homes are more expensive, the town is known for offering quaint shops and dining, and for being extremely family-oriented (no alocohol sales allowed since its founding in 1879). This vacation town was the most searched for in the past year, as far as real estate goes. Perhaps the quick 30 minute drive to Atlantic City has something to do with that. The second image is of their famous boardwalk.

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