Top 10 Foreclosure Beach Towns

The general rule of thumb is: the closer you are to the water, the more expensive the real estate. Yet vacationers and retirees flock every year to their favorite beach location for a reprieve from sweltering summer heat.

If you’ve ever dreamed of owning either a rental property, a second home or a place to retire someday near or on the beach, the economics have never been better for jumping into the market. Interest rates continue to hit new historic lows, and distressed properties — whether short sales or bank-owned homes (REOs) — are selling at well discounted prices, as RealtyTrac discovered during its first quarter 2012 survey of foreclosure sales nationwide.

Based on those survey results, here is RealtyTrac’s list of the 10 best beach communities to buy for homebuyers and investors with some examples of the homes that are out there on the market right now:

#1 Vero Beach, FL
More than 21 percent of all real estate sales in the Sebastian-Vero Beach metropolitan area for the first quarter of 2012 were distressed properties (227 in all). The average sales price for those distressed properties was $93,188, a 45 percent discount from the local market value.

Topaz Ln SW
4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms in 2,363 square feet
List Price = $197,900
Status: Bank-Owned (REO)

#2 Corpus Christi, TX
During the first quarter of 2012, Corpus Christi registered the second highest average discount (44 percent) in our list of the nation’s top beach communities.

There were 152 sales of distressed properties in Corpus Christi during the quarter, accounting for 11 percent of all real estate sales. The sales price for a distressed property during the first three months of the year averaged $78,851.

Cambridge Drive
3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths in 1,706 square feet
List Price = $52,900
Status: Bank-Owned (REO)

#3 Naples-Marco Island, FL

In all, foreclosure sales accounted for 16 percent of total real estate sales during the quarter in Naples. The average sales price for a foreclosed home was $156,148, a 40 percent discount from market value.

Stonesthrow Ct
4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths in 2,466 square feet
List Price = $385,000
Status: Bank-Owned (REO)

#4 Santa Barbara, CA
During the first quarter of the year almost 47 percent of all real estate sales in Santa Barbara were foreclosure sales, according to RealtyTrac. In all, 537 foreclosure sales took place during the quarter at an average sales price of $274,077 (a 38 percent discount from market value).

Ocean Vista Ln
6 bedrooms, 5 baths in 4,755 square feet
List Price = $1.225,000
Status: Bank-Owned (REO)

#5 Charleston, SC
In the first quarter of 2012 there were 530 foreclosure sales in Charleston, accounting for 20 percent of all local real estate sales. The average sales price of a foreclosure sale was $159,065 (a 34 percent discount from market price).

Gadsden St
 4 bedrooms, 2 baths in 2,024 square feet
 List Price = $469,900
 Status: Bank-Owned (REO)

#6 Hilton Head Island, SC
A total 159 housing units sold as distressed sales during the first quarter of 2012 on the island, nearly 20 percent of all real estate sales made during the period. The average foreclosure sale price was $202,454, a 31 percent discount from traditional market prices.

Brown Thrasher Rd
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina 29926
3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths in 2,000 square feet
List Price = $270,000
Status: Bank-Owned (REO)

#7 Atlantic City, NJ
During the first quarter of the year, roughly 13 percent of all real estate sales were distressed properties, selling at an average price of $161,819 (a 31 percent discount from market prices).

N Massachusetts Ave
3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths in 2,200 square feet
List Price = $489,900
Status: Auction

#8 Honolulu, HI
In all, 140 foreclosure sales took place in Honolulu during the first quarter of the year, representing 6 percent of all real estate sales there. Those distressed properties sold for a 30 percent discount at an average sales price of $345,799.

Sierra Drive
3 bedrooms, 3 baths in 1,516 square feet
List Price = $829,000
Status: Auction

#9 Barnstable, MA
Foreclosure sales numbered 140 for the first quarter of 2012 in Barnstable, accounting for almost 7 percent of the Cape Cod town’s total real estate sales for the first three months of the year. The average sales price of a distressed property during that time period was $237,405 (a 30 percent discount from market prices).

Halyard Way
3 bedrooms, 2 baths in 1,404 square feet
List Price = $215,000
Status: Pre-Foreclosure

#10 Santa Cruz, CA
Thirty-nine percent of all real estate sales in Santa Cruz were foreclosure sales during the first quarter of 2012. The average sale price for a distressed property during the period was $355,604 (a 28 percent discount from market price for a traditional sale).

Esmeralda Ct
4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths in 3,450 square feet
List Price = $659,500
Status: Bank-Owned (REO)

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