10 houses for sale in the happiest American beach towns

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If you’ve always dreamed of a home at the beach, you’re part of a major wave.

Our collective longing for white powder sand between our toes and salt sea breeze in our hair has become so epidemic that it has launched countless beach-cottage industries around clothing lines, vacation rentals, suntan products and daydream cable TV fare such as HGTV’s “Island Life.”

Each year, Coastal Living magazine conducts an online vote to compile its list of “America’s Happiest Seaside Towns.” The 2016 happy list includes popular and lesser-known beach destinations from all 4 coastal corners of the country, as well as a favorite find tucked away in the Midwest.

Daydreaming aside, how practical and affordable would it be to turn your longing for life at the beach into reality? Toward the elusive goal, we’ve done some scratching with real estate professionals who sell homes in this year’s 10 happiest spots to explore the nuts, bolts and nuances of buying in a beach town.

Ditch your shoes, slip on your sandals and come explore the happiest seaside towns, beginning with this year’s top choice in Coastal Living’s poll.