Great Coastal Towns for Retirees

1 of 11 © Ariel Skelley/Getty Images
1 of 11 © Ariel Skelley/Getty Images

Retiring near the coast is many people’s dream. Visions of beautiful sunrises or sunsets over the water, boating, swimming, fishing, walks on the beach — it sounds great. But one practical thing that often gets in the way is the price of real estate. Those great views and proximity to the water usually come with a price tag that reflects marketplace demand. Fortunately, not every town on the water is out of reach. There are surprisingly nice places to retire priced below the national median cost of a home. John Brady, president of reviewed 10 coastal towns that are reasonably affordable. For the record, reports the median at $169,200, while the National Association of Realtors says it was $196,900 at the end of 2013. Here are 10 coastal towns where you can afford to retire:

Retiring near the coast is many people’s dream. Here are 10 coastal towns where real estate is affordable.


New Bern, N.C. is a historic town located where two rivers join at the Pamlico Sound on the Southeastern coast of North Carolina. This city of nearly 29,000 has a 56 square block tree-lined historic district. According to, the median selling price of a home here was $160,000 in late 2013.


Apalachicola is a small town of a few thousand people on the Gulf Coast of Florida, about an hour south of Tallahassee. This old and wealthy fishing town has a long history due to its location on the rich fishing and oystering areas of the Gulf Coast. The interesting downtown with many restored buildings reminiscent of the Old South. Median homes sold between $100,000 — $150,000 in 2013.


Astoria, located on the northwest tip of Oregon, is at the mouth of the Columbia River and just a few miles away from the Pacific. It is the oldest permanent American settlement west of the Rockies — Lewis and Clark stayed here for the winter of 1806. With pretty, scenic backgrounds and a redone 1920s downtown, this relatively un-commercialized community is laid back. It attracts tourists and retirees because of its location and stock of Victorian homes that date back to the town’s heyday as a wealthy salmon fishing/processing location. West coast real estate tends to be expensive, so the early 2014 Zillow Home Value Index of $185,000 makes this relatively affordable.


Biloxi, Miss. is on the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi Sound. This old town has miles and miles (26) of white sandy beaches and at least seven major casinos, including the Hard Rock, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, and Beau Rivage. Biloxi has a small town feel with low-key neighborhoods spreading out away from the water. Median home value is about $170,000.

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Source: MarketWatch