Before you think you have to move abroad to afford a home on an island, check out these six U.S. islands where homes are for sale for less than $150,000.
Living on an island sounds like a dream, but most of us can’t make that dream come true because of the cost. But the U.S. has a lot of smaller, less well-known islands where it’s easier than you might think to buy a vacation home.
There are so many islands in the U.S. that it can be hard to choose just a few. Some islands are big and have people living on them, while others are mostly marshes and places for animals to live. American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands are all surrounded by water, just like the states on the coast.
Before you get your passport and leave the country to look for seaside real estate, give these six U.S. places a second look. You can find homes there that will fit even the tightest budget.
Texas ‘Mustang Island’
People love the beaches and soft sand on this 18-mile-long island off Corpus Christi. People fall in love with this barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico for many reasons, including its food and friendly people.
The state park is a great place to camp, and during the summer, a lot of people from the area come to visit. RV slips and empty land ready to be built on are the most common types of real estate under $150,000. There are also a few condos for sale in this sweet spot. This two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment on the state highway looks like a great deal right now.
Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States in the Caribbean. The smaller islands like Culebra and Vieques are also beautiful and are found away from the main island. Some people come for a vacation and fall in love with the culture, which is a mix of the native Taino people, Europeans, and Africans. There are a lot of direct flights to and from cities on the east coast and Midwest, so many people from the lower 48 states have moved there.
Right now, there are more than 300 homes for sale by registered agents for less than $150,000, and more than 30 by owner or auction. Many are in the middle of nowhere or in bad shape, making them perfect for DIY buyers with a good imagination. But people who want a ready-made beach vacation also have a lot of options. This two-bedroom, one-bathroom Homepath home in Guayama, near the Jobos Bay Natural Research Reserve, cost $100,000 and looks like it has been completely fixed up.
Condos near the University of Puerto Rico are good places to stay if you want to be close to the action in San Juan, the capital. A fourplex in Canovanas can be a good investment for long-term thinkers. But keep in mind that even if a favorite comes in well under budget, they might not let you rent it out for a short time.
Florida Keys, Florida
People know that the Keys are fun for the whole family, especially spring breakers and people who like to party. These tropical escapes on 137 square miles are hard to forget. Key Largo and Islamorada are not good places to buy on a budget, but Key West, the southernmost point of Florida, has a few small condos in the Santa Clara neighborhood that do. This “Floating Paradise in the Florida Keys” is also a boathouse docked in Marathon that is just waiting for its next adventurous owner.
Surprised to see Hawaii on a list of places with cheap homes? Well, that just shows that there’s always a deal to be had, no matter how hot the market is.
With more than 1.4 million people living on 137 islands, the Hawaiian archipelago has plenty to offer nature lovers and beach babies. Even though there was a campaign last year to stop people from going there because of the pandemic, the state has been a leader in sustainable development and eco-tourism. Property Shark shows about 130 homes that can be bought for less than $150,000. A 300-square-foot Sotheby’s property on a 3-acre lot near the Kilauea Caverns of Fire and a 12′ x 16′ cabin in the Ohi’a forest are two examples of hidden gems.
Maryland’s Smith Island
Maryland has more than 280 islands with names. The Chesapeake Bay boat culture is centered on the Eastern Shore. Even though there is some cheap real estate in the state, it isn’t usually along the bay and seashores. With the help of the Maryland Office of Tourism, we found some non-traditional ways to get the best value for this price range.
People who love fishing, hunting, crabs, and crayfish will love these islands because they have more marshland than white sand. One home in Fishing Creek is just under $200,000, but there are more homes in that price range farther south. A $109,900 home on Deal Island is advertised as being just a quarter mile from public hunting and fishing areas, and there are multiple lots available for people who want to build from scratch or just bring their RV. The Maryland State Dessert is made on Smith Island, which is in the Tangier Sound. Even though this island is surrounded by marshland, many of the homes there would sell for less than the asking price.
St. Croix is in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The three largest islands, St. John, St. Croix, and St. Thomas, are what most people know about the U.S. Virgin Islands. But this group of islands also has more than 50 smaller cays and islands. This area may be known for high-end real estate and seaplanes, but a savvy buyer on a budget can always find a few homes that could be perfect for a vacation.
St. Croix is usually the cheapest of the three places, but you can get a timeshare on St. John for less than $150,000, depending on how long you want to stay and where. For a real vacation home, however, there is a “cathedral ceiling” condo in Queen’s Ridge for sale right now for $149,000. Also, a corner unit on the top floor of a gated community outside of Christiansted is advertised as having a good history of renting. This might convince the right buyer to pay the asking price of $165,000 for the house.