Think you can’t get a decent home for five figures? Think again. A small mortgage doesn’t mean you can’t live large. From starter homes in the Midwest to retirement communities in the South, we’ve compiled homes that boast big amenities at low prices.
3-bedroom home in a Florida lakeside community: 373 Zebra Drive, North Fort Myers, FL 33917
A peaceful manmade lake sets the tone for laid-back living at Island Vista Estates, a gated manufactured-home community in North Fort Myers, FL. The all-age development also has horseshoe pits, a heated outdoor pool, a game room and tennis courts, making for a sweet sense of community. The beaches of Fort Myers, FL, are about an hour’s drive away — 10 more minutes in the car will get you to the famous sand and surf of Sanibel Island. Stay closer to home to kayak or fish along the nearby Caloosahatchee River (keep your eyes peeled for manatees!) or have the neighbors over to this 1,344-square-foot home and cook up the day’s catch in the gourmet kitchen.
A 3-bedroom bargain home in Alabama: 784 Mill Pond Drive, Phenix City, AL 36870
In 2007, Phenix City nabbed the number one spot on Businessweek‘s list of affordable U.S. cities to raise a family in — and this 1,376-square-foot home follows suit. Not only does it offer three bedrooms, two full bathrooms, an eat-in kitchen, and a generous backyard that’s perfect for cookouts, but the home is also a wallet-friendly buy at just $65 per square foot. Its location within The Lakes, a quiet residential subdivision, promises a community feel. Meanwhile, the attractions of downtown Phenix City and Columbus, GA (separated from Phenix City by the Chattahoochee River), are about 5 miles to the east. Be sure to take a stroll along the scenic Phenix City Riverwalk.
3-bedroom retirement home in Florida: 304 Rotterdam Ave. #1248, Ellenton, FL 34222
Game rooms, libraries, five swimming pools, tennis courts, a woodworking shop, a boat dock, loads of planned activities—this 55+ community of manufactured homes doesn’t skimp on amenities. With its central location between Sarasota, St. Petersburg, and Tampa, FL, Colony Cove in small-town Ellenton offers easy access to many big-city cultural offerings. But social butterflies won’t have to travel to enjoy a good get-together: The resort-style community has several home models for sale, including this 1,456-square-foot yellow charmer. Shiny and modern inside, the newly built home features an open kitchen/living area, plus three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a front sitting porch that’s perfect for relaxing and waving hello to neighbors out for their morning walk.
Fully furnished 2-bedroom home in Florida: 7582 Cedar Bark Road, Micco, FL 32976
Built in 1988, this bright and cheery home in Micco boasts two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a sun porch, and an eat-in kitchen across 1,198 square feet. Better still, the perks of living at Barefoot Bay, the largest mobile-home community in the Sunshine State. About 20 miles north of Vero Beach, on Florida’s Treasure Coast, Barefoot Bay boasts its own private beach, 18-hole golf course, playground, fishing pier, and rec center with an outdoor pool. Did we mention that this home comes fully furnished? All you’d have to do is unpack your bags, then head to the rec center for an evening of live music and a fish fry.
2-bedroom Mississippi Home: 16 Cumberland Circle, Iuka, MS 38852
Put down roots in this updated, 1,389-square-foot house in the northeast Mississippi town of Iuka. Located just moments from the borders of Tennessee and Alabama, the quiet town is best known as the home of J. P. Coleman State Park. The park’s crown jewel is 47,500-acre Pickwick Lake. There, outdoors enthusiasts can hike, boat, swim, and reel in smallmouth bass, then refuel with s’mores at one of the park’s many campsites. But with its two bedrooms, two full bathrooms, and large back porch with a wooded view, this cozy house is the perfect place to come home to after a long day by the water. Bonus: The home’s gated community, Mountain View at Pickwick, includes an outdoor pool!
2-bedroom brick bungalow in Missouri: 6907 Melrose Ave., St. Louis, MO 63130
Built in 1947 during the post-war boom, and sitting on a tree- and sidewalk-lined street, this charming two-bedroom bungalow has been updated with new flooring, an additional full bathroom, and a finished basement. A large fenced-in backyard is ideal for grilling and gardening. Need more space? The 85-acre Heman Park can be reached in about 10 minutes by foot. And the Delmar Loop — with more than 145 boutiques, restaurants, and cultural attractions — is less than 2 miles away.