5 Lakeside Towns Where You Can Buy a Home for $250,000 or Less

Although they have increased slightly, mortgage interest rates remain near historic lows. That said, house prices have seen a significant rise in many markets. So we went looking for cool lakeside towns where the median house was still under $250,000.

If you crave warm weather: Leesburg, Florida

Leesburg, Florida

Photo of Visit the lake

Located in the Orlando metropolitan area, Leesburg is a thriving city nestled between two lakes in Florida’s Lake County, which contains a total of 250 named lakes and 1,735 other bodies of water. Waterfront properties in Leesburg are always affordable, and homes set back from the lake can be snapped up for as little as $50,000. When you’re not on the water, fishing for largemouth bass and catfish or watching the area’s multitude of alligators, enjoy local festivals including Bikefest, Leesburg Art Fuse Festival and the Black Heritage Festival. Leesburg might not be the place for you if you love swimming in lakes – remember the alligators – but the Atlantic Ocean is only 80km away and the area certainly offers a plethora of pools.

Median house value: $236,429
Population: 23,671
Cost of life:11% below the US average

Sources: Median Zillow Home Values; cost of living from Sperling’s Best Places; Census Bureau population

If you want to be on one of the Great Lakes: Sandusky, Ohio

Sandusky, Ohio

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Named one of America’s Best Small Coastal Towns by USA Today for 2020, Sandusky, Ohio has a revitalized downtown that includes the Jackson Street Pier, which has a large stage area for concerts, and the Marketplace at Cooke, a former department store that now includes shops, restaurants and an ax throwing bar. The thriving city, which is also home to an indoor water park and the famous Cedar Point amusement park, is located on the south shore of Lake Erie, halfway between Cleveland and Toledo. Splurge for a condo or house on the lake, or spend less money on a house downtown. Sandusky is a wonderful place to hang out with the kids, kayak on the lake, or visit one of the area’s amusement parks, but due to a lack of industry in the area, about 20% of residents live below the poverty line.

Median house value: $91,108
Population: 24,564
Cost of life: 31.2% below the US average

If you like birdwatching: Guntersville, Alabama

Lake Guntersville, Alabama

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Nestled in the heart of the Mississippi Flyway, a vast path that approximately 40 percent of North America’s ducks and geese take each year, Guntersville is located on Alabama’s largest lake, Lake Guntersville. If you have a passion for bird watching – or bird hunting – this quaint little spot will give you access to over 900 miles of shoreline to track migrations. When you’re not looking up at the sky, enjoy the serene blue-green waters or take a walk through one of the area’s natural forests, which include bat caves. Fish for largemouth bass in the winter or just enjoy the serenity on your porch while watching bald eagles, waterfowl, red mergansers, lesser scaup, gadwalls or red ducks. If you hate the heat, use the house in winter; summers in Huntsville can be unbearably humid.

Median house value: $213,519
Population: 8,685
Cost of life: 14.9% below the US average

If you want to do lots of things: Branson, Missouri

Table Rock Lake, Branson, Missouri

Getty Images/iStockphoto

There’s no shortage of things to do in Branson, MO, home to West 76 Country Boulevard, a highway with restaurants, shows, and attractions, including Dolly Parton’s Stampede, a dinner theater that features horse shows and live musical productions, and Wonderworks, an upside-down house that contains over 100 interactive exhibits. Located in the Ozark Mountains, Branson has a lot of natural beauty due to its proximity to three lakes: Table Rock, Taneycomo and Bull Shoals. Spend the summer months on Moonshine Beach or hike the Table Rock Lakeshore Trail, then hang in front of your fire when the snow begins to pile up in winter. The city has a lot to offer, but crime is high.

Median house value: $213,021
Population: 11,630
Cost of life: 19.0% below US average

If you want to be in the great outdoors: Millinocket, Maine

Baxter State Park, Maine

Getty Images/iStockphoto

The gateway to northern Maine, which is a wild and largely uninhabited stretch of land dominated by dense forests, clear lakes and towering mountains, Millinocket lies about 60 miles north of Bangor. The city is a great place to settle down if you really want to get away from it all. Spend your days hunting, fishing, hiking and boating on nearby Quakish Lake or Dolby Pond. If you’re adventurous, take regular hikes in Baxter State Park or try rock climbing Mount Katahdin, the state’s tallest mountain, located just 25 miles northwest of town. For intellectual stimulation, visit Bangor for its art galleries, shops and restaurants. But get ready for winter. Average snowfall for the northern interior of Maine is 90 to 110 inches per year, which means that unless you have snowshoes or cross-country skis, you probably won’t spend much time in the outside.

Median house value: $95,660
Population: 4,287
Cost of life: 25.5% below the US average

Also see: 6 Beautiful Lakeside Towns Where You Can Buy a Home for $300,000 or Less

About Frances White

Check Also

At NADA, a glorious collision of paintings and ceramics

Two things are everywhere at NADA New York in Lower Manhattan: painting and ceramics. This …