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Old 05-10-2010, 06:19 PM
 
Location: Sarasota, FL
151 posts, read 335,014 times
Reputation: 43
Default Best Affordable Beach Towns in the US (or close to a beach-town)

We want to relocate to someplace with nice beachs and warm weather. At first we were a bit turned off by Cali because of the high cost of homes, didn't like S.Carolina much when we visited, love Florida and planned on moving there (West Cost Florida) but in spite of the oil slick making it's way down there and destroying the eco-system we are working on a back up plan with some secondary locations. I will post what we are looking for and if you have a great place please do tell and if you can include why it's a great place ( and yes we are even considering Cali now i the price is decent):

1. At least 30 minutes to a sandy, warm, swimmable beach with not much surf.
2. Not a ton of horrible traffic and less than 40 minute drive to the major working area (job areas). We don't want to drive an hour each way to and from work so if there are no potential jobs that close, thanks but no thanks. We are spoiled in that we drive 10 mins to work right now. BTW--jobs are sort of a necessity but we can survive without for quite awhile since we will have a decent savings so please don't steer us away unless the job market is causing the town to literaly shut down--have had some Debbie Downer's in a few forums.
3. Relatively close to a decent sized town...I.E. population 100,000+. We don't want the largest city to be 3-4 hours away, I like to shop and we like to travel.
4. Decent schools.
5. Decent cost of living...houses in the $200,000 and below range for decent 3 bedroom home with somewhat of a yard.
6. Anything else that makes your town appealing....

Thanks a lot to everyone who posts great comments, please don't post any "stay away" comments, we have had enough of those for now.
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:55 PM
 
1,608 posts, read 2,043,897 times
Reputation: 561
If you're interested in the East Coast, check out South Jersey beaches (it's much calmer and cheaper than North Jersey and there's very few NY'ers, only people from P.A. who don't know how to drive). They will probably be some of the cheapest housing you can find in the North East that's that close to the ocean. South Jersey beaches are impeccably clean, have soft sand, and are for the most part guarded during the season (the only exception I can think of is Strathmere). However, you do have to pay to get onto all of the beaches except Atlantic City (probably the worst beach in South Jersey), Wildwood (you almost need a camel to get to the water), and Strathmere (no guards). The local job center is Atlantic City, which is in kinda in a decline right now, and is kinda sketchy. However, things will possibly be looking up soon and it's not as bad as most people make it sound. Worst case scenario, you can take the expressway to get to Philly or take the train from Atlantic City or Egg Harbor City. The expressway and the train also make for a great way to go on day trips to Philadelphia.


Look at Wildwood Crest, NJ; Ventnor, NJ; Margate, NJ; and Brigantine, NJ for towns directly on the ocean. During the summer these towns are can get flooded with tourists, but off season the traffic is pretty good and it can be quite peaceful (or a ghost town depending on your view of things like this). Margate and Ventnor are on the same island as Atlantic City, but are safer than Atlantic City. Brigantine is a little bit isolated in that there's only one way in, which gets quite clogged in the summer. However, the advantage is that this also cuts down on some of the obnoxious tourists that come. Wildwood Crest is a very nice option, in that it's MUCH calmer than Wildwood, and is pretty well populated year round. But, it's realatively far from A.C., or anywhere else for that matter because it's located pretty far south on the peninsula that forms Cape May County. The only problem with living on the island, is that land is at a premium, and it's hard to find a house with a decent sized yard.


For towns off the island (the Jersey shore is a series of barrier islands) Somers Point, NJ; Pomona, NJ; Linwood, NJ; Nortfield NJ; Egg Harbor City, NJ. Somers Point and Pomona are "suburbs" of Ocean City, a very clean resort town that I'd highly recommend, but is probably going to be over your budget. All of these towns are also very close to Atlantic City. There are also several other job centers located in Southern, NJ that can be accessed from Rt. 322 (the Black Horse Pike), the White Horse Pike and the Parkway. My father used to commute from Vineland to Pomona every day, a 40 minuet drive.

feel free to message me.
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Old 05-10-2010, 10:21 PM
 
Location: Sarasota, FL
151 posts, read 335,014 times
Reputation: 43
So much info, thanks a lot. I haven't considered that far north because I live in Washington and as nice as it is, it gets cold. After 33 years of cold I am ready for some heat...but I will do some research on the area.
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Old 05-10-2010, 10:33 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
14,648 posts, read 16,103,249 times
Reputation: 18557
Quote:
Originally Posted by angelagardner View Post
We want to relocate to someplace with nice beachs and warm weather. At first we were a bit turned off by Cali because of the high cost of homes, didn't like S.Carolina much when we visited, love Florida and planned on moving there (West Cost Florida) but in spite of the oil slick making it's way down there and destroying the eco-system we are working on a back up plan with some secondary locations. I will post what we are looking for and if you have a great place please do tell and if you can include why it's a great place ( and yes we are even considering Cali now i the price is decent):

