5 Best U.S. Locations to Purchase a Vacation Home on a Budget

There are dozens of things to love about travel – the food, culture, scenery, and the escape from everyday life, just to name a few. But living out of a hotel room can become tiresome, especially if you like to stay in a certain spot for more than a few days. Investing in a vacation home is the solution!

You’re probably thinking that vacation homes are only for those with plenty of cash to spare. Most vacation homes are purchased in areas where the real estate prices are heavily inflated due to the tourist population.

However, there are dozens of underrated locations around the United States where you can enjoy continuous rest and relaxation without burning a massive hole in your pocket book, and when you’re not staying there, you can always rent it out for profit!

Here are some locations to consider.

  1. Titusville, FL

Looking forward to digging your toes into white sandy beaches and swimming in the warm, clear blue water of the Atlantic ocean? Although many Florida vacation homes will be out of your budget, those in Titusville, have a median price of $90,000.

Titusville was at the top of CBS News’ 2014 list of best cheap beach towns, and it’s still a contender this year. It’s popular for boating, fishing, swimming, and surfing, since it’s located on the Canaveral National Seashore. There are also places where you can watch for manatees and sea turtles nesting.

  1. Thousand Palms, CA

If the Pacific Ocean calls your name, Thousand Palms, CA is a great option for budget home buyers with median prices of $100,000. Although it’s not located on the beach, you can reach any of LA’s beaches, Long Beach, Carlsbad, or San Diego in a little over an hour in good traffic.

What it loses in scenic ocean views, it makes up for in other ways. The Thousand Palms area is much less populated than Los Angeles or San Diego, so you can enjoy the Coachella Valley Preserve and Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve. While you’re there, you can explore wildlife, take horseback rides, hike dozens of trails, and do some shopping at nearby outlet malls.

  1. Kingsland, GA

Prices average about $134,700 for a single-family home, and with coastal views and a close proximity to Florida, Kingsland could make a very handsome vacation home. It’s located just three miles from the Florida state border, meaning you basically have a Florida vacation home without the high tourist taxes and overpopulated cities.

Although it’s a small town, Kingsland is just 30 minutes from Jacksonville and an hour and a half to Savannah, so there are plenty of nearby amenities. While you’re relaxing at your comfortable vacation home, you can go sailing, fishing, swimming, kayaking, or on a swamp boat tour. Plenty to do at a budget price!

  1. Crossville, TN

Crossville is a very small town in the very center of Tennessee, about an hour and a half east of Nashville. It’s an attractive tourist destination thanks to the comfortable temperatures all year long, its history, entertainment, golfing, and nearby Cumberland Mountain State Park. There’s always something to do and if you get bored there, Nashville is a short drive away.

Crossville is a pleasant place to live, but it’s the real estate market that makes it most attractive to home buyers. Homes there have a medium price tag of just $87,500, and their 5-year home appreciation averages at about 34 percent. This means that if you purchase a home now and sell it 10 years later in the same or better condition, you can expect a two-thirds increase on your original purchase price.

  1. Great Smoky Mountains, NC

According to TripAdvisor users, the Great Smoky Mountains are among the top 5 vacation rental locations in the United States. The breathtaking scenery is incredible, not to mention hiking, horseback riding, biking, fishing, and other opportunities for the avid outdoor explorer. The Great Smoky Mountains are gorgeous all year long, but it’s best to visit in the fall when the leaves are changing and the colors are most vivid.

Home prices are a little higher than some on this list, with the average sale price near Bryson City being $139,000 and $143,000 in Canton. Those who want a place on the lake are looking at about $161,000 and Maggie Valley homes average about $181,000.

Depending on your wishlist, you can get a great deal on any of these homes, and because of its popularity on TripAdvisor, you know you’ll be able to rent it out during the times you’re not staying there.