The Cheapest Lakes in Louisiana to Buy a Second Home

Written by Deb Butler
Updated: October 14, 2023
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People buy second homes for a multitude of reasons. It could be because they’re looking for a vacation home or an investment opportunity. Louisiana is an incredible state for buying a second home. It provides a rich historical backdrop to the many unique attractions and sights.

If you’re looking for a second home in Louisiana, you may want to consider a lakefront home or property. This state has some of the most beautiful lakes around, with plenty of stunning scenery. However, you don’t have to spend a fortune to find a great lake home. Read on to discover the cheapest lakes in Louisiana to buy a second home.

1. Lake Charles

Out canoeing, Lake Charles, LA, USA

Despite its innate beauty, Lake Charles is one of the cheapest lakes in Louisiana to buy a second home.

©Luigi Silipo/iStock via Getty Images

In Lake Charles, people have the benefit of living in a town with a sparse suburban vibe. It has one of the lowest crime rates in the state, and the community has a relaxed feel. The historic architecture, especially in the downtown area, gives residents a picturesque background as they stroll among its many stores and restaurants.

The overall cost of living in Lake Charles is 15% lower than the national average. Moreover, housing is 30% less expensive, so buying a second home is a good investment. The median monthly rent is $961, so renting your second home could bring in a nice profit.

If you just want a place to get away — a lakefront vacation home — the median price of around $316,000 can buy you a gorgeous setting. Utilities are 23% cheaper than the national average, while groceries cost 6% less than nationally. Not to mention, healthcare is lower, which is great if you end up retiring to that magnificent Lake Charles home.

2. Cotile Lake

Cotile Lake is one of Louisiana's cheapest lakes to buy a house.

The community around Cotile Lake is close-knit, with amazing views and amenities.

©JeffGStephens/ CC BY-SA 4.0 – License

In the Rapides Parish of Louisiana, you’ll find the stunning Cotile Lake, which is a manufactured reservoir in the town of Boyce. Residents of this area often refer to it as one of Louisiana’s best-kept secrets. Due to its out-of-the-way nature, homes around Cotile Lake have the benefits of both fantastic scenery as well as privacy.

The overall cost of living on Cotile Lake is 11% less expensive than in other areas in the United States. In addition, housing is 23% less expensive. So whether you’re buying a second home on Cotile Lake as a vacation home, retirement home, or rental property, you’ll get your money’s worth for your investment.

The median home price around Cotile Lake is about $350,000. Rent, on average, is $1,061 a month, so using a second home as an Airbnb or rental property may bring in a good profit. However, since Boyce’s healthcare is 12% lower than other places nationally and groceries are 3% less, you may want to keep your second home on Cotile Lake as a retirement or vacation home.

3. Caddo Lake

Caddo Lake is on the Texas and Louisiana state lines.

One of Louisiana’s most natural beauties, Caddo Lake, is situated on the Texas and Louisiana state lines.

©Xiu Yu Photography/Shutterstock.com

One of the country’s most beautiful lakes, Caddo Lake is a naturally formed lake with 400-year-old cypress trees adorned with hanging Spanish moss garnishing its waters. Living on this lake offers a uniquely stunning background on which to pursue many lake adventures, including kayaking, fishing, and simply watching the unique wildlife.

Besides the area’s innate beauty, Caddo Parish has a significant cost of living index. The total cost of living is 22.3% lower than the national average. Buying a home is relatively inexpensive, too. An average Caddo Parish home costing about $157,000 is 114.8% cheaper than other homes in the U.S.

A second Louisiana home is affordable if you buy one on Caddo Lake. Depending on the number of bedrooms, you can always rent it out or Airbnb it for an average of $1,200 a month. With the gorgeous views and striking lake scenery, you’ll probably never have an empty house.

4. Lake Pontchartrain

Lake Pontchartrain offers stunning views.

Although living on Lake Pontchartrain may be a bit more expensive than some of the other Louisiana lakes, the beauty and amenities are more than worth it.

©ClearlyKatePhotography/Shutterstock.com

With 630 square acres to its name, Lake Pontchartrain is the largest inland body of water in Louisiana. It’s technically an estuary, but that doesn’t diminish from its beauty and plentiful activities available on the water.

There are so many perks to living on Lake Pontchartrain. For one, all the big-city amenities of New Orleans are readily accessible to those living the lake life. Yet, the tranquil lakefront atmosphere offers a respite from the hustle and bustle of urban life.

While there are definitely mansions and luxury homes you can buy in the area, Lake Pontchartrain also offers cheaper second-home options. In Metairie, a neighborhood on Lake Pontchartrain, the median sale price of a home is about $300,000. That’s about 11% less expensive than the national average.

However, you can rent your second home out for an average of $1,200 a month, which could be a wise investment over time. Healthcare and housing are just a tad over the national average — about 10% higher. However, groceries are slightly less expensive than the national average, and utilities are about 9% cheaper than the national average.

5. Calcasieu Lake

Lake Calcasieu Louisiana

The beauty and peacefulness of Calcasieu Lake, along with the cost of housing, makes it one of the cheapest lakes in Louisiana to buy a second home.

©Louisiana Sea Grant College Program Louisiana State University / CC BY 2.0 – License

The city of Hackberry, LA, is home to Calcasieu Lake. It’s a suburban-rural blend of lakefront life. Living in this small town affords you a quiet respite from city living. Buying a second home on this lake is not only cheap, but it’s an investment in tranquility.

The cost of living in this lakeside community is 12.2% less expensive than other places around the country. An average house costs about $200,000, which is 65.8% cheaper than the national average. If you plan to buy a second home as an Airbnb or rental property, the average monthly rent is about $1,100, which could earn you a nice profit over time.

Although Hackberry is a small town, there are plenty of great things to do there. Naturally, the fishing is excellent on the lake. Furthermore, the dining options are fantastic. Hackberry has several festivals and annual events for its residents as well. So, whether you’re looking for a vacation home, rental property, or retirement home, buying a house on Calcasieu Lake is an inexpensive but worthwhile investment.

Conclusion

Owning a second home may seem like an expensive and overwhelming endeavor — especially when you’re considering lakefront homes and property. However, Louisiana has some fantastic lakes and lakefront homes that won’t cost you a fortune. So, if you’re looking for a vacation getaway, a place to retire, or a property in which to invest, check out the Louisiana lakes mentioned in the article.

Summary Table of the Cheapest Louisiana Lakes to Buy a Second Home

Popularity RankLakeAverage House PriceNearest Community
1Lake Charles$316,000City of Lake Charles, LA
2Cotile Lake$350,000 Rapides Parish, LA
3Caddo Lake$157,000Caddo Parish, LA
4Lake Pontchartrain$300,000Metairie, LA
5Calcasieu Lake$200,000Hackberry, LA

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Katherine Welles/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

I'm Deborah, and I'm an ardent animal lover and impassioned environmentalist. An educator for over 30 years, I recently retired so I could pursue my passion of writing full time. I have had many pets throughout my life, from a Russian tortoise, to fish, to cats, and dogs. My husband and I are currently owned by our very bold pug, Daisy Lu. I have two grown daughters: Chelsea, who lives in Belgium on a NATO base with her husband, Ryan, and Carissa, who lives near me and visits often.

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