Considering that Texas is just about as south as you can get (and stay in the country), most people don’t think of it as a place to find lakefront homes.
But thanks to the building of an endless reservoir, the state has an abundance of picturesque lakes to choose from, and many of them offer some pretty affordable housing.
To be fair, Texas has a fairly affordable market overall, with the average cost of a home between $250,000 and $300,000. However, lakeside properties are usually considerably more expensive than their landlocked counterparts.
While there are definitely some lakes in Texas that will cost you a pretty penny to live on, there are also some places that maintain some surprisingly low rates.
So, if you are looking to buy a house with waterfront access but don’t want to break the bank, then you have to check out this list of the ten most affordable lakes to live on in Texas.
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1. Lake Texoma
Known as being one of the largest reservoirs in the country, Lake Texoma has so much to offer and one of those things is its affordable waterfront housing.
The lake has over one thousand miles of shoreline, providing ample space for housing, beaches, boat launches, and so much more.
The surface water itself makes up nearly one hundred thousand acres, so there is no shortage of ways to enjoy your time out on the water.
Nicknamed the “Playground of the South”, you will find people doing all sorts of things like fishing, boating, jet skiing, hiking, hunting, and tons more.
There are even a bunch of small islands peppered throughout the lake that offer a great place for boaters to stop and relax or for kayakers to set up camp for the night.
It also has earned the title of “Striper Capital of the World”, so you can bet that fishermen from all over the country travel here for a day of bass fishing.
Considering the fact that the lake sees more than six million visitors a year, it may come as a shock that it is one of the most affordable lakes in the state of Texas.
Despite its reasonable pricing, it may be difficult to land yourself one of these picturesque homes since everybody wants to get their hands on one.
It is important to note that some of the more tourist towns that border the lake have some pretty costly houses for sale, but thanks to the lake’s massive size, there are also smaller towns along the lake that offer some great deals.
One small town that has an affordable market is Denison, and it is charming in every way possible.
The downtown area is quaint with a variety of local shops and restaurants offering visitors a great place to unwind after a busy day out on the water.
There are plenty of other things to do as well, like visiting the Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge, diving into some history at the Eisenhower Birthplace State Historic Site, and taking in the views of the Denison Dam.
Denison is also just minutes away from Lake Texoma’s Eisenhower State Park, where you can spend the day hiking, biking, swimming, laying out on the beach, off-roading, cave hunting, and so much more!
Not to mention, there is a scenic campground right in the park that lets campers wake up each morning to the breathtaking view of the lake.
2. Lake Granbury
Established in 1969, Lake Granbury is a man-made lake that quickly became one of the most beautiful places to live in Texas without the steep prices.
The lake’s unique formation allows for it to curve its way right through the center of the town of Granbury, so there are plenty of homes that line its shores.
To put things into perspective, Lake Granbury is more than thirty miles long with over one hundred miles of shoreline filled with beaches, homes, and boat docks.
In fact, there are over one thousand docks scattered along the lake, so you know that this is a popular place for boating.
Many of these boats are home to fishermen who thrive in this environment, thanks to the large variety of fish in the lake, like catfish, bass, crappie, sunfish, and more.
At any given time, you will see people out on their boats enjoying the day, jet-skiing around the wide-open waters, paddling along in their kayaks, and hiking around the shoreline.
Plus, there are five separate parks located around the edges of the lake that offer visitors even more ways to enjoy the breathtaking views of the lake.
Most of the parks offer picnic tables for a scenic lunch and boat launches for quick getaways out onto the water.
And just when you think things can’t get any better, you will be blown away by just how cute and peaceful the town of Granbury is.
For starters, the town has a historic square filled with boutique shops, trendy restaurants, laid back bars – and it is all just minutes away from the lakefront.
When you are not walking around this charming part of town, you can be hanging at City Beach Park playing a game of volleyball, paddling on the water, or simply soaking in the sun.
Granbury is also home to Texas’ longest-running movie drive-in, Brazos Drive-In, where you can kick back on weekends and enjoy a show from your car like in the good old days.
And when you consider the fact that the average house on the water here costs less than $200,000, you will find yourself scratching your head as to why everyone isn’t moving here immediately!
3. Eagle Mountain Lake
With over two hundred miles of shoreline, Eagle Mountain Lake has so much to offer, and affordable housing is at the top of that list.
