Ocean County, NJ is an enviable location, but you don't need to break the bank to live here. (Image via Shutterstock.com)

If you think that living near the Jersey Shore is beyond your means, here is some good news. Ocean County is one of the most sought-after regions in the state, and many of its 65 active adult communities have homes available for less than $150K.

Think about it: the coastline is lined with private and public beaches, all with their own diverse personalities. Seaside Heights has a popular boardwalk, while Long Beach Island has miles of shops and restaurants on its main street. 

Getting out on the water is easy when you can charter boats, sail, kayak, or take a river cruise. Ocean County also has 27 parks and conservation areas, which are great for biking, hiking, and otherwise exploring.

There are also ample opportunities for indoor recreation, including museums like the Ocean County Historical Society Museum in Toms River, art galleries, and theaters. All of life’s conveniences are close to these communities, most of which have small town appeal and residents that stay busy, busy, busy.

Here is a sample of what your money will buy in Ocean County for $150K and under.

Lions Head North - Brick

Below $100k - Mid $200s

Lions Head North is an established, 55+ community with 360 resale attached and single-family homes. It surrounds the Metedeconk River, close to the beach towns of Avon and Mantoloking. The attached homes range from 1,000 to over 1,300 square feet, with two bedrooms, one-and-a-half to two bathrooms, and a one-car garage. Most of these are closer to the clubhouse, and offer wooded views. The 16 single-family floor plans are around the same size, with two bedrooms and bathrooms, a one-car garage, plus upgrades like screened-in porches and large master suites.

The busy clubhouse has activity rooms, an outdoor pool, tennis, and bocce ball. Homeowners enjoy fun activities like bowling, garden club, mahjong, bingo, poker games, and planned outings. There is a Walmart Superstore just minutes away, along with a nearby ShopRite, Home Depot, and dozens of restaurants and shops.

Gardens of Pleasant Plains - Toms River

Below $100k - Mid $100s

Gardens of Pleasant Plains is a mid-sized, well established active adult community of 437 resale homes in a covetable location, a short drive from Bey Lea Golf Course and Ocean County Mall. The majority of the residences here are single-family homes, but there are some duplexes available occasionally. The latter have two bedrooms, one bathroom and a garage. The single-family options are offered in three floor plans ranging from 912 to 1,660 feet, also with two bedrooms, one bathroom and a garage.

A homeowners' association (HOA) fee provides for common area maintenance and access to the private clubhouse. Residents head over to Cattus Island County Park and Ortley Beach to take advantage of the unspoiled nature trails and public beaches. Toms River has a vibrant downtown area with antique shops, a Kohl’s, convenience stores, doctors' offices, beauty salons, and other businesses.

Whiting Station - Manchester

Below $100k - High $100s

Manchester is further west from the coast than Toms River, but is still just 15 miles from Barnegat Bay, a haven for boating and other watersports. Whiting Station has 332 resale homes built from 1988 to 1995. There are 10 floor plans, sized from 1,000 to 1,800 square feet, with two bedrooms, bathrooms, and attached garages. Most feature first-floor master suites and decks, while some have dens, cathedral ceilings, porches, and additional upgrades.

An HOA fee covers snow removal, lawn care, and the community bus service. The private clubhouse includes an outdoor pool, tennis, shuffleboard, a fitness center, and activity rooms. There are also quite a few activity groups and events, like community dinners, game nights, holiday parties, brunches, dances, yoga, pickleball, and planned trips.

Cedar Glen Lakes - Whiting

Below $100k - Low $100s

Poised at the northeast corner of Brendan Byrne State Forest, Cedar Glen Lakes lets its active adult residents enjoy a natural setting that is still close to life’s modern conveniences. With 1,236 resale homes, this large neighborhood has amenities that cater to low-key, vibrant lifestyles.

Attached duplexes and single-family floor plans ranging from 544 to 1,300 square feet with one or two bedrooms, one bathroom, and driveway parking or attached one-car garages. Some of these cozy homes feature dens and porches. Upgrades include dens, three-season rooms, and porches.

There are two clubhouses here, offering activity rooms, a library, a catering kitchen, and a ballroom. Elsewhere on the property are shuffleboard courts, bocce ball, horseshoes, and a mini-golf course. Some of the most popular community activities include movie nights, a bowling league, casino trips, the Cedar Chips Musical Performers group, a golf club, and Ladies of the Lakes.

Leisure Village - Lakewood Below

Below $100k - Mid $100s

As a large active adult community with close to 2,500 attached homes, Leisure Village has plenty to keep its residents busy. On-site amenities include two clubhouses, a 9-hole pitch & putt golf course, and its own health center.

In addition, the clubhouses provide two outdoor pools, shuffleboard, horseshoes, bocce ball, a fitness center, and activity rooms. There are also over 40 clubs and groups for a wide range of interests, like dancing, quilting, theater, singles, bowling, and golf.

The ten resale floor plans have two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and one-car garages. Some include porches, master suites, and formal dining rooms. An HOA fee covers landscaping and snow removal. One of the closest beach towns is the aptly-named Point Pleasant, while other nearby attractions include Lake Shenandoah County Park, Eagle Ridge Golf Club, and the Town & Country Shopping Center.