5 Great Places to Buy a Vacation Home

With remote work on the rise, more people are looking for a permanent getaway.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

These days, the prospect of buying a vacation home could hardly be more alluring. Mortgage rates are at historic lows. During a pandemic, escaping to a less-crowded area is just what the doctor ordered. Plus, to minimize the spread of COVID-19, many employees are working remotely well into the fall, giving them the freedom to virtually check in to the office from just about anywhere.

But getting the house of your dreams may be a challenge. In many popular areas, move-in ready homes are flying off the market, receiving multiple bids from buyers. Especially if employers extend work-from-home policies and students kick off the school year with remote learning, bustling activity in the vacation-home market may continue beyond the peak summer season.

Here, we’ve highlighted five vacation areas around the country to suit every taste, featuring seaside towns with craggy coastlines and sandy beaches, mountain getaways for hikers, skiers and snowboarders, and lake retreats for boating and fishing enthusiasts. You have a shot of snagging a great home at an affordable price at these locations, based on inventory and price data from Realtor.com. As of June, homes listed for sale in each county represented had a median price of no more than $400,000—and in some cases, median prices were significantly lower.

Lisa Gerstner
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Lisa has spent more than15 years with Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and heads up the magazine’s annual rankings of the best banks, best rewards credit cards, and financial-services firms with the best customer service. She reports on a variety of other topics, too, from retirement to health care to money concerns for millennials. She has shared her expertise as a guest on the Today Show, CNN, Fox, NPR, Cheddar and many other media outlets around the nation. Lisa graduated from Ball State University and received the school’s “Graduate of the Last Decade” award in 2014. A military spouse, she has moved around the U.S. and currently lives in the Philadelphia area with her husband and two sons.