The lake was built in the early 1900s and has since been thriving with the help of Lake Worth and the Trinity River.
Therefore, owning a house here not only grants you access to Eagle Mountain Lake but also to a number of nearby bodies of water as well.
Plus, the lake is situated at the base of Eagle Mountain, so the views are spectacular from absolutely wherever you are.
It has somehow managed to stay off everyone’s radar, making it a true hidden gem and a great steal for affordable housing – but who knows how long it will last.
As soon as people realize the endless activities that can be enjoyed here and the breathtaking views around every corner, there is a good chance that the cost of housing will skyrocket.
At the moment, the average cost for a home along the water’s edge is $350,000, but the options are pretty limited.
From the looks of it, people who buy a home in Eagle Mountain have no intention of leaving, so the market is small.
And with the busy city of Fort Worth just down the road, you can quickly find yourself in a neighborhood where homes cost closer to $1 million.
But speaking of Fort Worth, buying a home in Eagle Mountain not only gives you waterfront access but also allows for quick getaways to the vibrant city.
One of the most popular things to do here is to visit the historic Fort Worth Stockyards where you can enjoy all sorts of cattle-based fun, whether it be rodeo shows, farming museums, or western boutiques.
Another interesting attraction in Fort Worth is the Water Gardens because of their unique representation of a city fountain that comes to life at night with a variety of colorful lights.
And of course, you can’t go wrong with a visit to the Fort Worth Zoo, where you can see a collection of animals you won’t see anywhere else.
Overall, buying a house in Eagle Mountain is not only affordable, but it gives people the serenity of small-town vibes with the luxury of nearby city amenities.
4. Caddo Lake
Known as the only natural lake in the entire state of Texas, Caddo Lake has one of the most unique waterfronts available for housing.
To be fair, the lake was actually formed by a logjam hundreds of years ago, but it was not caused by people, so it still gains the title of a natural lake.
Soon after in the early 1900s, the people of the area solidified the state of the lake by damming it to help with flood control.
Therefore, Caddo Lake may look manmade at first glance, but it is actually the only natural lake in the state.
This is pretty impressive considering its massive size of 25,400 acres that stretch out over nearly forty miles overall.
And although it is called a lake, it features more similar characteristics to a swamp, with low-level waters that boast picturesque cypress trees throughout.
So, while you may not want to go swimming in this lake, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy your time, with the most popular being fishing.
Within the lake, you will find over seventy different types of fish with an abundance of largemouth bass, crappie, white bass, and more.
But even if you don’t like finishing, you can still enjoy your time on the water by simply paddling along and admiring the plethora of wildlife and plant species that flourish in the area.
And interestingly enough, there have been many reports of Bigfoot being spotted on the lake, for those who like a good mystery.
One of the best small towns near this lake to fix your roots is Karnack, and its affordable, waterfront housing is hard to beat.
The town is just steps away from Caddo Lake State Park with many houses located along the Big Cypress Bayou for a quick getaway to the lake.
Houses in this area typically range from $150,000 to $300,000 and many even offer acreage aside from the waterfront access.
Another nearby town that is just slightly more expensive is Uncertain, but it provides direct access to the belly of Caddo Lake.
Even still, with prices as low as $250,000 for a three-bedroom house, you can’t go wrong with making Caddo Lake your forever home.
5. Canyon Lake
Located along the Guadalupe River, Canyon Lake is one of the most picturesque places to own a home, and it just so happens to also be the most affordable.
It is so beautiful that the locals of the Texas Hill Country have given it the nickname of “The Jewel”.
The lake is one of the best places to enjoy outdoor recreation with over eight thousand acres of surface water to explore and nearly one hundred miles of shoreline to hang out on.
You will see people enjoying all kinds of activities, like fishing on the water, hiking along its many trails, exploring its eight different parks, and so much more.
There is even a par 72 golf course located along its edges and it is known for providing a good challenge for even some of the most experienced golfers while also offering breathtaking views of the lake.
And when you are not exploring the lake’s many wonders, you can be enjoying some of the area’s other gems like the scenic River Road.
No trip to Canyon Lake would be complete without driving River Road, where you can take in the many views like that of the giant cypress trees and serene river crossings you will come across along the way.
