The Most Affordable Destination to Buy a Beach House in the U.S.

·2 min read

Pandemic-led demand has caused a massive surge in vacation home values across the country, making the second home market more and more competitive. But if you've not given up on your dream of sipping wine on the porch of your beachfront residence, you may want to check out the listings in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The historic resort town was just named the nation's most affordable beach destination for homeowners by Realtor.com. The median listing price among Atlantic City homes is currently $169,900.

View from the Trump Plaza parking garage at sunset in Atlantic City, New Jersey
View from the Trump Plaza parking garage at sunset in Atlantic City, New Jersey

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While in April 2022, prices in Monopoly City were trending up 17.2 percent year-over-year, they were still significantly lower compared to other oceanfront communities on the East Coast and the state of New Jersey (in Sea Isle City, for example, the median home value reaches $1.375 million).

"With pandemic restrictions winding down and repair work from Hurricane Sandy continuing, AC has seen an influx of visitors and interest from buyers seeking home prices that are more affordable than other Jersey Shore destinations," Clare Trapasso, deputy news editor at Realtor.com, told Travel + Leisure via email, noting that housing options run the gamut from studios or condos right on the city's famous boardwalk to larger homes and estates. According to Realtor.com, there are currently 488 homes for sale in Atlantic City, ranging from $20,000 to $4.9 million.

Atlantic City, New Jersey
Atlantic City, New Jersey

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With top-notch gaming and entertainment venues, vast sandy stretches of sand, a plethora of outdoor activities, and excellent shopping and dining, Atlantic City has always been a favorite summer destination for vacationers. In fact, the city was founded in the mid-19th century as a resort town where urbanites, especially those from Philadelphia, could cool off when temperatures soared during the hot months. Nowadays, visitors have plenty of spots along the city's shoreline to soak up vitamin D and enjoy the waves. And Atlantic City's famous shop- and restaurant-lined boardwalk stretches five miles and holds the title of the longest boardwalk in the world.

Tourists walk along the boardwalk at Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Tourists walk along the boardwalk at Atlantic City, New Jersey.

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Further, Atlantic City's Steel Pier, built in 1898, is the city's first amusement park. While the boardwalk is likely the most popular attraction in AC, the city is of course known for numerous casino hotels, including the grand Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, making it a must-visit destination for gambling and nightlife.

See the other top-ranked affordable destinations for beach homes in the U.S., based on median home price, here.