1. At least 30 minutes to a sandy, warm, swimmable beach with not much surf.
2. Not a ton of horrible traffic and less than 40 minute drive to the major working area (job areas). We don't want to drive an hour each way to and from work so if there are no potential jobs that close, thanks but no thanks. We are spoiled in that we drive 10 mins to work right now. BTW--jobs are sort of a necessity but we can survive without for quite awhile since we will have a decent savings so please don't steer us away unless the job market is causing the town to literaly shut down--have had some Debbie Downer's in a few forums.
3. Relatively close to a decent sized town...I.E. population 100,000+. We don't want the largest city to be 3-4 hours away, I like to shop and we like to travel.
4. Decent schools.
5. Decent cost of living...houses in the $200,000 and below range for decent 3 bedroom home with somewhat of a yard.
6. Anything else that makes your town appealing....

Thanks a lot to everyone who posts great comments, please don't post any "stay away" comments, we have had enough of those for now.
Well, it has been a long time since I was there, but as I recall Southern Alabama was a fantastic area and very close to the Florida panhandle beaches. The area was rural enough to be peaceful in an agricultural sort of way, yet close enough to the more populated areas when you were in need of a civilization fix. Like, I said, it's been a long, long time (like 1978) since I was there, but if it's anything like it was, I'd choose that area in a heart beat.

20yrsinBranson
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Old 05-11-2010, 05:03 PM
 
Location: Sarasota, FL
151 posts, read 335,014 times
Reputation: 43
Our ideal location right now is SouthWestern Florida but working on a backup plan in case the oil ends up down there....so not sure Alabama is going to work since it's in danger of ecosystem breakdown but thank you for the information, might consider it when we drive wherever we end up.
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Old 05-11-2010, 06:22 PM
 
1,608 posts, read 2,043,897 times
Reputation: 561
Ya, if you're sick of cold, then South Jersey might not be for you. I will give the Shore this though, you see less snow than the rest of the state and the ocean helps warm the area in the winter and cool it in the summer.

also, those guido's from the MTV show "The Jersey Shore" are NOT found on or near any of the beaches I mentioned except occasionally in Wildwood and Atlantic City. They are a rarity here in NJ and are actually from Staten Island and in no way represent the Italian population of NJ.
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:14 PM
 
Location: Austin,Tx
1,631 posts, read 1,702,501 times
Reputation: 594
You could check out Corpus Christi or Galveston

Corpus Christi, TX Travel and Vacation Information | Hotels, Beaches, Attractions | VisitCorpusChristiTX.org

Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce


Galveston,Tx
http://www.galveston.com/cvb/

http://www.galvestonchamber.com/

Last edited by bgrn198; 05-11-2010 at 08:27 PM..
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:18 PM
 
Location: Alabama!
4,966 posts, read 10,168,105 times
Reputation: 2639
Gulf Shores, Alabama area would fit your bill very well except for the oil spill, and it hasn't yet arrived. Don't you need, like, a job(s)? That might be a problem.
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Old 05-11-2010, 09:00 PM
 
Location: Central FL
51 posts, read 138,424 times
Reputation: 31
If SW Florida doesn't work, you should consider east coast of Florida. You could look at beaches near Jacksonville which will fit your bill for being close to a larger city. You could also consider east central beach towns like Titusville / Melbourne which would be close to Orlando. That way you would have options to live on the coast and just need to drive in to Orlando if you can't find a job on the coast.
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Old 05-11-2010, 10:34 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
14,648 posts, read 16,103,249 times
Reputation: 18557
Quote:
Originally Posted by colossus View Post
If SW Florida doesn't work, you should consider east coast of Florida. You could look at beaches near Jacksonville which will fit your bill for being close to a larger city. You could also consider east central beach towns like Titusville / Melbourne which would be close to Orlando. That way you would have options to live on the coast and just need to drive in to Orlando if you can't find a job on the coast.
The only complaint I have about East Florida is that it's so hard to catch a glimpse of the ocean between the breaks in condo complexes. We had to walk to public access on the beach at Ft. Lauderdale and I thought we would die of heat stroke before we got there. Not to mention the fact that finding a place to pee is nearly impossible. Of course, it is the beach and fish pee in the water all the time LOL

20yrsinBranson
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