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Have $ 500,000?  Here are five waterfront homes for you.

Cut 565 square feet

The House This studio has a distinct beach feel, with white cedar floors and large windows that overlook the bay and are prime vantage points from which to take in picturesque sunsets. The full-size kitchen has white finishes and a long counter that doubles as a breakfast bar with seating. The sleeping area has a folding wooden partition for more privacy.

Outdoor space The apartment has a balcony overlooking the bay large enough to accommodate a table with four chairs.

Taxes about $ 40 per month, with $ 560 in owner fees

Avoid flagship destinations Waterfront locations that already have a thriving real estate market and are in high demand are inevitably more expensive than less established locations. “You’re going to be paying a markup on a property in a popular destination,” said Cicely Wedgeworth, news and information editor at If you like a particular location, but it’s out of your price range – Riviera Maya, Mexico, for example – you can probably find a cheaper home in a nearby area that offers the same beautiful beaches, but isn’t not as well known.

Opt for a two-bedroom condo Rich Barnhart, owner of By the Sea Realty in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Which sells waterfront properties, said two-bedroom waterfront apartments offer the most value. Houses with three or four bedrooms are difficult to find and more expensive because the demand is so great. Mr Barnhart added that one-bedroom condominiums tend not to hold their value and are not the best investment. However, they are an inexpensive option for second home buyers who do not need the extra space and are considering holding onto the property.

Consider the lakeside properties Typically, homes on or near lakes are more affordable than seaside homes, Ms. Wedgeworth said. Buyers also have more choices to choose from. “There are more inland areas with lakes than there are coastlines, which comes at a price,” she said. “You can get more for your money and find a bigger property for less by a lake. “

Give up on amenities While most developments or waterfront buildings have pools, expect to pay more for resort-style amenities like spas, restaurants, and beachfront food and cabana service. If those extras aren’t a priority, your cost of living – the home’s initial price and its monthly maintenance costs – will be lower.

Location matters Where you buy in a particular destination or even in a building can have a significant impact on prices. Beachfront properties, for example, are more expensive than those just steps from the water. “Oceanfront costs more to maintain and insure,” said Barnhart. “These buildings also tend to be secure 24 hours a day, which significantly increases the monthly common charges. The location of your unit in the building also changes the cost, as homes with intracoastal or canal views command far lower prices than direct beachfront properties.

Ignore turnkey properties While fully furnished and remodeled homes are popular options in waterfront markets, they are also more expensive than unfurnished properties which may require renovations. “You’re going to pay a premium for the convenience of a move-in home, but if you’re willing to do some renovations yourself or live in a property that may be run down, you can save a lot of money,” Mr Barnhart said.

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