7 Most Affordable Lake Towns

Lake Hamilton Hot Springs Arkansas Lakehouses

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Owning a waterfront property may seem like an unattainable dream to many Americans, but home buyers are still finding affordable areas to buy a house with a view of a lake or easy access to one.

“Lake homes have always been a popular, aspirational home,” Glenn S. Phillips, CEO of Lake Homes Realty, told realtor.com®. “The events of the past year drove additional interest. If you have to socially distance or can work from home, just move to the lake full-time.” Home sales in the 33 lake towns his brokerage services have climbed by 50% over the past year, Phillips added.

Realtor.com®’s research team identified some of the most affordable lake towns in the U.S. by analyzing median list prices from May 2020 through June 2021 in more than 2,000 towns located near a lake. Realtor.com® also factored in towns with the most water-based businesses, such as marinas, waterfront restaurants, and lake activities. For geographic diversity, the site limited the list to one lake town per state.

Topping realtor.com®’s list of most affordable lake towns are:

  • Sandusky, Ohio: median list price of $177,750
  • Wisconsin Dells, Wis.: $199,950
  • Chelan, Wash.: $284,050
  • Branson, Mo.: $319,050
  • Ely, Minn.: $237,050
  • Lake Placid, N.Y.: $179,500
  • Effingham, Ill.: $375,050