Tampa's fun downtown, waterfront locale, and affordable homes make it the ultimate retirement bargain. (Image via Shutterstock.com) 

Buyers looking for an affordable coastal city are finding Tampa hits the mark. Water-lovers can enjoy the Hillsborough River, Tampa Bay, and the Gulf of Mexico. It’s easy to find a place to golf, shop, and enjoy professional sports. The New York Yankees and their competitors come to town in the spring for pre-season baseball.

The Tampa Bay metro area stretches from the rural farmlands of Ruskin and Plant City all the way to beach towns like Clearwater and New Port Richey. The median price for a home in Tampa is $210,000, which is a 10 percent increase over the last year. Plenty of options exist for buyers who desire a property under $150k, especially those hoping to find a home in an active adult community.

Timber Pines – Spring Hill

Below $100k – Low $300s

Several single-family and attached homes at or below the $150k range are available at Timber Pines in Spring Hill, a suburb to the northwest of Tampa. Available homes in this price range typically have two bedrooms and two bathrooms and range in size from 1,160 to 1,350 square feet. This gated community for 55+ residents has four golf courses at different levels of difficulty so beginners are just as comfortable playing like pros. There’s a driving range and a putting green as well as two pro shops.

The community covers 1,400 acres and has 3,452 homes. The Lodge houses many amenities at Timber Pines, including a ballroom, a library, meeting rooms, pools, shuffleboard and bocce ball courts, as well as space for pickleball and tennis. In the Recreation Center, residents can enjoy a fitness center and a woodworking shop. There’s also a performing arts center and a country club which has restaurants and party rooms. 

Village on the Green – Clearwater

Below $100k – Low $200s

Beautiful homes in just the right price range can be found at Village on the Green in Clearwater. This is a 55+ community of single-family homes, attached villas, and condos surrounded by gorgeous landscaping, natural scenery, and tropical plants. One-bedroom condos with two bathrooms are available below the $150k price range, as are villas with two bedrooms and more than 1,000 square feet of living space.

There’s plenty to do at the clubhouse, including an exercise room and a library. Residents play billiards, swim in the outdoor pool, and meet up at the shuffleboard courts for a friendly (or competitive) game. Arts and crafts classes happen frequently in the multi-purpose room and you’ll have the opportunity to get together with your neighbors for a barbecue on the pool patio. There’s also plenty to enjoy in the Clearwater community. Be sure to check out Sunsets at Pier 60, a nightly ritual where people gather to watch the sun go down over the ocean. There are musicians, artists, and food trucks on hand to help with the celebration.

Kings Point – Sun City Center

Below $100k – Low $300s

Dozens of properties below $150k are available in the popular Sun City Center community of Kings Point. Buyers 55+ can select from single-family and attached homes that range in size from one bedroom to three bedrooms. Most properties in this price range have between 1,000 square feet and 1,500 square feet. Smaller units with around 800 square feet can be purchased for less than $100k.

Kings Point is known for keeping residents active. There are two clubhouses, fitness centers and cafés, pools, spas, and shuffleboard courts. Unique amenities include a pottery studio, a cyberspace room, and a heated indoor lap pool. There are courts for lawn bowling, handball, volleyball, and pickleball. Kings Point offers classes and club activities for residents interested in music, books, quilting, and finance. There are social clubs and singles groups. Sun City Center is about half an hour south of Tampa, right off Interstate 75, making travel easy.

Heather Ridge – Dunedin

Below $100k – High $100s

All of the homes available for sale at Heather Ridge in Dunedin are within or below the 150k price range. Stay on budget while living just off the Gulf of Mexico in this 55+ community of attached villas and condos. Dunedin is ideally located between Tampa and St. Petersburg and has a thriving art scene. It’s also where the Toronto Blue Jays have their spring training baseball stadium.

Heather Ridge homes are low-maintenance and lovely. They come in one or two-bedroom models and most are just less than 1,000 square feet. While living at Heather Ridge, you’ll enjoy three outdoor pools as well as outdoor patios and kitchens. Shuffleboard is huge, and walking and biking trails surround a beautiful pond in the middle of the property.

Summertree – New Port Richey

Below $100k – High $100s

Gorgeous landscaping surrounds Summertree, a 55+ community in New Port Richey where several homes are available below the $150k price range. It’s a neighborhood of 800 single-family and attached homes coming in a variety of styles. Choose a two- or three-bedroom home with two bathrooms, a garage, and around 1,400 square feet of living space.

This is an amenity-rich community, with a golf club as well as the Summertree Recreation Center. Residents enjoy an exercise room, an aerobics studio, and several pools, tennis courts, and shuffleboard courts. There's a library, an activity center, horseshoe pits, and lush trails for biking or walking through the community’s natural beauty. New Port Richey is less than an hour from Tampa and close to all the Gulf Coast beaches.