Plus, when things get too hot you can always make your way over to any of the lake’s three beaches for a cool dip in the water.
But one of the most interesting things to do on the lake is undoubtedly partaking in an afternoon of scuba diving.
Back when the area was declared the location of a new reservoir, the people who lived where Canyon Lake now stands had to leave their homes and take all of their possessions with them.
But with some things being impossible to remove and other things left for lack of care, there was quite a variety of buildings, vehicles, and other random items left when it came time to create the reservoir.
Therefore, scuba divers can enjoy the thrill of diving deep into Canyon Lake to explore the ghost town of homes that still resides along its floor.
And even with all of the remnants located within its depths, Canyon Lake remains one of the clearest lakes in the state with pristine, turquoise waters that are sure to leave you breathless.
You can find four-bedroom houses just steps away from the lake for as little as $350,000, and there are many plots of land available for people looking to build their very own dream home.
6. Lake Cypress Springs
Considering its name, you would think that Lake Cypress Springs would be similar to swamp-like Caddo Lake, but it is quite the opposite, and this misinterpretation is one of the reasons why you can score affordable housing right along its shoreline.
While you will definitely find the occasional cypress tree, the lake stretches out over three thousand acres of clear, blue waters with nearly fifty miles of shoreline to enjoy.
Although the neighborhoods that surround the lake are pretty laid back, you will notice that the lake is always bustling with activities whether it be for recreational or industrial uses.
But that doesn’t take away from the serene feeling of sitting by the water especially when it’s in your own backyard!
And the good news is that there are more than 850 homes located along the water’s edge, so there are plenty of places to settle down.
In fact, D Magazine actually rated the lake as one of the very best lakes in the country to live on back in 2011 but it somehow managed to escape the grasps of a large population increase.
That doesn’t mean that it didn’t see a bit of increase in price, so while the rates are still pretty affordable, you will find the occasional million-dollar home thanks to this publication.
Two of the most affordable towns to buy a home in along the water are Mount Vernon and Scroggins and they both offer a fine variety of amenities to keep you busy all year round.
For starters, Mount Vernon is a popular city with plenty to do, including an interesting selection of festivals and events like Second Saturday on the Square and Countryfest.
Second Saturday on the Square is a place for locals to mingle with one another while also supporting nearby farmers, businesses, and musicians.
You can spend the entire day hanging out with your neighbors, buying local produce, checking out some cool handmade crafts, and listening to live music through it all.
Countryfest is what draws in the tourism, with hundreds of people filling up the square to listen to some live music, partake in the stew cook-off, and check out the fancy cars at the car show.
The list of events seems to go on forever, with something new always popping up to keep locals entertained throughout the seasons.
So, when you are not hanging out by the lake or admiring your spacious yet affordable home, you can be hanging out in town enjoying the many activities it has to offer.
7. Lake Austin
If you couldn’t tell by the name, Lake Austin is located in the bustling city of Austin, so you may be surprised that it has made it on this list.
But because the market is so affordable, it can be nearly impossible to snag a waterfront home with so many people hoping to get one for themselves – the local residents who live here love their homes too much to ever let them go.
Nonetheless, you should still keep Lake Austin on your radar, because you never know when a house may go on the market, and if you’re lucky, you may be able to lock in a deal before the other competitors.
One of many lakes in the area, there are plenty of places and ways to enjoy your time out on the water – but the fun doesn’t stop there.
Since Lake Austin curves its way into the vibrant city of Austin, you will have quick access to all of the area’s exciting attractions, trendy restaurants, boutique shops, and more.
For starters, Austin has landed the title of “The Live Music Capital of the World”, so you can bet there is always some sort of entertainment to be enjoyed.
But that doesn’t even scratch the surface of fine things to do, with Austin featuring picturesque attractions like the iconic Congress Avenue Bridge from where you can watch the sunset.
You will also have access to a fine variety of museums, like the Blanton Museum of Art that is known for dazzling visitors with its extensive collection of artwork from around the globe.
And who can forget about Austin’s award-winning barbecue? Just about every restaurant you go to will get your mouth watering, but Franklin has been crowned the king of brisket – and there’s a queue to prove it.
Plus, living down the road from Rainey Street will guarantee you never go bored (or hungry) with rows of funky shops, local live entertainment, and tasty food trucks around every corner.
