Buy Curious

Looking to buy an affordable summer getaway? It's not too late in the season—here are some options

By Lucy Cohen Blatter  | June 29, 2016 - 8:59AM

Yes, the summer has begun, and ideally, you'd be ensconced in your getaway dream by now. Nonetheless, a search of online databases show a decent amount of properties in second-home markets—and in parts of the city that are far enough from the bustle to function as escapes—available for the taking. Read on for tips on house-hunting for a reasonably priced (no more than $650,000—often way less) summertime set-up. Move quickly and you could be in by August. 


Though it's no longer as undiscovered as it once was (and is apparently a darling of the "hipster" set), Long Island's North Fork still offers those without a Hamptons budget, or simply prefer a lower-key destination, great options. As of this writing, there are 144 homes for sale for under $500,000, according to StreetEasy. But note that prices have gone up as the "Hamptons effect" has spilled over to the North Fork, bringing buyers priced out of the East End to the area and causing price increases as high as 18 percent over last year. For more tips on buying in the North Fork, check out our guide here. 

A three-bedroom, one-and-a-half bath in the Village of Mattituck. Asking price: $399,000.


Yes, City Island is technically in the Bronx, but its vibe is more Mystic, CT than downtown Manhattan. The housing inventory leans mostly toward cottages and bungalows (rather than apartments), but there are plenty of options for half a million and under. If you choose to live here year-round, note that there's only one road on and off the island, a major traffic snarler. Also, many beaches and docks are private, so consider properties directly on the water to get your own piece of the sand. For more tips on buying in City Island, read our primer.

A three-bedroom, one-bath house with a walk-out basement in City Island. Asking price: $499,021.


Though the Catskills have long shed their "Dirty Dancing," Borscht Belt image, its famous bungalow communities are still intact (and often run as co-ops), with many small homes selling in mid-to-high five digits (yes, you read that right). Larger cottages run the gamut from $100,000 to $1 million (though usually closer to the former), depending on size and location, and there are plenty of farms and lakefront homes, too. For more tips on Catskills bungalow hunting, check out our guide here and to pinpoint the best Catskills town for you have a read here.

A four-bedroom, three-bath house on nearly seven acres in Callicoon, New York. Asking price: $499,000.


This Queens neighborhood has become a beloved haunt for city beachcombers, some of whom have left other neighborhoods to live the beach life year-round (see how one Upper East Sider made the swtich). Depending on if you'd rather live in a younger, hipper area like Rockaway Park or something more family-friendly (and with bigger houses) like Belle Harbor or Neponsit, housing options run the gamut. (Note: Flood insurance will need to figure into your budget.) For more tips on buying in the Rockaways, start here.

A two-bedroom two-and-half-bath duplex condo one block from the beach. Asking price: $630,000.


Brick Underground articles occasionally include the expertise of, or information about, advertising partners when relevant to the story. We will never promote an advertiser's product without making the relationship clear to our readers.