If living by the beach is a dream, the U.S. has beach towns that make this dream a reality, especially when it comes to buying homes that are suitable to everyday life and easy on the pocket, according to the latest WalletHub rankings for 2018's Best Beach Towns to Live in.
To determine the beach communities that were ideal for a permanent home, WalletHub compared 205 cities across 58 key indicators of livability and then split the comparison into two categories—those that were located by the ocean and the ones located by lakes. The rankings were then based on data sets ranging from housing costs to share of for-sale waterfront homes to the quality of beach water.
The best town by the ocean to live in was Lahaina in Hawaii, WalletHub found. With an overall score of 64.90 on a scale of 100, the town got top ranking for safety and town economy and was ranked fourth in terms of affordability. Naples, Florida, came in a close second on this list with a total score of 63.61 and topping the quality of life indicator. Another Florida town, Sarasota, came in third with an overall score of 61.09 and a top five rank again for the quality of life in the town. Mill Valley, California and St. Augustine, Florida rounded off the top 5 on this list.
WalletHub revealed that Traverse City, Michigan was the best beach town by a lake, with a total score of 67.92 and top ranking for quality of life. Eden Praire, Minnesota which came second on this list got a top rank for affordability and was among the top five in terms of town economy, and education and health. With a score of 61.12, Folsom, California came third on this list followed by Highland Park, Illinois, and Mequon, Wisconsin.
In terms of home affordability, two Texas towns, La Porte and Port Lavaca, ranked among beach towns by the ocean with the lowest housing costs. Four California towns, Coronado, St. Luis Obispo, Malibu, and Santa Barbara were at the bottom of the list's rankings on housing costs. For homebuyers looking at low annual property tax, WalletHub found five Hawaii towns that topped the list—Wailuku, Lahaina, Kihei, Waianae, and Kailua. At the bottom of this list were three New York towns—Babylon, Patchogue, and Shirley.
Does your town feature on this list? For the complete rankings, click here.