There is so much to do here that even people who have spent years living in the area haven’t been able to see it all.
So, definitely check out some of Lake Austin’s affordable housing options so you can spend the rest of your days enjoying the city’s many wonders and relaxing on its cool waters.
8. Lake Buchanan
Known as one of the largest Highland Lakes created by the state, Lake Buchanan offers plenty of places along its pristine waters to plant your roots.
The lake seems to go on forever, and boaters love being able to go from one end to the other and back again for a picturesque trip of sixty miles.
There are also nearly one hundred and twenty-five miles of shoreline for visitors and locals to enjoy.
But what really makes this lake stand out amongst the rest is its unique geology, with sections of the lake boasting tall granite rock walls that make for some pretty cool pictures.
You will also find granite shores that provide visitors with a different approach to sunbathing and swimming amongst its waters.
And since it is in the Highland area, it is in the center of it all with only about an hour drive to Austin, an hour and a half to San Antonio, and two hours to Dallas.
This means that you can enjoy the serenity of the lake’s small waterfront towns but can also make a quick getaway to big cities whenever you feel like it.
But most people who live in town end up spending their time by the water because the views are spectacular and the fishing opportunities are even better.
The lake is actually known for its fishing, and people travel from all over the state for a day on the water, catching things like striped bass, blue catfish, largemouth bass, and much more.
Plus, there are plenty of hiking trails around the lake for people who prefer to stay along the water’s edge, and the trails will take you to some pretty impressive sights.
There are also two parks located along the lake, with the most popular being the Cedar Point Recreation Area thanks to its 310 acres of easy exploration and abundance of amenities.
And with three-bedroom homes for as little as $250,000, you would be crazy not to add this lake to your search for waterfront houses in Texas.
You can also score plots of land for cheap with some options being even as low as $40,000 just steps away from the lake!
9. Lake Fork
Established back in 1980, Lake Fork has become one of the most impressive lakes in the state, with over 27,000 acres of surface water to explore and an abundance of affordable housing.
The peaceful lake is located less than two hours outside of Dallas, so while many people visit here to escape the city for a weekend, it surprisingly hasn’t seen a rise in population and housing costs.
This means that this lake can get pretty busy on the weekends, but if you live along its edges, you can enjoy the serenity of its quiet weekdays.
Plus, the lake is famous for its fishing, with nearly all of the record-breaking largemouth bass in the state caught right here.
But even if you aren’t into fishing, there are plenty of ways to enjoy your time, whether it be relaxing on its shores, hanging out in the charming lakefront towns, or exploring some of the many nearby hiking trails.
You will find the occasional million-dollar home, but for the most part, you will be shocked by the affordable market, with three-bedroom homes right on the water for as little as $300,000.
And if you are looking to build a house of your own, you should definitely check out some of the waterfront land portions for sale, with average prices of only $40,000.
10. Possum Kingdom Lake
With a name like Possum Kingdom Lake, it is understandable why most people would be put off by this place, but you’ll be happy to know that this pesky rodent won’t be found anywhere near the water!
In fact, the name of the lake comes from an old story told back in the early 1900s, but in reality, this lake is completely possum-free and a whole lot of beautiful.
People who visit here are actually shocked by just how breathtaking this lake is, with its pristine, turquoise waters and impressive bluffs peppered all along its edges.
Nicknamed the “Great Lake of Texas”, Possum Kingdom Lake stretches out nearly 20,000 acres with a whopping 310 miles of shoreline to enjoy.
The lake is home to some of the most picturesque views you’ll find in Texas, with the most popular attraction being Hell’s Gate.
Located on the southern edge of the lake, Hell’s Gate is surrounded by houses, so only homeowners in the area truly get to enjoy its spectacular views.
Plus, there are plenty of tranquil coves and relaxing beaches to hang out on with some even offering private access to residents of the area.
You will definitely find your fair share of million-dollar homes here, but there are also plenty of other houses and plots of land for sale at incredibly low rates.
Take a two-bedroom cabin on the lake with an acre of land for $250,000, for example, or a two-bedroom mobile home just steps away from the water for $71,000.
You really can’t beat the prices, and the views make it that much better!
It is crazy to think that this lake sees more than a million visitors each year, but you can still score such unbelievably affordable housing options.