The 15 most expensive vacation towns in America - and how much it costs to buy a home there

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Buying a vacation home may be as close as you can get to buying peace of mind.

That is, unless you spend too much money and cause yourself endless headaches as a result.

Vacation homes, which accounted for 12% of all home sales in 2016, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), tend to be located 200 miles from the buyer's primary residence. Being near a beach (36%), at the lake (21%), or in the country (20%) were the most popular destinations.

To avoid vacation-home stress, the standard measure for "affordable" housing still applies. All in - between your primary residence and your getaway home - total monthly housing expenses should not exceed 30% of your pre-tax income.

Many vacation-home buyers keep their monthly carrying costs low by paying more upfront. About one in four (28%) buyers paid cash for the purchase, and among those who used a mortgage, nearly half put down 30% or more, according to the NAR.

The median vacation home buyer in 2016 earned $89,900 and paid $200,000 to purchase the property.

But that price is only a fraction of the cost to buy a home in the most expensive vacation towns in the US, based on data from real estate listing website Trulia. Trulia compiled the most expensive vacation markets in the US based on median listing prices. To be included in the ranking, each zip code had to have at least 3,000 homes with 5% vacant for seasonal or occasional use.

Keep reading to see how much it costs to buy a home in the 15 most expensive vacation towns in America.

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