Affordable Lake Living: Here are the Most Cost-Effective Towns In US



Either for a dream come true or vacation, having a home by a waterbody is a heavenly privilege. Lakeshore houses are rather a more cost-friendly alternative for beach homes minus the seamless blue ends. In the US, there are unnumbered waterbodies and large lakes that are home to diverse communities and offer unique experiences which are worth the investment of a lifetime. If you’re too picky about the financial return, you can also use it as a second property for short-term rentals as a good passive income source because these locations are filled with tourist attention. Here are 5 of the most recommended locations for quality lake-living in a budget.

Brainerd Lakes, Minnesota
The median price for properties sold at Brainerd throughout January was like $220k, $270k, $240k, and so on. In short, it has been below $300k so far. So while there’s time, this is still an affordable place to buy a lake house because properties with exceptional sceneries don’t come at such low prices. Although the summer is somewhat crowded with tourists, winter is a beautiful time of the year for the lakeside communities. Other than having fun in the lake water and spending a peaceful time, there are nearby options for hiking, cycling, etc. too. There are also some small freshwater beaches for exploring around popular bodies like North Long Lake, Mille Lacs Lake, Rice lake, etc. If you’re looking for investment opportunities, you can expect an annual income of $25k-$40k from listing your house as an Airbnb.

Pocono lake, Pennsylvania
The last median selling price stands at $319k at Pocono lake. Apparently, the neighborhood here has quite the demand because houses take an average of 70 days to get sold with over 140 active listings. Here, buying a property would be an easier thing to do and the cost of living also fits well within $1200 if single but at least $3k- $4k if it’s a family of three, planning for settlement. For using it as a rental property, Pocono lake brings in loads of tourists and families for holidays. So the rental business, either leased or short, can give back up a return up to a million dollars a year. Plus, it’s a good place to have fun all year long. Summer lets you go on boat adventures while winter is perfect on skiing tracks and snowboarding. 

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin 
The homes at lake geneva created a median of $349k in selling price this January and the market is filled with great single-family properties. The market here is not even moderately competitive which leaves great scope for negotiation on the home you want. The population at lake geneva is just over 8000, making it reasonably less crowded for the location. So, the living cost here is slightly higher than in other places at about $1450 per person excluding rent. For additional-business properties, there’s an opportunity to earn around $60- $70k from short-term rentals. But living at Lake Geneva is a different feeling because the social cultures are exciting. There are many social spots like open cafes, restaurants, bars, parks, etc amid the suburban landscape and lake corners. It’s good for families with kids because the quality of education is very good too. 

GoldsBoro, Pennsylvania
Goldsboro is more of a family-friendly location that people choose for long-term residence. It’s peacefully surrounded by numerous lake bodies and most houses are built around them. The median home selling price is $231k so far and the living cost is $1615 for a single adult. The place might not have many lifestyle additions, but it has great infrastructure and is good for schooling, small businesses, and retirement. Income from short-term rentals isn’t a lot here because not a lot of people pass by or tend to come here as tourists unless they have a vacation home here.

Big Bear Lake, California
Tilting away from the metro lane, Big Bear lake has more village-like communities scattered around it. Having a house by Big Bear lake would give a new perspective on the simpleness of life as people indulge more in social gatherings and physical activities in the natural landscape rather than in bars or food places which makes it excellent for raising children with a healthy childhood. There are some deep valleys and forest zones that are strikingly beautiful to look at or even small camping days. The open valleys by the lakes are perfect spots for stargazing at night with an unrealistic feeling. House prices are a bit higher compared to other places but it’s worth it for a long-term settlement plan. The living cost is almost $1300 which is quite affordable for regular citizens. On another note, this isn’t particularly a great place for rental businesses with very low passive income a year. 

Living on the lake can be a dream come true. With careful planning and research, it’s possible to find the town that fits your budget. From California to Florida, these cost-effective towns are perfect for anyone looking to experience the tranquility of lake living without breaking the bank. From peaceful mountain retreats to sun-soaked beach towns, there’s an affordable place for everyone. So take a chance and make that dream of living on the lake a reality!

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