Houses on lakefront

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10 Most Affordable Lake Towns

Water views for less than $300,000? A realtor.com® study identifies where buyers can snag waterfront property at an affordable price.

August 15, 2022

Lakefront homes may offer home buyers a chance to buy a waterfront property at a more affordable price than a vacation home on the ocean. Some of the least expensive lake towns may not be as well-known, but they offer house hunters a chance to live on the water and still enjoy the activities and views that go along with that.

“There has been a steady uptick in the number of people seeking out homes in lake towns over the past few years,” Glenn S. Phillips, CEO of Lake Homes Realty, based in Hoover, Ala., told realtor.com®. “Many of those [buyers] seek out the more rural lake towns where homes may be relatively more affordable than at larger lakes or at lakes near cities.”

Realtor.com® researchers analyzed more than 11,000 lake towns to rank the most affordable waterfront areas for 2022. They factored in affordability by analyzing median home list prices over the past year but also factored in other metrics like the number of restaurants and entertainment venues. Researchers limited their rankings to just one city per state to ensure geographic diversity.

  1. Sulphur, Okla.: $224,000 (median home list price)
  2. Spirit Lake, Iowa: $301,000
  3. Watertown, S.D.: $315,000
  4. Winsted, Conn.: $260,000
  5. Ketchikan, Alaska: $420,000
  6. Lake Placid, N.Y.: $279,000
  7. Sandusky, Ohio: $158,000
  8. Ashland, Wis.: $146,000
  9. Cheboygan, Mich.: $248,000
  10. Lake Ariel, Pa.: $307,000
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