South Florida's picture-perfect oceanfront landscapes and sun-kissed beaches have always been a draw for vacationers and second home buyers. But for the past two years, the real estate market in the Sunshine State has been sizzling hot with demand for prime beachfront real estate at an all-time high, driving home prices in popular destinations into the stratosphere. But that doesn't mean owning a vacation home in Florida is completely out of reach. In fact, one of the most affordable beachfront towns for homeowners, according to Realtor.com, is located between two of the most exclusive communities in the state — Palm Beach and Miami — but homes there come with a much lower price tag, the second lowest in the country after Atlantic City, New Jersey.
We are talking about the small town of Deerfield Beach, where the median listing home price in April was $228,500, according to Realtor.com.
"Deerfield Beach is a bit of a hidden gem and offers the benefits of seaside living at a much lower price. There's lots of variety when it comes to homes, with more expensive homes right on the water and less expensive options further inland," Clare Trapasso, Realtor.com's deputy news editor, said via email.
With 515 homes for sale across 14 neighborhoods right now ranging from $33,000 to $5.7 million, Deerfield Beach has a residence to match many buyers' preferences — and budgets.
But what makes this sunny town, home to about 83,000 residents, a great vacation home destination is the variety of activities, natural sights, and resort-style amenities that it offers visitors of all ages.
While the South Florida shoreline has no shortage of fantastic beaches, Deerfield Beach stands out with its "Blue Wave" beach, designated by the Clean Beach Council. And while the crystal clean waters of the Atlantic Ocean — and the endless recreational opportunities they provide — are certainly a draw, the town's main attraction is the International Fishing Pier, a 976-foot pier, where fishing enthusiasts and onlookers flock daily.
The town is also home to Quiet Waters Park, where amenities include campgrounds, a marina, and the longest cable water-skiing course in the country. Travelers also love walking along Deerfield Beach's boardwalk, beautifully framed by swaying palms, and grabbing a bite in one of the many eateries that offer the freshest, locally caught seafood (often with a side of gorgeous ocean vistas).